SNL: S38E02... HOST: JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT... DATE: SEPTEMBER 22, 2012

Capture38025.JPG

or...

Another Manic Episode... Or... Justified Optimism...

Only Time Will Tell...

 

Holy crap this has been an emotionally exhausting week. It’s been a roller-coaster of ups and downs that started a couple of weeks ago if it was that long ago when everything just felt like it was starting to click. For the first time since starting this blog, I felt like I finally broke free from my screenwriter’s writing voice and started to feel more genuine in the way that I express my thoughts, which is the entire point of the underlying ten year challenge and the real reason I started this page in the first place. The goal has always been to test the adage that it takes ten years to make an overnight success.

I’m over the moon that I can actually feel a sense of progress and that I’m no longer in the fake it until I make it realm since I’m now comfortable with the fact that this is what I’m going to be doing with the rest of my life. No matter how long it takes, no matter whether or not I ever earn another dime for my efforts. As I said in some other post somewhere, I will write in the dirt with a stick if I have to. I don’t even care if it’s seen by the rest of the world.

The best part is, that I feel like I’m figuring this out with four years still left to go, and not after twenty-plus years that it took me to finally give up on testing the ten year adage, that I also used to provide comfort for why it would take me so long to figure that out as well. I still have four years and can’t wait to get back to playing and being much lighter with the topics I choose to explore while participating in challenges like this that one would think would be more focused on humor. Then again, this seems to be par for the course when funny people lose their humor.

From here on out, I’m going to attempt to get back to being the fun me. Not the old fun/party animal me. No. This new fun me will not rely on the direction of anyone else influence over how I decide to joke. It’s kind of freeing to know that I have this site to document who I really am. Not my social media pages where I can tend to just blurt out any old random thought that, at times, I understand why I’m being judged. This page is my new digital home where visitors not only have to actively seek out my opinion but be drawn in enough to dig deep and read to get the full picture, and not just react with the same thoughtless approach that I can use when making a drunken Twitter post.

Sorry, as I’ve pointed out over the past couple of reviews, I’m stuck in a super reflective mood as we approach the end of another year. Partially because I’m in the final stages of Operation Achieve Anything where I’ve been working through a self-help book that had an assignment a day for an entire year. If you like this type of post, that segment is filled with this type of reflecting, if you are interested in this sort of thing.

I’m also super concerned that this new run of enthusiasm will drop off when the rug gets pulled out from under me, or the crazy growth that I’ve been seeing in my web traffic over the past three months finally starts to flatten out once again. I’m also dealing with the typical end of the year ups and downs that come with thinking back on the past while looking forward to the new year, where I plan to start two new challenges. These two new tasks have me wondering if I can keep up, considering the fact that I’m only finishing one.

I’m also terrified if I’ll have enough time if I fail to figure out how to convert all of this energy into something with better pay. Keeping in mind that it’s only been four or five months since I started to attempt to monetize my efforts, and have since made eighty-bucks. I’m not complaining. The first time that I made one-whole-dollar in a single day, without needing anyone else to set up what little marketing I had, opened my eyes to the fact that I might actually be able to develop my business side. Especially if I treat it like my writing and stubbornly commit to trying to figure out how to make an income on my own terms. As you can see, I’m willing to put in the time in exchange for the control because I don’t want to ever have to wait on anything outside of my power to create what I want any more.

Holy-moley, this was just supposed to be a really quick intro to say that I was too burnt out to write too much of an intro, especially since I already share how much and why I like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, during his last visit as the show’s host. Unfortunately, with the newer actors, no matter how much I like them, I don’t have as strong of a connection to any of them the way that I do with even the hosts who I hated in the past.

I don’t have movies of their’s that I’ve literally watch a hundred times thanks to limited access to entertainment before there was an internet. I didn’t watch their careers develop in the proper order the way I used to in the past. I’m not aware of their phases with all entertainment being so readily available on-demand. Yes, it’s incredible that now you can discover new talent and within a week be caught up on their entire life’s worth of work without leaving the couch, but even that has managed to kill some of the connection that I used to have towards actors. I used to have to put in the effort to find all of their more obscure work. It’s not as rewarding when everything’s there with one click.

Hell, I had to hunt down and pay about ninety-bucks for a VHS copy of Cannibal’s: The Musical when I first heard that the South Park guys had a live-action film, back when they still weren’t big enough to have their old work to be sought out for redistribution. Having put in that much money, I not only watched it enough to make it worth it, I was also willing to share a viewing experience with whoever would give it a try. Granted, I still like whatever I’m drawn to, I just no longer seem to have it in me to wax poetic about my connections with film and television stars which leads me to end up rambling about these somewhat related topics?

Bear with me as I work through how my new writing voice will handle these types of content conflicts in the future. Not that I’m not proud of what I just wrote, I’m just not sure if I want to that far off topic when struggling to come up with an intro. I’m sure that my overactive head will start to settle once I get back to a place where I can slow down and breathe for a bit. I may be receiving an emotional ass-kicking, but it’s painful in the same way that a first workout session is after a decade of being inactive. I can also use the same workout analogy to explain why I’m so vocal about my latest findings. Find me an out of shape person who doesn’t go on and on about their first workout. I dare you.

Alright, enough rambling, it’s now time to hit play and knuckle down to get to work sharing my real-time viewing experience. Back when all this excitement over who would replace Regis and become Kelly Ripa’s new co-host, I aware of, and interested in the situation because I was an obsessed fan of Howard Stern and he was obsessed with how it would all play out. I was entertained by his observations, so I know a lot of the details through his perspective, but personally, I never really cared for any of the early morning TV talk shows because I was listening to Stern while they were on.

That said, I wasn’t really expecting to like the sketch all that much but then Jay Pharoah, who had me unsure about his impersonation, but he said several lines that really cracked me up. Other than Jay’s silly moments, I wasn’t that big of a fan of the actual sketch. I don’t know what it is about these new opening credits but, for some reason, tonight, it sounded like both Don Pardo and the band were slowed down ever so slightly to where it sounded questionably weird?

Though I wasn’t really into the male stripper aspect of the opening monolog because it makes me a bit nervous that this could evolve to be a “hot host” episode base on nothing but looks. I do love the fact that Bobby Moynihan knows how to dance and the main focus wasn’t him being a fat guy to laugh at as he struggled through the moves. I also get a kick out of the fact that, former Not Ready For Prime Time Player, Paul Shaffer, co-wrote, It’s Raining Men which is the song that they all danced to.

 The commercial making fun of the undecided voter had me wondering if the rise in the “undecided voter” started at this time because of how many people opted to use this lie of confusion to not sound racist for not being all that satisfied with his first term. I voted for him for the first term because I bought into the hope hype, but voted third party round two because, I was disappointed and refused to vote Republican and I was called a racist for voting for the only person who seemed to be against the endless wars. Just like I was called a sexist for voting for Jill Stein.

I took this hard, but I’m sticking to my guns about never voting the lesser of two evils again, even though in Obama’s case, I really did think that I was voting for change and not evil at all, which is why the broken promises felt twice as disappointing. It had nothing to do with his skin. But yeah, this fake ad left me questioning we’ll see a rise in the “undecided voter” who just don’t want to get bullied during this next go-around.

I really liked the concept of the Tres Equis ad, and the sketch actually was pretty funny but, at the same time, I’m not a fan of back to back sketches within the same genre, but that’s just a knit-picking complaint. I’m also not a huge fan of noir or private eye flicks, but I did find the use of the hand-drawn Boardwalk-style caricatures by Bill Hader as the private dick in the sketch that followed the first Tres Equis ad. Then I was back to not liking the fact that they didn’t split the Tres Equis series further apart and was also annoyed that there were only two segments and not three in order to complete the golden rule of comedy and have it be a running gag to last throughout the episode.

I’ve always wanted to be hypnotized. I’ve bought self-hypnotism books in the past, and have even attempted to visit a profession, but I think I’m too in my head to participate even if I were to want to just play along because I’m way too self-conscious. This is why I loved the sketch with Taran Killam pranking Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a hypnotist. It was the first sketch of the night that I legitimately enjoyed without having to reach for the reasons why. Hell, I went as far as to clap one clap at the end when Vanessa Bayer revealed that she was in on the joke as well.

I like the message of the fake ad for the Republican brand of tampons that were designed by men because it made an excellent point, but the reality of the message was also a bit of a bummer, so it wasn’t, laugh out loud, hilarious, but I also wouldn’t say that it should have been cut. I’ve always been intrigued by the name Mumford And Sons but never sought out their music. I think that I like the fact that the name gets me thinking about a mash-up between Mummenschanz and Sanford And Son. Now that I’ve heard their music, I could see myself liking this if I was in a specific mood, but they would never be go-to music for me.

Oh boy, the news was over fifteen minutes tonight, with so many guests that it felt like they were just filling time. I have a feeling that the news this season’s going to be rough since it is another election year. I can already see that it’s going to drive me nuts as the show that now joins in trend to blame Fox News for being the only network to promote that Obama wasn’t doing a good job, as if segments like the one from tonight that bashes the now former President, aren’t readily available on the internet. Which takes, me back to the Undecided Voter sketch up above.

Though it’s an incredibly repetitive segment, I’m still a fan of the series of sketches where the group of friends tell increasingly crazier stories between singing the chorus to a popular song, especially when it’s a song that I know and like enough to sing along. You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away by The Beatles was a fun song to sing along with the TV but what made it even more fun was the fact that Mumford And Son actually performed a cover version of the song for the guys to sing to. Even if I had hated tonight’s band, this brand of involvement would have earned them a few extra bonus points in my book.

I wasn’t a fan of the transition in rap music where it went from performers rapping about life on the street to rapping about nothing but money and luxury because I prefer to hear about overcome struggles versus bragging and showing off. I know that The Finer Things made fun of the materialistic trend but, especially now, in the age of the braggadocios YouTubers and people of Instagram, whatever they’re called, the behavior from this sketch was too realistic to be fun while watching with present-day eyes.

I don’t know if the bonus points from their involvement in that singing friends sketch kicked in, but I really liked their second song. I don’t think they are the band to do it, but I really need to get back into listening to music, even if, it hurts. This morning I had music running in the background while writing my Daily Breaker post and it made me really miss the medium, but at the same time, it also exhausted both my heart and my soul based on the nostalgic note that I was writing about old friends.

Thinking about the song from this morning left me a bit bummed out, so I was kind of out of it for the sketch that had Joseph Gordon-Levitt dressed as a young girl. At first, I thought it was just going to be another straight man in drag gag, which it still was, but the song that was performed by Fred Armisen and Kate McKinnon caught my attention and kept me entertained.

I’ve lived in multiple party houses throughout my life, so the sketch about cock and balls being drawn on everything was funny because it hit close to home. Though I wasn’t really a graffiti guy, it still cracks me up that it’s such a go-to art form. I also found it a little extra interesting since my oldest sister was just talking about that one show about the cock and balls graffiti problem at some school that I’ve been meaning to watch.

By the time Joseph Gordon-Levitt returned to the stage to say his goodnights, I was happy that ever because this has been an extremely long day and I’m ready to just post this beast so that I can get really high and decompress before going to sleep. Thanks again for your patience, I hope you’re still enjoying the checking in on my progress. With that, it’s now time to shift gears, and 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 Live With Kelly And Michael where Nasim Pedrad as Kelly Ripa introduced us to Jay Pharoah as Michael Strahan who just landed the permanent position as the show’s new co-host. Other than that, it was a pretty standard parody of the morning talk show. Of course, however, with it being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York...”

  2. Joseph Gordon-Levitt then officially opened the show with a monolog about how excited he was over the recent run of movies to be released to the big screen. The film that he was most stoked about was Magic Mike, and after he made this announcement, our host was joined by several male cast members to perform a Magic Mike-style routine to the song, It’s Raining Men.

  3. We then got a fake ad aimed at Low-Information Voters Of America where a group of undecided voters shared the questions that are holding them back from only all their concerns have nothing to do with politics at all.

  4. We then got the first of a series of two fake ads for Tres Equis which parodied the Dos Equis ad, only with Joseph Gordon-Levitt as The Son Of The Most Interesting Man In The World who only live vicariously through his father and has no interesting stories of his own.

  5. Private Eye had Bill Hader as a private dick who’s been tailing Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s wife only all of the evidence that Hader provided were hand-drawn caricatures of Gordon-Levitt’s cheating wife and her new beau in the style you would find from a boardwalk artist.

  6. We then got the second installment of the Tres Equis ad where once again Jo-Go portrayed The Son Of The Most Interesting Man In The World where this time he got into a heated argument with Jason Sudeikis as his absentee dad.

  7. Joseph Gordon-Levitt then played a Hypnotist who was putting on a show and invited Taran Killam to the stage to be the subject for his performance. The only thing is, the trick was actually on Joseph as Taran just pretended to be hypnotized to goof on our host. The only thing is, in doing so, Taran put himself into twice as embarrassing of a situation than he would have landed in if he were legitimately under mind control.

  8. This was followed by a fake ad for G.O.B. Tampons which was a new line of tampons designed explicitly for members of the Republican Party.

  9. Mumford And Sons then took to the stage to perform I Will Wait.

  10. Once again, Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Seth Meyers played a game of What Are You Thinking? For this installment, he bashed Obama for making a verbal gaffe about how you can’t change the government from the inside, pointing out how even he was saying all of his promises were worthless. Fred Armisen and Vanessa Bayer returned as their characters who are always childhood BFFs with the worst of the world leaders where they attempt to talk up their friend only to whisper gossip under their breath. Kate McKinnon and Bill Hader dropped by as Anne Romney to insist that she and Mitt are more connected to the average American that the celebrity-friendly Obamas, only isn’t all that convincing when making her point. Jay Pharoah also stopped by as a sports reporter just to name-drop a couple of players who he is vaguely connected to. (Clip 2) (Clip 3) (Clip 4) (Clip 5)

  11. London brought back the bar buddies who share increasingly crazy life stories in between the chorus to a popular song before going back to singing along. This time they were back, and the bar and not out and about with the song in question being You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away by The Beatles as the celebrated the night before Joseph Gordon Levitt’s wedding day.

  12. The Finer Things introduced a cable access-style talk show hosted by Kenan Thompson and Jay Pharoah who thuggishly discussed things like handbags and long-stemmed wine glasses with Joseph Gordon-Levitt as an X-Games-type and Bobby Moynihan as a stoner burnout who were both on as their guests.

  13. Mumford And Sons then returned to the stage to perform Below My Feet.

  14. Our Daughter had Fred Armisen as a father who attempted to set-up his coworker, Tim Robinson, with his daughter who was played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. This introduction was awkwardly made through an elaborate vocal performance.

  15. We then got a fake ad for Powers Realty where Nasim Pedrad and Tim Robinson played two realtors who, instead of pitching their service, spoke out against the pranksters who are drawing cock and balls all over their bus stop ads.

  16. Finally, Joseph Gordon-Levitt closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Well, aside from my mental exhaustion, that turned out to be a pretty good show with the help of sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved the Hypnotist sketch because Taran Killam was killing me throughout this routine, and as I said up above, when Vanessa Bayer got involved, I literally clapped with a laugh at the end. Next, I really liked the London/Bar sketch with the group of singing buds because it was awesome to see the Mumford And Son perform a The Beatles song for the sketch. Finally, I was a fan of G.O.B. Tampons even though it wasn’t hilarious but because I did like the message of the segment about how Republican men should just back out of women’s issues especially when it comes to their body parts.

 
Capture38022.JPG
Capture38023.JPG
Capture38024.JPG
 

Watch More From Joseph Gordon-Levitt:

Hear More From Mumford And Sons:

WWYF 728x90

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.