A Hot Host Who Broke The Mold
Let me start by pulling the curtain back a little in order to share my attitude coming into this viewing. Last year, I created a template and set up a draft page for every single episode of SNL that’s ever been made, inputting any information that doesn’t require me to watch the show in order to find the data. This data included two images of the host (one from the monolog, and one from the stylized photo that pops up right before the end of the show,) as well as the sketch list of the night along with a brief description that I referenced from this transcription website.
Having all of this information already set up took a lot of time but now saves me at least an hour a day while allowing me to just sit down and watch instead of having to set up a new page every morning. It seems that the transcription site’s summaries are more detailed for better shows while shows of lesser quality episodes barely get a description at all. For tonight’s episode, other than the sketches titles, almost all of the descriptions were clear.
Between the fact that these description fields were clear and the only thing that I know about Dylan McDermott is that the host of Stop Podcasting Yourself used to have a game segment based on the fact that they always confused him with Dermot Mulroney the same way many people mix up Bill Paxton and Bill Pullman, I had very low expectations for the night.
It didn’t help that the opening sketch went straight to the hot host playbook where they had our good-looking host make out with almost every member of the cast. I have to admit that, at first I was a little excited because I was pleased as punch to be able to point out that I have the same hot host issues with male hosts that I complained about in my review of Heather Graham’s appearance.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, there were only a couple of hot host moments with the rest of the night being super fun. Again, there’s a part of me that was disappointed because it’s just not fair that a person like this can have the looks while being both fun and funny at the same time. It almost felt like I was watching the original John Hamm, who’s another person that I only know because of podcasts but at least know him as the guest and not just a segment from the show.
Oh well, I’ll get over it, especially considering that Danny DeVito is only a couple episodes away where even though I have him on the height and am younger, as far as looks go, we’re much closer to being on the same page.
Alright, enough delving into my insecurities, it’s time to move on and share what I saw while watching this episode, as I give you…
The Wicker Breakdown:
- This week's show started with a parody of The Practice where our host made out with every attorney who walked through his office door whether they were a guy or a girl or in some cases guy’s playing girls and vice versa until once again Rachel Dratch as Calista Flockhart as Ally McBeal made a special visit to also make out with our host. I never watched either show so I didn’t really get the mash-up but I was bit disappointed that this seems to be setting up another hot host night. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
- Dylan McDermott then officially opened the show with a monolog about his childhood connection to the show since his father owned one of the bars that the cast and the crew would hang out in after they were done taping the show. Though he was excited to share his connection with the original cast, he seemed to be a bit embarrassed with Horatio Sanz since the two were in a made-for-TV version of Miracle On 34th Street and had to be reminded by seeing a clip. Horatio then explained the reason he wasn’t remembered was that he didn’t land the role of Santa Clause and then called Dylan over to sit on his lap to show us how good of a Saint Nick he would have been and McDermott was happy to play along before throwing to the first non-opening sketch.
- This was followed by a quick installment of The Jim Gray Show that had Chris Parnell as the sport’s host who offended Pete Ross who got his own show out of the controversy and is now going around offending other guests. The first guest to be offended in this series of sketches was Elizabeth Dole who recently had to drop out of this year’s Presidential Election.
- Tim Meadows then played Bryant Gumbel as he moved into his new personal office for his new Early Morning Show that he landed after leaving The Today Show, while setting up, his former co-host dropped by to sneak in a few jabs as they attempted to congratulate him for his new promotion but couldn’t look past their behind-the-scenes feud.
- The Culps then returned and this time the singing instructing duo sang Culp versions of the hits from the day while attending a Middle School assembly to send off the school’s principal.
- We then got a second installment of The Jim Gray Show where this time Chris Parnell as Jim Gray interviewed Danny Glover and called him out over a complaint that he recently made about how cab drivers wouldn’t pick him up because he was an African-American, meanwhile, this Jim Gray character believed that the cabbies weren’t picking Glover up not because of his race but because they didn’t like his new films.
- This was followed by a parody of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire which had Darrell Hammond as Regis and made fun of how he used to make the contestants look like idiots for not being able to answer the simplest questions even though they are multiple choice. All of the pressure from the show caused Ana Gasteyer to have a major meltdown while trying to work through the answer to an easy question about E.T. This caused Regis to switch his tone and become extremely supportive only to become insensitive again when she managed to get the answer wrong.
- Mango then returned to the show and got shot in the butt in the middle of one of his shows. The sketch then became a parody of a detective drama when Dylan McDermott took on the case in order to go undercover as Mango in an effort to find out who shot the gun. The sketch then got a little Single White Female-like when McDermott got a little too into the Mango role leading to a parody of The Bodyguard when it was revealed that Mayor Giuliani was the man behind the gun and attempted to kill Mango in his efforts to get all of the strippers out of New York City.
- As the Mango sketch ended the rule of three was then completed with a third installment of The Jim Gray Show where Chris Parnell as Jim Gray tried to trap McDermott with his gotcha journalism but was instantly shot down.
- Once again, Colin Quinn gave us the news. This week, had no special guests, it was just Colin Quinn and his jokes.
- Foo Fighters took to the stage to perform Learn To Fly.
- We then got to see Cheri Oteri’s pill-popping Colette Reardon character in her home, instead of on the news or in the pharmacy as usual. In the sketch, Dylan McDermott played a phone repairman who was a bit concerned about Reardon’s stockpile of drugs as she rambled on while he attempted to work.
- Will Ferrell then played a network executive that explained that due to the fact that the network’s lottery pull’s ratings were so low they had a new plan to liven things up by mixing the number draw into a scripted show which led to a preview of Lotto Pick 4 Hospital. This fictional lottery-themed show had McDermott as a doctor who kept pulling lottery balls out of his patients.
- Foo Fighters then returned to the show to perform Stacked Actors.
- Oh No, Not My Baby! brought us to a projects apartment where Tracy Morgan played the mother to a man who was in trouble for selling drugs but she kept on insisting that her grown baby boy was no criminal. Her pleas of innocents carried on to where her son’s crimes actually brought him to court and no matter how clear the evidence became she still claimed that her boy was being framed.
- Finally, Dylan McDermott closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
As I said up above, I was surprised by how much I ended up enjoying this episode despite all the signs that it might not have been all that fun. Thankfully, these three sketches, which contain my favorite moments of the night were good enough to prove me wrong. First, I loved Lotto Pick 4 Hospital because it cracked me up how McDermott as a doctor kept pulling lottery numbers out of his patients in the bizarro world cross-promotion. Next, I really liked Mango’s Many Parodies which isn’t the name of the sketch but it should, considering they parody at least four other projects all within a single sketch without getting convoluted or feeling like it was dragging on. Finally, I was a fan of Oh No, Not My Baby! because Tracy Morgan as an old woman, always gets a laugh out of me.