SNL: S26E03... HOST: DANA CARVEY... DATE: OCTOBER 21, 2000

Capture26035.JPG

or...

Seriously, Who Did Let The Dogs Out?

Yesterday I pointed out how I wasn’t so sure about this year because the first two shows have been average at best. I also pointed out that this is pretty common considering most seasons start pretty slow as they work out the kinks from returning from vacation and the new cast and crew settle into their roles. I’ve always felt this is why, up until more recent years when the opening show became more special, the seasons used to start out with a sacrificial host to work through all of the issues.

The second guest is often so-so and is usually a great actor or actress who isn’t really known for their comedic roles but are talented enough to put on a good show while the last few issues are ironed out. Usually, by show three, they either get an alumni host or a fan favorite to return for the night which usually provides a better sign of how the rest of the year will be.

This isn’t always the exact order because sometimes the alumni/fan favorite doesn’t arrive until episode four or five. That’s why I was excited to see Dana Carvey so early on in the year because I really can’t wait for this season to find its legs. Unfortunately, I don’t really think those legs were found as this turned out to be a pretty boring alumni hosted show.

As usual, my biggest issue was the fewer but longer sketch format and at thirteen segments, tonight’s show had the fewest sketches that I’ve seen in quite a while, especially when you consider that I count the goodnights and that there were three musical performances throughout the episode. Yes, there were many moments where the show was fun but as each sketch dragged on the overall feeling was a bit boring.

It didn’t help that every single sketch of the night took place in traditionally dry settings which was part of the joke. I mean, the show started with a parody of a Presidential debate which has never been known as a fun activity. The monolog was fine and the fake commercial was hilarious, then we went to the NPR Delicious Dish parody that I usually love but even at its best the point of the sketch is how boring NPR talk shows can be.

We then went to a church, which is never a fun setting for the return of the Church Lady, who is a funny character but her one-note joke can get old quick if the sketch goes on for too long. We then went to the woods to see the Two Bushes do some hunting or at least sat and talked while waiting for their prey, which again, had its moments but not much was going on.

The Baha Men might have been the most exciting part of the night as they looked for the man who let out their dogs but they were followed by the news. Again, I love Weekend Update but traditionally the evening news is known to be a bit of a bore minus the satire and comedy. The news was then followed by The Wallflowers who are a bit of a dramatic band who are good to listen to around bedtime.

We then went to an award show sketch, which again, outside the world of sketch is another boring event especially when you take into account that the award show being made fun was rewarding the fashion industry, which just typing made me yawn. The last sketch of the night had Dana Carvey as his racist Chinese Chicken Shop owning character who had dreams of putting on a chicken starred musical and we all know how well musicals are received as being fun? And finally, the show ended with the goodnights which barely even counts.

It would have been nice to have at least one exciting environment and split up a couple of sketches because these sketches were still at least somewhat fun until they started to drag on. Hopefully, our next host, Charlize Theron will have the comedy chops to truly kick off this season, because I know, at least nowadays, she definitely has it in her.

Oh well, we’ll have to wait and see but until that episode comes, it’s now time to shift gears and share what I saw, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with parody coverage of the Third Presidential Debate where once again, Chris Parnell played the moderator and Will Ferrell and Darrell Hammond as Bush and Gore took questions from the audience at a town hall forum in order to highlight how dumb Bush was, Gore was a robot, and policy-wise the two were one and the same, while making the “undecided” voter out to be a bunch of idiots for not like either choice. Of course with this being the opening sketch and with Dana Carvey as host he eventually dropped in as George Bush Sr. to chime in for a bit before he announced, “Live from New York…”
  2. Dana Carvey then officially opened the show with a bit of a stand-up routine where he showcased a few of his impersonations of politicians who were making news at that time.
  3. This was followed by a fake ad for Magic Mouth where Will Ferrell played a doctor who pitched a product that masked your farts with electric dialog.
  4. Delicious Dish then returned for another installment of Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon as the two monotone NPR hosts who interviewed Dana Carvey as a disgruntled teacher about his neighborhood Halloween funhouse and share some of the treats that he traditionally makes for his guests.
  5. Dana Carvey then revised the Church Lady to give us another installment of Church Chat where this time she persecuted Ana Gasteyer, Chris Kattan, and Chris Parnell as Hilary Clinton, Anne Heche, and Eminem over the hedonistic lifestyles.  
  6. Father & Son Go Hunting Dana Carvey as the senior Bush took his son, Will Ferrell as Bush Jr. our on a hunting trip in an effort to teach him a new life lesson about what it means to be the President consider this was the point where Junior overtook Gore in the polls, only W. was too distracted like an ADD-riddled child to listen. This almost led to an Of Mice And Men-style ending where Senior hinted that he was going to shoot his son to save him from doing more harm but instead he opted to let his son live.
  7. Baha Men took to the stage to continue their efforts to answer the question Who Let the Dogs Out?
  8. Once again Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey gave us the news. This week, Molly Shannon as Anna Nicole Smith dropped by to talk about her new Gold-Digging University since this was right around the time that her geriatric husband had dropped dead. We also got a prerecorded bit from Adam McKay where he took to the street to ask the nightlife of New York City their views on the upcoming election while trying to get them into a creepy van in order to get their interview. Robert De Nero also stopped by to confront Jimmy Fallon about his review of Meet The Parents from last week’s episode.
  9. The Wallflowers then took to the stage to perform Sleepwalker.
  10. 2000 VH-1 Vogue Fashion Awards was an award show parody that allowed Dana Carvey and the cast to impersonate several fashion-based celebrities while mocking the award show genre.
  11. Dana Carvey then brought back his offensive chicken loving Ching Chang character who started out the sketch not willing to sell Tracy Morgan a pet chicken because he was afraid that he’d end up frying it then went on to share his dream about putting one of his own pet chickens into a Broadway musical.
  12. The Wallflowers then returned to the stage to perform Hand Me Down.
  13. Finally, Dana Carvey closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Even though this was far from a favorite episode, as I said up above, it still had its funny moments like these three which were my favorites of the night. First, I loved the fake ad for Magic Mouth because just writing the rough draft recap of this sketch was enough to get me to laugh out loud and the actual sketch made me laugh twice as hard. Next, I really liked The Third Presidential Debate not really because it was funny but I like how it highlighted how horrible the two party system is. Finally, I was a fan of the Ching Chang sketch despite how offensive it is because there is are slim-picking of sketches I liked and I really liked the concept of an all chicken musical.

Capture26032.JPG
Capture26033.JPG
Capture26034.JPG

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.