SNL: S26E09... HOST: CHARLIE SHEEN... DATE: JANUARY 14, 2001

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Finally, Another Fun One

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One of the most interesting thing about watching this show through modern eyes is just how much the present can change my expectations when it comes to the past. Since this season is mainly made up of non-comedic actors as hosts, when I first saw Charlie Sheen on the list, my first thought was that he was just another host who would fulfill that trend. It wasn’t until I saw him on the screen that I remember how thanks to movies like the Hot Shots series and the two Major Leagues, as well of all of his time spent on sit-coms, he spent more time in the world of comedy than as a serious actor.

I think the main thing that made me forget about this funny period of Charlie’s career was his public meltdown a couple years ago that was fun to watch as far as trainwrecks go but as someone who suffers from mental issues myself, there was always an underlying sense of sadness. Even though during this meltdown there was an effort to keep things funny, hell, he even went on a comedy tour, but still, looking back, the overall experience left me feeling that the serious star of The Wraith had lost his mind.

Again, this all changed the moment that I saw him on the stage with a smile that did seem demented or forced and was brought back to a time when he was a still wild but funny guy which eased my concerns for the night. Also again, keep in mind, this realization wouldn’t have taken so long if this were any other season.

What followed was the best show so far this year. Though I might have laughed more during Tom Green’s visit due to his crazy antics, and felt Charlize Theron did great considering the season, I’d put tonight’s episode up against any other year. Granted, it wouldn’t be close to the best show in that competition but it would probably beat out at least a show or two.

With Tom Green, I liked his episode because he made it his own which makes it hard to compare to anything. With Charlize Theron, I felt that there was a great energy that led everyone to do great with what they had to work with. For this episode, I not only felt that Charlie Sheen and the cast did well but the content was made up of the proper blend of reoccurring characters and brand new material. Almost like the entire crew wasn’t just phoning it in.

Hopefully, this is because I was correct with my last review when I hoped that they’d return from the winter break with their act together as these weaker seasons tend to do. Then again, it could just be the host because the upcoming lineup is filled with talented people who don’t really come to my mind when I think about who would be good in the world of sketch.

Oh well, we’ll have to wait and see how it all turns out when I sit down for tomorrow’s viewing. Until then, it’s now time for me to shift gear in order to share what I saw, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with A Message From The Vice-President Elect where Darrell Hammond as Dick Cheney discussed his recent heart attack and how it wouldn’t affect his role as “Vice President” while hinting that he was in charge. He then told the poor people to tune away and watch NASCAR before giving advice to the rich while his new heart monitor showed us that he kept dying from time to time. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Charlie Sheen then officially opened the show with a monolog about how he just joined the cast of Spin City before starting to joke about his degenerate life. He said that he wasn’t proud of his choices but he was open to discuss his past. He then took to the “members of the audience,” who mainly tried to get him to relapse as well as a guy who asked for his money back for watching the movie Men At Work. The final question of the intro was if our Charlie would like to follow in his father’s footsteps and someday be the President in a show like The West Wing which led our host to draw many comparisons between him and George W. Bush without having to mention his name.   
  3. This was followed by a run of Fox Promos for a bunch of upcoming reality shows called Herpes Island, Temptation Trailer, and The Cannibal.
  4. We then got a parody of The Iron Chef where Charlie Sheen as an American Bachelor took on Horatio Sanz as The Iron Chef and used lazy bachelor cooking technics to pull off a surprising win with his shark head nachos, shark head pizza, and shark head on a bagel.
  5. Eric Dickerson's NFL Pregame Special had Tracy Morgan as Eric Dickerson and mainly made fun of the nonsensical sports coverage that was being put out by ABC sports after they bought the rights to air the NFL. Part of this nonsense included Charlie Sheen dropping by as his character from Major League. Jimmy Fallon as Dennis Miller also stopped by to roast everyone in the room while taking a few shots at Charlie as himself.
  6. The Culps then returned for more of their quirky music instructor-style singing this time to perform a medley of civil rights-themed songs while at a Martin Luther King’s Day assembly.
  7. Once again, Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey gave us the news. This week, Ana Gasteyer dropped by as Katherine Harris to deliver payback to her critic over the way Florida failed during the 2000 Election. Jimmy Fallon reviewed Clinton’s Farewell Tour. Chris Kattan brought back the Terrible Re-Enactment segment to portray Prince Charles falling off his horse. Finally, Maya Rudolph also stopped by as Marta Mercado to discuss the treatment she got from her employer Linda Chavez who had to resign from Bush’s cabinet for a scandal where she hired illegal immigrants with Marta being one.
  8. Nelly Furtado then took to the stage to perform I'm Like A Bird. 
  9. Patsy Marsh had Molly Shannon as the titular Young And The Restless bit role actress who completely overacted her entire scene when she was just supposed to be a transitional character who was just supposed to tell her boss that the person was there for a scheduled meeting.
  10. Ted Brogan was the classic sketch where Rachel Dratch gave birth to Will Ferrell who played a thirty-seven-year-old man named Ted who came out complaining and ready for food and his attempts to breastfeed really freaked out his mom. Also for a grown man who just came out of a womb, he knew an awful lot about current events and even had a couple of friends who were also grown men who were just born.
  11. T.G.I. Friday's had Chris Kattan as a super rude waiter to Charlie Sheen and Molly Shannon who were a married couple out on a date. Not only was he rude to the guest but he also would randomly yell at the staff from time to time in a way that he couldn’t seem to control his outbursts. When the couple called the manager to complain we discovered that this was the fourth complaint like this as well as the fact that this was Kattan’s first day. Chris Parnell, as the manager, then tried to fire the troublemaker only to be handed a not that claimed T.G.I. Friday was a real man and in fact, he was Chris Kattan’s dad. No one believed this at first but then Will Ferrell entered as Mr. Friday in order to save his son’s job and highlighting where the kid got his quirkiness from.
  12. This was followed by The Pervert, A Film By Adam McKay that profiled a collection of New York City perverts who shared their creepy kinks.
  13. Classic Vaudeville With Charles & Fleisy had Charlie Sheen as himself performed a Who’s On First-style routine with Rachel Dratch as his sidekick AKA Heidi Fleiss only using whore’s names instead of baseball players.
  14. Finally, Charlie Sheen closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

As I said up above, so far, this has been the best episode of the year, especially because of these three sketches that contained my three favorite moments of the night which all could have been number one. First, I loved the Ted Brogan sketch because the imagery of Will Ferrell coming out of Rachel Dratch’s womb had me laughing out loud and harder than I’ve laughed in a while. Next, I really liked  The Iron Chef parody not only because I always love the joke where a bachelor competes against great cooks but it also made me really miss the original Japanese version of the real show. Finally, I was a fan of Classic Vaudeville With Charles & Fleisy because it highlights just how brilliant the original Who’s On First routine actually was because it was just as funny in the whore-based parody.

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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.