SNL: S25E01... HOST: JERRY SEINFELD... DATE: OCTOBER 2, 1999

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or...

The First SNL Sign Of President Trump

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I can’t believe that it’s taken me a year and a quarter to get through a quarter decade of the show but here we are. Though I’m continually surprised by the fact that the show has yet to do something more special the start to a new year, I do feel that these season intros are starting to get stronger than shows from decades past when you could always sense at least some of the vacation rust.

This episode was fun from beginning to end especially considering that the opening sketch was the very first time that the show even joked that Trump would at least run for president. To make this sketch even better, the premise was that Ross Perot was looking for someone crazier than him to run his Reform Party. This allowed Darrell Hammond as our current President to share his wacky platform that doesn’t seem all that far off from reality.

I was also blown away by the fact that this visit from Seinfeld was following the end of the Seinfeld show. That really blew me away because part of me feels like Seinfeld ended way more recently than ’99 due to its never-ending life in syndication to where I still watch the show whenever I see that it’s on.

Working through the logic, I realized that the Seinfeld gang never had to handle dealing with 9/11 which would be impossible for them to ignore considering the show’s connection to New York. This led me to realize how 9/11 is pretty much my B.C./A.D. turning point that I turn to in order to gauge how old things are where a couple years before the events an a couple of years after being a little blurry.

Thankfully, I still have two more seasons to go before the topic of 9/11 will become unavoidable for a while so I will switch gears and get back to sharing my thoughts on the night. My favorite part of this episode was how they went to the set of the show Oz and had all of the actors portray their characters in a spin-off of the Seinfeld finale showing Jerry’s life in jail. Even though I’ve only seen Oz a couple of times, this was probably the best mash-up parody so far in the history of the show so far because of how everyone stayed completely in character so that the situation was the driving force of the humor instead of the impersonations.

Finally, I just loved how this episode was strong enough to get me excited about the rest of the season, which, I know, I say all the time. So, now that I’ve shared a few thoughts, it’s now time to move on and share what I saw, as I give you.  

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started at Ross Perot's Reform Party headquarters where we got our very first SNL reference to Trump as a potential President as Darrell Hammond impersonated him in order to pitch why he would be a better replacement over Pat Buchanan for Ross Perot’s open spot as the Reform Party’s candidate. Perot felt that the problem was that the people of America wanted a president EVEN MORE NUTTY than him, which led both Trump and Buchanan to feel like they were a perfect fit, until Will Ferrell as Jesse “The Body” Ventura burst through the door to inform everyone that he was the perfect fit if America really wanted crazy. With this being the opening sketch it then wrapped up with the announcement of, “Live from New York…”    
  2. Jerry Seinfeld then officially opened the show with a bit of his stand up about what he is doing now that the Seinfeld show is off the air. First, we learned that he moved back to New York, but other than that he said he mainly watched TV especially the show Wings which seemed to be constantly airing on multiple channels at that time. After listing off several other mundane shows that kept him busy he ended his update by sharing that he also had affairs with a couple of married women.
  3. This was followed by a fake ad for an investment firm called Dillon/Edwards Investments that that seemed very typical at first until we learned that their web domain was clownpenis.fart thanks to the fact that they were late to the game in taking their company to the internet leaving this to be the only domain that was left.
  4. Morning Latte the returned for another installment with Cheri Oteri and Will Ferrell playing their over-caffeinated morning talk show host. During this segment, the two morning show mental-patients talked about the fact that Oteri was attacked by her gay hairdresser after she snapped at him for being late to the show. As Oteri explain how she became a victim, sounding very confused, we quickly learned that her approach to dealing with the hairdresser was homophobic with a touch of racism thrown in from time to time. We also met the shows new producer played by Chris Parnell who was so uptight that he didn’t even talk. They then went on to talk about movies and other morning show thing before finally bringing out Jerry Seinfeld who played the author of a crazy diet book that was a rip off of The Zone that had a very simple restriction where you could only eat fruit and meat. At times it felt like they crammed so much into this sketch that every time I tried to settle in to enjoy the path I thought they were taking, I’d have to shift gears to try and figured out the through-line of the sketch to where it felt almost too scattered to be funny.
  5. Mary Katherine Gallagher also returned this time Molly Shannon’s spastic Catholic school girl character fell for Jerry Seinfeld as a little Jewish boy while hanging out on a basketball court as they all waited for the school’s interfaith basketball playoff. At first, he blew her off, acting too cool for school but then as soon as all of the other were gone we learned that the true reason he was ignoring her was that his parents would never allow him to date a non-Jew. Eventually, Mary managed to win him over by sharing a monolog from the movie Yentl.  
  6. This was followed by another fake ad that started with Will Ferrell in a babies room where he talked about the first time that he changed a baby’s diaper, very lovingly as if this were going to be a diaper ad. That is until Ana Gasteyer came through the door and was shocked to find this home invader, which led Ferrell to panic and jump out the window. That’s when it was revealed that this was actually a fake ad for the Javis Home Security Systems that promised to save your family from this type of weirdo.
  7. Action 8 News Watch had Jerry Seinfeld and Ana Gasteyer who would only throw out fear mongering teasers for upcoming stories without ever getting to the actual news.
  8. Once again, Colin Quinn gave us the news. This week, we got introduced to Weekend Update: The Millennium which was promised to be a new segment to recap the 1000s wind down the millennium as the year 2000 grew near. Part one focused on sharks, and how they will remain the same no matter how advanced humans become, complete with historical examples. Jerry Seinfeld debated Jimmy Fallon as Jerry Seinfeld over their views of the store The Gap when they were supposed to be talking about campaign finance reform.
  9. David Bowie then took to the stage to perform Thursday's Child.
  10. Oz was a parody of the old prison show with the same name that had Jerry Seinfeld transfer over to the Oz facility as a spin-off of the Seinfeld show since that ended with them all going to prison. Though the sketch didn’t have anyone else from Seinfeld, even through impersonations, this sketch was super cool because the entire real cast from the Oz show took part in this sketch and stayed in their characters while reliving some of the situations from Jerry’s classic sit-com that we all know and love.
  11. 1-800-EAT-SHIT had Will Ferrell as a motorist who dialed the 800 number to report a rude driver. Though his wife, Ana Gasteyer, thinks the number to the “How Am I Driving?” sticker is just a joke and they both end up shocked to find that not only is the number legit but the people working the lines turn out to be even bigger jerks than the driver while speaking with very polite tones as they genuinely suggest they eat poo.
  12. ...And A Pizza Place was a sketch that showed what happened to the last have of the title “Two Guys A Girls And A Pizza Place,” which Will Ferrell greenlit without having a strong grasp of the concept. We then went to the see a clip of the show that turned out to be nothing more than security footage of a pizza shop with a laugh-track. We then went back to the network meeting that started the sketch to see all of the execs try to figure out what went wrong as if it wasn’t obvious. They then made a few adjustments, and next thing you know, we were at an award show was Chris Kattan announce the suggested ricotta cheese as one of the nominees for best supporting-actor. Finally, the sketch crammed in one more reference by having A.J. Benza finish the sketch off by throwing a piece of pizza to the grand before delivering his famous catchphrase from the time, “Fame, ain’t it a bitch,” for what seemed to be no reason at all.  
  13. David Bowie then returned to the stage to perform Rebel Rebel.
  14. Keeping Him Alive had Will Ferrell as the leader of a gang of thugs who kept killing and reviving Jerry Seinfeld with his henchmen in order to be both good cops and bad cops as they tried to get the information that he needed out of our host. Though this sketch was pretty funny from everyone going overboard, it was never made fully clear who these people were or why this information was so important.
  15. Finally, Jerry Seinfeld closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

What a fun start to a new season that I’m now looking forward to watching, especially with the help of sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved the Oz/Seinfeld Mash-Up Parody because I said up above, I loved how it brought together both shows to where it felt silly but believable for both of the shows’ worlds instead of being a parody based on impersonations. Next, I really liked the opening, Perot's Reform Party, sketch because I was kind of blown away that there were jokes this early on about the idea of a Trump president. Finally, I was a fan of 1-800-EAT-SHIT because I liked the idea of Will Ferrell dialing a novelty bumper sticker number only to find that it actually worked and how the answering employees where even bigger jerks than the driver who inspired the call.

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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.