Some Fun, Some Summer Rust


I know it’s always hard to judge this early on but so far, I’m just not really feeling this season. It didn’t help that our first episode starred Rob Lowe, who I’m not a fan of for multiple reasons and felt like a chore to watch. Starting on this sour note might be why I went into this viewing with a bit of a negative outlook, especially after seeing that it was another fewer but longer sketch formatted show.

Thankfully, they didn’t give Kate Hudson the hot host treatment where they often use good-looking hosts as props to be groped by the cast, but it did suffer from the sense that the staff was still stiff following their summer vacation. It doesn’t help that we’re on year number six without many changes to the cast allowing them to coast without doing a horrible job. I’d almost prefer that they do worse to either create a trainwreck that is fun to watch or at least light a fire under their ass to improve.

Also, keep in mind, in real time the one-hundred-twenty episodes with this collection of Not Ready For Prime Time Players were spread out over six years, that’s three-hundred-twelve weeks or two-thousand-one-hundred-ninety-one days which when spread-out makes the repetitiveness that comes with familiarity much easier to bear. Watching the same group daily for a hundred plus days can be a little draining which might be the case this year.

To top things off, this is also the season that will be covering the election of George W. Bush and as I’ve learned from the past, I don’t really like the presidential election years because they remind me just how little things have changed when it comes to US politics, unless we’re talking going from bad to worse. This year’s going to be extra rough because the jokes about the Bush/Gore election are bringing back memories of the Trump/Clinton mess which everyone seems to either forget or ignore.

Personally, I find comparing these historical moments as told through satire to be very interesting but I wouldn’t say that it’s all that fun since I’m looking at them through the eyes of a third-party voter who always gets yelled at for not picking one of two sides. This is the most frustrating part about these election seasons because I feel like I can’t share my insights without alienating myself from both sides.

So, unlike last night, I wouldn’t say any of my issues tonight had anything to do with the host because I felt Kate Hudson did a great job with what she had to work with and minus the election-induced depression, I would have just considered this show to be more typical for this early into the year.

With all that said, it’s now time for me to move on and share what I saw, as I give you…   

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with parody coverage of the Second Presidential Debate where again, Chris Parnell played the moderator with Ferrell and Hammond as Bush and Gore. This time we learned through the debates that the two pretty much agreed on all of the issues, highlighting how even back then there were jokes about how that when push comes to shoves the two parties are one and the same. Of course, with this being the opening sketch it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”

  2. Kate Hudson then officially opened the show with a monolog about how happy she was to host and then fit in a quick plug for her film Almost Famous. Instantly after the plug, we landed in an impromptu reunion between her and several other grown children of former Laugh-In stars since that’s where her famous mom got her start.

  3. We then followed Kate Hudson for a visit home from college where she was horrified to witness her parent recognize her in an ad for Girls Gone Wild! since, at that time, the ad seemed to air non-stop the moment that television passed safe harbor hour, which is the time that this type of content is allowed.

  4. TV Funhouse the brought us another animated installment of The X-Presidents where the X-Men style former presidents returned to intervene in the presidential debates where a supervillain replaced Gore with Amy Carter and added Ron Reagan Jr. and Betty Ford’s dog in an effort to break up the two party system by using The X-Presidents kids. This was enough to get The X-Presidents into action, not because they didn’t like how their kids were being used but because they were afraid of a real choice when it comes to America’s two-party only, election system.

  5. Inside The Actors Studio once again had Will Ferrell as James Lipton. This time his guest was Kate Hudson as Drew Barrymore who won over Lipton with her bi-polar quirky charm as they discussed all of the hit films on her resume.

  6. Boston Teens also returned with Jimmy Fallon and Rachel Dratch as the always recorded Boston-based pranking couple who attempted to put together an audition tape for Survivor only to both be blown away when they found that Jimmy Fallon’s sister, as played by Kate Hudson, was dating the Boston Red Sox’s Nomar Garciaparra, who dropped by as a special guest.

  7. Radiohead then took to the stage to perform The National Anthem.

  8. Once again Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey gave us the news. This week, Jimmy Fallon reviewed the movie Meet The Parents while sneaking in the title from time to time as if it were his new catchphrase. Darrell Hammond also dropped in as Bill Clinton to share that he didn’t think either Bush or Gore were worthy of being his successor.

  9. Woodrow then returned to woo Kate Hudson in his sewer home after she climbed down through a manhole in order to read his script after she felt sorry the way everyone laughed at him for even suggesting he could write. Once again, the sketch wrapped up with another one of Woodrow’s schizophrenia-inspired songs, which got Kate Hudson to fall in love.

  10. This was followed by a parody of Meet The Press where Darrell Hammond, as Tim Russert, made Ana Gasteyer, as Hillary Clinton, out to be a complete fool by constantly twisting her own words.

  11. Rabun To Shuri was parody Japanese version of Laverne And Shirley, with Kate Hudson and Maya Rudolph as Rabun and Shuri and Chris Kattan and Jimmy Fallon as Lenny and Squiggy and Chris Parnell as Carmine. Since they were speaking in Japanese, it was more of a visual parody with the most interesting part being that a young Maya Rudolph in the short black wig looked an awful lot like Kate Micucci.

  12. Radiohead then returned to the stage to perform Idioteque.

  13. Vote Sober 2000 was a PSA of a sketch that had the cast members address the audience to give us a friendly reminder to not cast our votes while drunk. They then went on to pitch their new book filled with recipes for mixed drinks for those who opt to ignore their initial advice.

  14. Finally, Kate Hudson closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

As I said up above, there were multiple reasons why I wasn’t feeling this episode but aside from my issues, it was still pretty fun thanks to sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved the Vote Sober 2000 sketch because if the PSA aspect wasn’t fun enough, I loved how they went on to pitch the SNL Mix Drinks Recipe Book for those who don’t heed the sober voting warning. Next, I really liked The Return Of Woodrow because like the character, plus it always cracks me up how easy it is for him to get famous women to follow him down to the sewers. Finally, I was a fan of the Rabun To Shuri parody not just because it was so quirky but I used to love Lavern And Shirley when I was a kid.


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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.