SNL: S35E12... HOST: SIGOURNEY WEAVER... DATE: JANUARY 16, 2010

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James Cameron’s Laser Cats 5!!!

 

I just read my review from Sigourney Weaver’s first appearance to see what I already covered about me being a huge fan of her career. Unfortunately, this was the first episode from 1986, and I was more hung up on the fact that this year kicked off the era when the show went from something I watch with my parents and family to being a series that I’d religiously watch on my own with or without any family or friends. This was also a point in this blog where I kept most of my reviews to one page and focused on the actual viewing more than how I felt about the host.

Fortunately, that means that I can share what I want without any fear of being repetitive. As I often point out, I was always allowed to watch whatever I wanted as a kid. Because of this, I was introduced to Sigourney Weaver exceptionally early in life through her role in Alien. Well, Aliens, being that I was four when the first one came out, but it didn’t take long for me to become familiar with both of these films.

Looking at the timeline on her resume, the fact that I first saw the Alien sequel means I that was already a Weaver fan thanks to her roles in the movies Ghostbusters and Deal Of The Century, which were two films that I loved, especially thanks to the involvement of SNL alums who made up the rest of the cast. Not only do I love all of these movies, but the fact that they all covered different genres made Sigourney stand out even more to me.

The fact that our host’s career was so successfully eclectic is probably the main reason that I’ve always actively sought out her work, especially after Gorillas In The Mist that came out just when I was starting to enjoy slower, more serious films but was still super obsessed with anything having to do with monkeys or apes… ha… I say this as if my monkey obsession has changed. Either way, the fact that I trust tonight’s host no matter the genre leads me to have very few doubts that I will have a hard time getting through this episode, even though it will be my second SNL viewing in one day.

With that, let’s move on to the real-time look at tonight’s viewing. As I’m sure you can guess, if you’ve read any of my recent reviews, I loved that the opening sketch wasn’t a political spoof. That said, I kind of zoned out because I had no interest in the second round of the late night talk show wars. Where I was fully on board with the battle between Letterman and Jay, by the time Jay went on to screw over Conan, podcast became my late-night talk show replacement and couldn’t care less about which of these hosts would win. I grew to prefer podcast because there’s more of a feeling that you actually get to spend time with the guest as themselves instead of crowbarring a conversation into a fifteen-minute segment.

Sigourney Weaver’s monolog was more interesting than funny with all of the information that she shared about her former NBC president of a dad host actually played a significant role in the creation of the tonight show. This is how I know that I’ve only seen the Laser Cats segment from this episode because this is the type of trivial fact that definitely would stick out in my head. I loved the fake ad with Kenan Thompson’s Grady Wilson character where he shares his sex tips.

I know I often come across prude toward sexual content, but I’m just against the stuff that seems lecherous, gropey, or borderline-harassment and not silly stuff like this, that just happens to be sexual. I know this sounds weird from an open Howard Stern fan, but I have the same feeling about this aspect of his show. Again, I think this is due to the fact that I was raised the only boy in a house full of girls, where watching the more gropey jokes with the group was super awkward.  This is probably why I have mixed feeling about anything sexual at all, even if I may have tried to fit in by using this humor while trying to entertain people by being blatantly crude.

As always, I also loved the return of the ESPN coverage of obscure televised female sport because it always reminds me of the golden days of channel surfing before digital cable boxes caused there to be a delay in loading channels when they changed and I used to watch these sports for real. This week’s installment of Laser Cats reminded me that this was actually the first installment from the series that ever watch and why I love the series so much. I forgot how I saw most of the past couple of seasons through either Netflix or Hulu and not on the nights that they originally aired. Laser Cats 5 was probably why I went back to pick up where I left off, after taking a few years off from watching the show.

Kenan kept cracking me up throughout the disco sketch that followed, but the rest of the sketch was just, meh. I never heard of The Ting Tings before, but by the time they got to the chorus, I’ve definitely heard references to this song about whatever not being the lead singer’s name. They were fine, but again, nothing I’d seek out but the duo’s performance made me hunt down the first album from the bass and drum band, Local H.

I was back to loving the news when Andy Samberg returned as Larry The Goose but zoned out through the segment with Abby Elliot’s impersonation of Meryl Streep, keeping in mind, this was my second viewing/review of the evening, and I was running out of energy by this point. Thankfully, the parody of Avatar that followed brought me back with Bill Hader’s crazy tiny legs in the Avatar booth had me laughing so hard that I almost fell out of my chair. I need to figure out how to make a zoomed in animated GIF that captures these crazy actions.

The rest of the night was pretty mediocre, but again, I feel like the above mentioned double feature burnout is more to blame because thinking back each remaining segment was closer to average than lame. Either way, the first half of the show was good enough that this episode will end up somewhere close to the top of my list from what I’ve seen of this season so far.

With that, it’s now time to dig deeper into the details of each sketch, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a parody of Larry King Live where Fred Armisen reprised his role as Larry King to moderate a late-night talk show summit between Darrell Hammond as Jay Leno and Bill Hader as Conan O’Brien. This sketch was in reference to the second round of late night wars where Leno screwed over Conan the same way he screwed over David Letterman. As always, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”

  2. Sigourney Weaver then officially opened the show with a monolog about how this was her second time as a host and then showed a photo from her first monolog, mainly to show off her horrific ‘80s get-up. She then revealed that despite the fact she’s known for taking so many intense roles, she actually not a fan of scary movies and then was easily terrified by Kristen Wiig who joined her on stage to say that she was a fan. She then finished the night by reading her father’s original memo for The Tonight Show since he the president of NBC when she was a kid and was responsible for starting The Tonight Show.

  3. This was followed by a fake ad for Grady Wilson's Fifty And Freaky where this time, Kenan Thompson’s Grady Wilson character demonstrated a few new of his sex techniques in his series of instructive tapes with this video’s focus on how to please women over fifty as a way to get Sigourney Weaver involved.

  4. Summer's Eve Lady Stars Of Darts Championship 1988 was another reoccurring sketch to return where this time it was more fun and games at the expense of feminine hygiene products while Jason Sudeikis and Will Forte reprised their ‘80s sports announcers who, for some reason, announce every obscure televised women’s sport.

  5. We then got another SNL Digital Short which is by far my favorite Laser Cats of them all because it was “directed by” James Cameron with Sigourney Weaver as the star for somewhat of a reboot of Alien/Avatar/Laser Cats mashup.

  6. Disco Booty Junction had Sigourney Weaver, and Kristen Wiig played two disco singers for a group called Amber And Cream, only after their performance on a ‘70s talk show, host, Kenan Thompson, struggled to get a straight answer out of either girl as to which one was Amber and which one was Cream.

  7. The Ting Tings then took to the stage to perform That's Not My Name.

  8. Once again, Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Andy Samberg returned as Larry The Goose which was the goose that got hit by the famous Sully and led him to crash land his plan. This was the anniversary of the event so Larry the goose read a list of names of the other geese that died in the incident. All of these names were parodies of celebrity names like, Goose Springsteen, and Feather Locklear. Abby Elliot also stopped by as Meryl Streep in order to humbly share the fact that not only is she a great actress but a great guest as well. Throughout this segment with Mrs. Streep, she also kept receiving rewards for her every action, adding to her “humble” demeanor. (Clip 2) (Clip 3)

  9. We then got a parody of Avatar where we got to see what Bill Hader went through in the simulator during the infamous sex scene between his blue Avatar and the genuine blue alien. Meanwhile, Andy Samberg and Nasim Pedrad played the two blue aliens who performed the intense Na’vi sex ritual that caused Bill Hader’s frail human body to flail about to each new move while stuck in the Avatar creating machine.

  10. Get Ready For Riley introduced a new character from Fred Armisen who was at his friend Andy Samberg’s family’s house for dinner and kept calling everyone a bitch in a Harvey Fierstein-style effeminate tone while everyone else tried their hardest to humor their extremely rude guest.

  11. Internet Buzz took us to Sigourney Weaver’s home for her Golden Globe Award viewing party where she was too distracted by her obsessive reading of online reviews of her own work to pay attention to her guests or the award show in general.

  12. The Ting Tings then returned to the stage to perform Shut Up And Let Me Go.

  13. Fire And Rice had Sigourney Weaver as a lounge singer named Jessica Fire and Bobby Moynihan as her piano player. Throughout the performance of their song, Fire fear of falling off the tall piano she was sitting on while she sang, led to an extremely odd performance.

  14. Finally, Sigourney Weaver closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

Though I know for a fact that I would have enjoyed this episode a lot more if this wasn’t a night where I watched two episodes back to back, it still will land in the third or fourth spot of the show that I’ve seen so far this season thanks to sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved James Cameron’s Laser Cats 5 because this was actually the first sketch that I ever saw from this series and is why I love the collection so much. Next, I really liked the Avatar parody because I couldn’t stop laughing at Bill Hader flailing tiny legs throughout the entire sex scene. Finally, I was a fan of the fake ad for Grady Wilson's Fifty And Freaky because both Kenan’s and Sigourney’s sex moves were so over-the-top comical that it was sexual humor that didn’t feel gross which is just funnier 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.