SNL: S19E18... HOST: EMILIO ESTEVEZ... DATE: APRIL 16, 1994

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365 Days, 365 Episodes, 365 Reviews!!!

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Well, this turned out to be a pretty lame episode to wrap up my first year of the challenge. I mean it was an okay show and Emilio Estevez did a good job as the host but they utilized the fewer but longer sketch format to where I kept getting bored even when the premises started out great. To top off there already being so few segments, this was a week where Pearl Jam got to perform three times instead of the traditional two, and there was also one segment that was just another quick Deep Though insight by Jack Handey.

Thankfully, the cold opening had enough meat to the segment that I will count it as an actual sketch but minus the monolog, the news, the three musical performances, and the Deep Thoughts there were only six sketches to make my judgment of the night. As I said, most of these long boring sketches had really good premises which is this episode's saving grace.

Oh well, it doesn’t really matter because I still had a fun time watching the show even if it didn’t really inspire me to write but that does free me up to talk about the overall experience now that I’ve been at it for an entire year.

First off, other than literally a handful of episodes, I have yet to regret making this a daily challenge that takes up most of my free time. There was a part of me that feared that the repetitive nature of the challenge would drive me out of my mind. In fact, I was kind of counting on that in order to add a bit more edge to these opening bits of insight but I’m happier that it’s actually turned out to still be fun enough to keep things light since I really need more positivity in my life.

The more I think about it, I shouldn’t be all that surprised that I’ve yet to get burnt out from these daily viewing since before there were so many distractions on the internet, there were plenty of shows that I would watch on a daily basis without ever getting bored at all. In fact, I used to watch Saturday Night Live multiple times a day when it was the main content on Comedy Central back when the channel was new. Other shows being, The Simpsons, Married With Children, and even The Facts Of Life since the hours between 5:00 in the PM and prime time was filled with nothing but these syndicated shows that I would watch again and again.

As far as some of my overall insights go, I was surprised to find that the first season was more of a variety show with sketches just being a feature and not really the main event. I also found that the collection of cast that followed the original Not Ready For Prime Time Players were way better than anyone gave them credit for and would have been way better than the third round of cast who turned out to be alright.

Since I loved the one group of traditionally hated Not Ready For Prime Time Players I was expecting a repeat of disagreement during the Robert Downey Jr., Michael Anthony Hall year only to end up agreeing that it was a pretty big flop of a season. It’s okay though because I still love most of the cast from that year, just like I still love many of the actors and actresses who I was shocked to find out that I actually hated them as the show’s hosts, which is a list that includes many of the alumni Players.

Finally, the most depressing of my insights is that as far as politics go, nothing seems to have changed other than the same problems are growing to be more amplified and extreme, both locally and worldwide. Many of the political commentaries that were just passed off as jokes have turned out to be major issues that we are still dealing with to this day which is the thing that really drives me nuts because whenever I turn to social media or the current news, everyone seems to be treating it like all of our problems started today instead of following the breadcrumbs to see how we actually got here.

The biggest surprise to come from this frivolous challenge meant to escape the current state of affairs is how great of a history lesson that this experience has turned out to be. Not just that I got to see the people who were adults during this time period’s point of view and the knowledge of news that I’ve learned through old satire, I also end up researching a lot of the stories that strike a chord as a clue to how we got to the shit show of an existence that we currently find ourselves in.

I wish I could delve deeper into my findings but I never intended for this challenge to go down that route, so my ventures down rabbit holes were more for personal use so I never took any notes, plus I don’t like focusing on adding my input on why I think that everything is broken.

It’s now that time to wrap this year up so I can start working on year two where I will fit in another two decades of SNL viewing that will end with me still not being caught up to the current season of the show. With that, it’s now time to shift gears and stop rambling in order to move on and share what I saw in tonight’s episode, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started in Singapore for the Michael Fay Caning which was an incident at the time where an American got caned in Singapore after vandalizing several cars and a bus only to find that the caner, the person swinging the cane, is actually Kevin Nealon who played an American who moved to Singapore since there were no caning jobs in the states. Kevin really enjoys his job and rambles on making pleasant small talk while beating the hell out of Emilio Estevez who was playing Michael Fay. As always, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Emilio Estevez then officially opened the show with a monolog about what the Brat Pack is up to now that they are all old with a bit of a where are they now segment highlighting how he is the only one who was still a success, at the time. This would have been much more fun if they actually had pictures to go along with the jokes but instead Emilio quickly ran through his subtle jabs so quickly that the jokes fell pretty flat, barely getting any response from the crowd but at least he seemed to be having fun trying to tell jokes since I was a bit worried that this might be a too cool for the show type of appearance.
  3. Geek, Dweeb, or Spazz was a game show sketch hosted by Mike Myers where the popular kids from school played the contestants who had to categorize all of the misfits from their school after asking them a couple of questions.
  4. The Whitewater Folder was a parody ad for a new book by John Grisham that treated the investigation of the Whitewater scandal as if it were another installment in his series of legal thriller books.
  5. Pearl Jam then took to the stage to perform Not For You. 
  6. Once again, Kevin Nealon gave us the news. This week, Kevin Nealon slipped into his Subliminal Man character to give a commentary on the Singapore caning incident that was referred to in the opening sketch. Opera Man also dropped in to sing another song about the events that were making the headlines during throughout the week.
  7. How Much Ya Bench? was the classic talk show sketch with a panel filled with juiced up, muscle-bound bodybuilders who all have huge upper bodies but tiny legs since their main focus is, as the title suggests, bench-pressing. During the discussion, the entire panel struggles to hold back their roid rage while claiming to be steroid-free.
  8. Pearl Jam then returned to the stage to perform Rearviewmirror. 
  9. The Herlihy Boy Grandmother Sitting Service returned for another installment where Adam Sander begs to watch your grandmother while Chris Farley aggressively reassured us that the Herlihy Boy is the perfect fit for the job. The sketch ended with Emilio Estevez as himself to vouch for the Herlihy Boy.
  10. We then went to a poker game in the Wild West where Emilio Estevez played Poker Billy who was super good at the game even though he had absolutely no idea how to play. Meanwhile, he thinks that everyone else is cheating. In between hands, Mike McKean played a character who sang a tune that told the tale of the annoying poker player.
  11. This was followed by another Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey where Jack thought back to the invention of the fly swatter.
  12. Pearl Jam returned to the stage yet again, this time to perform the song Daughter. 
  13. Finally, Emilio Estevez closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Though this wasn’t the most exciting episode to wrap up the first year, it was still a pretty fun viewing thanks to these three of my favorite segments of the night. First, I loved the How Much Ya Bench? sketch because it still cracks me up how everyone looked with their huge upper bodies and tiny little legs. Next, I really liked the Geek, Dweeb, or Spazz sketch because, once again, I’m always a fan of a game show sketch and this one was pretty funny. Finally, I was a fan of Poker Billy mainly because I need a number three but also because it reminded me of some of the people that I played with back in my poker playing days.

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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.