SNL: S16E16... HOST: JEREMY IRONS... DATE: MARCH 23, 1991

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or...

The Honeymoon Phase Might Be Over

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Alright, to start this off, the honeymoon that I'm referring to in my slug line has nothing to do with the overall challenge as I still don't mind the many ups and downs that come with marathon watching a show that is close to half a century in age. No, I'm referring to the love affair that I've had with this season where I've been heaping on praise no matter who was hosting the show.

Last night, I experience the first chink in my armor when I found that I was slightly disappointed by Michael J. Fox as the host. In that case, I was more disappointed that I didn't like the show as much as I wanted to and not that it was actually bad. This is why I hesitated to throw out the phrase second-half slump because I still wanted to believe that this would be the first season without one because it's been going so good.

Tonight's episode, hosted by Jeremy Irons, isn't as easy for me to defend. Though I would still say that this episode was better than many shows from sadder seasons but it's definitely a slump when compared to the rest of the year.

My biggest problem with this episode is a personal one which stems from the fact that I'm just not a Jeremy Irons fan. Even when I look at his resume, he only has two or three projects that I've seen and even then he was just in the supporting role.

My biggest problem with Jeremy Irons is how he comes across as a stuffy British actor who may act well in a period piece but doesn't come across of having a sense of humor at all. This led to many awkward sketches where he was acting his ass off in that stuffy British way, against a bunch of comedians who were also acting well but in a way that worked better with the genre.

This disconnect in acting styles made it hard to get into the worlds of even the funniest of scenes. To top things off, this being Academy Awards Week at the time of the airing this booking felt like the show attempt to gain rating by simply recruiting the biggest Oscar Nominee who would say yes to hosting the show.

Again, this was a perfectly fine show while still being a slump compared to the rest of this solid season of Saturday Night Live and now that I've shared my views, it's time to move on and share what I actually viewed, as I give you... 

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a new installment of Pumping Up With Hans And Franz where the two muscle-bound brothers are in Kuwait on a camel in order to start their own Persian Gulf War not realizing that the actual war is already over. After a while, they have a run-in with a local who clears it all up which led to the announcement of, "Live from New York..."   
  2. Jeremy Irons then officially opened the show with a monolog about his busy week and how the Monday following the show he'll be at the Academy Awards Ceremony for being nominated as best actor while humbly claiming that it's no big deal only to spend the rest of the monolog making jokes that clearly show there's nothing humble about his interests at all.
  3. We then got a repeat of the fake ad for the McIntosh Jr. that I could only find the audio to just earlier in the year. The ad shares a kid showing off the homework assignment that he created with his McIntosh Jr. computer, highlighting the technology of the time. The ad ends when one of the kid's friends points out a type to which the kid replies that the mistake was intentional and his use of "Pubic" Library is part of an inside joke. 
  4. The Richmeister then returned for another installment of Rob Schneider as the Richmeister who entertains himself at work by jokingly calling his coworkers by various forms of their names while pointing out the fact that they are, "Making copies..." This week's edition took place during an after-hours company party where the Richmeister does his usual routine only his coworkers drop by his desk to get drinks from the makeshift bar that's been set up right next to the copier.
  5. Sherlock Holmes Surprise Party was a sketch where Sherlock's friends try to throw a surprise party but it doesn't take long for the great detective to figure everything out piecing together where ever hidden guest is based on a handful of subtle clues. His inability to be surprised ruined the festive energy in the room. 
  6. We then got another installment of Deep Thoughts By Jack Handey where Jack muses about what would make for a good clown story.
  7. Lonesome Cowboys was a sketch where three cowboys out on the range discuss their plans for when they get into town which leads Jeremy Irons into a song about the lonesome cowboy life
  8. Fishbone then took to the stage to perform Sunless Saturday. 
  9. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, the real Razor Ruddock dropped by to explain the controversy during his Mike Tyson fight where he felt the referee called it too early only before he can get out more than a couple words Dennis Miller cuts him off. Chris Rock also got a segment to talk about the controversy around New Jack City and how to stay safe while watching this movie with a crowd.
  10. We then went to a bar where the women from the show are obsessed with Jeremy Irons' English Accent to the point where they seem more interested in the way that he says words over being interested in the man himself as they give him a laundry list of things to say.
  11. Wayne's World then returned for another installment where the two basement dwelling cable access hosts shared their Oscar picks for the Academy Awards that were to be handed out in a couple of days. They also included Oscar picks that they made earlier in the day at a different location to celebrate the technical side of the industry.
  12. Hannibal Lecter Meets Mace was a parody of Silence Of The Lambs where Hannibal Lecter is introduced to a new cellmate named Mace who's a complete nut job who talks to his hand over shared glasses of toilet wine. At first, this was more about Mace's craziness until about halfway through when we delved into Hannibal's well thought out sadistic state of mind.
  13. This was followed by another installment of Deep Thoughts By Jack Handey where Jack explains his little trick that he uses whenever he feels the urge to kill someone.
  14. We then got a fake ad for the Buzz Pen which is simply a set of clippers the size of a pen that allows you to shave important messages into the side of your friends' heads. This ad also featured a cameo from Razor Ruddick where he managed to get out a couple more lines than he got to during the news.  
  15. Fishbone then returned to the stage to perform Everyday Sunshine. 
  16. We then got a fake ad for an album called Looney Tunes Classics which is a collection of genuine classical music that is now better known for its placement in silly cartoons. 
  17. Football Days was a Jock Handey short film that's pretty much a drawn-out version of Deep Thought only acted out where Jack shares a tale of his days playing football as a teen.
  18. Finally, Jeremy Irons closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights. 

Even though I would consider this a second-half slump episode due to my disinterest in the host, I'd still say that it was pretty good thank to these three favorite moments from the night. First, I loved Football Days By Jack Handey because I forgot that he had these long-form Deep Thoughts-esque short films that are the brand of quirky that I adore. Next, I really liked the fake ad for the Looney Tunes Classics compilation album because I liked how it highlighted how silly cartoons had hijacked these classical songs. Finally, I was a fan of this week's Wayne's World because their Oscar picks made revisiting that year in cinema rather fun.

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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.