SNL: S31E17... HOST: TOM HANKS... DATE: MAY 6, 2005

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Welcome To The Eight-Timers Club,

Mr. Hanks!!!

 

One of my favorite things about sketch comedy is how sometimes you want to see behind the smoke and the mirrors. This is why I actually like where a Not Ready For Prime Time Player will break a scene with their laughter, as long as it is genuine. It’s a genre that makes for of the real world, so I don’t mind slightly bad acting or the missing of visual cues. This is why sometimes, shows like this, with competent hosts, can come across a bit too polished.

I say this because I felt the show was almost flawless and good, but at the same time, it was clean to the point where there were all that many huge laughs. I’m realizing this usually is what I mean when I say that a show was good but not great and then focus on the show’s mistakes. Tonight, the only issue that I had was the fact that there were only thirteen segments to the night so many of the sketches ran a bit long.

Other than that, each sketch was well written and the acting was great, making it a very easy episode to watch but, at the same time, it’s another challenging show to write about because it was good but not great with the funniest moment being the yoga sketch where Amy Poehler couldn’t stop herself from cracking up.

That’s pretty much all that I’ve got so I’m going to make this a short one and now shift gears to share what I saw as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a sketch called Bill Frist's Gas Plan that had Tom Hanks as the titular Frist to pitch his crazy new gas plan in an infomercial-style to Will Forte as George W. Bush. This plan mainly focused on giving everyone a hundred dollar buck to buy out the rights to drill for oil in Alaska’s protected lands it became more infomercial like when he started to throw in random items to sweeten the deal. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Tom Hanks then officially opened the show with a monolog about his new role in The Da Vinci Code and then took questions from clergymen, nuns, and even Jason Sudeikis as Jesus Christ about his decision to take on this role, considering it was a blasphemous film that was really harsh on the Catholic church.
  3. This was followed by a parody of Wheel Of Fortune where Tom Hanks as Pat Sajak is flabbergasted by how dumb all three contestants were while trying to solve the word puzzles.
  4. Amy Poehler and Horatio Sanz then returned for more fun and games as Kaitlin and her stepfather. This time the two had to deal with Kaitlin’s excitement over getting to babysit Tom Hanks’s pet iguana.
  5. We then got another SNL Digital Short where we went to the streets of New York City in 1991 to see three friends played by Chris Parnell, Kenan Thompson, and Will Forte who got to sample the new song, Please Don’t Cut My Testicles, by the fictional Right Said Fred-looking Ariell and Ephraim played by Tom Hanks and Andy Samberg.
  6. Universal Theme Park had Tom Hanks and Fred Armisen as two brothers standing in line for the Back To The Future ride who kept yelling, almost Marco Polo-style to track down the whereabouts of their disoriented mothers as played by Rachel Dratch. This sketch was very reminiscent of the Get Off The Shed, or the What The Hell Is That Thing sketches from the past.
  7. Red Hot Chili Peppers then took to the stage to perform Dani California.
  8. Once again, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler gave us the news. This week, Horatio Sanz stopped by as Rosie O’Donnell to discuss her feud with Star Jones since this was around the time that Rosie was joining The View. Fred Armisen and Will Forte also returned as their dry singing characters to have a monotoned debate about immigration through song.
  9. We then when to the Claremont Yoga Center where Rachel Dratch was totally creeped out by the appearance of sweat on Tom Hanks who play her yoga partner.
  10. C-Span After Dark showed us what it would be like if there were an Adult Swim version of the news with shows like Colin’s Place. This was a political spoof of Sanford And Son wither Kenan Thompson as Colin Powell in the Redd Foxx role in order to stew about the ongoing situation in Iraq to Finesse Mitchell as Lamont and Tom Hanks as a member of the CIA.
  11. Red Hot Chili Peppers then returned to the stage to perform Give It Away.
  12. Tennis Players had Tom Hanks as a one-armed tennis player who learned that his usual tennis partner, Will Forte had replaced him with a three-armed partner played by Chris Parnell after years of playing together. By the end, we learned that Tom Hanks had a trick up his sleeve when he revealed his new partner was Bill Hader as a man with seven arms.
  13. Finally, Tom Hanks closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights. 

As I said, this episode was hard to write about, but it was still pretty fun to watch thanks to sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved C-Span After Dark: Colin’s Place because I was such as huge fan of Sanford And Son as a kid and this was an excellent parody of the show. Next, I really liked the Claremont Yoga Center because Amy Poehler’s laughter that broke the scene was the one point in the night that actually got me to laugh out loud. Finally, I was a fan of the Wheel Of Fortune because I love the real show when the contestants are all idiots.

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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.