SNL: S37E21... HOST: WILL FERRELL... DATE: MAY 12, 2012

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To Everything, Turn! Turn! Turn!!!

 

I think I’ve already covered my love for Will Ferrell from his time on the show and past couple of times that he’s come back to host to allow me to feel guilt-free with this post’s focus being more on the challenge and my relationship with the show over focusing on the host and/or the episode. For those of you not following along, in summary, I’m a fan of Ferrell as a cast member, host, and movie star. I don’t think the man’s ever let me down even when I wasn’t entirely on board with every single piece of his acting material and can’t wait to see how this episode plays out.

As for the challenge update, I’ve noticed that my heart hasn’t been as much into each viewing over the past couple of days. Part of this is due to the fake that the hosts have been a bit unknown to me, but the other part is, that I’m starting to feel like this challenge has actually mended the issues that have been bothering me to the point where I’ve started to dislike professional comedy in general. I’m still okay with amateur laugh slingers who say whatever they want because they have nothing to lose.

As for the pros, I’ve come to grips that the conflict comes with the fact that I’ve been using all of these comedy legends to help build my own comedic mask that I hoped would someday lead to my own success. Outside of the mask, I’m an extremely self-hating individual, so this seemingly instant switch to where the most recent batch of crass comedians are now the ones pushing the importance of being PC, kind of leads each of their mask pieces to start to feel self-hating as well, which was the feeling that I was trying to escape. Now that I finally feel like I’m finding my authentic writing voice without the need to be derivative, in an effort to have an instant alley, I no longer need my influences to be my safety net.

Ever since I made this connection, I’m over playing the game of, “Well, you used to... and now...,” which is an argument that I can’t stand and only led to more self-hate when I use it. Because of this, I now feel like my issue with offensiveness is resolved in relation to the show even though I haven’t nailed down my own committed view on the subject. That was such a hot topic for a while that it’s been kind of hard to switch out of that frame of mind.

On top of that, I’m coming to grips with the fact that, as an independent voter who’s always hoped for a third-party win, if not just to mix things up for a couple of years, no one will ever fully agree with many of my political stances. I now accept that it’s not my job, or even an interest to win them over since I’ve never even liked politics in the first place. The only reason I ever followed the news was to be aware so that I get the political references from my favorite comedy shows. I’ve never felt like I’ve had the power to change anything, I always preferred to fantasize about being the comic relief.

I think that I mistook everyone’s obsession with the shit show that was the 2016 election with the idea that people should hear everyone’s thoughts on the system that I feel is destroying this world over profit, no matter what side is actually in charge. I thought that maybe I could change people’s minds, especially when I get drunk on box wine, only to end up having to continually defend what I thought were just innocent suggestions. I believe that I’ve since worked through all of those issues as well and no longer have it as a go-to topic, that I never wanted to dig into in the first place.

Minus those two major hang-ups, I don’t feel like I have as much to say, which is fine because I was growing tired of the topics myself anyways. As I also point out, the second challenge that I started on the first of this year had me going through a self-help book working through a challenge a day. I go deeper into the details of these new findings in my post from today. This challenge has had me extra reflective which helped me work through these thoughts. Next year, I plan to focus on rebuilding my creative writing skills which should lighten up my mood in general since I’d be getting a break from trying to fix myself as if I were ever broken.

Bear with me as I try to find the angle that will get me through the rest of this SNL challenge with far less focus on politics and my fall out with the comedy genre. I’m sure once I get over this end of the year stress, I’ll get back to focusing on the light-hearted fun that this challenge was supposed to be. With that, it’s now time to hit play and share my real-time viewing experience.

 As I just said, I’m over my political hang up, but I still like this season political opening over any from the past three or four years because there have been actual narratives to the sketch and not just them making fun of a recent address by using nothing but a talking head and a podium. This is why tonight’s opening sketch that took place in Joe Biden’s bedroom where he acted like a mopey teen was twice as fun than it would have been if the setting was a political event with Jason performing as the real Joe. I also loved the Harvey reference where Ferrell as George W. was treated like Biden’s imaginary friend while Obama was in the room.

Will Ferrell’s monolog was a fun one because it was only the second or third time that a cast member’s mom was introduced during the Mother’s Day episode. For some reason, I always thought that the tradition of having both the host’s and cast members’ mothers as part of the Mother’s Day episode went way further back and was also way more consistent than it’s turned out to be the case. That said, the intro was more adorable than funny.

As I’ve pointed out in the past, I come from a family filled with people who have sinus problems and they can all get a little crazy with the sounds that they make while they sneeze, whether or not they have a cold. This led the fake ad for the cold med where our host had a screaming sneeze was hilarious because it hit so close to home.

I’ve always like The Culps, so it was fun to see their little reunion and hear them perform more modern songs since I haven’t seen them since Anna Gasteyer and Will Ferrell were still on the show together unless they had an earlier reunion that I’m forgetting about. I’ve also always like the ESPN women’s sports anchor series, so I was excited to see Will Forte return for their reunion as well. I laughed really hard when Jason Sudeikis had to remind us that it was 1994 before throwing to coverage of O.J. Simpson’s attempt at his White Bronco escape.

I think the song celebrating SNL Digital Short’s accomplishment of producing 100 installments by “Sucking their own dicks,” was the most beautiful sketch that celebrates the show that I’ve seen in quite a while. I can’t think of the last time that I’ve seen this type of recap outside of an SNL special. It was amazing to see how much effort went into recapping every short that’s they’ve made, complete with the best use of cameos that I’ve ever seen.

All that I know of Usher is that a friend and I used to always say “They took our Ursher,” the way they yelled “They took our jerbs,” on South Park randomly from time to time. After hearing his first song, I understand why I’ve never sought out his music. Not that it’s that bad, it’s just way too dancey to be for me. Though I’ve resolved/am in the process of resolving how I react to the political content, I still get annoyed by the current events from this time, so I struggle to get through the news depending on the special guest. Tonight, neither aspect really interested me.

The Funky Town Debates sketch was fun because I prefer this type of political commentary that’s not so blatant to the point that it can seem more silly than preachy. I would be way more into politics if this were how an actual debate went down. I went into the viewing of the Broadway-based sketch thinking that it could go either way. With my history with stage performances from being a part of the stagecraft crew in high school, I can really like references to plays, but at the same time, I was never an actor so sometimes these sketches can get too acting specific to keep my interest. The first half of the sketch had me on the fence because I wasn’t too into the introduction of the public access show’s host, but once the sketch was a blast once they got into the performances.

The second song from Usher did nothing for me either, but I still see that the guy has talent, it’s just not a genre for me. The sketch that followed continued the series with the never-ending celebratory toasts, that I always just kind of like, just like I did during tonight’s viewing. The show then ended on one of my pet peeves, with a repeat of a fake ad from just a couple of shows ago. The saving grace was that the sketch in question was my favorite sketch of the night when it originally aired.

I was extremely satisfied by the time that Will Ferrell returned to the stage to say his good nights because the last two shows were a bit of a struggle to get through. I always love when they jump from a terrible episode to a great one. It reminds me of the feeling from when I was a kid during the summer, where we would sit in the jacuzzi, when one was around, even though it was already painfully hot outside, just to feel extra cooled off when we jumped into the already cold swimming pool. The only thing that sucks is that I fear the next show, hosted by Mick Jagger, will have the opposite effect.

Oh well, we’ll see what happens when I get there. Until then, it’s now time to wrap things up by digging deeper into the details of each sketch, as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started in Biden's Room where Jason Sudeikis as Joe Biden confides in Fill Ferrell as George W. Bush over the fact that he felt disappointed that Fred Armisen as Obama was getting all of the credit all of the progress when it comes to gay marriage. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York...”

  2. Will Ferrell then officially opened the show with a monolog about the fact that it’s the Mother’s Day episode where our host struggled to use his own words after ditching the script to tell his mother Kay, who made a special appearance, that he loved her live on the air as way to celebrate Mother’s Day.

  3. We then got a fake ad for One-A-Day Extra Strength Nasaflu where Kristen Wiig played a pitchwoman who tried to promote her family’s preferred cold medicine while her husband, Will Ferrell, laid down beside her as one of those people who feels the need to scream as they sneeze, making a mess of a commercial.

  4. The Culps then return for a reunion that brought back Ana Gasteyer as Will Ferrell’s music teacher sidekick to perform their brand of cover songs at an LGBT dance/event.

  5. Stay Free Maxi Pads Ladies Long Drive Championship 1994 brought back Jason Sudeikis and Will Forte as their ‘90s ESPN announcer characters who always end up getting too hung up on the feminine product sponsor to properly call the featured female sport. As the title suggests, in this installment, Stay Free Maxi Pads was the featured product while Kristen Wiig and Vanessa Bayer battled it out in a game round of golf. Moments into the sketch, Sudeikis reminded us that it was 1994 and the sketch then jumped back and forth between the golf event and the reports of the O.J. Simpson white Bronco getaway attempt that had Will Ferrell as the on the scene reporter.

  6. This was followed by the 100th SNL Digital Short where the SNL Digital Shorts team along with Justin Bieber sang a song about how they were all going to perform self-fellatio to celebrate this impressive accomplishment. The song also summarized all 100 of the Digital Short installments.

  7. Usher then took to the stage to perform Scream.

  8. Once again, Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Seth played a game of Really!?! over why he’s against the breastfeeding of what looked to be her eight-year-old kid for the cover of Time Magazine. It was on the verge of sounding anti-breastfeeding, but the kid really did seem too old.  Get In The Cage also returned where Andy Samberg brought on Liam Neeson to grill the cameo guest as to why he wasn’t invited to work on the adaptation of the board game, Battleship. (Clip 2) (Clip 3)

  9. The 2012 Funkytown Debate had Kenan Thompson as Doctor Silky Delicious, Will Ferrell as Captain Catfish, Nasim Pedrad as Janet Nichols to have a debate over who should be the next President Of Funkytown.

  10. Broadway Sizzle was a parody of a public access show hosted by Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig who observed Broadway hopefuls as they perform songs from several hit shows from the time.

  11. Usher then returned to the stage to perform Climax.

  12. Anniversary Toast brought back the reoccurring sketch where we go to an event with Jason Sudeikis as the host who has to deal with the more fringe guests as they refuse to move past the toasting portion of the night. This time, Jason Sudeikis played a priest just trying to get through an event to celebrate the 25th anniversary between Hill Hader and Kate McKinnon.

  13. This was followed by a repeat of the Almost Pizza commercial from earlier in the season where Kristen Wiig tries to trick her family into eating the mysterious pizza impostor that she just picked up at the store.

  14. Finally, Will Ferrell closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Even though my intro wasn’t all that show specific, that actually viewing, however, was still very nice that to sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved The 100th SNL Digital Short because it was a brilliant recap of the SNL Digital Short series up to this point in the show’s history, that trigger both recent and past nostalgia over my overall SNL experience. Next, I really liked One-A-Day Extra Strength Nasaflu because of how much it reminded me of my sinus suffering/loud sneezing family who all love to sneeze with a yell. Finally, I was a fan of The 2012 Funkytown Debate because it was a hilarious way to reference politics while still keeping the show light and fun.

 
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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.