SNL: S08E17... HOST: JOAN RIVERS... DATE: APRIL 9, 1983

or...

The Buckwheat Saga Continues!!!

This ended up being a surprisingly super fun episode. Don't get me wrong, I've been a fan of Joan Rivers ever since I grew old enough to get her sense of humor but by that time she was doing more of a character of herself which was still funny but not as playful and adorable as this younger Joan that I'm unfortunately not as familiar with.

This was another one of those episodes, like with Sid Caesar, where both the cast and the audience seemed to have respected the host so much that the energy in the room made it fun enough to just sit back and watch everyone play.

Not only did I like having an hour and change to hang out with this early version of Joan, but I also loved how the saga of Buckwheat has continued into this third episode in a row. I know that I liked this as a child but I love it even more now that I'm older and have a better understanding of news cycles so this whole series of shows is twice as interesting to me as a collection of work rather than a bunch of silly sketch episodes that are playing out in order.

Alright, that's what I've got for this intro, which means it's now time to move on and share what I saw as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show starts with the Whiners showing up late and they have to whine their way into getting seats to watch the taping because their seats had been taken. They have to watch from the overflow area but are so loud that they keep getting told to shut up because they are on the air. When they realize that they are being taped the couple looks to the camera and announces, "Live from New York..." for the first time in several weeks.
  2. Joan Rivers then officially opens the show with a monolog/stand-up routine about missing New York City after moving to Beverly Hills and points out the differences which lead to a routine about being an ugly child as well as her miserable upbringing.
  3. We then got a visit from the real David Susskind, whoever that is, for a parody of The David Susskind Show where he interviews Buckwheat's bodyguard who is promoting a book called Buckwheat Was A Sleazeball and we see backstage footage of Buckwheat being a jerk.
  4. The David Susskind Show then threw to a commercial where we got a fake ad for The Enquire where they highlight a bunch of crazy upcoming stories about the tabloid haunted celebrities from the day.
  5. The David Susskind show then returned and David moved on to interview a group of Buckwheat impersonators which might be why I liked the real Buckwheat so much since the show built him up as the next Elvis and my young imagination played along. 
  6. Dueling Joans was a sketch where the real Joan Rivers and a Joan Rivers off against Piscopo's portrayal of her. 
  7. We then went to the Academy Awards Ceremony where we overhear a conversation had by the Oscar Statuettes where their social status is based on the category that they are handed out for and Best Picture is the most arrogant of the bunch.
  8. Calvin Klein Industrial Strength Jeans was a sketch that would never fly today because 100% of the humor comes from them making fun of Liz Taylor's weight gain which is why the jeans have to be so sturdy.
  9. Once again, Brad Hall gives us the news. This week, Mary Gross stops by as her outraged characters to complain about the lack of Oscar-worthy content for women, Sweetchuck drops by as his Guru character drops in to talk about his new age observations, and "The Secretary of the Interior" drops in to discuss his love of rock music which must have had something to do with recent news..
  10. Celebrities in 2040 took us to the retirement home that Joan will be living staying at in the future where she reminisces with an elderly Eddie Murphy about their peers from back in the day.
  11. Musical Youth then take to the stage to perform Pass The Dutchie.
  12. Club Doolittle is a fake ad for a club owned by Eddie Murphy as an interestingly weird character that threw me off because it has absolutely nothing to do with Dr. Doolittle but is a pretty funny sketch because it gets to a point where everyone but Eddie breaks character to mess around to try and get him to break character as well which he does and spends the rest of the sketch trying to recover.
  13. Joan Rivers then gave us a bit of her stand-up.
  14. We then went down to the Caribbean where we met Eddie Murphy as a Caribbean Gynecologist who is very laid back in an island way when it comes to his profession.
  15. Musical Youth then return to the stage to perform Never Going To Give You Up.
  16. Finally, Joan Rivers closes the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

Again, this was a very fun episode with most of my favorite moments being the sketches that felt very loosely scripted which kept the show feeling fresh and fun. With that, here you go. First, I love the sketch Dueling Joans sketch because both Joan and Piscopo seemed to be having a hell of a time coming up with jokes off of the top of their heads whether or not it was actually preplanned. Next, I really liked the Club Doolittle sketch because of how I felt so lost at first because it wasn't a Dr. Doolittle reference, but then it completely won me over when the sketch got out of control. Finally, I was a fan of The Dave Susskind Show sketch because I love the ongoing story of Buckwheat's assassination. 

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.