SNL: S03E07... HOST: MARY KAY PLACE... DATE: DECEMBER 10, 1977

or...

Why Can't I Place Her Face?

When I first saw the name Mary Kay Place, I thought for sure this was going to be the episode hosted by the winner of the Anyone Can Host Contest because it's just not a name that rings a bell. Then when the show started and I saw a woman at least 50 years shy of what I expected I knew instantly that my guess was wrong. 

As I said in past reviews of shows hosted by strangers, I don't look up who they are until after my viewing. This allows me to try to piece together why they are famous through hints provided by sketches. This ended up being another case where the only conclusion I came to was that she is an actress. 

So, with the show over, I looked up Mary Kay on the IMDB to see that she was in over a hundred movies. Not only that but she's in tons of projects that I'm a fan of. Then, to top that off, half of the above-mentioned projects are quirky films so I can't figure out why she's not triggering any solid memories.

I can totally see why I don't remember the name because a lot of her characters seem to be the type that you would describe as that one girl from that one thing but then when I go to look at the images I feel like I'm forcing recognition all while also have a true sense that this face is somewhat familiar.

This sounds like it's leading up to a horrible review but this was actually a pretty good episode. I was expecting this to be another one of those shows, hosted by the hot girl of the moment, that comes out to the show and seems to have fun but has not comedic experience. No, Mary Kay Place seemed to know comedy and she has the resume to prove it, which was another reason I'm still surprised that I'm struggling to legitimately say that I know of her after all.

Anyways, as I said, this was a pretty good episode. Now it's time to stop shaming this poor woman's career so that I can share what I saw as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. Grizzly Adams Sets Fire to His Head is the show being interrupted for tonight's "special broadcast" of Saturday Night Live. 
  2. The opening sketch has the cast and the host in the locker as if they are preparing for a pep-rally. The host, Mary Kay Place, plays a super peppy cheerleader trying to hype up the jaded and cynical cast. Their negative response to her please causes her to cry and everyone to feel like crap for ruining her time as the host. The cast then pulls to together and decides to cheer up Mary Kay by putting on the peppiest show in history. They then all rush to the stage to burst through a sign for Saturday Night Live to give pep-squad intros leading to a group cheer of, "Live from New York...
  3. Mary Kay Place then officially opens the show by reading some of her eight-grade diary entries.
  4. This was followed by a fake commercial for Hey Perfume, for those moments that you don't want to be subtle, the perfume for one night stands.
  5. More Insects to Worry About was an interview show with Jane talking about very strange insects with bug expert Belushi.
  6. Total Womanhood was a sketch about woman's group promoting a Stepford Wife way of life and the girls take turns sharing their successes and failures of implementing the group's techniques of pleasing their men even if it goes against their own interests.
  7. Willie Nelson sings Whiskey River then goes right into singing Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.
  8. Once again we have the news hosted by Jane and Dan. The set has been slightly tweaked to where there seems to be a little more distance between the two main anchors. At one point, Garrett Morris interrupts the news dressed as a bell boy who has a note for Garrett Morris, which never pays off in any way. Laraine has a segment where she discusses Micro Facial Expression only her examples are anything but micro. Bill Murray then plays an old retired anchor who gripes about mandatory retirement ages while also complaining about the connection between TV and illiteracy just how old people today complain about how the addition of the internet is ruining the world. 
  9. Next was a convoluted but interesting sketch that started out with a filmed bit sharing the statistics of singles living in New York. This builds the setup of the actual sketch called Married in a Minute, which is about four girls who get off the bus in New York and instantly achieve all their dreams. Each getting a man, a million dollars and the career that they came to New York for. Every once in a while, there is a hint of some sort of Monkey's Paw, watch what you wish for, lesson but nothing ever ends up going wrong. There is such a lack of conflict that it built an anxiety in me as I was waiting for an even further fall that never came which was an interesting play on expectations that you just never see any more these days.
  10. Andy Kaufman then does a bit where he sings gibberish while playing the bongos. He then pulls a woman onto the stage and does a bunch of weird Andy Kaufman stuff with her, leaving her confused as to what just happened.
  11. Bad Musical was another in the "Bad" series of sketches where Aykroyd tells the story of the bad thing that we are going to see to then see it play out on the stage in a funny but horrible way. Tonight's musical was called Leeuwenhoek about the inventor of the microscope that is filled with lots of bad singing.
  12. Willie Nelson then performs a song with Mary Kay Place called I've Got Something to Brag About in You.
  13. The Farber Family then gives us a Chanukah lessen as Gilda tells the real history behind the menorah to their gentile guest, complete with a flashback with Mr. Farber playing the part of Judas. It was a fun way to learn about this story without making it an offensive joke. There was a real funny moment when we come back from the flashback where Belushi is all disheveled from running back and forth between his flashback role and his spot on the couch in the present.
  14. Finally, Mary Kay Place closes the show by saying her goodnights and thank yous.

 This was another episode that I wouldn't say was hilarious but it kept me entertained all the way through. Now it's time for my favorite moments of the night which are... First, I loved Larraine's news segment on Micro Facial Expression because I feel like I'm very sensitive to these subtle expressions and find it a funny thing to joke about. Next, I really liked the lesson I learned about Chanukah through the Farber family because it was both informative and fun while staying away from being offensive. Finally, I was a fan of Married in a Minute because it really got me think about alternative story structure which is the bane of my creative existence.

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.