SNL: S23E20... HOST: DAVID DUCHOVNY... DATE: MAY 9, 1998

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A Surprisingly Fun End To A Season

That Kept Going Back And Forth

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First, a quick recap of my hatred of hour-long scripted TV shows that runs so deep that it continues to affect my television viewing habits to this day. I’ve shared more details in past reviews but in summary, I mainly hate hour-long dramas because the 10:00 in the PM switch between half-hour sit-coms and “shows meant for adults” was the cue for my parents to send me off to bed. As a kid, I was so anti-sleep that it’s probably why I’m an insomniac.

Thanks to this hatred of the hour-long genre, I never really got into the X-Files, even though it seems like a show that I would have absolutely loved at the time. Because of this, I’ve always been more familiar as a comedic actor from his roles in movies like Zoolander or Evolution. Since Dochonvy’s comedy phase didn’t really start until a couple of years after the episode of SNL originally aired, I figured that he might be good but not quite yet the funny he grew to become.

It ended up feeling like my prediction was spot on as far as Duchovny goes, in that he did a great job acting in every sketch but at the same time he didn’t seem confident enough in his comedy to fully let himself go like what I would expect in a post-Zoolander appearance. Luckily, the cast and the writers must have been saving their energy over the past couple weeks in order to end the season strong.

In fact, this episode felt the most like a season finale than any other season closer so far. Yeah, Duchovny might not have been a finale host that I’ve grown to expect but I loved all the cameos that helped to create more of a celebratory environment for both the cast and the crowd to ring in the end of another year. I still can’t believe that the show has gone this long and has still yet to evolve to end the season with a bang but I’m happy to see that the show is finally heading in that direction.

Since this season ended on a strong note, I’m now more excited about the next season to see how they handle the time off. Thankfully, I’m not caught up enough to watch the original airings so I won’t have to wait all that long and may even watch next season’s opener as soon as I finish this post.

We’ll see, but until then, it’s now time for me to shift gears in order to share what I saw, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a parody of The X-Files where Will Ferrell as Janet Reno dropped by to check in on her FBI Agent Fox Mulder and went on to proclaim her love after pretending to be an undercover whistleblower who Mulder thought was a man. The rest of the sketch revolved about Mulder politely trying to turn Reno down. This was followed a quick moment where Reno attack the real Scully when she incidentally entered the room. There was also a quick moment with the mysterious smoking man but I never really got into the X-Files so I didn’t get the joke other than Reno gave up on Mulder in exchange for his nemesis. With this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. David Duchovny then officially opened the show with a monolog he first lied about it being his first time in New York that admitted he was actually from the city and was just lying because of his nerves. He then attempted to perform a song in an attempt to get over his nerves. He had a cheapy guitar in hand and a story about how he had strong memories of his dad buying it for him. When he started to strum the strings, it was obvious that he wasn’t really playing but that didn’t really matter because he quickly dropped his pick into the hole behind the string. After struggling to get the pick back for a few seconds he broke the guitar in a fit of rage while yelling how much he hated his dad. The shattered guitar freed the pick which led Duchovny to happily continue the song while strumming the air and throwing to the first non-opening sketch of the night.
  3. The Spartan Cheerleaders for another segment where this time the cheerleaders got to train at a cheerleading camp hosted by the real Paula Abdul and with David Duchovny as the camp leader who also joined in on the cheers. This was one of those rare Spartan sketches where the Ferrell’s and Oteri’s cheerleading antics were actually encouraged to the point where Duchovny and Abdul joined their two-person team in order to fulfill the four-member requirement in order to officially compete.
  4. TV Funhouse also returned with another installment of The Ambiguously Gay Duo where we got to see more from the inside of their Fortress Of Solitude to find even more hints of their sexual proclivities.
  5. This was followed by another Celebrity Jeopardy segment where this week Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek struggle to wrangle David Duchovny as Jeff Goldblum, Molly Shannon as Minnie Driver and Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery as they did anything but answer the extra simple Celebrity Jeopardy questions.
  6. Puff Daddy & Jimmy Page then took to the stage to perform Come With Me. 
  7. Once again, Colin Quinn gave us the news. This week, Tracy Morgan dropped in as his character Dominican Lou to discuss the Kenneth Starr investigation of Bill Clinton since Lou was a superintendent and had a similar experience in his line of work even though that we quickly learn that the similarities weren’t that similar at all and Lou just wanted to get back at his competition live on the air. Ana Gasteyer also stopped by as her folk singing/comedian character, Cinder Calhoun who sang a song called Unshackle My Leg in protest of pantyhose.
  8. Mango also got another segment where this time Chris Kattan’s mini male stripper character hypnotized David Duchovny with his male stripper moves after saving Mango following a suicidal jump from a bridge.
  9. This was followed by another parody of Oprah where Tim Meadows played the bread-loving host in order to reunite Goat Boy with his long-lost brother who was played by David Duchovny and was named Goat Boy #2. Since the two Goat Boys were both cloned they were technically more than twins and instantly hit it off and even playfully started to butt heads.
  10. This was followed by a fake ad for Interbank which was a parody of a travelers checks ad that promised to not only replace any money that may be stolen while on vacation but they would also send in a SWAT-style team in order to get revenge.
  11. From The Earth To The Area Around The Earth was a sketch that provided parody coverage of the least eventful space shuttle mission that was so routine that it barely struck any public interest at all.
  12. The Go-Lords also got another installment where this week the religious superhero couple took on James Cameron who planned to rule the world with his newly developed Leonardo DiCaprio clones.
  13. The Lost Deep Thoughts wound down the night with another installment where this time Jack Handey pondered a mouse trap style device that would trap babies without killing them but would keep them in the same position until they could be removed.
  14. Finally, David Duchovny closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

As I said up above, this episode was a pretty fun end to a back and forth season and was a definite forth with the help of these three of my favorite moments of the night. First, I love this week’s installment of Celebrity Jeopardy because even though it’s been on several times in the past, this was the segment where Will Ferrell started to play a more agitated Alex Trebek who was feisty out of the gate as opposed to growing annoyed by his guest throughout the sketch. This was also the first time where Darrell Hammond played more of a combative Sean Connery instead of an arrogant celebrity who was just too aloof to follow along. Next, I really liked this week’s Spartan Cheerleader sketch because of how it broke the mold and the two loser cheerleaders were actually accepted by both David Duchovny and Paula Abdul. Finally, I was a fan of the Oprah parody because I know this is the last Jim Breuer episode so having him find his beloved Goat Boy twin was the perfect send off for this very funny man.

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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.