SNL: S27E20... HOST: WINONA RYDER... DATE: MAY 18, 2002

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A Farewell To Ferrell

Before I delve into my thoughts on the farewell to Ferrell, let me start by sharing what I thought of tonight’s hosts. First off, as someone who has always been a fan of girls with short hair and quirky films, I’ve always been a fan of Winona Ryder since she played a big part in why I like the short haired look, but more importantly, I was also in love with her work. That said, I’ve always found her to be more quirky than hilarious, which may work fine any other year but considering how this season has handled this brand of host, I have to admit that I was a tad bit scared, especially considering the fact that the last couple episodes have also felt rather flat.

Fortunately, in this case, the lowered expectations may have actually helped this to be a better show as opposed to being excited for both Alec Baldwin and Kirsten Dunst only to end up feeling let down. I wish I could just go into each episode with no expectations at all but, unfortunately, that’s just not how life works. Oh well, the expectation game worked well in this instance because this turned out to be a fun show.

As far as Farrell’s farewell goes, I’m sad to see him leave because he was so key to the success of this era of the show but at the same time, I’m excited to see how next season plays out without their go-to safety net. It’s not that I feel that the other Not Ready For Prime Time Players have the talent, in fact, I feel quite the opposite but I also feel that the newer talent has been holding on to an older SNL style in order to avoid fixing what wasn’t broken quite yet.

I also feel that watching the show on a daily basis has me even more excited whenever there is a changing of the guard than I was when my viewings were spread out over several years and I would get angry over any change. It also helps that I know for sure that I will already like the new cast instead of the uncertainty that comes from being introduced to a brand new cast while watching the show in real time.

I can’t wait to see what next year has to bring but in order to do so, I must now shift gears in order to share what I actually saw, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with parody C-SPAN coverage of Carter In Cuba where Darrell Hammond as Jimmy Carter kept getting ridiculed by Will Ferrell as Fidel Castro during a visit to Cuba because Castro didn’t see the point of talking to a former President who made many mistakes during his single term. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Winona Ryder then officially opened the show with a monolog about her recent shoplifting controversy and how everyone seemed nervous and watched their things whenever she was near. Tracy Morgan then joined her on the stage to share how they used to treat him the same way and then shared footage of the other cast mates and their wacky antics from the studio’s new security camera system that was installed because of Winona’s visit.
  3. This was followed by another installment of Celebrity Jeopardy where this time Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek had to wrangle Jimmy Fallon as Dave Matthews, Winona Ryder as Bjork, and, of course, Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery while attempting to get through the game show. The sketch ended with a surprise visit from the real Alex Trebek who canceled Final Jeopardy.
  4. Uncle Mike And Uncle Danny was a sketch where Chris Parnell and Will Ferrell played Winona Ryders two dads, who sang Tonight I Celebrate My Love at her wedding reception which freaked out the homophobic family members since their love songs were in reference to men. It didn’t help when Horatio Sanz joined in as a gay interpretive dancer.
  5. Will Ferrell and Winona Ryder then played a pair of Bearologists who were having an affair. In order to off his rich wife to collect her inheritance and run off with Ryder, Ferrell released the bear he and Winona were studying to maul his wife and make it look like an accident. The only problem was when Ana Gasteyer arrived as Will’s wife, the bear shot her with a gun, putting Ferrell in a very sticky situation. Of course, no one believed that the bear shot the gun so Will was sent to jail. The moment the coast was clear it was then revealed the Seth Meyers was in a bear costume for all of these years in order to pull off this crime and run away with Ryder himself.
  6. This was followed by a fake ad for Botox that highlighted how this was a poison that women pump into their face in order to get rid of wrinkles since it was a new trending treatment at the time.
  7. Girl Next Door: The Search For A Playboy Centerfold brought back Amy Poehler’s one-legged girl who had high hopes of being the next centerfold over Winona Ryder.
  8. Once again, Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey gave us the news. This week, Will Ferrell as Neil Diamond said his goodbye to the show by singing the song Cherry, Cherry with 2002 All-Start made up of Gay Hitler, Drunk Girl, “Geraldo Rivera” and the real Neil Diamond.
  9. Moby then took to the stage to perform We Are All Made Of Stars. 
  10. Will Ferrell and Rachel Dratch then revised their creepy Love-Ahs characters in order to enjoy more hot tub loving with our host.
  11. Mango had Mango, Moby and Winona Ryder all on a shopping trip where all of them were eventually struck by the urge to shoplift after all of them discovered that they went shopping without their wallets.
  12. Moby then returned to the stage to perform South Side. 
  13. Will Ferrell’s Farewell had the cast member share how and why Will was so important to the show as a way to say goodbye on his final night.
  14. Finally, Winona Ryder closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

I love when low expectation shows turn out to be good ones which was the cast tonight thanks to sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved the Bearologist sketch because it was the brand of convoluted comedy that I absolutely love. Next, I really liked Shopping With Mango, Moby, and Winona not only because I found that to be a hilarious trio to go shopping but I also liked how it showed that Winona has a sense of humor when it comes to herself. Finally, I was a fan of Will Ferrell’s Farewell because I truly believe he played a major role in why the show was so good during these days, plus it was one of those sentimental last segments that I love.

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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.