SNL: S28E08... HOST: AL GORE... DATE: DECEMBER 14, 2002

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Same As It Ever Was

As I said a couple of nights ago in my review of John McCain’s episode, I used to not mind seeing a politician’s name in the season’s host line-up because as with most sports figures, many politicians actually make for surprisingly good hosts. Now, I feel so spent from politicians and their bullshit, I can’t stand seeing these public relations attempts to get these monsters to seem human. The interesting thing is that I haven’t found myself getting noticeably annoyed until seeing political guests who came into the political spotlight post 9/11.

Hell, even throughout this challenge I’ve loved almost every political host up until the start of the George W. Bush era. I think this is because if the older political guest where a part of any scandals I could look past it because I was too young to fully remember how they affected my life or even if they did at all.

Since I’ve lost faith in the entire system, I no longer find it funny to watch these people glad-handing their way through the show while making light of issues that they genuinely are to blame for, like how W. now likes to joke as if he’s Elmer on the search for weapons of mass destruction. Yes, it can be fun to embrace your flaws but it’s hard to muster up the energy to laugh when you think about the reality of the situation.

This also happened a lot tonight with Mr. Gore who joking about his election loss with more of a shit happens attitude instead of taking on the campaign flaws to make sure a loss to such an idiot would never happen again. Speaking of that, this episode reminded me an awful lot of our latest election. An unemotional robot vs. an idiot that led to a controversial win. It would have been nice if some efforts were made to correct the electoral process, but clearly, nothing changed as almost an exact repeat of the problem has led to our current president.

There were also several segments throughout the night that reminded me of the follow up to the idiot winning the throne where the loser spoke loud in their complaints only to vote for the policies of the new poorly spoken king. I spent the entire episode too bummed out by the cyclical tomfoolery that everyone likes to point out while never making any genuine change. I mean, we had the Savior in the White House for two terms and even he left the office with a more unstable world than when he started.

Don’t get me wrong, I voted for both Gore and Obama and don’t like the policies of Trump but maybe the damage he’s done will get us out of the “if ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” mentality that’s been crammed down my throat ever since I became of voting age and started to take interest in the concepts being thrown around by various third-party option.

Sorry, this got so political but what do you expect with such a political guest. Just remember, no matter what you think of my thoughts, my issues have always stemmed from the people who hold the power and not toward the voters who are giving such a limited but important choice making it an all or nothing system that doesn’t really involve a legitimate choice.

Alright, I’m done rambling, it’s now time to share what I saw, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with Al Gore and his wife Making Out Backstage where Lorne Michaels and the current collection of Not Ready For Prime Time Players couldn’t break up the loving couple from their lip lock as a response to a robotic kiss between the two that was the butt of many late night jokes around this time. The sketch ended with Tracy Morgan tasing the Ex-Vice President which freed up his wife to announce, “Live from New York…”
  2. Al Gore then officially opened the show with a monolog where he joked about some of his flaws that came out while he was campaigning and then reflected back to 2000’s election and how he came up with his running mate. This then led to a The Bachelor-style reenactment showing how it all played out with jokes about the other potential running mates giving Bachelor-like interviews  Gore and Chris Parnell as Joe Lieberman together in a hot tub.
  3. This was followed by a parody of Hardball where as always, Darrell Hammond as Chris Matthews berated his guest during an interview about current events. This time Al Gore portrayed Trent Lott in order to make more racist statements to follow a controversial positive stance on segregation that he had and was recently making the news. Tracy Morgan was also there as Al Sharpton to chime in from time to time to berate Trent Lott as well.
  4. The crazy Spanish political talk show Fiesta Politica then returned where this time Al Gore was the guest and bored the hell out of Maya Rudolph as the host with his talk about the environment while she was obviously just waiting for who the right sign to interrupt with some sort of Telemundo style chaos which made it extremely hard for Gore to make his boring point..
  5. We then went behind-the-scenes to the set of The West Wing where Al Gore could not be torn from the Oval Office TV set during a personal tour of the studio from the show’s President Martin Sheen along with the rest of the real members of the cast.
  6. Jimmy Fallon and Horatio Sanz then brought us another installment of their dorm room based webcast called Jarret's Room where this time the two interviewed Gore as a professor who warned Horatio’s Goby character of the dangers of slacking off throughout school. This warning was then contradicted by a special visit by tonight’s musical guest Phish who proved that you could be a successful stoner.
  7. Phish then took to the stage to perform 46 Days. 
  8. Once again, Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey gave us the news. This week, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph introduced two Hooker characters named Coast Guard Carrie and Vidalis in order to discuss their trade following the success of a documentary about the Nevada brothel The Moonlight Bunny Ranch.
  9. We then got a special installment of Daily Affirmation With Stuart Smalley where Al Franken revised his Stuart Smalley character in order to help a denial-ridden Gore to open up and accept his electoral loss with the help of Tipper, as if it were an intervention.
  10. This was followed by a parody of Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory where Al Gore played Wonka’s accountant who was relieved to see that the wasteful Wonka, as played by Jeff Richard, was handing over the business to Charlie, thinking even a kid would be better with his money than Willy was.
  11. TV Funhouse then gave us a parody of Charlie Brown where he and his gang used their hand waving cartoon powers to make over the town and improve the lives of everyone around like how they simply waved their hands around Charlie’s pathetic Christmas tree in order to turn it into an amazing tree to be displayed with pride.
  12. Phish then returned to the stage to perform Chalkdust Torture. 
  13. Last Call was another singing sketch between Tracy Morgan and Maya Rudolph that I love. This time the two played a couple of drunks who attempted to make their last call request through a song.
  14. Season’s Greetings From "Saturday Night Live" brought back Horatio Sanz and the I Wish It Were Christmas Today band who once again sang the same old ditty only this time while dressed up as popular toys.
  15. Finally, Al Gore closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Though I was annoyed throughout the show because of all of the politics, these sketches made it at least somewhat fun to watch because they contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved the Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory sketch because I love the original Willy Wonka and felt they did a really good job with both the looks of the scene as well as the jokes. Next, I really liked The West Wing segment because I really like when there is cross-promotion that actually works out the way that this sketch did. Finally, I was a fan of Last Call because I’m really enjoying these songs between Tracy Morgan and Ana Gasteyer.

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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.