SNL: S29E15... HOST: BEN AFFLECK... DATE: MARCH 13, 2004

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or...

Good Ben Hosting

Watching this episode made me miss the old days when Ben Affleck was more purely fun minus the baggage of spending so many years in the spotlight and having to deal with his “fans” opinion of him. I don’t personally have a problem with him, but it’s hard not to let some of the more negative opinions seep into my point of view. I hate how this happens when funny people become a success only to have people turn on them.

I kind of get it though, because comedy is meant for underdogs and it’s hard to root for a person playing a loveable loser when in reality they’re a good-looking success. I mention all of this because this appearance seems to me like it took place right before or after Ben Affleck got more people to turn after dating and breaking up with Jennifer Lopez, which he brought up at the start of the show.

As I said, I’ve never really had a problem with the man, well, other than not liking his action films or when he gets super serious when talking about his craft or thoughts on the news, but that’s more of a genre thing, and I hate hearing any goofball talking seriously. Because of this, I went into the viewing with high expectation to have a bit of fun.

Thankfully, this season seems to have finally sorted itself out because if this episode aired during the first half of the year, I may not have been as excited. But, the season’s now pretty good, as was this afternoon viewing. Though the season is a lot better, I’d still say the shows have just been fun and not laugh out loud hilarious but, the thing I liked about this appearance from Affleck is that he genuinely seemed to be having a blast making the just “not bad” content a little extra fun.

Not only was his constant smile infective to me as a viewing, but it also seemed to infect the cast to were even the sketches that were supposed to be somewhat serious were filled with subtle grins. I’m really glad that today’s show was a good one because tomorrow’s episode is hosted by Trump which I wouldn’t want to go into while in a negative mood. That said, though I’m not a fan of Trump as a President, I am very intrigued to see how he is as a host especially while rewatching the episode through modern eyes.

We’ll see how things go, but in order to do so, I must wrap this one up by sharing what I actually saw, as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a visit from the Boston Teens where this time Jimmy Fallon and Rachel Dratch attended the wedding of their buddy Donny who was played by Ben Affleck, only to be surprised to find themselves in the middle of a gay ceremony after years of thinking their friend was straight. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Ben Affleck then officially opened the show with a monolog where he attempted to beat the media bandwagon by showing off his Bennifer-style shirt that will accentuate any potential future relationships that he could possibly find himself in because he hated the nickname and wanted to profit off any name combo if it were to happen again.
  3. Jimmy Fallon then brought back his morning zoo D.J. character for another installment of Z105 Morning Crew where this time Ben Affleck played Jimmy’s D.J. pal Dirty Dan The Garbage Man who we learned had stolen all of Jimmy’s voices for a radio show of his own.
  4. We then got to see parody behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the movie Gigli where Fred Armisen played a mentally challenged extra in a scene that took place in a mental institute and kept warning our host that the movie was going to really suck during every break in between takes. Meanwhile, Affleck arrogantly insisted that the movie would be a big hit.
  5. TV Funhouse gave us an animated look at Mel Gibson making his next masterpiece, The Passion Of The Dumpty that treated Humpty the egg as if he were the next tortured savior who was sent to save us from our own sins. This segment also was continually interrupted by bizarre political ads promoting the second term of George W. Bush.
  6. Appalachian Emergency Room returned for another installment where once again our host and the cast acted like a bunch of rednecks in an emergency room for redneck reasons.
  7. We then got a fake travel ad called Only Bangkok where Seth Meyers played a businessman who had to deal with a dead hooker in his hotel room.
  8. N.E.R.D. then took to the stage to perform She Wants To Move.
  9. Once again, Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey gave us the news. This week, Finesse Mitchell dropped by to ask bill collectors to leave him alone when he was supposed to be giving financial advice. Maya Rudolph also checked in to discuss why she needs to go back to jail for her recent DUI arrest because she hadn’t served the 48 consecutive hours in prison that was required of her. Darrell Hammond then wrapped things up as Bill Clinton who had a few things to say about the bickering between George W. Bush and John Kerry.
  10. We then went to the pub for another installment of the Irish morning talk show, Top O' The Morning. For this installment, Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon interviewed Ben Affleck as their Bono loving friend.
  11. We then got a second installment of the fake travel ad, Only Bangkok where this time, Amy Poehler played a woman whose marriage to actor Ben Affleck went sour during their stay in Thailand when Ben had to sell Amy to some locals to pay off a gambling debt.
  12. Donnie G. and Sidecar had Ben Affleck as a trooper who was completely unaware that his sidekick named Sidecar who was played by Fred Armisen kept getting hit by all kinds of objects while riding along in the sidecar that gave him his name.
  13. We then got a third installment of the fake travel ad Only Bangkok where Ben Affleck and, special guest, Kelly Ripa wreck Seth Meyers’ room from the earlier sketch after Ben Affleck killed a male prostitute.
  14. N.E.R.D. then returned to the stage to perform Maybe.
  15. Ben Affleck then played an unremarkable office employee who jeopardized his secret identity as The Full Moon Killer while defending a story in the news about a nearly missed victim of the serial killer's plot to kill.
  16. Finally, Ben Affleck closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Wow, this makes seven solid episodes in a row, with tonight’s show being pretty fun thank to these three sketches that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved Behind-The-Scene Of Gigli because even though it’s wrong, the face on Fred Armisen as a mentally challenged extra, who knew that the film would suck, really cracked me up. Next, I really liked Donnie G. And Sidecar because it was a great sketch the highlighted comedy through the character Sidecar’s pain. Finally, I was a fan of the third installment of Only In Bangkok because the escalation of this serious was hilarious and this final scene with Kelly Ripa got me to laugh out loud.

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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.