SNL: S18E16... HOST: MIRANDA RICHARDSON... DATE: MARCH 20, 1993

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or...

A Night With Nana Mae

As I’ve pointed out in past reviews, even back in the days when I was a total film nerd, I was never all that good at remembering actors or actresses names even when I know their entire resume. This turned out to be the case with Miranda Richardson, where going into the viewing I was bothered by the fact that her name sounded so familiar but I could only place her in The Crying Game, thanks to the name of the opening sketch.

It wasn’t until I saw her face that I realized Miranda Richardson played Nana Mae Frost from Southland Tales which is the movie that I watched and reviewed once a week for an entire year as my very first challenge on this site. After the viewing, I checked out her IMDB to find that other than these two movies I don’t know much of her career at all which is weird because her name seems too familiar to know so little about her work.

After a while, I realized that this confusion was due to the fact that I had a roommate in Delaware who name was pretty close but has since remarried and I now think of her as having her new name. Aside from this little anecdote, this was a pretty decent episode of SNL where once again I felt it was just a bit better than the good but not great shows that have made up the rest of the season, complete with two more sketches that I continue to quote to this day.

Other than that, I don’t really have all that much more to say so it’s now time to move on and share what I saw as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a parody of The Crying Game where Pat played the androgynous role alongside Stephen Rea and Miranda Richardson to play out a scene from the real movie where Pat sang The Crying Game theme at a club while the other two exchanged glances. Of course, this being the opening sketch it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Miranda Richardson then officially opened the show with a monolog about how she doesn’t understand American Pop Culture but was excited to host the show in her efforts to get her foot in the door amongst the American audience now that she’s experienced success with The Crying Game. She then transitioned into singing a song about wanting America to accept her.
  3. We then got a repeat of the fake ad for Green And Fazio from earlier in the season which was a law firm that will represent you in accidents that you weren’t even involved so that they can profit off of you profiting of sympathy pains and anxieties.
  4. The Rain People was a sketch that took place behind the scenes of a movie with Miranda Richardson and Phil Hartman going over their lines for a very dramatic scene. While Miranda tries to work herself up genuine tears, Phil Hartman played an actor who preferred make-up over reality. Even though Hartman never has to cry, his laid-back attitude clashes with Miranda’s realistic approach as he jokes and laughs whenever he flubs a line which infuriates everyone involved in the scene. Eventually, while on a bit of a break Hartman asked Miranda what she used to inspire her realistic tears which led her to tell a horrifying story that touched Hartman so much that he delivered a take the earned him an academy award where he stole Miranda’s story for the acceptance speech, as if it were his own.
  5. Daniel's Bad News was a hospital sketch where Mike Myers played a British patient and Miranda played his nurse. It turned out that in the world of the sketch Myers was under the impression that he was going to marry Miranda based on the stories that she fed him while he was barely holding on to life in the early days of his hospital visit. We then learned that this was not the only lie that Mike Myers has been told but being British he took it all rather well, including the fact that he actually bombed a school instead of Hitler who turned out to be Miranda’s husband who had Myers’s amputated leg attached as his third and went on to become a soccer star.
  6. We then got the second part of the repeated fake ad for Green And Fazio from earlier in the season where the law firm went on to inform us that they will not only represent you for cases that you weren’t actually involved with but they will also represent you in cases where you were actually at fault since you still have to deal with the pain and suffering..
  7. This was followed by a fake ad for an album called Eager And Jones featuring Chris Farley and Tim Meadows as two straight singers who sing as if they were a gay couple, which is actually the selling point of the album.
  8. Soul Asylum then took to the stage to perform Somebody To Shove.
  9. Once again, Kevin Nealon gave us the news. This week, Kevin Nealon slipped into his Mr. Subliminal Character to discuss the ongoing standoff at the David Koresh Compound. Rob Schneider also dropped in for an editorial where he disagreed with a ruling in Congress that cartoons can no longer be labeled as educational material as he went on to share examples of how cartoons have actually saved many lives.
  10. MTV Spring Break U.K. '93 was a parody of the U.S. version of the annual MTV show only it’s an uglier, angrier, punk rock bunch that the beauty based focus that takes place in the United States of America.
  11. Russell Simmons' Def Magic Show Jam is another sketch that I still reference to this day that parodied the Russell Simmons’ Def Comedy Jam only showcasing urban magicians instead of urban comedians.
  12. Soul Asylum then returned to the stage to perform Black Gold.
  13. This was followed by a Deep Thoughts By Jack Handey where Jack share what we should do if aliens arrived and thought poorly of our progress as an overall society.
  14. Dieter's Dream might be my favorite sketch of all time as it sent us on a surreal trip into the mind of the Sprockets host to tell a story that’s too hard to describe even though I still quote it regularly to this very day.
  15. Jack McManus Bar was a St. Patrick’s Day sketch that took place at the titular bar where Chris Farley played the bartender who told tales of his efforts to be a bad ass by turning down big-name celebrities only each story ended with him giving in and apologizing whenever anyone pushed back at all.
  16. We then got another Deep Thoughts By Jack Handey where Jack shared advice on how to handle a job interview.
  17. Finally, Miranda Richardson closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

As I said up above this episode was pretty fun especially since it contained two more of my favorite sketches that I still quote to this day that make up spots one and two of these top three moments of the night. First, I loved Dieter’s Dream and always have because it taps into a surreal sense of humor that I can’t get enough of. Next, I really liked Russell Simmons' Def Magic Show Jam because as inappropriate as it is, Tim Meadows’ line about cutting his unhelpful assistant in half to keep the bottom parts because the top parts talk too much is still pretty funny to me. Finally, I was a fan of the opening The Crying Game parody because it’s still funny to see Pat in the role.

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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.