And… Back To Average For The Finale
As I said when Sarah Michelle Gellar first hosted the show, I was a fan of the Buffy movie but I never got into the show. That’s not to say that I never liked, I just never gave it a shot due to my disinterest in hour-long TV shows. Otherwise, other than pop culture references and maybe a couple of her smaller roles, S.M.G. wasn’t on my radar until much more recently when I watched and reviewed her film Southland Tales once a week for an entire year.
Between the fact that this movie came much later in Gellar’s career and I was only half impressed by her last visit, I was expecting the same results tonight with maybe a few minor improvements considering her last visit was just one year ago. Unfortunately, I was correct for the most part but, as usual, I didn’t really feel that the host was to blame.
In this case, it was more of a timing thing since the first half of the night highlighted how we used to just laugh at the sexual harassment in Hollywood. I mean, they didn’t even take the time to write Sarah a half monolog for her to be interrupted, which was a popular joke this year. Instead of her getting halfway through her intro like most other hosts this year, Gellar was only allowed to say hello before the cavalcade of cast members who all had a reason why they thought she wanted to hook up the last time she dropped by for a visit.
Yeah, this was kind of funny since both men and women were involved in hitting on our host and Gellar didn’t seem against but then the next couple of sketches carried on with this lecherous theme, with hints at a male manager who was inappropriate with his young clientele, and the Zimmermans who do nothing but shock the audience by making out with open mouths in aggressive displays of affection.
For whatever reason, I don’t mind raunchy jokes when they are told but when seen as acted out interactions, I can be a bit of a prude. That is unless I’m watching a dark comedy or drama or any case where it might make more sense, but I’ve never liked seeing lechery on late-night sketch comedy shows.
This is the main reason that I’ve never been a huge fan of the hot host. It’s not jealousy when it comes to men or me not finding good looking women to be funny, it’s because most of them are either given or resort to these types of joke. No, I’m often more disappointed that these hot host shows usually resort to sexual harassment to get laugh since, sadly, they do help with the writing and most people write what they know.
I think this was because I was mainly raised by women with no real male influence. That combined with my childhood love of offensive comedy, led to this strange blend where I can be both crash and prude depending on how real things become. Other than my issues with those few sketches, I thought the rest of the night was pretty fun but still didn’t live up to the quality that I’d expect from a season finale.
I kind of felt that this episode fit better in the middle of the season when I thought the entire season would max out at tonight’s level of show. Then again, this episode did start out okay, then lose my interest a bit only to win me back at the end, matching my feels toward the season as a whole so maybe it’s a more fitting finale than I thought. Oh well, we’ll see what happens next year. Until then, it’s time for me to shift gears in order to share what I saw, as I give you…
The Wicker Breakdown:
- This week's show started with the Culps Graduation Medley where Will Ferrell and Ana Gasteyer returned as the singing instructing Culps who sang a medley of popular songs in the singing instructor style in order to honor the graduating class of 1999. If the two musicians weren’t quirky enough, this time they were a little extra out of it due to the drugs from a recent car accident that put them both in neck braces. This information about the accident ended up playing into their song choices since neither seemed more out or their mind than usual. Of course, with this being the opening sketch it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
- Sarah Michelle Gellar then officially opened the show with a monolog about how happy she was back to be hosting the season finally before she could get any further past the host pleasantries, Chris Kattan interrupted to remind Sarah Michelle that she promised to hook up with him the last time she was on. She quickly but politely turned down Kattan’s advances and then went back to her monolog before Tim Meadows, and then Molly Shannon both interrupted and went on to try to pick up on Gellar as well. It seemed like they were going to stop at the rule of three before the rest of the cast along with a few writers, attempted to hit on Sarah as well. I’d like to say that this routine is no longer funny in the age of the #MeToo movement but thanks to my lecherous grandpa, I didn’t even like these jokes back then.
- Tiger Beat's Ultra Super Duper Dreamy Love Show was a teen talk show that our host along with all of the female members of the cast acted as teens in order to talk about boys and current pop culture trends. Although all of the girls exaggerated their energy to match the enthusiasm of girls that age, except for Ana Gasteyer who wanted her crushes to leave with her in order to join a cult. Darrell Hammond was their guest who played the manager of Seth Green, David Boreanaz, and Howie D., from tonight’s musical guest the Backstreet Boys. Darrell surprised the girl by having his three clients on as his present for having him on and the three men joined the scene as themselves. From this point on the joke was that the boys were a bit bashful and ashamed while hinting that their manager struggled to keep his hands to himself, which again seems a bit weird considering what’s going on in the news about the Hollywood elite.
- Chris Kattan and Cheri Oteri then returned as The Zimmermans in order to make Chris Parnell and Sarah Michelle Gellar uncomfortable with their public displays of affection only to get offended when they get called out. The only difference this time was that they were in a log cabin and this time it was Gellar who miss read the signs and attempted to join in when usually it’s the other guy in the scene who gets hot and bothered by all of the action. Then again, Chris Parnell became the bad guy in the end by pulling down his pants to highlight how ridiculous everyone else was being, with no intention of joining in.
- Get On The Bag! took us to a little league field where several members of the cast played parents to the kids on the field. At first, everything started out pleasant as the parents tried to make small talk, until Will Ferrell started freaking out and yelling at his son to, “Get on the bag,” whenever he felt his son was taking too far of a lead off of first. This led to a bunch of tension in the audience as everyone sat nervously waiting for Will’s next outburst that got more and more aggressive with each and every pitch.
- TV Funhouse then introduced a new segment called Unsold Cartoon Pilot Shack where Robert Smigel shared a fictional cartoon of his that didn’t sell. The cartoon being featured this week was The Ginsburg Gang that used this children’s show defend the real Ginsburg’s actions in the media during the Clinton affair.
- Shame Attack was a parody of an MTV game show that had Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jimmy Fallon as the hosts who allowed contestants who once dated and ability to air their dirty laundry for a chance to win the grand prize.
- Backstreet Boys then took to the stage to perform I Want It That Way.
- Once again, Colin Quinn gave us the news. This week, Cheri Oteri as Amy Fisher dropped in to discuss her plans since she was recently released from jail for shooting Mary Jo Buttafuoco in the head. Tim Meadows as Billy Dee Williams also got a spot where he shared his review of the sneak preview he watched of Star Wars: Episode One since the movie was coming out in a couple week while the show was off on vacation. His main finding was that it sucked but mainly because he wasn’t in it since this was before he could have known about the actual flaws.
- Dusty's Love was a parody of ‘70s movies that was the featured film for a TV matinee show. This meant that the movie was bad enough that the TV station could afford to pay off the licensing agreement which was why most of these movies were weird. In the parody film, Sarah Michelle Gellar was a blind girl who lived on a farm and fell in love with Horatio Sanz who was half human half unicorn. To add to the surrealness of the sketch Will Ferrell also played John Denver whose opaque head would pop up from time to time to provide the movie’s soundtrack.
- Nickelodeon Press Conference had Horatio Sanz as Rosie O’Donnell close out the Nickelodeon Award show. We then went backstage where the host and the cast went on to answer kid journalist questions for the award show press conference. Though all of the adults in the scene acted extremely immature, the kids asking the questions acted like adults.
- Holding Your Own Boobs Magazine was a fake ad for a new magazine devoted to nothing but a photo of, as the title suggests, women holding this own boobs, making fun of the classic magazine pose.
- Backstreet Boys then returned to the stage to perform All I Have To Give.
- Brian Fellow's Safari Planet then made its show debut where Brian Fellow switched from his position as a sports commentator on Weekend Update for this new role as an animal expert who knows absolutely nothing about nature (keep in mind that the sport commentating history had nothing to do with the sketch.)
- Finally, Sarah Michelle Gellar closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
As I said up above, I wasn’t a huge fan of the first half of the show but I did end up really liking the second half thanks to sketches like these that contained my three favorite sketches of the night. First, I loved The Debut Of Brian Fellow's Safari Planet because even though it was a bit of a weak intro, Brian Fellow might be my favorite SNL character of all time, so I have to have his non-sports debut top my list. Next, I really liked Holding Your Own Boobs which might sound like it goes against what I said above in my review, but I see this as a joke based on fashion and modeling where the rules are still blurred between women showing their beauty and being treated like a piece of me and I remember how the pose being parodied was so shocking back then but now with the internet, it’s nowhere close to being obscene. Finally, I was a fan of Dusty's Love, not because it was good but because it was weird enough to be list-worthy.