SNL: S35E03... HOST: DREW BARRYMORE... DATE: OCTOBER 10, 2009

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Welcome To The Six-Timers Club,

Ms. Barrymore!!!

 

As I said from the very first time that Drew Barrymore was a host back when she was still a little kid, following the success of E.T., I’ve always been a huge fan of tonight’s host because she is a peer who is almost exactly a year older than me, who's been in the spotlight for most of my life. Not only was it refreshing to see someone my age in E.T., but it was even more interesting to see her in Firestarter, and Cat’s Eye because I was fascinated to see someone the same age as my friends and myself playing in these much darker roles.

So far, I’ve enjoyed a majority of the five hosting appearances prior to tonight, and based on the pre-viewing legwork, I’m looking forward to tonight’s episode. The two problems that I had in the past was, one, during her first visit as an adult, she didn’t seem entirely comfortable, yet, with her new place in the world of comedy, following her career comeback performance in the movie The Wedding Singer, but that episode was still sort of good.

My second issue was when she and the girls were promoting Charlies Angels, and all felt too confident in the comedy. Though I liked the high energy, most of their comedy from this time felt like you were watching a group having fun telling inside jokes that are only half-fun, at best to an outsider. I feel the same way whenever the Ocean’s X assholes are out on their promotional tours. I really liked her last visit where she was already passed this phase so I can’t wait to see what tonight has to bring.

Now, let’s see how I feel during my actual viewing of the episode. As with last week, I liked the added silliness to the opening sketch that the previous several years’ of political opening sketches lacked. This didn’t feel like a legitimate speech from the president with subtle jokes slipped in. Again, the content still bummed me out a bit as the audience cheered on the highlighting of our leadership’s flaws, but at least it was funny enough to keep me in a good mood for the introduction of tonight’s host.

I was a fan of Drew Barrymore’s monolog about joining The Six-Timer’s club, but I was a bit disappointed that she didn’t share that she beat out Candice Bergen for the record of the female to host the most shows. As repetitive as the Gilly series of sketches can be, I love the character enough that it didn’t bother me and liked this installment twice as much because there were pretty much two Gillies in this scene, with Barrymore acting as Gigli, Gilly’s foreign exchange student counterpart.

I was excited about the Celebrity Ghost parody because Howard Stern used to play clips from the real show when it first came out, and I remember it cracking me up. The sketch was funny, with the highlight being Abbey Elliott’s impersonation of Anna Faris was brilliant. Kenan Thompson as Ray Parker Jr. also had me laughing out loud with him thinking the ghosts were after him from his claims of not being afraid of them in his Ghostbusters’ theme song.

I loved the fake ad for the online college because it reminds me of how I don’t feel all that confident that anyone will take any of my online certification serious at all which is funny because in many cases I sought out these certs to be seen as a job candidate in demand. I zoned out a bit during Hader’s Italian talk show host sketch expecting more of the same. Even though this was the case, the sketch won me back when they blatantly joked about how repetitive it is. Usually, highlighting a flaw while doing nothing about it is a bit of a pet peeve to me, but I’ve been on the fence with the character since the segment started and can’t quite tell if I find it more funny than flawed.

I was interested to hear Regina Spektor since I never heard of her but when I was looking for album to add the links to below, her album covers seemed like she could be a person I’d be into since I like more subtle female singers who don’t feel the need to belt our crazy high notes. I liked what I heard from this performance and couldn’t wait to hear round two. As with last week, Seth Meyers is continuing to grow on me as a solo news anchor, after, surprisingly, not liking him all that much last year.

I also loved the sketch that followed the news because it was a flashback to 1991 which was a time where channel surfing was still fun minus spoilers from on-screen TV listings, and the lag that it takes for the new digital cable boxes take to fully tune in. I used to watch a lot of televised billiards at this time, so humor from this parody coverage hit the nostalgia itch in my heart. Now, I tune to Food Network by default when I don’t have access to the internet and don’t know what’s on, so I also loved the cooking show parody that made fun of the things that I actually watch. It also really cracked me up when Andy Samberg kept yelling in fear about how the birds who were attacking them were foodies.

I wasn’t a fan of the Larry King sketch because Larry is such an outdated reference, but it was at least interesting because it highlighted how nothing has changed going way further back than we like to admit since with was very similar to what could easily be made to reference the Me Too movement. As usual, I also liked the SNL Digital Short that followed, but these are usually good because they’re prerecorded so there’s no live TV excuse for why one of these segments might fail to live up to any plans.

Regina Spektor then returned with a fun little tune that has me thinking I’ll have to look into the rest of her catalog. The final sketch really cracked me up because as a writer it was fun to see the reality of another writer’s muse versus how they’re portrayed in the story. In this case, Drew Barrymore described a man who brings Fabio to mind and when we met the real man it was Will Forte with a bizarre blond wig that made him look like a cult leader. After that, there was nothing left but Drew Barrymore’s goodnights.

Where I was happy with last night’s show hosted by Ryan Reynolds because I like a little over half the sketches, tonight’s episode made me look back at last night as a disappointment now that this show proved that the season has the potential to put out a show that’s good as a whole. With that, let’s now dig into the specifics of what made this such a successful episode, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with A Message From The President Of The United States that carried on from last weeks opening sketch where now, Fred Armisen as Barack Obama gloated about winning the Nobel Peace Prize while still doing nothing to stop any wars. He also joked about winning seventy-million-dollars after randomly buying a lottery ticket when convoy stopped for gas on the way home from accepting the award, as if the world was just handing everything to him while getting nothing in exchange. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”

  2. Drew Barrymore then officially opened the show with a monolog about how her entering the Six-Timers club means that she broke the tie between her and Candice Bergen’s for the record for most visits from a female host. She then went on to share a few “clips of her prestigious acting family” in action to show how acting is in her Barrymore blood, only none of the examples were all that well performed, as the joke if the segment, not the performance of the cast members in the sketch who did well at acting badly.

  3. Gilly then returned for another installment of a frizzy hair Kristen Wiig perpetrating violent “pranks,” only this time she was joined by Drew Barrymore who looked like she could be her twin while playing her foreign exchange student counterpart named Gigli. At the end of the sketch Gilly trick Gigli into blowing herself up to get rid of the competition.

  4. We then got a parody of the short-lived show, Celebrity Ghost Stories that had several members of the cast impersonate several kooky celebs in order to share their even kookier experiences with ghosts.

  5. We then got a fake ad for the University Of Westfield that made fun of the University Of Phoenix ads from the time. This fictional school promised academically-challenged students and/or lazy people a way to acquire a degree from a prestigious university, without having to do the real work, as long as they don’t tell anyone about this scam,

  6. La Rivista Della Televisione Con Vinny Vedecci then returned for more fun and game with Bill Hader’s Italian talk show host. As always, for this installment, he interviewed our host as herself about her directorial debut even though she doesn’t speak a lick of Italian leading to nothing but translation issues.

  7. Regina Spektor then took to the stage to perform Eet.

  8. Once again, Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Bill Hader played James Carvel to comment on the Republican opposition to Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize win, while tip-toeing around the fact that there was still no signs to the end of any wars. Andy Samberg also dropped by as Scrooge McDuck to comment on the rising value of gold. Kenan Thomas was the last of the guest when he dropped in as Maya Angelou to share a poem to counter the rumors of her death.  (Clip 2) (Clip 3)

  9. Tampax To The Max Tournament Of Champions 1991 was a flashback to a televised pro-billiards female tournament where Drew Barrymore and Kristen Wiig made it to the championship match. Jason Sudeikis and Will Forte played two announcers who were so hung up on the fact that they had to keep pushing their Tampax sponsorship that they could barely pay attention to the match.

  10. Cooking Al Fresco was the Food Networks attempt to produce a rooftop cooking show, only Drew Barrymore and Andy Samberg, who played the show’s hosts kept getting attacked by a flock of ravenous birds.

  11. This was followed by a parody of Larry King Live that had Red Armisen as Larry, to discuss celebrity dos and don’ts with a panel of experts, following several high-level sexual misconduct cased from this time.

  12. We then got another SNL Digital Short had Drew Barrymore and Fred Armisen as two for-hire party performers whose big selling point was they would provide entertainment at any time in any location.

  13. Regina Spektor then returned to the stage to perform The Calculation.

  14. Debbie Turner Book Signing had Drew Barrymore as the titular author to host a reading/signing event for her latest book. After reading a few excerpts, Will Forte interrupted as the obvious influence of the fictional romance in order to beg her to come back. He did this while revealing that he wasn’t close to a charming as the fictionalized character from the book.

  15. Finally, Drew Barrymore closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

It’s so wonderful to finally have another episode like this where I genuinely liked every single sketch even though one or two may have just been so-so. For one, this is how a comedy is supposed to be, but mainly, this means that I don’t have to lie one bit while picking these sketches as the three that contained my favorite moments. First, I loved Cooking Al Fresco even though all three sketches that I’m about to share could have won this top spot, this one just had me laughing even after the sketch was done whenever I thought of Andy Samberg screaming, “They’re foodies,” while freaking out over the birds that were stealing his food. Next, I really liked Debbie Turner Book Signing because, as a writer, I loved seeing the real-life embodiment of this fictional author muse and how far off his look was from what you might see in your mind. Finally, I was a fan of the Tampax To The Max Tournament Of Champions 1991 sketch because it brought me back to my youth when I used to watch way more billiards tournaments on TV.

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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.