SNL: S27E11... HOST: JACK BLACK... DATE: JANUARY 19, 2002

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Tenacious SNL

This was the first episode in a while that I had absolutely no concerns going into the view because I trusted the host and aside from the Hartnett setback, I also now trust the season in general. As a former funny fat guy with a panache for drugs, alcohol, and acting weird, I’ve always felt a kindred connection with Jack Black's brand of comedy. Unfortunately, I no longer feel all that funny and am now just a fat guy who enjoyed this episode.

As always, the main thing I loved was Black’s energy which I’ve said many times how the right energy alone is enough to get me an otherwise terrible show, so I really love episodes like this where both the energy and content are worth writing home about. I also felt, with Jack Black, in particular, the cast also seemed excited to have him as the host because everyone seemed like they came to play and have tons of fun.

To top things off, the fact that there’s always been a sketch comedy element to Tenacious D made this viewing feel like a bit of a mashup of the two worlds which only added to the entertainment value. The only problem that I had is a continuing issue that I’ve had with this season where aside from the first few episodes that were justifiably bad, and the Hartnett show, the rest of the episodes have been really good as a whole but there has yet to be a signal sketch that I’ve felt has been funny enough to be a classic and really stand out on its own.

I think this is why I know for a fact that I’ve watched this season back when it originally aired yet, other than a couple of standout moments, nothing seems all that memorable. I’m sure part of this is due to the fact that from this point on, I’ve seen many of the episodes but I wasn’t watching them over and over again as reruns on Comedy Central.

Either way, I was entertained throughout the viewing and can’t wait to keep viewing more. With that said, it’s now time to move on in order to share what I saw, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a sketch called Bush Eats Pretzel that made fun of the real event where we almost lost our President due to his inability to properly chew his food. In the world of the sketch, this wasn’t the actual case but instead was a cover story to hide the fact that Darrell Hammond, as Dick Cheney, would get physical as if he were an abusive dad. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Jack Black then officially opened the show with a monolog about how much he loved the show going back to when he was a little kid before he was handed a guitar in order to sing a Tenacious D-style song that expressed his excitement to be hosting Saturday Night Live not because of his experience but because he’s excited to think about how exciting it must be for the home audience to be watching him on the show. After a while, his Tenacious sidekick Kyle Glass joined him on stage to play one of those double flute things.
  3. This was followed by a fake ad for the Flenderson's Company who sold giant bow to be placed on vehicles that have been purchased as gifts by claiming a new car is meaningless without a huge bow from Flenderson’s.
  4. Russell Putnam: Private Investigator had Jack Black as a pot-head detective in order to solve a mysterious marijuana cover-up where he believed that the government was growing their own hemp for themselves and not sharing any with the people of America. Those this turned out to be true, Jack Black and his crew were too high to focus on the matter at hand so they were unable to expose the issue.
  5. Tales Of Valour had Jack Black as a village monster who preferred “slutty girls” over the virgins who the locals have been offering him for their sacrifices. This week’s virgin sacrifice was Amy Poehler and when Jimmy Fallon came to save the day, the Jack Black monster offered our hero a trade so that Jimmy can get his girl back and Jack could have a woman who’s more adventurous in bed.
  6. Love-Ahs brought the return of Will Ferrell and Rachel Dratch’s intellectual lover characters who this time got creepy while interacting with Chris Kattan and Amy Poehler who played a couple waiting for their room while at a ski lodge. After a while, Jack Black joined the scene as a creepy intellectual himself in order to increase the uncomfortable vibe in the room. Thing got extra weird and the three creeps ended up in a cuddling threesome while continuing their conversation with the new guests.
  7. We then got a parody Friends Promo that promised sibling romance would be explored in the next “special episode” after things started to fall apart between Ross and Rachel.
  8. This was followed by a fake ad for an album called Now That's What Actors Call Singing!: Volume 1 that was filled with celebrities singing horrible covers of popular songs from the time.
  9. Bass-Off had Jack Black and Will Ferrell as two rival bassists and challenge one another to an old fashion bass-off after a reporter as Black what it was like to be the best bass player in the world and Ferrell disagreed with the designation.
  10. Once again, Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey gave us the news. This week, Chris Kattan dropped by as the character Amelie (from one of my favorite foreign films) in order to just visit without ever saying anything at all. Tenacious D then joined the news crew in order to sing a song about the Hornet’s Nest which was a reference to The Middle East.
  11. The Strokes then took to the stage to perform Last Night. 
  12. We then got another parody of America Undercover where once again, Amy Poehler and Chris Kattan played a white trash, meth head couple who this time had the cops called on them for a fight that got out of hand over an extramarital affair with Jack Black and a white trash, meth head who Amy Poehler was having the affair with.
  13. This was followed by a fake ad that had Jack Black as a glue-sniffing mental giant who composed a brand new, and very complex Happy Birthday Song that they were trying to sell as a replacement for the simple happy birthday song that we all know and love.
  14. Jack Handey then gave us another installment of My Big Thick Novel where this time a monkey aided our hero’s escape from prison and then went on to prepare his breakfast.
  15. The Strokes then returned to the stage to perform Hard To Explain.
  16. Finally, Jack Black closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

As I said up above, just like the rest of the season, this show didn’t contain any sketches that top my all-time favorites list but it was rather fun with the help of these three moments that were my favorites of the night. First, I loved Russell Putnam: Private Investigator because I was a fan of the stoner humor involved. Next, I really liked Jack Black’s Very Complex Birthday Song because I liked how they were trying to market it as a replacement for the traditional Happy Birthday To You song as if it were possible to casually remember all the words. Finally, I was a fan of the Bass-Off sketch because I’m currently learning to play bass so it cracked me up how this sketch highlighted how it’s not the best instrument for showcasing via solos.  

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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.