The Plight Of The Reluctant Funny Fat Guy
As a funny fat guy myself, I always take note of when I fellow Wicker Breaker hits the scene so that I can root for my kind as they come up in the comedic world. I first noticed Jonah Hill in his less significant roles in movies like 40-Year-Old Virgin and Grandma’s Boy where he wasn’t on the screen all that much, but he did manage to get a laugh whenever he was on. Then, when the movies Accepted and Superbad hit the scene, Jonah went from someone who was just on my radar, having won me over as a genuine fan.
One of the things that I found interesting about Jonah is, even before his yo-yo weight loss and gain cycle, his portrayal of the reluctant funny fat guy always spot on. Unlike Belushi or Farley who both carried themselves as if as if they were overly confident no matter their size or their look. Where I always thought that I related more to the manic side of size-based comedy because that’s what got the laughs when I was drunk, I actually always related more to Jonah’s portrayal, where his character might end up in similar situations but only because they think it’s what everyone else really wants.
That’s not to say that I blame peer pressure for any personality flaws because, for one, I don’t really see either personality type as flawed because they’re both just a way of being, and two, whether there is pressure or not the party animal approach is a personal choice and not a sentence. At least this was the case with me where my size is more intimidating because I’m also tall, meaning, I never had to deal with bully situations other than the verbal abuse from my step-dad.
That said, I just always felt safe in that I didn’t fear randomly getting beat up, my funny fay guy insecurities manly showed up in the areas of love. This is probably why I feel more connection with the reluctant character type over the pure party guy who just doesn’t give a fuck, that I tried to portray when I was young. The plan always was to get my foot in the door by sharing my wild side that easily catches attention. Then once everyone felt that they had me figured out, I’d blow them away sharing what’s in my heart, which is an approach that I call The Dance Of The Funny Fat Guy While Finding His Place In The World.
Alright, enough rambling on about my big-boned brethren it’s now time to talk about the actual show that suffered from the same issues as the rest of the year. Once again, this was a decent show that I can’t really complain about, but at the same time, it felt like it had the potential to be a much better episode. As I pointed out yesterday, I think this stems from the mid-season writer’s strike, where just as the writers and cast started to settle from the summer season break, the strike gave everyone even more time off.
Granted, strike time off isn’t the same as play time time off, but it still gets people out of practice, then when they come back to the next summer break being just months away, how could you not slack off throughout the rest of the year? Though I keep bringing up this strike based mediocrity, I’ll take this average season over some of the stinkers where it was clear that they were actually trying.
We’ll have to wait and see how the rest of the season plays out. Until then, it’s now time for me to shift gears in order to share what I saw during this viewing as I give you…
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started with a fake ad for Spitzer And Associates where Bill Hader played Eliot Spitzer who recently resigned after getting caught with call girls. This fake ad was a pitch for Spitzer new law firm that promised to tackle similar situations highlighting how he was more ashamed over getting caught than he was over the immoral activities that he was up to. All of this while Kristen Wiig who played Spitzer’s wife silently stood by his side making faces as she couldn’t conceal her disappointment in her man. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, this all built to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
Jonah Hill then officially opened the show with a monolog about how he always is cast as the crass/funny fat guy, but really he was a fancy lad. To prove his point he then broke into song about how fancy of a guy he actually was.
MacGruber then returned with another batch of sketches. This time the series started with MacGruber refusing to reactivate a bomb until Jonah Hill admitted to the rumors that he was saying our sketch’s hero was terrible at his job. As always with MacGruber, the bomb went off right as Jonah was about to give in to MacGruber’s demands.
What's Your Situation? was a game show sketch that had Jonah Hill as a sleazy guide to the game that he used solely as an excuse to pick-up on the female contestants by using the questions to spark up some lecherous talk.
Six Year Old had Jonah Hill as a six-year-old who was out having dinner at a Benihana's with his father who was played by Bill Hader. Throughout the sketch, Jonah kept embarrassing his dad by obnoxiously performing Borscht Belt-brand comedy at the chef’s and fellow patron’s expense.
MacGruber then returned for round two where this time MacGruber and Jonah’s character switch roles after MacGruber refused to put in the effort but still the sketch still ended with the same explosion as the result.
The Suze Orman Show had Kristen Wiig as the titular host in order to advise her viewers how to live on the cheap in order to keep themselves financially stable during this time of stock market fears. Most of her tips revolved around cheap places to buy crazy looking jackets, which was apparently a joke at the real Suze’s expense. This is another case where I’m aware of Suze Orman, but I’ve never seen her show leading me to miss the references that got the audience to laugh quite a bit from this sketch that left me rather bored.
This was followed by another SNL Digital Short where Andy Samberg is shocked when he discovered that Jonah Hill has just entered a same-sex relationship with Andy’s dad who was played by, writer, Jim Downy. Through flashback, we saw how the two instantly hit it off after the first day of rehearsing for the show. This was another case where the central humor came from the shock value of these two unattractive men making out.
Mariah Carey then took to the stage to perform Touch My Body.
Once again, Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Amy and Seth played another round of Really?!? about the Spitzer scandal before Tracy Morgan made a surprise visit to respond to the issues of race during Obama’s run to become the President Of The United States. (Clip 2)
Target Greatland got another installment with Kristen Wiig as the Target cashier who’s not afraid to leave her workstation whenever customers attempt to take advantage of a good deal. This time, Jonah Hill played a co-worker who seeks relationship advice as he nervously plotted to ask another coworker out.
We then got a parody of NBC Special Report where Fill Forte as Brian Williams revealed startling evidence that John McCain was old since this was one of the top concerns during this Presidential Election Cycle.
Clancy T. Bachleratt and Jackie Snad Sing Songs about Spaceships, Toddlers, Model T. Cars & Jars of Beer had Jonah Hill and several members of the cast to share their latest country western collaboration that they hoped would be the patriotic hit of the year.
Mariah Carey then took to the stage with T-Pain to perform Migrate.
Internet Blind Date had Jonah Hill as a schlub who manages to wrangle a hot date with the lovely Casey Wilson who quickly discovered just how much Jonah lied on his dating site profile.
Finally, Jonah Hill closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
Once again, we have another episode that wasn’t really worth writing home about but thanks to sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments it was another show that was, at least, fun to watch. First, I loved Six Year Old Jonah because it reminded me of the old school SNL sketches where there were a lot more adults acting like little kids, plus the idea of a six-year-old doing Borscht Belt-brand comedy is always good for a laugh. Next, I liked this week’s Target Greatland because I’ve yet to not be entertained by this Kristen Wiig character. Finally, I was a fan of the fake ad for the new Clancy T. Bachleratt and Jackie Snad Sing Songs about Spaceships, Toddlers, Model T. Cars & Jars of Beer album because the names in this collaboration alone were enough to get me to chuckle.