Saved By The Time Traveling Falconers
Just yesterday, during Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s visit I said how I was worried about he thirteen segment episode partially because it was the second to last episode of the year. These second to last shows often feel like the writers are clearing out any turned down content from the rest of the year instead of fully customizing the show for the specific host. Though this didn’t end up being the case with Julia, it kind of felt like it was the case tonight.
I find the fact that Kevin Spacey’s season-closing episode had a second to last show feel to be very interesting considering that there are only nineteen episodes to this year instead of the standard twenty to a typical season. Aside from the seemingly filler material, tonight’s episode had no signs of being a season finale at all. In fact, since last night’s show featured an alumni host and several special cameo visits, it feels to me like these two episodes should have been switched around.
If these last two shows were actually reversed, I probably would have liked Kevin Spacey’s visit any more since the root of my disappointment how unspecial it felt with so many cast members leaving this year. Yes, there was a bit of a special send of for Tina Fey, but even that seemed more like it was celebrating her hundred-eightieth episode and not that she was going away. As for Rachel Dratch, Horatio Sanz, Chris Parnell, and Finesse Mitchell, they got no mention at all and have nothing but the average episode as their send off.
With all that said, it wasn’t actually horrible, it just felt more like a mid-year show with the time traveling The Falconers sketch being the only moment in the night to get a really big laugh. Well, I also liked The Usual Suspects parody and the profile of sarcasm because they both got me to chuckle, but it still didn’t feel like that special of an episode. I could see this particular show playing really well between a politician and a host who is known from the world sports.
Not that I see it as an equivalent quality wise, but it would have looked even better when paired with other average episodes. I’m sure part of my disappointment also stems from the fact that I was watching with modern eyes and was looking for hints of sketches that may have foreshadowed Spacey’s current controversy, making it hard to have fun with all of that on my mind.
It wasn’t quite like watching Quentin Tarantino’s visit that I watch right when the hole Harvey Weinstein fiasco was just hitting the news, where I saw Quentin, who was claiming he should have done more, do nothing but make jokes about how he only got into directing to have sex with his female stars. The closest it came was the serval sketches to highlighted Kevin Spacey’s signature brand of rage. Other than that, it wasn’t predictive at all which might be yet another reason that I didn’t quite like it the way that I probably should have.
Oh well, it is what it is, and now it’s time to move on. So, with that, it’s now time to share what I actually saw as I give you…
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started with another parody of Anderson Cooper 360 where once again Seth Meyer’s played the titular host to discuss the Mexican border issue with Darrell Hammond as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and a “glad-not-to-be-in-Iraq” National Guard soldier played by Kenan Thompson, who loved watching the Mexican/US border. The segment finished things up from an irate housewife from New England who was there to talk about the recent northeastern floods. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
Kevin Spacey then officially opened the show with a monolog about how it’s been ten years since the last time he hosted and then gave us a couple updates about his life. Despite having two Oscars and an amazing career he then shared that his true dream was to win America Idol and then demonstration the tricks that he felt would guarantee a victory as he sang a song highlighting his every thought throughout the process.
Two A-Holes at a Crime Scene brought back Jason Sudeikis and Kristin Wiig as their a-hole characters who, this time, as the title suggests, a-holed it up while answering questions at a crime scene over a vehicle that they witnessed being stolen.
Oprah Winfrey's Legends Ball Special had Maya Rudolph as Oprah, per usual, this time to host a special where the cast got to test out some impersonation for a star-studded night dedicated to the celebrities who inspired Oprah throughout her life. Though the sketch is set up as if it’s going to be a night devoted to the black women who inspired her, when I came to the guest who got to speak, she gave more time to John Travolta and Tom Cruise than any of the well-respected women in the room.
This was followed by another edition of Horatio Sanz’s loveable/overweight/skank character Carol! This time Jason Sudeikis and Amy Poehler try to set up Kevin Spacey with this train wreck of a friend. Of course, this being the series that it is the two hit it off without any questions at all.
TV Funhouse then gave us a parody of a blooper show called All-New Presidential Outtakes which showed everyone from the speaker of the house to a deer performing a spit take as the listed to highlights of the dumb words that came out of his mouth during animated clips from his real presidential speeches.
This was followed by a parody of The Usual Suspects where Andy Samberg shared a Keyser Soze-like tale when Kevin Spacey demanded to know why he was late for the show’s rehearsal.
Nelly Furtado then took to the stage with Timbaland to perform Promiscuous.
Once again, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler gave us the news. This week, Jason Sudeikis dropped by once again as Taylor Hicks to enjoy more of his limited time in the spotlight following his recent run of success on American Idol. Tina Fey then shared a clip of her very first joke on the news and then had a group of reoccurring news guest to celebrate her one-hundred-eightieth episode since hosting Weekend Update.
This week’s The Falconer then got a little trippy when I time traveling Will Forte got a visit from Kevin Spacey who was there with a warning as The Falconer from the future. The Spacey Falconer had warnings that hunter, Maya Rudolph was going to shoot their bird. When Forte and Spacey failed to stop the event, they both tried traveling back in time to see if they could stop the shooting with this second attempt. The only problem is that their lead to their being four Falconers, and then eight, and then sixteen as they keep traveling back in time and failing at each of their efforts until they got permanently stuck in this time travel loop.
We then got another SNL Digital Short called Andy Walking, which was a parody of a “Man On The Street” style interview where Andy Samberg tried to make people look stupid by asking them simple questions only to end up looking stupid himself when everyone gets every question correct without any issues at all.
Legends Of History was a profile sketch that shared the history of Kevin Spacey who played the man who heralded The Dawn Of Sarcasm, while they gave us a few examples of his horrible sarcastic jokes and how at the time everyone took his sarcastic responses to be literally driving Spacey completely mad.
Nelly Furtado then took to the stage alone to perform Maneater.
Neil Young: I Do Not Agree With Many of This Administration's Policies had Kevin Spacey as Neil Young in order to pitch his latest album that was filled with subtle expressions of his hatred for George W. Bush, only none of these expressions were actually subtle at all.
Finally, Kevin Spacey closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
Though I wasn’t a huge fan of this episode, thanks to sketches like these contained my three favorite moments of the night, the overall night was still at least pretty good. First, I loved The Falconers: Time Loop because I adore this brand of time travel humor and cracked up each time more Falconers were added to the scene, and all tried to deliver the same line. Next, I really liked The Usual Suspects because it was fun to predict the Keyser Soze references, only to be way off every time. Finally, I was a fan of The Dawn Of Sarcasm because I like the jab at this specific brand of sarcastic people who claim that it’s for the laughs even though there’s no humor involved at all because they're just jerks.