SNL: S19E04... HOST: JOHN MALKOVICH... DATE: OCTOBER 23, 1993

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A Night Filled With Fortune Telling

It’s interesting how this episode hosted by John Malkovich came right after the Jeff Goldblum show since they are both such quirky characters both on and off the screen. Just yesterday, I was saying that I liked Jeff Goldblum’s quirkiness while comparing him to Christopher Walken in they that have a similar style only Goldblum doesn’t resort to discomfort to get his laughs. Malkovich, on the other hand, is like Walken to the extreme to where his quirkiness is so discomforting that it just barely falls into the comedy range while still being captivating enough to watch.

Because of his darker approach to acting, I’d say that this episode was more interesting than funny but either way it was pretty fun to watch. On top of that, not only was this a dark but fun episode thanks to the host, it was also an interesting episode because more than once it had what seemed to be predictive powers as some of the sketches weren’t funny at all because the jokes at the time became reality while watching the show through modern eyes.

Though these fortune telling sketch weren’t all that funny, they were very interesting to watch. The first example was the traditional fake ad that followed the opening monolog which was for a product called the McIntosh Post-It Note which was pretty much a tiny tablet that stuck to walls which I could easily see going into production tomorrow and am surprised that it hasn’t already been made since it’s pretty much just the Apple Watch minus the wristbands and a sticky back in its place.

The next predictive sketch was the one that had Malkovich playing James Carville who tried to convince Hilary to run against her husband to be the next President of the United States. I found this interesting because this was barely one year into Bill’s first term and even then they were already joking that there was a dual presidency going on and Hilary was the one who was actually wearing the pants.

Other than that, I also liked this episode because there were a couple good parodies of Malkovich movies which I’m surprised that they don’t do more. Yeah, the show will often parody the genre that the host is known for or have them parody other’s work but, at least at this point in the show’s history, it’s surprisingly rare that they parody an actual piece of the host’s own work.

Again, overall I would say that this was a pretty good show despite there being a lack of huge laugh out loud moments because it was still interesting and weird. With that said, 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 parody coverage of The World Series that took place up in Canada because the Toronto Blue Jays made it that year. In the sketch Anne Murray sang the Canadian National Anthem while the players for the Philadelphia Phillies seemed bored and disrespectful and the did nothing but chew and spit tobacco throughout the entire song until eventually, they all spit a steam of chew that drenched Anne Murray as she finished up and while covered in goo, announced, “Live from New York…”  
  2. John Malkovich then officially closed the show with a monolog where he promoted the movie In The Line Of Fire before going into a bit of a routine about baseball being that the World Series was going on at the time. After a few drawn out awkward words, he grabbed a baseball bat while claiming he used to be really good at baseball when he was a kid and then went on to attempt to hit a few balls only he was aiming directly at the crowd. After missing every single ball he then went into a violent rage and smashed the baseball holder with his bat while David Spade took to the stage to throw to the start of the show.
  3. We then got a fake ad for the McIntosh Post-It Notes which was a Post-It note sized PDA that allowed you to post notes on this tiny digital device that I somewhat surprised hasn’t been actually made. Both the device and the style of the ad are so spot on while watching through modern eye it felt more real than funny.
  4. This was followed by a parody of CourtTV coverage that followed the Menendez Brother Trial where John Malkovich played the older brother and Rob Schneider as the young one who claimed it was their two other brothers who actually killed their parents. The problem is that these other brothers don’t actually exist but that didn’t stop them from trying to pull it off by continually trading shirts to disguise themselves as this second set of murderous brothers.
  5. Ruining It For Everyone was a talk show hosted by Julia Sweeney where she interviewed the idiots who ruined fun things for everyone else because of their poor decision. In the sketch we met the man who accidentally dropped razors into a batch of fudge which ruined trick-or-treating, a woman who used to steal gas which led to the pay before you pump policy, John Malkovich who ruined hitchhiking for everyone after a killing spree, the guy who made it so that you have to get a key to use the bathroom and the guy who inspired the two drink minimum. The funny thing was that all of these examples were treated equally with no one saying a word about sitting next to a mass murderer.
  6. Billy Joel then took to the stage to perform The River of Dreams. 
  7. Once again, Kevin Nealon gave us the news. This week, Kevin slipped into his Subliminal Man character to discuss the controversy over Ted Danson showing up to Whoopi Goldberg’s Roast wearing blackface thinking it was safe because they were a couple at the time. Chris Farley also dropped in as John Kruk to defend the claims that the Phillies were a bunch of fat lazy slobs only to end up feeling bummed out when he learned that he missed the final game thanks to his disorganized life.
  8. Theatre Stories then returned after a long hiatus where Mike Myers as host shared stories with a panel of old stage actors who are all reaching the point of becoming senile.   
  9. We then got a parody of In The Line of Fire where John Malkovich revisited his role from the movie to make fun of the scene where he made a threatening call to Kevin Costner’s character only he kept getting the wrong telephone number and had to restart his threats over and over again. By the time he finally got the right person, he’d lost off of his confidence and couldn’t keep up the threatening tone.
  10. This followed by another Deep Thoughts By Jack Handey where Jack pondered how easy it is to do nothing but sit back and do nothing while wanting more money in your mind.
  11. This was followed by a parody of Disney's: Of Mice And Men where again John Malkovich revisited his role as Lenny in the telling of the story where there are two Lennys after marketing research found that audiences weren’t a huge fan of George. Lenny number two was played by Chris Farley and the two end up going on an accidental killing spree of puppies since there is no George to keep him in line. After accidentally killing the dogs they go on to accidentally kill the love interest from the real story as well as her new sister character. At the end of the sketch, it’s revealed that Farley is actually like Lenny and accidentally killed Jan Hooks which led Lorne to have to put him down while telling him tales about his future film career.
  12. Billy Joel then returned to the stage to perform All About Soul. 
  13. We then went to the White House for a sketch called Carville's Visit where John Malkovich played James Carville who dropped by to try and talk Hilary running for president since she was getting all of the credit for all of Bill’s successes while Bill was getting blamed for the mistakes like his dealings with Somalia, Bosnia, and Haiti.
  14. Finally, John Malkovich closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

This might be the first time that more of my favorite three moments came from them being more interesting than funny but here’s what I managed to come up with. First, I loved the Disney’s: Of Mice And Men because as a gentle giant myself I often get accused of being Lenny-like myself so I’ve always had a fondness for the character. Next, I really like the sketch called Carville’s Visit because it was very interesting to see how even back then there was a hint of Hilary Clinton deep desire to be the president enough so that satirists were pointing it out. Finally, I was a fan of the McIntosh Post-It Note ad because again, it was interesting to see how close they came to predicting the future to the point where I still think this product could and should be a thing.

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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.