SNL: S34E07... HOST: BEN AFFLECK... DATE: NOVEMBER 1, 2008

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Winding Down The Last Days Of

A Dog Named Zion

 

First off, I’d like to apologize in advice if this review is even more scattered than usual because this will be the last weekend that I get to spend with my dog that we’ll be putting to sleep on Monday to ease her out of her struggles with doggy cancer. It’s crazy how quickly this developed because it was just a little over a month ago that the benign cyst on her belly grew to be much more. She went from a dog that was slowing because she was growing old to completely falling apart within what seemed to be a blink of an eye.

That said, I’m a little rushed to get through this review so that I can spend the rest of my day sitting and watching TV on the couch with her. I even created a slumber party vibe by bringing my mattress on the ground in front of said couch to give her easier access to all the comfortable furniture. I also have a tray of some of her favorite human foods. Unfortunately, she’s at a point where she’s not all that interested in eating.

Keeping this in mind, my head was somewhere else through most of the viewing so I’ll just share some random thoughts that may not be structured the same as my other reviews. Then again, I’ve never been a traditional critic, so this review may be more normal for me that when I do try to write with intent and focus. Come to think of it, I may have even quit this challenge, or not have started it in the first place if I ever felt the goal was to write around a thousand legitimate reviews minus any content like this that focuses more on how I’m handling such a long-lasting daily challenge where I have yet to miss a single day for close to two years/two and a half when I get to the end.

Alright, as for the actual show, the first thing that I noticed was that even though I hated John McCain’s appearance as an SNL host, I’m loving his quick visits that keep popping up throughout this season. It actually reminded me why I wasn’t as concerned of the “lesser of two evils” approach to voting when he was involved because either result didn’t seem TOO bad, minus the addition of Sarah Palin into the math. I’m not just saying this now that he’s dead because I do still take issue with some of his moves as a politician.

Not that I thought Obama was the lesser of two evils at this time. It wasn’t until the second term of our peace prize winning warmongering president that I stopped buying the promises of hope, that almost made him seem more evil as everyone defended his every move. This really sucked because no matter how you interpret anything that I say politically, I’m a left-leaning independent voter that finds it hard to vote for a leader who doesn’t practice what they preach.

Thankfully, this is the last episode before Obama is officially elected, which means both me and the show will ease up on the political talk. Not that I get political all that much the same way the show never stops but just becomes more subtle or at least spread out the jokes amongst more than just the people running for president. That said, I’m actually interested in seeing how, politically, we went from a world that was so filled with hope to one that would be desperate enough to vote for Donald Trump, or at least how comedy saw/created this transition.

Aside from that thought that was triggered by McCain’s appearance in the opening sketch, I was then bored to death by the first half of the night. The monolog was a bit lame as all Affleck did was pretty much promote the fact that he was voting for Obama by using a played out reverse psychology joke about claiming to endorse McCain since he felt his endorsement of past Democratic Presidential candidate might have actually been a curse.

This was followed by a rerun of a fake ad, two parodies of shows that I never really watched, and even the Target Greatland was lame because of its use of hot host elements where Affleck was trying to pick up on Wiig. Even though Affleck was uglied up a little, in both reality, and the reality of the sketch, there is no world where his character would be interested in her. Even though they didn’t end up hooking up as the final joke, I didn’t like the sexualization of this character because it just seems out of character even for a bad joke.

From the giraffe sketch on, the show was pretty good even though the news felt a little long and I was disappointed when my first glance read the musical guest was Dane Cook, only to focus to see that the name actually was David Cook, who I know by name alone. It was also weird how the second half of the show mainly consisted of fake ads, but then again, the quick in and out comedy that’s unavoidable when it comes to fake commercial is probably the biggest reason the second half was so much better than the first.

Alright, that’s all that I’ve got, time to wrap this one up to spend some quality time with the dog, and with that, I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with Special Message From Sen. John McCain And Gov. Sarah Palin that had the real McCain and Tina Fey as Sarah Palin attempt to raise some last-minute campaign awareness by purchasing airtime on QVC to hawk goods related to their campaign promises. McCain’s real wife Cindy even joined in at one point to help with the hawking. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”

  2. Ben Affleck then officially opened the show with a monolog about how his support for the Democratic Presidential candidates from the past has always seemed to backfire. Because of this, he went on to endorse John McCain in the hopes that this brand of reverse psychology would actually benefit Barack Obama instead.

  3. We then got a repeat of the Jar Glove ad from earlier in the season which was a jar opening device that helped to avoid accidental murder when attempting to open tight jars.

  4. This was followed by a parody of The View that had several members of the cast impersonate the daytime talk crew to yammer on about their views on this year presidential election with guests Casey Wilson and Ban Affleck as Jennifer Aniston and Alec Baldwin who did some yammering of their own.

  5. We then got a parody of Countdown With Keith Olbermann where Ben Affleck played Keith in order to cut off his guest after misquoting them, as he’s known to do, while talking about how horrible Bush was as a President. He then went on to vent about how the co-op that he lived in didn’t respect the fact that he was a celebrity enough to allow him to break the building’s no pet policy.

  6. Target Greatland then returned for another installment with Kristen Wiig as her overly enthusiastic Target employee who’s not afraid to just wander off in the middle of a transaction the second she sees a good deal. This time she got hit by Ben Affleck who dropped by as a UPS guy with a delivery that she had to sign for.

  7. We then went to The Staten Island Zoo where Jason Sudeikis played a zoo official that shared an extremely inaccurate video that improperly portrayed the rocking lifestyle of giraffes.

  8. David Cook then took to the stage to perform Light On.

  9. Once again, Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, the real John McCain shared his desperate last-minute campaign strategies that included things like The Sad Grampa Plan where he will try to guild people into voting his way because he’s sad and old. Will Forte and Fred Armisen returned as their singing intellectual characters, after a super long hiatus to share a song about this year’s Presidential campaigns since they were in charge of regulating the voting machines. Kristen Wiig also returned as Amy Poehler’s crazy aunt to give more one-word movie reviews, only this time her focus was the Fall TV lineup of shows.

  10. Night School Musical was a parody of high school the musical with middle age losers playing all of the parts.

  11. Grady Wilson's Put The Fire Back In Your Marriage Techniques had Kenan Thompson as the titular pitchman to demonstrate how to put the fire back in your marriage by **** in his effort to promote his new book.

  12. The Zolesky Brothers had Ben Affleck and Bill Hader as two brothers who pitched a coming-of-age story about their life which was complete with a segment of unnecessary gay porn. This was also the introduction of Bill Hader’s character Stefon who usually shares the hottest clubs on the news.

  13. David Cook then returned to the stage to perform Declaration.

  14. This time Ben Affleck and Fred Armisen played pitchmen/brothers to pitch their Time Square inspired coats that were available at Bierhoff Brothers House Of Coats

  15. Finally, Ben Affleck closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Despite my distractions and the extremely disappointing first half, the second half turned out to be pretty good with the help of these sketches that contained my three favorite moments of the night. I loved the Giraffe Documentary From The Staten Island Zoo because I loved how the documentary was set up to be legitimate only to end up a novelty song and music video. Next, I really liked Night School Musical because, even though I’ve never seen High School The Musical, I was still able to really appreciate the joke. Finally, I was a fan of The Zolesky Brothers not because it was all that hilarious, I was just excited by the unexpected introduction of Stefon who I swore was only a character from the news.

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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.