SNL: S02E13... HOST: FRAN TARKENTON... DATE: JANUARY 29, 1977

or...

Super Bowl Synchronicity

Alright, so the timing isn't dead on but it's interesting that the first SNL Super Bowl Special of my viewing landed so close to the actual Super Bowl. Then again, despite that fact that I'm posting this review on Monday, I actually watched the episode the night before "The Big Game" just the way I would have if I watched the show the night it originally aired.

I barely have any connection to sports anymore. At first, I was into football because I used to like to play it in the park. As someone who is six foot four and built like a lineman, I piqued the coach's interest when I got into high school but as a park playing dyslexia that is slow to decipher right from left, I quickly found a spot on the bench.

Even after that, I still liked the sport but more out of the obligation of being young and living in a city that had a team. My interest in collecting playing cards helped keep the enthusiasm alive because I had personal profits to gain when a team/player would have a successful year. Next, gambling kept my fandom alive since there was a sports booking casino just south of the border when Mexico was the only place that I could legally drink.

After I moved to Seattle, the gambling option was squashed. I did still follow sports but again, I was living in a city that had a team as well as with roommates that watched with the same hometown obligation that once kept me tuned into the game. 

It wasn't until I started to live on my own that sports truly started to phase their way out of my life. Now, I only watch the Super Bowl but my viewing is based on tradition and snacks alone. Since I no longer have a circle of friends, the snacks are getting bland and the commercials just don't seem to have the same weight in keeping my attention that they once had.

This will probably be the last Super Bowl I will ever watch, unless someone special steps into my life that has to watch the game.

I just realized that this was supposed to be my SNL episode breakdown and not my daily post about me. Sorry for the rambling and now it's time to get back on track as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1.  Since this is the Super Bowl Special, the show starts with Belushi on the sidelines announcing that he will not be acting in any sketches but will be there for any coaching needs throughout the night. Again it feels like a crappy contract negotiation that I have mixed feeling about the way it feels that the fans are the ones that are being punished as these two entities continue to bicker.
  2. Fran Tarkenton then opens the show with a monolog about his season and why his team didn't make it to the big game. He starts to sing Feelings as Murray gives a play by play from the corner of the screen as Garrett Morris steps in to take over the singing duties like a backup quarterback would step in during a game.
  3. Next was a fake ad for the Swiss Army Gun which felt like it was being pitched by the same character that brought us the Bass-O-Matic.
  4. Jane Curtin then plays the teacher that has to deal with a dumb Amy Carter while also having to cope with the ever-present secret service.
  5. Fran then runs to the sideline to check in with Belushi who gives him a pep talk as coach. Meanwhile, one of the helmeted players loses an arm.
  6. Leo Sayer sings When I Need You.
  7. In this week's Black Perspective, Garrett Morris talks to Fran about why "blacks" don't make for good quarterbacks, using many of the "comedic" stereotypes from the time.
  8. Bill Murray and Jane Curtin have a date at a special restaurant where they eat in the chef's home and are treated very passive aggressively while being forced to listen to the daughter's horrible recorder recital while the host fight in the kitchen.  
  9. Next was a fake commercial where Fran pitches Sugar Frosted Anabolic Steroids.
  10. Once again, Jane Curtin does the news, she hints that she might be switched out with Murray but I really hope that doesn't happen.
  11. Fran does a fake spot with Belushi about drugs where Belushi is dressed like a boy scout and is losing his mind from his drug regimen.
  12. The news then wraps up with more general stories.
  13. Fran brings an annoying groupie back to his hotel room after the Super Bowl she is such a rambling hippy that he calls time out to talk to Belushi to help him figure out what to do. He returns to the room to try to quiet her with drinks as he dims the lights and tries to get her in bed despite her talk of self-harm. No matter how annoying she is, he continues to try to get her in bed. Once again, he returns to Belushi to get advice on how to "score." She finally gives in just before the play clock runs out of time.
  14. Next was a funeral sketch that turned out to be a fake commercial for Spearmint Gum.
  15. This was followed by a sports-like breakdown of Fran's performance so far. They cut to see what the competing stations are playing only to show some old musical playing (That's Entertainment part 10) on ABC. Then return for more play by play.
  16. The White Plains Marching band then comes out to perform You Are the Sunshine of My Life in a quick sketch that takes a jab at Stevie Wonder for some strange reason, then it's back to more play by play of the show so far.
  17. Leo Sayer sings You Make Me Feel Like Dancing.
  18. The short film this week interviews a lizard fanatic/terrarium builder.
  19. Next was a fake a for a perfume called French Liquid that smell different on each woman and the samples get stranger and stranger as they go.
  20. Donny Harper and the Voices of Tomorrow then perform Sing a Song.
  21. Next was a sketch filled with financial advice between two WASPy women.
  22. Finally, Fran says his good nights. 

As a non-sports fan, this wasn't my favorite episode to date. Some of it felt phoned in especially when they took an entire segment to recap what we already saw, but I did have three favorite moments and here they are. First, though really racial, I was a fan of the Black Perspective sketch because I had a diverse upbringing and this was the type of stuff we joked about as kids. Next, I liked the meta aspect to Fran jumping in and out of the one-night stand sketch to get advice from his coach. Finally, I was a fan of watching Belushi joke about drugs.

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.