SNL: S24E03... HOST: LUCY LAWLESS... DATE: OCTOBER 17, 1998

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or...

Enter The Era Of Y2K!!!

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For whatever reason, I never really got into the fantasy genre with wizard, warlocks, and whatnot. I only saw the first Lord Of The Rings because it was part of the AFI Top 100 Movies Of All Time list that I watched and reviewed as part of another project. I’ve also never seen The Game Of Thrones and don’t really have an interest. Because of this, I also never really got into the show Xena: Warrior Princess, which is too bad because I’ve always found Lucy Lawless to be an interesting person on any interview show that I’ve ever seen her on.

Unfortunately, it appears that she got pigeon-holed by this role because looking at her resume, a bulk of her work falls into the fantasy genre, which is why I don’t know more of her work then interviews and cameos. I’m sure it’s not unfortunate for her because it looks like she has a pretty productive career. I just like her so I wish there she had more work that I might watch her in.

From what little I do know of Lucy Lawless, I always thought that she had a good sense of humor, so I wasn’t all that worried about tonight’s episode. Surprisingly, this show makes two in a row where my expectations to be entertained didn’t end up leaving me feeling like I’ve been let down. That’s not to say that it was the best show I’ve ever seen, but I don’t really have much to complain about.

The one thing that I did notice was how much I love the new Tim Meadows who seemed to start developing a more wild approach to his character work instead of mainly playing the level-headed black guy like he has in the past. Don’t get me wrong, I like these old, calmer, characters but I love Tim Meadows even more now that he’s added this crazy aspect to his comedic toolbox.

As for the subtitle of this review, I’m not going to delve too deep into the Y2K scare at this time other than to point out that tonight’s episode contained the show’s first joke about the upcoming doomsday fear. This joke took place during the news and was kind of just mentioned in passing since this was still way before all of the panic and fear. I’m sure once the fear-based jokes start to slide in, I’ll share more of my views on the subject because it was a fun time to be young and reckless.

Until then, it’s now time for me to move on from sharing my thoughts that were inspired by the episode and share what I actually saw, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a parody of NBC News Special Report where Chris Parnell took over the Tom Brokaw impersonation and had on Will Ferrell, Darrell Hammond and Cheri Oteri played arrogant Republicans Henry Hyde, Jesse Helms and Mary Bono as his guests in order to share how confused they were that America still seemed to love Bill Clinton even though he was on the verge of being impeached. This confusion makes the guest more aggressive in sharing their plans for America once the Republicans are back in command. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Lucy Lawless then officially opened the show with a monolog where she got a cheer from the crowd by mentioning a Yankees win and then went on to promote Xena, only to be interrupted by a very young Jimmy Fallon who asked her about being a lesbian. This led to a line of lesbian-themed questions from the audience about the sexual preference of both Lucy Lawless as herself and her as Xena: Warrior Princess. This included a quick question from Tina Fey, who was still a non-performing writer at the time this originally aired.
  3. This was followed by a fake ad for Shirt In A Can which was pretty much just spray paint that allowed users to quickly cover themselves with color in order to solve any wardrobe issues that may arise. One of the selling points is how the burning sensation of the spray is what lets you know that it’s working.
  4. We then got another parody of Judge Judy with Cheri Oteri as the Judge and Tracy Morgan as her trusty bailiff/sidekick. This week’s case, once again, had Ana Gasteyer as the defendant and this time she was getting sued by Lucy Lawless for not paying for her services after discovering that Lawless was a stripper clown who was completely inappropriate for her son’s birthday party. The sketch went right up until Cheri Oteri was going to give her verdict when the real Judge Judy broke the scene in order to shut Cheri down and give a verdict of her own. As always, Judge Judy sided with the plaintiff even though it was completely clear that Lawless was in the wrong.
  5. The History Of Presidential Scandal was a parody profile sketch that shared a few legitimate scandals from our presidential past, ending on a fictional scandal where they claimed Andrew Johnson had sex with a bird.
  6. This was followed by a parody of MSNBC: White House In Crisis where a collection of female MSNBC reporters who handled the Clinton/Lewinski scandal with a slumber party mentality, spreading gossip and talking trash instead of strictly sticking to the news.
  7. TV Funhouse the returned with another installment of Fun With Real Audio where this time Robert Smigel animated a segment from the Howard Stern radio show where Howard criticized the SNL while offering suggestions on easy it would be to fix it since he used to be a fan since it was a bit of a friendly feud.
  8. Stevie Nicks' Fajita Roundup had Lucy Lawless play Stevie Nicks in order to sing parodies of Stevie’s songs that promoted her new fictional Fajita themed restaurant.
  9. The How Do You Say, Ah Yes, Show was a talk show where Chris Kattan played sexy host, Antonio Banderas who had to fight through his accent in order to interview Lucy Lawless as an author who was there to promote her latest book about Lyme Disease.
  10. The History of Presidential Scandal then returned for another installment where this time they jumped straight to the point as it claimed Lyndon B. Johnson’s Mexican whores’ nickname for the leader was El B.J. instead of L.B.J.
  11. Once again, Colin Quinn gave us the news. This week, Colin Quinn almost got stabbed twice after falling for the doll Chucky from Child Play’s attempts to sneak in as a commentator in order to share his views about the Lewinski affair. The second stabbing almost came when Chucky returned disguised as Dominican Lou in order to talk about the World Series since the puppet was there to promote his new movie, The Bride Of Chucky.
  12. Elliot Smith then took to the stage to perform Waltz #2.
  13. We then got another parody of Biography where Darrell Hammond played the drunken host who was drinking because the show has already covered the greats which meant that he now was stuck narrating the life of Puff Daddy.
  14. This was followed by the return of Terrance Maddox where once again, Will Ferrell’s homeless looking character stood in as a nude model for an art class and went on to creep the students out while they attempted to work.
  15. Goth Talk also returned after a bit of a hiatus and this time the two gothic cable access hosts celebrated the opening of a brand new gothic boutique and had on Lucy Lawless as their guest because she was the store owner.
  16. The Culps were the final set of reoccurring characters to return and this time the singing instructing duo performed a medley of pop songs at the World Series.
  17. Finally, Lucy Lawless closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

Once again, we have another year that’s started out with three strong episode which is a great way to kick off a year. Tonight’s episode was pretty fun with the help of these three sketches that contained my favorite sketches of the night. First, I loved Terrance Maddox Returns because there is just something hilarious about a homeless nude model who keeps creeping out art students while they try to draw his junk. Next, I really liked seeing Chuck on the news because it always makes me laugh where the SNL cast has to deal with puppets or cartoons, plus I loved how Chucky tried to impersonate Dominican Lou. Finally, I was a fan of Stevie Nicks' Fajita Roundup because who doesn’t like jokes about celebrity-themed restaurants?

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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.