SNL: S28E06... HOST: BRITTANY MURPHY... DATE: NOVEMBER 16, 2002

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R.I.P. Tia Frasier

 

Clueless has always been one of those movies that I will watch whenever I come across it no matter what scene is on the screen. Having just graduated high school at the time it came out, I still related to the high school-based humor of the film. In fact, by this time, I worked unloading trucks for Macy’s at the local mall where I befriended many of the cheerleaders from my graduating class who all worked in the department that sold hip clothed to the youth leading me to relate to the film even more.

I wouldn’t say that I was popular in high school but at the same time, I wouldn’t say that I was ignored but instead was a slacker who hung out with the skaters who kind of fit in with everyone while being off to our own at the same time. This is how the cheerleaders accepted me so easily as an adult when we ended up working together. This is also why I probably related to Brittany Murphy’s character more than anyone else in the movie.

Not just that but her quirky slacker look in the film reminded me of the type of slacker/skater girl that would often find myself having hopeless crushes on and thought she was cute even before her movie make-over. Her quirky “unconventional cuteness” was also why I loved her in Drop Dead Gorgeous which is another movie that I’ll watch every single time that I see that it’s on.

Since I was such a fan going into the viewing, I couldn’t imagine not enjoying this episode hosted by this actress who left us too early on in her life. Whether or not it was to cover any pain, her silly high energy always seemed highly infectious so I could easily see it sending the rest of the cast into a comedic feeding frenzy.

Right out the gate, I felt that the rap battle that took place during the monolog was the best host opening that I’ve seen in quite a while. It seems like it’s been years since the show started to stick to the trend of interrupting the intro to make it more of a sketch than a segment of spoken word. Normally, these interruptions seem a bit forced but tonight’s was the best that I’ve seen in a while.

After that, the night was filled with fun. The only thing that bummed me out how this was around the time Brittany Murphy started to get scary skinny in what seemed to be her effort to escape always being the make-over girl by locking herself into the glamorous “after” look. This made me sad because it seemed to be the start to her downward spiral, even though she was always good at forcing a smile.

Of course, this is mainly me reading into the situation based on my own insecurities considering the fact that I know nothing about Brittany Murphy other than what I’ve seen of her on screens. Speaking of seeing, it’s now time to move on and share what I saw, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with Adam Sandler singing his third rendition of the Chanukah Song with the help from special guests, the Dreidels which was a choir made up of a collection of kids and Rob Schneider who all sang background. As always, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”

  2. Brittany Murphy then officially opened the show with a monolog where she shared an SNL secret that the West Coast cast members and the East Coast cast members have been in a comedy war for years which then built up to an 8 Mile-style rap battle between the two squads.

  3. We then got a parody of Welcome Back, Kotter tilted Welcome Back, Potter which of course was a Harry Potter-themed reboot of the early ‘80s sit-com only with Harry Potter old enough to play the Kotter role.

  4. The Leather Man had Jimmy Fallon as the titular leather-clad man who ran leather shop and attempted to talk Brittany Murphy into a pair of leather snakeskin pants, while Horatio Sanz played Jimmy’s assistant named Choo-Choo who was completely ignored after getting bitten in the penis by a random rattlesnake that got mixed in with the latest leather deliver. Of course, this led to the classic joke about sucking the poison out where Jimmy opted to let Choo-Choo die rather than help to survive by using his mouth.

  5. This was followed by a parody of Donahue where Darrell Hammond as Donahue shared that he was distraught that no one was watching his show anymore, while Jeff Richards as Michael Moore and Maya Rudolph as Barbra Streisand attempted to explain the low ratings.

  6. Jimmy Fallon and Horatio Sanz then gave us another installment of the dorm room webcast called Jarret's Room where this time they interviewed an easily excited Brittany Murphy who was there to share how she wanted to protest the killing of turkeys for Thanksgiving Day only she was unable to fully focus because she was too hopped up on energy drinks.

  7. Burrell's Statement had Seth Meyers as the late Princess Di’s butler who shared a statement about a recent scandal where he was caught having a gay affair with an Australian antiques dealer only he struggled to hide his gay tendencies in the process. The joke was more that he was trying to pull off this lie in front of his wife and not really the fact that he was gay.

  8. Tennis Talk With Time Traveling Scott Joplin gave us Maya Rudolph as a time-traveling Scott Joplin who went back in time just to hassle Brittany Murphy as Anna Kournikova about her looks to skill ration during an interview with her, Tracy Morgan and Dean Edwards as Venus and Serena William where the joke was the Williams girls were definitely known for their skills over their looks which may be a harsher joke than the Kournikova-based ribbing even though it wasn’t treated that way at all.

  9. Nelly and Kelly Rowland then took to the stage to perform Dilemma.

  10. Once again, Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey gave us the news. This week, Jeff Richards returned as Drunk Girl and was again she was too drunk to get to the reason that she was on the news in the first place which was how a new study showed that wine actually helps with Alzheimer’s. Maya Rudolph and Chris Kattan then portrayed Liza Minelli and David Gest to drop in and explain why their reality show was canceled.

  11. We then got another installment of Astronaut Jones which was still pretty much the same as the last few where Tracy Morgan just sang his theme song, hit on the host as a big boobed alien and then sang the closing song, only this time musical guest, Nelly and special guest Garrett Morris joined in on the fun.

  12. TV Funhouse then gave us a new segment called the Religetable which was a parody of the Veggie-Tales that shared the darker sides of the history of modern religions. There was also a new interruption that showed how even modern-day practitioners still aren’t fully safe since is covered the story of a veggie priest who was charged with molesting young plants.

  13. Jack Handey then shared another chapter of My Big Thick Novel where this time, our hero shared a tale of when he slipped out of arm’s length while involved in a square dance routine.

  14. Nelly took to the stage alone to perform Hot In Herre.

  15. This was followed by another installment of The Girl With No Gaydar where this Rachel Dratch as the titular girl failed to realize that sculptor Brittany Murphy was a lesbian even though she was blatantly hitting on her.

  16. Finally, Brittany Murphy closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

My favorite part of tonight’s episode is how I went into the viewing with high expectation only to have them instantly exceeded with the help of these three sketches that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved this week’s installment of Astronaut Jones Featuring Nelly, And Garrett Morris not only because I love this series of sketches but it was great to see Garrett Morris again since it’s been over a year since I’ve watched his season of the show. Next, I really liked The Leather Man sketch because I actually don’t mind when the cast member’s laughter breaks the scene, in fact, it often leads to a favorite moment like this one. Finally, I was a fan of this week’s installment of The Girl With No Gaydar because it was funny to see that Rachel Dratch’s lack of gaydar also meant that she was blind to spotting obvious lesbians and her gaydar being off wasn’t just about her being attracted to gay men.

 
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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.