SNL: S35E19... HOST: RYAN PHILLIPPE... DATE: APRIL 17, 2010

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Sorry again for yesterday’s long-winded post. I’m currently writing a novel as part of this year’s NaNoWriMo where, once again, I'm attempting to characterize a mental disorder, so mental issues are now hanging out closer to the front of my head and wanted to experiment with trying something new. I don’t regret what I wrote but, at the same time, I’m not sure how I feel about straying that deep into any autobiographic content, outside of my Daily Breaker posts. Though that is a common element of these reviews, in general, I intend to do more blending to where the hosts and the shows are the stars of each review.

With that, let me switch gears to get into today’s review. Though I’ve seen a couple of movies that featured Ryan Phillippe, he was never the star or driving force as to why I opted to watch these movies. In fact, it took me looking at IMDB to even remember which movies he was in including his role in MacGruber, which I would have sworn that I would have/should have remembered. This might because I saw him as a poor man’s Justin Timberlake, who up until my Southland Tales challenge, I only liked because of Saturday Night Live.

That said, as a Howard Stern fan, I grew to like Ryan Phillippe when he befriended J.D., who’s the guy who pulls Howard’s television clips. His willingness to have fun on Howard turned me into a fan of Phillippe as a person, but I’m still not all that familiar with his work. Even with that being the case, if he’s half as fun as he used to be on the radio, this should turn out to be a pretty fun show to watch.

With that, let’s hit play and see how this real-time viewing experience turns out. First off, I was so relieved that the opening sketch had to do with the Icelandic volcano that recently erupted and wasn’t political, to be able to breathe and get a little relief from my political burnout. Also, as a Stern fan, it was always fun to see jokes about Larry King since Howard used to goof on him so much.

I didn’t think about this up above, but when Ryan Phillippe plugged his role in the theatrical version of MacGruber, it built my expectations for this episode even more since he had to pick up some SNL humor during his experience working with Will Forte and any other castmates who made it into that film. As usual, I was bummed by the fact that the first fake ad was a repeat, but I was happy to see the sketch that followed was from the ESPN ‘80s parody series that I always love because it makes me miss true channel surfing. I also loved that Kristen Wiig’s character’s name was Sue Ferrigno.

Just like when the Hip-Hop Kids sketch made its debut, I wouldn’t say that I’m in love with this series to where I get excited to see it on the list, but it does keep me entertained when it’s on because it’s so ridiculous on multiple levels. In fact, Andy Samberg’s rational character had me laughing throughout this entire installment, to the point that I might be a little more excited about the next time that it is on. I was half on board with this week’s SNL Digital Short because it started like something I’ve seen before, but the surreal twist at the end was right up my alley, and like the Hip-Hop Kids sketch, it won me over as a fan.

I was sort of entertained by the sketch that followed where Andy Samberg played a stereotypical old Jewish accountant because his character’s high energy was a bit infectious, but at the same time, it was a repetitive bit that played off of old clichés. It’s too bad that the Shake Weight joke has been so played out over the years because I do remember seeing this sketch on the internet after it originally aired and I remember it cracking me up, but not so much name that it too is an old cliché, but, still entertaining enough to keep my attention.

I don’t know all that much about Ke$ha, but I was pleased as punch that she actually performed her biggest hit since it seems like it’s been forever since this type of pop star chose a song that wasn’t some b-side content that they feel needs more attention. Or at least that’s how it feels to me. Oh yeah, I also loved the astronaut theme to her performance because that’s kind of my thing. Since this has been such a good episode, that’s been able to keep my mood up, not only did I not zone out during the musical performance, I also paid full attention to, as well as enjoyed the news.

The sketch where the group of guys shared stories in between to chorus to the catchy song that’s playing in the background is another one that’s not always all that exciting to write about, but I always enjoy it while it’s on and often find myself singing along with the cast and the song. I didn’t mind the Teen Talk sketch that followed, but it was too close to the same exact thing as the sketch series’ debut which I only half liked in the first place.

It turns out that I know at least two songs from Ke$ha and again, I appreciated that she performed her hits and not some b-side nonsense. I also got a kick out of her neon paint and blacklight antics that kept the performance visually appealing as well. As I’ve said at least a few times in the past, I like most game show sketches, so I was on board for the I Got This sketch.

I also loved the final sketch that parodied that Insane Clown Posse’s music video where they questioned the power of magnets because I became a fan of ICP through their interviews on the Howard Stern Show which were all hilarious. At this time, I was just a fan of them because I had never heard a single song only they crazy conversations while on the air.

Eventually, I did get into their music for novelty reasons when I needed to take a break from the music that I actually like because it was causing me to be too depressed. I had no idea they had a genuine following at that time, but when found out how big their real fan base was, I liked them for novelty purposes even more, and two this day, though not a Juggalo at all, I still enjoy watching documentaries about them and their crazy ass fans. More only problem with this ICP sketch was how the song being parodied was funnier than the sketch because the real clowns weren’t messing around and seriously had these dumb questions.

This was the first episode in a while where I wasn’t relieved to see our host hit the stage to say his goodnights since this was the most solid episode in a while. With that, let’s now dig into the details about what made it so good, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a parody of Larry King Live with Fred Armisen as a newly divorced Larry King who discussed the Icelandic volcano eruption with Kristen Wiig as Bjork, who kept acting like her weird self with the volcano going off right behind her. Bill Hader as Richard Branson also joined the interview talk about how this natural disaster affected his airline, but he too was too wacky to make any sense as he talked to Larry King from a spaceship. As always, with this being an opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”

  2. Ryan Phillippe then officially opened the show with a monolog about how he actually has a connection with the show since he was there to promote the MacGruber movie where he was Will Forte’s costar. This then led a cavalcade of cast members dressed as their reoccurring characters in hopes that our host will take an interest in turning them and their characters into massive stars. 

  3. We then got a repeat of the Broadview Security commercial from earlier in the season where Nasim Pedrad was a homeowner who needed a security system because a variety of male predators kept burst through any door to any room that she’s move to.

  4. Today Sponge Women's Weightlifting Championship 1986 was another installment of another favorite series of sketches where Will Forte and Jason Sudeikis played two ESPN anchor from the ‘80s who were too hung up on their female product sponsor to pay attention to this week’s sport. This week’s sport in question was powerlifting where Kristen Wiig took on Ryan Phillippe as a steroid filled beast of a woman.

  5. Hip Hop Kids had Ryan Phillippe and Kenan Thompson as to teenage hip-hop artists who ignorantly try to dance their way out of a cave during a bear attack, for round two of a very similar debut from last season, or maybe the season before.

  6. This was followed by another SNL Digital Short where Andy Samberg played a guy with long blonde hair and some sort of accent who kept showing up where ever Ryan Phillippe as a character named Kyle would go, with the suggestion that he kept sleeping with every single person in Kyle’s life. By the end of the sketch when Andy showed up to apologize to our host with flowers, there was another Andy in the house who seemed to have just had sex with Mr. Phillippe which then got the two Andys to argue it out, while Kyle snuck off with the girl.

  7. Mort Mort Feingold: Accountant To The Stars had Andy Samberg as a celebrity accountant who examines his celebrity clients’ taxes.

  8. We then got The Shake Weight Commercial DVD which had Bill Hader as the Shake Weight inventor and Kristen Wiig as the model who shares how this work out device that required her to use masturbation motions was supposed to work.

  9. Ke$ha then took to the stage to perform Tick Tock.

  10. Once again, Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Bill Hader returned as James Carville to discuss a recent criticism of Barack Obama that was being made by members of the Tea Party who were offended by one of the President’s jokes. Will Forte also dropped by as a character named Father Swim Coat Scoutmaster who was a creepy scoutmaster in a speedo who attempted to defend himself following a news story about a fondling instance within the Boy Scouts organization. Bobby Moynihan was the last guest who shared some secondhand news as his character with a bushy mustache, whose voice gets more and more high pitched when defending himself whenever Seth called out one of his inaccurate information. (Clip 2) (Clip 3) (Clip 4)

  11. Song Memories brought back the guys from the bar who share crazy stories about themselves in between singing the chorus as a group. This time, they were at a bar-b-que and told their stories to the tune of Breakfast At Tiffany’s.

  12. Teen Talk was a follow up to Women’s Talk where once again the host fell sick, and her last-minute replacement for this sensitive talk show was Fred Armisen as an aggressive producer who had no business talking to kids.

  13. Ke$ha then returned to the stage to perform Your Love Is My Drug.

  14. I've Got It was a game show sketch that took place on a set that looked like a fancy dinner where Ryan Phillippe, Jason Sudeikis, and Will Forte played a son, a father, and a grandfather who all fought over who would be the big shot and pay the dinner bill in an effort to win the grand prize.

  15. Underground Rock Minute was a parody of the Insane Clown Posse video where they famously claimed that they didn’t know how magnets worked and credited their power to magic.

  16. Finally, Ryan Phillippe closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Thankfully, tonight turned out to be the first show in days where I don’t have to fudge my point of view in order to come up with this genuine list of these three segments that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved this week’s Hip Hop Kids sketch, especially since I wasn’t ready to like it because I wasn’t a huge fan of the first installment but this round it really cracked me up. Next, I really liked Underground Rock Minute, and this would have been number one if only the parody of the ICP song was funnier than the original one. Finally, I was a fan of Today Sponge Women's Weightlifting Championship 1986 for the same reason that I’m a fan of every sketch from this series.

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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.