Welcome to the Thirteen-Timers Club,
It’s too bad I automatically use the X-Timers Club congratulations as my subtitle to these celebratory episodes because, tonight, I had a funny second choice about this being the Show Of Confusion, in reference to the similarly title Genesis song. It reminded me of a story that a host of a podcast that I listen to once shared where he figured out that Bruce Willis was a ghost so early in his viewing of The Sixth Sense that, by the time that it was presented as a twist, he felt more confused than he would have if he’d actually fallen for the movie’s misdirection.
I felt this same way about the Platinum Club sketch where Alec Baldwin entered the Ten-Timers Plus Platinum Club only to have a run-in with Steve Martin who was still out to kill Baldwin because tonight was the night he was going to tie with him for the SNL hosting record. The was playing off the opening sketch from Steve Martin’s hosting visit from last year, which was just last week in real time.
If this were back in the day and I did have to wait the multiple months between these two episodes, I might not have thought anything about it, but since these viewings were so close, I couldn’t stop thinking, “But wait, they’re not tied?” My confusion was still so severe that I had to pause the show to double check the two feuding hosts’ past reviews because there was one episode in the past where my numbers didn’t match the host's claims, but that was before there was an official Five-Timers Club so I simply let it go.
So with Steve Martin actually being ahead, I got stuck in my own head over what was going on, because both hosts swore that this was Baldwin’s fourteenth show as the host. To make things worse, this wasn’t a quick sketch, at least not while watching with such confusion. There was even a quick midpoint joke where Martin Short joined in to make a quick joke. Then we got to the end, and the joke was revealed that the joke was the confusion and how Steve Martin was still one show ahead.
Though this confusion was more frustrating than fun as it was going down, now that the show’s over, I think it’s my favorite aspect of the night. Other than the confusion from this sketch, it was a good enough show that it should have been the season opener since the night was filled with alumni, past hosts, and even a special appearance by the hot dog eating Kobayashi. Hopefully, it will at least act as the opening episode and will turn the season from being just average to being very good because it’s another season with more potential than I’m actually seeing.
We’ll see what happens, but until then, it’s now time to wrap this one up by sharing what I saw, as I give you…
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started with A Message From The Speaker-Elect Of The U.S. House Of Representatives where Kristin Wiig played Nancy Pelosi in order to deliver a speech on the virtues of the Democratic Party. Halfway into her message, she was interrupted by Will Forte her S&M-clad aide and his friend, Fred Armisen who played “the human ashtray” both entered her office to pick up some paperwork. Other than the awkwardness of being interrupted while broadcasting, Pelosi seemed like this was a normal thing, as she gave them what they needed in order to get them off the screen. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
Alec Baldwin then officially opened the show with a monolog about his value at NBC where he brought out his 30 Rock co-stars, Tina Fey, and Tracy Morgan to have them double down on expressing his importance to the network while hyping their influence as well.
This was followed by a fake ad for E-Z Date.com where Jason Sudeikis played an entrepreneur/pitchman who acted like a virtual pimp for a new dating service that promised to discretely deliver a “date” to their users’ doors within minutes of them signing up.
Saddam's Defense Team had Alec Baldwin as “The Butcher of Baghdad” who publicly berated his lawyers, Bill Hader, and Fred Armisen after learning that he’s been sentenced to death by hanging.
This was followed by another fake ad, this one was for a medication called Valtrex where Alec Baldwin convinced his wife, Amy Poehler, that genital herpes can lie dormant for years before exposing itself in his effort to cover up the fact that he was having an affair claiming that Amy got the STD from before they even met.
Morning Drive had Alec Baldwin and Kristin Wiig as two carpooling coworkers who were trying to save money on their commute only to end up continually offending one another through their idle chit-chat that was just meant to fill the silence.
TV Funhouse then gave us a segment featuring hot dog eating champion, Kobayashi as a new superhero who ate all the bad guys in this live-action/anime meant for kids.
Platinum Lounge took place between sketches and had Alec Baldwin enter the special, special, Platinum Club where he continued his rivalry with Steve Martin who was still trying to kill Baldwin over the SNL hosting record which started with Martin’s fourteenth visit. They kept going back and forth about how this was going to be the night that sends the two into a tie. At one point Martin Short also made a quick appearance as the cocktail server, this was right before they realized their confusion which I already had figured out, but led Steve Martin to chill out with the comfort of still being ahead.
Christina Aguilera then took to the stage to perform Ain't No Other Man.
Once again, Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Seth Meyers conducted an exclusive interview with Darrell Hammond as Donald Rumsfeld on location. Throughout this interview, Kenan Thompson played a disgruntled mover who was all alone and kept asking for help from either Meyers or Rumsfeld to move a big ass couch. Kristin Wiig also dropped by as Amy Poehler’s dizzy Aunt Linda who reviewed a couple recent holiday movies where instead of thumbs up or down, she gave each film a one-word breakdown like, “WHAT?”. Andy Samberg was the last to drop by as a waiter who incorrectly totaled up the ten-thousand dollar bill from a recent dinner date between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.
The Tony Bennett Show then returned for another installment where once again, Alec Baldwin played the titular host who had to interview Andy Samberg as Kevin Federline after Bob Dylan back out from the show. This interview didn’t last long, so Baldwin-Bennett brought out the real Tony Bennett in order to perform a doppelganger duet.
We then went to a Brazilian Bar where Alec Baldwin attempted to hit on women while Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen played Bossa Nova singers who were casually performing providing an interesting soundtrack to Baldwin’s failed attempts to score.
Christina Aguilera then returned to the stage to perform Hurt.
We then got another Moment With The Out-Of-Breath Jogger From 1992 where once about Andy Samberg fulfilled the sketch title with his style while spouting ‘90s’ jargon while trying to catch his breath.
Tony Bennett and Christina Aguilera then teamed up to perform Steppin' Out With My Baby.
Finally, Alec Baldwin closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
Though this was not my favorite visit from Alec Baldwin, it was still pretty fun, with the help from sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First I loved the Platinum Club sketch because it inspired my introduction/review. Next, I really liked the Kobayashi! kids show because I’m a fan of that hot dog eating freak. Finally, I was a fan of the Morning Drive sketch because it totally reminded me of why I always hated small talk amongst nine-to-five employees that I’ve ever worked with or even met.