SNL: S08E18... HOST: SUSAN SAINT JAMES... DATE: APRIL 16, 1983

or...

A Season Of No Slumps

I just realized that I am eighteen episodes into this season and there has yet to be a second half slump episode, which I think may be the first time this has happened so far. Not only does there seem to be a lack of a second half slump, this definitely is the first season where the second half may even be better than the front-loaded first half of the year.

Other than the overall season, this turned out to be a bit of a surprisingly fun episode being that I wasn't all that impressed by Susan Saint James's first appearance as host and felt that she was getting special treatment because she was married to the producer of the show, but that may have been because I only recognized her name and not her face during this initial show.

During this visit, I recognized her right away, not just because I already did my research from visit one, but because of the new mom-doo that she was sporting made it much easier to place her as Kate from Kate and Allie as opposed to the sex symbol vibe she seemed to be shooting for just a little more than a year before this episode originally aired.

That's not to say that her appearance had anything to do with the quality of either episode, I'm just more familiar with her work, now that I've seen the look that I'm familiar with. In fact, I'd say that either way she didn't do all that much heavy lifting in this episode and it's the cast that made this one fun.

Cast heavy shows are usually a sign of a slump episode because it usually feels like the cast and writers are working with old content to clear out any backlog of bits that didn't work out with any other host. This may be the case with this episode but it's beginning to feel like even the backup content is more consistent than any other season so far and I love getting to see this develop.

Oh well, that's what I've got for this episode, with that, it's now time to move on and share what I saw as I give you... 

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's episode starts with Velvet Jones in a fake ad for his latest workout video called The Exercises Of Love that's kind of like a practice in sexual yoga.
  2. Susan Saint James then officially opens the show with a monolog where she talks about her life changes since she last hosted the show which includes the fact that she's now married to the producer of the show and then goes on to talk about their sex life which led to her latest kid.
  3. Sit On It is a game show where the cast played themselves and had to try and identify famous statues with their butts by sitting on scale models while the contestant had to pick who could figure it out.
  4. Tootsie Cosmetics is a line of cosmetics pitch by Gary Kroeger who plays Tootsie from the famous film and tries to showcase the product by applying it to a very reluctant Eddie Murphy who changes his tune the moment he finds out how much the movie Tootsie made.
  5. We then got a repeat of the Texxon commercial that first highlights all that they have contributed to society then threatens to take it away if people were to vote for oil regulations.
  6. The Hidden Paradise was a sketch where Piscopo and Sweetchuck play men out on a double date who get abandoned by their girlfriends when they go to the bathroom as a pair. This led to a couple cliche jokes about what women do in the bathroom so the two men disguise themselves as women to see just what goes on in the women's restroom and find a magical world which is even fancier than the restaurant. The men eventually get caught and are sentenced to death for disrespecting some sanctuary law.
  7. Michael McDonald then took to the stage to perform If That's What It Takes.
  8. Once again, Brad Hall gives us the news. This week, Sweetchuck gets another segment where he bashes the New York Post, "Dr. Ruth" drops by for a segment about old people having sex, and Eddie Murphy drops in to talk about the election of Chicago's first black mayor.
  9. Gary Kroeger then played a slacker who has no interest in anything like he's an adult version of a mopey teen or just a run of the mill depressed person who can't be bothered with life. He can't even be bothered to sign a piece of paper that will give him a million bucks. It turns out that the only thing that he's interested in is going to his room to beat off or diddle his fiddle as he says.
  10. Steven Wright then dropped by for a segment of stand-up comedy of which, I am still a huge fan.
  11. Takin' Care Of Business is another fake ad hosted by "The Secretary or the Interior" from the time. The ad is for an album filled with pop covers of hit songs from the time only with pro-industry themes.
  12. We then got another sketch that mainly makes fun of Asian accents that takes place in the Oval Office and has Reagan having to deal with a Chinese leader while their interpreter excuses himself to go to the bathroom. Not only is the accent humor cringe worthy, the sketch goes on extra-long.
  13. Eddie Murphy then kills some time for a minute because the show it's a live show and they needed to come up with some filler. He starts by plugging his movies then does a quick impersonation of Stevie Wonder as he announces Michael McDonald.
  14. Michael McDonald then returned to the stage to perform I Can't Let Go Now.
  15. Magic Fish Negotiations was a bedtime story being acted out while Susan Saint James reads her child to sleep. In the story, Eddie Murphy gets sent to catch fish for dinner and catches a magical fish played by Mary Gross who offers Eddie three wishes which leads him to think it's some sort of trap so he runs off to grab his lawyer to make sure that there of no Monkey's Paw type shenanigans going on which turned out to be the fish's dark plan. 
  16. Finally, Susan Saint James closes the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

As I said, this was a cast heavy show where, unfortunately, the host barely made it into one of these favorite moments. First, I loved seeing Steven Wright, though I don't normally like to rank a stand-up routine this hi in my favorite sketch show moments, I'm such a fan that I can help but put this routine on top. Next, I really liked The Magic Fish Negotiation sketch because I used to spend hours as a child thinking of my wishes that would get around a Monkey's Paw type of trick. Finally, I was a fan of the sketch where Gary Kroeger plays an unmotivated slacker because it not only reminded me of myself but it also reminded me of a future sketch that's stood out to me when I was a teen, where all Joe Montana wanted to do was go to his room to beat off.

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.