A Farewell To Molly Shannon


Around this time in my life, I was too busy irresponsible adulting to really keep up with what was going on in the world of TV. Granted, I still always had the TV on but around the prime-time hour, I was either getting ready for work, since I mainly worked graveyard during this period, or drinking somewhere with friends. Though there were a few shows that my friends would watch on the regular as a group, I was no longer obsessed with keeping an eye on every single new sit-com like I was when I was a little kid. Because of this, Will And Grace fell off my radar.

With that said, I had no idea what to expect from Sean Hayes but my hopes were pretty high considering every clip that I’ve ever seen from his work showcased that he had the right energy to potential be a fun host no matter how little I knew of his resume. Thankfully I was right because this season is in desperate need of a stronger second half and this episode makes four good shows in a row.

However, once again, tonight’s show was another case where the energy was much better than the actual content alone because the actual sketches weren’t that great. Keep in mind, I would take this problem any day over a show that was well written with uninspired performances. When it comes to sketch comedy where a new show is created every week, I’m perfectly fine with enthusiasm being a crutch as long as I feel entertained.

Not only was Sean Hayes’ high energy an asset to this episode, I feel like the rest of the cast was really on their game in order to celebrate the fact that this was Molly Shannon’s last show. Though I’m always sad to see a Not Ready For Prime Time Player leave mid-season, these nights usually are at least a little extra fun. Though I didn’t remember the fact that this came from her final show, I will always remember the episode for Molly’s “I’m Fifty!!!” character’s joke about her camel toe.

I don’t know if we watched it as it originally aired but I do know that I watch this show with a group and were all blown away by the fact that this term had made it on to network TV. Not only was it crazy that she said the joke but just like the live audience, we laughed even harder when she yanked at her pants to fully display the toe.

Not only that, but I will also remember this night as the night that Tracy Morgan finally figured out his character, Brian Fellow who might be my favorite character of all time. Up until now, he’s been fun as a sports reporter on the news and his first Safari Planet got me to laugh but his character voice was still just a tad bit off.

Alright, that’s all that I’ve got to say about this viewing so with that, it’s now time to move on and share what I actually viewed, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with A Message From The President Of The United States where Will Ferrell as George W. Bush announced that he performed a strike on Iraq as a personal favor to former President Bill Clinton in order to keep yet another Clinton scandal out of the news. It turned out the scandal in question was the pardoning of Mark Rich and Bush decided to help cover this up since he and the Republicans would have done the exact same thing, so this act was actually bipartisan. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually ended with the announcement of, “Live from New York…”

  2. Sean Hayes then officially opened the show with a monolog where after sharing how excited he was to be there, he played a difficult song on the piano while signing autographs for the audience, solving a Rubik’s Cube, and even taking calls from his friend on his cell phone because, the piano portion at least, was how he dreamed of opening the show when he when he was twelve and knew that he’d someday be famous, which explains the autograph seekers.

  3. Delicious Dish then returned after a long absence and once again, Molly Shannon and Ana Gasteyer played their monotoned NPR host characters who ended up tripping balls after eating their guest’s, as played by Sean Hayes, sampling of magic mushrooms only it turned out that they only shared a portabella mushroom.

  4. This was followed by a fake ad for Homocil which was a sedative marketed to parents in order to cope with their children’s homosexual tendencies.

  5. We then got another parody of Hardball where once again Darrell Hammond played Chris Matthews in order to verbally abuse Molly Shannon as Denise Rich and Chris Kattan as Paul Begala over for their involvement in the Mark Rich pardon which was quite a farewell from our president.

  6. Jeffrey's had Sean Hayes and Jimmy Fallon as two clothing folders at a trendy clothing store who brutally mocked their potential customers who were shopping at their overpriced store. Horatio Sanz eventually became the main victim but he was too dumb to understand their barbs but didn’t back down from the confrontation which got everyone laughing in whichever version I was seeing. Then the place lost their minds when Will Ferrell entered as what seemed to be the inspiration for Mugato. Apparently, they had to replace the live aired sketch with one from the dressed rehearsal for rebroadcasts because there was just too much laughing from the actors throughout the scene.

  7. Shaggy then took to the stage to perform It Wasn't Me.

  8. Once again, Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey gave us the news. This week, Sean Hayes dropped in as the kid from Billy Elliot to share how pissed off he was that he wasn’t nominated for an Academy Award, and then went on to dance his way out of the studio.

  9. Hello Dolly then returned after a long time off for another round of Ana Gasteyer trying to sell her cute but bizarre-looking dolls on a Home Shopping Network-style show, with Sean Hayes as her special guest.

  10. Fashion Week 2001 had Sean Hayes as the host of a Fashion show that kept getting interrupted by Molly Shannon’s character who loved the fact that she’s fifty, and was proud of her high kicks, ability to stretch and is most proud of her camel toe.

  11. Shaggy then returned to the stage to perform Angel.

  12. Action News 4 Morning Report showed a morning talk show crew as they tried to report on a story where a tractor-trailer crashed into a tiny clown car which led to multiple casualties. Even though the scene was filmed with clowns doing silly things and developments that delved out more hilarious situations, everyone did a good job at keeping a straight face throughout the multiple updates.

  13. Last Show! had Molly Shannon as Mary Katherine Gallagher sing School’s Out For Summer in honor of the fact that this was going to be her very last show.

  14. Brian Fellow's Safari Planet returned for another installment of Tracy Morgan as an ill-informed animal expert who lives so much in a fantasy world within his head that he confused the hell out of his guest as they tried to share their exotic animals and all he did was suggest the clothing that could be made from each animal and asking random ass questions.

  15. This was followed by a repeat of the Corn Chip Nail Tips commercial from earlier in the season which was a fake ad for fake nails that you can eat and was marketing to a hip-hop audience.

  16. Talkin' 'Bout 'Ginas was a parody of The Vagina Monologues that featured Ana Gasteyer as Joan Rivers, Chris Kattan as Farrah Fawcett, Rachel Dratch as Pooja Baranji, Molly Shannon as Anna Nicole Smith, Maya Rudolph as Gayle King, and Will Ferrell as China, in order to talk about their vaginas.

  17. Finally, Sean Hayes closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Up until this run of four good shows in a row, I don’t think there were four other good shows this season, but thankfully, tonight was a fun one thanks to these sketches that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved Fashion Week 2001 because even though I fully expected it, I still laughed my ass off when Molly Shannon did her whole camel toe routine. Next, I really liked the Jeffery’s sketch because even though a lot of people say that hate when the actors break into laughter, as long as it’s genuine, for me, it’s my favorite thing to see. Finally, I was a fan of this week’s Brian Fellow's Safari Planet because, as I said up above, this seemed to be the night that Tracy Morgan found Fellow’s true character voice.


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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.