SNL: S14E11... HOST: TONY DANZA... DATE: JANUARY 28, 1989

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or...

Finally, Some Full Blown Funny For This Season

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It's funny how just yesterday I was complaining that my issue with this season is how the humor is at the level of an after-school sit-com where it can entertaining and silly enough to be fun but is far too safe to trigger any real big laughs. Sure there may be a chuckle here and there but most of the time any audible reaction maxes out at the same level as a courtesy laugh even if the reaction is genuine.

Meanwhile, this episode hosted by Tony Danza, who is mainly known as a sit-com star, might be the funniest episode of the season. This kind of makes sense because in general, I've found that these mid-level celebrities often end up with funnier episodes because they have nothing to lose as opposed to the bigger names.

I also seriously think that things were switched up over the Christmas vacation because I'm willing to bet that more changes were made than just the addition of Mike Myers as a new featured member of the cast because I've noticed that they may drop a cast member at any time but they don't usually randomly add anyone until the start of a season unless the show is not doing well.

I'm excited because this show makes three in a row that weren't just entertaining but actually got me to laugh more than a couple of times, so I'm hoping that this level of content will be the new bar for the rest of the season to live up to if not exceed. As I keep pointing out, the lineup of host for this season has been and will continue to be amazing and the quality is so close to being spot on, I really think that they can pull it off.

We'll see when I watch tomorrow's episode. Until then, it's now time to switch gears and move on to share what I saw as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with A Message From Ted Bundy where he talked about the importance of a reliable energy source playing with the idea that his electric chair malfunctioned allowing him the time to give this message before round two of the state's effort to end his life. Since he knew he would soon be dead he added the words, "For now, I'm..." to the announcement of, "Live from New York..."
  2. Tony Danza then officially opened the show with a monolog about the changes in his life since he last hosted the show three years ago. This includes a few dad just about now being married with a child which is apparently the only thing that changed as he ended his routine off with another tap dance routine just like the first time he was on.
  3. This was followed by a repeat of the Carbon Paper ad from last season that makes fun of the dying product since this was the time the photocopiers started to be readily available in the workspace.
  4. Da War Of Da Woilds was a parody or War Of The Worlds only everyone involved has a Jersey accent. In this rendition, Jon Lovitz and Tony Danza are fishing when they notice a couple UFOs and go off to warn the Jersey accented world. 
  5. We then joined Victoria Jackson and Jan Hooks who were having dinner at a fancy restaurant that is filled with celebrities and by the way they talk it's clear that this is a new hot spot because they're not used to this caliber of clientele. After pointing out several big names in acting, Victoria Jackson notices Jesus Christ in the corner booth with three other biblical figures from his time. The rest of the sketch is made up of everyone in the restaurant bugging the savior with a piece of paper to sign. 
  6. John Hiatt then took to the stage to perform Paper Thin.
  7. As World Turn was a soap opera parody with Tonto, Tarzan, Frankenstein, and Jane being the source of the episode's drama as Tonto informs Tarzan that Frankenstein is having an affair with Jane.
  8. Tony Danza then hosted an ad for Maydenform lingerie where he speaks in soft tones like the ad being parodied while using stereotypical Italian/Guido talk to describe the women's apparel being sold. 
  9. Sing Along With Tonto, Tarzan And Frankenstein returned for another installment. This time the trio sings Old Suzanna. 
  10. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, Jean Dixon checked in via satellite to make predictions about the upcoming year mainly talking in circles without fully committing to a single word that she says. We also got to overhear what happens on the world leader chat line that's just as vapid as an average chat line seemed to be. Mike Myers also made his news debut as an angry Scottish character who yells at the audience for not knowing a thing about his motherland which doesn't seem to go over well at first but the audience is with him by the end.
  11. Tony Danza then played a working-class guy named Frankie who knocks on the door of a house that is so nice that the owners have a butler. Tony then asks for the man of the house and it sounds like he wants to propose to his daughter and that the homeowner is offended because he's a working stiff. It turns out the man is actually offended because Tony wants to marry the man's wife and now it sounds like the two were having an affair until Victoria Jackson enters the room as the said wife and we learn that the two have never even met each other. This confusion goes on for a while until two doctors from the psych ward knock on the door revealing that he's actually an escaped mental patient and is quickly taken away.  
  12. Victor's Stakeout was a sketch where Tony Danza and Kevin Nealon are staking out a house from an apartment across the street. They have a man on the street who they talk to through an earpiece and we just hear their side of the conversation after discovering Victor's been spotted and the person being watched is now out to our undercover cop that is never seen while treating the eventual attack like it's not that big of a deal even though it sounds horrible based on their play by play..
  13. John Hiatt then returned to the stage to perform Slow Turning.
  14. We then went to a diner for a sketch where Kevin Nealon is enjoying his lunch and gets annoyed when he spots Tony Danza checking out his meal leading him to aggressively ask What Are You Lookin' At? The rest of the sketch is pretty much an improv game where every line delivered is a question, most often starting with "What?" 
  15. We then got a repeat of the Sincere Guy Stu sketch from way back when Joe Montana was host and plays an extremely honest roommate who openly admits he will be in his room masturbating while his uptight roommate is trying to come up with a fake excuse as to why his date will be staying over for the night. This is re-aired due to Montana's recent Super Bowl win over the Bengals. 
  16. Finally, Tony Danza closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

 

Finally, another episode where it was hard to find these three favorite moments because there was actually too much to choose from as opposed to finding enough content to complete the list. First, I loved As World Turn sketch because I love the Tonto, Tarzan, and Frankenstein trio and love them, even more, when they are in actual sketches and not just there to sing. Next, I really liked Da War Of Da Woilds because even though it's not referenced, I'm a fan of War Of The Worlds because of the radio play prank from the past, and as far as the sketch goes, I liked the bad special effects and the fact that everyone in the world has a Jersey accent when I don't usually find accent based humor to be all that funny. Finally, I was a fan of the What are you looking at? sketch because I'm a fan of the improv game that allows only questions when you speak that this sketch is based on.

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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.