SNL: S33E06... HOST: ELLEN PAGE... DATE: MARCH 1, 2008

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The Predictive Power Of

The Melissa Etheridge Experience

 

As someone who used to only focus on writing screenplays, I became a fan of Ellen Page pretty early in her career since I was so impressed by this youngsters ability to act, I would sometime fantasy cast her in some of my scripts that might require a female child around her age. There was an added bonus to fantasy casting Page in that her tiny size and never aging look meant that I would have years to figure out how to produce one of these projects. Hell, she would probably still be perfect as a female youth from a script that’s now close to a decade old.

I discovered Ellen Page pretty early in her acting career when I was home visiting San Diego, back during my Seattle days. While home for the holidays, I was going to see one of her flicks with my youngest sister who is, maybe five years younger than our host. Unfortunately, out plans fell through the cracks, and we didn’t end up seeing the movie together, but I sent a copy of the DVD down as a gift the moment it was available.

The thing is, I still hadn’t seen the movie but really thought my sister would dig it because she was almost a peer to the star and was getting into darker movies at the time. Since all that I knew was the movie in question was a dark indie retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, based on the poster’s imagery and a couple of blurbs that I read. Little did I know, the Little Red Riding Hood aspect was way less adaptive than I thought.

For those of you who haven’t seen Hard Candy, it’s about a fourteen-year-old girl who gets revenge on a sex predator that ends with an in-home castration. Again, I didn’t see this myself until after already gifting it to my preteen little sis. She still loves to give me a hard time about sending her such a movie without watching it first. Then again, I could always tell that there was a part of her who thought that this slip up was pretty cool, just like how I look back at the inappropriate movies that I was allowed to watch at way too young of an age.

As for the actual show, this turned out to be another so-so show from this strike year. As with the other shows from this season, the content was good but still just a little off. This, in turn, may have made Ellen’s, childlike brand of live acting be even more apparent. Though I would say this childlike acting would have been terrible for a film, it was actually perfect child acting for the stage. If the show would have been better, in general, this stage acting vibe might not have stood up as much as it did.

With all that said, I did find this episode to be hilarious whenever they dress Ellen Page up like an adult. Another thing I loved was the Melissa Etheridge sketch from the end of the night that was one of my favorite types where there is more sentimentality than humor. Though it could come across as homophobic, especially in these sensitive time, because it pretty much states that all Etheridge fans are lesbians, but now that our host is out of the closest, I see this performance as an expression of catharsis. It was also really nice how this sketch ended on a note of acceptance and not something really crass.

This sketch alone may have made the entire episode worth the watch, and I can’t wait for Ellen to return. Until then, it’s now time to wrap this one up by sharing what I actually saw, and in order to do so, I will now give to you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with more parody coverage of another Democratic Debate where again, the news anchors continued to fawn over Obama while completely ignoring Hillary, who just three episodes ago was determined to be unbeatable, even going as far as to predict a two-term presidency. After the parodied debates were over, the real Hillary Clinton got a moment to give an editorial response to the sketch in a desperate attempt to win the show back with her visit. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”

  2. Ellen Page then officially opened the show with a monolog about how great it was to host and then went on to start and share her incredible year which included being nominated for an Oscar. Before she could get too far, Andy Samberg joined her on stage as, former stripper/Juno screenplay writer, Diablo Cody who chided our host for not using the wacky-worded monolog that she wrote for the occasion.

  3. The Dakota Fanning Show then returned with Amy Poehler as the brainy child star who once again talked down to her peer guest/children stars with this week’s featured guest being Ellen Page as Miley Cyrus, who was still Hannah Montana at the time.

  4. TV Funhouse then gave us an animation called The Obama Files where Barack Obama continually stayed literally one step ahead of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton who he wanted to have nowhere near him while on the campaign trail because he felt they were bad luck for him as a black candidate.

  5. This was followed by a fake ad for The College For Excellence where Fred Armisen played the pitchman for a supposedly serious business school that claimed to teach all of the right phrases and terms that anyone would need to guarantee success upon their student's graduating the course. 

  6. The Other Boleyn Girls played off the King Henry story and introduced us to the full roster of the Boleyn Girls who ranged from the adorable Ellen Page to Kenan Thompson who was obviously a man in drag.

  7. We then got another SNL Digital Short called The Mirror where during a series of nightmares, Ellen Page continuously saw Andy Samberg as a crazed psychopath whenever she passed by a mirror.

  8. Wilco then took to the stage to perform Hate It Here.

  9. Once again, Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, the real Rudolph Giuliani dropped by to declare that it was his appearance in drag while he hosted ten years ago that indeed cost him the Republican Nomination. Fred Armisen also stopped by as Nicolas Fehn, the comedian to once again try to generate new stand-up comedy material on the spot with the help of a pile of newspapers where he pretty much just read the headlines as they were to then ramble on with a bunch of nonsense, desperate to find a joke.

  10. Shopping With Virginiaca had Kenan Thompson in the titular role to go shopping only to flirt with any random employ who might help while enjoying her food court meal. A couple moments into the sketch, Virginiaca’s brand new ghetto talking stepdaughter, Ellen Page joined the scene which led the rest of the sketch to play out the way it usually does with this segment.

  11. The Continuing Adventures Of Peter Pan had Bill Hader as Captain Hook who continued his plans for revenge against Ellen Page as Peter Pan. The only problem was that thing when awry when Hook’s pirates quickly jumped sides to joined in with the Lost Boy for the chorus of their Peter Pan-themed songs.

  12. Wilco then returned to the stage to perform Walken.

  13. The Melissa Etheridge Experience had Ellen Page as a young girl who was super-psyched after returning home from a Melissa Etheridge show. This really bummed her boyfriend Andy Samberg out since it made him think that it meant that Ellen was gay. The sketch ended with Samberg claiming her lesbian way were fine and that it just meant that he would have to turn gay himself so that they could continue to live together as lovers. Though misguided, with was an acceptable solution to Ellen’s struggle with her sexual identity. This may have turned out to be rather accurate considering that page came out as gay just a couple of years ago.

  14. Finally, Ellen Page closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

Once again, strictly because of the host, this was another so-so show from this season that wasn’t actually too hard to watch, with the help from sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved The Melissa Etheridge Experience because, as I mentioned about, this was one of those end-of-the-night sentimental sketches that I love, especially with our host’s cathartic seeming performance. Next, I really liked the fake ad for The College For Excellence because it cracked me up the way that they attempted to get our tiny host to look like an adult, plus it reminded me of the English For Business class that I took in high school. Finally, I was a fan of this week’s SNL Digital Short: The Mirror because it had Hard Candy vibes and a fun little Shyamalanian twist at the end.

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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.