SNL: S27E03... HOST: DREW BARRYMORE... DATE: OCTOBER 13, 2001

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The Awkward Road To Normalcy

Continues To Grow

So far, I’m still not fully sure what to make of this season, let alone this particular episode. Part of me feels that, as far as the season goes, this is just another continuation of the past two or three years because the writing level seems to be on par. The difference being, this season, the episodes seem just a tad bit better as a whole but they also lack the one or two sketches a night that can get me laughing so hard that I don’t mind the otherwise average quality of each episode.

Unlike the other recent seasons that have had a similar tone, I feel this season is suffering from a balancing act that was triggered by 9/11. I get it, considering just how close these episodes aired to the actual events but it’s still something that I’ve noticed. Sometimes it seems like the show’s ready to face the topic head on but then there are other moments where the show acts like nothing happened at all, which feels extra weird to me considering the show’s based out of New York.

Tonight’s episode was a little rough, considering it started with a 9/11 joke with Dick Cheney in Afghani caves looking for Osama bin Laden only to be followed up by Drew Barrymore who seemed genuinely terrified to even be in New York City. The next two sketches could have aired any other year since there was no reference to terror which was followed by three prerecorded sketches that felt like filler to make up for the fact Barrymore almost backed out of her hosting duties, which again, considering the time, I fully understand but still feel that it led to a quality issue that I couldn’t just overlook.

In the end, this turned out to be another episode that was perfectly fine to watch but wasn’t all that inspiring to write about. I do have hopes that this season will eventually work it out, especially when the newcomers grow more comfortable with sharing their voice since the biggest issue is still that the show’s grown to be a bit stale from having mostly the same cast for so many years in a row.

Alright, that’s all that I’ve got for now and with that, it’s now time to move on in order to share what I actually saw, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with A Message From The Vice-President Of The United States which had Darrell Hammond as Dick Cheney reporting from a secret cave in Afghanistan where he was searching for Osama bin Laden himself noting, “If you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself.” He then went on to share tales of his trail of destruction and showing us his new Darth Vader looking heart that keeps him running so strong. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Drew Barrymore then officially opened the show with a monolog about how she almost back out of hosting due to her 9/11 fears until Mayor Giuliani’s courage brought her back to New York despite there being anthrax fears within the NBC building after a strange package was sent to the NBC New Department. There weren’t any jokes while our host shared her fears but there was a funny moment at the end of the intro where Drew thanked her new husband, Tom Green, for showing her how to have courage, only he was sitting in the audience wearing a gas mask and refused to take it off.
  3. This was followed by a parody of Crossing Over With John Edwards with Will Ferrell as John Edwards whose psychic predictions are so far off from being accurate that it took him forever to pick a letter of the first name of someone who recently died in his effort to select an audience member to read.
  4. Will Ferrell and Rachel Dratch then revised their creepy Love-Ahs characters who this time hung out in a resort hot tub and played a pair of matchmakers in an effort to hook up Jimmy Fallon, who played a solo guest, with one of their fellow creepy/intellectual friends, as played by Drew Barrymore.
  5. This was followed by a fake ad for the Willy Wonka: 30th Anniversary DVD that featured outtakes, rejected screen tests and a “Where are they now?” update special.
  6. TV Funhouse then gave us another installment of Fun With Real Audio where this time Robert Smigel animated the Emeril sit-com that I completely forgot was real, while showing the producers make impromptu changes in an effort to stop the ratings from continuing to drop since a sit-com based on a cooking show may not have been the best idea.
  7. First Liberty Savings Bank featured Will Ferrell as a failure of a son to a ruthless banker who failed so bad that he had to put the bank’s money up for sale as if he were a serious version of Crazy Eddie who was continually cutting the prices for his VCRs.
  8. Macy Gray then took to the stage to perform Sexual Revolution. 
  9. Once again, Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey gave us the news. This week, Chris Kattan dropped by as Gay Hitler for a quick moment after a story of a new book that suggested the dictator may have been gay. Colin Quinn also returned for a special appearance where he explained what was going on in Afghanistan, and Will Ferrell wrapped up the news as Neil Diamond in order to sing Heartlight.
  10. Action Talk Show had Chris Kattan as an action hero who was promoting a direct-to-video action theme talk show filled with stunts and random fist fights with the guests.
  11. King Kong On WUUB was a sketch where, in order to save money, the WUUB public broadcasting station recreated a King Kong remake using inserted footage from studio actors and clips from other shows that the network already owned the rights to air.
  12. Lesbian Feminist Singers had Drew Barrymore and Maya Rudolph as a pair of lesbian folk singers who attempted to perform their song despite the constant interruptions from Will Ferrell who was drunk and angry that he lost Drew Barrymore to Maya but then won her back by the end of their little show.
  13. Macy Gray then returned to the stage to perform Sweet Baby. 
  14. Jack Handey then gave us another installment of My Big Thick Novel where this time he could fathom the whole, “When dinosaurs ruled the Earth” cliché.
  15. Finally, Drew Barrymore closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

Though this episode was entertaining to watch, it was the first show in a really long while where I actually found it difficult to come up with my three favorite moments of the night but here’s what I managed to come up with. First, I loved the First Liberty Savings Bank sketch because I like the idea of Will Ferrell being so rich and dumb that he has a going out of business sell by selling his family-owned bank’s money at a discount. Next, I really liked the Willy Wonka: 30th Anniversary DVD fake ad but more because I liked the Willy Wonka references and not that I found it to be all that funny. Finally, I was a fan of King Kong On WUUB because I used to love independent broadcasting networks that put on this type of content, plus, I liked the King Kong references but again, I didn’t find the actual sketch to be funny enough to qualify it for any other list. Tonight’s show just happened to be slow.

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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.