SNL: S33E05... HOST: TINA FEY... DATE: FEBRUARY 23, 2008

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My Birthday Episode: Year 32

 

I didn’t catch that a few months had actually past between this episode and the show hosted by Brian Williams from when production of the show officially was put on hold due to the writer’s strike, so I was shocked by how quickly things develop in the build-up to the Presidential Election. I’ll even leave the note in the Wicker Breakdown how crazy it seemed that the show went from joking about how it was inevitable that Hillary would not only win but be the President for two terms, to being a joke of a candidate for even thinking she stood a chance against Obama.

Thinking only a week had gone by this insane flip in outlooks had me thinking it went that quickly in real time. I was an Obama guy at the time because I bought into his promise for change, so I wasn’t quite sure the timing of when that change came about and was really looking forward to seeing that evolution if only there wasn’t this three months of downtime. The fact that they didn’t have to acknowledge what happened between the last to episodes, since we were living it out, almost made it feel like a jump cut as if this stretch of the season was edited out and not that it just wasn’t shot.

The idea of this jump cut of Hillary Clinton’s dramatic downgrade from undeniable winner to unelectable would have been hilarious if it were intentionally done, but unfortunately, I wasn’t that lucky. Instead, the rest of this episode played out like the first two shows from this season where the show was entertaining enough, but I wanted much more consider the host’s potential.

These episodes sort of feel like the abridges episodes that you’ll find on streaming services where any sketch with copyright concerns are cut-out which often creates a viewing experience where it feels like your watching the second to best sketches of the night. Again, these episodes haven’t been terrible like the shows hosted by Bon Jovi, and Brian Williams but they do seem to suffer from what may be writer’s rust building up to and following the strike.

We’ll see how the rest of the year plays out. Hopefully, now that the strike is over, tonight’s episode will act as a season reboot, as everyone’s concerns for the writer’s futures clear up allowing them to return their attention to the content. Until then, I’m going to wrap this one up in order to get on with my day, so, with that, I give you…  

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with parody coverage of the CNN Univision Democratic Debate where the news anchors fawned over Fred Armisen as Barack Obama while barely paying any attention to Amy Poehler as a delusional Hillary Clinton. It’s crazy how quickly the tide has turned because just last week all of the jokes were about how it was pointless to even attempt to run against Mrs. Clinton. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”

  2. Tina Fey then officially opened the show with a monolog about how she was excited to host the first show following the writer’s strike’s resolve. She was then suddenly interrupted by scribe-turned-performer Steve Martin who offered a few tips on making the transition as if Tina hasn’t already been acting for years.

  3. This was followed by a fake ad for annual which was a new women’s hygiene product that made it possible for women to endure their period just once a year even though it involved some severe side effects that would be experienced throughout the rest of the non-period year.

  4. Rock Of Love 2 was a parody follow up to Rock Of Love where Amy Poehler’s one-legged girl character vied for the heart of Jason Sudeikis as Bret Michaels for round two of his dating show.

  5. This was followed by another SNL Digital Short called A Message To Old People that had an elderly man share how he is able to place his grandsons, Bill Hader, and Andy Samberg in popular movies via a service that provides special effects editing to point out information that will help him not be afraid while watching his favorite films.

  6. What's That Bitch Talking About? was a game show sketch where contestants had to decipher cryptic one-sided phone messages as acted out by various game show models.

  7. Carrie Underwood then took to the stage to perform All-American Girl.

  8. Once again, Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Mike Huckabee dropped by as himself to share that even though it was mathematically impossible for him to win, he still felt there was the slightest chance that he’d actually beat John McCain as the Republican’s Presidential nominee. Tina Fey also returned to the Weekend Update desk to share why she felt that Hillary Clinton was the best woman for the job. (Clip 2)

  9. This was followed by a series of NBC Spots that promoted their exhaustive line up of Celebrity Apprentice-style knock-off they had lined up for the upcoming broadcasting season.

  10. Ed's Toast had Jason Sudeikis as the titular Ed who made an ass out of himself while toasting Will Forte who was the groom at a wedding reception. This toast mainly consisted of terrible jokes and horror stories from their past that didn’t go over well with the rest of the wedding’s attendants.

  11. This was followed by a fake ad for Virginia Horsen's Hot Air Balloon Rides where Kristen Wiig played Mrs. Horsen who attempted not to rub her success in anyone’s face as she promoted her line of hot air balloon rides.

  12. I Drink Your Milkshake was a sketch where the Oscar-nominated hit, There Will Be Blood was to become a Food Network spin-off where Bill Hader and Amy Poehler played to characters from the film who wandered through a malt shop and drank random patrons’ milkshakes without asking as a way to taste the product for their show.

  13. Carrie Underwood then returned to the stage to perform Flat On The Floor.

  14. We then got a fake ad for another fake NBC show called Lady Business which was a rip off of Sex And The City only in a more dramatic form.

  15. Finally, Tina Fey closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

As I said up above, this was another so-so episode from a should have been a better year that did still manage to be entertaining with the help of sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved the Virginia Horsen's Hot Air Balloon Rides because the character reminded of Kristen Wiig from a movie I love entitled Welcome To Me. Next, I really liked the SNL Digital Short: A Message To Old People because the cheesy edits to put Bill Hader and Andy Samberg into famous movies scene kept leading to laughs out of me. Finally, I was a fan of CNN Univision Democratic Debate because it led to the insight that inspired the main portion of my review which I almost found funnier than any intentional jokes from the night.

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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.