SNL: S31E11... HOST: PETER SARSGAARD... DATE: JANUARY 21, 2005

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or...

That Podcast Guy Turned Out To Be Right

 

About a month ago, the host of an SNL podcast called That Week In SNL started to like my Twitter posts where I share these SNL reviews. It’s been nice because up to this point, most of my likes come from fan pages for the host who always seem to like and retweet anything that has to do with the person they created the fan page for. I doubt that these people even click on the link because more often than not these are fans of the host who tend to get my more negative reviews. This podcast guy, however, has left evidence/feedback that he actually reads my work.

In fact, it was just the other day when I stated near the end of one of my reviews how I had no concerns for the next several shows until this episode hosted by Peter Sarsgaard, who I was worried about, mainly because I’m unfamiliar with his work. It didn’t take long for the That Week In SNL guy to confirm that this wasn’t the greatest show but it actually had a couple moments that would make it worth the watch.

He was correct in that this wasn’t the greatest episode, but he was also correct about those funny moments. Though I was very concerned at first because Sarsgaard’s creepy calm acting style had the potential to make this episode a chore to watch by the low energy alone. I felt this was going to be another case where the host announces how their not really all that funny only to go on and prove the accuracy of this announcement.

I do feel that the low-key energy kept this episode from being a hit, but thankfully, Sarsgaard was quirky enough that at times it felt like I was watching a poor man's Christopher Walken with our host’s empties eye’s not really matching the comedic tone. That disconnect at least kept the night interesting as opposed to hosts who I love as actors/actresses who turn out to be complete bores without even awkwardness to fall back on. I’m willing to bet this will be the case in the upcoming episode hosted by Matt Dillon, but that’s mainly based on the fact that Dillon was so dull during his episode of one of my favorite old shows called Fishing With John.

Thankfully, there’s a couple of fun hosts before I get to test if this theory is true, but either way, I’m still enjoying the process and can’t wait to see how it all plays out whether it’s bad or good. With that, it’s now time to wrap this one up, and in order to do so, I will move on to share what I saw, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a parody of Anderson Cooper 360 with Seth Meyers as Mr. Cooper who moderated a forum about a string of recent racist statements in the news. This forum was held via satellite that had Finesse Mitchell played New Orleans’ Mayor, Ray Nagin to clarify his use of the term “chocolate city, Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton tried to explain away her “plantation” comment, and Darrell Hammond as Jesse Jackson rambled on about all sorts of things he said in the past. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Peter Sarsgaard then officially opened the show with a monolog about how he’s excited to host because nobody ever casts him to do any comedy since he’s usually cast as a creep. Being that he’s aware of his own creepiness, he claimed that he spent extra time with the cast to help them get used to his style. He shared behind-the-scenes footage of his attempted to easy the cast’s nerves only to end up doubling down on his disturbing behaviors.
  3. This was followed by a fake ad for Nelson Baby Toupees which as the title suggests was an ad that pitched a toupee for bald-headed babies.
  4. Kristin Wiig then returned as her enthusiastic Target employee character for another installment of Target Greatland. This time Wiig was her quirky self who held up her customers by eyeing their purchase items with genuine interest. From time to time Wiig would randomly wander off to make sure she didn’t miss any deals leaving the customers with Peter Sarsgaard who played her manager who was too busy enjoying his coffee on the sales floor to do any of his managerial work.
  5. We then went to a Pirate Convention where a group of pirates welcomed our host as himself to be their convention’s special guest. It didn’t take long for the pirate to interrupt his prepared speech by purposely finding reasons to make him emphasize the “Rs” in every word would speak.
  6. Horatio Sanz then returned as his overconfident skank of a character named Carol! This time the fun-loving plus sized girl was set up with Peter Sarsgaard who played an artist who was showing his work at an art gallery. As always, even though there doesn’t seem to be any reason the two would hit it off, Sarsgaard was instantly won over by Carol’s kooky charm.
  7. This week’s SNL Digital Short featured Andy Samberg in a musical tribute called Mr. Young Chuck Norris.
  8. We then went to the offices of the Cat Fancy magazine where Peter Sarsgaard played an editor who fired writer, Seth Meyers, for plagiarism. This sketch apparently was written as a parody of Sarsgaard’s film, Shattered Glass.
  9. The Strokes then took to the show to perform Juicebox.
  10. Once again, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler gave us the news. This week, Darrell Hammond and Seth Meyers dropped by as Al Gore and John Kerry in order to come out against the rumors that George W. Bush was using illegal wiretapping technics, but mainly the two were still sore from both losing their elections to this idiot. Drew Barrymore also made a quick surprise visit to object to a joke from Tina Fey that was about the former host’s boobs.
  11. Gays In Space also returned for another installment where this time the ship filled with gay astronauts entered a space bar where they had another run-in with the space lesbians who they donated sperm to during their debut sketch. They also had a run-in with Captain Sarsgaard’s space-ex, but none of this really went anywhere because I think the laughs were supposed to stem from the fact that everyone was gay.
  12. Fairmont Suites Inn took place in a motel room where Sarsgaard when nuts, as he suffered through the hotels default ad channel, because he couldn’t find his room’s remote control. At one point during the sketch, Sarsgaard accidentally disconnected the television making it extra hard for him to act against what was supposed to be showing on the screen.
  13. National Security Agency had Peter Sarsgaard and Jason Sudeikis as NSA agents who were stuck listening in on a mundane conversation between Amy Poehler and Rachel Dratch who played two old women who were not even close to being a threat to the USA or the world.
  14. The Strokes then returned to the stage to perform You Only Live Once.
  15. Peter Sarsgaard's SARS Guards was a fake ad where Sarsgaard was trying to capitalize off the latest outbreak of SARS by offering his own personal line of the titular product The Peter Sarsgaard’s SARS Guard.
  16. Finally, Peter Sarsgaard closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

So as the That Week In SNL guy said, this wasn’t a great one but, these three sketches that contained my favorite moments of the night made it, so the show was still at least pretty good. First, I loved the Pirate Convention sketch because it reminded me of way back in the day when I used to work for Amazon where from time to time we’d all talk like pirates while we worked. Next, I really liked the fake ad for Nelson Baby Toupees because there’s something about a baby in a wig that really cracks me up. Finally, I was a fan of the Fairmont Suites Inn because the sketch was funny enough on its own, but it was also interesting to see the crew keep getting caught on camera as they attempted to work through a technical glitch.

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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.