SNL: S16E19... HOST: DELTA BURKE... DATE: MAY 11, 1991

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or...

The Slowing To This Solid Season's Close

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Looking back to the time period when this episode originally aired, I totally forget how limited our options were when it came to original content to watch. Of course, a major part of this lack of options is due to the fact that we didn't have the internet.  That said, there's also the part, which I've brought up in the past, where even though we had about thirty channels to choose from thanks to a new thing called cable, a majority of the time slots were filled by reruns of shows from when our parents were kids.

The desperate need to see something new led my generation to what whatever was on during the prime time part of the night. This is how I, as a fifteen-year-old boy was a fan of many shows similar to Designing Women that weren't really targeting a male teen as their audience but it was the only thing that we had to watch.

I couldn't imagine my taste being anywhere near as eclectic if I was born with an internet that allowed me to customize my entertainment options to strictly stick to a lineup of shows that didn't veer far from my wheelhouse and I'm sure that would have led me to have absolutely no idea who Delta Burke even is.

Fortunately, that's not the case and is why I was excited to see how Delta would do as the host because I really felt that she had to potential to be a wildcard who could be even funnier than I already expected her to be. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case and she simply lived up to my expectations while hosting a pretty good episode.

Once again, this is not a complaint as I am simply pointing out how my added hopes for an extra funny show weren't met but at the same time, my baseline expectation to be entertained was fulfilled throughout the entire night. I think the big difference that made this episode feel slightly slower than the rest is that it's the second to last show of the season meaning there were no bonus points to be earned through the introduction of new castmates and characters which made the first half of this season such a blast.

With this season winding down, I can't wait for the next one to start but until then, it's now time to shift gears and move on to share what I saw as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with another Message From The President Of The United States where Dana Carvey as Bush Sr. discusses a recent health scare that stemmed from an irregular issue with his heart. To show that he now has things under control he shows off host new heart monitor and how good he is a regulating his beats by getting his heart to beat faster when thinking of his wife then have it drop back down to normal with the use of some calming word. After showing off his new medical device he goes on to call out president from the past who wore unhealthier than him, leading up to the announcement of, "Live from New York..."
  2. Delta Burke then officially opened the show with a monolog about how nervous she discovered she was to host a live comedy show explaining how she should be used to it considering she's on a high rated comedy show and has experience with audiences thanks to her pageant days. It's at this point where the monolog evolved to become a sketch where they profiled Delta's week in the style of introducing a freshly crowned Miss America.
  3. This was followed by a fake ad for a product called Balz-Off that virtually castrates busy women's husbands so they will be more calm, attentive, and helpful at home. 
  4. Wayne's World then returned for another installment where the two basement dwelling cable access hosts celebrate "Chick and Babes" by sharing a top ten list of the best-looking women in Hollywood to celebrate the start of Spring. The number one spot goes to Madonna which then took us to a flashback/dream sequence where Wayne and Garth play truth or dare with the real Madonna and Wayne dares her to make out. During this make out session the scene evolves into a bit of a parody of the rated R video that Madonna had recently released. 
  5. NRA Theatre was a fake show hosted by Charlton Heston who bitches about the potential implementation of The Brady Bill before sharing a scene that shows what America would look like if this bill were to actually go through. In this scary world, a simple background check is the only thing that stands between an innocent and their gun. Yes, these citizens do get a medieval mace to hold them over while they wait but this isn't enough to stop the bad guys from winning in the end. 
  6. This was followed by an installment of Deep Thoughts By Jack Handey where Jack tells the tale of a strange cowboy who fell a little too in love with his land. 
  7. Chris Isaak then took to the stage to perform Wicked Game.
  8. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, Adam Sandler dropped in for a segment about Mother's Day where he acted out his side of their usual conversation so that she can watch record the show to watch on her special day while Adam is out of town.
  9. We then went to a Weight Watchers Meeting where Stuart Smalley is the only guy in the room full of overweight girls who all get yelled encouragements from the host who speaks in bumper-stickers. The moment she finishes her opening spiel Chris Farley enters the room with a bag full of food and no intentions to lose any weight since his job is forcing him to be there. If Farley's unwillingness to play along wasn't enough Stuart Smalley keeps trying to hijack the process with his 12 Step approach to self-help. To add to the insanity, Delta Burke played a character who is so into the Weight Watchers' point system that it's all she can talk about while Victoria Jackson is so fragile that she can't talk about anything without being brought to the verge of tears.
  10. Hollywood Minute was a parody of an Entertainment Tonight-style segment where Victoria Jackson first share the news of a scene cut from Spartacus because of the gay acts it portrayed, then went on with news about the anniversary of Ocean's Eleven. These two stories merge and Victoria went on to share a clip of a cut scene from Ocean's Eleven where Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. get a little comfortable while hanging out together in a hot tub.
  11. Karaoke Hog was a sketch that as the title implies, portrayed a karaoke host at a bar who is way too stingy when it comes to sharing the microphone which eventually led the regulars to plot a major revolt.
  12. Chris Isaak then returned to the stage to perform Diddley Daddy.
  13. Coffee Talk then returned with its original host, Paul Baldwin. Once again, this sketch mainly makes fun of the New York accent in a pretty funny way only this time he has Delta Burke as his in-studio guest who helps Paul to answer his calls. This installment has my favorite call from what sounded like Fred Wolf who asks, "In the state of New York, is it legal for a dog to drink coffee," to which he gets an emphatic, "No."  
  14. Yelling At the Kids was a sketch where Delta Burke and Jan Hooks enjoyed coffee, smokes and their conversation while the children are having a playdate. The two women seem to have something to scream at their children following every single sentence of their conversation about more mature concerns.   
  15. Finally, Delta Burke closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

This episode may have been a bit of a slow roll to the season's end, it was still solid enough thanks to these three of my favorite moments from the night. First, I loved this week's Wayne's World where they dream about meeting the real Madonna because I still remember how big of a deal this cameo appearance was when I was a kid since she not only showed up but actually made out with Mike Myers in the world of the sketch. Next, I really liked the sketch at the Weight Watchers Meeting because the way that every single character in the sketch has their own conflicting agenda which led to a very well written scene. Finally, I was a fan of the Yelling At The Kids sketch that ended the show because it always kind of reminded me of the classic "What the hell is that thing," sketch from way back when Steve Martin hosted with the original cast.  

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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.