SNL: S29E19... HOST: SNOOP DOGG... DATE: MAY 8, 2004

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Ain’t Nothin’ But An SNL Thang, Baby!!!

I have a few mixed feelings about Snoop but, with that said, I had no concerns going into this viewing because none of my issues with tonight’s hosts have to do with whether or not he’s any fun. To me, Snoop has a quality similar to Al Sharpton and Trump, who both hosted shows this season that I loved, in that he’s already a character of himself making it fun to see him in fictional situations because the character always feels legit because, for the most part, they are.

What I don’t like is how, especially when it comes to comedy, Snoop Dogg can really feel like he isn’t trying hard enough because he already is ninety-five percent of the character, but will then act like he deserves a response as if he’s given it his all. Though that didn’t come close to an issue during this viewing, it was my only concern. Also, to be clear, this isn’t the mixed feeling that I was talking about.

I listened to rap almost exclusively from my first year in junior high all the way until the end of high school. So, when Snoop first hit the scene in the music video for the theme song to the movie Deep Cover, I have to admit that I was totally blown away. I loved all of his featured work after that, especially him working with Dre, because it felt like a fitting evolution of N.W.A. who were/are my favorite rap group of all time.

Then, when Snoop’s own album dropped, I liked it but wasn’t a fan of the trade-off where we lost a bit of the brand of narratives in the songs that led me to love the genre for music with a more danceable groove. Yes, there was still plenty of narrative stories still involved in the newer rap but, this seemed to be the point where it crossed over from expressing what it’s like to navigate social conflicts to bragging about power and money.

It didn’t help that my friends grew to be less diverse throughout high school, with many of my junior high school friends ending up a different school, and there was a weird/sad thing that happened around this age where we all seemed to self-segregate even though there was not all that much conflict. I couldn’t understand this because there was more social mixing when there were actual gangs involve where a fight could break out of nowhere.

Either way, I was accepted by the slackers who had no interest in fighting at all, and I slowly evolved to like more skater-style rap, like The Pharcyde and Del The Funky Homosapien who were artsier and rapped about things like failed love. This eventually led to a love of punk, that had the right blend of aggression and heartbreak to become the last genre I became obsessed with. So, by the time Doggystyle got to the point where it started to influence, what seemed to be, all of the West Coast record that dropped, I labeled Snoop’s influence as the “Downfall Of Rap,” because I felt it had officially crossed over to become hip-hop.

I still liked Snoop as an entertainer, and still love his rap, but non-hip-hop music but he’s always been the marker of an end of a personal era. I used to claim that he was the downfall of the genre in general, but as I just said, my interests were already evolving, and this was just the last thing I noticed on my way out of the door.

As you can see, the mixed feeling that I started this review with didn’t even really have to do with Snoop as a performer or person, which was why I was never surprised when this kept showing signs of a good episode. I just went this route because I thought it would lead to a more interesting story than just writing a review to say it was more than okay but not great.

With that, it’s now time for me to wrap this thing up by sharing what I saw, and with that, I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started at the White House to watch as Rumsfeld Resigns. After turning to leave, Will Forte as George W. Bush already missed Donald’s love so much that it quickly turned into a fantasy parody of the finale to Friends when Maya Rudolph as Condoleezza Rice offered Bush a ride to the airport in an effort to win Rumsfeld back into his life. It then turned out that they didn’t cross paths, but the two still ended up reunited by the end. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, said ending was the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Snoop Dogg then officially opened the show with a very flamboyant, African king’s entrance with him and the female cast members dressed up as African queens. After Don Pardo and all the while folks involved in the sketch said “Fo, schizzle” at some point in the script, Snoop stopped the fun to address the crowd to ask them to knock it off with all of the schizzle talk because the overuse is starting to drive the Snoop Dogg inspired trend into the ground. He also added that “My nizzle” wasn’t what most white people seemed to think it actually meant.
  3. We then got a repeat of the Mom Jeans commercial from earlier in the season which was the elastic waistband jeans that were marketed to mothers who no longer cared about their looks.
  4. We then got another installment of Show Biz Grande Explosion! This time, Fred Armisen’s Ferecito tried to teach Snoop how to tell a joke by creating his own “Ai, dios mio”-style. Snoop opted for a broader range of catchphrases that all had something to do with his nuts.
  5. Rapper Face-Off had Snoop Dogg as a wheelchair-bound rapper who took advantage of his situation to elicited sympathy from his opponents who struggled to get to rough during this night filled with, what was supposed to be vicious, rap battles. Things eventually ramped up when Kenan Thompson arrived and was not only wheelchair bound, but was also a deaf orphan with a heart of gold and turned out to be Snoop’s kryptonite. This caused Snoop to break the scene to perform Nothin’ But A G Thang to wrap the sketch up.
  6. This was followed by the return of Scheinwald Studios where this time it was Seth Meyers who wasn’t so sure of his grandfather, Rachel, Dratch’s, script that he chose to produce. That script being, Snoop Dogg’s movie Booty Hotel, which Meyers felt was outside of the family’s usual genre, but Dratch absolutely loved.
  7. ABC Fall Promo made fun of the fiction programming that would be coming to ABC, with the primary focus being gross makeover shows that go to crazy extremes.
  8. Snoop Misses "Friends" was a sketch where Snoop learned that his “homies Finesse, and Kenan didn’t share his love for the show Friends when he turned out to be the only person at a happening hip-hop party who was bummed by the ending of the TV show Freinds.
  9. Avril Lavigne then took to the stage to perform Don't Tell Me.
  10. Once again, Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey gave us the news. This week, Rachel Dratch dropped in to accept her Weekend Update: Dirtbag Of The Week award for her character’s involvement in the Iraqi prison scandal that just hit the news where they stacked naked men up in a pyramid. Darrell Hammond also stopped by as Bill Clinton to predict that he was going to take all of the blame for the same Iraqi prison scandal instead of President Bush. Then Jimmy wrapped things up by reflecting on his musical impersonations during the news, throughout the past couple of decades, going all the way back to the very first show and a special appearance on Ed Sullivan.
  11. Appalachian Emergency Room returned for more making fun of rednecks and redneck based injuries.
  12. TV Funhouse introduced a segment called Pothead Theater where he allowed potheads to choose what they want to see on TV and for the most part they chose videos that are now readily available on YouTube.
  13. This was followed by a fake ad for Duster's Digest which was a magazine devoted to the lifestyles of PCP users to give them their own version of High Times.
  14. Avril Lavigne then returned to the stage to perform My Happy Ending.
  15. Snoop's Mother's Day Message had Snoop Dogg on the main stage as he reflected on coming out of his mother’s womb through a very touching poem.
  16. Finally, Snoop closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

This episode was an excellent recovery from last night’s so-so slip with the help of sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First I loved this week’s Show Biz Grande Explosion! With Snoop, not only because I love Fred Armisen’s “Ai, dios mio,” comedian character, I kept cracking up when every one of Snoop’s catchphrases had to do with his nuts. Next, I really liked this week’s Appalachian Emergency Room because, even though it’s a bit cliché and very repetitive, this series of sketch still always works to crack me up. Finally, I was a fan of Pothead Theater because I could see how it was a funny joke at the time but now it’s actually how I end every night watching YouTube.

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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.