Two For Two Making It A Comeback Season
Right out the gate, this season seems to be off to a way better start than the last. For one, the cast feels way more confident. Eddie and Piscopo have now been at it for three years and have made themselves comfortable. After that, there are the three returning players who may not quite be in the comfort zone yet, but they're well on their way to finding their voice. Finally, there are the three newbies. One, being Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who I'm cheering for right off the bat and two other guys that I am growing to know but I'm willing to give them a shot.
Not only do I feel a better connection to the cast, I'm fully aware of all of the host without having to look them up. This week's host, Louis Gossett Jr. seemed like he was going to be a huge star when I was a kid. That's not to say that he's not successful but during the three years following this episode he put out Jaw 3-D, Enemy Mines, and Iron Eagle back to back to back. This run of films managed to burn his name into my movie-loving head and am surprised to this day that we don't see him more or that he hasn't had a major comeback.
There's one other thing I'm seeing this season that I wholeheartedly approve of. Last season, some of the hosts got lost in the background to the point where it felt like they were treated like extras but, based on this episode alone, being that Chevy hosted via a TV, this season feels like it's back to treating the host like the actual star of the show.
I look forward to seeing if this season continues along this trajectory because I wasn't a real fan of being so grumpy about the show. With that, we'll see what tomorrow brings but until then, it's time to share what I saw as I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show starts with a song and dance to promote NBC's desperate attempt to titillate the audience into tuning in as Mary Gross strips down to a pair of boxers and a wife beater to fulfill the networks promise to show more skin. This ends on the perfect place for a "Live from New York..." but apparently they've yet to return to the traditional opening of the show, which they almost did last week with Chevy's, "Live from Burbank..." announcement.
I do like that we are back to getting an opening monolog. This week, Louis Gossett Jr. taps into his An Officer And A Gentleman character to get the cast in line in the traditional drill sergeant fashion.
We then go to a short film where Sweetchuck is out on the road hitchhiking. He gets picked up by a beautiful woman in a very expensive car who is wearing nothing but her bra and panties that the two eventually start to make out until the car drives off a cliff as this is actually a PSA that with the warning, "Don't Hitch Hike."
Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood then returns for another installment where this week he teaches us about music and goes on to play the drums that he stole from Smokey Robinson. He then goes on to beat out a tune that gets complaints from the neighbors which escalates until his new neighbor, the real Mr. T, bursts through the door to shut him up.
Next, we meet a couple in the middle of a sex therapy session. It turns out that this is a group session hosted by Gossett Jr. who's very into getting the couples into role-playing out their problems while acting like an excitable movie director. He gives Sweetchuck a gun to play out his scene, but the gun goes off before they can even start which finally leads to the big double entendre that this sketch has been building up to.
We then go outside for a man on the street segment where random people are asked, "What's the worst thing you've ever done?" and we get some fascinating real answers.
Next, we go to a crowded bathroom where Joe Piscopo enters a stall and starts to sing Under The Boardwalk until he gets to the hook where people from the other stalls start to sing along.
Joe Piscopo then takes to the stage to remind us all that Don Pardo is back. This leads to a segment called Don Pardo's Year Off where Don announces his miserable existence during the time away from SNL in a game show announcing tone complete with game show-like images of each experience.
Once again, Brad Hall gives us the news. This week, Brad Hall tries to sing his way through the worst of the news stories in an attempt to satisfy a complaint about his negative tone, I can't get over how much he looks like Denis Leary and Woody Harrelson's long lost baby, but he's continuing to grow on me. Sweetchuck also stops in as his doctor character who lists off a bunch of funny potential diseases. "Shelley Winters" also drops by to rebuke some of the claims about Marilyn Monroe in an upcoming book about her diaries, and Joe Piscopo stops by with sports where he interviews Eddie as a French Canadian football player because the NFL was apparently on strike.
Piscopo then plays Donahue as they parody his old talk show. Of course, the topic of the show was the ongoing troubles in the Middle East that are so omnipresent that it seems designed not to ever be solved to the point where he even mentions this in the sketch.
George Thorogood And The Destroyers then hit the stage to perform Bad To The Bone.
Mary Gross then addresses Jerry Lewis's claims that SNL made a joke in bad taste about Jerry's Kids. She goes on to defend the show noting that the joke in question was never said on the show then goes on to read a few jokes that target Jerry Lewis directly.
We then go back to what looks like the Mr. Robinson set where we get to watch the "Black Stereotype Sketch" that plays out like every black drama from the time. That is until Eddie and Gossett realize how lame it is and go on to point out all of the problems with the sketch and go on to bring out the white writer.
The Interesting Four is a parody of The Fantastic Four where this team of superheroes each has very lame skills. There's Seiko, a character that I apparently accidentally ripped off, who can only travel three seconds into the future. I guess my guy was different because he only traveled head by a second, making it actually real time. There's also The Human Stapler, who staples things at will, Weather Woman who can raise or lower the weather by nine degrees, and Mr. Wonderful, who is just a talented lounge performer. We then go to the Pentagon where The Incredible Four get called into action where they have to save the world from Dr. Inconvenience but then get fired because of how obnoxious they are and are replaced by a random dentist.
For the second day in a row, The Web has come up as a sketch that's supposed to be on this episode according to a site that I reference. Also once again, it didn't show up, and I still can't find it on the internet, but the note on the reference site say this shows up on multiple episodes, so I'll share what it is the moment it finally shows up.
George Thorogood And The Destroyers then return to the stage to perform Back In Wentzville.
Finally, Louis Gossett Jr. closes the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
Once again, this was another fun episode from a promising season with these sketches as my favorite moments. First, I loved The Interesting Four because as I noted up above I once accidentally stole the concept of the Seiko character when I wrote a sketch for film school. Next, I really liked Eddie Murphy and Louis Gossett Jr. in the Black Stereotype Sketch because it made a pretty good point in a pretty funny way. Finally, I was a fan of this installment of Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood, because not only am I a fan of the character but I loved seeing a young Mr. T.