SNL: S36E17... HOST: ZACH GALIFIANAKIS... DATE: MARCH 12, 2011

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Zach’s Back To Attack The Show!!!

 

Though I’m still feeling a tad bit burnt out from doing multiple challenges so many days in a row, I’ve been loving the show more than I have in a while since I took that quick break for Thanksgiving when I took two days off by using banked reviews to stick to my one review a day average. I only partially credit the actual time off since I was so wasted the entire time the break flashed by in the blink of an eye. More importantly, the show’s just been so good over the past couple of days, which has boosted my mood, which has, in turn, boosted the quality of my content.

I’m incredibly excited about tonight’s viewing while still experiencing this boost in my mood, especially since, I loved Zach Galifianakis’s first visit so much. Typically, when it comes to comedic host that I love, I’ve been surprised by just how often I’ve been disappointed by their first hosting spot. Sometimes it can seem like the fact that they’re, more often than not, huge fans of the show, making it so that they put too much trust in the writing staff and go along with anything, trusting it will work with some rehearsing. These hosts usually then end up working on a handful of SNL alumni starring films and return more aware of how things actually go down, leading them to feel more involved and confident over seeming just excited to be there.

Zach didn’t have this type of timid introduction to the show. For his first appearance, he took over and made it his own. Though this never works with dramatic actors/actresses, when it comes to comedic performers, these are the show I prefer. I loved the Richard Prior show because he and his team took over the write. I loved Pee Wee Herman where he stayed in character throughout the entire night. I loved the early days when anyone from Monty Python would host and create a hybrid show. And, I loved Zach Galifianakis’s first visit.

Though I would hate there to be a host hijacking every single week, I can’t wait to see shows like what I’m hoping I’m about to watch. My only concern right now is the fact that my expectations are up through the ceiling, almost to the point where it would be impossible not end up being, at least a little, let down. Oh well, we’ll see how things turn out as I share my real-time viewing experience as soon as I hit play.

As per usual, I really appreciated the, somewhat, non-political opening sketch even though the March Madness worst person brackets included several political figures it was still a nice break from the recent typical start to the show. Then again, the sports motif to disguise this political content got a little boring at times leading me to zone out from time to time as I waited for Zach to take over the show.

Zach Galifianakis then took to the stage to perform more of a stand-up routine than a monolog which made me a happy camper and lessened my concerns that my expectations were way too high. I always wished that I had the confidence to express my weird side through stand-up and not just through my writing, which has totally toned down over the past couple of years. It’s kind of sad, though I do feel like I’m heading in a more profitable direction, and I definitely still feel satisfied, I just don’t feel like I’m having quite as much fun when it comes to my fictional work. When it comes to this blog, other than when I’m feeling burnt out, I’m still continually having a blast.

I was a huge fan of The Talk parody because I’ve never seen the real The Talk, and never liked The View, or The View parodies, so it was fun to see Zach Galifianakis as an audience member taking the piss out of both shows in a single sketch. The only thing wrong with the sketch was it took too long to get to the funny stuff. The first half of the sketch was intentionally dry to make fun of the tone of the real show, but I’m now finding these intentionally dry sketches to seem just dry and boring in general, keeping in mind, I’m currently struggling with finding humor in comedic approaches that I once was a huge fan of. This change in attitude makes sketches where I used to be on the fence now seem like their just terrible.

The Original Kings Of Catchphrase Comedy was a fake trailer that cracked me up because Alonzo “Hamburger” Jones, and Shucky Ducky were both referenced and those two catchphrase based comedians used to crack me up because they were so bad while being impressively confident at the same time. I had a pretty diverse upbringing and was drawn to “urban” comedy at a very young age. Because of this, even to this day, when I meet a new black friend, and we get to trading references, the moment I make a Hamburger joke, they are almost always blown away that I’m aware of the Def Jam Comedy days.

As always, I really got a kick out of the Scared Straight parody. As repetitive as this sketch can be, I can’t think of one installment that I didn’t find funny, even if it doesn’t always make my favorites list. I always find it funny to see comedian’s interact with children where the adult comes off more immature than the children, not really in a Bad Santa way where they just cuss in front of a kid but like how Zach did in the SNL Digital Short where he interviewed children assistants. I feel most people remember me for my crass sense of humor and forget about the side of me that provided balance by also still enjoying adorable things that make me laugh.

I don’t know much about this Jesse J. or B.o.b, other than the fact that Jesse J. music shows up in a lot of talent based reality show and that B.o.b is a Flat-Earther, so I was happy to hear that they performed a song that I have at least heard before. Even though this is more music that I wouldn’t actively seek out, it’s definitely a song that I wouldn’t change the station on, back when I was listening to mainstream pop hits because I was finding my favorite genres to be too depressing.

The news was the news, as usual, pretty fun but nothing to write home about, mainly due to the passing of time, and the guest didn’t blow me away either while still being pretty fun. The Canadian gossip talk show was a good one. I love my people from up north and even though I went to school in Vancouver, where they barely have an accent, my year in the country made me appreciate Canadians and their humor, even more than I did before I moved up there, which is saying a lot because, as a comedy fan, I’ve always enjoyed Canadian humor.

I wasn’t familiar with the second Jesse J. song, but after watching her performance, I can see why so many contestants on singing shows opt to sing her music. She has a stage presence and a sound that’s hard to ignore even if you’re not into the actual song, which was the case with this performance. Especially these days when I turn to music to calm me down more than using the energy to amp me up like how I used to listen to both rap and punk.

The High Fructose Corn Syrup sketch both struck a bit of a nerve while cracking me up at the same time. It hit a nerve as to what frustrates me about online arguments where it’s between two non-experts, who have no idea what they are talking about arguing as if they do, with one just being ahead by one story that just came out, and may or may not be just as inaccurate while claiming there is legitimate proof.

The over aggression amongst friends over issues that neither will ever do anything outside of complain about as share whose they think are to blame. The arrogance as if they know the only trustworthy source, all of this played out during this scene. It was then funny to see the mom who was all for trusting “science” in cases where profit’s involved was the one with the unhealthy child. This is why I hate myself for taking the bait and adding to the noise whenever I make any kind of topical post that has anything to do with politics, religion, race, gender, or science. I just want to get back to having fun.

Though I didn’t care for the movie Titanic, the Titanic-themed sketch that ended the night had me laughing out loud because it always gets me going when anyone tries to pass themselves off as something else when they’re clearly in a bad disguise. With both Zach Galifianakis and Bill Hader trying to pull off two facial hair clad females just tickled that spot. Hell, even the goodnights were actually fun with Zach returning to the stage with a mohawk that they really shaved during the commercial.

Though I wouldn’t say that tonight’s episode lived up to my extremely high expectations, it also didn’t come close to letting me down, I was just so excited about how the past couple of days have been going that I was overconfident in tonight’s showing. If I were still feeling as mentally spent as I felt before my Thanksgiving break, I probably would have thought that tonight was perfect.

With that, it’s now time for me to shift gears in order to dig deeper into the details of each sketch and wrap this thing up, as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a parody of Selection Sunday where, to kick off March Madness, Kenan Thompson and Jason Sudeikis played Greg Gumbel and Jim Nantz to share their brackets, not for basketball, but for determining who is the craziest person in the world, only they threw an upcoming commercial break instead of announcing the winner. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, they did end up announcing, “Live from New York...”

  2. Zach Galifianakis then officially opened the show with his brand of stand-up routine where he introduced a couple of his new bizarre characters and then lip-synced Tomorrow while dressed as Little Orphan Annie.

  3. This was followed by a parody of The Talk which was pretty much just a parody of The View with different impersonations. It was sort of fun with Zach Galifianakis as a confused fan of The View who was extremely disappointed to be in the audience of this knock-off show, especially considering the fact that this was his birthday gift.

  4. The Original Kings Of Catchphrase Comedy was a parody of The Original Kings Of Comedy that featured a collection of hacky comedians who are more focused on working in their semi-funny catchphrases over their actual content.

  5. We then got another parody of Scared Straight where this time Zach Galifianakis joined Kenan Thompson as a Hannibal Lecter type to once again attempt to scare children out of a life that may lead them to jail by stealing horror stories from popular films from the time.

  6. We then got another SNL Digital Short called Zach Looks For A New Assistant where our host interviewed children who were far more mature than him for the oafish role as his assistant.

  7. Jessie J then took to the stage with B.o.b to perform Price Tag.

  8. Once again, Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Kristen Wiig dropped in as the recently dismissed director of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, to discuss why she felt she was let go. Andy Samberg then returned as Liam, The Teenager Who Just Woke Up to comment on the fluctuating oil prices as it pertained to the weird dream that he just woke up from. (Clip 2) (Clip 3)

  9. Noodles had Zach Galifianakis and Kristen Wiig as a pair of parents who tried to find a gentle way to break the news to their kids that their family dog, Noodles, died from autoerotic asphyxiation.

  10. Celebrity Scoop was a kind-hearted Canadian celebrity gossip show hosted by Kristen Wiig and Fred Armisen who both had nothing but pleasant things to say about American celebrity train wrecks who were making headlines around that time.

  11. Jesse J then returned to the stage to perform Mamma Knows Best.

  12. We then got a fake ad for Corn Syrup Producers Of America which was sort of like one of those ads for milk, or chicken in general and not a specific brand, only this ad was pushing the virtues of high-fructose corn syrup.

  13. We then got a parody of a history lesson about the Titanic where Zach Galifianakis played the ship’s captain who dressed like a woman to save himself first and sneak on to an already packed lifeboat.

  14. Finally, Zach Galifianakis closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Though tonight’s episode didn’t live up to my unattainable expectations, thanks to sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments, it by no means let me down and was still a really entertaining show to watch. First, I loved The Original Kings Of Catchphrase Comedy because I’ve always been a massive fan of Alonzo “Hamburger” Jones, who had to be the main inspiration for this joke. Next, I really liked this week’s SNL Digital Short: Zach Looks For A New Assistant because I bet those kids had a blast interacting with Zach as such a goofball. It kind of reminds me of how I joke with my nieces and nephews. Finally, I was a fan of Celebrity Scoop because it brought back warm feelings of the year that I lived up in Canada.

 
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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.