SNL: S32E11... HOST: JEREMY PIVEN... DATE: JANUARY 20, 2007

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The Night I Realize My Life’s Ambition Is

To Be Pigman From PCU

 

When I was in high school, it seemed like Jeremy Piven was the time period’s, Vince Vaughn. He was good-looking enough for women to find attractive while at the same time having an actor brand of averageness that made him relatable to the common man. Meanwhile, when compared to the general public, both he and Vaughn the equivalent of putting a hot girl in glasses and a ponytail in order to make her the ugly friend.

Whether or not you agree with this take, that’s how it worked for me. I never saw myself on either of their levels looks-wise, but they both played the type of rowdy yet fun-loving characters who were very relatable to me. Aside from his early work in One Crazy Summer and Say Anything…, I loved Jeremy Piven in Judgement Night, Very Bad Things, and PCU.

Speaking of PCU, every since I started this challenge, I’ve often joked about how I feel like the character Pigman from this film. He’s the guy who never moved from in from of the television set because his Master’s Thesis was, no matter what time of day or night that it is, as long as you have cable television, there will always be at least one channel playing a movie that stars either Gene Hackman of Michael Caine.

Just seeing Jeremy Piven’s name in the line up got me thinking about this Pigman scene which led me to realize his crazy television watching experiment might be the true purpose for this site. As I continually get closer and closer to the end of this My Saturday Night Life challenge, which is still close to a year away, I keep thinking of ideas for my next long-term challenge. At first, I wanted to avoid the world of entertainment because of my disinterest in the current state of the industry. With nothing but style over substance, I don’t have all that much to say while I also thought that I needed to be more current.

Thanks to this visit from Piven, and my Pigman memories, I got to thinking how my challenges are more about the added hurdles I include to stand out from the rest of the pack, and not really about how I feel about any given project either old or new. This is when I also realized how, even though TheWickerBreaker.com has a connecting theme in that the content is made up of long-term challenges, there isn’t all that much harmony between one challenge and the next. That’s why, thanks to this episode, I’m going to follow the ways of Pigman and will commit this site to be devoted to film and television based challenges that test Pigman-esque theses from this point on.

With all of that said, it’s now time to discuss tonight’s episode. As I said from the start, I was once a huge fan of Piven, but this show was also post-Old School where the roles were reversed from our hosts PCU days, and he started to be cast as the comedic villain. I hate to admit it but, I kind of lost interest in Piven after this career plot twist because I started to see the negative traits in interviews and stories about his real life.

Then again, this was around the time that I stopped losing interest in pop culture in general, so I was still hanging on to my views of our host that I developed as a youth and was open to being entertained. Though I could see right away that the influence of his Ari character from Entourage was starting to add what at least appear to be an extra level of arrogance, I still saw enough of the man that I used to be a fan of to not stop the episode from being fun.

Keep in mind, all that I know of Entourage is what I saw from promotional clips where I really hated his character. Said character hate may have led me to side with the tabloids when they started to turn on him. Though I don’t think it’s fair for me to judge the latter Piven as a whole based on this but watching him being interviewed around this time was reminiscent of Charles Grodin.

Where Grodin’s cocky character used to crack me up when he seemed more playfully smug, once his arrogance evolved to seem genuine over time, I stopped being as big of a fan. In general, I’m not a fan of the arrogant approach to comedy, but when the balance is right, it can be brilliant which was what happened tonight. It also helped that the night was filled with so many classic sketches that would have made the night a success no matter who was at the helm.

I’m still a little slap happy from switching to a graveyard schedule, but I think that I covered everything in my effort to make a point. Oh well, it is what it is, and now it’s time to wrap whatever it is up, as I give you…   

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with another parody of Hardball where once again Darrell Hammond played Chris Matthews in order to badger his guest, which this time was Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton who was promoting her plan to run for President in 2008. Since this was before she was the lesser of the two evils next to Trump, “Her” treatment by the show wasn’t as favorable, as the road her for flip-flopping on the issues and saying anything to win even one vote, while Matthews blew smoke up her ass. There were also plenty of jokes about how she felt that she deserved to be president without even needing to run. Of course with this being the opening sketch this all built up to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”

  2. Jeremy Piven then officially opened the show with a monolog where he attempted to make a genuine connection with an old lady from the audience claiming that making such a connection would mean more to him than anyone would ever know. His efforts included talking dirty about dolphins which the audience woman awkwardly smile as she tried to play along.

  3. This was followed by a fake ad for Urigro which had Jason Sudeikis bragging about the renewed vigor of his pee stream thanks to the parody of Flomax-style drug.

  4. The NFL On CBS had Jeremy Piven and Jason Sudeikis as Jim Nantz and Phil Simms who were joined in the play-by-play booth by Andy Samberg as a Make-A-Wish kid who suffered from A.D.D. (Automatic Dying Disorder) and whose dying wish was to comment on a big game. At first, the two sports host thought that A.D.D. had the traditional meaning which led them to question why he was allowed to make this wish, only to feel like complete jerks when they found out the real definition, and the little guy dropped dead.

  5. TV Funhouse then gave us the first Fun With Real Audio in a long time where Robert Smigel Animated George W. Bush as he attempted to improve his image by dressing up like a chipmunk for his public appearance. When they stopped working, he tried other, less desirable options to the soundtrack of a real interview from a 2007 episode of Frontline.

  6. The First Person In The History Of The World To Dance was, as the title suggest, a sketch where Jason Sudeikis played a caveman who was the first person to notices how certain combinations of sound made him want to dance.

  7. We then got the debut of another one of my favorite sketches from this time which was Will Forte as MacGruber. If you’re unaware, this was the first installment of a series of MacGyver parodies where Will Forte would always find himself trapped in a sticky situation only to end up blowing himself and everyone else up when trying to make a MacGyver-esque escape using the random thing around him. This time his bomb-making materials were a paper clip, some twine, and a piece of dog turd.

  8. Two A-Holes At An Adoption Agency had Jason Sudeikis and Kristen Wiig as my two favorite a-hole characters who did their a-hole thing, this time while trying to adopt a child from Jeremy Piven as an adoption agent.

  9. MacGruber then returned for more fun and games where everything else was the same only this time the bomb materials were pine needles and pubic hair.

  10. AFI then took to the stage to perform Love Like Winter.

  11. Once again, Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Darrell Hammond dropped by to impersonate impressionist, Rich Little in order to comment on his upcoming White House dinner with George W. Bush, following a criticize White House dinner visit from Steven Cobert.

  12. Common And Blizzard Man brought back Andy Samberg’s terrible white rapper character Blizzard Man, this time to be featured on a song by the rapper Common, who actually played himself.

  13. MacGruber then returned to complete the comedic rule of three and this time his bomb material was nothing but some hobo’s sperm.

  14. Save A Unicorn Foundation took place in a community meeting where the locals planned to tear down their magical forest that was home to a magical unicorn in order to build a shopping mall. This went on until an old-timer, and Amy Poehler as an elf reminded the ungrateful town folks that it was this unicorn’s fulfillment wishes that allowed the town to be the success that it turned out to be, after starting out as a town that was known for its production of mud. That said, this reminder didn’t stick as the townies decided to build their dumb mall anyway.

  15. This was followed by another SNL Digital Short called Nurse Nancy where Andy Samberg assumed all the roles ala Eddie Murphy in most of his later movies. At first, this actually seemed like it could be legit but then went a little overboard by claiming he also played a monkey and Mayor McCheese.

  16. AFI then returned to the stage to perform Miss Murder.

  17. Lansford Brothers And Associates had Will Forte, and Bill Hader as to hangmen-at-law who promised to do a hanging job the right a proper Texas way in this parody commercial.

  18. Finally, Jeremy Piven closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

I don’t know if it’s possible to go wrong with and eighteen segment sketches filled with content like this one which was super fun, no matter how you read my ramblings up above, thanks to sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved The First Person In The History Of The World To Dance because that Sandstorm song that the caveman dances to never fails to crack me up. Next, I really liked the debut of MacGruber because this is another character that I love and will always laugh at a parody of MacGyver since I was the right age for the original show to be an unintentional joke on its own without the need of added humor. Finally, I was a fan of the Two A-Holes At An Adoption Agency sketch because, again, this two characters always get a laugh out of me.

 
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