SNL: S29E02... HOST: JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE... DATE: OCTOBER 11, 2003

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or...

Who Knew, The Top Ramen Headed Pop Star

Would Turn Out To Be The Perfect Host???

Every time I feel like I’ve gotten to the season where I stopped religiously watching the show, an episode like this will pop up that I distinctly remember watching when it aired on its original night. At first, I thought that this was due to the fact that these years were fun but not all that memorable, but then I started to factor in how I watch all of the earlier years over and over again on VHS dubbed tapes and through reruns on Comedy Central.

Good or bad, I watched these older shows so many times that the nostalgia alone could make a show that might otherwise be hard to get through still be pretty fun, as opposed to these later shows that I saw maybe once or twice that don’t trigger the same memories within me. In fact, tonight’s episode was the first one in quite a while where I remembered most of the night based on the sketch list alone.

It was nice to go into a viewing knowing for sure that I would like what I see and not just hope based on how much I like the host. I think this episode stands out so much because back when it originally aired, if you would have told me that Justin Timberlake was actually funny, I would have laughed at you right in your face before informing you that you need to get some help. I remember being so blown away by how much this show got me to laugh out loud.

Though I’m still not won over as far as his music goes and was annoyed by the three music segments, I do feel that his collection of visits may have Timberlake up in the top ten list of hosts who I look forward to seeing. As usual, I think it’s his high energy and a genuine sense of loving to host the show that makes his such an excellent host. It also helped that even though there were three music segments, altogether eighteen segments meant the night used the short sketch format that I swear I’ve never not liked.

I know I always get hung up on this, but there seem to be two styles of shows. The first one that gives us twelve to fourteen segments that can often get boring when the sketches drag on for way too long. The other style being, a night like tonight with sixteen to eighteen segments allowing us to get in and out of sketches before they could even get to the point where they’re long enough to become a bore. The sad thing is that the twelve to fourteen segment shows seem to be the default, especially in these later seasons which is a trend that I hope will change, especially since they should be switching to cope with the increase of A.D.D. riddled viewer in the more recent days.

Where the season-opening show had me a bit nervous about how the rest of the year will play out, tonight’s episode has me back to be enthusiastic because I do really like this cast. With that, it’s time to shift gears in order to wrap this thing up so I can get some sleep to be well rested for my next viewing, and with that, I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a parody of Hardball where once again Darrell Hammond played Chris Matthews in order to yell at his guest no matter what their take is, this time on the topic of a CIA leak in the White House who was making news at the time. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Justin Timberlake then officially opened the show with a monolog about how much he loved SNL when he was a little kid before revealing this meant the Molly Shannon days. He then held a bit of a raffle where he drew a number to sing a song to what he was expecting to be a young female fan. Only after he pulled the number, he found that the winner turned out to be a middle-aged man named Steve Higgins which caused things to get a little strange.
  3. Justin Timberlake then broke away from the monolog bit and switched to musical guest mode to perform the song Rock Your Body.
  4. Punk'd: Barely Legal had Justin Timberlake as Ashton Kutcher to pull a Punk’d prank that ended up being against the law, like, the real-life robbing of Fred Durst and swapping out Christina Aguilera’s birth control pills with Tic-Tacs. The even had one joke that went terribly wrong with Finesse Mitchell as 50 Cent murdered Dax Shepard during a prank that went terribly wrong.
  5. This was followed by a quick interruption by CNN Breaking News where Darrell Hammond as Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted that he had no idea what he was actually doing as the newly elected California governor.
  6. A Message From Nick Lachey & Jessica Simpson had Jimmy Fallon as Nick Lachey who kept rolling his eyes at Justin Timberlake as Jessica Simpson as she vapidly tried to defend herself against the rumors that she was an idiot.
  7. Omletteville Vs. Benny's was a classic sketch where Chris Parnell and Justin Timberlake had a dance off while dressed as competing fast food mascots.  
  8. This was followed by a fake ad for DirectTV with Jeff Richards as Gary Busey in order to share just how much he loves his service from DirectTV while sneaking in Buseyism throughout the phony ad.
  9. The Boston Teens then returned where this time the always recorded Jimmy Fallon and Rachel Dratch attempted to have an elegant birthday dinner only they could control their constant urge to goof off while drawing attention from the stuffy clientele in the process.
  10. Justin Timberlake then switched back into musical guest mode to perform Senorita.
  11. Once again, Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey gave us the news. This week, was the first week where there were no guests since Jimmy and Tina took over the news anchor position.
  12. We then got a parody of The Sharon Osborne Show where Amy Poehler as Sharon Osborne and Horatio Sanz as Ozzy freaked out their guest who was Justin Timberlake as Michael Bolton.
  13. Rainbow Connection was another classic bit where Justin Timberlake attempted to sing a duet with Kermit but kept getting into a fight with the puppeteer that was played by Will Forte who was angry because Timberlake kept stepping on him in his hiding space where he controlled Kermit from.
  14. Carl Weathers For Governor had the real Carl Weathers cut a political ad where he announced his bid for Governor as well so that he, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jesse The Body Ventura would create a trifecta of Predator stars who went on to become Governors.
  15. We then went to Justin's Dressing Room where Amy Poehler attempted to act nonchalant but struggled to hide her excitement from getting to visit Justin Timberlake behind the scenes after pretending with the other women in the cast that she had absolutely no interest in our host.
  16. Justin Timberlake switched back to musical guest mode once again to perform Cry Me A River.
  17. The Barry Gibb Talk Show had Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake as Barry and Robin Gibb in order to host a show where the Bee Gee brothers interviewed political guests.
  18. Finally, Justin Timberlake closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen an episode that I could honestly say was a classic as a whole and not just a night with one or two classic sketches, but this show was and is one of the best because of sketches like these that contained by three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved the Omletteville Vs. Benny's sketch because of how well Justin Timberlake sold the character of being an overconfident mascot who was dressed up like a cooked egg. Next, I really liked the Rainbow Connection sketch because this sketch always cracked me up at the reveal of Will Forte in his hippy clothes as he got violent while working Kermit. Finally, I was a fan of Carl Weathers For Governor because the movie Predator is one of my favorite movies of all time and I like the idea of Carl Weathers, Jesse Venture, and Arnold Schwarzenegger making a trifecta of Predator stars to become Governors.

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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.