SNL: S22E09... HOST: ROSIE O'DONNELL... DATE: DECEMBER 14, 1996

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Night Of A Thousand Reoccurring Bits

I know a lot of people take issue with the reoccurring characters of SNL because of how they can become very repetitive especially when they last more than one or two years and get to the point where they do nothing more than repeat their expected catchphrase. I’ve never taken issue with any of these characters, especially on the nights of the original airing. Usually, if I do end up hating a reoccurring character it’s because their catchphrase catches on to where every idiot in the world is repeating it.

In general, I usually only like two or three of these repeat offenders on any given night but for some reason, tonight, I was excited by the fake that almost every single sketch featured a familiar segment of the show. I think it’s due to the fact that I’m a bit hungover so this meant there was no heavy lifting to explain what was going on in each scene.

It also really helped that this collection of Not Ready For Prime Time Players don’t have any reoccurring characters that really bother me so it was super fun to just sit back and enjoy the evening. Finally, I also didn’t take issues with any of these repeat segments because they all were pretty well done whether or not my hungover head was fully excited about the viewing.

As I said the last time she was on, as a stand-up fan, I’ve also always been a fan of Rosie O’Donnell from back before she ever made an attempt at acting. The only issue I had, if any, was the fact that all of the reoccurring characters meant that Rosie always had a secondary role when I prefer for the host to at least have a couple of sketches where they really get to shine in the spotlight. Then again, I like how the spotlight was not only shared with the cast but Penny Marshall and musical guest, Whitney Houston, also got a lot of secondary airtime as well which only added to the fun of the night.

Alright, that’s all that I’ve got for this review, now it’s time to wrap this up so I can crawl back into bed in order to rest this sleep deprived alcohol soaked head. So with that, 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 A Message From The President Of The United States where Darrell Hammond as Bill Clinton kicked of the Christmas season spirit by attempting to make up with Norm MacDonald as Bob Dole now that the election season is over with. He also offered a position in his cabinet which Dole accepted with the added incentive of a Tickle Me Elmo which was the Christmas hit at the time. Of course, with this being the opening sketch it also eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Rosie O'Donnell then officially opened the show with a monolog about how happy she was to host again before promoting her brand new daytime talk show which led into a bit of a routine about TV show theme songs.  This line of jokes led her to invited sing I Got You Babe where Penny Marshall and Whitney Houston to join her on the stage to sing along with our host.
  3. This was followed by a fake ad for Darnette Disposable Toilets which as the title suggest was a toilet designed to be thrown away after using it only there’s no special quick install technique as this product is actually just an ordinary toilet with the ad making fun of our wasteful ways.
  4. The Spartans Cheerleaders then returned for another installment where this time the two cheered to promote seasonal sales at the local Pepperidge Farms and are eventually joined by Rosie O’Donnell who was kicked off the real cheerleading team due to her weight and decided to team up with the two cheerleader wannabes.
  5. Mary Katherine Gallagher also returned to the show where this time the awkward Catholic schoolgirl performed the song Little Drummer Boy at a school event.
  6. Delicious Dish was another segment to return to the show where this time the two dull-voiced NPR hosts droned on about their love of gingerbread and citrus.
  7. TV Funhouse then gave us another installment of The Ambiguously Gay Duo where this time the questionable-gay superheroes tried to save Santa from their big-headed nemesis.
  8. Jim Breuer then returned as my favorite character of his for a sketch called A Christmas Greeting From Goat Boy where, as the title suggests, Goat Boy wished Merry Christmas to his fan while acting like the goat-human that he is.
  9. Once again, Norm MacDonald gave us the news. This week, Beavis and Butthead made a magical appearance to joke it up about Christmas with Norm.
  10. Whitney Houston then took to the stage to sing I Believe In You And Me.
  11. Rita Delvecchio was another reoccurring character to return for the night where this time the “I keep it now,” neighborhood crazy lady made up with her bickering neighbor who was played by Penny Marshall.
  12. Tim Meadows and Tracy Morgan then revised their money collecting thuggish Russell & Tate characters to offer a Christmas special to those who could use their services.
  13. Colin Quinn also returned as his Joe Blow character for another installment of The Local News where once again, he’s off of Weekend Update and is now sharing news that so local that it only affects him that he now broadcasts out of his basement.
  14. Whitney Houston then returned to the stage to sing I Go To The Rock.
  15. Finally, Rosie O'Donnell closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

With so many reoccurring characters it made it super easy to make this list of my three favorite moments of the night simply by ranking my favorite characters independent of how I the host fit into the equation. First, I loved “The Real” Beavis And Butthead Sitting In On The News because I love these two idiots and the technology used to blend animation with reality is always fun to watch even though they went the easy route and had them on via satellite. Next, I really liked the Mary Katherine Gallagher segment from tonight because it was awesome to see Whitney Houston join in on the scene and really act instead of just awkwardly attempt to deliver a line like how most of the musical guest’s involvement usually ends up working out. Finally, I was a fan of this week’s installment with Rita Delvecchio because the “I keep it now,” crazy lady has always cracked me up.

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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.