Third Time With Charm


Of all of the repeat hosts Alec Baldwin has to be the most impressive because he found how he fit in with the show faster than anyone else including the greats like Steve Martin and Buck Henry. Hell, I think he even found his fit faster than any alumni who’s come back to host since they are often too hung up on the old ways to play well with the new casts.

I’m actually kind of surprised by how quickly he figured it out because I wasn’t all that impressed with his first visit where the show treated him more like the hot guy of the week that was used more as a prop for the female cast to fawn over in funny ways over being all that funny himself.

I was half expecting for this trend to continue on until Alec grew out of his looks a little more but by visit two he was already to the point where he could have been a legitimate cast member. Of course, this being the season that it is, this visit was a bit of a mixed bag in that he was good in that all of his sketches but half the night was devoted to Paul McCartney who was the special music guest.

That not to say that this episode was bad, in fact, I would say that it was actually great and not good but not great like the rest of the year has been so far. I’m just saying that this episode made it a little hard to consider this a full-blown Baldwin show but I did see continued improvement and can’t wait for visit number four.

Until that happens, it’s now time to shift gears and move on from my Baldwin thoughts to share what I saw in this episode, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a parody of Dateline NBC to retract a story where they reported on a line of GM trucks that were more prone to explosions during accidents while admitting that they used explosives to make the story more compelling. They then went on to retract several other fake stories before closing out the show. The two host then left the studio and hopped into a car where it turned out that Toonces The Driving Cat was actually behind the wheel and as he ended up driving everyone off a cliff before his before he announced, through cat subtitles, “Live from New York…”

  2. Alec Baldwin then officially opened the show with a monolog about how excited he is to host for a third time before he went on to share the things that he learned from his past two visits which mainly consisted of tipping everyone in the cast and crew to make sure that everything goes his way. While doing his backstage bribing Baldwin ran into Lorne Michaels and Paul McCartney who were still bickering over Lorne’s offer from the second season where he offered The Beatles money to reunite on the show. Alec finished the routine by returning to the stage to bribe the audience to laugh.

  3. We then got a repeat of the fake ad for Cluckin' Chicken from earlier in the season where we got to witness the head of an animated chicken mascot describe the process its body went through as it was turned into food.

  4. The Mimic was a sketch that featured Alec Baldwin in the titular role for a James Bond parody of sorts where he was hired by a wealthy woman to find the fact that her powerful husband has gone missing by mimicking his voice. Even though The Mimic was supposed to be a master impersonator his impressions were absolutely terrible to the point where they didn’t fool anyone.

  5. The Chris Farley Show then returned for another classic segment where a nervous Chris Farley asked Paul McCartney if he remembered all of the memorable moments of his music career.

  6. Paul McCartney then took to the stage to perform Get Out Of My Way.

  7. Once again, Kevin Nealon gave us the news. This week, Kevin Nealon slipped into his Subliminal Man character to share his views on how Bill Clinton has been doing since he became the president. Adam Sandler also dropped in to sing a song about his Red Hooded Sweatshirt.

  8. Soap Opera Digest was a recap sketch where Julia Sweeney interviewed Alec Baldwin who was playing a fictional Soap star. During the interview, we got to see clips from the fictional show that was filled with Soap Opera clichés and horrible overacting as Alec mispronounced all of the technical terms while portraying a doctor.

  9. The Gap then returned for another installment of the SNL boys in drag to make fun of the youth focusing on those who work in retail. Alec Baldwin also made an appearance as a scumbag named Todd who had one night stands with both of the boy Gap girls and had to weasel his way out of the situation.

  10. Naked Woman Theatre was a PBS style sketch where Alec Baldwin introduced a stage play version of All Is Quiet On The Western Front after addressing several of the audiences’ complaints which led to the play being acted out by nude women. At least that’s what was promised for certain markets while everyone else would be watching Daily Affirmation instead.

  11. Of course, we weren’t lucky enough to see the naked women act out a play as the last sketch transitioned into another installment of Daily Affirmation for more of the same fun and games with Stuart Smalley.

  12. Paul McCartney then returned to the stage to perform Biker Like An Icon.

  13. This was followed by a parody of The Bodyguard if it were to turn into a TV series starring David Hasselhoff and Patti LaBelle.

  14. Alec Baldwin then played a French Teacher for a sketch called Monsieur Nobek Teaches French where no one in the class is allowed to speak English and everyone spoke with an exaggerated language instructor cadence.

  15. Paul McCartney then returned to the stage once again to perform Hey Jude.

  16. Finally, Alec Baldwin closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

As I said up above this was another rare great episode from this season thanks to these three of my favorite moments of the night. First, I loved this week’s The Chris Farley Show because I love this characters of Chris Farley as himself and if I recall this visit with Paul McCartney was the best The Chris Farley Show Segment of them all. Next, I really liked the Soap Opera Digest sketch because as a dyslexic I actually find humor in watching other mispronounce words in ways that phonetically makes sense. Finally, I was a fan of Monsieur Nobek Teaches French because the cadence of the comedy got me to laugh out loud.


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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.