The Night That Brought
Autofellatio To Network TV
Base on the subtitle of this review I could see how one might have some pretty high expectations as to what I’m about to say in this post, but, unfortunately, just like with the episode, the self-sucking reference was the only thing that was over-the-top to the point where it was interesting. Fortunately, as far as the episode goes, I was expecting a more mellow night since I really like Tobey Maguire’s indie work in films like Ice Storm, Fear And Loathing, and Wonder Boys but never found him to be funniest enough to think of him as an SNL host.
Well, at least not a host who would blow me away with laughter. No, I pretty much expected exactly what this episode gave, a night that was fun enough to keep me entertained, while, at best, landing dead center in the middle of my list of favorites. Granted, it didn’t help that I had never seen the movie The Cider House Rules so right out the gate I felt a little lost during The Studio 8-H Rules parody to the point where I had to do a bit of research to figure out what the hell was going on.
Normally, if a parody sketch is funny enough on its own, I just enjoy the humor that’s there and move on and am willing to bet that I’ve missed many satirical references altogether, especially during the earliest years of the show. Tonight’s The Cider House Rules reference was quirky but dry to the point that it felt more fitting to be an end of the night sketch where sometimes the show gets a little artsy which only confirmed my middle of the road expectations.
Then we went to the monolog where after a sentence and a half in, Adam McKay took over as an obnoxious audience member who took control of the humor. This seemed to start a trend for the rest of the night where most of the laughs came from the cast while Tobey felt more like a silent observer like you’d expect him to be in his more traditional indie roles which worked fine for the night as a whole but didn’t change my views on Spider-Man’s hosting abilities.
We’ll have to see how he does if they do have him back during his Spider-Man days when he might have more of a mainstream outlook on humor. Again, I don’t see this visit as a flaw but I didn’t find it to be more than average, and since that was my expectation, I wasn’t let down at all.
With that, it’s time for me to move on from my views on this actor and share what I actually viewed in tonight’s episode, as I give you…
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started with Tobey Maguire as he recited The Studio 8-H Rules to the cast members who all lived together in the studio’s attic and where kept uneducated so that they couldn’t read these rules on their own, in what seemed to be a parody of The Cider House Rules based on the sketch title and the real movie’s description since I’ve never seen the actual film. After leaving the attic, Tobey then had a run in with Lorne Michaels, who based on his quirks, must have been making fun of the baddy from the film and their exchange eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
Tobey Maguire then officially opened the show with a monolog about how excited he was to experiment with character work since he only got to play one character at a time in his films. Before he could get too far into his explanation he was then constantly be interrupted by Adam McKay who kept confusing out host with the movie Jerry Maguire as well as confusing all of Tobey’s roles for projects with similar names.
This was followed by another installment of Celebrity Jeopardy! This time, Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek had to wrangle Tobey Maguire as Keanu Reeves, Jimmy Fallon as Hilary Swank, and Darrell Hammond as his nemesis Sean Connery while trying to get through the dumbed-down celebrity version of his answer based game show.
Burger Castle brought back Cheri Oteri’s Nadeen character who now worked in a burger joint and kept silencing any complaining guest by telling them to, “Simmer down now.” Tobey Maguire played her boss who showed us that Nadeen wasn’t the only staff member to use “Simmer down now,” to solve even the smallest customer service problem.
TV Funhouse then returned with another installment of Fun With Real Audio where Robert Smigel provided an animation that played out the scene of a real audio of Sharon Stone as she explained her views on lesbianism mix with Geppetto playing the role of the interviewer which eventually led to Pinocchio becoming a real boy after the animated Sharon revised her leg-crossing scene from Basic Instinct which got the puppet to dry hump her leg.
We then got a new parody of Inside The Actor's Studio with Will Ferrell as the host James Lipton who became enamored by Tobey Maguire as TV’s Screech while interviewing Saved By The Bell for his acting-based interview show.
Attebury Tennis Lesson had Ana Gasteyer and Will Ferrell as Ginger and Leslie Attebury who played super-rich white folks who were waiting for this lessons at the local country club. Tobey Maguire played the instructor who recently left a mental ward after having a breakdown. Throughout the entire sketch, Ana Gasteyer rambled on in an elitist way, completely unaware of how this recently released mental patient felt about her views on mental health while Will Ferrell simply seemed to be there to fulfill an obligation.
Once again, Colin Quinn gave us the news. This week, Colin Quinn gave himself a segment to editorialize the upcoming film Gangs Of New York and how he was angry he wasn’t asked to be involved with the Irish-gang/New York-based film. Molly Shannon as Angelina Jolie then joined the news with Chris Kattan as her brother James Haven Voight so that they could address their whacky antics at during the recent Academy Awards this led to the introduction of Rachel Dratch as Qrplt*xk who was their love child and had a tiny arm growing out of her head but after a bit we learned this inbred baby turned out to be just a prank so that Jolie and her brother could prove a twisted point about how people will believe anything without thinking twice. Cheri Oteri also returned as her character Joy Lipton who looked like a complete nerd but owned an erotic bookstore and was there to promote her top selling products.
Sisqo then took to the stage to perform The Thong Song.
Yoga Class was the classic sketch where Will Ferrell finally achieved his yoga dreams and pretty much moved into the yoga class after finally figuring out how to get into the right position that allowed him to fellate himself.
Stavenhagen's Pawn Shop was another short film by Adam McKay that had Steve Buscemi and Horatio Sanz as a pair of pawn shop workers at the only shop in New York that bought and sold used food.
Porno Magazines had Will Ferrell and Ana Gasteyer enter the corner store of the neighborhood where he used to live and Tobey Maguire played a cashier who remembers Will’s porn habits from years ago back when he made regular visits and struggled to read the signs that this wasn’t a topic to be brought up in front of Ana Gasteyer who was his soon to be new wife.
This was followed by a fake ad for Westlink that was a company so advanced that even they don’t know what they do.
Finally, Tobey Maguire closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
Average, when expected, is actually pretty good which was the case with tonight’s episode that was still pretty fun thanks to these three sketches that contained my favorite moments of the night. First, I loved the Yoga Class sketch because how could you not laugh at Will Ferrell autofellating himself live on a Saturday Night? Next, I really liked Burger Castle because it was one of the few sketches where Tobey Maguire wasn’t so quiet and actually triggered a few laughs. Finally, I was a fan of the Adam McKay short film, Stavenhagen's Pawn Shop not only because it was fun to see Steve Buscemi team up with Horatio Sanz but the idea of a pawn store that sold and bought food was a funny idea to me.