SNL: S23E16... HOST: JULIANNE MOORE... DATE: MARCH 14, 1998

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or...

I Swear I Knew More About Moore

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I started this season with a reoccurring theme about how I feared the cast had fallen into a comfort zone, leading to weaker episodes. It didn’t take long for them to prove me wrong as they most have worked out any bugs that developed over the summer vacation because even though this season hasn’t been quite as good as last years’, it’s turning out to be pretty fun. Now that I’m over that issue, I keep getting hung up on how little I know of these host’s careers.

I’m not talking about people like Roma Downey and Scott Wolf who I don’t even know at all but people like tonight’s host, Julianne Moore who I thought for sure I was more familiar with. I mention this before back when Helen Hunt was the host and I was blown away when I discovered I didn’t see as much of her work as I thought, which is the same exact case with Moore.

With Helen Hunt, I feel that the disconnect between what I know of her resume and what I thought I knew of her resume stemmed from the fact that she was on Mad About You for seven years which made me feel like I was more familiar with her film work since I saw her all the time.

When it comes to Julianne Moore, I feel the same disconnect stems from the fact that her career started to take off right around the time I was working for an art house chain of movie theaters and watched a lot of her work from that period of time but lost track of just how much she continued to work after I lost interest in film a little over a decade ago.

As I mentioned in the past, a combination of spending multiple decades writing screenplays and a little over half of a decade working in the industry doing lighting, the medium lost its magic leading me to lose my obsession to watch everything that’s out there. What I forget is how in my head, I still see myself as a movie buff so I’m often caught off guard by just how much the movie world has moved on without me.

Then again, I’ve still seen at least thirteen of the eighty-six movies that are listed on Julianne Moore’s IMDB page, which isn’t bad, considering many of the movies are indie flicks that are pretty difficult to track down.

Speaking of not bad, that’s the same way that I’d describe tonight’s episode. I feel that the show is starting to slow as the season slides into the last couple of episodes for the year. As usual, just like every season starts a little slow as they work out the bug that developed over the vacation, the show also tends to ease up toward the end of the year when short termer’s disease sets in and the cast a crew start to coast as they ready to start their vacation.

Again, that’s not to say that the episode was bad but there was a definite difference that had nothing to do with the host’s performance since I was entertained throughout the night but nothing felt extra special, just like with this review as I prepare to take the weekend off and continue to build a surplus of content to make the time off appear seamless to any readers.

With that said, let’s get this over with so I can head out and have some fun. In order to do so, it’s now time for me to shift gears in order to move on 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 shared his comments on the Starr Report that shared Kenneth Starr’s findings in his investigation of the Monica Lewinsky Scandal. Though he denies his action, he reads the details of his sexual exploits that are shared in the report with a sense of pride. Toward the end of the address, Will Ferrell broke the scene acting as Kenneth Starr to issue a subpoena to Darrell Hammond as himself since he did Clinton so well. Of course, with this being the opening sketch it also eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Julianne Moore then officially opened the show with a monolog where she shared the fact that she just had a baby, was there to promote The Big Lebowski and was just nominated for an Oscar for her role in Boogie Nights. She went on to share how proud she was to be grouped with the other nominees only to be interrupted by Cheri Oteri as Gloria Stewart who re-enacted her final scene from Titanic in an effort to prove to the audience that she should win the award over our host.
  3. Delicious Dish then returned and this time the droning NPR host interviewed Julianne Moore who played a sorghum expert and throughout the monotone interview, we not only learned her favorite foods but also that her farm compound was actually a front for a cult.
  4. The Ladies Man also returned for another segment where this time Leone Phelps answered some viewer mail before bringing in Julianne Moore to help him answer one of the letters that asked how to be a better lover. Though Leone’s technics get the desired results in these dramatized reenactments, there is no way that any woman would fall for any of Phelps’s move, at least not in these current times.
  5. Then, as Don Pardo attempted to announce next week’s host and musical guest, Will Ferrell interrupted as Kenneth Starr in order to serve one of the band members a subpoena.
  6. We then got our annual parody of the Barbara Walters Oscar Special where this time, Cheri Oteri as Barbara interviewed our host along with a handful of cast members along who did impersonation of celebrities who were nominated for an Oscar that year making fun of Barbara interview style and how she was always shot with a blurry camera filter.
  7. The Lost Deep Thoughts then returned for another installment that started out seeming like a repeat of the one about a young boy wanting to be an acrobat only Jack Handey got interrupted by Will Ferrell as Kenneth Starr and was also served with a subpoena.
  8. Once again, Colin Quinn gave us the news. This week there were no special guests, just Colin Quinn, and the news. Of the anchors so far, I feel that Colin is the best at these nights where the news person goes at it alone to where it still feels like a segment and not just fulfilling a weekly obligation. Not that the others were bad, Colin’s just the best so far at going solo.
  9. Backstreet Boys then took to the stage to perform As Long As You Love Me.
  10. Pretty Living was a parody of a daytime talk show hosted by Juliane Moore and Ana Gasteyer who interviewed Molly Shannon as the “I love it, I love it, I love it,” lady who claimed to be a joyologist and was so filled with joy herself that it could easily be confused as manic.
  11. We then got a fake ad for Heineken that was interrupted by Will Ferrell as Kenneth Starr so that he could serve subpoenas to the beer drinking extras to continue the running gag.
  12. Terence Maddox was a sketch that took place at an art class where Will Ferrell played a nude model that took the gig at the last minute after the original model backed out. Since he is new to the field, he loved being nude but wasn’t all that professional, doing weird things and talking while trying to pose.
  13. TV Funhouse then introduced a segment called Conspiracy Theory Rock which was a School House Rock parody the explained what media-opoly means and how it allows corporations to buy up media outlets in order to control the stories being written about them.
  14. We then got another installment of Good Morning With Liza! This was a parody of a morning show hosted by Molly Shannon as Liza Minelli who first introduced us to her bandleader/new fiancé Captain Montclaire Vanderhausen III played by Tracy Morgan who chimed in with crazy proclamations from time to time as Liza interviewed her guests, Julianne Moore as Gillian Anderson and Chris Kattan as one of Liza’s co-stars from Cabaret.
  15. The Go-Lords also returned for another installment where this time the religious superhero couple saved the day after chaos erupted after Alan Greenspan told investors to be more cautious in order to avoid another recession and the people of Wall Street couldn’t handle this advice. We also learned that all of our financial issues stem from a Canadian plot to ruin the US financial system because they are jealous of our money and think their currency is looked at like a joke.
  16. Shirtless Bible Salesmen had Will Ferrell and Tim Meadows who struggle to sell bibles to a housewife played Julianne Moore, and never once thought to try putting on their shirts in order to make her feel comfortable. It also doesn’t help that they don’t seem to know what’s actually inside the holy book that the two were attempting to sell.
  17. Finally, Julianne Moore closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Though this is another episode that won’t top any of my overall lists, I didn’t find it to be rather fun thanks to sketches like these that contained my three favorite sketches of the night. First, I loved Conspiracy Theory Rock because I thought it was a brilliant look at the problems of the media-opoly that came with the broadcasting deregulation that was going on at the time. Next, I really liked the Terence Maddox: Nude Model sketch because if a naked and disheveled Will Ferrell wasn’t funny enough, his crazy ramblings literally had me laughing out loud. Finally, I was a fan of the Shirtless Bible Salesmen sketch because it was so random while still being funny.

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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.