SNL: S28E20... HOST: DAN AYKROYD... DATE: MAY 17, 2003

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A Solid End To A Season

With Many Ups And Downs

I have to start out this review by admitting that this was the first episode that I struggled to get through since starting this challenge a little over a year and a half ago. This struggle had nothing to do with the quality of the content, but I could barely keep my focus because I was so hung over from a drinking binge that started last night and ended earlier today. I ended up getting so drunk that I almost lost the entire day.

Though I’ve been hungover plenty of times in the past during my viewings, this was the first time that I feared that I wasn’t going to make my day. Thankfully, this turned out to be an entertaining enough show to hold my attention which wasn’t a guarantee considering the rest of the year. As I’ve pointed out plenty of times, I loved the first half of the season to the point where I was contemplating putting it toward the top of my favorites list until the second half came and made me rethink this opinion.

Granted, this episode wasn’t good enough to boost the season back to the top of any lists, but it was still pretty fun to watch. I really like how enough time has passed since the original cast of Not Ready For Prime Time Players were running the show that now when they return to host they seem to love it instead of it feeling like an obligation. One of the most disappointing things to come from this challenge has been how disappointing the alumni host were during those early years. It almost felt like they were hostile witnesses at a trial and not like they were having fun.

That wasn’t the case tonight. In fact, Dan Aykroyd did a good enough job that he seemed to fit right in with the cast. As I pointed out in yesterday’s review, I also really liked how there was a wide variety to his characters instead of him just playing himself. This made the show much easier to watch even though I had to pause the episode twice so that I wouldn’t miss anything while I vomited.

With that said, I’m going to wrap this thing up so I can get some sleep and in order to do so, it’s time for me to shift gears and share what I saw, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with another parody of Hardball where once again Darrell Hammond played Chris Matthews, this time to mock the potential Democratic nominees who would be going up against George W. Bush in the upcoming presidential election. Of Course, with this being the opening sketch, this eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Dan Aykroyd then officially opened the show with a monolog about his history with the show and how much he loved his late castmate, John Belushi. After sadly acknowledging that John was gone he called his brother Jim Belushi to the stage in order to sing Time Won’t Let Me by The Outsiders.
  3. Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon then revised their pub drinking talk show host characters in order to give us another installment of Top O' The Morning To You where this time they had on Dan Aykroyd as Seth Meyers’ dad who let his other 22 kids run amok in the pub during his interview.
  4. We then got another installment of Rialto Grande with Chris Kattan as a cheesy Las Vegas lounge comedian and Fred Armisen as his hard of hearing drummer/sidekick who is always late with his rim shots. This time, the Kattan showed off his son who was played by special guest, Kip King before introducing his main guest, Dan Aykroyd who played an old-timey comedian named Donnie “The Finger” Gabisky.
  5. The Falconer then returned for another installment where this time the falcon hung out with Dan Aykroyd and a bunch of bikers while The Falconer was sinking in quicksand.
  6. TV Funhouse then gave us an animated treat where Ben Affleck buys Cokee, The Most Expensive Dog In The World for J-Lo who was still his girlfriend at the time this show originally aired.
  7. Donatella Versace Backyard Barbeque had Maya Rudolph as Donatella once again, this time to host a barbeque with her quirky celebrity guests.
  8. Beyonce and Jay-Z then took to the stage to perform Crazy In Love.
  9. Once again, Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey gave us the news. This week, Jeff Richards returned as Drunk Girl and attempted to tan on the Weekend Update desk. Chris Kattan also returned for another one of his Terrible Re-Enactments where this time he re-enacted his “terrible career” where he did all of his characters in a couple of minutes to celebrate his last episode with the show.
  10. Astronaut Jones also returned for another segment where this time Dan Aykroyd played his Chief Science Officer while Maya Rudolph played the sexy alien from Venus who Jones hit on.
  11. La Cuisina Canina was a sketch ahead of its time about a restaurant for dogs which I’m pretty sure is a real thing at this time, only in this sketch they had people playing dogs with no sign of any real beasts which was sort of a surprise because I was expecting to see at least one or two.
  12. Beyonce then returned to the stage alone to perform Dangerously In Love.
  13. Dr. Deacon's Haunch Crack Powder hand Dan Aykroyd as Sam Elliot in order to pitch a new butt powder.
  14. Finally, Dan Aykroyd closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Sorry for such a half-assed review but I’m happy that I’m at the point where I share my three favorite moments because that means I’m minutes away from crawling back into bed and with that here they are. First, I loved Chris Kattan’s Terrible Re-Enactment Of His SNL Career because I really like Chris Kattan as part of the show and this was a nice way to see him go. Next, I really liked this week’s Astronaut Jones because, again, I really love this character and it cracked me up when he and Maya Rudolph broke character in order to bicker as themselves. Finally, I was a fan of Dr. Deacon's Haunch Crack Powder because it felt like a sketch that you would expect from an original Not Ready For Prime Time Player.

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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.