Is It Bad When Not Bad Equals Really Good?
As a self-destructive/ugly writer who daydreams about manic pixie girls, I’ve always been a fan of Luke Wilson because, his character at least, always seemed genuinely likable despite being needy and insecure. Sure he’s equivalent to the “ugly” girl who only needs to have her glasses to be removed to accomplish a stunning make-over, in that he’s by no means unattractive but is still the voice for the hopeless mutants.
Like with Goldilox, an actor like Vince Vaughn can be the voice of the ugly, but he’s got too much heat with his frat boy confidence that speaks to our superego like how we feel when we are drunk and on the ball. Meanwhile, characters like Luke’s brother Owen or someone like John Cusack, who are also close but they’re more like our regular ego, not so secure and relatably pouty when our guard is down leading us to only like specific aspects, making him much too cold to be a true hero. Luke is right in the middle where he seems a bit level headed with a sense of self-destructive sorrow that he could go either way depending on how the night turns out, while genuinely seeming like a nice guy.
Between seeming Luke as the host and the fact that the 2004 Election was over, I was very excited to see what this episode would bring. Unfortunately, this episode ended up being another mixed bag because of the thirteen sketch format, but, at least this time, I really liked every episode of the night but still felt the bulk of them went too long to the point where it dropped what would have been an amazing episode into more so-so content.
That said, it was so-so content that, as a whole, was better than any other show as a whole from this year. First off, I didn’t mind the couple non-Election political sketches sprinkled throughout the night, because in these sketches, the target becomes the actual politician and less on the electoral process and campaign promises from both sides that never came true.
It also really helped that U2 snuck in a third musical performance after Luke’s goodnights, making this show technically fourteen segments. Thanks to this extra song, the sketches in the second half of the night weren’t long enough to feel like they were dragging on like a lot did in the first half. Again, it really bums me out because these long sketches that I’m complaining about all started out really fun.
Though I complain a lot about sketches dragging on, I do feel like this season is heading in the right direction because it keeps getting better with every passing week, which I feel/hope will continue until the next round of electoral nonsense. Of course, we’ll have to wait and see how that turns out. Until then, it’s now time for me to shift gears and share what I saw so that I can move on to the next episode.
With that, I give you…
The Wicker Breakdown:
- This week's show started with a parody of The Apprentice Where Will Forte as George W. Bush had to fire either Finesse Mitchell as Colin Powell, Darrell Hammond as Donald Rumsfeld or Maya Rudolph as Condoleezza Rice in the same boardroom style as the real The Apprentice show. Before Bush could make his choice he turned to the camera to announce, “Live from New York…”
- Luke Wilson then officially opened the show with a monolog about how he was excited to host because the cast was known to get pretty wild. Though Luke seemed perfectly sober and ready to go, he claimed that he had just gotten back from a night out with Horatio Sanz only fifteen minutes before the show. Horatio then pulled up in a motorized wheelchair to show off pictures from their wild night out while our host desperately tried to piece the events together.
- Debbie Downer then returned to bum everyone out during a Thanksgiving dinner with all of her pessimistic observation about everything that was said.
- American Trainwreck Awards was a parody award show that allowed our host along with the cast to impersonate celebrities who were so screwed up that they were honored with awards for their outrageous behavior.
- TV Funhouse then gave us another cartoon, this time showing George W. Bush as he invents a de-gaying machine that he haphazardly demonstrated on a collection of questionably gay celebrities.
- The Restaurant had Maya Rudolph and Amy Poehler out on a double date with Luke Wilson and Rob Riggle who played two grown men who have been best friends since they were little kids. It didn’t take long for the girls to discover that these two best buds made a better, more supported couple than they did with either of them.
- U2 then took to the stage to perform Vertigo.
- Once again, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler gave us the news. This week, Darrell Hammond dropped by as Arnold Schwarzenegger who recently became the Govinator and now wanted to change the constitution so that he would be eligible to run for President. Fred Armisen also stopped by as a toy manufacturer who tested out his new Bop-It-style toy on Amy Poehler where he basically got her to masturbate the thing while it kept yelling “pull it.”
- Coolest Teacher At Benton Township High School had Seth Meyers in the titular role until we met Luke Wilson who played a new teacher that gave Seth some stiff competition. Though this sketch did drag on toward the end, it won me back with a Shyamalian twist at the end.
- The Falconer was another sketch to return, this time both The Falconer and Luke Wilson were trapped under a pile of rocks and waited desperately for the Falcon and Luke Wilson’s dog to return with help, only to have to wait while the two animals spent most of the day having a blast at the county fair.
- U2 then returned to the stage to perform Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own.
- Business Drinking had Luke Wilson, Kenan Thompson, and Seth Meyers on a business trip where the three drank to excess to the point where they each were drunkenly hung up on the same topics. Kenan kept yammering about much he rips off the company, while Luke complained about his wife, and Seth was obsessed with just how much drunker he was getting with every drink he chugged down. The sketch ended with the reveal that this all went down before noon.
- Finally, Luke Wilson closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights, only to have Bono steal the mic so that he and U2 could perform I Will Follow as their surprise third song of the night.
As I said up above, tonight’s episode was the best so far this season with the help of these sketches that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved the Coolest Teacher At Benton Township High School because this sketch really took me on a ride where I loved it at first and grew bored during the middle only to be won back by the Shyamalian twist at the end. Next, I really liked Business Drinking because they really nailed how repetitive us drunks can get, especially while drinking with co-workers. Finally, I was a fan of this week’s Debbie Downer because she’s just another one of those characters who always cracks me up.