Another Night Of Nostalgic Introductions
Early on in this SNL challenge, back when I was watching the original cast, I used to get excited all the time for getting to rewatch all the classic moments that originally aired when I was far too young to remember my life let alone a specific episode. These sketches were classics thanks to best of compilations and reruns of the episodes that good enough in their entirety to overcome the test of time.
With the passing of each season, it's been becoming less and less clear which episodes I remember from when they originally aired and which show I know more from their reruns. Being that I started watching the show at an extremely young age, it's hard to tell when solid memories began to develop because there have been times where I know for sure that either a sketch or an entire episode stood out because they influenced specific moments of my life.
Now, I'm getting to the point where I know for sure that I not only watched all these episodes as they originally aired as my memory of the show is growing to be more specific. It's getting to the point where I can write out the summary to many of the sketches by title alone which in a way makes each new episode I watch filled with more surprised.
Where the early classics really stood out because they were already tested by the time I committed them to memory, I vividly remember these new classic moments in real time as they were being developed and at the time these characters grew old and over-repetitive even though they were great at the start.
Since I was a diehard fan at the time, I have fond memories of this era but have to admit I was a bit nervous about revisiting these years during this challenge because I feared that not only the show but the fans, my friends and myself have worn these characters and catchphrases to the ground through repetitive impersonations that have lasted damn near three decades by now.
It turns out that this concern is nowhere near coming true because every time one of these characters make their debut I get struck with a sense of nostalgia that totally lightens my day. I think part of this stems from the fact that I have avoided this era whenever I see the show being rerun to the point where it feels new once again. Another part of it is, that the classic moments from this time, are genuinely classic to me and not just what the best of compilations push as their proudest moments.
Last night there were three debut characters that caught me off guard and tonight there were three more as well. First, it was exciting to see David Spade make his debut with his first major segment on the news, then I was totally caught off guard by the memory of how much I loved the McLaughlin Group sketch and was over the moon to see Julia Sweeney as Pat.
Don't get me wrong, my point to this post was not that I wasn't expecting to like these sketches as I'm more trying to share the difference in my excitement over these episodes that fall into my wheelhouse with the show over the season and sketches that are commonly considered to be the best as we reach the point in the show history where my memories are even more genuine and personalized.
With that, it's now time to stop rambling about the good old days and move on to share what I saw during the nostalgic night, as I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started with the return of Church Chat where the Church Lady badgered Saddam Hussein about his connection to SATAN following the early stages of his invasion of Kuwait as we continued to build up to the first Persian Gulf War. The Church Lady also brings in John Goodman who plays her mother who looks exactly the same only twice the size and the two double team the Iraqi leader over his connections with the dark side. Of course, this being the opening sketch, all of this built up to the announcement of, "Live from New York..."
John Goodman then officially opened the show with a monolog about his accomplishments since last hosting the show, including landing the starring role in a few movies, continued success on the show Roseanne, and the fact that Tom Arnold had him fire, only to be refired, then fired and rehired once again. His final crowning achievement was the fact that his daughter was recently born. This final announcement led to Goodman's impression of his newborn girl.
We then got a repeat of the fake commercial for Bad Idea Jeans from earlier in the season where a group of guys discussed their bad choices while preparing for a basketball game over various shots of their pants.
Annoying Traits was a sketch that took place in a convenience store where everyone involved is either Mr., Ms., or Mrs., followed by the annoying trait that they're known for and many have multiple names depending on what annoying trait is being put out on display.
Jagger Ties The Knot was a sketch that parodied Mick Jagger's wedding to Jerry Hall and how Mick is still nervous after nearly a decade and a half together as well of the birth of two kids.
Player-With-Yourselves-Club was a parody of the Player's Club ads that used to star Kojak. Of course, all they simply did was add the "With Yourself" to the company name to turn the ad for a "fancy" credit/club card into a sketch about masturbation.
Faith No More then took to the stage to perform Epic.
The McLaughlin Group then made its debut to the show. This is a panel talk show sketch that parodies the real talk show with the same name with Dana Carvey playing McLaughlin who aggressively controls the political conversation that he has with his guests.
Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, David Spade made his news debut where he compared himself with Kuwait being that he was a tiny kid who was bullied by his old/bigger brother who he equated to Iraq with his mom being the USA who would step in to get everyone in line.
Food Chewing was a sketch were Victoria Jackson introduces John Goodman to her family over dinner where the main course is a huge steak. Being that this is such a chewy meal the introductory conversation is filled with slow moments from everyone having to wait to swallow each bite before being able to continue to speak.
Wayne's World then returned for the first time this season. In this installment, the two basement dwelling cable access hosts have moved to Garth's living room for Wayne's World After Hours where they plan to review NC17 films while Garth's parents were out since content containing the brand new rating wouldn't be allowed in Wayne's basement. After the setup, the two review Madonna's controversial new music video Justify My Love making fun of it as it plays while also getting turned on. Just when it gets to the good part, John Goodman enters as the neighborhood cop who got a report of the broadcast and was there to ruin all the fun.
Faith No More then returned to the stage to perform From Out of Nowhere.
We then went to a general store from the old west where we met a couple of frontiersmen and their rough and tumble sons. We also met Davy Crockett And His Son who's a total nerd/genius who doesn't get the same respect because he uses his brains over his brawn, that is until he saved the other sons from a mountain lion by using a hypnosis technic that he read about in a book which impressed the two boy's father which is the only reason Davy Crockett switched his outlook and actually because proud of his child.
It's Pat then made its show debut where Julia Sweeney introduced the world to her classic androgynous character who is based on a pair of movie theater managers that worked for the same movie theater chain as where I worked when I first moved up to Seattle since she apparently worked there as well while she was attending college.
Finally, John Goodman closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
Seven solid shows in a row!!! This episode was especially good thanks to these three moments of the night. First, I loved the debut of The McLaughlin Group parody because I forgot how much I loved this sketch as a kid to the point where I think it led to my interest in CSPAN and boring political shows. Next, I really liked seeing the It's Pat debut because I was a fan of the character back in the day but love it even more now that I'm watching it for the first time since meeting the two people who I was told influenced the creation of the character. Finally, I was a fan of the Food Chewing sketch because it actually got me laughing out loud when every conversation was stilted due to poor timing during John Goodman's introductory visit to meet his girlfriend's family and of course, Chris Farley's the best.