SNL: S32E15... HOST: JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS... DATE: MARCH 17, 2007

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or…

Round Two From Our

First Female Alumni Host

 

I still find it hard to believe that it took SNL thirty-one years to find one of their former female castmembers worthy enough to be invited back as an alumni host, especially considering the talent that has come through the show since its inaugural episode. It’s not like these women stopped working in the comedy genre after leaving the show. Granted, I can see why some female alumn might pass up the offer because of unsettled resentment toward the show, like a former performer who may have been poorly utilized and then blamed for the failure of a year, kind of how I see the split between Janeane Garofalo, thirty-one years? There’s just no excuse for this oversight.

Even with Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s groundbreaking last visit, this offer didn’t come until after the entire run of Seinfeld, a highly successful show from within the same television network that reached it’s prime at the same time that media companies were all about using synergy for the purposes of cross-promotion. Who knows, I could see this being a case of limiting the cast’s appearances to avoid overexposure, but this is just one example of SNL dropping the ball.

Hell, you can go all the way back to the original collection of Not Ready For Prime Time Players where everyone always loved to talk up the brilliance of Gilda Radner, yet she was noticeably absent from the host lists even during the years where she was teamed up with Gene Wilder and putting out comedic hits. Jane Curtin, who I now believe is the most underrated performer from the original cast also got the same treatment despite being prolific in the comedy field.

I’m willing to bet that I could go through ever configuration of the cast to find a better fit for the first female alumni host. That’s by no means to say that Julia Louis-Dreyfus wasn’t any good, being that it’s the amount of time that’s offensive and not the quality of our host’s work. As far as the actual episode goes, this was another decent one, where I really enjoyed about half of the sketches while the other half was filled with references that didn’t age well with time.

Just like with last night’s episode, I could see how I may have enjoyed the half that I wasn’t impressed with, back in the day when this episode aired initially because the acting and the energy were both consistently spot on. These also led to another night that was more fun to watch than inspirational to write about which is why I’ve taken on this first female alumni host torch to carry, even though I already addressed my shock the last/first time Julia Louis was the show’s host.

I’m excited to see Molly Shannon in the line up close to the end of the year, and that Tina Fey will also be hosting next season to break the men’s only alumni hosting line because it’s about time. We’ll see how those shows go really soon, but until then, it’s now time to wrap this one up. With that said, I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with an SNL Special Report: Road To The White House where Chris Rock made a special appearance to perform a stand-up routine of sorts while giving his political insights on the candidates who were running for president in 2008. Though he started out talking about both parties, he eventually shifted his focus to compare Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. I was intrigued by these insights because, where I thought there would be some Hillary bashing but instead, Chris Rock was blatantly honest that his personal bias was to credit for his backing of Barack. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”

  2. Julia Louis-Dreyfus then officially opened the show with a monolog about how she had a blast hosting last year and was happy to be back before working in a plug for her Emmy win for her show The New Adventures Of Old Christine. She then shared how being back in the spotlight wasn’t always all that great which then led her to show several clips that proved her claims that her life is constantly under the scrutiny of the media even though each clip shared examples where the scrutiny was justified.

  3. Maya Rudolph the revised her Oprah impersonation for another parody of the Oprah show where she loudly praised Amy Poehler who played the author of the new book The Secret which almost seems biblical to the Oprah crowd.

  4. This was followed by a fake ad for Monex where Kristen Wiig played a gold enthusiast who praised the power and allure of gold and gold covered objects as she pitched buying as much gold as you can, just to touch the precious metal.

  5. Restless Penis Syndrome had Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a woman who was convinced that her husband, Jason Sudeikis was having an affair behind her back which led her to confront him on the issue. Sudeikis then attempted to justify his behavior by claiming to have Restless Penis Syndrome before quickly pulling out a camcorder in order to film an impromptu PSA as a way to double down on his alibi.  

  6. La Rivista Della Televisione Con Vinny Vedecci brought back Bill Hader as a fast-talking Italian talk show host who attempted to interview Julia Louis-Dreyfus as herself only she didn’t speak or understand the Italian language so she had no idea what was going on throughout the entire show.

  7. Snow Patrol then took to the stage to perform You're All I Have.

  8. Once again, Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Fred Armisen returned as the Anna Nicole Smith judge from last week to, once again, using his loony logic to discuss the possible resignation of Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales.

  9. Deep House Dish then returned for another one of my least favorite segments where Kenan Thompson plays DJ Dynasty Handbag with his sidekick, Andy Samberg in order to introduce a few new house and hip-hop bands to their MTV-4 viewing fans.

  10. CBS Cares had Julia Louis-Dreyfus attempting to film a CBS sponsored PSA for Breast Cancer Awareness only to end up continually fighting with Jason Sudeikis as an obnoxious boom operator who kept hitting her with his microphone while the director treated his actions like it was no big deal.

  11. Home-Bots had Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jason Sudeikis as a couple who recently won the lottery and bought a group of robots that were played by Will Forte, Fred Armisen, and Kenan Thompson who were not only slow and inefficient but also repaired one another in exchange for group sex benefits.

  12. Snow Patrol then returned to the stage to perform Chasing Cars.

  13. The Search For The Next Pussycat Doll was a parody of a new reality show from the CW network that had several cast members as Pussycat Doll hopefuls who tried to win their spot in the band.

  14. Finally, Julia Louis-Dreyfus closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

As I said up above, this wasn’t an episode to write home about but thanks to sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments of the night, the viewing still turned out to be fun. First, I loved the cold opening where Chris Rock compared Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton. I liked this because I was expecting the typical Clinton complaints that I’ve heard over the year only to laugh when Rock blatantly admitted that he planned to vote for the black guy strictly because he’s a fellow black guy since it’s the only thing that made any sense. Next, I really liked the Restless Penis Syndrome sketch because Restless Leg Syndrome runs in my family (no pun intended) and this sketch reminds me of when I was a kid and first learned of the restless leg disease and how silly it sounded to me. It also cracked me up when the pitchman joined the scene, and everyone sat and watched while looking bored by the surreal situation. Finally, I was a fan of Home-Bots because I always laugh at sketches with humans who put in minimal effort to act like they’re supposed to really be robots.

 
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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.