SNL: S16E15... HOST: MICHAEL J. FOX... DATE: MARCH 16, 1991

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or...

Sha-La-La-La

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This is another one of those episodes that I've apparently seen so many times because I was able to quote many obscure segments line for line even though I didn't have a strong sense recollection going into the viewing. Hell, I was even able to rant along with both Dennis Mill and A. Whitney Brown at multiple points throughout the news. 

In the past, episodes like this served as a pleasant surprise as they seem to trigger an extra sense of enthusiasm for these sketches that apparently meant more to me than I remembered. This time, however, I was a bit disappointed because that added enthusiasm never set in which may be a sign that Comedy Central re-aired this episode too much and not that it was a forgotten favorite where my fandom is coming back to light.

As always, especially with this season, my slight disappointment over how I reacted to the episode has little to do with my thoughts on the quality of the program. This was another case where I liked Michael J. Fox so much as a kid that I was expecting to be blown away by his performance only to get an average episode, which is still pretty good considering this is such an above average year in general.

Does that make any sense? I don't know, this slight sense of disappointment may also stem from the fact that I woke up super early and rather than fall back to sleep, I decided to start my day. This extra early start may be why I had personal energy issues during the viewing so my slow reacting head might explain why some of these moments that I found good enough to be quotable also felt a little flat.

Alright, enough with the early morning rambling while discrediting my own disappointment as it is now time to shift gears to share what I saw, as I give you...  

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with The President's Second Post Gulf War Speech where Dana Carvey as Bush Sr. addresses the nation a second time following the "successful" defeat of Iraq. This second round of updates is more of an ego boost to get cheers for the president in a time where he needed approval thanks to the recession that was also going on at the time. This sketch also made fun of Michael J. Fox as Dan Quayle who struggles with deciding whether or not to stand and clap following every sentence Bush Sr. completes. Of course, this being the opening sketch it eventually built to the announcement of, "Live from New York..."
  2. Michael J. Fox then officially opened the show with a monolog about finally giving into the show's request to host the show and how he finally gave in to promote the movie The Hard Way which then led to a parody of Back To The Future where Doc and Dana Carvey who plays another Michael J. Fox rush in to warn the real Michael J. Fox about the results of the evening. The Doc and two Michaels then went back to the day where David Spade as Michael J. Fox met with Lorne to sign on as host in their effort to save all three Michael J.s from making a mistake by signing on the dotted line.
  3. We then got a repeat of the Chia Head ad from earlier in the year where balding men put chia seeds on their heads as a hair replacement product.
  4. Stinging Clown was a sketch that took place at a traveling fair where Michael J. Fox gets called into the manager's trailer to discuss the complaints of his clown act. It turns out there was a bit of a mix up because where the manager thought he hires a singing clown, he ended up with a stinging clown on his hands who took pleasure in stinging the kids with thorns from plants and needles on sticks which, of course, led to his firing.
  5. We then got another installment of Deep Thoughts By Jack Handey where Jack warns why one might not want to take their dog with them into outer space.
  6. Central High, Class Reunion was a sketch that took place at a ten-year reunion where Michael J. Fox has a run-in with an overly protective classmate who he barely remembers. This old friend now wants to use the shady connections that he's made as an adult to offer revenge on anyone who has wronged his former classmates.
  7. Black Crowes then took to the stage to perform Thick And Thin. 
  8. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, A. Whitney Brown dropped in for another Big Picture segment where he discusses the trend of taking pride in America's actions even though most "We did it" people are often the last who would actually get involved. 
  9. America's Most Wanted: Former Child Stars was, as the title suggests, a parody of America's Most Wanted where they profiled childhood celebrities who grew to have troubles with the law. We also got a reenactment where all of these grown failed stars have gotten together to form a bit of a crime syndicate.  
  10. Daily Affirmation then returned for another installment. This week Stuart Smalley read a letter from the audience to start the show but this only sets Stuart up to announce that his show is being moved from the optimal slot at noon to the undesirable 2:30 in the AM time where he doubts that it will be seen. Before he can get too down on himself for the show's new time he switches gears by sharing his Daily Affirmation.
  11. Black Crowes then returned to the show to perform She Talks to Angels. 
  12. Not Gettin' Any was a panel show hosted by Michael J. Fox who talks to a group of guys about why they think they haven't gotten any sex in such a long time and how it's been affecting their lives. It doesn't take much talking for it to become clear why none of these men are able to find a mate. 
  13. This was followed by another installment of Deep Thoughts By Jack Handey where Jack muses on about what it might have been like when the Vikings reign came to an end.
  14. The Elevator Fans returned from the Sting episode only this time they corner Michael J. Fox and share that they're fans by constantly singing the high parts to either the Back To The Future theme song or the "Sha-la-la-la" line from the end of the song from Family Ties.
  15. We then got yet another installment of Deep Thoughts By Jack Handey where Jack shares his views on boxing. 
  16. Finally, Michael J. Fox closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

I don't know if I could honestly say that this episode makes the season fifteen for fifteen when it comes to hits but thanks to my list of three favorite moments from the night I could definitely argue that this show wasn't a miss at all. First, I loved the Elevator Fans Sequel since, even to this day, I'm often struck with the urge to randomly sing Sha-La-La-La because of it. Next, I really liked America's Most Wanted: Former Child Stars because it was filled with some pretty good impersonations of childhood stars from my youth who are now either dead or still making crazy headlines. Finally, I was a fan of the Stinging Clown sketch because I was a fan of the confusion which led the carnival boss to think that he actually hired a singing clown instead.  

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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.