SNL: S18E06... HOST: MICHAEL KEATON... DATE: NOVEMBER 14, 1992

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What A Difference A Decade Makes

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Here we are again, in the same exact situation that I was in for yesterday’s review of Catherine O’Hara where the show was good but not great and I already shared my history of liking Michael Keaton after his first appearance which was almost exactly a decade before in real time. Because of this, I’m once again in a place where there isn’t enough to either rant or rave about when it comes to the show while at the same time I can’t really ramble about the host because the topic has already been covered, as I just said.

The one interesting thing that I did notice was how between the two visits, Michael Keeton seems to have had evolved from being portrayed as almost a Tom Hanks nice guy to a character who’s a playful jerk. Thankfully, the nice guy attributes still shine through because I’ve never been a fan of the hosts who come across as arrogant jerks where or not they’re in character.

Then again, I think this new jerk attitude may be why I saw this episode as good but not great because there were only one or two sketches throughout the night that shared the lighter side of comedy. In fact, now that I’ve written this, I know for sure that this is the case because even though I’m fine with mean jokes, I’ve never really been all that into bully humor especially not for an entire night.

I’m hoping that this is just a one-off experiment in attitude as part of Keaton’s history of hosting the show because I’ve always been such a fan of his work and hope that he has more appearances. And again, to be clear, this wasn’t a horrible episode, it just was that great either. With that, it’s now time to shift gears and share what I actually saw as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with Dana Carvey as George Bush Sr. who Calls Contributors to thank each and every donor for the money that they contributed to his run for the second term while apologizing for the loss and attempting to explain where things might have gone wrong, only to get ignored or hung up on. Of course, this being the opening sketch it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Michael Keaton then officially opened the show with a monolog about how he got his start show business doing stand-up which excited to be back to performing in front of a live crowd. He then went on to start what seemed to be a stand-up routine when he got distracted by an audience member who wasn’t laughing. This threw Keaton off so much that he went down to confront and eventually kick out the straight-faced member of the crowd. This led to a protest from Adam Sandler who played a concerned audience member that did think this treatment was fair. Sandler’s Character’s argument won over Keaton so he invited the first audience member back and kicked out Sandler instead. 
  3. This was followed by the classic fake commercial for the Chameleon XLE that looks like a piece of junk on the outside but is decked out with every high-end luxury under the disguise.
  4. Elevator Trainee was a sketch where we followed Michael Keaton on his first day as a trainee to become an elevator operator, where other than pressing the right floor his only other responsibility was to come up with small talk. If you couldn’t guess, with this being a comedic sketch he failed to carry out even the simplest attempts to create banter.
  5. The Gutenberg Awards was a parody of the real award show for books where they treated it as big as the Oscars. As always, this being an award show sketch it was mainly a chance for everyone in the cast to try out some weird and obscure impersonations.
  6. Morrissey then took to the stage to perform Glamorous Glue. 
  7. Once again, Kevin Nealon gave us the news. This week, Robert Smigel made his first appearance as a news guest to share the moron’s perspective on what happened during the election.
  8. Mean-Spirited Office Humor was another sketch where we followed Michael Keaton on the first day of his job where he learned that his officemates love to playfully rib one another. Where everyone else’s jokes were playful an innocent, when Keaton tried to play along his jokes were way too harsh and extremely personal especially for being so new.
  9. We then went from Michael Keaton’s first day on the job to follow him on his first date for a sketch called The New Suzanne where Keaton was set up on a blind date with Julia Sweeney who used to be a slut in her drinking days and is now sober a celibate which doesn’t really fit into Keaton’s plan to hook up.  
  10. Grandsons was a sketch where Adam Sandler played the grandmother of both Michael Keaton and Chris Farley who live in her house. I couldn’t tell if they were supposed to be adults or high school kids because the living arrangements were never clearly established. Either way, the sketch was mainly about Keaton trying to make out with his girlfriend in his room while Chris Farley distracted the Grandma. Throughout the sketch, Farley was genuinely the helpful grandchild only Grandma preferred to be helped by her bully of a grandson, Michael Keaton who took out all of his frustration on Farley.
  11. Morrissey then returned to the stage to perform Suedehead. 
  12. Outweek was a talk show that was hosted by both Michael Keaton and Dana Carvey who played two gay guys who outed famous celebrities which is kind of weird because none of their claims have come true even to this day.
  13. Finally, Michael Keaton closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Once again, this episode was another where it was hard to narrow down my favorite moments because I found them all to be just okay but here’s what I managed to come up with. First, I loved the Elevator Trainee because I find humor in the fact that there are really people out there who could mess up even the simplest of jobs for the exact reasons that Michael Keaton failed in this sketch. Next, I really liked Mean-Spirited Office Humor because once again, it was a realistic portrayal of a person who doesn’t know how to play along when making playfully mean personal jokes. Finally, I was a fan of the classic Chameleon XLE because of how many cars that I’ve owned that looked like the luxury cars disguise without any of the hidden features.

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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.