SNL: S25E06... HOST: JENNIFER ANISTON... DATE: NOVEMBER 20, 1999

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An Amazing Visit From

An Almost Member Of The Cast

I swear that the fun fact that I’ve heard the most when talking to people about this SNL challenge of mine goes a little something like this, “Did you know that Jennifer Aniston was almost a cast member on Saturday Night Live but she opted to do friends instead?” Though I first heard this years ago when an SNL cast member was a guest on Howard Stern, that was years ago and none of the people who have been bringing this up have never been fans of The Stern Show.

With this information in hand, I couldn’t wait for this episode to see just how good of a host she could be. Though I had high hopes because I was a big fan of Friends as well as several comedy movies with Aniston as the love interest or star, I was still surprised by just how good this episode turned out to be.

First off, the show didn’t give her the hot host treatment an actually got to perform in some meaty comedic roles. In general, the writing for this episode felt more advanced than the rest of the shows from this year with the comedy coming from the actual stories and not just the quirky characters. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of the quirky characters, especially from this group but at the same time while I write The Wicker Breakdown it can feel like Mad Libs where each character has the same story that changes just a little depending on how you fill in the blanks.

Then again, that still an issue to this day. I think the main thing that made this show seem a bit futuristic is that the high energy made the action seem a little fast than I’m used to. This episode felt less like a stage performance where the dialog is delivered more slowly to make sure everyone in the live audience can hear all the jokes and more like a TV show where there is much a quicker repartee.

Now that I think about it, the slower repartee of these older episodes might explain the reason while I feel so on the fence so often, since I have actually been enjoying each and every show but even the best of episodes seem just a little off. It’s like watching a movie that you love from the ‘80s that you remember being pretty intense only to find that you still enjoy it but growing used to modern media has made it now seem slow and boring to where it could feel like a genre flip.

Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come from this point on because I did find that the faster pace led to way less mind wondering and/or zoning out which was another reason why this episode felt a little ahead of the curve.

So, now that I’ve shared my views, it’s now time to share what I actually viewed, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with Donald Trump's Address where Darrell Hammond as Trump announced his bid to run for the President because he wanted to fulfill his childhood list of things to do where being president and building the largest building on Mars were his only two remaining list items. After sharing his plans Trump went on to add that his running mate would be a guy named John Carpenter, not the famous director, but a guy who was in the news at the time for winning Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. The …Millionaire winning John Carpenter then joined Trump in the scene where he got the honor to announce, “Live from New York…”
  2. Jennifer Aniston then officially opened the show with a monolog where she started out with the usual host pleasantries only to be interrupted by the audience when one woman asked if the cast of Friends were friends in real life. Aniston found this question to be very annoying since people ask it all the time but, writer at the time, Tina Fey then annoyed her even more by asking if her boyfriend, Brad Pitt, was backstage to show support. This caused Jennifer Aniston to give un on the monolog and head backstage to start the show, only to have a run in with Molly Shannon who tried to comfort our host which quickly devolved into an all-female Fight Club with all of the women from the cast, where they all performed some pretty impressive stunts.
  3. Pretty Living then returned for another installment with Ana Gasteyer of a daytime talk show whose only guest seems to be Molly Shannon’s, “I love it, I love it, I love it,” Joyologist character. As usual, Molly Shannon brought on a couple of guest of her own which this time was Sting and Jennifer Aniston who played a couple who ran the Woundology Institute For Self-Esteem which seemed more like a swingers club.
  4. Nick Burns, Your Company Computer Guy had Jimmy Fallon as a company IT guy who rolled around the office, fixing computers and making fun of the employees for being too dumb to figure it out by themselves.
  5. Wayne Porter had Chris Parnell in the titular role as an island castaway who sought re-election as the leader of the survivors of a plane crash. He made a pretty good pitch but also pointed out his own major flaw that he was standing in the middle of nowhere talking to no one since the camera he was talking to was nothing but a coconut on a stick and that the inescapable sun was driving him out of his mind while at the same time continuing his claims that he would be the best pick for the group’s leader.
  6. This was followed by a fake ad for Privolin that had Jennifer Aniston in a business meeting and broke the fourth wall to talk about genital herpes before going into the benefits and side effect of this new Privolin drug, only as the sketch went on we eventually learned that this actually wasn’t a commercial at all.
  7. We then got a parody of Sex And The City where Jennifer Aniston played Carrie Bradshaw and attempted to seduce Chris Kattan’s monkey man character Mr. Peepers after meeting him at a bar while out having drinks with the girls.
  8. Once again, Colin Quinn gave us the news. This week, Will Ferrell dropped by as George W. Bush to read a few lines from his biography in an effort to promote his run to become the president and kill all of the rumors that he was still an active coke head but struggles to sit still or stay on topic. Colin Quinn also had a subliminal debate on race with Tracy Morgan based on a recent controversy brought to light by Jesse Jackson where a group of African-American students were treated unfairly. Though the two were both very cordial with their words, the subtitles told a completely different story.
  9. Sting then took to the stage to perform Brand New Day.
  10. Christmas Urchins had Jennifer Aniston and Rachel Dratch as Street-Urchins-For-Hire who would beg in place of their renters during the holiday season. Before we learn of this rental scheme, this felt like a surreal sketch with these Dicken’s era urchins living in modern times trying to win over a family with their songs that got darker and darker as the sketch went on.
  11. Kim Plunkett had Will Ferrell as the titular Kim who landed on the same island as Wayne Porter from earlier in the night and decided to run against him because he was hopped up on sea water which led him to think that he had superpowers.
  12. Pokemon Parents had Jennifer Aniston as a mom who kept yelling at her son for not caving in to the Pokemon fad that was getting big in America at the time.
  13. Sting then teamed up with Cheb Mami and the two took to the stage to perform Desert Rose.
  14. Roberta's Thanksgiving brought us to a Thanksgiving dinner where Cheri Oteri played the titular Roberta who was invited to join this family of strangers because she was the lonely lady in Chris Parnell’s office who had no family of her own to celebrate the holiday with and turned out to be a total wacko.
  15. Finally, Jennifer Aniston closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

As I said up above, I’m not surprised that I liked this episode but I am surprised by just how much I loved it with the help of sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved the SNL Female Fight Club from the monolog because the stunts were so good it felt like I was watching the WWF (I know it’s WWE but still I like to make the old man joke that I’m unaware of the change. Next, I really liked Nick Burns, Your Company Computer Guy because it reminded me of my days when I used to work at Amazon.com before most people had ever been on the Internet. Finally, I was a fan of the Sex And The City because I liked how it was shot like a real TV show, and it cracked me up when it was revealed that the love interest for Carrie Bradshaw for this segment was Mr. Peepers.

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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.