Welcome To The Five-Timers Club Mr. Baldwin
Leave it to Alec Baldwin to instantly invalidate my excuse for why this has been a good but not great season of SNL. Just yesterday, I thought I had it all figured out following Roseanne’s visit, which I thought was great but many of the references didn’t age all that well over time. This is why I threw out the theory that the season was so so-so due to the fact that, historically, it wasn’t that exciting of a year, with mid-term election jokes with very little modern significance making up a bulk of the jokes that fall flat.
Meanwhile, Alec Baldwin comes in and blows this theory out of the water by putting on a show that would have been good no matter what the season. Of course, like most SNL fans, I’ve always looked forward to Alec’s visits to the show even before he became a regular with his Donald Trump impersonation, but with that said, I never realized just how much I liked these early appearances.
That’s not to say that I ever remembered these visits as bad, but I sort of remember thinking at the time that he was a good host “for a serious actor.” Watching these episodes now, knowing Alec’s progression with the show, I now see him as a straight up cast member whose career spreads out over multiple decades.
I mean, between the seventeen shows that he’s hosted and his countless special guest appearances, Alec Baldwin has had more SNL airtime that many of the permanent Not Ready For Prime Time Players. Not only does he genuinely seem to have a boatload of fun with every single visit, but it also feels like he brings extra energy to the cast to where they seem to have extra fun as well.
I guess this doesn’t invalidate my argument that this season is so so-so due to this period of history since Baldwin puts on good shows no matter what the year, if anything, it highlights that the hosts might actually be more responsible for the slower shows than I like to give them credit for. Either way, when all is said and done, I don’t even mind the bad episodes because the hits don’t mean anything without having misses to compare them to.
With that, it’s now time to shift gears and move on to share what I saw, as I give you…
The Wicker Breakdown:
- This week's show started with A Statement By Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders who was played by Ellen Cleghorne to defend the Surgeon General’s stance that masturbation should be taught in school as a form of birth control to be taught during sex education. Where the real Joycelyn Elder’s was more focused on the birth control aspect, in the sketch it was more about making sure that the children left school knowing the proper techniques in order to avoid any major accidents. As always, this being the opening sketch, it eventually built to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
- Alec Baldwin then officially opened the show with a monolog about how this was his Five-Timers episode and how he feared that he wouldn’t be able to achieve this goal thanks to the Cantina Boy sketch from his last episode where he pretty much molested the Boy Scout. Baldwin then pointed out the fact that the controversial sketch ended up bringing people together to share their hatred of the characters. Cantina Boy then joined Alec on the stage to repeat a segment of the sketch only with Sandler giving consent to being felt up by Baldwin.
- This was followed by a repeat of the Lexon Paradox ad from earlier in the season which was the car that was designed to be both luxurious and affordable only to end up an eye-sore of a machine.
- Santa Believers was a sketch where Alec Baldwin and Janeane Garofalo played parents who still truly believed in Santa which led their entire family to be confused why they kept getting ignored by the jolly fat man. At one point, Kevin Nealon entered the scene as a cop who couldn’t wrap his head around the fact that he was dealing with adults who never learned the truth about Christmas. He then attempted to break the news softly, but both Baldwin and Janeane were such firm believers they instantly dismissed Nealon as if he were the one who was crazy.
- L.A. Breast And Penis was a parody of a hospital show that took place in the Breast and Penis wing of a hospital. In this week’s installment, the team was stuck dealing with a high volume of patients due to a horrible train accident that led to an “all hands on deck situation.” Being the top paid specialist that they are, the L.A. Breast and Penis team focused on the enlargement of the victim’s breasts and penises instead of their actual injuries.
- Japanese Game Show was as the title suggests, a parody of a crazy Japanese game show with several cast mates and Baldwin doing not so offensive Japanese impersonations, in that they all had black hair and spoke what sounded like actual Japanese with no effort to add an extra slant to their eyes or just make funny sounds in place of words. In the sketch, Chris Farley played an American was the only English speaker who had no idea what was going on and struggled to figure out the game, especially after witnessing his fellow contestants have to chop off their own fingers for getting their questions wrong. Somehow, Farley made it to the final round where they shocked his balls for every question he got wrong.
- Beastie Boys then took to the stage to perform Sure Shot.
- Once again, Norm MacDonald gave us the news. This week was an all-news week with just Norm and no guest at all.
- Jay Mohr then played a Rookie Cop who couldn’t stomach seeing his first dead body, so he threw-up all over the crime scene. This triggered a run of cops vomiting for various reason. Some cops joined in from merely smelling Mohr’s vomit while some cops were legitimately sick, and others had reasons of their own. Things just got worse when a news reporter arrived which led to viewers puking along at home. Meanwhile, the best part of this sketch was when the timing of the puke was a little off and the fact that you could full-on see the hose running up everyone’s legs and down the sleeves of their shirts.
- The Young And The Youthful was a soap opera parody that pretty much made fun of the soap opera-style acting as well as other conventions of the genre, mainly focusing on the evil twin cliché only instead of an evil genius, Alec Baldwin’s twin played an evil simpleton. One of my favorite aspects of this sketch is how whenever anyone stands while getting out of bed the sheets magically cover their stuff, keeping them descent without the use of their hands.
- Family Road Trip was a sketch where we saw the backseat point of view while Michael McKean drives with Janeane Garofalo in the passenger seat as the mom. Throughout the entire sketch, the two parents kept yelling at the kids to calm down while also seeing evidence of the utter chaos that was hinted at through all of the yelling.
- Beastie Boys then returned to the stage to perform both Ricky's Theme and the song Heart Attack Man back to back.
- We then went to a bridal show/bachelorette party on the night before Janeane Garofalo’s wedding for a sketch called The Exotic Dancer with the titular character played by Chris Elliott who danced his ass off in his white tee-shirt and boxers which was anything but a turn on. In fact, Janeane was so turned off that she sued Chris Elliott for ruining her wedding and she won.
- Celebrity Memorabilia Auction was as the title suggests a sketch where two mafia type auctioned off a bunch of celebrity memorabilia that was clearly stolen based on the way that the items were introduced.
- This was followed by another installment of Deep Thoughts By Jack Handey after a long hiatus where this time Jack share his thoughts on what makes a jellyfish look so beautiful.
- Finally, Alec Baldwin closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
It seems like it’s been a while since I’ve watched a show where it was easy to find my three favorite moments from the night which might be another reason why I liked this episode so much. With that, here are said favorite moments. First, I loved the Rookie Cop sketch because I love when there’s vomiting on SNL and you can blatantly see the fake vomit pumping contraption. Next, I really liked the Japanese Game Show sketch because I like how it shows that the Japanese Game Show genre was still over the top way back then, plus, for some reason, Laura Kightlinger’s character as always stood out in my mind. Finally, I was a fan of the Santa Believers because it cracked me up how genuine the parents were in their belief in Santa and how confused Kevin Nealon got when he figured out they weren’t just doing it for the kids.