SNL: S32E08... HOST: ANNETTE BENING... DATE: DECEMBER 9, 2006

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What The Hell’s Myrrh???

 

I know I was a bit let down by last night show hosted by Matthew Fox, though I hated his episode, watching him did inspire me to start rewatching the series lost while I work on my day job. I mention this because Matthew Fox showed up in one of tonight’s sketches which brought the topic to my mind. Where last night, I knew from the pre-viewing legwork that it was going to be a rough own, I knew from the sketch list from tonight alone that there would be no concerns tonight.

In fact, this is another one of these newer episodes where I remembered the entire night, almost to the level of episodes from the ’80s and ‘90s where I could quote practically every word because I was watching SNL on Comedy Central multiple times a night. This might be because it has my favorite of the Two A-Hole sketches where they attempted to join a Nativity scene. With no easy access to clips on the internet at the time, I watched this episode multiple times in order to share that one segment.

Thankfully, the rest of the show was good as well, which wasn’t a surprise considering Annette Bening’s comedy skills that you can see in movies like, The Great Outdoors, Mars Attacks, and What Planet Are You From? Granted her smile seems a bit plastered as if it were forced but, like with Ludacris, she was another host who genuinely seemed to be having a good time and not just fulfilling her part in a marketing plan to plug a movie.

Yes, there were a few shameless plugs, but I was willing to accept because the energy put out while promoting was self-referential which also made them fun, like when Alec Baldwin from out of the blue to help promote their recent project in a way that worked for the joke. Again, other than some of the time period’s reference material and a couple of slip-ups, this has been a pretty solid start to a new SNL year/era now that the new set of rookies are in control.

I think with this being a crossover year, I’ve been more open to the ups and downs from this season. It also helps that the good sketches from this time have been really good with the less successful sketches still bottoming out at average. Looking at the rest of the host from this year the only one left that I have concerns about is Peyton Manning, but even then, I’m more often than not, won over by hosts who are sports stars.

We’ll see how this all plays out but until then, it’s now time for me to wrap this one up by sharing what I saw, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with A Special Message From The President Of The United States where once again, Jason Sudeikis played George W. Bush in order to address the nation about the Iraqi War Report that showed this was a war with no end. After some of our former President’s dumb ramblings, he then read a few suggestions that were sent in by concerned Americans. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Annette Bening then officially opened the show with a monolog where our host took some heat from several female real estate agents who were sitting in the audience and took offense with Bening’s portrayal of their profession in the film, American Beauty, which was released seven years prior to this visit. Annette was then joined by her co-star from Running With Scissors, Alec Baldwin, who defended our host while also touting his own film career.
  3. An SNL Movie Trailer Re-Cut gave us a parody recut of the Mel Gibson movie, Apocalypto, only in this version, the jungle natives were fleeing their home when they discovered that the Jews were coming. This was in reference to the recent rants from a drunken Mel Gibson after he was pulled over for a DUI.
  4. Good Morning I Hate This Town was a small town morning talk show hosted by Annette Bening and Jason Sudeikis who maintained a typical upbeat morning talk show enthusiasm even though they both absolutely hated their miserable town and all of the dumbasses who lived within it. Amy Poehler played a chef who tried to put on a cooking demonstration only to be cut off by the two morning-show hosts who though their audience was too dimwitted to be able to grasp the entire recipe.  
  5. TV Funhouse then gave us a cartoon called Diddy Kiddies, where hijinks were abound as a group of kids tried to help P. Diddy figure out what he actually does for a living to maintain his mega-star status while watching several of his performance clips. Neither the kids, nor Diddy felt like he had talent as a rapper, none of them thought he could dance, and the couldn’t even figure out Diddy’s involvement in his own clothing line. Eventually, they all figured out that Diddy was just famous for being famous.
  6. Student-Teacher Affair had Annette Bening as a chipper schoolteacher who was ecstatically in love with Andy Samberg who played one of her disinterested students who was more interested in just hanging out with his same-aged friends.
  7. Two A-Holes In A Live Nativity Scene had Jason Sudeikis and Kristin Wiig as their infamous a-hole characters who attempted to participate in a Nativity scene, despite having absolutely no awareness or interest in the actual meaning of the festive event.
  8. This was followed by another SNL Digital Short called Pep Talk where Fred Armisen played a boss of a fast food crew whose anger management issues came to light while trying to amp up his staff.
  9. Buyer Beware had Kenan Thompson, and Maya Rudolph as two neighbors who hosted as public access consumer reports show from their connected garage. In tonight’s episode, the two warned of hyped “gift of the year” products to avoid spending your hard earned money on while out shopping for Christmas gifts.
  10. Gwen Stefani then took to the stage to perform Wind It Up.
  11. Once again, Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Darrell Hammond dropped by as Al Gore to comment on an off-balanced phone call he received from Lindsay Lohan. Kristen Wiig also played an airline passenger who was there to talk about an overblown event that took place after she lit a match on a flight in an effort to cover the smell of her farts. Will Forte then wrapped things up as a conservative who had an anti-gay marriage-themed song called Silly Silly Gays with Fred Armisen on guitar.
  12. Monster Under The Bed had Amy Poehler as a little girl who thinks that there might be monsters under her bed. Rather than reassure their child that her fears were just in her head, parents, Will Forte and Annette Bening completely freaked out and armed themselves to the teeth in an effort to protect the entire family from this threat that didn’t even exist.
  13. We then got a repeat of the Valtrex ad from earlier in the season where Alec Baldwin played a scumbag who gaslit Amy Poehler into thinking that she was to blame for her herpes by reminding her the STD can stay dormant for years when it was obvious that he was actually trying to cover up an affair.
  14. This was followed by another installment of Introverts' Night Out where once again Will Forte and Kristen Wiig played two introverted co-workers who finally worked up the nerve to hit up a bar for some after work drinks. This time the two talked fellow introvert Annette Bening into joining them. Just like last time, it didn’t take long for them to go from being super shy, to talking about sex, only this time, instead of discussing a threesome, the three landed on the topic of “butt-messin’” as something that they’d be open to attempt.
  15. Akon then took to the stage to perform I Wanna Love You.
  16. Stanfield And Partlow had Annette Bening and Bill Hader as a lawyer team who only represented cats.
  17. Finally, Annette Benning closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

I think I have a new second favorite show from this year, thanks to sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved Two A-Holes In A Live Nativity Scene because I love these two characters since I used to joke about how Kristen Wiig’s character reminded me of my cheerleading sister when she was young. Next, I really liked Good Morning I Hate This Town because it cracked me up how they had the morning show enthusiasm while not even trying to hide their disdain toward their audience while hosting the small town morning show. Finally, I was a fan of Monster Under The Bed only I thought it would have been funnier if there actually was no monster to justify the parents overreacting to their child’s fear by acting just as terrified.

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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.