SNL: S25E05... HOST: GARTH BROOKS... DATE: NOVEMBER 13, 1999

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Garth/Gaines Comedy Face-Off

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Where I was sort of surprised to find that I liked Garth Brooks’ first visit as the host of Saturday Night Live, the confusion came from the fact that I was expecting that visit to be the episode that I watched tonight, and not that I had doubts about the Country Star’s ability to be funny. Though I am far from a fan of Country music or the Blue Comedy brand of stand-up, I do still find that many of the Country performers can have a very silly side that I actually enjoy.

After watching Garth’s first visit, I wasn’t surprised that he was asked back in order to create this memorable night. The sketch that always stood out in my mind was were Tracy Morgan cornered Garth while he was attempting to leave the stage after performing in a pretty funny sketch only to randomly badger the host about what he thought of the musical guest which happened to be Garth in disguise.

This sketch cracks me up on many levels. For one, I found it funny how Tracy was so hung up on the fact that he thought Chris Gaines was gay, which would be a bizarre thing for him to bring up whether or not he was aware of the whole alter-ego situation especially since, even at the time Garth Brooks never really tried to hide the fact that he was this fictional perform, so his reactions to Tracy’s insights were absolutely priceless.

Then to add even more fun, I will always remember this for the part where Lorne Michaels tries to break things up only to have Tracy Morgan tell him to shut up and go get him a soda, and then add insult to injury by calling his boss his bitch. This was the first time that I remember seeing someone who’s always been set up to be such a scary and powerful man not only be yelled at in this manner but then go on to take it.

Finally, to add the icing on top, the best part of the whole thing is how not only did Lorne come back with Tracy’s drink but the reveal that Tracy knew that Brooks was both men throughout the entire critical breakdown of the musical guest’s performance was the perfect way to end the bit, highlighting how Tracy Morgan just doesn’t care what anyone thinks of his thoughts.

Though Tracy is to credit for most of what made this sketch so memorable, Garth Brooks was not only a great straight man for this sketch, but he performed at this level throughout the rest of the night which also included a great running joke between Garth Brooks, Chris Gaines, and Mango. If you’ve been following these reviews, you may already know that a running gag always gets a few bonus points from me.

So, now that I’ve shared my thoughts on the night, it’s now time to shift gears in order share was I saw, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with Breaking News that interrupted a Spartan’s sketch which then turned into a parody of Special Report that had Ana Gasteyer as a reporter who was out on the scene with Horatio Sanz as a crazed gunman as he attempted to attack the NRA Headquarters because he was upset by the increase of violence involving guns. Before actually getting to Sanz, Ana interviewed Charlton Heston who had mixed feelings about the event considering that he was disappointed that he was shot but impress by his use of the gun. The whole thing wrapped up with the NRA giving Horatio an award. With the story wrapped up, we then went back to the Spartan’s sketch where they announced of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Garth Brooks then officially opened the show with a monolog about how he was secretly pleased to discover that Mango had a crush on Garth’s alter ego, Chris Gaines after seeing a clip from Garth’s first visit where he was hypnotized by the little stripper man.
  3. Today Is Never Yesterday was a parody of a Bond film with Chris Parnell as 007 who learned that he had 107 venereal diseases from all of his exploits while out in the field. He then had to go back and alert all of the women from his past who he’d slept with.
  4. This was followed by a parody of The Smurfs that, in the world of the sketch, NBC was promoting as an epic mini-series that would blow all of the other fantasy-themed specials out of the water.
  5. Boston Teens introduced Jimmy Fallon and Rachel Dratch as their classic couple from Boston who are both loud and love to have fun. In this installment Jimmy goofs off in a Hillshire Farms while Rachel attempts to land a job but it’s hard to tell if she is being serious or if they are both working together to pull off a prank considering all of this was being recorded by the never-seen Tommy who always operates the camcorder that constantly captures these two goofs.
  6. Tracy Confronts Garth was the classic behind-the-scenes sketch where Tracy Morgan discusses how he thought that Chris Gaines is a queer after catching Garth leave the stage from the Boston Teens scene. This caused Garth to be unsure how to handle the situation since he assumed that Tracy is unaware that Gaines was actually his own alter-ego. Lorne Michaels eventually attempted to break things up only to be told by Tracy to, “Shut up and go get me a soda… Bitch.” Tracy continued to bash Chris Gaines until Lorne returned with the soda and we found out that Tracy was fully aware of the alter-ego situation the entire time.
  7. Great Moments In Corporate History was a sketch that shared a time where a slip-up during the introductions of the Warner-Lambert team ended the companies merger with American Home Products because Will Ferrell was able to remember what seemed to be at least one hundred people’s names but Rachel Dratch was the one who slipped-up and stumbled when sharing her own name.
  8. Express Flowers showed Garth Brooks as he struggled to create the perfect message to go with the flowers that he wants to send to his girlfriend to make up for a fight that they were in over a bunch of different white trash reason and he couldn’t figure out which one to focus on.
  9. Once again, Colin Quinn gave us the news. This week gave us another installment of Weekend Update’s Millennium where this time they profiled a basketball player named Darryl Dawkins who they claimed was the Man Of The Millennium who beat out Shakespeare and Einstein since basketball abilities turned out to be the deciding factor. Molly Shannon also dropped by with her new segment called The World Is Crazy!!! where this time she focused on how crazy Julianna Margulies was for leaving the show E.R only Molly is clearly far crazier than the former E.R. actress.
  10. Garth Brooks’ alter-ego Chris Gaines then took to the stage to perform Way Of The Girl.
  11. Mango then returned for another installment where he snuck into what he thought was the musical guest dressing room after he just got off the stage to admit that he was in love with the singer. Garth Brooks then took off his wig and admitted that his whole Chris Gaines character was nothing more than an effort to win over the tiny male stripper which ended up blowing Mango’s mind.
  12. The Devil Can't Write A Love Song was a parody of The Devil Went Down To Georgia only in this version it turned out that the Devil, as played by Will Ferrell, provided very little useful assistance to get Garth Brooks’ musical career off the ground since he was a horrible songwriter himself. By the end of the sketch, Garth ended up writing a song on his own about the whole situation that sounded like it could’ve been a hit.  
  13. We then went to a store called Wilson's where Cheri Oteri gave us the full version of her Simmer Down Now character who once played a small role in an unrelated sketch making this not a character debut. In the sketch as with always, this character is a rude clerk who has no time for the customers who are there to exchange a gift.
  14. We then got a repeat of the classic ad for the Royal Deluxe II from way back in 1977 which was a fake ad for a land-yacht of a car that claimed to be such a smooth ride that you could circumcise a child while driving on even the bumpiest of roads.
  15. WXLU Facelift showed us a failed attempt for a local TV network to lighten the news by having a kids’ show motif as their newscast intro sequence following a meeting with a group of network executives who attempted to be creative.
  16. Finally, Garth Brooks closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Based on my review up above, I’m sure it will be easy for you to figure out at least two out of three of my three favorite moments of the night that I’m about to share. First, I loved Tracy Confronts Garth for all of the reason listed in the above review. Next, I really liked the Love Triangle Between Garth Brooks, Chris Gaines, And Mango, because I really liked how it was not only a running joke throughout the night but it was a joke that carried over from the last time that Garth was on. Finally, I was a fan of The Devil Can't Write A Love Song because I thought the sketch was a funny twist on the song The Devil Went Down To Georgia.

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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.