SNL: S26E17... HOST: RENEE ZELLWEGER... DATE: APRIL 14, 2001

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More Of The Same From This Season

I’ve probably had to explain this type of host more times this season than I have since I started this challenge, or at least it feels that way since there have been so many in a row, considering this has had so many actors and actresses who can act their asses off but aren’t necessarily known for their comedic skills.

Renee Zellweger is just that type of actress, or at least the way I relate to her career, keeping in mind that I’ve only seen her in Nurse Betty and Me, Myself, and Irene where she was more serious and everyone around her were the source of the bigger laughs. That’s not to say that she didn’t do good in those roles, but unfortunately, I was raised at a time where that was just the role of women in most comedic films.

This is why, when it comes to big screen actresses from this time hosting the show, my expectation for the episode is that it would be slightly better than average at best, especially for this season since there have only been a couple cases where I wasn’t correct. Again, I blame the writing more than the host because there have been plenty of actresses of this caliber in the past who may not be able to improvise a hilarious scene but they can put in the work to take a well-written sketch and excavate every single laugh.

Again, I fully believe that Zellweger has it in her because there were a couple of hilarious sketches that got me to laugh out loud. The problem was, there were the only couple of sketches that I felt were any good. The rest of the show seemed to be filled with filler material as this season comes to an end. I probably wouldn’t be so bothered if this season didn’t start on the same note.

It also doesn’t help that I recently started a new job and am a little off my game myself as I settle into a new schedule, but even while on my old schedule, I’ve been wanting this season to end for quite a while. The two saving graces for this year are that I still love the cast making the shows entertaining to watch even if there’s nothing to write home about, and even the worst of episodes had at least a couple of sketches to get me to genuinely laugh.

I can’t believe there are still three more shows to go. It feels like I’ve lived through the year that this episode originally aired in real time like I could be living in some sort of spin-off of Groundhog Day only with slightly different rules. Oh well, it’s almost over so let’s wrap this up.

With that, I’ll give up on unintentionally bashing this very talented actress to move on and share what I saw, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with The Culps doing one of medley their performances at an H&R Block in honor of the first Tax Day following the Bush Jr. Tax cuts. As always, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Renee Zellweger then officially opened the show with a monolog about how happy she was to host and after she promoted Bridget Jones Diary she went on to read from her own diary which mainly consisted of jokes about her career as she revealed comedic truths about the industry.
  3. We then got a repeat of the Subshack commercial from earlier in the season which was an ad for the anti-Jared Fogle/Subway diet for those who want to regain any weight they lost and possible/probably even more.
  4. Jerry Maguire II had Horatio Sanz as Jonathan Lipnicki who had put on some weight since the last movie but still tried to act like the same cute little kid.
  5. This was followed by a parody of Hardball where once again Darrell Hammond as Chris Matthews ridiculed his guests. This time, his main focus was Renee Zellweger as Molly Ivins who seemed to be an odd fit for the show considering the focus of the show was the U.S. spy plane going down in China and Molly Ivins was just a lighthearted humorist who mainly spoke in old-timey southern catchphrases.
  6. A Wedding Story was a parody of a wedding reality show where Renee Zellweger played a future bride who was beginning to regret being engaged to Will Ferrell because he was the leader of a KISS cover band.
  7. TV Funhouse then gave us the first Fun With Real Audio in quite a while, and this time Robert Smigel created an animation to the real audio from Survivor, focusing on interviews that follow the first season’s final episode.
  8. Once again, Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey gave us the news. This week, Will Ferrell dropped by as the guy who can’t control the volume of his voice to pretty much do the same but funny routine where he starts out talking about the China/U.S. spy plane incident only to end up discussing his vocal ailment the entire time. Jimmy Fallon also got his own special segment to review the new The Producers Broadway play but since he couldn’t get tickets due to the fact that it was sold-out for the first two years, he could only guess at how the show went down.
  9. Eve and Gwen Stefani then took to the stage to perform Let Me Blow Ya Mind. 
  10. TV Theme Songs had Renee Zellweger and Chris Kattan return to Kattan’s apartment following their first date where he went on to try to charm her into bed but if his bizarre choice of conversation wasn’t enough to kill the mood, the fact that the music he chose to make thing romantic was nothing but a bunch of old TV theme songs.
  11. Crazy Doctor brought back Will Ferrell’s crazy doctor character who recently removed Horatio Sanz taint a couple of episodes ago. This time he made more of his patients very uncomfortable with his crazy ways. Molly Shannon also dropped by for a very quick cameo appearance. Even funnier than the doctor’s wacky antics, was the fact how Will Ferrell kept referring to Molly Shannon by her actual name as if she wasn’t a character of as if this were all in his head.
  12. Eve then returned to the stage alone to perform Who's That Girl? 
  13. This was followed by a fake ad for Classical Music Classics that added horrible lyrics to very classical songs for a new compilation album.
  14. Finally, Renee Zellweger closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

As I said up above, even though I wasn’t a huge fan in general, there were at least a couple of sketches that got me to laugh, when I should have said three in order to include all of these favorite moments of the night. First, I loved Jerry Maguire II because Horatio Sanz as a big little kid will always get me to laugh. Next, I really liked the A Wedding Story sketch because it reminded me of a good friend up in Seattle whose wife is a derby girl who always dressed like KISS. Finally, I was a fan of the TV Theme Songs because the idea of a guy who thinks TV theme songs are romantic is pretty funny to me.

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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.