SNL: S32E13... HOST: FOREST WHITAKER... DATE: FEBRUARY 10, 2007

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That's Jesus's Mother's Son???

 

Forest Whitaker is a part of one of my favorite running jokes in the history of film that I still often quote to this day, only to get blank nothing but blank looks both before and after I explain the scene. It’s from the movie A Rage In Harlem where Forest Whitaker’s character had a picture of Jesus and a picture of his mother, hanging on the wall above his bed. Any time that anyone new would enter the room they’d look at the picture and ask, “Who’s that?”

The response always came from a different character, but the answer always was, “Oh, that’s Jesus.” Most of the time the people asking the question would get annoyed and point out that they knew who Jesus was, to which the other person would respond, “Oh, that, that’s his mother. This was usually enough to satisfy the answer until one guy replies in utter shock, “That’s Jesus’s mother?” This scene always worked to crack me up.

Other than that, I’ve always been an unenthusiastic fan of Forest Whitaker in that he’s not an actor who I think of until I see him show up on the screen which then leads me to recall all of his amazing acting roles. I don’t know why he doesn’t stand out more because I’ve seen a lot of his films and don’t think that I’ve ever been let down. Well, except maybe for the movie Ghost Dog, but that was mainly because the first time I saw it, the movie theater had a cut without any subtitles so I was frustrated every time that the French guy would be on the screen, thinking that the language barrier played into so joke that I frustratingly didn’t get.

As for how this underrated actor was at being a host, I’d say he did pretty average. I mean, his acting was spot on, but there was a sense that he was just there to promote The Last King Of Scotland, considering none of the sketches really rocked any boats and it’s the first episode of the season with less than fifteen segments to make up the night. As I often point out, the fewer but longer sketch format can feel like the host wants to put in the minimum effort and not have to learn more characters than they need. This feels even worse when the host is someone who’s been around long enough to have the power to request this few segments as opposed to seasons that deal out this format to everyone.

Once again, though this doesn’t top my favorites list and I had the issues mentioned above, it was still an entertaining episode to watch, it just made me have to dig a little deeper to find this review. And, now that you know my thoughts, it’s now time to move on and share what I saw, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with Happy Valentine's Day From The Cheney Family where Darrell Hammond and Kristen Wiig plays Dick and Lynne Cheney to read the various Valentine’s Day cards that they received that mainly told the couple off through the use of poems. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”

  2. Forest Whitaker then officially opened the show with a monolog about how he was excited to host before working in a plug for The Last King Of Scotland. Maya Rudolph eventually joined the Fast Times star to blow smoke up his ass even though she openly admitted to not seeing any of his new work. This led to a bit of a fun back and forth that ended with the two performing a duet of the song Get Ready.

  3. Bronx Beat With Betty And Jodi then returned with Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph as hosts of a public access show. This time, the two Bronx broads chattered about how cold it was in New York while attempting to interview Forest Whitaker and Kristen Wiig who kept trying to promote a blood drive to help a recent event.

  4. This was followed by another SNL Digital Short called Andy Popping Into Frame where, as the title suggests, we would watch an ordinary short film-style scene play out until Andy Samberg would make it extraordinary by popping in. Towards the end of the short, Will Forte attempted to steal some of Andy’s thunder but doing some photobombing of his own, only to quickly be inspired to stop when Andy pulled out a gun and aimed it at his head before returned to the fun and games.

  5. Singing Waiter had Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Fred Armisen, and Maya Rudolph all out to dinner where they had to endure endless singing from Forest Whitaker who kept insisting that he sing each entire song, even though the group preferred that he just move on.

  6. We then got a repeat of the Urigro ad from earlier in the season which was pretty much a parody of the Flomax ads for a pill that promised to promote a stronger pee stream.

  7. Man Vs. Beast had Forest Whitaker as Greg Gumbel to call a man vs. animal fight to the death which was being pitched as the latest new hit show from FOX.

  8. Keith Urban then took to the stage to perform Stupid Boy.

  9. Once again, Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Darrell Hammond and Kenan Thompson returned and Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to measure presidential candidate, Barack Obama as to where he landed on the “Blackness Scale.” Jason Sudeikis also dropped in as the scandal-ridden astronaut Bill Oefelein to tell his side of the crazy story about him that was making the news, all the while flirting with Amy Poehler.

  10. Whitney Houston's Valentine’s Day Special had Maya Rudolph as a love-starved Whitney Houston to host this holiday special only to end up too obsessed with thoughts of Bobby Brown to fully focus on the task at hand.

  11. Am I a Crazy Street Person? was a game show hosted by Jason Sudeikis where contestants were supposed to guess whether or not a panelist was a professional business person or a crazy person from the street.

  12. Keith Urban then returned to the stage to perform Once In A Lifetime.

  13. A Message From The State Island Zoo had Kristen Wiig as a Zoo official who showed off an inaccurate video on the rocking lifestyle of the sloth.

  14. Finally, Forest Whitaker closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

As with yesterday’s show hosted by Drew Barrymore, this episode won’t top any list but does fall somewhere in the middle thanks to sketches like these three that contained my favorite moments of the night. First, I loved Am I a Crazy Street Person?, because I found Forest’s enthusiastic reactions to the crazy people’s stories, due to the fact that he was crazy himself, to be a bit adorable since I’m a little crazy myself. Next, I really liked A Message From The State Island Zoo because how can I not like a sketch about sloths. Finally, I was a fan of the SNL Digital Short: Andy Popping Into Frame because it was fun to see photobombing acknowledged before it as a big thing.

 
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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.