SNL: S18E05... HOST: CATHERINE O'HARA... DATE: OCTOBER 31, 1992

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Another Chance To Experience

That Natalie Merchant Dance!!!

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Once again, I find myself stuck in another season that has been average in every way which is perfectly fine when it comes to watching the show but makes it extremely difficult to come up with things to write about. To make things extra hard, I already share my history of liking Catherine O’Hara after her first visit just a couple of season ago.

As with every other episode so far this season I can’t put my finger on why each episode just can’t get over the hump to take them from being just good to being great. I thought I had it figured out pre-viewing when I was looking over the sketch list for the night to find that this was the first episode of the season to feature multiple reoccurring bits.

Based on this information alone, I was expecting for this to be a better episode with the logic being that minus the reoccurring characters, the show has that new cast feel where the content is fine but the cast has yet to grow into really feel like their characters. I could see why this would be done to cut down on the repetitive feel but with an entire cast that has been working together so long, this avoiding of their comfort zone just comes across as weird.

That’s not to say that I necessarily want to see a night filled with repeat characters but they have enough characters that they can pepper one or two into every show with enough of a rotation to keep viewers from getting bored. It’s all about balance and I think my issue with this episode is that they got the ratio of new to reoccurring content correct only the reoccurring content where all three segments that don’t have growing storylines which, though fun, can leave the overall show feeling a little flat.

Other than these minor repeating issues that are common this year, I liked this episode no matter how negative this review might sound. I also love whenever Natalie Merchant is part of the musical performance because she is one of the few performers where I watch the entire song instead of just enjoying the music while getting caught up on my notes.

With all of that said, it’s now time to shift gears from sharing my views to sharing what I actually viewed as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with Dana Carvey as Ross Perot to Discuss Dirty Tricks that he claimed the Republicans were playing on him especially focusing on a photo that was threatened to be released that featured his daughter committing a lesbian act on her wedding day in their efforts to discredit the third party candidate. He then went on to share a bunch of over the top fictional dirty tricks that the Republicans were up to that year which eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”  
  2. Catherine O'Hara then officially opened the show with an arrow through her head ala Steve Martin to perform monolog about how she learned that Martin’s arrow was a prop and not a real arrow like hers. She then went on to share a scary story that her dad used to tell in honor of this being the Halloween episode this year.
  3. This was followed by a fake ad for Ass Don't Smell which of course was an ass deodorizer for those who suffer from super smelly ass that a simple bath won’t handle.
  4. Nanny Greenwood was a bit of a family reunion sketch where a group of adults meet up for the first time since they were kids. Everyone in the sketch but Phil Hartman is excited to reminisce about their childhood time spent with this Nanny Greenwood who was a Mary Poppins type who still live with Phil Hartman. It didn’t take long for the other to find just how annoying this upbeat Nanny who continues to treat adult problems with a childish song can be.
  5. Richmeister's Halloween featured the return of the Richmeister to play his traditional name game only instead of using his co-workers’ actual names he uses the names of the characters from their costumes until a ghost entered the room which through the copy guy for a bit of a loop since there were no identifying details. Other than that, it was business as usual for the Rickman until he had a run in with death.
  6. We then got another Deep Thoughts By Jack Handey where Jack shared advice about what to do if he were to drop your keys in lava.
  7. My Dinner With Sister Souljah was a parody of My Dinner With Andre where Ellen Cleghorne as Sister Souljah black powers it up while Tim Meadows tries to have a typical date and simply enjoy his meal.
  8. 10,000 Maniacs then took to the stage to perform These Are Days. 
  9. Once again, Kevin Nealon gave us the news. This week, Chris Rock dropped in to review Madonna’s controversial coffee table book entitled sex that became more of a stand-up routine that crowbarred in Madonna references over being an actual review. Adam Sandler also returned as his character who suggests Halloween costumes based on whatever happened to be near.
  10. Pumping Up with Hans And Franz also returned for another installment where the muscle-bound brothers celebrated Halloween by both dressing up as the Terminator. Other than that it was pretty much the same fun and games of talking muscles talk in funny ways and I don’t just mean the silly accents.
  11. Canadians was Catherine O’Hara’s time to shine as a Canadian where she and Phil Hartman sing about the countries successes in sports that year mainly focusing on the fact that the Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series that year.
  12. This was followed by another Deep Thoughts By Jack Handey where Jack questioned if Marta actually knew what sensuality meant.
  13. Daily Affirmations also returned for another installment where Stuart Smalley hosted a Halloween special of his own where he tells a scary self-help themed story similar to the tale where the calls are coming from inside the house, only in this version they were but they reason they sounded so creepy is because the caller was the drunk dad.
  14. We then went to a fancy restaurant for two couple who were celebrating a recent promotion at work where we quickly learn that Catherine O’Hara had some sort of a memory problem that made her seem like she was a person from another planet until we learned that this was actually an Anti-Mexican Mugs PSA that blamed the lead paint in Catherine’s coffee mug for her current frame of mind.
  15. 10,000 Maniacs then returned to the stage to perform Candy Everybody Wants. 
  16. Halloween Party Hangover was a sketch where Catherine O’Hara woke up after a night of Halloween drinking dressed as Marilyn Monroe with what seemed to be a dead guy in a JFK mask. It turned out that this was actually her one-night stand who was still out cold and when he awoke the two tried to remain in character in order to sneak out of the situation while hiding their real identities.
  17. Finally, Catherine O'Hara closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

This might have been the toughest top three list to come up with to date because as I said up above the show was pretty fun even though nothing stood out as great. With that said, here’s what I managed to come up with. First, I loved the Canadian’s sketch because of my love for the country after living there a year and I also loved seeing Catherine O’Hara and Phil Hartman sing this little duet. Next, I really liked the Halloween Hangover Sketch because it was one of those more cute than funny sketches at the end of the night that I always look forward to. Finally, I was a fan of Nanny Greenwood because I liked the idea of seeing how Mary Poppins would relate to a bunch of adults.

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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.