SNL: S16E08... HOST: TOM HANKS... DATE: DECEMBER 8, 1990

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or...

The Official Debut Of The Five-Timers Club!!!

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First off, I am so happy to finally get to this episode because up to this point I've had to keep double checking show counts to make sure not to miss returning hosts' entry into the Five-Timers Club being that I know there have been several before Tom Hanks's induction tonight. I'm excited because this means from here on out, I no longer have to be on my toes because I know the show will highlight this special accomplishment.

Other than my excitement over the Five-Timers aspect of this episode, I have to say, this show was kind of weird because it felt just as fun and funny as the rest of the year but for some reason, I felt kind of bored. I don't think that this boredom stemmed from poor content or anything to do with my mood, instead, I think this is another case where, this being such a replayed show due to the invention of the Five-Timers Club invention, I must have seen it so many times that the comedy has been dulled down and now it just feels like a good show when I used to think it was great.

Again, I'm not saying the episode was bad in any way, I just found it weird that I wasn't as enthusiastic about the viewing considering how much I've been loving the rest of this season so far. Looking ahead, there is an interesting line up of host that I wouldn't normally be all that excited about being that most aren't known for comedy but they match the quality and comedy experience as the host from the first half so I am actually excited to see how the season will play out.

We'll see what happens tomorrow with Dennis Quaid at the wheel but until then, it's now time to switch gears and share what I saw, as I give you... 

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with an Editorial Reply From Mr. Subliminal where he replies to a story in the news about the building tension in the Middle East due to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Though Kevin Nealon speaks of wanting peace his subliminal side wants all-out war and is also the side that sneaks in the announcement of, "Live from New York..."
  2. Tom Hanks the officially opened the show by getting officially inducted into the Five-Timers Club bringing on the birth of acknowledging those who have hosted for the fifth time. This starts with a quick monolog where Tom Hanks explains his accomplishment before heading back to the actual "Club" where Conan O'Brien is there, as almost a butler, to take his jacket in exchange for the Five-Timers robe. Paul Simon is the first to welcome Hanks, which is a little off because Paul is only technically a member because you have to include his musical guest appearance to get him up to and past the five-time count. Paul then calls to Steve Martin who joins in with the congratulating and explanation of rules. Elliot Gould is the next Five-Timers member to welcome Hanks to the club. Unfortunately, there is no mention of either Candice Bergen, who is the first female Five-Timer or Buck Henry who is actually the first host to accomplish the five-time feat.
  3. Unpleasant Stimuli was a sketch that took place during a family breakfast where Tom Hanks drinks some bad milk and the rest of the family has to give it a taste to validate that it's actually bad. This same chain of events happens with some bad fish from the night before as well as everyone touching Chris Farley's post-workout sweaty, sitting on a barely exposed nail, smelling the kitty litter and ending with everyone falling down the basement entry after Farley discovers a loose stair. 
  4. Game Beaters was a game show sketch with Phil Hartman as host who asks contestants history questions and though Tom Hanks chimes in to answer, he instantly forgets the question that was asked as it turns out this is actually another installment of Mr. Short-Term Memory where Tom Hanks forgets anything and everything after a couple of seconds making for a very frustrated host.
  5. Edie Brickell And The New Bohemians then took to the stage to perform Woyaho. 
  6. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, Dana Carvey dropped in as Dennis Miller with Tom Hanks as Dennis Miller as well and the trio sang a rendition of Jingle Bells, working on many of Dennis's quirks.
  7. The Global Warming Christmas Special was parody Christmas special hosted by "Carl Sagan" that made fun of a Christmas season in a world without any snow but mainly this is just another excuse for the cast to show off some random impression which is most often the case with the holiday special genre of sketch. 
  8. The P. Whipped talk show sketch then made its debut with Jan Hooks as the host who talks to men about their relationship issues leading to the sound effect of a cat's meow and a whipping sound whenever they share examples of how pussy whipped they are by their girlfriends.
  9. Sabra Shopping Network was a sketch that parodied The Home Shopping Network with Tom Hanks playing an Armenia pitchman who aggressively pushes electronic gadgets to the shoppers who call in, making fun of the "my friend" phrase using salesman type even though he never says "my friend" even one in the sketch which leads me to guess that wasn't a commonplace stereotype at the time.
  10. Edie Brickell And The New Bohemians then returned to the stage to perform He Said. 
  11. Double-Takes had a family sit-com style start as Tom Hanks returned home from work and every time his wife, Victoria Jackson, informed him with any news he would repeat what she said once the take a moment to register what was said only to repeat it a second time sounding shocked by the information. He then went to a psychiatrist to work out the issue which only made things worse as he struggled to hold back his surprised second reaction which simply comes across as weird.
  12. A. Whitney Brown's Christmas Tale was one of the few if not only sketch where A. Whitney Brown got a segment to himself outside of the news where he talks about his Christmas traditions in a funny tale about killing, dressing and displaying a Christmas tree using terms to make the tree sound human making for a horrific sounding Christmas night.
  13. Finally, Tom Hanks closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Though I did feel a little bored by this viewing, as I said up above, it had absolutely nothing to do with the content with evidence being, it was super easy to find these three favorite moments from the night. First, I loved The Official Introduction Of The Five-Timers Club because it is such a big moment in the history of SNL. Next, I really liked the Unpleasant Stimuli sketch because I love how it makes fun of the phenomena where people feel the need to share the experience of rotten smells and tastes as well as unpleasant feeling while others are compelled to join in. Finally, I was a fan of A. Whitney Brown's Christmas Tale because not only do I like the way that he told the story of killing a Christmas tree while making it sound human, I also get a kick out of the fact that I've had a couple interactions with A. Whitney Brown on Twitter!  

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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.