SNL: S06E11... HOST: CHARLENE TILTON... DATE: FEBRUARY 21, 1981

or...

Double "F" Bombs For

My Birthday Episode: Year 5

Once again, I'm a Leap Year Baby, so I don't really have a strong tie to my date of birth because it only exists a quarter of the years that I've been walking this earth, so to me, I say that my birthday episode is the last episode of February making it more like a last Thursday Thanksgiving deal. So technically my birthday would have been eight days away but I'm going to stick with the slug line.

Being that my birthday episode usually airs late in the season, I'm used to seeing either a solid second-half slump episode or an oasis show  which this season managed to be both. For those of you not playing along, there's usually a grouping of shows that are hosted by non-comedic and often non-entertainment based host.

These would be the shows that are hosted by sports stars, singers, politicians, or dramatic actors that at best are mediocre episodes. Usually they will run back to back to back, right around the time that the writers seem to be running out of their better material.

Every once in a while there is a show right in the middle of the second-half slumps that features a surprisingly great host with material that matches the first half of the season when everyone involved in the show is still fresh. Since this show almost always falls dead center in one of these chunks, I refer to them as oasis shows and when this happens it also usually lines up with my birthday episode.

As I said up above, this show managed to be both. First off, I'm aware of Dallas but due to my age and hatred of cowboy hats, I never watched it then and I would never watch it now which led to low expectation from Charlene Tilton.

Unfortunately, she never did manage to win me over, not that I didn't like her, it's just that the structure of this episode was set up to pretty make her a one trick pony. The one trick that she had to perform the entire show was to be cute and ditsy who has all of the male cast members after her while she's only interested in Rocket. Though this was to build up the ongoing Dallas parody, it felt very repetitive but not in a funny way.

That said, this season doesn't feature the hosts as much as they should and some of the non-host sketches from this episode ended up being a couple of the handful of sketches that I actually remember from this season, enough to consider as classics.

So, that's how I felt about this mixed show, now it's time to move on and share what I saw as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1.  This week's show starts with Joe Piscopo doing special sports segment where he covers the weigh-in of two hand puppet characters that he's been promoting for the past couple episodes during his segment on Weekend Update. He finishes the segment by announcing that there will be more updates, "Live from New York..."
  2. Charlene Tilton then opens the show with a monolog about being excited to do something funny after so many season working on the show Dallas and how she finds it ironic that she is escaping crime by making a quick stop in New York. She also makes reference to how Rocket was the only one in the cast who wasn't just trying to hook up but then runs backstage to see an example that she was either oblivious or lying. 
  3. This leads directly into a real quick sketch where Rocket and Charlene run off to the writing room after a great big hug to work on an upcoming sketch and Rocket is obviously flirting. Meanwhile, Piscopo and Ann seem like a couple as they watch this all go down. Piscopo tries to make out but Ann seems somewhere distant. She wonders off as Gail enters the room and reveals that she saw Ann and Rocket hanging out which cause Piscopo to get jealous. Though I barely remember Dallas, I'm assuming their setting up an ongoing parody, which is amazing when they pull something like this off.  
  4. We then get another fake ad for another TV marketed album collection called Greatest Records Of All Time where celebs from the day sing a bunch of classics.
  5. We then get our first visit to Mister Robinson's Neighborhood!!! I wasn't expecting this until at least next season. This week, Gilbert Gottfried delivers Mr. Robinson the fixings he needs to make drugs.
  6. We then go to a parade where the women from the show prepare to ride down the streets on their pork float and Charlene can barely contain her excitement from recently being crowned this year's Pork Queen.
  7. In this week's Rocket Report, Rocket takes Charlene on the subway for her very first time and the two interview a few locals.
  8. A Fiddler Be On The Roof is a parody of Fiddler On The Roof starring Stevie Wonder.
  9. Todd Rundgren the hits the stage to perform Healer.
  10. Once again, Rocket and Gail give us the news. This week Gilbert drops by as yet another characters who has plans on how to deal with the needy.
  11. We then see Nancy Reagan make a journal entry where we find that the Lincoln Room is haunted or at least that's what Nancy wants to lead Ann to believe to get back at her for something that I must have missed but don't really feel the need to figure it out because I probably wouldn't get the reference anyways.
  12. We then go back stage again to catch up on the locker room drama that was started after the monolog. This time it's Gilbert and Charlene discussing his issues with Rocket after being informed that she already has plans with Rocket. This leads Gilbert to inform Charlene that Rocket is already having an affair with Ann. Which causes Charlene to want revenge.
  13. The Competition is a short film where Piscopo and Gail seem like a couple as they sit next to each other at the piano and start to discuss some challenge. Piscopo slams the key cover on Gail's hands then then she smashes his with the top. I had to watch this twice, and I still don't really get what I watched. 
  14. Speaking Out is an interview show hosted by one of the featured player who interviews Denny who plays a cop who announce a plan to increase cop activity in arresting able-bodied people who use disabled stalls in the bathroom. 
  15. Women Behind Bars is a parody of a sexploitation woman's prison flick.
  16. We then go to Piscopo who with Don King for SNL Sports as they announce the actual hand puppet boxing match that the show's been promoting for months.
  17. We then get a fake ad for Submissive Sugar Daddies. A dating for women who are willing to date old submissive old men to make it easier to get their money.
  18. Todd Rundgren the returns to the stage to perform Time Heals.
  19. Denny Dillon does a performance monolog as Mary Louise who is having a party and her sock puppet Sam, isn't interested at meeting the guest and the two go on to sing Tea For Two.
  20. After Midnight is a cable TV show for swingers with Rocket as the host and he and Gail give a dog a bath while making suggestive talk until Rocket randomly gets shot as a conclusion to the backstage scenes and then it's reveal the that other name for the sketch is Who Shot C.R.
  21. Prince then hits the stage as "new talent" to perform Party Up and drops the first "F" Bomb of the night.
  22. Finally, Charlene Tilton attempts to close the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights but Rocket drops "F" Bomb number two which gets her laughing so hard she can't say a word.

Here are my oasis moments in an otherwise second-half slump episode. First, I loved seeing Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood for the first time because I used to love Mr. Rogers as a child and there is an upcoming installment that I totally remember being the episode when I was finally allowed to watch the show every week as they aired and not just prime time specials and random night that I managed to stay that late. Then, I really liked hand puppet boxing match featuring Don King because even though I didn't really care for the build up to the fight the actual match was awesome. Finally, I was a fan of Eddie as Stevie Wonder in A Fiddler Be On The Roof because I'm a fan of Fiddler On The Roof references due to Gilbert Gottfried even though he had absolutely nothing to do with this sketch and these Gilbert references to the play also has nothing to do with the show.

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.