All Hail Kuato
First off, I have to warn you that I’m in a bit of a vacation mood due to some impromptu time off from my day job’s task assignment system being down. Usually, when I have time off like this, I double down on my SNL reviews to create a backlog of content to work as a safety net for when an emergency comes up. The problem is, I have to check in with work throughout the day to see if the system is back up so I can drop my guard to fully focus on my personal projects.
With my schedule up in the air, it also ruins any urgency to finish up my reviews, so I’m finding that I’ll put it off, hoping to magically become inspired but minus any pressure the thoughts I’m hoping for never seem to come. Tonight’s episode was a perfectly fine show with a very competent host, but I’m still having the problem that I pointed out yesterday where I’m not as nostalgically bonded to this time in history making many of the pop culture references fall flat.
For example, I could see how the Nancy Grace parody could be funny if I were on top of my television watching game like I used to be in my prime. However, by this point in my life, I all that I knew of Nancy Grace was through parodies of her show, leading me to not have that, “It’s funny because it’s true,” response to any of the jokes. Instead, I just had to take the humor for its word, which was fun but not, write home, hilarious.
As I said, other than this lack of connection, I could see how this show would have been fun to watch back in the day, since it still got me to laugh more than I have with many episodes that I can quote from the opening joke to the closing credits. Now that I’m watching seasons that are virtually new to me, I need to figure out a way to share my thoughts without having to count on the nostalgic connections that drove this challenge up to this point.
Then again, I’ve also been doing this for six-hundred-six days in a row, so I could just be getting burnt out. Either way, I’m sure that I’ll figure something out since this isn’t the first bout with these inspiration issues. Hopefully, since I’m not killing myself by double down on my personal projects while my work is down, it may be the break that I need to ignite my second wind.
We’ll see how things turn out but until then, it’s now time for me to shift gears in order to share what I saw, as I give you…
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started with parody coverage of An Address From Dennis Hastert where Darrell Hammond as the House Speaker addressed the public about the Mark Foley scandal where he was caught sending sexually suggestive emails to the teenaged male congressional pages. Throughout the address Hastert made things sound even worse as he tried to explain away the issue as if it were no big deal and almost suggested that Foley did more harm than good by giving these young men his special attention. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
Jaime Pressly then officially opened the show with a monolog about her Southern heritage in her effort to deter all of the white trash clichéd jokes as she went on to perform the song Fever from Peggy Lee. This threw the rest of the cast of because they were good and ready to join our host on stage dressed as the most stereotypical Southerners that you’ll ever see. About two seconds into the song, the hillbilly clad cast ignored the warning and interrupted Jaime’s singing despite her “blatant” disapproval.
This was followed by a parody of Headline Prime With Nancy Grace where Amy Poehler played the titular host to interrogate Andy Samberg, who played a former male congressional page, over his involvement in the Mark Foley scandal that was referenced in the opening sketch. The only problem was that Samberg worked for a different congressman and wasn’t involved in the scandal at all, even though Nancy kept forcing the conversation into a direction as if she were a victim, even though he openly loved his summer job. She also berated Jaime Pressly as a Microsoft operator because she thought Microsoft created Windows to let pervs look in on little boys and girls. She then finished her tirade on Kenan Thompson who played the night janitor that she kept accusing of moving her chair after work.
New York City Stories was a sketch that profiled New York City with Fred Armisen as Martin Scorsese reminisced about famous NYC street locations that he used for many of his films, while Amy Poehler as Rosie Perez rambled on about growing up in New York while mocking Perez’s over-the-top accent.
Jon Bovi took place in Jaime Pressly’s record executive office where she took a meeting with Jason Sudeikis and Will Forte who wanted her to sign their band Jon Bovi. It didn’t take long for Jaime to notice, not only was the band’s name the reversal of Bon Jovi but the music they were pitching was reversed Bon Jovi hits as well like their song Wanted: Alive Or Dead.
WVIR News had Kristin Wiig as a newly-divorced news anchor who struggled through her interview with Jaime Pressly who played the recent winner of a Hands On A Hardbody contest because her post-divorce confusion had her somewhat attracted to her guest while having no idea that she could possibly be attracted to another girl. This led to a bunch of really awkward flirting since Jaime was totally straight and felt uncomfortable being hit on in general because she was expecting to share her excitement over just winning a brand new car.
This was followed by another installment of New York City Stories where Fred Armisen and Amy Poehler played Lou Reed and Patti Smith in order to reflect on rock music at CBGBs while also sharing the strange places that they used to rent to live as starving artists before they became big hits. It turns out Patti once paid rent to live in a garbage can, and Lou once lived in a water tower.
St. Ambrose Academy had Bill Hader as a High School Principal who chided Jaime Pressly for keeping her cell phone on during class. While in the principal’s office, Hader also seemed a bit put off by the fact that Jaime was acting black, but then Kenan Thompson arrived as Pressly’s stepmom to offer her support and understanding while also share how our host developed her attitude. It wasn’t until mama Kenan was reminded how much they were paying for this fancy school that she decided to take this meeting more serious.
Corinne Bailey Rae then took to the stage to perform Put Your Records On.
Once again, Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Bill Hader dropped by as Peter O’Toole in order to defend drunks after it was revealed that Mark Foley blamed alcohol for his questionable behavior with the congressional pages. Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen also dropped by as Charo and a young Hispanic actress to share their plot to rip off the ABC hit Ugly Betty with their new show Fugly Betsy which would then debut on NBC.
NASCARettes took us to the race track where Jaime Pressly played the head cheerleader for a NASCAR event. The only problem was that some of her newer recruits were not quick enough at getting on and off the track to perform their routine leading most of them to end up getting hit by the still racing cars.
We then got a third installment of New York City Stories where, this time, Fred Armisen and Amy Poehler played Fran Liebowitz and Yoko Ono to both waxed poetic about New York City in their signature wacky ways.
Big Wigs took place at a business meeting where a group of business executives sat fearfully during a meeting a pair of corporate big wigs, played by Jaime Pressly and Amy Poehler. Their reason for fear was that these two characters were literally wearing humungous wigs and kept walking closer and closer to the ceiling fan as they paced around the room.
Kuato took place at a party where Jaime Pressly and Bill Hader were hitting it off until Andy Samberg as the character Kuato from Total Recall burst out of Bill Hader’s chest. Despite the horrific appearance of this mini-mid-level man, it turned out that Kuato was a nice little guy, but Jaime still wanted nothing to do with him after the reveal. At the end of this sketch, Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared as the Governator to share this was actually an ad to promote a bill that was pro-immigrant from this time.
Corinne Bailey Rae then returned to the stage to perform Like A Star.
Cider Chat took place on a back porch where neighbors Jaime Pressly and Kristin Wiig shared very distasteful gossip while getting drunk on hard cider. This went on and on until the two started to turn on one another and Jaime eventually won by sharing that she peed in the apple cider which quickly sent us out of the scene.
A Moment With The Out-of-Breath Jogger From 1982 took us back in time to when Andy Samberg played an exhausted jogger who spouted out the era’s cliched jargon while desperately trying to catch his breath.
Finally, Jaime Pressly closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.
Though this turned out to be more of a journal entry that’s only half-assed focused on the episode, the show was actually better than I may have made it sound thanks to sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved the Kuato sketch not just because I loved the Total Recall reference but I also loved how they made this little half-body of a man so adorable yet gross. Next, I really liked the NASCARettes sketch because I will always crack up at a stunt where a person gets hit by a car that is then followed by a quick cut and an obvious dummy flying through the air. Finally, I was a fan of the Jon Bovi sketch because I’ve always thought Bon Jovi was a bit of a joke, so I liked this sketch that got me to laugh at their expense.