And Then Sometimes A Night Of
Fewer But Longer Sketches Flies By
If you've read any of my reviews then you probably already know that I'm not a huge fan of the long sketch format because when the sketches don't hit they tend to drag on and on and on. I wouldn't necessarily say that this episode was a long sketch night being that they managed to get fifteen segments into the show. That said, these sketches were long compared to the last couple episodes, with segment counts of eighteen to twenty, all super short, leading me to never feel bored even when a sketch was a miss.
With Billy Crystal as host, especially around this point in his career, before he became a comedian who prefers to show his dramatic side, I don't think there would have been an issue no matter what the sketch length/format of the episode was. This was a solid episode with at least one classic sketch that I fully remembered the moment I saw the first few seconds play out.
Other than that classic moment this episode was as average as the rest which is good making this episode a perfect example of all that it would have taken to make this a great season over one that was just pretty good.
Sorry for repeating myself so much but I get very hung up on these years that are so close to being seasons that I really like when I can shift my attention more easily during seasons that I either love or hate because just okay is a harder stance for me to wrap my head around.
Alright, now that this is out of my head, it's time to move on and share what I saw as I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show starts with a character from Mary Gross who interviews a group of Jewish people celebrating Purim when she was expecting to cover the celebration of St. Patrick's Day, but the drinking is still the same. As always, at least this season, the sketch ends with the announcement of, "Live from New York..."
We then went to a parody follow-up to the movie Black Like Me called Hung Like Me and follows Mary Gross's transition into becoming Pee-Wee Herman as if in the real world she was actually him in reality, exploring what it's like to be a man.
This was followed by a sketch that took place in a high school classroom where Billy Crystal is pitching Winston University as the college for the children to apply to. The kids all seem uninterested until Billy tricks the teacher into leaving the room. This is when he reveals the secret of the school after warning the class that if anyone speaks of this scheme, they will be tracked down and killed. This doesn't really scare the kids once they learn that the secret to the college is that the school takes the money from the parents to split with the kids. In exchange for their silence students don't have to go to a single class to graduate with a degree and a decent GPA.
Family In The Attic is a sketch where another Anne Frank type family is discovered in an attic forty years after WWII was over. It turned out that there was a mix-up amongst the hosting family as to who let them out after the war was over. The family in the attic turns out to be so annoying that the hosting family decides to create a lie that the war is still going and barricades the family into the attic after claiming to hear the SS on the move.
Bad Career Moves was an interview sketch where Belushi interviews Billy Crystal as Herve Villechaize about his decision to leave Fantasy Island.
This week, Billy Crystal as Fernando Lamas was the guest host of the news. Robin Duke also got a segment where she gave the audience a Michael Jackson report with all kinds of upcoming crazy merchandising to be released, Gary Kroeger reviewed the movie Splash where his big problem was how her hair covered her breast and Belushi returned as his new rapping character to update the audience on current affairs.
Al Jarreau then took to the stage to perform Mornin'.
We then went to heaven where St. Peter plays a bartender to serve up drinks to famous people throughout history where we see that JFK is freaked out by Gary Hart was doing so good in the polls because he felt he was ripping off his style.
Mary Gross and Mary Louis-Dreyfus then got a commercial where they played a mother-daughter team who were pitching a crazy musical called The Womb that I read was based on a real play that I've never heard of and might have made more sense if I did.
Al Jarreau then returned to the stage to perform Trouble In Paradise.
Billy Crystal then got a moment on stage where he talked about getting dropped from the very first episode of Saturday Night Live and then attempts to do the routine that was cut, only to have it cut again.
Finally, Billy Crystal closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
With Billy Crystal as the host, I'm not surprised that this episode was fun and here are my favorite moments. First, I love the Winston University sketch because it was the sketch that I remembered as a kid and still think it was the funniest of the night. Next, I really liked the Family In The Attic sketch because it was a funny concept that I'm not fully sure would go over today and though it is offensive, I still think it's pretty amusing. Finally, I was a fan of Hung Like Me because I think Mary Gross makes the perfect Pee-Wee Herman.