SNL: S16E20... HOST: GEORGE WENDT... DATE: MAY 19, 1991

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or...

Another Season Down

And The Final Day Of Dennis

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This ended up being a pretty solid end to a pretty solid season. I liked how the night mainly consisted of revisits from many of the reoccurring characters that were introduced throughout the year while also introducing us to a couple more. Though it was a really good episode, I have to admit that I'm a bit surprised by the fact that the finale has yet to become more of the homecoming night that it eventually grows to be.

I thought for sure that seeing George Wendt as host that this would be the transitional year since this is his second visit and they seemed to be prepping him to be in their Five-Timers Club especially since he was the host during the Francis Ford Coppola experiment. Also, knowing the future of the show, I know that George has made several cameo visits in later season finales leading me to guess that he was the one who started it out.

Again, this is not to say it was a bad show, it just didn't seem to have season closure. That is unless you count the fact that they started the show by announcing that this would be Dennis Miller's last night doing the news. Even though the news did seem slightly better than usual, I would say that it was a pretty underwhelming farewell.

With all of the above said about not being satisfied as far as closure goes, when compared to the rest of the season, this episode is right near the top and it made me wish that George Wendt was still relevant enough to come back to host again. In fact, it would be awesome if they developed an early bird SNL that consisted of nothing but host and cast members from these early years.

Oh well, one can always dream but, getting back to reality, 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 Dennis Miller talking to Lorne Michaels about this being his Last Show which leads Lorne to joke that this better not be a repeat of the Jon Lovitz situation where he's been on almost every other episode since he left. During their conversation, Dennis admits that he would love to make the opening announcement before he goes to which Lorne points him to the camera and says go ahead. Dennis then announced, "Live from New York..." only it didn't lead to the open credits until Lorne stepped in and officially announced, "Live from New York..." which got the show to begin.
  2. George Wendt then officially opened the show with a monolog about how excited he is to have the Queen Of England in the audience. He then points her out to welcome her to the show. He's so excited to meet her that he grabs her and starts to make out. She looks a little rattle as she falls to her seat and George gets back to his monolog. George then went on to start to explain an upcoming sketch that he's proud of but then realizes that it's too hard to explain so he grabbed the Queen to us as a prop to highlight why the physicality of the sketch was making him laugh just thinking about it. This led the Queen to plot her escape but was caught while George was in the middle of telling a tale of his high school wrestling days which led him to grab the royal leader and swing her all over the room.   
  3. We then got a fake ad for Lil' General Fireworks which is a line of fireworks that are specifically targeted to kids while claiming at the same time that they are stronger than any other brand.
  4. Mr. No-Depth Perception then made his show debut where Kevin Nealon plays the husband with no-depth perception who struggles to function since his sight is so far off. Whether he yelled when people are close or missed the glasses while pouring the wine, his disorder led to Nealon's failure with even the simplest of tasks. 
  5. Bill Swerski's Super Fans then returned for another installment this time with George Wendt at the wheel as he and his drinking buddies discuss their love of "DA BEARS!!!" This week the group of hypothetical bets by putting the Bears as a team against people in other sport, including a bus full of Bears with Ditka at the wheel taking on all of NASCAR.
  6. Middle-Aged Man also made a return to help Victoria Jackson with her garbage disposal while giving her old man advice, only to be thwarted by his nemesis Independent Widow which led him to need the help of his trusty sidekick Drinking Buddy. These two middle-aged pals don't have what it take to defeat Independent Widow so they seek advice from Retired Man who lives on a mountain like he's Zeus. It turns out the secret to defeating Independent Woman is releasing a roach in the room which led her to demand that the men take control and kill the filthy pest.
  7. Elvis Costello then took to the stage to perform The Other Side of Summer.
  8. Dennis Miller then gave us his final installment of the news. This week, Chris Farley dropped in as Stormin' Norman Schwarzkopf to defend some of the homophobic works that he was caught using during the war. At first, this starts as an apology but then turns into a parody of wrestling hype as Schwarzkopf announces that he wants to fight Evander Holyfield. Chris Rock also stopped by to discuss why Collin Powell would never be selected as George Bush Sr.'s pick for Vice President during his second run because that would most likely lead to a black person killing Bush to bring in the first black President while the assassin would be treated like a hero in jail. 
  9. Carsenio then made his show debut in this sketch that parodies both Johnny Carson and Arsenio Hall by merging the two together. Of course, most of the humor came from the fact that it's mainly about Johnny on the verge of retirement trying to act young and black. Other than that, there was an interview with George Wendt as himself who worries that Johnny is going insane in his effort to cope with retirement which Johnny takes rather well.
  10. Burger Barn was a sketch that took place in a fast food drive-thru where George Wendt played a dad who wants to keep things simple by ordering everyone in the care the same exact thing but as the ordering started, each family member wants their order to be customized. This impromptu order changing led to frustrated George and a confused Burger Barn employee. George eventually snapped and went back to his original plan of ordering five burgers and five drinks not caring at all about individual choice.
  11. The Shindells is the classic Shoowap Shoowah sketch where George Wendt played the lead of a five-man Doo-Wop group who broke into conversation during their song only to chime in with their Shoowap Shoowah line in time with the song they are trying to perform. 
  12. It's Pat also returned and this week Pat dropped into a mixed gender barber shop with George Wendt in control of the shears who struggles to determine Pat's gender in order to figure out how to style his/her hair.
  13. This was followed by an installment of Deep Thoughts By Jack Handey where Jack shared his family memories that aren't really as clear as he claims.
  14. I'm Chillin' was yet another reoccurring sketch to return where Chris Rock and Chris Farley host their cable access show to talk about their malt liquor sponsor before sharing The Mother Joke Of The Day.
  15. Elvis Costello then returned to the stage to perform So Like Candy.
  16. The Sunrise Show was a parody of a morning show where Jan Hooks interviews George Wendt, who played a Raffi-like child singer who was trying to transition to promoting his adult music career which is extremely off from what the host was expecting as it's gruff bluesy only to switch back to sounding childish the moment he starts singing about sex. I was expecting this to shock the host but instead, she just sang along.
  17. Finally, George Wendt closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Alright, here we are and the end of yet another season where I can't wait to start the next that I hope will keep up the quality to at least the level of these favorite sketches from tonight. First, I loved The Shindells sketch because I was really getting into Golden Oldies at this time and still make the Shoowap Shoowah joke all the time yet I was still pleasantly surprised to see it. Next, I really liked this week's It's Pat sketch because it always cracked me up when George Wendt, who plays a barber, brushes Pat's crotch to seek evidence of movement while claiming that he's just brushing away the freshly cut hair from his, otherwise normal, client. Finally, I was a fan of the Burger Barn sketch that makes fun of drive-thru ordering because this was around the time where my peers started to drive cars and we'd experience this brand of ordering chaos every time that we didn't eat inside.    

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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.