Moore Left Me Wanting More
Normally by this point in the SNL season, I have a pretty solid grasp of how confident I feel the rest of the episodes will play out. With five shows to gauge the year's progress, I can usually gauge my enthusiasm toward the rest of the season as well. However, with this season, I'm still on the fence because I wouldn't say that the episodes have been all that bad but I would also say that there haven't been too many sketches to get me to laugh.
Usually, when this is the case, it's felt like internal cast struggles from the success going to their heads, but that doesn't seem to be the issue with this group. Part of me wonders if the problem with this season is that the show success is bringing in a high caliber lineup of hosts who can act their asses off but don't have careers grounded in comedy.
This ability to act without a life based on laughs would explain why I found over half of the shows so far to be entertaining without being funny. This was the same case tonight with Demi Moore at the wheel because, once again, I would by no means say that this was a bad episode, it was just missing that silly energy to make the show fun and/or memorable.
All that said, it probably didn't help that Demi Moore started by basically bashing the show in her monolog. Though I know she was partially joking and her routine was cleared by the show, I'm not a fan of hosts who has that "I'm not 100% happy to be here," attitude whether or not the attitude is real or fake.
By bashing the show I mean how Demi started by announcing her marriage and new baby then went on to complain about how the show wasn't all that accommodating with her schedule because she preferred to host at a later date which didn't work for the show. Granted, she did just have a kid three months before the show but she had to be aware of the circumstances when the offer was made so when they didn't meet her need she should have turned it down instead of carrying resentment.
Again, I know this was partially a joke but I feel if a person is going to play the role of a reluctant host they better put on a real good show and not just an average episode. By opening with a complaint only to do just okay it can feel that the host is just in it for the publicity whether or not there's a laugh at all.
I don't even think that was the case here, I only bring it up because I feel that this type of opening just sets me up for a letdown landing the host in an unnecessary hole for them to dig out of because when all is said and done tonight's episode was no better or worse than the last two or three shows with that tiny gripe of a joke being the only difference.
It also didn't help that this was one of those episodes where it was really hard to find all the content to the point where there were two sketches from the night that I couldn't find anywhere on the internet.
Oh well, now that I've gotten that out of my system, it's now time to move on and share what I actually saw, as I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
- This week's show started with Bush's Final Negative Ad before the election where Dana Carvey as Bush introduces the ad by explaining that he had to spend the last of his campaign money or else it would revert to the federal treasury so he figured why not spend it all on this epic piece of slander highlighting all of Dukakis's flaws and the flaws of the Democratic Party as well. Though this is a parody of propaganda it's not all that far off from where we are now. Of course, this being the opening sketch, it ended with the announcement of, "Live from New York..."
- Demi Moore then officially opened the show with a monolog about her marriage, recently born child and how Saturday Night Live wasn't all that flexible when scheduling this show with a new mom. I kept expecting to turn into a joke but it never did. By the end of the monolog, she simply states that the baby is asleep in the dressing room before a quick brag about losing the pregnancy weight in a tone that's got me seeing red flags.
- Neuburg's Bleu Cheese Cooler was a fake ad for a Bleu Cheesed flavored sparkling wine that parodied the less filling/tastes great ad campaign from Miller Light.
- We then got a parody of the Beauty And The Beast TV show from the time with Jon Hooks as the Beauty and Phil Hartman as Beast. In the sketch, the two titular characters are on a drive-in double date with Demi Moore and the Beast's less confident brother who was played by Jon Lovitz and is too much of a spazz to make any sort of connection.
- Camping With Hans And Franz is more of the same with the weight lifting brothers only this installment took place near a tent. Again, as always, I'm still humored by these two but there aren't all that many new developments to these characters. That said, this week we do learn that they are afraid of werewolves, but that only get brought to light when they hear a strange noise as no furry beast ever arrives.
- The World Of Dr. Know-It-All was pretty much a parody of Mr. Wizards World where Phil Hartman plays Dr. Know-It-All who tries to teach children the ways of science with experiments like sucking a gerbil up to explain the concepts behind a vacuum cleaner or pulling a fish out of the aquarium to prove they need water to breathe. Aside from these twisted science experiments, the other aspect of this sketch is to make fun of women for not being as well educated when it comes to science.
- Johnny Clegg & Savuka then took to the stage to perform I Call Your Name.
- Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, Dennis Miller questioned if all the SNL jokes helped contribute to a Bush Sr. presidency (sound familiar), then there was a satellite interview between him and "Imelda Marcos" about how she might go to prison where she starts sharing her fears then goes on to brag about what her life used to be before her and her husband got caught stealing money from the citizens that they were supposed to lead. This was followed by a visit from Victoria Jackson about how she and the rest of her Baby Boomer generation was the most anxiety ridden age group by far, and this was before they had the stress of actually running the world straight into the ground with their greed and inability to step down from power to give the younger generations their deserved shot at being in charge.
- One Man's Demons was a sketch where Phil Hartman and Demi Moore play a couple at home with Demi trying to do her end-of-the-day chores. Every time that she asks for help two demons show up around his shoulders but instead of these demons being one bad one good, both the evil beings encourage Phil Hartman to do only good yet he still seems to be conflicted. After a few examples of these positive but controlling thoughts, a psychiatrist takes Hartman away for being too helpful as a family man.
- Woman Vs. Rattlesnake was a sketch where Demi Moore and Kevin Nealon play a couple out in the Rockies to explore the vacant plot of land where they plan to build a cabin. At one point, Demi has a seat on a log only to find she landed right next to a rattle snake. Thinking quickly, Kevin Nealon tries to shoot the venomous reptile only he empties the gun without hitting anything. He tries multiple techniques to save his wife but only spooks the snake with every attempt causing it to bite her during every effort. Eventually, the snake gets away and just when Demi thinks that she safe Kevin spots a tarantula crawling down her arm leaving us to wonder how the two will take care of this situation.
- Lou's Poker Game was the first sketch of the night that I couldn't find anywhere on the internet.
- Florszag Travel was the second sketch of the night that I couldn't find anywhere on the internet.
- Johnny Clegg & Savuka then returned to the stage to perform Take My Heart Away.
- Businessman's Chatter Line was a fake ad for a phone line or businessmen to call as an outlet to talk shop in a way that would bore a non-business type person out of their skin.
- Finally, Demi Moore closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.
Sorry to keep harping on this, but no matter how I felt about the monolog, I still struggle to find these three favorite moments because as I said, these sketches were entertaining without being all that funny. First, I loved the Beauty And The Beast sketch because the idea of Belle and the Beast being on a drive-in double date with the Beast's awkward brother to be a funny concept. Next, I really liked this week's Camping With Hans And Franz sketch because though repetitive I still like these characters and loved how they both have an irrational fear of werewolves. Finally, I was a fan of The World Of Dr. Know-It-All because I was a huge fan of Mr. Wizard's World which is was parodying and this might have landed in the number one spot if Demi Moore wasn't hit by shrapnel to where she came across as an idiot while the Dr. Know-It-All character highlighting the sexist view that women are no good at science which would have been stronger if she was actually the smart of the two rather than continuing the stereotype.