SNL: S34E16... HOST: ALEC BALDWIN... DATE: FEBRUARY 14, 2009

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My Birthday Episode: Year 33

 

First off, Welcome to The Fourteen-Timers Club, Mr. Baldwin!!! I think he may be the only host who’s entry into an X-Timer club during a birthday weekend episode, making it so that I could congratulate him in the sub-title. What makes this more interesting is that this was not the first time, in fact, it might even be the third. Other than that, like with Steve Martin, I don’t really have much more to say about Alec Baldwin that I haven’t already covered in one of his last thirteen visits, so I’m going to jump right into sharing how I felt about the actual episode.

Though it was fun to see Dan Aykroyd open the show, once again, it was a political sketch with very little modern relevance, other than highlighting how nothing changes, and at points felt like real political talk with very little humor at all. In fact, the only thing that I found interesting was this sketch let me know that I had almost managed to completely forget about Rush Limbaugh since every time they referenced Rush I kept thinking about the band, even after being reminded that this was far from the case.

The monolog was fun but typical, Baldwin sharing a few pleasantries before taking questions from the “audience.” I’ve never even seen 30 Rock, but it was also fun to see Jack McBrayer during this intro because he seems like a funny guy. Since I’m completely unfamiliar with The Jonas Brothers, the first official sketch which featured tonight’s musical guest was fun, but it lacked any nostalgic connection that I guarantee would me have led me to like this sketch more.

The Cougar Den was next which is a sketch that I never liked since in conception since, as I’ve shared multiple times, I’m not a huge fan of oversexualized humor, and the old desperate lady jokes also weren’t all that fun. The next sketch was also The Jonas Brothers themed, but this one had them as a butt rock band doing parody videos which was hilarious to me, as was the fake ad for the Sir Mix-A-Lot big booty Photoshop service that followed.

The Jonas Brothers played after this, and they reminded me of a band from an ‘80s soundtrack when they rarely used more than one real song from a big band, and so they resorted to music like this that was close enough to fill the rest of the tracks. The news was the news, as usual, an interesting time capsule to watch but nothing to write home about. Though I love Bill Hader’s Vincent Price, his holiday specials are like award show parodies where the impersonations are more fun than the actual content, which is fine because at least it’s fun.

As a writer, I really got a kick out of the High-Profile Project sketch because I could fully relate to how hard it is to schedule anything when more than two people are involved. The next sketch got the biggest laugh of the night because even though the Wii remote/masturbation joke has been extremely played out since this time, it still cracks me up to see a grown ass man making this joke as if he were still a little kid. I felt the same about the second Jonas Brothers song as I did about the first.

The next three sketches really pissed me off. Though I was fine with reruns of fake ads during the ‘70s and early ‘80s, as soon as the VCR hit the scene, there is no excuse for SNL to repeat so much content. The mid to late ‘90s and even the early, early ‘00s I may be annoyed, but I get it, not everyone taped every show, so a rerun here or there is acceptable, but 2009? Them running two repeated fake ads just before a brand new fake ad/final sketch is entirely unacceptable.

For one, the two sketches being repeated were from earlier this year, making them too fresh to me this important.  These back to back repeated ads also stole any potential thunder from the final sketch because the reruns caused me to zone out and when I came back I no longer cared about the rest of the episode. It’s too bad because watching it again after realizing I mentally missed, it might make my list of favorite moments of the night.

We’ll see if that turned out to be the case, but in order to do so, I must first switch gears to wrap this one up, and with that, I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with parody coverage a Republican Congressional Leadership Meeting where Dan Aykroyd and several members of the cast played a collection of Republican leaders who were in denial while looking for even the smallest fault in President Obama’s latest speech. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”

  2. Alec Baldwin then officially opened the show with a monolog by thanking Christian Bale for out doing any rant that he had ever had caught on film. He then went on to talk about his 30 Rock Emmy win before announcing that his co-star Jack McBrayer was there before attempting to take questions from the audience in his effort to stop the McBrayer induced round of applause. Baldwin was then outraged when he was continually overlooked as everyone fawned over his co-star.

  3. The Fourth Jonas Brother was as the title suggest, a sketch that introduced us to the fourth Jonas Brother Alec Baldwin with the help from tonight’s musical guest during a parody of their recording session before they decided to introduce Gary Jonas to the world.

  4. The Cougar Den then returned for another segment feature Kristen Wiig, Casey Wilson, and Michaela Watkins. Tonight Alec Baldwin played their guest who was a gay cougar that wrote a book called Stop That Boy I Want To Get On with his coauthor Cameron Diaz, who I can’t believe keeps coming back to revise this role.

  5. We then got another SNL Digital Short where Andy Samberg discovered ancient videotape footage of The Jonas Brothers from when they performed as Property Of The Queen during the 1980’s. This video was filled with a hilarious collection of clips of The Jonas Brothers as an ‘80s butt rock band.

  6. Sir Mix-a-Lot's Photoshop had Kenan Thompson as the big booty loving rap star to offered a service where his company would Photoshop big butts on any image for a reasonable fee.

  7. Jonas Brothers then took to the stage to perform Tonight.

  8. Once again, Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Kenan Thompson stopped by as a financial expert who still though the solution to the economic crisis was to simply “FIX IT!” Abby Elliott as Angelina Jolie also magically appeared once again and attempted to adopt a baby only to find out the Seth made the crying sound to end a story. Upon hearing there were no actual kids, Jolie then quickly disappeared. Michaela Watkins then played nerdy movie blogger to share her Oscar picks. Jason Sudeikis was the last guest to stop by as Joaquin Phoenix to be weird during this period where the real Joaquin was threatening to quit acting to start his hip-hop career.

  9. Vincent Price's Valentine's Day Special brought back Bill Hader as Vincent Price to host another holiday special filled with impersonations of famous celebrities from his time who all have their own agenda.

  10. High-Profile Project showed how difficult collaborations can be through Alec Baldwin, Will Forte, and Bill Hader as a group of old business executives who struggle to synchronize their schedules in order to complete their high-profile project that really deserved more attention over the trivial tasks that are filling his time. After all of this planning to plan, by the end of the sketch, they figured out that they were already right now.

  11. Warrior Shake had Alec Baldwin as a dad who finds very inappropriate pleasure while playing a Wii game with his kids Jason Sudeikis and Bill Hader, because of the masturbatory motions that the game forces him into.

  12. Jonas Brothers then returned to the stage to perform Video Girl.

  13. We then got a repeat of the Chewable Pampers which was an organic diaper that you eat instead of throwing it away.

  14. For the first time ever, we then got a back to back repeat when once again we Virgania Horsen's Hot-Air Balloon Rides commercial from just earlier this year.

  15. Then after two repeated fake ad, we got another sketch from the fake ad genre. This commercial was called Alec Baldwin's Acting Techniques For Actors where our host demonstrated the acting prowess of a cinematic, “first cough,” playing off the old trope from movies where if a person coughed in an early scene that meant that later on that character was going to die.

  16. Finally, Alec Baldwin closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Though this was one of the few episodes from Alec Baldwin where I wasn’t a huge fan, these three sketches that contained my favorite moments of the night kept it from being a terrible show. First, I loved the sketch Warrior Shake because even though it was nothing more than a juvenile masturbation joke, it was the only sketch of the night to lead to a genuine laugh. Next, I really liked Sir Mix-a-Lot's Photoshop because I was a fan of the real Mix-A-Lot as a kid so this sketch hit that nostalgic spot that earns points. Finally, I was a fan of this week’s SNL Digital Short: Property Of The Queen because even though the Jonas’s didn’t win me over as musical guest, the butt rock version of their band was pretty funny to me.

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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.