SNL: S27E18... HOST: ALEC BALDWIN... DATE: APRIL 20, 2002

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Welcome To The Ten-Timers Club, Mr. Baldwin

Considering how this season has had such a strong second half, I was really expecting tonight’s visit by, honorary Not Ready For Prime Time Player/host, Alec Baldwin to be another highlight of the year, only to end up slightly disappointed. I wouldn’t say that the show was bad but considering it followed a super strong show hosted by The Rock, it felt like this episode slipped back to the slightly above average but still mediocre quality from the first half of the year, which is too bad because Baldwin’s last visit was such a good one.

Again, that’s not to say that the show was bad, it just didn’t live up to my expectations. The show was kind of fun but it also seemed to focus on a lot of jokes that wouldn’t go over well if it were made today because they’d be deemed too offensive. This is too bad because I found some of the jokes to be funny and if not, I fully got the point that was being made.

The first instance was a simple one where Alec Baldwin kept trying to record an outgoing message for his voice mail but every time he replayed it, he sounded totally gay and was disturbed by this finding. I feel the fact that he’s disturbed by the fact that his voice sounds gay would now come across as him being homophobic, missing the point that he mainly disturbed by the fact that his reality doesn’t match up with what is being heard and not an attack on sexual preferences.

I might just be making something out of nothing with the above example from reading about so much about Twitter outrage in the news but I’m willing to bet many of these always outraged Twitter types would actually have this view. The next example is a bit of a rough one because it consisted of a mainly white collection of cast members trying to make a satirical point about the black men who turn to white women with their first taste of success by showing the reverse and having successful white men hooking up with elderly black women. Though there may have been a point, I don’t know if this was the group to be making it, especially through the filter of modern eyes.

The next example was more legitimately homophobic with Alec Baldwin as Tony Bennet making fun of Liza Minelli’s husband for being gay. That said, the whole point of the sketch was to make fun of this old-school brand of homophobia, plus, the actual husband in question was such a weirdo that he would have been a target of jokes whether or not he actually was a homosexual, which he really was.

Even though I’ve shared how I could see both sides, this isn’t a case like the movie Blazing Saddles where I might be more willing to defend the offensiveness because it was actually making a point. Instead, these were just jokes that failed the test of time leaving me to question how I should feel about judging it. Also, even though I do see both sides, I don’t think I would have liked any of the sketches in question even at the time, except for maybe the answering machine one since I relate and can’t stand the sound of my own recorded voice because it sounds so different, whether or not it sounds gay.

Oh well, that’s all that I’ve got to say on the subject so I will now move on. With that, it’s now time for me to shift gears in order to share what else I saw, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a sketch called Fox News: Blake Murder Mystery where the news in studio anchors from the FOX News Network couldn’t hide their excitement about the hype surrounding the Robert Blake case because they were hoping this would be the next ratings hit like the O.J. trial and they needed a break from all of the terrorist talk. Darrel Hammond as Geraldo Rivera also checked in from the war to mainly brag about himself and his plans to cover the story. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Alec Baldwin then officially opened the show with a monolog about hosting for the tenth time and how he loved it because it allowed by to be edgy and low brow while sharing his political views only to be cut off by Darrell Hammond as Al Gore who tried to stop our host from saying anything crazy following some controversial things that our host for the night said about Bush around the time, including his threat to move to Canada.
  3. We then got a repeat of the Kotex Classics commercial from last season that promoted the old school Kotex pads that had to be strapped into a special belt and were big and bulky as well.
  4. Gay Outgoing Voicemail was a sketch where Alec Baldwin played a character who discovers that his voice sounds very gay to others when heard through his outgoing voicemail recordings even though he doesn’t sound that way in person. No matter how butch he tries to be the recording all came back sounding lispy and the wording changed to sound extra gay every single time.
  5. White Men And Black Women was a sketch that had several members of the cast as rich white folks at a fancy party where the white women complained about the new trend for successful white men to dump their white wives in order to start dating elderly black women, showing the inverse of the old cliché of successful black men always hooking up with white women.
  6. This was followed by a parody of the Osbourne’s where Horatio Sanz as Ozzy kept getting interrupted by his newly famous family while trying to record his latest album. There were also many jokes about how when talking Ozzy was completely unintelligible but he was perfectly coherent whenever he would sing. The sketch then ended with him singing a song called What Have I Become which was a sad little tune about how he hated becoming a sellout and the struggles of growing old.
  7. The Cardinals had Alec Baldwin as the Pope in order to make a request to a collection of Cardinals to keep their privates to themselves.
  8. Once again, Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey gave us the news. This week, Rachel Dratch dropped by as Ally McBeal in order to object to the cancelation of her show. Seth Meyers as Tobey Maguire also got a segment to promote himself the non-energetic choice to be the next Spiderman. Finally, Amy Poehler dropped by as Tina Fey’s daughter for Take Your Daughter To Work Day and shared that she’s embarrassed by her mother’s work.
  9. P.O.D. then took to the stage to perform Youth of the Nation. 
  10. Love-Ahs returned for another installment where this time there was a surprise birthday party for Will Ferrell’s creepy, intellectual, lover character where he and Rachel Dratch disturbed the rest of the party with their creepy companion played   
  11. This was followed by a parody of an Anti-France Ad based on the incident that brought about the term Freedom Fries which ended on the question, Isn’t It Time To Start Hating The French Again?
  12. We then got introduced to The Tony Bennett Show with Alec Baldwin as Bennett had on Maya Rudolph as Liza Minnelli only to go on and make fun of her new husband for being gay.
  13. TV Funhouse then gave us another installment of the Anatominals where the anatomically correct Yogi Bear-style characters embarrassed Lorne Michaels in front of visiting Senate officials.
  14. P.O.D. then returned to the stage to perform Alive. 
  15. Jack Handey then shared another chapter of My Big Thick Novel where this time he shared a tale of how the sight of a knife-wielding clown elicited laughter from our story’s hero because it was still a clown after all.
  16. Finally, Alec Baldwin closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Though this wasn’t my favorite episodes, it still had its moments, like these three that were my three favorites of the night. First, I loved Ozzy Records, What Have I Become because I love Horatio Sanz as Ozzy plus this sketch was funny on multiple levels and wasn’t just a one-note joke, focusing on the Osbourne family, their show, the fact that Ozzy can’t talk but can sing clear as day, and finally his feeling about becoming a sellout through the titular song. Next, I really like the Gay Outgoing Voicemail sketch because whether or not the voice being heard was gay, I have the same response to the fact that my recorded voice sounds different to my voice as I hear it in my head. Finally, I was a fan of this week’s installment of the Anatominals because what’s not funny about anatomically correct Yogi Bear-style cartoon characters?

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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.