SNL: S26E15... HOST: JULIA STILES... DATE: MARCH 17, 2001

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Happy 500th Episode

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Holy crap, I can’t believe that I’ve been watching SNL for five hundred days in a row and I’m still barely halfway through the project. Actually, for me, this is episode five-hundred-one since I counted the Mardi Gras special from the original cast as an actual episode since they actually did new sketches and didn’t just fill the special full of clips, like every other special has been from that point on. Well, the fortieth anniversary special also had new content but I’m still about a year of watching away from that.

As for the actual episode, I went into this viewing kind of excited about the night since Julia Stiles was a celebrity crush of mine around the time this episode originally aired. That said, I liked her because she has a resting frowny face, not in a resting bitch face way because by default she seems more sad than mad. Because of this, when she does smile, it feels extra special, that combined with her acting ability made her a perfect love interest in comedic films.

That said, I always felt that she was a better actress in her more serious roles which is why my expectations for the episode was that it would be slightly better than average, considering that seems to be the best this season can do with actresses and actors of this caliber. Unfortunately, this caliber of hosts has made up most of this year which is why I was so confident in setting my expectations to be so low. Any other season, with stronger writing, I would have been excited for more reasons than just seeing one of my mid-twenties celebrity crushes.

Normally, I’d go on to explore my issues but this season has been so consistently bland that I’ve said it all before. Thankfully, I like the cast enough that I’m at least entertain and not angry like I’ve been in the past during slow seasons where I didn’t really care all that much for the cast. With that, I’m just going to move on and share what I saw, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a parody of Martha Stewart Living where Ana Gasteyer as Martha shared her tips for surviving St. Patrick’s Day using her brand of arts and crafts decorating techniques. Of course, with this being the opening sketch it ended by her announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Julia Stiles then officially opened the show with a monolog about how this was the five hundredth episode and then was quickly joined by Tracy Morgan who started to hit on her since she fell in love with a black guy in her movie Save The Last Dance that she was there to promote.
  3. This was followed by a repeat of the Homocil commercial from earlier in the year which was a pill for parents who needed to cope with their kid being gay.
  4. Wake Up, Wakefield brought us the debut of this high school produced morning show with Maya Rudolph as the host and Rachel Dratch as her nerdy best friend/sidekick. This week, the two interviewed Julia Stiles about the school’s latest stage play production Hair and how they handled the nude scenes.
  5. Jackie Gives Attitude had Maya Rudolph rude character Jackie return, this time to give attitude while working at the post office. Only this time she meets her match in Julia Stiles who played an irate customer.
  6. Aerosmith then took to the stage to perform Jaded.
  7. Once again, Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey gave us the news. This week, Darrell Hammond dropped by as Arnold Schwarzenegger to talk about his upcoming run for Governor of California and his plan to eventually become the President only to end up arguing with Jimmy and Tina, who tried to explain why that goal would be impossible to fulfill. Later, during a story, Jimmy and Tina also learned that the real David Copperfield was the person in control of their cue cards who magically made words appear on pages that were blank.
  8. Suel Forrester Directs A Movie brought back Chris Kattan’s mumble-mouthed character, who’s been gone for quite a while. As the title suggests, this time, Suel Attempted to direct a movie only none of his actors could understand a single word that he said.
  9. Beppi had Rachel Dratch and Julia Stiles as two foreign sisters who clean up and office after business hours who had to listen to Maya Rudolph and Ana Gasteyer complain about staying late and how horrible their jobs were even though it seemed like a cake walk when compared to these two cleaning ladies who felt happy to just be in The States.
  10. The Doberman! was another short film by Adam McKay that pretty much just had Will Ferrell being attacked by a Doberman that some random guy let loose in Ferrell’s mess of a bachelor apartment in the middle of the night, only it became daytime the moment the scene moved outside. It turned out this was a service that Ferrell paid for to add some excitement to his life.
  11. Apollo Theater Amateur Night had Julia Stiles attempt to entertain the rough Apollo audience and eventually won them over by partnering up with Jerry Minor in order to complete her routine.
  12. We then got an infomercial-style fake ad for Willy Sluggs Eye Poppers where Julia Stiles played the pitchwoman who tried to promote Jerry Minor as the titular magician whose tricks were terribly lame while some didn’t even work.
  13. Aerosmith then returned to the stage to perform Big Ten Inch Record.
  14. Der Lacheln Beherrscht was a parody of a German kids’ show that was far too disturbing for the age range of its target audience since it was so surreal and creepy that it was almost too disturbing for adults.
  15. Van Morrison St. Patrick's Day Message had Jimmy Fallon as Van Morrison who sang a song where you could barely make out the words while chugging Guinness so aggressively toward the end he was just throwing it in his face.
  16. Finally, Julia Stiles closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

Once again, this was another episode that may not have been all that fun to examine in order to write the review but it was entertaining enough to just sit down and watch thanks to sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved Der Lacheln Beherrscht because it was so bizarre in the style that I love and the only sketch of the night to be me to laugh out loud. Next, I really liked the Beppi debut because I really liked how it was highlighting how people will complain about their struggles without really knowing what struggling means and I include myself as one of these complaining people. I liked the fake Willy Sluggs Eye Poppers infomercial because there were some subtle jokes about how not only was Will Sluggs a bad magician but he was terrible in his efforts to act in his own self-promoting commercial.

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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.