SNL: S09E12... HOST: ROBIN WILLIAMS... DATE: FEBRUARY 11, 1984

or...

Back To Back Late Living Legend Shows

I don't know why I'm getting such special treatment this week but I'm just going to sit back and let it happen. It all started with the technical issues that I've been dealing with for month clearing up which has made watching SNL less of a chore than it was when I had to deal with constant rebuffing. 

Next, this week started with my first date in the two and a half years since I've moved back to San Diego and have a follow-up date tomorrow night, which I'm not going to delve too deeply into details here in this SNL review other than to point out that it's got me in a better head space with perfect time for this season to start putting out better shows.

It feels like the cast and writers are now less dependent on Eddie Murphy for memorable moments following his two-month hiatus from performing live on any given episode. Now that he's back, he's still the standout star but he's no longer the focus of every moment. 

It also really helps that Robin Williams following Don Rickles makes two shows in a row that would have been fun not matter what the quality of the content. With both of them having such manic energy not even the most average of sketches seemed to run slow, where other episodes of this season had well-written scripts that kept me entertain but do seem to drag on by design.

Though this wasn't my favorite episode from the season, and it's not even close to being overall top ten, which was the case with Don Rickles, it was still super nice seeing Robin Williams in the first thing that I've watched from him since he died. Now I really want to watch The World According to Garp.

Well, there are my thoughts on this airing, time to move on and share what I saw as I give you... 

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a Piscopo sports segment where he's covering the Winter Olympics and claims that bobsledding is the only real sport of the games and goes on to interview the US team, sharing a real clip from a race only with the cast screams of fear replacing the audio all the way down the track. The sketch ends with Piscopo's announcement of "Live from New York..."
  2. Robin Williams then officially opened the show with a monolog/stand-up routine mainly about the Olympics and becoming a father while wearing crazy mom pants from the '80s.
  3. We then went to the classic Buddweiser Light parody ad that takes place at a hockey game and only focuses on the fighting but ends with Williams and Piscopo as toothless rivals enjoying a beer together.
  4. Rock And Roll And Then Some was another classic sketch where Piscopo interviews Eddie Murphy who claims he was actually the fifth Beatle and even provides "evidence" that they were actually ripping him off.
  5. Wild Kingdom Of Heaven was a parody of an evangelist show where Robin Williams plays an animal/pet faith-healer.
  6. Gandhi And The Bandit was, of course, a Smokey And The Bandit parody where Sweetchuck plays Gandhi but looks exactly like his guru character. 
  7. Firing Line was an interview segment where Robin Williams discusses the flammability of black entertainers following the famous Michael Jackson incident as well as the burning of Richard Pryor. In the sketch, Williams interviews Eddie Murphy who is spontaneously combusting as they speak.
  8. We then got a repeat of the Babies In Make-Up music video/short from a couple seasons ago and just is what the title claims.
  9. Brad Hall was then having a bad day that only got worse when his mime of a roommate adds to the annoyance by miming his way through their discussion about Brad's horrible day where he lost both his job and girlfriend before coming home. When Robin Williams as the mime roommate goes into a mirroring routine Brad Hall threatens to kill him because no one would hear him scream. The threat turns to reality and when the neighbors rush in to investigate the gunshot, they're all happy to see that the mime is dead.
  10. New Bad Babies was a sketch where several members of the cast play babies in a giant crib and Sweetchuck joins them as the newest baby of the bunch and Robin Williams comes up with a plot to break-out as if it were jail.
  11. Adam Ant then took to the stage to perform Strip.
  12. Once again, the host of the week hosts the news. Though Brad Hall does get a street interview segment with Belushi who plays a New Yorker who gets mugged an average of every eleven seconds even in the middle of the interview, Robin Williams runs the rest of the show and Sweetchuck got yet another segment to bash the New York Post.
  13. Julia Louis-Dreyfus then played Nina Blackwood, while looking like Denny Dillon, and hosts the MTV News where she interviews a band called The Ugly Sisters Step, played by uglified version of Mary Gross and Robin Duke, who discuss their hideous looks and music career.
  14. Belushi and Williams then play a pair of Siamese twin who attempt to pick up women at a bar as if they weren't connected but can't but to fight amongst one another while trying to do their own thing.
  15. Adam Ant then returned to the stage to perform Goody Two Shoes.
  16. Paula Poundstone then made her show debut with one of her stand-up routines.
  17. Patty's Place was another interview sketch hosted by Mary Gross who first gets confused by her guest then grows to be annoyed as the interview continues to develop because one lives thirty seconds in the past while the other live thirty seconds in the future leaving Mary stuck in the middle and lost.
  18. Finally, Robin Williams closes the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Instead of a second-half slump, this episode seems to be having a second-half shine as I'm starting to see and improvement to this season with these three moments being part of the reason why. First, I loved this week's installment of Patty's Corner because I love the surreal aspect of no one living at the same exact time which creates co-existing parallel universes. Next, I really liked the Buddweiser Light parody ad because it reminds me of a time when even the most intense rival could put their differences aside after the game and enjoy a beer together as opposed to the "us vs. them" till the day that you die mentality which seems to be the growing trend. Finally, I was a fan of the New Bad Babies sketch because it made me think of SNL's answer to Muppet Babies.

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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.