SNL: S23E15... HOST: SCOTT WOLF... DATE: MARCH 7, 1998

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Party Of Five From New York…

It was just earlier this week that I pointed out that Roma Downey might have been the first host where I haven’t seen a single project from her resume. I was impressed to be able to go so long without this ever being the case. Even in the early days when there were hosts that I was unfamiliar with, I would find that they had small roles in movies that were very familiar to me. She was the first time that this wasn’t the case and tonight was almost the second.

Just like how I didn’t know Roma from My Seventh Heaven, I’ve never seen Scott Wolf in Party Of Five. In fact, if I didn’t see the movie Go, this would be another case of not knowing the host at all. However, unlike with Roma who I don’t even remember from promotional interviews, I feel I remember Wolf as a talk show guest, plus there was a point where I had a celebrity crush on Neve Campbell, as I pointed out when she was the host, so I sure that I’ve seen him in several clips while she was out promoting their work because he’s not completely unfamiliar to me.

With that said, I feel that the lack of a connection to his work combined with the passage of time made this episode feel just average where I feel if there were more familiarity I might have found it to be good. I added the passage of time in my excuse for the perceived difference in quality because as we get closer to modern times there are going to be plenty of hosts who I will have absolutely no idea who they are but the references won’t be as outdated so my connection with the host will be less important in the overall experience.

Also, keep in mind that this perceived drop in quality that I’m talking about wasn’t a difference that dropped it from good to bad, I just think I would have liked it a tad bit more if there was more of a connection. As it is, I’d I found that I didn’t really need to already know the host because the Party Of Five sketch might have been my favorite of the night because it didn’t require any knowledge of the show and it still got me to laugh out loud.

If I was smarter, I would have created a scoring system so I would have to stumble through explanations of what I mean by good. Then again, for less interesting shows these rambling attempts to explain the realm of just slightly above average make up a bulk of the content. Either way, I’m learning while doing what I love, which is always a good way to be.

So, now that I’ve shared a few of my views, it’s 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 Larry King Live with Norm MacDonald as Larry King who had on Darrell Hammond as Bill Clinton to defend his building collection of scandal accusations. This turned out to be harder for Bubba to handle than he expected considering the fact that there were sixteen accusers all chiming in via satellite and who all tried to talk at the same time. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Scott Wolf then officially opened the show with a monolog by letting us know that I lot of people often say that he reminds them of Tom Cruise. He then went on to say that he was excited to host because it brought him back to the East Coast, close to his childhood home in Jersey. This triggered Jim Breuer, Darrell Hammond, and Cheri Oteri, who played a group of Jersey-born audience members, to keep pestering our host with local slang throughout the rest of his monolog. I thought for sure the Tom Cruise reference would come up as a taunt but that ended up going nowhere.
  3. Mary Katherine Gallagher then returned for another segment where this time the nervous Catholic school girl started her first day as a waitress at the local TGIFriday’s. Her job for the night was to shadow Scott Wolf as her trainer only to end up failing miserably and losing the job after falling through a table full of food.
  4. The Celine Dion Show was the parody of a fictional show hosted by the self-proclaimed best singer in the world. Ana Gasteyer played the Canadian diva who hosted the show as a front in order to show dominance over other divas who she has on as her guest. This week’s guest was Mariah Carey as played by Cheri Oteri who shared her new song which led the host diva to try to one-up her guest until she got frustrate and left. Tim Meadows also dropped by as Erykah Badu and the visit ended with the results.
  5. We then got a Party Of Five parody preview of the upcoming episode where the Salinger family from the show was completely caught off guard by the presence of a black man being on the show. The black man in question was Tracy Morgan who kept acting as if he was a member of the family but they are too worried about coming across as racist so they just let it play out. After a while, the family did eventually build to ask who Tracy was which just led him to shrug his shoulders and then run away.
  6. Once again, Colin Quinn gave us the news. This week, Jim Breuer dropped in as the heavy metal singer, Gunner Olsen in order to perform a song to help the youth wrap their heads around current events.
  7. Natalie Imbruglia then took to the stage to perform Torn.
  8. The 3rd Annual Reenactment Awards was a parody of an award show that was hosted by Robert Stack who handed out awards to actors who performed in reenactments in made-for-TV movies and true-crime shows.
  9. The Spartan Cheerleaders then returned for another installment where this week the cheerleading weirdos just finished watching Titanic for the eightieth time and were so obsessed with the experience that they cheered in the theater lobby as the waited to watch it again. After a few cheers, they had a run in with Scott Wolf who was playing himself and was sad that they stopped sending him fan letters ever since they discovered their new favorite flick. That’s all that it took to win back the cheerleaders which then got them cheer for our host.  
  10. Issues then returned for another installment where Jim Bruere brought back the pot-obsessed host who teamed up with Scott Wolf, who played his nervous, straight-laced cousin who got high for the very first time. The two then attempted to interview a representative from the library about an upcoming charitable event but it didn’t get far because the two were stoned out of their mind.
  11. The Lost Deep Thoughts also returned for another installment where this week Jack Handey pondered the worst thing that about having King Kong walk down your street.
  12. Troubadour was a sketch that had Scott Wolf and Chris Kattan as two guitar-playing Troubadours who were both trying to woo a group of co-ed from opposite sides of the campus courtyard with covers of classic ‘70s tunes.
  13. We then got a fake ad for Breath Spray Plus which was breath spray with the “Plus” meaning mace where users could easily take advantage of either use with the flick of a switch only the switch setting are so complex that it’s a gamble as to which one you will get every time you use it.
  14. Finally, Scott Wolf then closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

As I said up above, even though I barely know the host of this episode, I still found it to be pretty good with the help of sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I love the Party Of Five parody not only because I loved how Tracy Morgan randomly ended up on the show but I love the joke where when he got caught he simply shrugged his shoulders, and started to run. Next, I really liked the Issues sketch because Jim Breuer and Scott Wolf both played really good stoners. Finally, I was a fan of Mary Katherine Gallagher’s first day working at TGIFriday’s because this character always cracks me up and it’s been a while since she’s been on.

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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.