Christmas With Cruella
As I said the first time that Glenn Close was the host, I’m fully aware of who she is but I’ve never really had a strong opinion of her work in either direction. I like the things that I’ve seen her in but her name isn’t enough to get my ass in a seat to see a movie. I also don’t think that her name has ever come to my mind when I think of any form of comedy.
Since her last hosting appearance was a good one when compared to the rest of the season, I was hoping for the same thing this go around, which wouldn’t be that difficult considering how average the other shows have been. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case but fortunately, the episode was at the same level of good by not great as the rest of the show this year.
I am so confused by this because I know for a fact that this era was the peak of my SNL watching in high and I don’t remember being disappointed as much as I’ve been. Then again, this could be due to the fact that at the time, I didn’t have as much content to compare since this was around twenty-five years ago.
Not only that but also at the time I was watching the show every single day on Comedy Central to where those early years all sort of blended together so it’s quite possible I wasn’t a huge fan of the live shows but still remained a fan it constant hopes that the show would get better. After all, I am the same person and even now I won’t stop liking a show just because it’s a little off for a season or two because as long as the show is still average at worst, I still find it worth the watch.
As per usual, I want to be clear that this episode was good but not great and I’m no means claiming that it was terrible. So, with that, it’s now time to shift gears and share what I saw as I give you…
The Wicker Breakdown:
- This week's show started with an announcement from “Queen Elizabeth” following Prince Charles’s divorce with Princess Diane. In the sketch, the Queen shared the failed couple’s prenuptial agreement as to how their assets would be split, mainly focused on who would get access to their crappy timeshare they own in Barbados. Of course, this being the opening sketch it ended on the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
- Glenn Close then officially opened the show with a monolog about how excited show was to host for a second time especially for the Christmas show. She then introduced a group of average citizens from her hometown where they each sang their name and job to the tune of Silver Bells.
- What's The Best Way? Was a game show sketch hosted by Kevin Nealon with three contestants who are all from the New England area. In order to win points, each contestant is given to locations and then have to give directions in their New England ways where there is a story to every landmark used to highlight where to turn. It’s kind of like the more recent Californian’s sketch only in game show format and making fun of the Boston accent over the ditsy California tones. This sketch makes a weird racist turn at the end where Adam Sandler had to take on Tim Meadows as a click-speaking Bushman for the final round.
- Coffee Talk then returned with host Linda Richman where she and Glenn Close celebrated the holiday of Hanukah but other than the new guest and holiday theme this was just a typical fun but repetitive installment of Coffee Talk.
- A Message From Michael Eisner was a super quick sketch where Phil Hartman played the Disney CEO who had a pitch to families to spend their money on Disney products now in order for him to be able to make even more money before the Clinton tax increase was supposed to kick in.
- Black Crowes then took to the stage to perform Sometimes Salvation.
- Once again, Kevin Nealon gave us the news. This week, Kevin Nealon slipped into his Subliminal Man character to discuss the breakup of Charles and Diane. Adam Sandler also dropped in as Opera Man for another melodic breakdown of the week’s news and was eventually reunited with his long-lost brother played by Jon Lovitz who sang news duet together and were also eventually joined by Glenn Close who played Jon Lovitz wife and all three did a pretty good job at singing.
- Scrooge Changes was a parody of the year after A Christmas Carol after Scrooge has already had his change. Even though the rest of the family is ready and willing to celebrate the changes Scrooge has gone through, Glenn Close is still too hung up on the horrible times the family has experienced in the past with this horrific man to accept him as a holiday hero to the point where it drives her mad.
- Tori: Absolute Christmas was a sketch where “Tori Spelling” returned for another installment of her Vlog-like sketch where once again the lines are blurred between the spoiled character that she played on Beverly Hills 90210 and her spoiled self in real life.
- Orgasm Guy was a sit-com of a sketch where Rob Schneider played the titular role as a guy who couldn’t back from having an orgasm over anything that excited him in even the slightest of ways.
- Lesbian Holiday Gathering was a sketch where Glenn Close and Julia Sweeney played a lesbian couple who hosted a Christmas even get together with their collection of PC lesbian friends. Once again, I feel this was another case where all of the shock value that made this sketch funny at the time but has grown to be so commonplace that it wasn’t funny at all. That said, it wasn’t not funny because it grew to be offensive with time but quite the reverse, it was a bit boring because the quirkiness came from them treating this like there was nothing controversial at all which just wasn’t the case at the time.
- Daily Affirmation also returned with Stuart Smalley this week, the self-help host discussed his decision to head home for the holidays before going into his normal fun but repetitive routine.
- Black Crowes then returned to the stage to perform Non-Fiction.
- Drummer Boys was a sketch where the male members of the cast patted out the tune to Little Drummer Boy on their bellies.
- Finally, Glenn Close closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.
This was a weird one when it comes to my top three list because I did struggle to narrow it down because there were about five sketches that I sort of liked but I wasn’t enthusiastic about any of them. Usually, when I struggle to narrow it down there are either too many that I liked a lot or not enough that I liked at all, so this three-way tie for the center is a whole new experience but here’s what I managed to come up with.
First, I loved Glenn Close’s opening monolog/song because I loved how they flew in the citizens of her community to perform a song about Christmas. Next, I really liked Rob Schneider’s Orgasm Guy character because I liked how not only were people not offended by this character’s random orgasms but that they turned it in a game to see if they could turn him on. Finally, I was a fan of Drummer Boys because I’m a fan of the Little Drummer boy song and felt it was funny to see the entire male cast drum out the tune on their bellies.