The First Step Toward the Coat


Up to this point, other than the Eric Idle episode, I haven't been all that impressed with season two of Saturday Night Live. I feel I have to mention this often, but when I say that I'm not impressed, I don't mean that I'm not being entertained. I just had such high expectations that each of these early episodes would be filled with classic content that I’d be overwhelmed with nostalgia.

Alright, that might be going a little far, but I was expecting a bit more best of moments and far less than average moments. Then again, I'm not really that surprised. Even my favorite things that are over five years old feels exceptionally dated and slow. I also fully expect the first few shows (up to a year or two) of each collection of cast members to stumble a bit as they find their leg.

This season has had its moments where the cast seemed to be coming together as a unit, but it feels that the uncertainty of Chevy's commitment levels seems to make it impossible for the cast to fully settle in. This is why I keep counting down the minutes until he finally goes... but again, I'm a fan of Chevy Chase movies, I'm just finding I wasn't as big of a fan of him when he was on this show.

So, since I feel that there has been some instability in the writing crew due to the Chevy ordeal, my expectations have been lowered, especially seeing some of these hosts. Then, I saw the Jerk himself would be hosting, and I thought that there was no way this episode could go wrong.

Once again, my disappointment isn't in Steve Martin, and I'm not entirely sure disappointment is the proper turn, but this episode was just as average as the rest of the episodes this year. There were two segments where Steve Martin got to do his routine, but all the other sketches seemed long and drawn out as if they were meant to kill time.

This in no way hinders my interest in this challenge, I'm just here to report on the things that come to me as I relive these moments in time... and with that, here are a couple more moments as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. The show starts in the Yankee's locker room with the coach giving an inspirational speech as he apologizing for their loss. The team doesn't seem all that press, and Chevy kicks the stool out from under the coach, causing him to hang, leading to the announcement of "Live from New York..."

  2. Steve Martin then opens the show with a comedy/banjo routine.

  3. Chevy Chase then does a paid spot for milk where his information of the product get worse and worse with every take.

  4. Next was a Jeopardy 1999 sketch, which was Jeopardy 23 years in their future, and 18 years in our past. It's always funny to see how far off the predictions are in these old sketches but the crowd was pretty humored by a joke about 20th Century Fox having to change their name at the start of the new year.

  5. Kinky Friedman sings Dear Abbie.

  6. This was followed by Chevy Chase hosting another decent segment of the news.

  7. The news commercial was for a digital dog clock called FidoFlex.

  8. The news returns with Jane Curtin. I was really hoping that they would give her the second half of the show, but no, she just made an editorial reply as Chase did his old making faces behind her back routine. After she left, one of my favorite moments so far happened. Al Franken just walks out onto the stage and starts to read the news over Chevy's shoulder. This freaks Chevy out, so he asks him to leave to which he does, and it is never referenced again. It was so quick and so out of the blue that I hope they let this be a one-time ordeal.

  9. This was followed by a Beatnik sketch where every member of the cast performed a Beatnik style performance. Though sort of funny, this sketch went on forever, it even ended by updating what each and every character was up to now that the beatnik movement was over. The updates were probably funny than the meat of the sketch, but it felt like it was just meant to eat away the time.

  10. This week's Looks at Books was Jane Curtin interviewing Steve Martin as a sports doctor who is studying sex in sports. He shared a bunch of videos, and every highlight clip was supposed to be an athlete that abstained from sex while the bloopers were happening to the sexually active players.

  11. This week's short film was a bunch of New Yorkers lip-syncing to a song about New York.

  12. This was followed by a Mary Tyler Moore parody where the dopey news anchor from the show accidentally kills Mary with a Draino in the coffee prank. Interesting timing with Mary Tyler Moore's actual death being so near, but this was another sketch that went on and on and on...

  13. Next was a bizarre sketch called Mysteries in Medicine where Steve Martin played a diet doctor whose diet technic was pretty much to kidnap his patients and then take them to the arctic where they had to ice fish with a spear to catch their food. It turns out that the patient isn't alone and has to not only fight with a second patient for food but also an Eskimo named Blog who would eat anything in site. It goes on to reveal that the girls aren't in the Arctic and Blog was actually not an Eskimo at all but the doctor's assistant watching on closed-circuit television to know when they found food. It was like Inception meets Lost, and I loved the way that it left me feeling confused.

  14. The show ends with Steve Martin doing another one of his stand-up routines before coming out with the rest of the cast to say their goodnights.

Though this episode had so few sketches, it was easy to find my top three. My only problem, this time, was trying to work through the order but after thinking about it for a while, here's what I came up with. First, I loved Al Franken randomly showing up on the news. It was just too random and obscure to not top the list. Next, I loved the crazy turns of the Mysteries in Medicine sketch. Finally, I laughed out loud more than once during Jeopardy 1999.


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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.