SNL: S08E13... HOST: HOWARD HESSEMAN... DATE: FEBRUARY 19, 1983

or...

The Moon Not Seen Around The World

The other day, I was setting up the layout for this review and when I started the episode to grab a screen capture of the monolog, the first thing I saw was the note for the home audience to grab their cameras and load them with film for an upcoming stunt in the monolog. I always love it when these old episode attempted publicity stunts so I was excited about the audience participation that would be involved. 

Several days passed and I kind of forgot about this promising teaser but interest was automatically piqued again, the second I saw the reminder. Following the note we then go backstage and the entire cast is acting very concerned about Hesseman's insistence to call out the president which may me twice as interested in what he was about to say.

Then we finally got to the promising segment where we find out that the big deal is that Hesseman was going to moon a picture of Ronald Reagan and called for the home audience to play along and moon their TVs and send in the pictures after they've been developed and the best ones would be shared in the upcoming weeks.

This was so anticlimactic that it almost took me out of the rest of the episode. Not just because it was a lame idea but the way that it's shot we see zero evidence that Hesseman stuck to his word because the mooning takes place 100% off screen.

It's not that I wanted to see this man's ass but I do think that the payoff would have been much bigger if we saw Hesseman go through the actions that was shot in a way where it was still safe to put on the air rather than just see a close-up of Reagan's face only to hear a response from the crowd.

Other than the letdown of the opening stunt, the rest of the show was perfectly fine but I don't see why they opted to have Hesseman as a twice in one season host because he's not Buck Henry, Steve Martin or even Elliot Gould who were able to pull this privilege off in the past without any sense of overstaying their welcome even though others may disagree.

With that, it's not time to move on and share what I saw as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show starts with a note to the viewer to have their cameras ready to take pictures during the monolog because this is going to be a historical one.
  2. We then go backstage where Howard Hesseman gets warned by the entire cast to not talk against Reagan or it would be career suicide. He doesn't feel all that concerned and just wants to provide a voice for the people of America who agree with him and he confidently announces, "Live from New York..."
  3. Howard Hesseman then officially opens the show with his historical monolog where he rambles for a while to kill time while the home viewer is getting their cameras. He then makes the announcement that he is going to moon the current US president and invites the home audience to moon an image of Ronald Reagan, take a photo and send it in.
  4. Sleepy Boy 2000 is a fake ad for an anti-car-alarm system that blows up cars that go off in the middle of the night so that you can get a solid night's sleep.
  5. We then went to an auto shop where Eddie Murphy gets hit by a car which for some reason turn him into the reincarnation of Elvis Presley. He sings a medley of Elvis tunes as if it were just another day but then freaks out when he turns to the mirror and finds that he's now a black man.
  6. Mad Magazine Theatre is a show hosted by Piscopo as Alfred E. Neuman. He pitches to a parody film called The Windbags Of War that is making for of a recent mini-series called The Winds Of War. The parody was pretty interesting because it was more comic book in style and written with much more randomness that doesn't really add to the story. Also, visually it was shot to look like the panels in a comic book which was also an interesting touch. 
  7. West Heaven was a music video/tribute to the late John Belushi.
  8. We then got a fake ad for The A-Team where "Mr. T" promotes the show while Rex Reed interrupts to give an on the spot critical evaluation. 
  9. Once again, Brad Hall gives us the news. This week, Sweetchuck's guru character gets a segment where he gets to do his line of new age jokes, Sweetchuck also gets a segment as a historian to share the truth about George Washington's lies.
  10. Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers then took to the stage to perform Change Of Heart.
  11. We then went to a Holiday Inn were Sweetchuck and Mary Gross got a free room because of an issue with their flight so they decide to splurge and order room service. Mary orders The Fiesta Cheese Platter that turns out to be a very involved Mexican-themed ordeal that gets Mary and Sweetchuck excited. His order, however, was the Bavarian Pork Surprise which turns out to be served with a Nazi-theme which brings the entire room.
  12. We then went to a woman's salon to get caught up with Eddie Murphy's gay stylist character named Dion who gossips it up with the girls.
  13. Howard Hesseman then played the pitchman for The Laughing Buddha which is a prank shop that sells tricks to play on your enlightened friends. 
  14. Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers then returns to the stage to perform The Waiting.
  15. Howard Hesseman then closes the show by thanking the audience and say his goodnights.

This is another case where the episode was perfectly fine with nothing that I was overly excited about so the order of this list is pretty interchangeable but here's what I managed to come up with. First, I loved The Fiesta Cheese Platter sketch because it was filled with the fun but random chaos that I love and it also reminded me of a dream band that my friends came up with called The Golden Sombrero's that would have had more band members than fans. Next, I really liked The Laughing Buddha sketch especially since the butt of the joke from the sketch is no longer considered as fringe. Finally, I was a fan of Elvis Presley, Back And Black because it was just a funny routine. 

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.