SNL: S18E20... HOST: KEVIN KLINE... DATE: MAY 15, 1993

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or...

Another Season Finale

That Was Far From Being Grand

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Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind Kevin Kline but he’s another one of these actors where I don’t think that I’ve ever actively sought out his work even though I usually enjoy when he shows up in a scene. Due to this lack of any real connection, mixed with the good but not great theme of the season my expectations for the episode where extremely low.

Ironically, it usually turns out that these low expectation shows turn out to be great while the shows that I have high hopes for often let me down. There was no irony tonight as this episode turned out to be the worst one of the year. Not only has the show itself yet to turn the season closer into a special event, the host of the night was barely involved in the night.

Right out the gate, Kevin Kline couldn’t even be bothered to do his own monolog and had Kevin Nealon do it in his place. Of course, this was an obvious joke as we did also go backstage to see Kline lounging around while receiving a massage but as I’ve said many times I get super annoyed when this style of disinterest is even implied.

It didn’t help that Kline then went on to be in only three sketches throughout the rest of the night that were all long and driven by one-note jokes. As always, it’s hard to blame the hosts for a show when it’s a letdown but it’s also worth noting how more often than note the letdown shows have been with hosts who all opened with jokes about being too big to have to worry about the night.

Thankfully, this is the last episode of a very strange year that I kept pointing out was good but not great to the point where I’m not fully sure how I feel. Of all of the seasons so far, this one had the biggest collection of high ranking sketches to make my overall favorites list. That said, other than these favorite moments everything else seemed to fall just a little flat.

Then again, this may be due to the fact that the seasons between 1990 and 1994 took place while I was in high school and most likely to rewatch the show to the point where there were barely any surprises during this round of watching these episodes.

Oh well, we’ll see what happens next year. Until then, it’s now time to shift gears and move on from my views and share what I actually viewed as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a sketch where Bob Dole Visits The White House to discuss the Health Care Reform Package that Hillary was working on at the time since they needed his vote in order to get the Bill to pass. Dan Aykroyd played Dole who wanted to talk to Bill in private only Hillary won’t leave the room claiming to be the second president which led to a bickering bout between the two non-Presidential entities over their quest for power. Eventual, the bickering got physical when Hillary got Bob Dole in an arm lock and forced him to announce, “Live from New York…”
  2. Kevin Nealon then took to the stage as Kevin Kline to officially open the show with a generic monolog while the real Kevin Kline got pampered backstage where he joked about being too big of a success to put in the effort as host. As always, I hate this half-assed approach toward hosting even when it’s an obvious joke because more often than not these episodes end up feeling phoned in. That said, it was super funny when Rob Schneider and Chris Rock took to the stage pretending to be Paul Simon and Willie Nelson after Kline announced the musical guest for the show.
  3. We then got a fake ad for Mmmph? which was a Trivial Pursuit where the question asker simply speaks in a series of “Mmmphs,” to try to get their partner to answer the right question.
  4. Jean Carlo's Flatulence took place in a foreign airport waiting area where the crew offered a daylong delay. Kevin Kline played a local who took the news rather well as he tried to strike up a conversation with Julia Sweeney only to end up farting the entire time. It turned out Kline was portraying a famous comedic actor who must have been known for passing gas, if he was actually real. Due to the delay, he ended up making a day with Sweeney where he ended up farting all over Rome.
  5. How to Find Financial Freedom was an infomercial parody where David Spade and Tim Meadow discussed financial planning over lunch. Spade played the pitchman with Meadows playing the mark who gets nothing but encouraging bumper sticker talk without ever getting to the money making point.
  6. Willie Nelson and Paul Simon then took to the stage to perform Graceland.
  7. Once again, Kevin Nealon gave us the news. This week, Chris Farley’s Bennett Brauer character returned to make more finger quotes while bashing himself and expressing his surprise that he was actually invited back. Kevin Nealon also slipped into his Mr. Subliminal character to discuss the struggle of the Royal Family mainly focusing of the former princess, Diane. David Spade was the final news guest of the season for another one of his Hollywood Moments.
  8. Hub's Gyros then returned for another installment of the juice pushing Greek diner employees continue to pester their guest over their interest in “the juice.” This time, it turned out that the juice was no good which led the diner staff to travel back home to Greece to get more juice from their juice God. Just like last time, the sketch was eventually broken only this time by Mike Myers who was the one to complain that it was going on for way too long.
  9. Shmee where Chris Rock Played a little kid with his best friend Shmee, played by Chris Farley who was supposed to be a real-life talking Bee who can’t help but sting his little buddy only he doesn’t die because he was actually magical. Ellen Cleghorne played Chris Rock’s mom who tried to kill the flying pest only to end up knocking out a burglar in the process which led to the convoluted end to the sketch.
  10. Dr. Frankenstein's Re-animation Theory took place in a den where Kevin Kline played the guest of Phil Hartman who played Dr. Frankenstein. In the sketch, Dr. Frankenstein tries to explain re-animating dead only to have even the simplest explanations go over Kevin Kline’s head.
  11. Willie Nelson and Paul Simon then returned to the stage to perform Still Is Still Moving To Me.
  12. Criminal Encounter was a Schiller Reel short film where Rob Schneider played an ex-dancer who lost his career due to a criminal attack by Chris Farley who was still serving out his time in prison. First, we got a few introductory interview before the two met face to face for the first time since the crime where Farley is absolutely heartbroken when he learned that he took about Schneider’s ability to professionally dance which led the two to dance with one another.
  13. Finally, Kevin Kline closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights only to be interrupted by Adam Sandler’s concerned audience member character.

This might be the hardest top three that I’ve yet to have to come up with since I was so disappointed by the night but here’s what I managed to come up with. First, “I loved” the literal moment when Rob Schneider and Chris Rock joined Kevin Kline for the last second of his monolog where they portrayed Paul Simon and Willie Nelson as the musical guest for the night. Next, I really liked the Hub's Gyros follow up because again, it’s one of my favorites of the most hated sketches of all time. Finally, I was a fan of the Criminal Encounter short film because it was yet another one of this sentimental end of the night sketches that I love.

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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.