It Takes More Than Talent To Be A Good Host


As a bit of an agoraphobe myself, I was really rooting Nicole Kidman and was interesting in seeing how the show would turn out because I’m pretty sure that her fears were still hidden around this time. I mean, there’s no arguing that she’s a great actress. Between that and the fact I knew going into the viewing that I would at least love the sketch with her and Mike Myers with him as a hyperactive kid who’s leashed to a jungle gym since is such a classic, I felt that this episode had a strong chance to be pretty good.

Then before I ever started the show I saw that there were only thirteen segments to the night which led me to brace myself for a night filled with long drawn out sketches and unfortunately turned out to be right. Not only did the few sketches that they did have seemed extra-long, they also reused a sketch from last season which I find to be inexcusable for the fewer but longer sketch format.

To add insult to injury once again, they started the episode by jokingly lowering the expectations of the host during the opening monolog with continuous jokes about how the audience would rather see her husband who happened to be Tom Cruise at the time. Again, this joke works when the show actually goes on to contradict the warnings of mediocrity but as I keep saying, more often than not these warning often turn out to be spot on.

As always, I don’t fully blame the host because of the few sketches that there actually were many of them felt super lazy when it came to writing where the title of the sketch would end up being the joke. For example, the Kitchen Arguments sketch was a sketch where a couple argued in their kitchen while their waiting guest could hear every word. Then there was Married Woman At A Bar where Melanie Hutsell played a character who kept pointing out that she was married while hanging out at a meat market bar. Hell, even the classic sketch from the night about Mike Myers as a hyperactive kid was simply called Phillip The Hyper-Hypo and in all honesty wasn’t all that funny minus the physical comedy that was involved.

I’m really beginning to worry about this season and am beginning to think that this cast that I love has been part of the show for too long without bringing in new official Prime Time Players and their featured cast needs much more time in the spotlight. This is another pretty big surprise because this season took place during my senior year of high school which I could have sworn was one of my favorite years.

Then again, I’ve always been a loyal fan of the things that I’m into, so I may be remembering this year due to the fact that I was defending it during another Jump The Shark season of the show. This is why even to this day, I don’t like saying anything harsher than I just found it to be an average episode.

Oh well, hopefully, things will come around and even if I have to struggle through this season, I’m still having fun watching these old episodes, I just don’t like writing about the bad ones like tonight’s.

With all of 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 another installment of Wayne's World where the two basement dwelling cable access hosts shared what they did on Halloween before going on to talk about the latest movies that they’ve seen with mini-reviews of the new releases from the time. This is the sketch the introduced the world to Wayne doing his “I’m the Leprechaun,” routine. Of course, this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”

  2. Nicole Kidman then officially opened the show with a monolog where she admitted to being married to Tom Cruise before reassuring the audience that she can handle hosting the show without him which then led to questions from the audience that were all about her superstar of a husband while treating her like they had low expectations for her as the host without him. To reassure that audience that he was not needed, Kidman then reenacted his famous Risky Business scene by sliding across the stage in her socks and underwear to the song Old Time Rock And Roll.

  3. The Denise Show then returned for another installment with the Shannen Doherty obsessed host played by Adam Sandler who continues to obsess over his long gone girlfriend while taking calls from other obsessed men. Eventually, he brought out Nicole Kidman who played Denise’s best friend who turned out to be interested in Sandler which brought an end to the need for the show.

  4. Phillip The Hyper-Hypo was the classic sketch where Mike Myers played a hyperactive kid who tied to impress a child Nicole Kidman while being chained to the playground equipment so that he will not run away. After a while, Kidman gave him some chocolate which pushed him over the hyperactive edge to where he had super-human strength, giving him the power to run off with the playground equipment still strapped to his back.

  5. Stone Temple Pilots then took to the stage to perform Creep.

  6. Once again, Kevin Nealon gave us the news. This week, “Ike Turner” returned to talk about claims of voter fraud in a recent New Jersey election only to end up Ike getting abusive before delivering his famous, “I’m sorry Kevin Nealon” line. Adam Sandler also dropped in as Bruce Springsteen to sing Adam Sandler’s Thanksgiving Song.

  7. Sprockets also returned for another installment with host Dieter where he and his guest played Das Ist Jeopardy which of course was a crazy German parody of the Jeopardy game with Dieter as the host and Julia Sweeney as a woman strapped to an electrocution device that zapped her whenever the contestants got any of their questions wrong.

  8. Married Woman In A Bar was exactly as the title suggests, a sketch that took place in a bar where Melanie Hutsell overused the excuse that she was already taken oblivious to the fact that no one was interested in her in the first place while she introduced her new neighbor, Nicole Kidman to this establishment as a potential place to meet men, even though Kidman doesn’t really have a problem in the man meeting department.

  9. We then got A Message From Ross Perot where he shared his plan to get rid of the Congressmen who voted to implement NAFTA while they made him look crazy for thinking this still controversial policy was actually not that great of a deal.

  10. Kitchen Arguments was again as the title suggest as sketch where a couple kept sneaking to the kitchen to argue during dinner then went on to scream and shout loud enough that their guest can hear it all, only to act like everything was perfectly fine upon their return to the dining room.

  11. Stone Temple Pilots then returned to the stage to perform Naked Sunday.

  12. This was followed by a repeat of the Crystal Gravy commercial from earlier in the season which parody of the Crystal Clear Pepsi, only in gravy form.

  13. Finally, Nicole Kidman closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

Again, even when I give an episode a bad review, I still like watching each one because of moments like these three of my favorites from the night. First, I loved the classic Phillip The Hyper-Hypo especially now that I live in the same house as my little nephew who can be a bit of an over-energetic handful for my old ass. Next, I really liked the Sprockets sketch because there’s no such thing as a bad visit from Dieter. Finally, I was a fan of A Message From Ross Perot because even as a kid I was into third-party candidates and even to this day, I’m still not sure how I feel about NAFTA which were both the meat of the sketch.


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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.