Welcome To The Eight-Timers Club,
I don’t know why I predict how an episode will go before I watch them, if anything, the opposite of what I expect is more likely to come true. Just the other day, I was complaining that Alec Baldwin’s visit this year turned out to be the first of his visits to even sort of let me down. My main issue was that he didn’t stand out as the star, making it feel more like a cast heavy episode which should only be the case on weeks with weaker hosts which is just not the case with Baldwin.
Part of me was expecting the same results with this episode since this makes the eighth visit from John Goodman, making him almost an honorary member of the cast. Since the non-honorary real cast members have been so strong this year, I figured this would be a cast heavy episode as well, considering Goodman’s been on so many times before and no longer has as much to prove.
This was only partially the case tonight. The difference being where Alec Baldwin’s episode was mainly filled with reoccurring characters that would have worked whether or not Baldwin was involved, tonight’s episode had more of a blend of new content and additional installments of old bits which allowed Goodman to at least seem more involved.
I only compare these two hosts because they are currently in a tight race for the highest count in the X-Timers Club with Goodman ahead by one at this time. Other than their frequency at hosting the two are in no way the same in their hosting approach. Where I expect Baldwin to take on more of a leader role and enthusiastically command the troops, I see Goodman more as a genuine fan of the show and is just happy to be there. This is how I’m able to feel a little let down by Alec while being pleased with John while at the same time, finding their overall appearances to be equal.
Alright, that’s all I’ve got for this review so it’s now that time for me to move on and share what I saw, as I give you…
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started with a parody of Oprah where Chris Kattan and Mark McKinney dressed as Anne Heche and Ellen DeGeneres to discuss their recently uncloseted relationship. During the interview, Anne is quite abusive toward Ellen right in front of Tim Meadows as Oprah which goes completely unacknowledged as Oprah just plowed forward with her lesbian questions. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually ended with the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
John Goodman then officially opened the show with a monolog about how great it was to be hosting the show for the eighth time. He then went on to talk about his recent extensive weight loss which led him to suffer to random bouts of confusion due to the lack of food. Tim Meadows then joined him on stage in an effort to get him back on track which just got John to think that he was an MTV V.J. This confusion continued until eventually Lorne Michaels stepped in and got Goodman back to reading the cue cards.
We then got another repeat of the Caribbean Essence Bath Oil from earlier in the season where Tracy Morgan kept magically appearing in other’s bathtubs as a dread-locked islander whenever anyone would use this bathing product.
Celebrity Jeopardy! returned for another installment where this week Alex Trebek had to deal with the antics of Norm MacDonald as Burt Reynold, Darrell Hammond as Phil Donahue and John Goodman as Marlon Brando.
Talkin' With Suel also returned with Chris Kattan playing his mumble-mouthed character/talk show host interviewed guests who were just as unintelligible as he was. The guests in question were Bjork and Ronnie Wood.
Good Samaritan Eddie Murphy was a PSA-style sketch where Tim Meadows played Eddie Murphy to perform a community service by helping out the transvestite community, making fun of a real incident between Eddie and a transvestite that was making the rounds at the time this episode originally aired.
Delicious Dish also returned for another installment where this time the two NPR talk show foodies drone on about food with John Goodman who played a barbecue expert.
Once again, Norm MacDonald gave us the news. This week, Tracy Morgan dropped in as Dominican Lou to discuss the Deep Blue chess-playing computer that finally got smart enough to beat one of the top human chess players and how Lou wanted to borrow this computer to beat his friend, Felix at checkers. Will Ferrell also got a segment to talk about Ellen DeGeneres’s character coming out of the closet on her show, acting as if he just didn’t get that the real Ellen was gay as well. Though Will could handle the gay talk when he thought the people involved were fictional when he found out the truth he ended up barking all over the set.
Jewel then took to the stage to perform Who Will Save Your Soul?
Will Ferrell and Ana Gasteyer then revised their singing couple characters, The Culps in order to perform a medley of songs for the high school prom.
Cheri Oteri’s prescription pill-popping character, Collette Reardon then made her show debut where she made a trip to the pharmacy to pick up her latest prescription even though it clearly seems that she should be weaned off a drug or two.
Jewel then returned to the stage to perform You Were Meant For Me.
We then got another update on Bill Brasky where this time the mythical man’s friends bragged about his amazing feats while watching their kids’ softball game and drinking in the stands.
Finally, John Goodman closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
I don’t know if my rambling above made it clear whether or not I liked this episode but either way it was pretty fun thanks to moments like these three of my favorites of the night. First, I loved the debut of Cheri Oteri’s Collette Reardon because she’s another crazy character of hers that I love. Next, I really liked Celebrity Jeopardy because it’s a sketch that never seems to fail. Finally, I was a fan of this week’s visit from The Culps because I always like seeing this sing couple.