SNL: S32E18... HOST: SCARLETT JOHANSSON... DATE: APRIL 21, 2007

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Hitting Modern Times With

Our First YouTube-Based Sketch

 

Though I wasn’t impressed by Scarlett Johansson’s first visit, I recall blaming the season over blaming her actual performance. My main issue was that it was a year that I don’t feel much of a nostalgic connection to probably because I was too busy with film school to keep up with world events, or frivolous developments taking place in pop culture. I’m pretty sure I even ended the reviews noting that I was excited for Johansson’s second visit, knowing that she’d eventually find her hosting legs to really earn the Five-Timers Club jacket.

My confidence was diminished at first when the opening press conference from Bush dragged on to the point where I felt like I was really watching C-Span. The monolog was fun but convoluted and left me with no complaints, and the Regis & Kelly parody also suffered from dragging on to the point where it felt like I was watching the real show. The night was building up to be the definition of average until we got to the news.

I mean how could you not like the Battlefield Earth-based Earth Day song sung by Will Forte with Fred Armisen on his guitar strumming along. Then, the Kuato follow up killed me and had me laughing the hardest I have in a while when they brought back the old extreme barking routine which hasn’t been used in years. In fact, the fact that I was so caught off guard by them using it, might have led to more laughter than the actual joke itself.

Finally, there was the sketch about viral videos on YouTube which might be the most fascinating sketch that I’ve seen in a while since it profiled some of the first people to star in a new thing called viral videos. It was so weird to hear Kristen Wiig have to explain the phenomena considering YouTube was still so new and the phase viral video had yet to become an everyday term.

It was also amazing how the viral videos that they chose are still such classics, in fact, I just showed someone the grape stomping video where the news lady falls which leads to a god-awful sound. In fact, every example that they used has organically come up in either conversation or referenced in other things within the last year. This just got me thinking how sketch shows like SNL deserve a lot of credit for internet-based content because I’m sure the makers of these mini-movies were highly influenced by the world of sketch. I even think back on sketches pretty the same way I reflected on funny YouTube videos.

Alright, that’s all that I’ve got for this one. It’s now time to wrap it up, and with that, I’ll now shift gears in order to give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with parody C-Span coverage of a President Bush Press Conference where once again Jason Sudeikis played George W. Bush where he took questions from the press about the events surrounding the recent resignation of Alberto Gonzales. This early resignation was linked to the events that brought to light the fact that our government practices warrantless surveillance on its citizen and used torture techniques in Iraq. Being that this was the opening sketch, it built to where W. was about to proclaim the traditional show starting line only to George was interrupted by a clip of the real Chuck Schumer who snuck in just to announce, “Live from New York…”

  2. Scarlett Johansson then officially opened the show with a monolog about how exciting it was to host the show for a second time, especially as an actual New Yorker which led her to share what she does whenever she returns home. Somehow, she transitioned into talking about how she was known for having a brilliant taste for music before she joined by Andy Samberg as, American Idol Vote For The Worst reject, Sanjaya and two to sang Something To Talk About because our host felt Sanjaya needed some cheering up.

  3. This was followed by a parody of Live! With Regis & Kelly where Derrell Hammond and Amy Poehler played the titular hosts to joke about the comeback episode following Regis’s triple bypass surgery. Rather than go easy on the old man, Kelly kept trying to get Regis to over-exert himself during an interview with Scarlett Johansson as Ivanka Trump.

  4. Mrs. Hastings brought back Kenan Thompson to continue to play the stepmom of a revolving cast of stepdaughters so that this time he as she could help Scarlett Johansson as this week’s ghetto-acting stepchild find the perfect dress for her prom.

  5. We then got another SNL Digital Short called Roy Rules where Andy Samberg rapped about his brother-in-law Roy, as played by bit player Bryan Tucker because he rules.

  6. This was followed by a fake ad for Mike's Marbleopolis where Fred Armisen returned as his pitchman character Mike who once tried to sell us chandeliers and was now selling marble columns to gussy up our surroundings even more.

  7. WIIX News was a parody of a location morning news TV show with Kristine Wiig making her return as the recently divorced reporter was seems to be continually discovering that she’s actually a lesbian while providing interviews on location. Her crush for this installment was Scarlett Johansson who was being interviewed about how she saved an entire apartment complex from a fire by making sure everyone heard the alarm before leaving the building.  

  8. Bjork then took to the stage to perform Earth Intruders.

  9. Once again, Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Seth and Amy played another round or “Really?” and Will Forte dropped in to perform a song to celebrate Earth Day only the actual lyrics focused more on the movie Battlefield Earth. (Clip 2)

  10. Kuatos also made a returned to the show with this time the mini-mid-body of a man met his match in Scarlett Johansson who played a mini-mid-body woman who host was Maya Rudolph, who also happened to be Kuatos’ host, Bill Hader’s, newly announced, fiancé.

  11. News Makers was a sketch that had Kristen Wiig as Jane Pauley who hosted this special segment that profiled several cast members and our hosts who all portrayed stars of some of the earliest viral videos from around the time that the internet started to truly evolve to the internet we use today.

  12. TV Funhouse then gave us a cartoon called Torboto that featured a robot that singlehandedly fought the war on terror by using all the terror techniques that America was caught doing around this time.

  13. Bjork then returned to the stage to perform Wanderlust.

  14. Finally, Scarlett Johansson closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

As I said up top the first half on this show was a bit of a flop but thanks to sketches like these three from the second half that contained my favorite moments the night ended really strong. First, I loved the Kuatos sketch, not just because I loved the addition of the female Kuato but the random switch to it becoming a sketch about vomiting, it caught me so off guard that I found it to be the funniest thing in the world. Next, I really liked the News Makers sketch because it was fascinating to see this time periods take on a new thing called YouTube. Finally, I was a fan of Will Forte’s Battlefield Earth song from the news because I will always laugh at a Battlefield Earth reference.

 
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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.