SNL: S36E11... HOST: JIM CARREY... DATE: JANUARY 8, 2011

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A Homecoming Host, Not To The Show,

But To The World Of Sketch

 

I have mixed feeling when it comes to Jim Carrey in films and during interviews. As far as the interviews go, I’m not a huge fan of the class clown approach where his high energy takes president over any actual attempt at a joke. When it comes to his movies, I love the ones that are funny and dumb, but I struggle to get into his more serious work. Not because I think he’s terrible in these roles, but there’s a bit of the phenomenon of what you hate in others is what you actually hat in yourself.

Often I wish he would just stick to the content that fun that I love and not try to seem so desperate that he’s actually a deeper thinker with a more serious side. I often wish that I would have been more content with my sillier dumb guy goals from when I first found my love in writing, the same way I wish that Jim Carrey stuck to roles more like his Lloyd character from Dumb And Dumber. At the same time, since I’ve evolved myself, I don’t blame the guy for feeling that he has outgrown that type of role which is why my feelings are mixed but would still consider myself to be a fan.

Though I might be hesitant to see one of his intellectual films no matter how much it seems that I would actually love if I’d only give it a chance, I am not hesitant one bit in his ability to work in his wheelhouse in this revisit to the world of sketch comedy. It also helped that the pre-viewing legwork made it seem like this would be a fun one.

With that, let's see how it goes and I hit play and share my real-time viewing experience. This time I wasn’t interested in the opening sketch, not only because it was based on a recent current event, it was about a snowstorm that hit New York and wasn’t even that big of a deal at the time, that had a couple of funny jokes but had no significance to me at this time whatsoever. It didn’t help that it was also an opener that featured nothing more than a talking head, rambling on in tones of an actual mayoral address.

I actually didn’t mind Jim Carrey’s opening monolog. For one, I liked the jokes about the 2012 end of the world predictions, but I also realized that I’m more annoyed with his ADHD energy when he’s interacting with some ordinary entertainment show reporter who’s just trying to facilitate an interview, and don’t mind when it’s part of a routine. This is probably why I’ve always liked him doing sketch and not as himself behind the scenes.

As always, I was super annoyed by the rerun for the Bosley Hair Restoration system in this age of the internet. Especially since it’s already air two other times this year. Though I liked the fake ad at first, I now hate it based on these repeats alone. Thankfully, it was followed by The Black Swan parody because I loved the real film but also because Jim Carrey in The Black Swan role was a hilarious choice.

The talk show sketch that followed, where the guest would talk tough about a situation only to have the truth be shown through hidden videos, was also pretty good because it’s always fun to see the reality versus the stories people tell, even in this fictional situation. Of course, I always love when a Grady Wilson sketch comes on, so I was happy with the next segment as well. I adored the Soul Train sketch because I used to watch Soul Train with my mom when I was a child and would crack her up when I tried to mimic the dancers, and they danced down the line. Even though the sketch focused more on the musical performance, I still get a kick out of references to the show.

The Black Key’s is another music group where, going into the viewing, I was sure that I knew some of their songs, but it would take me hearing one to figure out who they actually are. Fortunately, I did know the song from the first performance, so I didn’t end up zoning out. It also helps that the rest of the show has been good enough so far that I’m not struggling to keep focused in general. The news lost me with Pelosi and Boehner but won me back with the rest of the Weekend Update guests.

I loved that sketch that took place on the carnival ride, but it was driving me nuts. I couldn’t remember if Tom Hanks, or someone else, did a follow up to this, within the last couple of years, while I was actively watching again, or if this was a follow up to an older sketch from this challenge, or if it actually is the same exact sketch that I’m thinking of, and Jim Carrey is that or someone else.

There was something about the Psychic sketch reminded me of Jim Carrey from when he was on In Living Color even more than the rest of the sketches, which added that nostalgic fun that I always love. It was also interesting to hear Nasim Pedrad joke that she was only sixty-percent certain that Alan Thicke wasn’t dead, which took me a second to register that this was when he was still alive. It’s weird to think that 2011 is both pretty recent and quite a while ago.

I wasn’t as into the second song, but I’m also pretty sure that I’ve heard it before, not as confident as the first song, but it sounded really familiar. The final sketch built my hopes up that it would be a repeat of the Crisis Of Conformity sketch where the fictional band sketch band was better than the musical guest, but that wasn’t the case tonight. Not that the sketch wasn’t good, in fact, the sketch got me laughing a couple of times, I just wasn’t interested in the genre, so I didn’t legitimately like the song that way that I did with the C.O.C. band.

Tonight, I was actually happy for Jim Carrey to take to the stage to say his good nights, but for the first time my happiness was from the actual episode and not from the fact that the viewing was over. Now that I’ve banked this review along with the past two, I’ll be able to take the next three days off and hopefully come back with more energy toward the show. This show turned out to be the perfect episode right before the break because it was by far the best show so far this year.

Now it’s time to shift gears and dig deeper into the detail of each sketch so I can get started on this mini-vacation, even though to you it will just be tomorrow. With that, I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with A Message From The Mayor Of New York City where Fred Armisen played Mayor Michael Bloomberg to share his contingency plan for the “once-in-a-lifetime” snowstorm that recently hit New York City. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”

  2. Jim Carrey then officially opened the show with a monolog about how thrilled he was that this was the final full year before the 2012 apocalyptic predictions would take us out of our misery. He then went on to talk what seemed to be a legitimate audience member into marrying him before it was too late.

  3. We then got another repeat of the Bosley Hair Restoration commercial that has already aired a couple times this season and is for a hair restoration system that uses its client’s pubes to fill in any missing head hair.

  4. This was followed by a parody of Black Swan where Bill Hader played the director while Nasim Pedrad took on the Natalie Portman role as The Swan Queen and Jim Carrey played Mila Kunis’s part as The Black Swan.

  5. Finding Your Power was a talk show sketch hosted by Jason Sudeikis where Jim Carrey, Andy Samberg, and Vanessa Bayer played guests on a panel that all claim to have overcome adversity because they were so strong, only hidden cameras, in the craziest places, proved the exact opposite to be true.

  6. Grady Wilson's Tantric 'N Tasty brought back Kenan Thompson’s hilarious character to give more of his sex tips to the elderly with some help from Jim Carrey.

  7. The Worst Of Soul Train was a parody compilation that, rather than highlighting the greatest moments of the show, opted instead to showcase some of the dance program’s lowest moments.

  8. The Black Keys then took to the stage to perform Howlin' For You.

  9. Once again, Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Kristen Wiig dropped by as Nancy Pelosi to pass the gavel to the new House Speaker John Boehner, who was played by Bill Hader. During this pass-off process, Pelosi took joy in conjuring up enough patriotic images to make Boehner cry. Bobby Moynihan also returned as his character who is way off on the facts while sharing more secondhand news stories. Following a run of many birds randomly dropping dead from out of the sky, Andy Samberg joined the news desk as a Red-Winged Blackbird to warn of the Aflockalypse, before Taran Killam joined the scene as a fish to warn about the Apocafish thanks to us humans destroying their world. (Clip 2) (Clip 3) (Clip 4)

  10. Merryville Trolley Ride took place in a carnival ride where Kenan Thompson and Kristen Wiig played a couple who got stuck in the middle of the ride, right next to an animatronic barbershop quartet. At first, the ride seems innocent enough as the announcements came in for the rider to sit still while they fix the issue. This was when the robots switched from being harmless and cute to being homicidal towards Kenan.

  11. Psychic had Jim Carrey as a washed up impressionist comedian from the ‘80s who was now selling himself off as a legitimate psychic. It didn’t take long into a reading with a client that it became clear that the only spirits he was able to contact were the same celebrities that he used to do in his old comedy routine.

  12. The Black Keys then returned to the stage to perform Tighten Up.

  13. A Taste Of New York took place in a conference room in a Marriott Hotel during a corporate meeting where Jim Carrey, Fred Armisen, and Kristen Wiig played a bunch of junkies who were hired to be the house band. The band played a bunch of dark and twisted songs despite the request for upbeat music from the guests who were there to have fun.

  14. Finally, Jim Carrey closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

As I said up above, tonight’s episode was by far the best of the shows that I’ve seen from this season to date thanks to sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved the Grady Wilson's Tantric 'N Tasty commercial because I really felt that Jim Carrey and Kenan Thompson played together really well. Next, I really liked Merryville Trolley Ride because whether or not this sketch was an originator or a rip-off, I still felt that it was pretty fun just as whichever sketch I’m thinking of. Finally, I was a fan of The Black Swan parody because I like the real movie and felt it was entertaining to see Jim Carrey in the Black Swan role.

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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.