If you've read my past reviews from the other cast members of Will And Grace, who already hosted SNL, you already know that I never watch the show but more because I was over sit-coms by this time because I was too busy either partying or working to follow any prime-time lineup. Yeah, there was still quite a bit of scheduled TV watching going on but the shows that made the list were few and far between and not just everything that was on like how I would watch TV right up until I graduated high school.
If you've read those other reviews, you may have also read more, and therefore may also already know that I'm a believer in the idea that, when it comes to the world of sketch, the host energy is almost enough to allow me to look past the quality of the content. Considering that, even before I started to see Megan Mullally start to pop up in films after her run with Will And Grace was over, I was a fan of her and her energy just from what little I'd seen from clips of the show or during her spots as one of the pitchwomen for Old Navy.
I think Mullally might have been my first Flo from the Progressive commercials, where in both cases I was surprised to find that I was developing crushes on these commercial mascots who intentionally play up their obnoxious behavior, at least in the world of the ad. Then again, it's not that being of a surprise because I've always really like polarizing people who walk fine lines.
Anyway, all this means that I went into this viewing expecting to like it based on Mullally's energy alone because I have given up on allowing the show as a hole effect my views prior to the viewing. The ups have been really up and the downs have really been down no matter who was in charge. I guess that means that I shouldn't have been so confident, considering Jack Black's show was just so-so and who has more energy than him?
Oh well, it's too late now, I've already watched the show and am just reflecting on how I felt going into this episode. As for how the actual show played out, I have to say that I was mostly right even though some of the so-so-ness of the season slipped in. That said, my issue with this episode was more due to the fact that most of the references didn't age all that well.
As I said yesterday, one of the biggest issues that cursed most of this season was the fact that it took place during one of the most boring presidential election year's that I can't remember. I guess I was just expecting more considering that I felt Bush was so easily beatable that I just blocked the whole thing out of my mind because his competition left me feeling so uninspired. Hell, there wasn't even a fun third-party choice that year, unless I just forgot as with most of the other details.
I also probably would have liked the Celebrity Poker Showdown parody much more back then when I was a fan of the actual show, as well as the Oprah joke if it wasn't now a played out cliche. Other than that, I was very happy with tonight's show because it was a good show with a couple of slow moments as opposed to the weaker shows from the year that I just wanted to be over after only a couple of sketches in.
I think it also helps that this new graveyard shift schedule has me in a much better overall mood. As I've pointed out over the past couple of weeks, my sciatica is acting up to where I can't sit in a seat and have to write while lying in bed. This really slows down the writing process and while I was writing during the day I felt like I was constantly being rushed. Now, I start writing at midnight meaning my deadline is twenty-four hours away, allowing me to get back to enjoying the process.
I really hope this is the case because it would make the rest of the healing process run smoothly is I was once again having fun like the last couple of days and not having both the day job and this blog feel like work, when the day job is supposed to be the only thing that I dread.
With all of that said, it's now time to shift gears and share what I actually saw, as I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started with a parody of Nightline where once again, Darrell Hammond played Chris Matthews only this time he bypassed all of the important news about the upcoming Presidential Election to get right into talking to his guests about Janet Jackson exposing her breast at the Super Bowl that went down the prior weekend. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, "Live from New York..."
Megan Mullally then officially opened the show with a monolog about her role on Will And Grace and tried to claim that there was more to her career than the fact that she had such a loyal gay following only to be surrounded by an all-gay chorus to sing and dance about the subject. Hell, even tonight's musical guest Clay Aiken joined in on the singing fun as a fan.
This was followed by a parody of Celebrity Poker Showdown that had Chris Parnell as the straight man host with Jimmy Fallon as Kevin Pollack who was the host's comedic sidekick on the real show. As for the players, Seth Meyers played Carrot Top, Will Forte played Geraldo Rivera, Megan Mullally was Tammy Faye, and Horatio Sanz was Gene Shalit and all four made this high stakes poker game almost unbearable to watch with everyone acting so obnoxious.
This was followed by another repeat of the Huggies Thong commercial that has already run a couple times this season which was a diaper G-strip for babies who were concerned with diaper lines.
Baby Boyfriend had Seth Meyers as a grown ass man who instantly reverted to acting like a child when going home to visit his mother, who was played by Megan Mullally, which doesn't go over well at all with Meyers' sketch girlfriend, Amy Poehler.
Golden Globe Awards allowed for the cast to do some more celebrity impressions to parody the Golden Globes. At one point we got to see Megan Mullally make faces from the audience while Amy Poehler as Sharon Stone attempted to give an award but kept dragging out her stage-time while acting overly serious and dramatic, instead of just getting to the point. To add to the fun, Mullally's real-life husband Nick Offerman was there as her date at the table.
This was followed by a parody of Oprah's Favorite Things which was the annual Oprah special where the audience would go absolutely nuts when Oprah would give lavish gifts away. In this case, Maya Rudolph played Oprah and there was a battle over which was more over the top, the gifts being given or the crowd's reactions to everything that Oprah had to say.
The Cab-Driver had Megan Mullally as a cab-driver who makes an extra big deal about welcoming black people into her cab to counter the rise in the New York cabby reputation for avoiding picking up black passengers at all, which was making the headlines at the time.
Clay Aiken then took to the stage to perform Invisible.
Once again, Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey gave us the news. This week, Fred Armisen brought back his Native American comedian character to tell more terrible jokes as a Native American cliche. We got to see Jimmy Fallon audition for American Idol while making fun of William Hung, and Rachel Dratch also dropped in as Barbara Walters who was winding down her time at 20/20 so decided to interview herself.
We then got a parody of The Wizard Of Oz where we got to see the reality of how things went down and not only did Amy Poehler as Dorthy kill the Bad Witch but she also took out many Munchkins the day that her house landed in O.Z.
This was followed by another installment of Zinger vs. Slam where Seth Meyers was still the scientist named Dave "Zing" Clinger, and this time Megan Mullally represented slam as Debbie "Slam" Slamowski. Though there was a new slam, the premise was the same where Chris Parnell suggested a Zinger vs. Slam battle between the two scientists so that they could get all of the jokes out of their system in order to get back to work.
Clay Aiken then returned to the stage to perform The Way.
Musical Relatives had Kenan Thompson as Leon Warwick and Megan Mullally as Connie Raitt and the two teamed up and tried to sneak into the Grammy Award ceremony by dropping the names of their famous sibling, only it does not work at all. The sketch ended with a surprise visit from Trey Aiken, Clay Aiken's long-lost cousin.
Finally, Megan Mullally closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.
I hope that pointing out the few flaws that I saw doesn't come across as if I hated this episode because I really felt that thanks to the sketches that contained my three favorite moments, tonight's show was actually pretty fun. First, I loved The Wizard Of O.Z. parody because, thanks to watching Under The Rainbow, starring Chevy Chase, as a kid, I've always been a fan of jokes at The Wizard Of O.Z.'s expense and actually ended up liking the real movie more as well. Next, I really liked Oprah's Favorite Things because, even though I mentioned this joke is now a cliche, I still love the played out joke where a person's head explodes when they can't contain their excitement. Finally, I was a fan of Zinger vs. Slam because it brought me back to junior high where all my friends and I did was base on one another, or roast each other as they seem to say these days.