SNL: S10E12... HOST: ALEX KARRAS... DATE: FEBRUARY 2, 1985

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or...

Wow... Mr. Papadapolis Got A Chance To Host!!!

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The second half slump continues only this time I partially blame the host. Don't get me wrong, I loved Alex Karras as Mr. Papadapolis from Webster and loved him even more as Mongo from Blazing Saddles but I, just like the basis of the opening monolog, was left wondering if he had the ability to pull off hosting such a demanding show.

He ended up being a perfectly pleasant host who pulled off some somewhat funny characters but never really earned his place in the spotlight. Hell, between the three musical appearances and two sketches of her own, Tina Turner, the musical guest was in just as many segments as our start. Then to top it off, there were a couple repeat sketches from last year.

Other than that, my complaints are the same as the rest of the season where it feels like the writers blew their load early in the season by focusing too much on Billy Crystal and Martin Short, that they now seem to be cannibalizing their own content to come up with mediocre content to fill the hour and a half long show.

The other issue that I have with this episode is that there were A LOT of sketches that were extremely specific to the time and the references were lost to my modern eyes. Even when I know who they were talking about, I was often lost when it came to the incident they were making fun of that got the studio audience to laugh.

Hopefully, they managed to get their act together to finish up the season strong but looking at the upcoming host line up, I'm having serious doubts but either way, I'm looking forward to next season where we will get a completely brand new cast.

We'll see how it goes but until then, it's time to share what I saw as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. The week's show started backstage with Gary Kroeger and Mary Louis-Dreyfus discussing the script when "Prince" enters the area with "Hulk Hogan" as his bodyguard because "Prince" thinks Tina Turner should be the full blown host and not just the musical guest. "Hulk Hogan" does all of the speaking after getting demands whispered into his ear except for the part where "Prince" announces, "Live from New York..."
  2. Alex Karras then officially open with a monolog about his so-called California friends who questioned his SNL hosting role because they don't find him funny in that sort of way and chuckles his way through bad comeback joke before throwing to the start of the show.
  3. Ed Grimley then returned to the show to do some spring cleaning in his apartment and as always just Ed Grimley's it up for a while until the neighbor who he has the hots for calls to borrow an orange or two but Grimley's fridge is filled with nothing but oranges. When the neighbor arrives it turns out she's Tina Turner who gets even more of the Ed Grimley act.  
  4. This was followed by a repeat the Time Magazine sketch from around this time of the season from the year before that makes fun of Time Magazine's imaginative interpretation of the news.
  5. A Couple Of White Guys Rap is a fake rap duo made up of Alex Karras and Jim Belushi doing a generic rap routine that was pretty standard back in the day.  
  6. We then went to a marketing for Kelly Cola where all of the presenters are nervous to meet the CEO for the first time because of his rough reputation. Alex Karras then shows up as the feared boss and Billy Crystal gets so nervous that sweat literally starts to pour from his head before he pitches his horrible idea to fix the problem with the recent drop in profit. He then starts to drink his own sweat causing everyone else to taste it and come to the conclusion that this should be the next drink for the brand. 
  7. Tina Turner then took to the stage to perform What's Love Got To Do With It. 
  8. Jim Belushi then played a corrupt politician from the time promoting a "new book" called Power From Giving with pointers on how to be a corrupt politician as well.
  9. New York On Five Dollars A Day was a fake ad where Bernard Goetz gives a tour of New York based on the location of vigilant attacks throughout the city.
  10. We then visited Walter Mondale in Minnesota as he whines away the winter thinking about the decisions that led to his presidential loss while his wife tries to cheer him up but does a horrible job. After she leaves, so local hunters enter the building to add insult to injury about his loss. It also turns out that his wailing moans have been attracting more moose to the town.  
  11. Once again, Christopher Guest gave us the news. This week Rich Hall wanders into the shot and has a seat as an uninvited guest from the crowd who just wants to check things out, Martin Short also satellites him as his sleazy lawyer character to defend tobacco, and Jim Belushi got a segment where he talks about a fancy date that he was recently on and shares all the news of what all the other couples discussed in the restaurant and how he used his air horn to tell everyone to shut up.
  12. Tina Turner then returned to the stage to perform Better Be Good To Me.
  13. Tuesday Night Titans was a sketch that parodied the Monday night WWF wrestling show before it changed its name to Raw. In the sketch, "Captain Lou Albano" is too concerned about politics to focus on the fake wrestling match that he's about to manage then goes nuts and destroys the set. Billy Crystal also continues his role to fill in any gaps that make this season so non-diverse by playing a "midget wrestler" named Little Caesar who taunts Captain Lou about his political stance before the two get into a pre-match fight that even gets the audience involved. Finally, Pamela Stephenson does her usual thing of playing MTV personalities by doing her Cyndi Lauper impersonation since she was involved with the WWF at the time.
  14. Christopher Guest then played an auctioneer who destroys every item up for bid if it doesn't bring in the price he is expecting, but it eventually works when all the broken items in the set make the final item now extra rare. The then goes on to auction off some kittens and gets $600,000 because everyone is afraid of what he will do. He finished the auction by putting a gun to his head but everyone in the room hates him so much they just let him die rather than bid on the world famous firearm.
  15. Tina Turner the returned to the stage for a third time to perform Private Dancer.
  16. Finally, Alex Karras closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights. 

This makes back to back review where I struggled to find my three favorite moments but here's what I managed to come up with. First, I loved the opening sketch with Prince and Hulk Hogan invading the show because of how it was WWF themed and this was almost exactly the time that I was introduced to wrestling and Belushi's Hulk Hogan impersonation reminded me of my childhood neighbor Sam who used to entertain me when my stepfather was acting up. Next, I really liked Kelly Cola sketch because I'm almost literally sweating as much a Billy Crystal in the sketch but from the heat and not my nerves. Finally, I was a fan of the Tuesday Night Titans sketch because again I loved WWF around this time and found the reference made it more fun than any of the jokes.

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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.