SNL: S04E06... HOST: CARRIE FISHER... DATE: NOVEMBER 18, 1978

or...

R.I.P. Princess

Once again, I went into this episode hoping it would be the show to turn this season around. I mean, the host is Carrie Fisher, who at least later in her later career was known for being pretty funny. I also thought that maybe her recent passing would provide a nostalgic boost to keep this episode from feeling long winded and a little boring.

Nope.

This episode was just as average as the other episodes keeping in mind that the bar is still lowered compared to the standards of the first three seasons. As I keep pointing out, the biggest problem is that all of the sketches to be a set length whether of not what makes the sketch funny needs that much extra time.

It also feels like one of the work arounds the writers go to in order to cope with the extra time is to kill two birds with one sketch by crowbarring in extra storylines without fully finishing the first one. This creates a confusing pattern where we get the beginning of a sketch, the middle, skip the first end only to jump to the middle of the second story line, to then finally get either the end to the first story or the second story but very rarely both.

It's too bad that I'm struggling so much to like this season because it is so close to being as good as the first three season because the humor is there, it's just the overall structure of the episodes that's the problem.

Alright, once again, it's time to stop griping about sketch length and get to sharing what I saw as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. First, the show starts out with The Blues Brothers performing Soul Man ending with Garrett Morris announcing, "Live from New York..."
  2. Carrie Fisher then opens the show dressed as Princess Leia and does a quick monolog about how she didn't want to have to count on Star Wars but was afraid that no one would recognizer without the signature costume. She then does a very inside joke about Star Wars while being encourage to continue by the soul of Obi-Won who really digs the joke. Carrie Fisher then makes a joke about being born at just the right time because she doesn't think she would have done so well acting in the style of movies that were shot in black and white. There is then a very clumsy transition to a Beach Blanket Bingo style sketch where twenty somethings are playing teens from the fifties who all walk a very fine line of being totally innocent while speaking in slang to convey that they are up to the opposite. Fisher as Leia is teleported into the scene in a way that reveals that this is still part of the opening intro. There's singing and dancing with visits from Vincent Price, James Dean, and Chubby Checker. By this point, I completely lost the whole point of the fifteen minute opening sketch, I just couldn't wait for it to get on to the next one.
  3. The Loud house was a pretty fun sketch about a super loud family that yell when they talk and this week they meet Gilda's boyfriend who isn't prepared for the family of aggressive talkers.
  4. The show then recycles a sketch from season one where Belushi wants to take a loved one off of life support in order to save some money. Only this time, instead of this cheap skate being the entire joke, we jump into a parody called The Mercy Killers, who are interns who have been taking patients off of life support to save them from living in pain. In this installment, the Mercy Killers smother Garrett Morris to death who is just in for a vasectomy because they confused him for the true patient in need of relief.
  5. Once again, Jane and Bill do the news with another visit from Father Guido Sarducci, who's trying to get people to put their US dollars in the Vatican bank and has lots of crazy bonuses to sweeten the offer. Roseanne Roseannadanna also does a segment on the American Smoke Out and ends up rambling about her gym and having to deal with naked people.
  6. The Blues Brothers return to perform two songs back to back. They start with Got Everything I Need, Almost followed by B' Movie Boxcar Blues.
  7. Mr. Bill then goes fishing in the quickest sketch of the night.
  8. This is followed by Tomorrow with Tom Snyder where he interviews Fisher who is acting as Linda Blaire. I'm not normally a fan of the Tomorrow segments because I'm too young to remember the Tom Snyder Show they are referencing. I do remember Tom Snyder's other shows but I still didn't watch those either so it's more that I just don't care about the reference. That said, Carrie Fisher was good because this was the first Tomorrow sketch in a while that didn't feel like a real interview being held for the host.
  9. Next, we end up in some sort of fisherman's bar where Belushi is being scammed by a couple girls to buy them drinks in exchange for his long winded stories. Billy Murray then enters the bar and the girls shift their attention to him because it looks like he has more money. Carrie Fisher then talk Murray into making a more long term investment and not just drinks that won't even last the night. She scams him into paying monthly installments to her but there is never any talk of sex. The end of the day comes and the girls compare how much they brought in and Fisher wins due to this new monthly income.
  10. Bad Red Chinese Ballet is just like all the other sketches in the Bad line of sketches only this time we don't get the title of the play but the performance is horribly entertaining.
  11. The short film this week is home video footage of an old couple as they visit Rome. The lady in the video does some pretty funny voice over work but it feels like a real but boring vacation video. That is until the twist where the husband dies and the woman instantly married the waiter and went on with the rest of the vacation.
  12. Finally, Carrie Fisher thanks the audience and say her goodnights.

I really wish I had better things to say about this episode being hosted by the closest thing I have to royalty but unfortunately mediocre is still mediocre and these are the moments that stood out to me. First, even though the opening monolog sketch was long and convoluted there was still an interesting moment when the camera accidentally catches the crazy green screen setup to teleport Fisher as Leia into the Back To The Beach Scene. Next, I liked the loud family because I'm from an excitable family where anyone of us can sound like we're yelling when we are just trying to share our stories. Finally, I'm a fan of every time I see Father Guido Sarducci, though, it's a bad sign when he makes the top three list for a simple but funny news segment. 

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.