SNL: S14E17... HOST: DOLLY PARTON... DATE: APRIL 15, 1989

printable-blank-calendars1.jpg

or...

Time For Some Country Bumpkin Fun

Capture14175.JPG

As I've said in at least one review from the past, I can't stand country music. With that said, I'm only a fan of a couple Dolly Parton's more mainstream pop hit songs but I also love her as a pop culture figure from my childhood and thanks to my mother and sister I've seen Best Little Whorehouse In Texas and 9 To 5 more than a handful of times in my life.

This is why Dolly was another mixed feelings host when I saw her name in the line-up. On the positive, I love how she has that playful positive attitude that I truly believe can be enough to keep an episode from being all that bad. On the negative, she's a good looking person who has no problem defaulting to her breasts instead of well-crafted jokes to get a laugh.

Note that I said "good looking person" because this isn't a "females aren't funny" sort of thing and if you want further proof you can read my Mel Gibson review from yesterday where I had the same complaint about a male. In this case, Mel was more of a prop and most of the humor stemmed from people's reaction to his beauty while he just stood there and looked good, smiling from time to time which to me seemed like the only sign of a sense of humor.

This wasn't fully the case with Dolly Parton. Though about fifty percent of the jokes revolved around her breast size and beauty even when this was the case Dolly still put in the effort to be funny on her own terms as well. I wouldn't say that she was always successful but for a Country Western singer she did a better job hosting than some of the hosts who are known for their comedy career.

As I keep pointing out, I think that it's her positive playful attitude that elevated the episode to be a good show when it could have very easily had been an average night because the content alone was just a little better than okay. There were also a lot of introductions of reoccurring characters that I'm excited to see more of in the near future which also added a couple points.

Now that I've got my feeling about the episode off 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 with a sketch about the Exxon Cleanup where Jon Lovitz and Ben Stiller are so down with the cause that they are actually cleaning individual rocks along with a group of other volunteers. Phil Hartman plays the supervisor of this rock cleaning effort and has to answer a bunch of dumb questions about the simple task. After a while, Hartman notices that someone has tracked new oil into the freshly cleaned area that they've been working. The culprit ended up being the captain of the Exxon Valdez who is drinking while helping out. He quickly admitted his guilt before announcing, "Live from New York..." 
  2. Dolly Parton then officially opened the show with a monolog that's all over the place where she first jokes about bussing in fans from Dollywood to get a positive response then goes on to joke about her super tight wardrobe that looks like a peacock in honor of NBC. She then goes into a bit where she is intentionally rambling while the camera zooms in on her boobs followed by a shot where a cameraman is hung from the roof to get a bird's eye view down her cleavage, all the while Dolly has moved on to rambling about how artistic the camera crew is.
  3. The Lothar Of The Hill People sketch then made its debut where Mike Myers plays the titular hill person who advises the borderline primitive people that make up his clan. In this week's installment, they mainly talk about relationship issues using modern logic while speaking with medieval terms. 
  4. Dolly Parton then switched to musical guest mode and took to the stage to perform Why'd You Come In Here Lookin' Like That?
  5. Dolly and the cast then sat around the main stage almost as if they were having a slumber party with everyone focused on our host as she prepares to tell some Mountain Stories of her youth. She then goes on to tell her hillbilly upbringing where they didn't have indoor plumbing or electricity. She starts to tell a tale that her mother used to share only the cast quickly catches on that she's actually talking about My Three Sons, Dragnet, and other TV shows from when she was a child that her mother passed off as personal experiences. As soon as Dolly left, the cast went on to discuss what they just experience, sad that she missed out on so much TV only to be fed the same stories as a lie. There is a brief moment where someone suggests they she may have been better off because she got to use her imagination to experience the same tales. It doesn't take long for the group to then come to the conclusion that they were way better off experience TV fiction first hand. 
  6. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, Dolly Parton dropped in to discuss a tabloid story that said she was dealing with deep depression. When Miller asks if this is true she simply says yes with a smile which for some reason got a big laugh from the crowd which was apparently the response she was going for. Jean Dixon also stopped by for more prediction where once again she makes obvious guesses based on what is already going on like how the latest oil spill will affect the fishing industry and that the same thing will happen again if there happens to be another accident but will not to commit to if or when any of her prediction will come true.  
  7. Planet Of The Enormous Hooters was your typical Amazonian tale that takes place on a planet ruled by women. On this planet, Dolly plays the native with the smallest breast and gets banished to Earth where the leaders think she will be ignored for being such an underdeveloped girl.
  8. Sprockets then made its premiere with Mike Myers as the quirky German host named Dieter who interviews guests about comedy while sticking to a dry German delivery. In this installment, Dieter interviews Ben Stiller as Eddie Munster about his childhood career because The Munsters just hit the air in Germany and is a major success. This introduction to the sketch also includes Dieter offering his guest the opportunity to "touch his monkey" and sets up the traditional end to the sketch where it became "The time on Sprockets where they dance."
  9. The Rusty Bone was a sketch that took place at a bar where the men and women all have tails as if they were cats and dogs. The tales react to the otherwise typical bar conversations, wagging when excited, steady and down when sad. There wasn't much this sketch, just a simple set-up to build the world followed by a boner joke caused by a female with a poodle tail entering the bar which causes the males' tails to stiffen as they stand to get a better. The big punchline is that Kevin Nealon's tail is burnt by a candle as it goes erect which causes him to yelp in pain.
  10. Celebrity Restaurant also returned for another installment that takes place in the same set as The Rusty Bone sketch that just aired. This week, it's more of the same with nobodies at the waiting while b-level names have to justify their celebrity status in order to get into the main room.
  11. Dolly Parton then switched back to musical guest mode and returned to the stage to perform White Limozeen.
  12. Broadway Story, Part 2 was a follow-up to the Broadway Stories short film that aired back when Mary Tyler Moore was the host. In this installment, we see more of the black and white tale that goes behind the scenes of a Broadway play where most of the comedy stems from the horrible film stock and terrible audio making fun of the era where movies first started to implement sound but still didn't know how to use it. 
  13. We then went to Smilers which was a downtown Manhattan drug store filled with grumpy New Yorkers and Dolly Parton as her bubbly southern self who has just been hired as the newest cashier who lives up to the store's name by using her charm to cheer up everybody in line so that they not only leave with their purchase in hand but also with a smile on their face. The sketch then ended with an update showing that this was the start of a rebirth of New York where everyone started to work together with an effort to spread the joy. 
  14. 10 Beatles Classics You Kind Of Know The Words To was a fake ad for an album for a singing group sings Beatles tunes the best that they can while only knowing the chorus and mumbling through the rest of the words in between.
  15. Finally, Dolly Parton closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

Tonight's episode introduced two of my favorite Mike Myers characters making it extremely easy to determine these three sketches as my favorite moments of the night. First I loved Dolly's Mountain Stories because not only was it funny, it was fun to play along at try to figure out which TV show her mother was trying to pass off as reality as Dolly shared her childhood tales. Next, I really liked the introduction of Sprockets because I'm a huge fan of Dieter and loved seeing Ben Stiller as Eddie Munster. Finally, I was a fan of Lothar Of The Hill People because this is the other Mike Myers' character that I love and can't wait to see more of.

Capture14172.JPG
Capture14173.JPG
Capture14174.JPG

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.