SNL: S19E05... HOST: CHRISTIAN SLATER... DATE: OCTOBER 30, 1993

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or...

A Fine Line Between

Reoccurring And Repeating

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As I’m sure I pointed out in my review of Christian Slater’s last visit, I’m a fan of his work but don’t really see him as a comedic actor which is why I felt that said visit was just okay. This go-around he was just as good but leaning a little more toward the mediocre side of the scale. Unfortunately, I don’t blame him at all. In fact, this episode started with the reverse of my pet peeve where this time the host’s monolog showed him to be super enthusiastic and it was the cast that didn’t seem to be all that into the show as they jokingly disinterested in Slater’s excitement over Halloween.

The rest of the show seemed to care that tone where Christian Slater was trying but the other moving parts seemed to play pretty flat as it felt like the writers were writing what they thought the audience wanted to see instead of focusing on the funny. If you’ve read any of my past reviews you know that I have no issue with reoccurring characters to the point where I want to see at least one or two on any given night but tonight these characters left me feeling a bit annoyed.

Granted, part of the problem is that I wasn’t in the mood for one of these slower episodes and was really hoping to laugh out loud, especially after looking at the line-up sketches to see some of the characters that I really like. The only problem is that there is a big difference between reoccurring and recycling and tonight’s episode felt like it was filled with the latter with many of the characters doing the exact same thing as their last appearance on the show.

I mean, the Matt Foley sketch was almost the exact same thing only with different kids getting into different problems but they didn’t even bother to change the set to make it look like the new kids were from another home. Then there was the “You put your weed in here” guy who I love but the first half of the sketch was exactly the same which led me to be zoned out by the time they got to the second half that actually added a little to the joke. Not to mention Coffee Talk which has been the same one-note joke for a while, and Adam Sandler didn’t even seem to put any effort into the “I’m crazy costume suggesting guy.”

On top of that, we also got a repeat of a fake ad from last season and the Sassy’s Sassiest Boys sketch was never funny in the first place. There was a sketch that was a bit of a reboot that I sort of liked where a group of kids were trying to come up with a band name before they had an actual bad which reminded me of an old sketch where there was a band that was more interested in making the music video before they had even made the song.

Again, this is a case where watching the show alone wouldn’t have bothered me all that much but it left me annoyed when it left me completely uninspired to write anything about the episode by the time the show was done.

With that, I’m just going to drop the subject and move on to share what I saw, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with another installment of Coffee Talk where host Linda Richman announced that it was her Halloween show before she went into her usual routine as she built up to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Christian Slater then officially opened the show with a monolog where he dressed like a pirate to celebrate Halloween then walked around the backstage area to trick-or-treat the cast and the crew in an effort to keep the show festive. No one backstage is prepared with any treats so instead of candy he gets random items that just happen to be near while everyone seems annoyed by his antics. That is until Chris Farley gets involved who is dressed as a pumpkin and has tons of candy that he got from the audience, making him and the host seem like the only two that were excited about tonight’s show, which you may already know the lack of enthusiasm is a major pet peeve of mine, even when it’s an obvious joke.
  3. We then got a repeat of the fake ad for Mmmph? from last season which was a board game where players have to guess the answers to questions when their only clues are the question asker’s tone of mmmphing and ahhhing as the guesser gets either further or closer to accidentally stumbling onto the right guess.
  4. Matt Foley then returned for another motivational speech, this time to correct the kids about them taking their Halloween pranks too far. This was almost a repeat of the last visit, only it also involved a scary story that ended with Foley ending up in “A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER.”
  5. Sassy's Sassiest Boys also returned for another installment where this time Phil Hartman interviewed Christian Slater as himself as well as “Joey Lawrence,” and “Andrew McCarthy” as the sassiest of the sassy Hollywood stars.
  6. Smashing Pumpkins then took to the stage to perform Cherub Rock. 
  7. Once again, Kevin Nealon gave us the news. This week, Queen Shenequa dropped in to complain about Whoopi Goldberg over her reaction to the Ted Danza blackface controversy after Whoopi said a few weird things in his defense that didn’t really help the situation at all. Adam Sandler also dropped in as himself once again to share more last minute ideas for Halloween costumes which mainly consists of him grabbing whatever item is nearest to him and saying, “Look, I’m crazy (fill in the blank) guy!”
  8. We then met with a group of high schoolers for a sketch called Naming The Band that was reminiscent of a much older sketch where the member of the group were more interested in coming up with concepts for their video before even had their first song, only this time it’s the band name they’re focused on before they even know if they actually have a band that worth naming at all.
  9. You Put Your Weed In It also returned where once again Rob Schneider played the hippie souvenir shop owner showed his customers where they could hide their weed in any product they considered for purchase. This was almost an exact replay as the last installment only this time Christian Slater joined in as the store’s customer support.
  10. The Vallencourt Boys was a show for New Englanders By New Englanders where Adam Sandler and Kevin Nealon made fun of the New England accent while hosting a cable access call-in show where the callers also had over the top New England accents which was the main source of humor in the sketch. After quite a while of accent jokes, they eventually introduced Christian Slater who played a smart Harvard kid but the other two just made fun of him for being a nerd.
  11. Smashing Pumpkins then returned to the stage to perform Today. 
  12. Joke Headlines was a sketch that took place in a novelty headline store where Christian Slater played a bitter writer who hates his customers because he would rather be writing real headlines instead of the novelty papers being requested. He was such a jerk to all of his clients that he eventually got shot by Chris Farley after getting a mean headline as a gift in the mail.
  13. Trent Markham, Lung Doctor took place in the black and white day, back when smoking was still looked at as healthy with Phil Hartman as the titular doctor who supposed to be the best lung doctor in the world even though he can’t connect that all of the lung issues going on stem from every single person in the scene’s chain-smoking ways.
  14. Finally, Christian Slater closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

As I said up above, this episode left me feeling uninspired and even though I complained about two out of three of these favorite moments, they were still the best moments of the night. First, I loved Trent Markham, Lung Doctor because it was a funny jab at the old days when doctors so no problem with smoking cigarettes at all to the point where smoking was allowed in the hospital. Next, I really liked You Put Your Weed In It Part Two because I still think it’s a funny character no matter how repetitive he can be. Finally, I was a fan of Matt Foley: Motivational Speaker Part Two because even though it was almost a shot by shot remake, it’s another character that I cannot help but love.

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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.