The Perfect End To The Season
With Another Great Old Timer Host
This was the second time this season that I was totally surprised by the appearance of an old guy. The first time it happened was early in the season when Ed Asner was the host. Though I do remember Howard Cosell as an entertaining late night talk show guest, I had very low expectations for tonight's episode, especially after how the rest of the season has been.
Right out the gate, his opening monolog won me over with his dry and arrogant delivery that still had enough charm to keep him from seeming like a jerk. I don't know if it was a respect thing or not but I also loved how they used him throughout most of the night unlike the past several hosts who were only featured in three or four sketches in an episode, plus he was able to carry the weight.
Not only did I love Howard Cosell's performance, I thought this episode was I nice season finale for a cast that isn't going to return. I know I've complained throughout the season how I wasn't a huge fan of how often this season repeated characters but I also was always sure to point out that it's only really annoying because I watch an episode a day and how other characters have been used just as much only their visits were spread out over a couple of years.
This is why I was very surprised to find out this particular collection of Not Ready For Prime Time Players only lasted one year because I always assumed all of the Ed Grimley, and Willie and Frankie routines couldn't have all taken place during this season, especially when you consider how many times I've also seen them on Comedy Central as reruns.
Tonight's finally seemed to be the best so far when it comes to closure because it felt like they gave almost every repeat character a final goodbye sketch. As much as I might have complained about this season, it was only because I wanted to like it more and not that I ever hated it live I have with seasons in the past.
So, I'm now seven months into this challenge with a decade of reviews under my belt and to celebrate I'm going to move on and finish this up by giving you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
The week's show started with another round of "You Know What I Hate?" with Franky and Willie where all is the same only this time they're working behind the scenes at the show and then close out the season with the last, "Live from New York..."
Howard Cosell then officially opened the show with a dry but funny monolog about how he started the original Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell on ABC a decade before SNL and how great he is as a broadcaster and how without him there would be not NBC Saturday Night Live.
Jim Belushi then played a hospitalized mobster boss who complains about his life, in particular, his crazy hospital roommate who he sent out to get his lunch that turns out to be Ed Grimley who spills hot soup on Belushi, sending him out of the room leaving Martin Short to do more Ed Grimley stuff until a member of a rival gang mistakes Grimley for the mob boss and tries to take his life. Howard Cosell then entered the room as Uncle Grimley complete with Grimley hair to help save Ed Grimley's life.
Inside Out was a talk show sketch where the women of the show finally get to shine as they talk about women's books and Julia Louis-Dreyfus does a spit take every time she hears a little-known fact about powerful women throughout history or any other interesting fact.
Run, Throw & Catch Like A Girl Olympics was a sketch where Howard Cosell covers an event that is exactly what they title says that it is men acting like men until it's time to compete where they totally perform like girls.
We then went to Howard Cosell's Bar Mitzvah back in 1930 where he plays his own day to celebrate a child version of himself's journey into manhood and the two have the same exact voice as does his mom and the rest of the family which is the main joke of the sketch other than a few of the less offensive Jewish stereotypes.
Sports Beat is a sports talk show sketch where Howard Cosell host a show to talk about his hatred of boxing as a sport and then does a profile on a Billy Crystal character who plays a seventy-year-old ex-boxer who's planning a comeback for another fight.
Once again, Christopher Guest gave us the news. This week, Martin Short returned as his sleazy lawyer character to defend a client that was creating "living unicorns" by mutilating goats with cruel surgical technics, Gary Kroeger's projection guy also returned to explain an issue that Christopher Guest was having with his green screen, and Rich Hall returned as the guy who wandered into the White House on inauguration day to share his story about wander into the MLB summer training camp and ended up on a bunch of baseball cards.
Greg Kihn then took to the stage to perform Boys Won't.
Fernando's Hideaway then returned for another segment of more of the say where Fernando does an almost realistic interview with Howard Cosell pepper with the repeated catchphrase of, "You look marvelous," combined with the accent seems to be the only joke.
A Couple Of Red Guys Rap was pretty much the same as A Couple Of White Guys only it's two Russian's doing a Russian themed cliche, even for the time, rap song.
Good Sex with Dr. Ruth Westheimer was a parody of Dr. Ruth's real talk show where this week she interviews Dr. Seuss along with Howard Cosell. Where Cosell wants to talk about resisting his urges while on the road to be true to his wife, Dr. Seuss rambles on about his crazy characters with a fictional solution to Cosell's problem that doesn't make any sense but then eventually turns out to be legit.
Greg Kihn then took to the stage to perform Lucky.
Finally, Howard Cosell closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
I think this has been the first review in a long time where the host was the main reason for all three favorite moments. First, I loved Howard Cosell as Uncle Grimley because just seeing him with the hairdo had me laughing out loud. Next, I really liked the Run, Throw & Catch Like A Girl Olympics despite it not being sensitive through modern eyes, it's still a pretty funny bit. Finally, I was a fan of Howard Cosell on the Dr. Ruth Show with fellow guest Dr. Seuss, not only because I was fascinated by Dr. Ruth as a child because everything she said was above my head but I also liked how in the world of the sketch Seuss was an actual doctor who eventually turned out to be right with his crazy ass suggestion to Howard Cosell's question about staying faithful to his wife.