SNL: S24E07... HOST: JENNIFER LOVE HEWITT... DATE: NOVEMBER 21, 1998

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Hewitt The Half-Used Host

Just yesterday I was pointing out how I really like Joan Allen as the host even though I didn’t really know who she was. I really liked how she was still actively involved in almost every sketch, holding her own as an actress even after pointing out herself that she had very little experience acting in comedy. This is why I was a bit disappointed by this episode because I’m actually aware of this week’s host, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and felt she was under-utilized.

Granted, I mainly know Hewitt from Can’t Hardly Wait and random interviews where she’s always seemed to have a funny side that was barely used during this episode at all. I mean, she wasn’t in the opening sketch, but that’s pretty common since the host usually holds off for Don Pardo to call them to the stage for their monolog to make the big reveal.

Hewitt was also missing from the first official non-opening sketch, which was weird because they could have easily fit her into the sketch considering it featured The Ladies Man. Then again, she probably would have been used as a good looking prop for Leon Phelps to act against which would have ruined a later sketch where they did exactly that when they had her on as a hot guest for the Antonio Banderas’s fictional talk show where Chris Kattan as Banderas did nothing but attempt to sexually assault Jennifer Love.

Following The Ladies Man was a fake ad for a fake album where Hewitt sang as Jewel for about ten seconds before never being seen again. This was followed by the above mentioned Antonio Banderas sketch, which I never like the lecherous humor of even back in the day. Next, she played a pregnant lady who did nothing but lay in bed while The Spartan Cheerleaders did all of the heavy lifting.

Next, we had and TV Fun House segment, the news, and a performance by The Beastie Boys which all had nothing to do with our host. It wasn’t until the tenth segment of the night where Jennifer Love Hewitt was fully involved in a sketch but even then, she was playing second fiddle to Molly Shannon as Mary Katherine Gallagher. After that, she played an executive who was a contestant in a game show sketch where she got more air time but was still the straight person for both Tim Meadows and Will Ferrell to play off of without ever really getting any funny lines of her own.

The Beastie Boys returned after this sketch meaning one more segment without our host at all and then the show got to the final sketch of the night which didn’t feature our host at all but we did see her one more time when she closed out the show by saying her goodnights.

As I said up above, other than Can’t Hardly Wait all that I know of Jennifer Love Hewitt is her appearances on talk shows during promotional tours. In fact, I even thought that she hosted before when I almost started this review the same way I started to explain my familiarity with Sarah Michelle Gellar since the two were in I Know What You Did Last Summer together and both acted in pretty big shows, that I’ve never even seen in passing.

My complaint isn’t that they didn’t do more with someone who I knew for sure had it in them to do a better job but my hopes were high that they would treat Jennifer Love Hewitt as more than a hot host to be used in the background or as a prop for the ugly cast members to fawn over because she seems more than just that from what I’ve seen of her work. Then again, maybe I’m just giving her more comedic credit than she deserves simply because her smile is a smile triggers images of a funny person since she seems a bit mischievous with those squinty smiling eyes.

Even though I wasn’t a fan of this episode, I’d still be down for another Jennifer Love Hewitt appearance since I still see comedic potential because both the energy and enthusiasm was there whenever we got glimpses of Hewitt as herself.

Oh well, we’ll see if that happens but until then it’s time for a second recap of this episode, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a recreation of a Lewinsky/Tripp Phone Chat where they claimed to use an expert to analyze the ambient sounds during a recorded phone conversation between Molly Shannon as Monica Lewinski and John Goodman as Linda Tripp in order to recreate what the two were actually doing while they talked. It turned out they both mainly ate while talking about the Clinton affair. At one point, Tripp made a visit to the bathroom but for the most part, all of the humor came from all of the eating going on which feels like a cheap joke even for the time. As always, with this being the opening sketch the overeating kept going all the way up to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Jennifer Love Hewitt then officially opened the show with a monolog about how excited she was to host and then went on to open up about a rumored feud between her and one of her co-stars. I’m not sure who the real co-star being referenced was but for the joke, it turned out to be the killer from I Know What You Did Last Summer, which I can only assume was playing against expectations. Either way, the two went on to sing Don’t Go Breaking My Heart as a duet.
  3. The Ladies Man then returned for another installment where this time Leon Phelps wished a Happy Skanksgiving to all of his fans before taking a couple of calls. During one of the calls, he goes on to explain that Skanksgiving is a day where all the lonely ladies, who are under two-hundred and fifty pounds are welcome to celebrate with The Ladies Man.
  4. This was followed by a fake ad for an album called More Duets That Prove That I Am The Best Singer In The World where Ana Gasteyer as Celine Dion tried to display her dominance on her latest self-indulgent album.
  5. The How Do You Say? Ah Yes, Show then returned for another installment where once again they pretty much just made fun of “host,” Antonio Banderas’s accent while he tried to sexually assault Jennifer Love Hewitt who he had on as her guest.
  6. The Spartans also returned for another installment where this time the cheerleaders worked as candy strippers at the local hospital and struggled to hold back from performing the perfect cheer while Jennifer Love Hewitt tried to deliver her child.
  7. TV Funhouse then brought us another installment of The Ambiguously Gay Duo where this week the two homoerotic heroes answered some viewer main and gave ambiguously gay answers to the blatantly gay letters being read.
  8. Once again, Colin Quinn gave us the news. This week there were no special guests, just Colin Quinn, and the news.
  9. The Beastie Boys took to the stage to perform Three MC's And One DJ.
  10. Clean Teen Deodorant Spokesperson Search brought the return of Mary Katherine Gallagher who tried out to be the spokesperson against Cheri Oteri, Horatio Sanz, and Jennifer Love Hewitt. All of the finalists are neurotic spazzes except for Jennifer Love who would have been a hands-down winner if this were real but after ruling out Oteri and Sanz, JLH and MKG had to participate in a talent contest where Mary Katherine did a monolog and destroyed the entire set in the process which also caused her to sweat and stink which is want the producers wanted over Love Hewitt who openly admitted that she naturally smells like vanilla.
  11. Let's Make This Happen! was a game show sketch where contestants pitched their crazy movie ideas to Tim Meadows as the host who then got to decide which project he wanted to greenlight.
  12. The Beastie Boys then returned to the stage to perform Sabotage.
  13. Saddam's Private Bunker had Will Ferrell as the evil dictator who tried to stop the U.N. inspectors from searching his personal bunker, more because he was afraid that they’d find out he was a freak because of the things that he own since he had no weapons to hide but his misplaced fears did nothing but make him look guilty.
  14. Finally, Jennifer Love Hewitt closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights. 

As I said up above, I wasn’t a fan of this episode because of the under-use of the host which made it hard for me to come up with my three favorite moments of the night, but here’s what I managed to come with. First, I loved Saddam's Private Bunker because I like the idea of how this evil dictator still had teenage fears over the weird things that might be found in his room when the U.N. weapons inspectors arrived to check out his personal hiding space. Next, I really liked the monolog when the killer from I Know What You Did Last Summer was the punchline to a misdirecting joke not only because it was a funny bait and switch set up but I also like how the two made up by singing Don’t Go Breaking My Heart. Finally, I was a fan of Ace And Gary Answer View Mail because The Ambiguously Gay Duo continues to crack me up to this day.

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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.