SNL: S30E12... HOST: JASON BATEMAN... DATE: FEBRUARY 12, 2005

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Seventeen Segments Of Fun

 

Tonight’s episode hosted by Jason Bateman provides more evidence that the shorter sketch format adds to the quality of the show. Don’t get me wrong, I really like Jason Bateman going back to when he was acting as a kid. Both he and his sister were close enough to my age that it was inspiring to watch their career growth and even more exciting to see how their careers have lasted throughout the years. Though Justine career has dropped off quite a bit, I still love to here ever announcement about new Arrested Development content.

That said, content and concept-wise if you break down each sketch they’re no better or worse than almost anything else from this season but the fact that we were in and out before the jokes could grow stale, making this episode a fun one and not a night where I kept finding that I was getting bored. I’m willing to bet that if this were another thirteen segment, I would have hated it.

I can make this bet because even though I liked this episode, I feel completely uninspired to write about it. That might be because Jason Bateman is so even-keeled in general that this was pretty much the exact type of show that I’d expect from him. Unfortunately, there’s not all that much to say about a person who’s thoroughly competent.

I could talk about the opening sketch that I now find disturbing through modern eyes, especially considering that, unless this has changed with the recent cast, there’s still yet to be an Asian cast member. The sketch had Horatio Sanz as Kim Jong Il holding a press conference to the North Korean press. Though the room was filled with real Korean/Asian people, all of the characters from the press were non-Asian members of the cast doing their best Asian accents.

I think I was fine with this at the time because the fake accents weren’t the over the top ching-chong extreme mockery that I remembered as a little kid. I guess that I felt they were doing it more out of necessity to meet the character’s needs instead of treating the ethnicity itself as the point of the joke. I think I also confused the participation of the real Asians in the room as this being an acceptable level of impersonation.

Now, I can’t see why they just didn’t have a couple of the extras in the room deliver the lines because it’s not like the questions to the “Great Leader” were all that hilarious in the first place. I guess to add to my misguided thoughts that this was fine, I’ve always had a very diverse collection of friends, and none of us ever strayed away from racial material, keeping in mind I see a difference between racial and racist. This may have led me to think that more people were fine with this line of jokes since I witnessed so many friends play along.

As I said, other than this opening sketch, the rest of the show was pretty fun. With that said, it’s now time to wrap this thing up, and in order to do so, I’ll now 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 Seth Meyers as Brian Williams took over for Tom Brokaw for the first time since his recent retirement. The first story that he threw to was Horatio Sanz as Kim Jong Il, who held a press conference to answer questions of praise toward him for being such a great leader and a living God after his recent claims that his country just developed their first nuclear missile and was more than willing to use it. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually came to an end with the accented-announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Jason Bateman then officially opened the show with a monolog where he and Amy Poehler pled to the audience to watch more Arrested Development not really for Bateman’s sake but so that Amy’s husband, Will Arnett, would be able to keep his job in order to continue making payments on Amy’s new boat.
  3. The was followed by a fake ad for Me-Harmony.com which was a dating site for narcists who wanted to date the opposite sex versions of themselves.
  4. Monkeys Throwing Poop At Celebrities was as that title suggests, a parody of a talk show where celebrities would arrive for what they thought was a regular interview only to get pummeled by monkeys throwing poop.
  5. An Important Moment In Black History profiled Finesse Mitchell as the first black man to say, “Hell, no,” to the idea of skydiving.
  6. The Best Of T.T. And Mario was a fake ad for a best of album for Maya Rudolph and Kenan Thompson, in the titular roles, singing their greatest booty-licous hits. This album was pitched as the perfect soundtrack to get your woman in the mood on Valentine’s Night yet Amy Poehler reaction when Jason Bateman put the album on proved that this sales pitch wasn’t quite true.
  7. The Subway had Jason Bateman as a man who was afraid to be held accountable for the struggling of any subway performers he came across, so he happily gave them money while acting like they were the best performers that he’s ever witnessed. Meanwhile, no one else on the subway car could give one bit of a damn.
  8. We then got a second installment of An Important Moment In Black History where this time, Finesse Mitchell played the same black guy from the last installment only this time he was being profiled as the first black man to say, “Hell, no,” to the idea if direct deposit.
  9. Kelly Clarkson then took to the stage to perform Since U Been Gone.
  10. Once again, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler gave us the news. This week, Seth Meyers and Fred Armisen dropped in as Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Boyles to creep out the audience as the two kept making out to publicly show their love. Amy and Tina then started to make fun of a rumored Bill Cosby sex tape only to be interrupted by Kenan Thompson who made it loud and clear that he had nothing to do with this segment because he was holding out hope to be rehired for the sequel to Fat Albert.
  11. This was followed by a fictional first episode of a show called Gays In Space where the gay male crew members of a spaceship offered up their sperm to a lesbian crew of an enemy ship in an effort to preserve the lesbian race after they offered up a beefy spaceman in order to make the deal.
  12. Gibson Studios had Darrell Hammond as A&E crime show host Bill Kurtis who was in studio to cut the narration lines for a crazy new murder shows for the channel. The joke of the sketch was that Kurtis kept having to repeat the most disturbing bits from the crime over and over until he could get it correct while carrying on a casual conversation with the producers between each take.
  13. An Important Moment In Black History then returned for installment number three where once again Finesse Mitchell played the same character who, this time, was profiled as the first black guy to say, “Hell, no,” to the idea of sushi.
  14. Kelly Clarkson then returned to the stage to perform Breakaway.
  15. Rap Night then returned for another installment with Horatio Sanz as a gigantic rapper/talk show host named, Chubb Hotty. This week, Jason Bateman dropped by to share a few behind the scenes clips of Chubb’s latest music video before, musical guest, Kelly Clarkson as Chubb’s girlfriend, Lady Olestra and the two performed a song together to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
  16. Public Speaking Class had a bunch of awkward salespeople who attempted to learn how to improve their sales pitches while at a public speaking seminar.
  17. Finally, Jason Bateman closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Hopefully, the rest of the season will stick to this trend because the seventeen segments of the night may have been its saving grace. That said, it was still really fun that’s to sketched like these that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved Monkeys Throwing Poop At Celebrities because the title alone brought me back to my youth when all that I did was joke about poop and monkeys. Next, I really liked the series of An Important Moment In Black History because I was raised poor white trash and our clichés were very similar to those of the black community. Finally, I was a fan of the Gibson Studios sketch because I’m listening to a new podcast to me called My Favorite Murderer right now and have submerged in nothing but true crime talk while I’m typing and this sketch was very relatable to the podcast’s content.

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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.