SNL: S22E15... HOST: STING... DATE: MARCH 15, 1997

printable-blank-calendars1.jpg

or...

Every Sketch You Make, I’ll Be Watching You…

Capture22155.JPG

As with most people my age, I had very genre specific phases when it came to my interest in music but was still open enough to where I had pretty a pretty eclectic taste, excluding country and the Bon Jovi-style of rock-n-roll. Throughout all of my genre changeups, I was always a fan of Sting. Part of this is due to the fact that I liked The Police before I was old enough to develop my music taste on my own, plus as a movie fan, I loved how he would randomly show up in cinema.

In fact, I even started bleaching my hair in high school because I thought Sting looked cool in a commercial I saw for Star Trek: Generations. Now you might be saying Sting wasn’t in that movie and you would be right. Since I never actually saw the movie, I miss remembered the fact that it was actually Malcolm McDowell’s spiky white hair that inspired my fashion choice.

I also used to listen to Sting every night for a few of years, when I was going through a really dark time where I would watch Leaving Las Vegas, literally, every night while drinking myself to bed and he had a couple of songs on the soundtrack. Since he sang the opening song it always stood out to me as opposed to the deeper tracks that blended into the background, especially as the alcohol started to set in like the song Sting performed at the end of tonight’s episode.

Because of this connection, I was excited to see Sting as the host but at the same time, I wouldn’t say that my expectations weren’t all that high for this being more than an average episode which is exactly what it turned out to be. In the past, I’ve often defended my use of the term average by reminding people that average is actually good because it’s the base level of acceptance. I’d say about half the time that I used this average-is-actually-good reminder, it was my way of saying that I didn’t mind the viewing but it didn’t leave me inspired enough to write either a more legitimate review or my history with the host like this post.

Tonight’s show was average but considering the high quality from this overall season, my, “average actually means good,” argument is completely valid when talking about this episode. When I was looking at the sketch list before the viewing, I got a little nervous considering the fact that I saw a lot of reoccurring characters which I was just complaining about in last night’s Alec Baldwin review. In this case, I didn’t mind all of the returning segments because I wasn’t expecting Sting to be a stand-out host so the familiar characters actually helped this episode and kept the night pretty fun.

Now that I’ve shared both my history with Sting and a few detailed thoughts about the episode, it’s now time for me to shift gears and move on to 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 gave us an update on a knee injury he received during a game of golf with someone he shouldn’t have been taking private meetings with. He went on to claim that the Republicans were trying they’re hardest to have him impeached and then reminded us of the line of succession reminder almost as a threat to keep him in the Oval Office. As always, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Sting then officially opened the show with a monolog about the rainforest charity that he created with his wife and called out for the audiences’ support. He then brought out Chris Kattan as Mr. Peepers o share an example of an animal that any donations might help to spare.
  3. We then got a parody of Evita with Ana Gasteyer in the titular role and Norm MacDonald as her husband who was utterly confused whenever Evita would randomly break into a song during what was supposed to be a speech to the gathering Argentinian crowd.
  4. The Crusades was a docu-drama of a sketch that obviously took place during The Crusades where a group of citizens approached the Holy Leader to share their game plan to start a Nude Crusade to spread their nudist ideals why claiming that they would also be spreading the word of Jesus by using convoluted logic to connect the two.
  5. The Laid Back Neutral MC's was a parody ad for a new rap album where Tracy Morgan and Tim Meadows played cowardly rappers who wanted nothing to do with the West Coast Versus East Coast feud that was still going strong at the time.
  6. Will Ferrell’s and Chris Kattan’s Shopping At Home Network characters then returned to the show where this time attempted to sell Star Wars memorabilia where the deal of the night was the real Mark Hamill for eighty grand and then used Home Shopping Network style market techniques to try to pitch the value of owning the real-life Luke Skywalker.
  7. Colin Quinn’s Rolf character also returned where this time, instead of being a Nazi, he was a member of the KKK who spread gossip about his fellow Klansmen with his Klansmen roommates following a speech at a KKK rally, mainly harping on the Klans taste in rally music.
  8. Once again, Norm MacDonald gave us the news. This week, Colin Quinn dropped by as himself to share his views on St. Patrick’s Day as a holiday only he’s too drunk during the segment to clearly get out his words while continually picking fights with Norm for reasons that came out of the blue. Cheri Oteri also dropped as a little girl dressed up as Annie who was there to talk to Norm about how she was replaced by her understudy a week before the latest Broadway reboot. She’s in such denial about the last minute rejection that she mentally merged with the Annie character so comes across as a loon. We also met Oteri’s replacement played by Ana Gasteyer which really sent our failed Annie over the edge.
  9. Veruca Salt then took to the stage to perform Shutterbug. 
  10. The Brendan Boyle Show was a talk show sketch hosted by Colin Quinn where he, his guest and the audience were all dressed as leprechauns to highlight the fact that they were Irish. Sting played a guest who would take suggestions from the crowd in order to create a brand new limerick right there on the spot. It didn’t take long for the audience to realize that all of his limericks had the same theme and he just switched a couple of words to create them. This led Sting to lay down more cutting rhymes about the people in the audience which got them to go silent until the real Leprechaun from the Leprechaun franchise of movies won everyone back by being the one to start a slow clap.
  11. Ana Gasteyer’s Mrs. Attebury character also returned to the show where this time the rich rambling worrywart is concerned about the fact that her daughter, played by Molly Shannon, stopped by with Sting as her new boyfriend and was a soccer hooligan looking drug dealer.
  12. Kyle DeMarco was a sketch where Chris Kattan played a dancer who was auditioning to be a backup dancer for Sting’s upcoming world tour and offered a literal dance interpretation of several songs from Sting’s catalog, opting to dance to a tape instead of a live performance even though Sting was fully willing to sing.
  13. Race & Racism was a talk show sketch hosted by Tim Meadows where he started to interview Sting about race and race relations but then couldn’t stop talking about Ghostbusters.
  14. Sting then returned to the stage to perform My One And Only Love.
  15. Finally, Sting closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights. 

As I said, this was an average but fun night with Sting that was legitimately good with the help from these three of my favorite moments of the night. First, I loved the Evita sketch because I liked the play it was parodying and again, I also loved Norm reaction to everyone randomly bursting into song. Next, I really liked the debut of Kyle DeMarco because Chris Kattan literal approach to interpretive dance had me laughing out loud. Finally, I was a fan of The Laid Back Neutral MC's ad because I was really into rap as a child and I liked this cowardly approach to coping with the West Coast versus East Coast Feud.

Capture22152.JPG
Capture22153.JPG
Capture22154.JPG

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.