Welcome To The Eleven-Timers Club,
Last season when John Goodman joined the Ten-Timers Club, I had a small complaint that he was coming across a being a bit too desperate to be a part of the show. Keep in mind, I still enjoyed his performance but was a little burnt out with him on the show considering that there was pretty much a two year period where he was on weekly as Linda Trip.
I feel like I’m going to suffer from this same burn out when I get to modern episodes when I will have to sit through Alec Baldwin as Trump every week for multiple years. In either case, it’s not that big of a deal when experienced in real time while the references are fresh while I would also get at least a week’s break between each appearance.
When watching the show on a daily basis, you can really feel the horse being beaten when repeat references and sketches aren’t all that bad when spread out. Since John Goodman slowed down on his special appearances, this eleventh visit felt more like a treat once again to the point where there was no longer a back of the mind issue that didn’t allow me to enjoy the episode to the fullest.
With that said, this wasn’t my favorite visit from John Goodman because it felt like the show itself was a little slow as they begin to wrap up the year. Not only that, but John Goodman didn’t have the same enthusiastic energy that I’ve sometimes mistaken with him seeming too desperate to be a part of the show. I wouldn’t say that I felt he did a half-assed job, but he did seem a little burnt out which made it feel like I was watching a man work instead of doing something he loves.
I know, too much energy and I call the man desperate, not enough, I say that he’s phoning it in, but keep in mind, I’ve only brought up the feeling of desperation when comparing him to Alec Baldwin as they seemed to battle to be the show’s go-to host and the highest number in the X-Timers Club. Even when I’ve brought this up in the past, I’ve also pointed out that the desperation may have been why he did such a good job.
Tonight there seemed to be a slight sense of sadness with the calmer tone, especially after the monolog which I thought was going to be a fun jab at Goodman by having him run out of things to say since he hosted so many times. Unfortunately, there was a bit of a plot twist when the joke went nowhere near that road and the opening turned into a bit about John Goodman’s drinking problem.
Though our host of the night is both funny and fat, I never really saw him as the traditional funny fat guy with a self-destructive edge because he always seemed so in control while at work. Knowing that he actually went through some pretty dark days, I couldn’t help but feel that this episode may have been from one of his darker periods which might be why the enthusiasm was lost.
Then again, I might just be reading into the monolog too much because even though the show seemed a little slow, it didn’t feel like a cry for help, other than this one little opening joke that was never referenced again. I think if intro didn’t send me off on a side mission to look for signs of distress, I might have had more fun because the show definitely wasn’t as horrible as this review might make it sound, but at the same time, it also wasn’t near the best of John Goodman’s appearances.
Now, before I go on to defend what I just said and end up in a loop, it’s now time for me to shift gears in order to share what I saw, as I give you…
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started with a parody of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire: Celebrity Edition where Darrell Hammond as Regis Philbin had to wrangle John Goodman as Emeril Lagasse, Cheri Oteri as Kathie Lee Gifford, Horatio Sanz as Rosie O’Donnell, Chris Kattan as David Duchovny, Tim Meadows as Vanessa L. Williams and Chris Parnell as Lance Bass in order to get through the dumb down celebrity version of his “Millionaire” game show. After the introductions, the show went to an alert reminding viewers that with Disney now owning the cable provider they can easily interrupt their completions’ most popular shows with these types of notes on a whim, ruining the viewing experience. Of course, with this being the opening sketch it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
John Goodman then officially opened the show with a monolog about how happy he was to host for the eleventh time and then went on to plug the new Flintstones movies that he wasn’t even in, after struggling to come up with a joke. At first, it seemed like the joke was that he’s hosted so much he ran out of things to say and was simply phoning it in but then the joke evolved to where we went backstage to find that the cast was concerned about Goodman’s drinking problem. This was followed by a quick intervention before we went back to the show.
This was followed by a fake ad for the Platinum Mach 14 which was a new fourteen-bladed razor that claims to give the closest shave since the Triple-Trac which was the razor from the fake ad that aired in the mid to late ‘70s with the original SNL cast.
Wanna Be A VJ 3 was a parody of an MTV show where the Music television channel would offer fans a chance to win a spot on the MTV VJ team. Jimmy Fallon played Carson Daly who hosted this show with his sidekick John Goodman as Dave Holmes. After meeting our host and co-host we went on to meet Maya Rudolph who made her show debut as MTV VJ Ananda who held the mic while other cast members portray douchie contestants and special musical guests.
The Office Skank had Cheri Oteri as Adele, the titular office skank who flirted with her co-workers in the break room while dropping not so subtle sexual innuendos as jokes.
TV Funhouse then gave us a segment where Robert Smigel explored the life of the SNL catchphrase by having an animated Lorne Michaels share what goes into the development of a catchphrase-based sketch from concept to cashing in.
We then got a parody of The Christopher Lowell Show which had Chris Kattan as host, Christopher Lowell who gave kitschy decorating tips with his panel of flamboyant experts.
Neil Young then took to the stage to perform Razor Love.
Once again, Colin Quinn gave us the news. This week, show writer Kevin Brennan dropped in again to share his final thoughts on the Elian Gonzalez incident which was, as a youngest of ten kids, he was jealous of all of the attention being given to the spotlighted Cuban kid and then went on to compare their lives while mainly focusing on himself. Darrell Hammond dropped in as Bill Clinton in order to defend his latest actions while shooting from the hip and getting real now that he only had a couple of months left in office.
Rock & Roll Paradise took place in a ‘50s diner filled with memorabilia with a group of cast mates out on a double date. At first, this group thought that the wait staff was made up of celebrity impersonators only to find out the one-hit-wonders or aged-out singers were the real deal, except for Horatio Sanz who played that latter-years Jim Morrison who was so committed to the role that he scared off the couples with his crazy drugged out antics.
The Bloder Brothers then returned with Jimmy Fallon and Chris Parnell as the giggly, ginger-headed brothers who, this time, get pulled over for a DUI and struggled to talk their way out of it because they were actually sober but couldn’t hold back on making lame DUI jokes like “I’m not as drunk as you think I am,” which didn’t go over well with the cops.
Neil Young then returned to the stage to perform Silver And Gold.
We then got a fake ad for Tek-Co which pitched as press like appliance used by pirates with poor teeth to test the validity of gold coins by biting the coins for them.
Finally, John Goodman closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
Again, just because this John Goodman episode was a little slower than usual didn’t mean it was fun because I still found myself entertained by these three of my favorite moments of the night. First, I loved Rock & Roll Paradise because I loved the idea of a memorabilia restaurant that has one-hit-wonders as its staff. Next, I really liked The Bloder Brothers because these giggling idiots kind of remind me of myself back in the day when I was social enough to where I couldn’t avoid my social anxiety induced non-stop laugh. Finally, I was a fan of the fake ad for the Platinum Mach 14 not just because it’s still relevant to make jokes about new and improved razor blade technology but I also liked how they referenced their own old fake ad that offered a razor with three blades.