The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show actually starts with an opening sketch!!! Other than maybe one or two times this season, we usually start with a note from the sponsor which I wouldn't mind if it worked more like the old school note that would announce a fake TV show that the SNL episode was interrupting that preceded the opening sketch and not the opening montage. This week, I was excited to see the show jump straight into a parody of The People's Court where a hooker is suing Velvet Jones claiming that his book I Wanna Be A Ho did not work in her attempt to escape her waitressing job. Velvet uses the defense that she didn't read the entire book or else she would've known she was too ugly for this line of work, which is enough evidence to win the case.
Though I was a fan of the old school start, and the fact that the first Don Pardo replacement is back, I was still disappointed by the new monolog-less introduction of the host where he poses with the cast as if they are taking a yearbook photo before rushing off to officially start the show.
In The News is a news real type story that tells us the history of Liz Taylor that's a bit rude but pretty accurate based on what I know of the situation after reading Carrie Fisher's Wishful Drinking in the chapter where she talks about her dad. I guess the rudeness was what was supposed to be funny.
Wild Wild Wild West is a parody of The Wild Wild West only with Abraham Lincoln as the star. We then go to a brothel run by Velvet Jones who is also a mad scientist of the time who has created a time machine to escape the oppression from his own time. There's another joke about Grant that runs throughout the sketch, but the whole thing is so convoluted and unfunny to me that I'm not going to attempt to explain it.
The Allman Brothers then hit the stage to perform Midnight Rider.
Babies In Makeup is a short film that is what it claims to be, a bunch of babies wearing makeup only they are in grown-up situations that play out under a pretty interesting song.
For the third time tonight we be a segment featuring Velvet Jones where he announces his early retirement due to overexposure. He then brings out the "I'm from Jersey" guy who had to be retired because they overplayed him to quickly as well.
We then get a pre-news segment hosted by Mary Gross who promotes an upcoming story featuring Lou Costello as a lawyer in court who ends up in a Who's On First type of routine.
Once again, Brian Doyle-Murray gives us the news. Once again, he's on his own following the bone thrown to Mary Gross with the prior news preview segment. This instability in anchors makes me dislike this season's news because it seems like they're being unfair just like when they added Aykroyd with Jane when she was doing perfectly fine on her own. (Clip 2)
Battle Of The Week is a trivia game show between Las Vegas Showgirls and The All-Volunteer Army.
A Few Minutes With Andy Rooney is another installment of the show's parody of Andy Rooney's 60 Minutes segment that is funny but too rapid fire to note everything Andy is noticing but the theme of this week is breasts.
The Allman Brothers then return to the stage to perform Southbound.
We then go to The Nixon Mansion where he gets a visit from G. Gordon Liddy who tries to get Nixon in on his evil plan to get him back into the White House as the president to get back to trying to take over the world. Again, the sketch gets convoluted as we jump back in time to show Eisenhower's scandalous early involvement in this plan.
Christine Ebersole, who I thought got the gig through nepotism until right now when I looked up her relationship with the producer Dick Ebersol, no "e", does a sketch where she plays her own sister to sing a song while the subtitles make fun of her, like they used to do with Garrett Morris.
The Allman Brothers then return to the stage once again to perform One Way Out.
Finally, Robert Conrad closes the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.