My Birthday Episode: Year 8
I don't know if this season has actually found its groove or if I have just grown used to the tone. As I keep pointing out, it's not that I don't like this season, there's just something about it that seems a little off. It's like this season keeps you on the verge of a climax but lacks the one or two really big laughs to really get you off.
Tonight's show was one of those great ones where I had no idea who the host was going into the viewing and despite the fact that he was a former news reporter with nothing to do with comedy yet still managed to do a really good job.
I another saving grace of the second half of the season is that they've gone back to having more sketches that are shorter which is enough to keep the show from dragging on and on like some of the episodes from earlier in the season that may have even had stronger hosts.
I can't wait to see what next season bring because I feel this one is going to end on an upswing.
Alright, enough with my thoughts on this episode, it's now time to move on and share what I saw as I give you...
The Wicker Breaker:
This week's show starts with Dion and Blair got promoted to work in the SNL hair department. Seeing the last name Newman on the call sheet they assume that the Newman in question was Paul. When they find out it's actually Edwin Newman, Dion gives him options to cover up his thinning hair and has him try on a couple horrible wigs before announcing, "Live from New York..."
Edwin Newman then officially opens the show by starting his monolog only to break away from what he is talking about to correct the cue card guy's grammar before giving us a song and dance.
We then got a repeat of the Buddweiser Hockey ad from just a couple weeks ago.
This was followed by a sketch referring to Jesse Jackson's Hymietown comment that may have lost in the presidency. In the sketch, Eddie plays Jesse who tries to clear things up by singing a soulful tune.
Edwin then drops by a suicide hotline office to pick up his niece, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, for lunch. When she leaves her office to grab a replacement counselor to cover her break, Edwin decides to take a call where he seems more concerned with the caller's grammar in an Eats Shoots And Leaves way, than the fact she's threatening to take her life.
We then got another repeat ad this time it was for an ad called Fur: You Deserve It from at least two seasons ago, where rich people are hunted for their fur coats.
This was followed by a sketch that takes place in a news bar where Edwin and Tom Snyder make a bet that he could turn anyone into a news superstar, kind of like My Fair Lady. After a quick song about poor grammar in modern reporting from Edwin, Snyder is in charge of picking the mark and chooses Brad Hall to add insult to injury that he lost the SNL news role.
Kool And The Gang then took to the stage to perform Joanna.
Speak Freely was an interview show sketch where Edwin Newman interviews Eddie Murphy who is playing James Brown who, of course, rambles through every answer.
This week, Edwin Newman is the guest host of the news. Belushi drops in as his rapping character that he introduced last week to rap about current affairs, Mary Gross plays her agro character who rants and raves about meaningless holidays, and Sweetchuck British standards and practices character returns to criticize Edwin appearance only to get blasted by seltzer water.
This was followed by a Western sketch where a gang of gunfighters are heading into town and Gary Kroeger plays a young cowboy who seeks the help of old-timer Edwin Newman, a retired gunfighter on how he can plan to stop them which turns into a conversation about height and how he was more of a letter writer than a fighter and won most of his battles by using the law. The bad guys eventually arrive and we see the sloppiest gun draw ever.
Kool And The Gang then returned to the stage to perform Celebration.
Urban Answers was another interview show where Gary Kroeger interviews two street toughs played by Brad Hall who actually tries to sound like a tough guy while Edwin Newman is dressed the part but too proper to pull off the thuggish character he's supposed to be portraying.
Piscopo and Eddie then don old person make-up to have a back and forth about what a nickel used to be able to buy back in the day with very funny examples.
Face The Press is a parody of Meet The Press that turns into a fluff piece after Edwin witnesses Belushi as a mob-related guest violently take out the two other guests who questioned him.
Harry Anderson then returned to the show to perform one of his comedic magic acts.
Jacoby Escort Service was a fake ad for Robin Duke and Mary Gross's cousin built escort service that literally sticks to the escort terms meaning that there is no sex at all.
Finally, Edwin Newman Closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
Once again, with 18 segments, this episode gave me a lot of content to choose from to come up with these three favorite moments. First, I loved the Suicide Hotline sketch despite the fact that suicide itself is no joking matter but the Eat Shoots And Leave approach to the sketch really had me laughing. Next, I really liked Eddie and Piscopo as the old guys who claim that everything used to cost a nickel, not really because it was that great of a concept but it's another one of those where Eddie and Piscopo seem to really be having fun as friends. Finally, I was a fan of the western sketch because once again it had elements of a sketch that a friend wrote in film school and I can guarantee the connections were just coincidental which is a pretty magical thing when it comes to comedy.