Up And Down The Sidewalk,
Take A Doo-Doo Pie
Tonight’s episode, hosted by Britney Spears, was another one of those show where I pretty much got exactly what I expected. This is partially because the episode always stood out to me from the night that it originally aired because it introduced us to Tracy Morgan’s Woodrow character who brought our lovely host down to his sewer home to sing a beautifully schizophrenic song that ended on the line, “Take a doo-doo pie.” I mean, how could you forget something like that.
Other than that, I feel that my expectations were realistically low, considering Britney was just nineteen and the time and known for her ability to sing pop songs, not for her comedic abilities. At the same time, I wasn’t expecting the show to be too bad because she was still young and not quite as judged so I figured she’d be able to let down her guard and tap into her youthful silliness with enough enthusiasm to keep things fun.
I don’t know if my reasoning’s correct but as far as this episode goes the results I predicted were spot on. What Britney lacked in acting skills she made up with her willingness to fully commit while playing along with the cast. There were a couple sketches that felt like they would be hilarious with an actual actress as the host that were just okay in the pop star’s hands but part of me feels like some of these issues also stemmed from somewhat lazy, end of the season writing.
An example of this questionable write would be when the Boston Teen harassed Britney who was acting as a historical reenactor that attempted to share what it was like to be a milk maiden in the colonial days. I felt that they fit in a few good jokes for the always pranking Boston teens but missed a lot of potential comedy and I didn’t think our host’s acting was fully to blame for these missed opportunities.
In fact, many of the sketches of the night would have been great with just a little more polishing to break away from that feeling that comes at the end of most seasons where a lot of the content feels a little rushed, luckily, the final host for this year is Jackie Chan who I feel is goofy enough that the finale will be fun even if the writing staff is already vacationing in their heads.
Keep in mind, when I criticize the writing, acting, or hosts, I don’t mean it as an attack but am just pointing out my personal opinions about the show’s ups and downs, and how there’s going to be plenty of both considering the show hasn’t stopped for over forty years. Plus it doesn’t help that I’m writing these reviews decades after these shows originally aired meaning that many weak references now might have gotten me to laugh out loud at the time.
Oh well, that’s all I’ve got on this topic, so with that, it’s now time to move on and share what I saw, as I give you…
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started with parody coverage of Giuliani’s Press Conference where Ana Gasteyer as Hilary Clinton actually spoke in favor of Mayor Giuliani’s extramarital affair after Darrell Hammond as the Mayor tried to spin the story to make it seem like it was no big deal. Hilary’s argument was that having an affair was just a thing that men in politics do and if anything this incident with Rudolph was a sign that he was rising within the political world. As always, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
Britney Spears then officially opened the show with a monolog where she denied both the rumors that she lip-syncs and that she has breast implants. While trying to defend herself, not only did she end up lip-syncing the telling of half of the joke but her boobs started to dance around in her shirt when she got to the point of whether or not they were real.
This was followed by a fake ad for Gap Fat that had Horatio Sanz as the lead dancer in a Gad ad that marketed the store’s new XXL line of clothes.
Morning Latte the returned for another installment of Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri as over-caffeinated morning show hosts. This time, they rambled on about current events for quite a bit as always before they finally got around to interview Britany Spears as a girl who was a Mickey Mouse Club reject. This character was there to promote a book that she wrote about the seedy underbelly of the Disney world even though she was fired after four days on the show due to her own shady behavior.
The Boston Teens also returned with Jimmy Fallon and Rachel Dratch as the always-recorded Boston couple who, this time, kept pestering Britney Spears as she played an old-timey milk maiden at a Boston colonial museum while making their immature jokes.
TV Funhouse then gave us another installment of The Ambiguously Gay Duo. For this week’s adventure, the two not-so-questionably-gay heroes foiled Big Head’s plot to hijack the NBA Finals while freaking everyone out with their antics.
Woodrow then introduced Tracy Morgan’s sewer-dwelling Woodrow character who enjoyed a romantic moment with Britany Spears after she followed him to his sewer home because she felt sorry for the way her fans were treating him when he showed up to an event to get her autograph. The sketch ended with Tracy singing a beautiful schizophrenia inspired love song that truly won over the pop star.
Britney Spears then switch to musical guest mode to perform Oops! ...I Did It Again.
Once again, Colin Quinn gave us the news. This week, Chris Parnell rapped about his dream date with Britney Spears that he wrote after finding out she was going to host. His shy intro made it seem like it was going to be a slow and romantic attempt at hip-hop but when he started his rhymes they were more raunchy and fit for the clubs but at the same time was also very white. Molly Shannon as Angelina Jolie, Jimmy Fallon as Billy Bob Thornton also dropped in to talk about their recent marriage only to have their segment interrupted by Chris Kattan as her brother, James Haven Voight, who was jealous of the surprise wedding which led Rachel Dratch as Qrpil*xk to return as the Jolie/Voight inbred love-child who Voight was using to double down of the guilt he was dealing out.
The DeMarco Brothers had Chris Kattan and Chris Parnell audition to become Britney Spears’s dancers and Britney was dumbstruck by their terrible routines which were very literal dance interpretations of a few of her greatest hits.
We then got a fake ad for a series of commemorative plates with the theme of America's Worst Moments which included everything from the Elian Gonzalez incident to the Iran Contra Scandal involving Oliver North but also included pop culture disasters like Woodstock ‘98.
Deandra Wells Comeback Tour had Ana Gasteyer as Diva, Deandra Wells who kept taking moments to mock the members of her backup band while in the middle of their big comeback tour, showing that the feud that broke them up in the first place wasn’t quite over. By the end of the performance, the entire band started to fight live on the stage only to go back to the performance as usual after everyone felt they were heard, or at least gave up on arguing.
We then got yet another repeat of the Uncle Jemima's Pure Mash Liquor commercial from earlier in the season which had Tracy Morgan pitching moonshine in a parody of Song Of The South.
Britney Spears then switched back to musical guest mode to perform Don't Let Me Be The Last To Know.
Finally, Britney Spears closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.
Again, I hope that the fact that my low expectations for this episode were accurate won’t get translated to mean the show was bad because I did have fun watching tonight’s performances thanks to these three of my favorite sketches of the night. First, I loved The Woodrow Debut not only because I loved how Britney Spears ventured into the sewer-dwelling character’s sewer home as if it were nothing at all but I also loved Woodrow’s schizophrenia inspired song. Next, I really liked The DeMarco Brothers because the two Chrises (Kattan and Parnell) really crack me up with their brand of interpretive dance. Finally, I was a fan The Boston Teens At A Colonial Museum even though I feel like this sketch missed some potential because I still like this crazy couple as played by Jimmy Fallon and Rachel Dratch.