He's Johnny Knoxville,
And This Is My Saturday Night Life
I think my love of Johnny Knoxville goes back to before he ever did his first stunt, when I discovered that I liked wrestling in elementary school. Though Knoxville and the Jackass cast had nothing to do with the fake sport, the roughhousing involved with being a fan helped to create an easy crossover to enjoy a collection of amateur idiots doing dumb things, especially considering that I seemed to be on the same track, pushing the envelope of entertainment based self-harm.
I used to often claim that my friends and I were Jackass before Jackass was a things. That's not to say that I ever thought we invented the genre, I meant this more to highlight that our dumbness was original to us and we weren't just repeating what we saw on the screen. In fact, by the time Jackass made it's MTV debut, most of us were already over the self-abuse opting to watch them instead. I was a bit of a holdout, but that's mainly because my social anxiety led me to do some really strange things to avoid the small talk and other boring bits of interacting with normal human beings.
Even now, I'd almost rather take a staple gun to the face than have to sit through a droning tale about how some normal who strives in the nine-to-five thinks that their cat might be sick, or has some stranger their feuding with at work. This may be another reason why I've developed isolating/shut-in tendencies. It's not just that I'm trying to avoid others boring words, but I can't stand the conversations that come out of my own mouth in my efforts to break any silence, and not because I actually feel inspired to talk.
So, here I sit with two swollen ankles that came from a couple of stunts gone wrong, desperate to recapture a time of my life where everything seemed fun, making Knoxville the most promising host who could do so at this time. Unfortunately, however, this episode aired during a taming period of our host's career as he seemed more eager to please the mainstream, to advance his acting career, making him not feel like his genuine self. Where I was expecting a night filled with unscripted fun that stemmed from our host's energy alone that I fully expected would inspire the casts playful enthusiasm more than it did.
Unlike in Jackass where Knoxville's excitement seems real and infectious, tonight, his ever-present smile seemed a bit forced, and though I hate to admit it, this forced fun made an episode that I was looking forward to since I saw it on the list, into just another so-so show like a bulk of the episodes from this season. Keep in mind that these so-so shows have been perfectly fine if I was only viewing them but I tend to come across more disappointed by shows that leave me uninspired to write, which was the case tonight.
Oh well, it's now time for me to wrap this thing up so that I can move on to see if this season does any better with Will Ferrell. With that said, I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started with special guest Paula Abdul introducing the opening sketch, claiming it was filled with lies for the purpose of comedy because it was focused a scandal about her that was recently making the news. This led to a parody of Primetime Live where Amy Poehler as Paula Abdul denied allegations that she was coming on to American Idol contestants and even had an affair with one of them. Meanwhile, we got to see damning expose-style evidence that showed the opposite, with Poehler as Paula seeming fully aware of her flirtatious way. The real Paula Abdul eventual broke the sketch by criticizing the scene and tell all of the cast members that their impersonations were a little off. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, this also led to the announcement of, “Live from New York...”
Johnny Knoxville then officially opened the show with a monolog about how different acting is versus being himself to perform Jackass stunts. He then claimed to be giving up said stunts to ease his parent's concerns for his safety while shifting focus to his acting in movies like Dukes Of Hazard. Right after he made this claim he went on to share Jackass-style footage where he kept getting pranked by the Not Ready For Prime Time Players while getting ready for the show.
This was followed by another repeat of the Mom Jeans commercial that has already aired a few times since its original episode which was an ad for the Obama jeans that middle-aged mothers used to wear.
Sally And Dan Harrison: The Couple That Should Be Divorced had Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers as the titular couple who seemed to find any excuse to pick a fight with one another while at a dinner party with Johnny Knoxville and friends. By the end of the sketch, we learned that the constant bickering actually turned the couple on, as they snuck off to the kitchen for some quite fight time, only to end up having sex.
We then got a parody Domino's Pizza Promo that had Darrell Hammond as Trump in order to dress him as a piece of pizza to be the new pitchman for the Domino's product.
Maya Rudolph then returned as Donatella Versace where this time she did her Donatella thing to celebrate Mother's Day with her wacky guest while on vacation in Italy.
Channel 5 Late Night Movie gave us an old-school sci-fi film called Visitors From Another Planet where Will Forte played a captured who kept getting tricked into being anally-probed by an entire fleet of aliens that included Chris Parnell, Kenan Thompson, and Johnny Knoxville.
System Of A Down then took to the stage to perform B.Y.O.B.
Once again, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler gave us the news. This week, Will Forte dropped by to sing a Mother's Day song called, I'm Going To Miss You When You're Dead. Fred Armisen also stopped by as his deaf comedian character to share more racist jokes that his interpreter, Kenan Thompson found too offensive to translate into sign language. Tina and Amy then finished the night with a quick tribute to Weekend Update's founding editor, Herb Sargent.
Mother's Day Brunch had three competing tales at a Mother's Day brunch. One story had Seth Meyers and new featured player, Jason Sudeikis as two brothers who enjoyed their brunch with their mother Rachel Dratch and their soon-to-be second mother, Johnny Knoxville, who was in the middle of a sex change. The next story had Maya Rudolph as a grandmother who didn't recognize Kenan Thompson and Finesse Mitchell who played her two grandsons. Last but not least, Amy Poehler and Rob Riggle played a young couple who felt their newly born kid was God's gift to the world. Meanwhile, Chris Parnell played the unlucky waiter who had to endure this nonsense while working on Mother's Day.
Helping Hands Telethon had Johnny Knoxville as a shady televangelist whose hopes to swindle his viewers were crushed by the panicked cries from phone operator, Will Forte, who kept screaming “Oh, no!” into the phone when he realized he was part of this scam.
Merv The Perv then returned for another installment where he and fellow perv, Johnny Knoxville were lecherous and creepy to women while visiting a Victoria's Secret as the mall.
System Of A Down then returned to the stage to perform Aerials.
This was followed by another installment of Action News where the overabundant news team fought for airtime while cramming in as many segments that they could while never getting to the main story that was promoted at the start of the show.
Bear City also returned where this time we witnessed a bear in a bar get grief from his friends following a call from his wife who told him to come home.
Todd Foxworthy: You Might Be A Gay Redneck, If... had Johnny Knoxville as Jeff Foxworthy's gay half-brother who tried to capitalize on the Blue Collared Comedian's success by starting a “You might be a...” routine of his very own.
Finally, Johnny Knoxville closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
Though I was pretty disappointed by what I was hoping would be a much less traditional host tonight's episode was still at least somewhat fun that's to sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved Visitors From Another Planet because it had that Twilight Zone sci-fi feel that I love aesthetically plus it still cracks me up how we're still so obsessed with aliens anal obsession while at the same time, claiming their not even real. Next, I really liked Todd Foxworthy: You Might Be A Gay Redneck, If... because it was such a random concept for an impersonation that it got me to laugh out loud. Finally, I was a fan of the Behind The Scenes footage during the monolog because it hit that nostalgia spot with its Jackass themed jokes.