SNL: S14E10... HOST: JOHN MALKOVICH... DATE: JANUARY 21, 1989

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or...

The Mike Myers Midseason Switch Up

That May Save The Day

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Alright, I came up with the subtitle based on the fact that I noticed in the opening montage that this was Mike Myers' first night on the show and was going to credit him with the success or accuse him of contributing to the failure if it ended up going that route. Little did I know, he was barely featured in one sketch with only one or two sentences to deliver making him irrelevant when it comes to what was literally seen.

That said, you never know if the added energy of a new featured cast mate was enough to revitalize the energy so, I'm still going to give him the credit for this successful episode with John Malkovich because I do think that there was a change.

Even with yesterday's show, which I credited as the best in the season, I still had the same complaint that it was entertaining without being funny, my repetitive complaint of this year. Tonight's episode may not have been the best, but I do feel that it was the first show since episode two that actually got me to laugh more than a chuckle.

Between John Malkovich's quirky performance and the fact that this episode followed the New Year's break, I'm hoping the fact that this was actually a funny installment of a so-so season isn't just a fluke and that they will use the momentum of the past two shows and save the second half. 

And with that off of my chest, it's now time to move on and share what I saw, as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started in the San Francisco 49ers' locker room since they just won Super Bowl XXIII. During the post-game interview, the 49ers' coach gets a call from newly elected George Bush who wants to congratulate the team for the win. Halfway through the conversation, the call is interrupted by Ronald Reagan who thinks he should be the one doing the congratulating being that he was the president during the actual season while Bush was just VP. After clearing up the confusion, Bush attempt to continue his call with Reagan constantly interrupting, unaware that he is still on the line. Eventually, everyone gives up leaving Reagan alone to announce, "Live from New York..." 
  2. John Malkovich then officially opened the show with a strange monolog where Malkovich plays up his quirky side to talk about his family and hometown in the monotone voice of a serial killer while also talking so fast it was kind of hard to follow along while at the same time being awkwardly entertaining.
  3. We then got a repeat of the fake First Citiwide Change Bank ad from the first episode of this season for a bank that specializes in giving out change.
  4. We then went to the White House for Nancy Reagan's final day where she and Barbara Bush say their goodbyes over tea. During their conversation, it slowly sets in with Nancy that she is no longer the first lady and doesn't make the rules, which is a very difficult pill for her to swallow.
  5. This was followed by the second part of the First Citiwide Change Bank ad that played after the monolog.
  6. Attitudes was a parody of a Lifetime Channel talk show with Jan Hooks and Nora Dunn as a pair of hosts who fight for the spotlight while attempting to interview John Malkovich who plays a Pacific Northwest artists who is almost a Portlandia character talking very unenthusiastically about the boring work that goes into his driftwood sculpting career. Meanwhile, as this interview continues to progress, the two hosts try their hardest to make this an exciting segment
  7. Gary Busey Motorcycle Helmets was a fake ad for a giant helmet and an even bigger helmet to be worn as a helmet protector being that this was around the time of his accident.
  8. Anita Baker then took to the stage to perform Giving You The Best That I Got.
  9. Mocking Lord Edmund was a sketch that took place in 1635 with John Malkovich playing the titular Lord who accuses his love of mocking him even though she showed zero signs of even the slightest taught. Meanwhile, his two guards openly mock him behind his back. This pattern of falsely accusing his guests of mockery continues with the two guards making faces behind his back.
  10. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, we see Dan Quayle struggling to repeat after the Supreme Court Judge while being sworn in as the vice president since most of the coverage follow Bush. We also got a retrospect of Reagan's presidential career and A. Whitney Brown dropped in for another great Big Picture segment about the inauguration of Papa Bush and how much money was spent on celebration before the victory was even official.
  11. We then went to a back porch family Bar-B-Que where out of nowhere a California Condor crashes into the sliding glass door leaving it very injured but not dead. This is such a big bird that it freaks everyone out especially as the men at the party struggle to put it out of its misery using a croquette mallet, a bat, and even a b.b. gun. The thing that makes it worse is the men are too timid to land a solid blow making this poor bird's last moments even worse than if they just left it to die on its own.
  12. Anita Baker then returned to the stage to perform Just Because.
  13. We then went to the White House back in 1820 to hear a presentation from Johnny Canal played by Malkovich who was a Davy Crockett type who was pitching the idea of building a canal system that runs throughout the entire country with multiple branches leading into every single town only his idea is quickly shot down when the politicians being pitched to question the feasibility of this system that doesn't make any sense. 
  14. Kevin Nealon then played a radio DJ named Tony Trailer to make fun of the early morning radio talk ups that make it impossible to enjoy the song as he interrupts every few seconds with news, weather, and traffic far after the song hits the post. 
  15. Finally, John Malkovich closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Though this turned out to actually be my second favorite episode from this season so far, I do think it was actually the funniest due to these three favorite moments from the night. First, I loved the California Condor sketch where a condor crashed into a sliding glass door and the men struggle to put it out of its misery because I've dealt with this issue before but only with a much smaller bird. Next, I really liked the talk radio that I love sketches that goof on broadcasting styles. Finally, I was a fan of this week's installment of Attitudes but more due to the fact that it's the sketch that comes to mind when thinking of Malkovich's connection to the show and not that it's all that funny.

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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.