Not Even Bill Can Save This Season
Now, this episode wasn't horrible. In fact, I would say that it was pretty average as far as this season goes. It's that "as far as this season goes," that's the problem though, with how mundane this season has been it should be super easy for an episode to stand out especially with a heavy hitter like Bill Murray as a host.
Alright, I wasn't that huge of a fan of Bill's last appearance as host, that was more due to the fact that the show was on the verge of purging my second favorite cast (so far) and because of this energy, it just wasn't that good of a show.
I also wasn't a fan of how he acted more like an upperclassman who was hazing the rookies over being an alumni that stepped in as a mentor. I could go on to ramble about how this made it seem like he sided with the producers over the artist even though he walked in their shoes, but then I would just be repeating that review because I've already covered this point.
Keep in mind, I'm fully aware that Bill's interactions with the last cast were scripted, but I also remember there being an "I'm better than you," tone that just didn't show up in this appearance. No, this time he felt friendlier, but then again there was never really a sketch where he interacted with the cast as themselves.
Again, average for this season is the best I can say about this episode which isn't that great considering that the one above average episode from this season, is still below average compared to the history of the show.
Alright, it's time to get away from bashing my second favorite episode from this season (so far) and move on to share what I saw as I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show starts with a sponsored note from The Phone Company where they remind us that they are, "Pretending to make progress so we can charge you more." Again this is only about a fifty-second insert shot that leads into the opening montage. Also again, this reminds me that we are currently living in a repeat of 1981.
Bill Murray then does an old school monolog where he skips the lame group high school yearbook pose with the rest of the cast. In the monolog, Bill introduces us to his good friend Santa Clause and tells us how great he is, being that it's the introduction to the Christmas episode.
Tales Of The Unlikely is an Unsolved Mysteries-style show, where we see an unlikely tale of Libyan terrorist trying to infiltrate the White House as students in their attempt to kill the president and the FBI is so inept they also made their effort for security clearance. The student thing does end up failing, so their second attempt is to dress up as the three wise men and sneak a bomb in as a gift that goes off, injuring an assistant who then gets treated like a hero in the news. Again this seems like a commentary on an event that actually happened because it doesn't seem funny enough to be something they just thought up to be silly.
We then go to a hotel room where Piscopo as Tom Snyder acts likes he's doing his show after we hear the announcement of his actual show being canceled. He interviews everyone who comes to his room from the neighbor who drops by to complain about the noise to the guy who delivers his food.
The Spinners then hit the stage for a medley of their greatest hits.
Once again, Brian Doyle-Murray gives us the news while once again Mary Gross is "out on special assignment. This week, Piscopo give us sports where he shows us a "classic interview" of him interviewing Eddie as Ali. He follows this up with an interview with the Ali in his current condition from that time. We also see Mary Gross's report where she asks kids on the street the meaning of Christmas and their answers sound like they would come from a jaded adult complaining about how commercial the holiday has grown to be. (Clip 2)
Designer Fairy Tales is a segment where "Brooke Shields" reads us a fairy tale leading to the scene as it is acted out. This week's fairy tale is a version of The Elves And The Shoemaker where elves help a flamboyant cowboy design is next fashion line of elf-themed clothing that turns out to be the next big thing.
Bill Murray then sits down with Father Guido Sarducci to discuss what he's been up to since leaving the show. Sarducci informs Bill that he's become a psychic and they are going to test his ability by reviewing the predictions that he made last year. It turns out that he's way off on everything but claims to be spot on. He then goes on to predict nuclear war in '82 and suggests people invest in shovels and canned goods over gold. He also predicts an earthquake so big it will sink everything in America except for California a reversal of the common fear that I, as a Californian, totally remember as a threat every day.
At Home With The Psychos is Leave It To Beaver meets a Troma movie as we meet a punk rock family that lives next to the nuclear power plant. It's also post-WWIII and the father of the group has a plan to make money marketing cosmetic product for man's newly developed blowhole. The daughter is a blind girl who dreams to be a ballerina, the mom gets random bouts of stigmata, and the boy comes home with a new ideology and is strapped head to toe with bombs.
A couple gives money to a street Santa which leads Bill Murray to approach as his homeless character who suggests they skip the Salvation Army as the middle and give the money directly to him. The couple then explains Supply Side Economics to a parody song to the tune of It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, claiming Murray will eventually be trickled down upon.
The Yale Wiffenpoofs then take the stage and perform a medley of Christmas songs.
Finally, Bill Murray closes the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
This is another week where I had to reach, but here the three favorite moments I managed to come up with. First, I actually did love the At Home With The Psychos sketch because they are the stick together through anything/quirky family that I dream to have if I could ever manage to get my act together enough to have or support a family. Next, I really liked seeing Bill get caught up with Guido Sarducci because the Father is still one of my favorite characters from the show. Finally, I was a fan of the Supply Side Christmas sketch because of how it's an excellent example of how we the poor are still getting trickled down upon to this very day.