SNL: S14E08... HOST: KEVIN KLINE... DATE: DECEMBER 10, 1988

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or...

R.I.P. Roy Orbison

Along With My Enthusiasm For This Season

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Apparently, Roy Orbison died earlier in the week that this episode originally aired. Though I am sad about the loss, I've had close to thirty years to get over it so though I hate to admit it, I had mixed feeling about the replay of his Crying performance as a way to end the night. It's not that I didn't like the performance or the sentiment of the tribute but with there being only twelve segments to the night, this song took up a large chunk of an otherwise disappointing show.

This really sucks because I actually like Kevin Kline and have been desperately trying to enjoy this season but this episode might be the final straw. Up until this point, I've been constantly repeating how I find this year to be entertaining without being funny but during this viewing, I was just straight up bored.

As always, during an unfavorable season, I start to wonder if I'm just getting burnt out from this being a daily challenge but then a solid season will arrive and I'm right back to feeling on board. I think this year bothers me more than the rest because the cast is good, they have an amazing lineup of host and even conceptually most of the sketches have been just fine but at the same time, the final product is coming out very flat. 

Part of me feels that the problem is that the writers may be trying to show their sophisticated side in an effort to impress the higher caliber of hosts instead of being the rebels of late night who push the edge while making up laugh. 

I still hold out hope that they will sort this out because all of the pieces have been there from night one which almost makes it twice as frustrating because they've been so close to hitting the mark.

Oh well, we'll see what happens as the season continues on but until then, it's now time to shift gears and move on to share what I saw, as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with A Trump Christmas with Donald and Ivana Trump in their gaudy Trump Tower apartment on the Christmas Eve after coming home from a boring holiday party. Not only do they seem bored by the festive night activities but they seem even more bored by their pampered rich lives. They do a gift exchange in an effort to lighten the mood where Donald bought Ivana an obnoxious golden door for Mar-a-Largo and Ivana bought Donald a golden anchor for the biggest of his many yachts. After the exchange, it's revealed that Ivana sold Mar-a-Largo to afford the anchor and Donald sold the yacht in order to buy the door but neither are worried because Donald already has a plan to buy everything back while forcing the buyers to give him a deal because that's the way he works. As always, with this being the opening sketch it ended with the announcement of, "Live from New York..." 
  2. Kevin Kline then officially opens the show by playing piano with the band before taking the center stage to do a monolog about all the theatrical work that he's done before calling the Master Thespian to the stage as his favorite Shakespearian actor of all time. The two go on to do a bit of an ACTING routine before throwing to the first non-opening sketch.
  3. Game Breakers was a game show sketch where contestants have to answer trivia questions but there doesn't seem to be a joke. That is until Kevin Nealon loses and Kevin Kline as host takes a break to walk Kevin down to the street and console while he waits for a cab as if this was an end to an awkward date. Victoria Jackson then stepped in as the next contestant and when Kevin Kline says, "Let's get to know our next contestant," rather than asker her question on the air he takes her out to dinner where the two have an awkward run in with Kevin Nealon.
  4. Plug Away was a talk show sketch hosted by "Harvey Fierstein" where he and his guest blatantly plug their projects while Harvey also, "Just wants to be loved," which is the secondary topic of the discussion. In this week's installment "Jimmy Stewart" dropped in to plug that his movie Harvey is being released on VHS only to get kicked off the show by admitting that he wouldn't be interested in Fierstein even if he was gay. Jack Nicholson is the second guest to plug his upcoming role in Batman but also gets kicked off the show for not loving Harvey in a fictional gay scenario. Peter Allen is the last of the guests to experience the same results.   
  5. Bobby McFerrin then took to the stage to perform Drive.
  6. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, A. Whitney Brown gave us another great Big Picture segment about Mikhail Gorbachev's visit/speech to the United States. Unfortunately, though this segment was pretty good it was the only clip from this week's news that I was able to find on the internet.
  7. Kevin Kline then took to the stage to introduce a sketch that shared the Alternate "Big Chill" Ending where the surrogate sex between Kline and his late friend's wife is wilder than in the actual movie and Kline's wife is stuck in the living room where she has to listen to it all. With Kline's wife being Glenn Close in the actual film the sketch eventually ended on a Fatal Attraction joke with her killing and cooking a bunny due to the pent up anger from having to hear her husband cheat on her for an entire night when it was supposed to be clinical sex purely for the sake of procreation.
  8. Desert Island Agency was a sketch that I couldn't find anywhere on the internet.
  9. Bobby McFerrin then returned to the stage to perform The Star-Spangled Banner.
  10. Raspberry Response was a sketch where Victoria Jackson and Kevin Kline play a couple and Victoria responded to every single question from her husband by making a bored fart sound with her tongue to pooh-pooh his efforts to make small talk.
  11. We then got a repeat of Roy Orbison performing Cryin' from the end of Season 12.
  12. Finally, Kevin Kline closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

These three moments might have been the hardest to find because there was so little content to choose from but here is my final list. First, I loved the Plug Away sketch because I love Jon Lovitz as Harvey Fierstein and his efforts to find true love. Next, I really liked Raspberry Response sketch because Victoria Jackson's bored attitude matched my feelings about the night. Finally, I was a fan of the Master Thespian showing up for Kline's monolog because I like the character and needed a third segment to complete this list.

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Matt Bunker

I started out with a goal of becoming a paid screenwriter. I had no interest in any other aspect of filmmaking. I received and scholarship to The Vancouver Film School's Writing for Film and Television program where I graduated in 2005. I fell in love with being on set during my first non-school produced short, . I loved being around all the creative people, seeing people having fun while working. The whole liking your job was a new world to me, so I decided to give it a shot. I volunteered for any project I could, doing what ever was needed. The set was my Film School this time. While working as a PA on a feature I was informed that the DP wanted the three tallest PAs to help out in the grip and electric department. That is when I found the department that felt like the best fit for me while I continued to write.