SNL: S28E03... HOST: JOHN MCCAIN... DATE: OCTOBER 19, 2002

Capture28035.JPG

or...

Too Politically Pooped To Laugh

Just like I’ve never been a huge fan of sports, I’ve never been a big fan of politics either but, unfortunately, my love of stand-up comedy, late night talk shows, and morning talk radio, I always kept tabs on world events in order to keep up with the jokes. I was never solidly on either side politically but that was fine because the jokesters of the time were more loyal to telling jokes than promoting either side’s political agenda, well, at least not as hard-lined as they seem to be these days.

With that said, just like with sports, I’m also surprised by how often I tend to really enjoy host from the political world, especially up until a few years ago. Unfortunately, this episode may have aired during a time period where I enjoy political hosts and I do remember really like McCain as a person after it aired, maybe not enough to vote for him but he didn’t seem like an evil man. Now, I don’t really know where I stand when it comes to this man or any politician involved in the power grab that followed 9/11 which may have led to some collateral disinterest while watching with modern eyes.

The next sign was the fact that the last to shows had eighteen and nineteen segments which I feel is the ideal segment count in order to keep any of the sketches from feeling like their dragging on. With this shorter sketch format, this season started out as a blast, but the longer but fewer segments in tonight’s show really made it feel like the show was dragging on, especially since almost every sketch was politically themed.

I might have liked these political jokes at the time when they were still fresh and topical but now it just seems like generic jokes to help McCain public image, especially during this time period when all of our threats were vague or simply made up so the stories being satired didn’t have the meat to stick around. That’s not to say that the things that did go down around this time were unimportant but this was the start of less trust worth news coverage (referencing WMDs and not the current claims that everything from either side is fake news which is a-whole-nother story.

Hopefully, the rest of the season will fall back to the format that started the season of so that this year can get back to being funny and fun. With that said, it’s now time for me to move on and share what I saw to get this thing over with, so, I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with parody coverage of Decision 2002: Iraqi State News where we saw Iraqi-base reporting on the Iraqi Presidential Election that had all of the reporters, as well as Horatio Sanz as Saddam Hussein, keep openly hinting how Saddam was responsible for setting up his own landslide win. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. John McCain then officially opened the show with a monolog where he announced that he was the first sitting Senator to host the show. He then went on to tell a dad joke about one of the other Senators, only to have Fred Armisen’s Fericito character interrupt in order to teach the Senator how to tell successful jokes by using a funny catchphrase in order to emphasize the joke. He then went on to tell a few jokes of his own ending each example with a rim shot followed by his catchphrase, “Ay, dios mio.”
  3. This was followed by another parody of Hardball where this time, Darrell Hammond as Chris Matthews hosted a debate on the safety measures against terrorism between John McCain as John Ashcroft and Rachel Dratch as Rebecca DeWitt while Tracy Morgan chimed in with nonsense while portraying Harry Belafonte.
  4. To Love, Honor, And Stalk: The Gillian Woodward Story was a parody of a The Lifetime Network movie-of-the-week that misconstrued the story of Amy Poehler as Gillian Woodward by misrepresenting her close-talking husband, John McCain, as a dangerous stalker to be overcome.
  5. Maya Rudolph and Rachel Dratch then gave us another installment of their high school produced morning talk show Wake Up Wakefield where this time they interviewed John McCain as their hippie teacher who also showed them how to carve a Steely Dan-themed jack-o-lantern for Halloween.
  6. TV Funhouse then gave us another installment of The Ambiguously Gay Duo where the bigheaded villain attempted to subdue our superheroes by playing into their gayness and getting them involved in a décor change.
  7. This was followed by a parody of Meet The Press where Darrell Hammond as Tim Russert wouldn’t stop asking John McCain, as himself, if he'd be running for president in 2004.
  8. The White Stripes then took to the stage to perform Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground.
  9. Once again, Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey gave us the news. This week, Will Forte his dry talking character, Tim Calhoun who utilized Equal Time Rule in order to share his mundane political views while asking for votes in an upcoming local election.
  10. This was followed by a fake ad for McCain Sings Streisand which was an album that John McCain put out in order to get back at Barbra Streisand for sticking her nose into the world of politics and constantly sharing her views.
  11. Jack Handey then shared another chapter of My Big Thick Novel where this time our hero recalled a crisis of conscience during dinner with a bunch of cannibals.
  12. Top O' The Morning was a talk show hosted by Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers as two Irish pub drinkers who have a “heard all the jokes, thank you very much, so save them,” attitude as they interview John McCain as Frank McCourt.
  13. The White Stripes then returned to the stage to perform We're Going To Be Friends.
  14. Finally, John McCain closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

I have to admit that I was surprised that I didn’t like this episode more because I remember like McCain as a host in the past, but I guess it was still okay thanks to these three of my favorite sketches that contained my favorite moments of the night. First, I loved McCain Sings Streisand because McCain singing Memories was the only sketch to get an audible laugh out of me. Next, I really liked Hardball because I like the crazy things that would come out of Tracy Morgan’s mouth as Harry Belafonte and I like how Hammond as Chris Matthews kept cheering the crazy train on. Finally, I was a fan of this week’s installment of My Big Think Novel because I really like this segment in general but it’s usually so quick that I don’t think of it when making these list so I figured why not honor it tonight.

Capture28032.JPG
Capture28033.JPG
Capture28034.JPG

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.