SNL: S19E20... HOST: HEATHER LOCKLEAR... DATE: MAY 14, 1994

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An Okay Close To An Okay Season

Once again, I’m pretty surprised that I’m now nineteen years into the show’s archives and they still haven’t reached the point where the season finale is more than a typical episode. Where you can now count on the season premiers, the Christmas episode, and the season finale to be almost a collection of Homecoming episodes filled with cameos from alumni, past hosts, and other special guest in order to start strong, going into the winter break strong and close out the year on a strong note to keep the viewers coming back for more.

No, at this point, if I didn’t know any better, I would have assumed that this was just another average episode from the season that was just as average as the rest of the year. My main issue with this appearance was that it was in the middle of Heather Locklear’s Melrose Place leg of her career which was a show that I never got into even as a goof. I feel that this affected her acting to where every line felt like it was delivered by a soap opera star.

I’ve pointed this out in the past, but it’s not that the soap opera style of acting is necessarily bad but it feels extra cheesy when it shows in in sketch routines unless they’re making fun of the genre. This style is a weird blend of melodramatic overacting that kind of feels like the actor/actress is talking down to the audience like an adult reading a child their bedtime book, overemphasizing each word as if the mystery of how the cat found his hat was actually a compelling tale.

Not only am I not a fan of this brand of acting, I also didn’t like how a bulk of the night made was made up of jokes about how Heather was hot and slept around. Sure a lot of this came about during parodies of the soap opera style shows that Locklear is known for but as always, with certain types of good looking hosts, it got to the point where at times she felt more like a prop to be ogled over being a special guest.

That said, Heather Locklear’s acting was much better than the actors and actresses from the Dynasty days which is where I started to see this soap opera star trend and discovered I wasn’t a fan. I don’t know if I would say that her acting was good since it did seem like she was reading every line but she seemed to be having a really good time which is always worth few bonus points to me.

Finally, a quick note on this season. I feel like this year was a bit of a letdown because I don’t think that they used their new talent all that well. Where a couple years ago, I felt that they did a slow rollout of their new featured cast members perfectly to where every new introduction was a blast, this year, I felt like the rollout was so slow that other than Norm MacDonald, everyone felt underused which was too bad considering that this season could have really used a boost of energy that only new talent can bring.

It also sucks that Sarah Silverman’s connection to the show was as a failed featured player when they barely used her enough to gauge if she was good or bad. Meanwhile, Dave Attell seemed to sneak in with almost as many cameos and he was just a writer at the time. This really sucks because this season leads into the season where I remember Chris Elliot, Janeane Garofalo, and Laura Kightlinger getting the same sort of treatment when I was huge fans of theirs at the time.

Oh well, we’ll see how it turns out but until then, it’s now time to shift gears and share what I saw, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with another installment of Coffee Talk where once again, host, Linda Richman does her usual Coffee Talk thing only this time is joined by Heather Locklear who plays her landlord to join in on the Yiddish talk that built to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Heather Locklear then officially opened the show with a monolog about how honored she was to host the last episode of the season, even though the show has still yet to get to the point where the season finale is all that special like how it eventually grows to be. Before Locklear could get too deep into her jokes she was called backstage by Phil Hartman who was worried that she was cheating on him with Kevin Nealon. This led to a journey backstage to learn that she was sleeping around with the entire cast, including the fictional Cantina Boy.
  3. This was followed by a fake ad for “Eych!” which was a special hairball remover that “cats ask for by name.”
  4. We then got a parody of Melrose Place where Wayne from Wayne’s World fantasized about being on the show where he met all of the parodied versions of people from the show before making out with Heather Locklear’s character.
  5. Hot Button was a talk show sketch hosted by Heather Locklear who had of Clarence Thomas and Ted Kennedy as her guest to talk about sexual harassment in the workforce only the two creeps can’t ease up on their raunchy talk long even though this was going out on the air.
  6. Janet Jackson then took to the stage to perform Throb. 
  7. Once again, Kevin Nealon gave us the news. This week, Norm MacDonald dropped by to share his homophobic perspective on the Whitewater scandal where he mainly focused on the case but kept freaking out on Kevin Nealon for sitting too close to him. Adam Sandler also dropped in to perform a summer song about how he fell in love with his fifty one-year-old gym teacher.
  8. The Flirt was a sketch where Heather Locklear and Kevin Nealon flirt with one another from across the bar by only using facial expressions which eventually gets pretty weird.
  9. Norm MacDonald then portrayed Andy Rooney to parody his 60 Minutes segments where the old curmudgeon shared all of his quirky inner thoughts.
  10. Amazing Time Savers was the classic infomercial parody where Heather Locklear played the pitchwoman for a pasta maker who kept accidentally slipping in racist’s remarks while showing off the product. In the sketch, we could see the order takers answer the phones that light up with calls of complaints whenever she spits out her blind but blatant bigotry.
  11. The Orgasm Guy’s French cousin L'Homme d'Orgasme then made his debut to the show where he and Rob Schneider kept orgasming in their own pants while acting in a fake French prime-time show.
  12. Janet Jackson then returned to the stage to perform Any Time, Any Place. 
  13. Several of this season’s reoccurring characters then took to the stage to perform a song and dance to the tune of So Long, Farewell in order to say goodbye for the summer.
  14. Finally, Heather Locklear closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

Once again, it might sound like I have a lot of complaints, which I do, but at the same time, this was also a pretty fun show to watch thanks to these three of my favorite sketches from the night. First, I loved the Amazing Time Savers not only because it’s such a classic sketch but because I loved how Heather Locklear says the most horrible things without even a hint of hesitation. Next, I really liked the reoccurring character’s performance of So Long, Farewell because I like that song and it was a fitting farewell for the season. Finally, I was a fan of The Flirt sketch because even though this falls into pet peeve territory in that the host is treated a bit like a prop because she is hot but there was a bit of a Bugs Bunny feel to this sketch where it felt more playful and silly to where I didn’t feel like I was watching a bunch of lecherous creeps.

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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.