SNL: S16E12... HOST: KEVIN BACON... DATE: FEBRUARY 9, 1991

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or...

Holy Moly, Yet Another Night

Filled With Classic Debuts!!!

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I'm blown away by how this season is continuing to blow me away with how many new cast members and classic characters are being introduced every single week. Hell, we are now twelve episodes in and not a week has gone by with there being at least one instance where I got hit by the nostalgic thought of, "Oh this is the episode where..."

Whether what follows the above "where" is referring to a new character or new castmates this constant evolution is almost, if not more exciting than the actual content. Tonight was not only the first night that Adam Sandler was announced by Don Pardo as an official feature player but it was also Tim Meadows first night, even though he wasn't announced.

As far as new characters go, tonight we were introduced to Stuart Smalley and his Daily Affirmations as well as several second installments of reoccurring characters who have been introduced over the weeks. This was enough to save an otherwise average show due to Kevin Bacon's lack of confidence in his comedy, which, unfortunately, is another reoccurring theme of this year.

Thankfully the slow rollout of this amazing collection of cast and characters is making up for the collection of hosts who are wonderful actors but are not experienced with working live, especially in the world of comedy because it wasn't until I got to the midpoint of the season that I started to get slightly annoyed by these big name hosts who can't keep up with the cast.

Then again, if this was a stronger season filled with hosts who are known for their comedy, the cast and writers might not have had as much freedom to experiment as much as they have while also getting lost in the dark due to the spotlight overly focusing on the star behind the wheel.

Once again, I can't wait to see tomorrow's episode to see who/what else will be introduced but until then, it's now time to shift gears and share what I saw, as I give you... 

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a Desert Storm Press Briefing where Phil Hartman plays Dick Cheney who give a quick update before handing the press conference over to Kevin Nealon who is in charge of answering questions from the press. Despite warning in advance that he will not be sharing any information that would help the enemy but the press pool is only interested in very specific top secret details. Of course, this being the opening sketch it eventually builds to the announcement of, "Live from New York..."  
  2. Kevin Bacon then officially opened the show with a monolog about how he's nervous to host the show before going on to explain how his nerves express themselves which he follows up by displaying how he, as a professional actor, has trained himself to settle down, ending with an, "Oops I got too relaxed leading me to mess my pants," brand of joke.
  3. This was followed by a written explanation about how the fake ad for the No Execu-John was put on hold due to it being too silly in this time of turmoil due to the building Persian Gulf War. According to the note, this ad was supposed to be a briefcase for executives to poop in when they have nowhere else to go. 
  4. The Richmeister then returned for another installment where the annoying Copy Guy pesters his coworkers while the try to work, mainly by continually calling out various renditions of their name while also pointing out that they are, in fact, "Making Copies." This week, the copier breaks down and Kevin Bacon plays the technician who informs the staff that the machine will have to be taken in for repair which is heartbreaking for The Richmeister because the copier is his connection to the world.
  5. The Dark Side With Nat X also returned for another installment of the only 15-minute show on TV because if it was any longer, "The Man would never give him a full hour." This week Nat X gives his "Top Five Reasons Brotha's Don't Play Hockey," before interviewing Tim Meadow who made his speaking debut to play The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell and gets accused of being a sellout. This first interview doesn't last long because Nat X has no time for Powell's politics. Kevin Bacon then played Vanilla Ice who came out as the second guest only to be verbally attacked by our host leading up to a bit of a dance-off.
  6. The Sarcastic Clapping Family Of South Hampton was a sketch where a family of stuffy white people gets together to discuss their late father's will in an effort to avoid litigation. Family member after family member then gave over dramatic speeches only to earn a slow sarcastic clap from the family member next in line, who goes on to repeat the process.
  7. This was followed by another installment of Deep Thoughts By Jack Handey where Jack share a prank that he played on his nephew where he convinced the kid that Disneyland had burnt down. 
  8. INXS then took to the stage to perform Bitter Tears.
  9. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, A. Whitney Brown dropped in for another Big Picture segment to discuss the horrible coverage of what he calls The Nintendo War when comparing it to The TV War that was Vietnam. 
  10. Roommate Specifics was a sketch where Dana Carvey met up with Kevin Bacon to see if he wants to rent the extra space. The two then discuss their extremely quirky living habits to see if the two would get along, with each living habit getting stranger than the last.
  11. We then went to the Middle East to see a group of soldiers gets lectured about choices when writing their Messages On Bombs. The fact that they are writing messages isn't the issue as this meeting is more of an effort to push quality control when it comes to the content of their notes.
  12. SoundStage was an interview sketch that took place on a soundstage with Jon Hooks as a host who interviews a fictional folk duo played by Kevin Bacon and Kevin Nealon where Nealon does all of the guitar playing and singing while Bacon simply claps along. Things eventually go terribly wrong when Kevin Nealon performs a brand new song that has far too high of a tempo for Kevin Bacon to keep up with the beat.
  13. INXS then returned to the stage to perform Suicide Blonde.
  14. Stuart Smalley then made his debut for the first installment of Daily Affirmation where Al Franken plays a self-help guru who is desperate to find serenity after being raised by alcoholic parent with the constant reminders to himself that, "He's good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like him," enough to succeed, while freaking out the entire time that this is actually untrue and having to correct himself over and over again.  
  15. We then went back to the Middle East to see a collection of soldiers sitting around the fire while Kevin Bacon sings a country tune called Cleaning My Rifle while actually cleaning his gun at the same time.
  16. Finally, Kevin Bacon closed the night by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Twelve solid episodes in a row is unheard of in my experience with this show but I love seeing this count grow thanks to moments like these three of my favorites from the night. First, I loved the Introduction Of Stuart Smalley's Daily Affirmations because, thanks to my alcoholic stepdad, this sketch hit close to home to where we even laughed about the familiarity even when this episode originally aired. Next, I really liked this week's Dark Side With Nat X especially since they made fun of Vanilla Ice literally the week after he was the musical guest on the show. Finally, I was a fan of the meeting about Messages On Bombs because it's interesting to see a reminder of a world where war was just a joke to me, which wasn't that long ago.

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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.