SNL: S22E13... HOST: CHEVY CHASE... DATE: FEBRUARY 15, 1997

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or...

Alumni Host Number Six Of Seven

From This Season

I probably say this every time that Chevy is on, but one of the biggest surprises that I’ve found throughout this SNL challenge is how much I hated Chevy during his early years with the show. Though I bounced back and forth between how I felt about him during his time as an original Not Ready For Prime Time Player, I consistently hated him as a returning host until a handful of seasons ago.

This was a huge surprise to me because, for one, the original National Lampoon’s Vacation might literally be my favorite movie of all time because it came out just before my parent’s divorce and the Griswolds always reminded me of my family before I was introduced to the chaos of a family that no longer got along. This led me to love every movie starring Chevy Chase throughout my childhood, all the way up until I lost my obsession with films.

Since I remember loving Chase’s faux arrogant attitude as a kid and found the original years of SNL to be classics, I thought for sure that this love would carry over this go around. I don’t know if it’s fortunate or unfortunate but apparently, my sense of humor has changed so much over the years that I no longer so Chevy’s attitude during these early days to actually be all that faux.

Thankfully, starting with the Three Amigos visit Chevy started to at least put on the heirs that he appreciated the show and played friendly with the cast instead of putting out the energy that he was too good for the show and only dropped by for either promotion or to pay off some sort of favor to Lorne. I’ve liked every visit since then including this one in particular where he might have been a little too toned down but still put on a really fun performance.

Of course, it helps that the cast from this season has still yet to let me down with anyone as the host. For the most part, my only issue with this season is how sometimes they don’t pay enough attention to the hosts. That wasn’t the case tonight where there was a perfect blend of host to cast interaction creating a night filled with new school fun from the time while tapping into the nostalgic fun at the same time.

That’s all that I’ve got as far as my views on this episode, so with that, it’s now time to move on and share what I actually viewed, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a parody of Nightline where Darrell Hammond as Ted Koppel interviewed Cheri Oteri as Debbie Reynolds, Ana Gasteyer as Madonna, and Molly Shannon as Courtney Love who all had a gripe over the years Oscars since they all felt they were snubbed by not even getting a nomination for their brilliant work. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Chevy Chase then officially opened the show with a monolog about how he as happy to be back and then went on to share a few thoughts on Valentine’s Day. He went on to talk very lovingly of his family and then invited them to the stage. The set up was so sentimental and serious sounding that it was pretty funny to see the family come out as an obvious collection of strangers who had never met Chevy before.
  3. This was followed by a repeat of the Home Security Decoys sketch from earlier in the season which was an ad that offered burglar dummies in an effort to trick any real criminals into thinking the house is already being robbed.
  4. Darrell Hammond then revised his Bill Clinton impersonation for a sketch called White House For Sale where Chevy Chase played the President’s advisor as they devised a plan to sell off the White House in a desperate attempt to raise funds, making fun of the Lincoln Bedroom scandal where the Clinton’s were treating the White House like a hotel.
  5. This was followed by one of those sketches that took place at an event that allowed the cast to play around with their impersonations for quick appearances where they got to address the crowd. The event in question for this round was the O.J. Simpson Punitive And Compensatory Damages Telethon where Tim Meadows as O.J. put in a genuine effort to fundraise only to shocked when the donations didn’t roll in.
  6. The Culps then returned for another installment of Will Ferrell and Ana Gasteyer revised the singing instructor couple who performed popular hits in a style that seems more appropriate for church or high school choir performance. This time, the couple was performing for their niece’s Sweet Sixteen.
  7. We then got a parody of Smokey And The Bandit that was actually a shot at the re-mastered re-release of Star Wars by sharing parodies of digitally enhanced new footage and deleted scenes with Darrell Hammond as Smokey and Norm MacDonald as the Bandit. There was even a special visit from a truck driving Yoda.
  8. This was followed by a parody of Charlie Rose where Mark McKinney played the titular host who had on Jim Breuer as Goat Boy and Chevy Chase as Cow Man and the two had it out during a panel discussion amongst a couple other more serious guests who wanted to debate legitimate issues from the time.
  9. Once again, Norm MacDonald gave us the news. This week, Colin Quinn dropped in to share his comments on the Bill Clinton/Paula Jones scandal and about how it’s not a big deal because all of our presidents were known to fool around. At the same time, he threw in a few jabs at Bill Clinton’s tastes when it comes to women.
  10. Live then took to the stage to perform Lakini's Juice.
  11. 7 Action News was a sketch where Chevy Chase played a news anchor who just could stop himself from making up the stories to create more interesting headlines only to admit to his lies moments after making them.
  12. The Zimmermans was a sketch where Cheri Oteri and Chris Kattan played a married couple who roleplayed being on a first date in an effort to liven up their relationship only to end up censoring themselves in a very awkward way before their sex talk could get too dirty following so many years of growing used to more normal talk.
  13. Fitting Room was a sketch where Norm MacDonald played the husband of Molly Shannon and kept catching male employees from the store peeping on Shannon as she attempted to try on clothes.
  14. Live then returned to the stage to perform Heropsychodreamer.
  15. Chopper 4 was a sketch where Chevy Chase went to buy a paper and the local newsstand only to get trapped in a conversation with Mark McKinney about how excited he was about the new news helicopter better known as Chopper 4.
  16. Finally, Chevy Chase closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

This turned out to be another fun show with another fun alumni host thanks to sketches like these that contain my three of my favorite moments of the night. I loved The Debut Of The Chopper 4 Guy because he is just one of those weird characters who’s always stood out in my mind to the point where I’ve randomly referenced him recently before I even started this challenge. Next, I really like the White House For Sale sketch because it kind of makes me laugh just how many scandals the Clinton’s have been made fun of for during the first term of Bill’s presidency so far yet some people still wonder why the political couple is still hard to trust during these modern times. Finally, I was a fan of the Fitting Room sketch because I love it when Norm plays a panicked/concerned character.

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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.