SNL: S24E16... HOST: DREW BARRYMORE... DATE: MARCH 20, 1999

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or...

A Nice Night With An Older Gertie

I’m kind of surprised that it took so long for Drew Barrymore to come back to the show as the host consider that since her last visit as a little kid to promote the more E.T. It’s not like her career fell into a slump. Granted, her work prior to this visit was prior to the point where she swapped over to be mostly known for her comedic roles but she did work for Lorne several years before this visit due to her cameo in Wayne’s World 2.

Not that it matters because even if she did host more often, it would have nothing to do with tonight. Since she was on the show to promote The Wedding Singers, I expected this to be a fun one but, since she was more of a love interest than a comedy source in that film, I figured the night would be closer to average than the last several episodes that I’ve watched.

Though I have high hope for Drew’s future appearance based on this episode, I found this episode to be more pleasant and fun instead of being a show that got me to laugh out loud. That said, I’ll take a pleasant fun show any night over the show from this season that I felt had let me down. I actually really like the tone of the night almost how I like over-the-top comedies like Old School more but I’ll also never pass up a funny looking rom-com.

Tonight’s episode was totally the SNL version of a rom-com. Though I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it was the first, I would say it’s the first time that I’ve looked at it with that perspective rather than saying something like, “It was fun but the problem was, it was more cute than funny.” I think, overall, I use “the problem was,” way too much when pointing out differences that don’t really bother me when it comes to shows that don’t make the top of any of my favorites lists.

Now that I’ve finally put my finger on why I don’t like my own use of “the problem is,” I’m going to try to be more conscious when I find that I want to use these words because I feel the problem is, using “the problem is,” makes me sound too wishy-washy instead of seeming confident in my own views since I also usually going on to defend the problem that I bring up.

Well, there you have a bit of a behind the curtain look at my effort to find my blogging voice and now that I’ve shared that with you, it’s time for me to share what I actually viewed, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a parody of the Academy Awards Pre-Show that had Ana Gasteyer as Joan Rivers who literally morphed into a demon as she pestered celebrities who were walking the red carpet about the clothing that they were wearing and her daughter Melissa vapidly chimed in as well, from time to time. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Drew Barrymore then officially opened the show with a monolog that started with the usual host pleasantries and then, after she shared a clip from her first appearance from when she hosted as a tiny kid. After the clip, Barrymore sang a song about the wild Hollywood lifestyle and long career since she was practically born into the biz.
  3. Jeopardy! then returned for another parody where this week, Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek had to wrangle Drew Barrymore as Calista Flockhart, Jimmy Fallon as Nicolas Cage and last but not least, Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery since everyone struggled to follow the show.
  4. We then went to a Banana Republic where Drew Barrymore and Chris Kattan played sweater folding employees who panicked when Horatio Sanz came in as a customer who stubbornly refused to reply to their greeting of, “How are you doing?” Based on the employees’ reactions, you would think that this unwillingness to answer was a violent threat that led Kattan to put the store on lockdown as they continued to try and get a response.
  5. This was followed by another parody of VH1: Behind the Music that highlighted the ups and downs of Drew Barrymore and, special guest, Edward Norton who played Captain and Tennille and shared how the Sgt. Pepper album inspired the creation of the band since Sergeant is similar to Captain only with a touch of a different look.
  6. The How Do You Say? Ah Yes, Show brought us another segment of the Antonio Banderas talk show where this time Drew Barrymore played the host’s wife Melanie Griffith who tried to act as sexy as she could to capture the attention of her husband since he was so preoccupied with himself. Apparently, this sketch got Chris Kattan into just a little bit of trouble due to a last minute decision where he decided to glue hair to his leg to make it look like his pubes were so think that he couldn’t cover them with his undershorts.
  7. TV Funhouse then gave us another installment of Fun With Real Audio where this time, Robert Smigel animated the announcement of an obscure technical lifetime achievement award that was given out during the Oscars. Then again, I’m willing to bet that this was a much bigger honor that I’m giving it credit for since I didn’t recognize the name of the recipient.
  8. Once again, Colin Quinn gave us the news. This week, Bill Clinton dropped by in order to encourage his wife to run for Senate in an effort to free up some time for himself. Chris Kattan also got a segment where he attempted to interpret Cher’s new song, Believe. My head almost exploded when I type the words, “new song, Believe,” considering the fact that it’s almost been two decades since this song was considered a hit.
  9. Garbage then took to the stage to perform Special.
  10. Dog Show also got another segment with Will Ferrell and Molly Shannon as public access show hosts who have real dogs all over the set. I’m not a huge fan of this series because most of the humor depends on how well the dogs are behaving and it’s only funny when they’re behaving badly. Unfortunately, the dogs all stuck to the script but it was pretty interesting to watch through modern eyes considering Drew Barrymore played a female to male crossdresser who Will Ferrell found cute because he was gay, and Tim Meadow play a male to female crossdresser and in the end, Drew Barry made out with Molly Shannon. For the time I was kind of surprised that no one was treated like a freak. In fact, I was kind of impressed how they handled the whole situation which makes me miss the days when we used to be able to joke about our differences without it being considered offensive.
  11. VH1: Behind the Music then returned for the second time of the night so that Chris Parnell could portray Def Leppard drummer, Rick Allen imposter but struggle to pull it off since he failed to hide what should have been a missing arm.   
  12. Terrence Maddox And Lucy took us to another art class where Will Ferrell returned as his disheveled nude model character for what started to be the same old same old until Drew Barrymore joined him as Lucy, his disheveled girlfriend who joined her naked man on the stage and the two attempted to work through their relationship issues.
  13. Garbage then returned to the stage to perform When I Grow Up.
  14. VH1: Behind the Music then returned for installment number three and this time Will Ferrell played Fred Schneider from the B52s in order to admit that he named all of their hit songs by simply mashing random odd words together.
  15. Finally, Drew Berrymore closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

As I said up above, this episode turned out to be the SNL version of a rom-com that was more cute and fun without having to go over the top but I still really enjoyed it with the help of these three of my favorite moments of the night. First, I loved the Banana Republic republic sketch because it reminded me of my days working retail where management always seemed to harp on how important it is to greet the customer when most people just want to shop. Next, I really liked this week’s Dog Show sketch, which was a surprise to me since I have yet to enjoy a sketch from this series but this one was impressively progressive in the way that it handled gender and sexuality. Finally, I was a fan of Terrence Maddox And Lucy because as many times as I’ve seen it in a sketch, a naked Will Ferrell continues to crack me up, plus it really solidified my new rom-com outlook toward the softer episodes of SNL.

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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.