SNL: S20E13... HOST: DEION SANDERS... DATE: - FEBRUARY 18, 1995

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or...

Not Ready For Prime Time

As A Not Ready For Prime Time Player

At this point in my life, I couldn’t tell you the last time that I watched a non-championship game from any sport other than MMA. That said, at the time the episode originally aired, I was really into football because my roommates and I used to go down and place bets down in Mexico where it was legal to gamble on sports. Even during this time, I was never a fan of Deion Sanders, but at the same time, I was more of a fan of gambling over the actual sport so I wouldn’t say that I hated him either.

As far as his connection with baseball goes, I barely remembered that this was a thing until it was referenced in a joke. Because of this lack of any real connection I had mixed feeling going into the viewing of this episode since I’m often surprised by how often these sports stars make for funny hosts. Then, I double checked the list of segments and was bummed to find that there were only thirteen with a musical performance where Sanders was set to sing two songs and Bon Jovi performed two songs as well.

Unfortunately, Deion Sanders is no Bob Newhart, who just put on a hell of a show while using the fewer but longer sketch format, because this episode often felt like it was dragging on from time to time. To add to this slow feeling, it didn’t help that the first half of the night was almost exclusively devoted to sports jokes. Fortunately, there were enough funny moments during the second half to where this episode wasn’t a complete flop to the point where I would say that it wasn’t the worst show of the year.

In summary, I’d say this episode may have slipped back to be good but not great when it comes to overall quality of the content but by no means was it anywhere near the worst episode that I’ve yet to see. With that, it’s now time to shift gears in order to share what I saw, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with parody coverage of the O.J. Simpson Field Trip where the jurors were taken on a trip to the O.J. house in order to explore the crime scene only to end up getting schmoozed by the former sports star as he showed off his abode with a bit of a braggadocios tone. While giving the tour, there was a run in with Kato Kaelin who was squatting in the house while claiming to be O.J. in order to score some chicks. It turned out that Kato was hosting a party that night and rather than end the tour right there, Judge Ito gave the jurors permission to join in and party as well. As everyone, including the prosecution team, joined in for drinks, Judge Ito announced, “Live from New York…”
  2. Deion Sanders then officially opened the show with a monolog about become a free agent after leading his team to a victory at the Super Bowl which he claimed why Lorne Michaels offered him a spot on his team of Not Ready For Prime Time players on Saturday Night Live.
  3. We then went to a conference room for a sketch called Baseball Strike Solidarity where we got to see the player’s side of the contract negotiations which led them into the strike. Of course, as with most sketches about athletes and/or entertainers when it comes to strikes, the central joke is that the players already earn enough while treating the team owners like they run some mom and pop shop who could do no wrong.
  4. This was followed by a parody of the 1995 Espy Awards which was, of course, another award show sketch that allowed the castmates a chance to try out some obscure impressions with this week’s focus on sports. Even though these sketches are never the best, it’s always fun to see just how random the cast can get with who they choose to be. The best part of this sketch was all of the jokes fell flat in the world of the scene, and they kept cutting to footage of Lou Diamond Phillips from some real award show where he was the only one in the room who laughs. They also brought in the real Manute Bol who dwarfed Laura Kightlinger and Bon Jovi who presented him with the award of this year’s tallest basketball player.
  5. Bon Jovi then took to the stage to perform Always. 
  6. Once again, Norm MacDonald gave us the news. This week, Opera Man dropped by for another segment where he sang a tune inspired by the headlines making the news.
  7. UFO Mission was a sci-fi sketch that showed what happened on a day that a UFO made first contact. In the sketch, the people were so afraid that the aliens weren’t here to make peace, so they surrounded the ship with a Special Forces team who were armed to the teeth in order to fight the alien being if they were to step out of line. I thought this sketch was leading to the message of attack before getting attacked even if the visitors come in peace but then the first soldier went into the UFO only to come out a half-hour later filled with shame while not wearing any clothes. This patterned continued over and over again as soldier after soldier entered the ship only to return naked. Based on the clues, it was clear that the soldiers were getting anally probed only to become confused when they found that they actually liked it.
  8. Rappers with Simple Lyrics was a sketch where Deion Sander, Tim Meadows, and Adam Sandler played a rap crew with the most uncomplicated lyrics of all time. Their songs were mainly made up of the hype that a rapper might use to build a song up to its first line only to abruptly end with the who group shouting, “Peace, we’re out of here.”
  9. Bon Jovi then returned to the stage to perform Someday I'll Be Saturday Night. 
  10. It then turned to 4:45 in the AM, so you know what that means? It means it’s time for another installment of Perspectives where this week Lionel Osbourne interviewed Deion Sanders who played the leader of a bores athletic club and the two went on to have an incredibly dull conversation, well intentionally dull which is one of my favorite aspects of this reoccurring character.  
  11. Deion Meets Sick Boy was a sketch where, as the title suggests, Deion Sanders met a sick child at a hospital for a parody of the old Babe Ruth tale where he promised a home run to a die New Jersey child. In this version of the story, Chris Farley played the boy whose dying wish was to have Sanders “hot dog” it up and do a celebratory dance in his name.  
  12. Deion Sanders took to the music stage to perform Must Be The Money and the song It's On, back to back. Deion’s lip syncing was so extreme that he seemed caught off guard by the hard stop to both songs instead of them gradually ending like you would expect from a live performance.
  13. Finally, Deion Sanders closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Though this wasn’t the best of episodes, I do like how it was good enough to where it wasn’t too hard to find these favorite moments of the night. First, I loved this week’s installment of Perspectives because this is one of my favorite obscure reoccurring sketch of all time to the point where, to this day, I still write all of my times in the (Insert Time) “in the AM/PM” format. Next, I really liked the UFO mission because it made me laugh when Chris Farley had a wardrobe malfunction and lost his pants before it was the right time. Finally, I was a fan of the 1995 Espy Awards parody because there’s nothing more fun than seeing Manute Bol completely dwarf an average human.

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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.