SNL: S28E13... HOST: CHRISTOPHER WALKEN... DATE: FEBRUARY 22, 2003

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My Birthday Episode: Year 27

 

I know I bring this up every time that Christopher Walken is on but it’s still true so I will bring it up once again, one of the biggest surprises to come out of this SNL challenge is how much my feeling are mixed towards Walken’s hosting abilities. Whenever I see his name in the line-up of host I still get excited as I’m taken back to a time when I would watch SNL with my friends and his awkwardness was enough to win us over and get us all to laugh.

Now, watching these episodes through modern eyes, alone, and with this challenge in mind, his appearances come across as repetitive and dry. The biggest problem to me is that whenever Walken does host his episode has the fewest and longest sketches of the season which if you’ve followed my progress at all, I’m sure you already know is my biggest pet peeve when it comes to the world of sketch. I mean, there were only thirteen segments tonight.

This long sketch format bothers me enough when the host is a person I don’t really like but I hate it ten times more when the sketches have decent concepts if they didn’t drag on to the point where they started to be a bore. I’m willing to bet that if they were to cut one minute off of every sketch from the night and they take that extra time to add two to four extra segments, this would have been an amazing episode as opposed to just being a “meh” inducing viewing which is what makes me extra annoyed.

To make things worse, the two most annoying sketches where the ones that dragged on the longest of all. The first sketch being The Continental which used to be a series that I loved back when I saw it more as Wile E. Coyote chasing but never catching the Roadrunner and not as a lecherous creep genuinely trying to entrap an unwilling woman into bed. The other top offender was the Love-Ahs sketch that I’ve never really like even during shorter installments that don’t struggle with dragging on, I just don’t like the character.

But as I said, I’m on the fence with every other sketch from the night because as I keep saying, the concepts were all solid enough to keep me entertained throughout the entire viewing even though my mind wandered at those moments when things did drag on.

As usual, like with my current relationship with alcohol now that I’m no longer a daily drunk, I’ll still get excited about Christopher Walken’s next visit even though I know I’ll be let down because I know that I will also have fond nostalgic memories but the connection is just not the same. At least when it comes to Walken, I don’t throw up after each spaced out viewing like I now tend to do each and every time that I randomly get drunk.

Oh well, it’s time to wrap this one up in order to move on, so with that, I give you…   

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with another parody of Hardball where once again Darrell Hammond portrayed Chris Matthews in order to be hostile with his guest. This time his main focus was Christopher Walken as the French Foreign Minister who Matthews mocked for his anti-war stance on Iraq. At the same time, he also mocked Chris Parnell who played a war-mongering conservative. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”

  2. Christopher Walken then officially opened the show with another song and dance, just like every one of his other visits. I don’t know if the song was made up or just old and I’ve never heard it before.

  3. Pranksters was the parody of a prank show with Seth Meyers as an overly energetic host who had on guests to share their prank videos. Chris Kattan played the first guest whose prank was pretty simple and what you’d expect from this type of show. Christopher Walken then played the second guest who shared a video of him killing Chris Parnell with a crowbar for stealing his parking space. Though Walken finds this hilarious, Seth Meyers is so horrified that he started to shake in his pants.

  4. We then got an obligatory installment of The Continental where once again the lecherous Walken attempted to trap a woman in his high rise apartment, only this time the woman in question was a supermodel that he tricked into his abode by claiming to be casting for a model to promote his new line of cosmetic products.

  5. This was followed by a sketch that took place on a Life Raft where Christopher Walken played a crazy captain tried to take the lead of the survivors even though he was fully responsible for the crash that landed them all on the raft in the first place.

  6. African American Archives had Dean Edwards as Don Cheadle who saluted Tracy Morgan as Lucious Claymont for being the very first black person to yell at the screen during a horror movie while treating it as a major accomplishment to be remembered during Black History Month.

  7. Colonel Angus was a period piece of a sketch that was just one long play on word based on the sound of the Colonel’s name when said with a Southern accent.

  8. Once again, Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey gave us the news. This week, Maya Rudolph dropped in as Christina Aguilera to ramble on about, missing the deadline to have her album considered for that year’s Grammy Awards, only in her own singing language that was impossible to be understood. The real Steve Martin also stopped by for no reason at all, other than to kill some dead air time. The real Will Ferrell also made a surprise return to announce that he’s now living on a farm in the middle of nowhere with his new wife Britney Spears who also dropped in for a surprise visit.

  9. Foo Fighters then took to the stage to perform All My Life.

  10. Since Will Ferrell was there, he and Rachel Dratch revised their Love-Ahs characters to be creepy romantic with each other while, once again, Christopher Walken out creeped them both.

  11. Foo Fighters then returned to the stage to perform Times Like These (One-Way Motorway) with Jim Carrey playing air guitar with his leg.

  12. The Rialto Grande then return for another installment with Chris Kattan as a Los Vegas lounge comedian who feuds with his hard of hearing drummer Fred Armisen who’s constantly late with his rim shot. This week, Kattan interviewed fellow lounge comic, Christopher Walken who was just as bad if not worse of a lounge-based stand-up comedian.

  13. Finally, Christopher Walken closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

As I keep saying whenever Walken is on, it’s not that I no longer like his visits, I’m just surprised to find out that I’m no longer as big of a fan of these show as I used to be because his episodes are still good thanks to sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved the classic Colonel Angus sketch because it was the best word-play-based sketch that I’ve seen in quite a while. Next, I really liked the Life Raft sketch because it cracked me up how a crazy Christopher Walken thought that he deserved to be the captain of the life raft considering it was his wacky antics as the captain of the main boat that caused it to crash in the first place. Finally, I was a fan of the parody show called Pranksters because the change in Seth Meyers’ character’s tone when Walken killed a guy as a prank felt so genuine that it was hilarious to me.

 
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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.