SNL: S30E04... HOST: KATE WINSLET... DATE: OCTOBER 30, 2004

Capture30045.JPG

or...

The Thirteen Segment Curse At Its Worst

Kate Winslet is another one of these actresses who I remember really liking back in the day when being a movie fan was a significant aspect of my identity, only to find out after a resume check that I’ve only seen two or three of her films. Just like with the others, she also has at least a half-dozen that I’ve genuinely been meaning to watch for years. It turns out that up until about five years ago that film count was literally two.

First, I loved her in Heavenly Creatures that I discovered after binge-watching everything by Peter Jackson after discovering Dead Alive. Next, I saw her in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, which was a movie that I really wanted to love but couldn’t get past how normal and old Jim Carrey was to be paired up with such a quirky young character, even though I felt the story and concept were both great. It took me about five years to finally watch the movie even with it readily available on Netflix.

If you think that was a long wait, I didn’t see Titanic until around 2014 when I had to in order to fulfill a challenge where I watched all one-hundred movies on the 100 Greatest Movies Of All Times list that was created by A.F.I. Though I get why people like that movie, I can’t stand it because all it did was use every single cookie cutter plot point in order to create its structure but that’s what you need for a movie with such a big budget.

I did like the movie Movie 43, or at least remember liking it but more because it was fun to watch just how many big names that got to play in such stupid roles. If I’m being honest, I couldn’t even tell you what it’s about other than it was a sketch-style movie, which is another reason it was good to me. The Dressmaker might have been the best movie in the bunch, and that was just a movie that I randomly watched when my sister was in town for a visit.

With all of that said, I had high hopes for the night based on Kate Winslet alone, but then I saw there were only thirteen segments to the night and I started to get scared. Not only does thirteen segment format always lead to a night with sketches that drag on for too long, the fact that this has been the worst year for Presidential Election jokes since the show’s started, I wasn’t looking forward to politics taking up half of the night.

These Bush vs. Kerry references are bad enough when their short so I dare anyone to sit through a campaign sketch without being hit with a yawn. It’s too bad because both the Rap Night and Mrs. Dr. Frankenstein sketches had me laughing my ass off until about halfway through. If these two sketches were to have ended at the midpoint, either one would be high on my list for the most favorite sketch of all time. Unfortunately, however, the drop off that came with the second halves made both of these moments a bit unmemorable in the end, to the point where I went from being happy as a clam to have a good show, to checking my phone as I just waited for it all to be over.

I can’t wait for the election to finally be over with so that at least when there is another fewer but longer sketch format there will at least be fewer political sketches to bring down what few sketches there are to a night. We’ll have to wait and see if that happens but until then, it’s time to wrap this one up by shifting gears to share what I saw, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a parody of NBC Special Report where Chris Parnell Hammond as Tom Brokaw shared a video delivered to the station by Seth Meyers as Osama bin Laden. In the video, bin Laden not only had a message about the upcoming Presidential Election where he shared his centralist views that made him seem like a better candidate than either Bush or Kerry. He then added a quick jab at Ashley Simpson for last week’s lip-syncing incident which led him to announce, “Live from New York…”
  2. Kate Winslet then officially opened the show with a monolog about last week’s Ashley Simpson debacle and then went on to sing and dance in an effort to prove to the audience that she was performing live, joking that the bit was meant to be lip-synced if it wasn’t for last week’s slip up.
  3. Rap Night was an MTV/BET-style talk show sketch that had Horatio Sanz as an extremely overweight rapper named Chubb Hotty who welcomed Kate Winslet as singer/songwriter, Norah Jones to sing her new hit while he “spit rhymes” in the in the background ala Eminem and Dido.
  4. Mrs. Dr. Frankenstein had Kate Winslet in the titular role to build her perfect man who turned out to be Fred Armisen. Though, at first, he seemed to be the dead man of her dreams until it was revealed that he was actually a gay monster.
  5. TV Funhouse then gave us a cartoon that made fun of John McCain’s inability to bring himself to deliver a speech where he would endorse Bush’s run for his second term.
  6. Clinton's Endorsement took us on the John Kerry campaign trail where Darrell Hammond as Bill Clinton kept getting way more praise than the candidate who he was there to support no matter how hard he tried to share the spotlight.
  7. Eminem then took to the stage to perform Mosh.
  8. Once again, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler gave us the news. This week, Seth Meyers and special guest, Johnny Damon got a segment to share their excitement over the fact that the Red Sox just won The World Series. Will Forte also got a segment where he belched out his favorite Halloween song. Fred Armisen also played Diego who explored Democracy Plaza messing with the staff and other tourists after getting sworn in as a citizen. Horatio Sanz as Elton John then wrapped things up with another commentary on the Ashley Simpson lip-syncing mess from last week.
  9. Kaitlin At The Mall had Amy Poehler as her spastic kid character Kaitlin who attempted to talk her stepdad, Horatio Sanz, AKA Rick, into letting her cousin, Kate Winslet, pierce her ears since she worked at an ear-piercing kiosk at the mall.
  10. Eminem then took to the stage with Proof to perform Just Lose It.
  11. Goodwin Wig And Toy had Maya Rudolph as Glenda Goodwin who owned a store that only sold non-frightening Halloween costumes which doesn’t go over well with the kids.
  12. Election Map Colors took us behind-the-scenes at NBC News where Darrell Hammond as Tim Russert and Chris Parnell as Tom Brokaw got into a bit of a debate of their own while trying to decide on a color to represent the uncounted states on election night.
  13. Finally, Kate Winslet closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

This was a frustrating one because if it wasn’t for it being an election year and they added at least two more segments, this would have been an awesome episode instead of just another average one that was still pretty good thanks to these three sketches that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved Rap Night because it reminded me of a hybrid of Chubb Rock and Chunky A, plus Horatio cracks me up by just looking at him. Next, I really liked Mrs. Dr. Frankenstein because it was a hilarious concept that just went on a little too long. Finally, I was a fan of Kaitlin At The Mall because I love how they treat this spastic kid like she’s normal and not like a reject the way comedy often portrays hyperactive nerds.

Capture30042.JPG
Capture30043.JPG
Capture30044.JPG

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.