SNL: S15E02... HOST: RICK MORANIS... DATE: OCTOBER 7, 1989

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or...

Honey, I Forgot All The References

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With this episode being close to thirty years old, I fully understand how not every reference is fresh in my head. In fact, I've come to expect a few things going over my head even if I was aware of the references as a kid. Normally this happens during the new and maybe one or two sketches during the night with a 50/50 chance if the sketch working anyways.

For the most part, I'm fine with this because going into this challenge I had no expectation that every sketch would hold up as it aged and as I said sometimes the sketches are still funny even minus the reference. Tonight this definitely wasn't the case because even when I did understand the reference at hand, they just couldn't get me to laugh.

It started with the opening sketch where I'm fully aware of Jacki Mason and thought the impression was good but the premise of the sketch was based on a mistake that no longer matters at all, especially since they just reference it in passing because it would have been fresh on the viewer mind at the time that the episode originally aired.

This was the same problem that I had with the Zsa Zsa Gabor, Leona Helmsley, and Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker sketch. Where I remember the group being a major source of comedy from that time but now that these people are either dead or irrelevant all that it got was a yawn. The same could be said about the Merv Griffin sketch as well as the sketch about the new commissioner of Major League Baseball.

To make things worse, none of the other sketches were all that funny either. This is too bad because I really like Rick Moranis and had high hopes for him based on his first visit as host with Dave Thomas along with the fact that he cut his teeth on SCTV meaning he has sketch comedy experience.

This makes me a little nervous that there will be a repeat of last season where there was an issue with quality control and it wasn't until the year was halfway done for them to finally figure it out.

Hopefully, this episode was just a little rusty since it was coming off of a break because even though I don't think these sketches aged well, they didn't feel like they would be that strong back in the day which is weird when considering the host.

So, now that I've dumped on one of my favorite childhood actor's episode, it's now time to move on and share what I saw, as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with Jackie Mason's Press Conference with Rick Moranis playing the comedian to apologize for the nasty things that he's been saying aboutDavid Dinkins who was the mayor at the time. He then goes on to apologize to the many other people he has offended throughout his time doing stand-up as a career. He finished the conference by sharing his choice for mayor followed by the announcement of, "Live from New York..."
  2. Rick Moranis then officially opened the show by playing guitar with the band for a bit before also giving the sax a shot, which he then followed up by taking over the main camera man's job. After hopping off the camera seat he then dances his way backstage where he continues to try his hand at various crew members task and even delivers a baby finishing on stage where he simply throws to the opening sketch.  
  3. The Big Bitch Bull Dyke Bust Out of '89 was a sketch that took place in a women's prison where both Zsa Zsa Gabor and Leona Helmsley are being held due to their recent crimes. At first, Zsa Zsa is being attacked by the other inmates until Leona steps in and beats the leader to death. At this point, the sketch title appears on the screen with an announcer introducing the TV special. We then went to a later scene with Zsa Zsa and Leona digging a tunnel when they are joined by Jim Bakker as the two escape paths meet. Eventually, they all manage to escape thanks to Tammy Fay and her getaway car. While on the lam, the group ends up on a crime spree where they rob and murder a gas station cashier and thanks to in-car conversations we learn that they did way more. Toward the end, we find out that Jim Bakker has been stealing from the booty and the confrontation causes them to drive off a cliff, ending the long convoluted story that might have been fun when the references were fresh.   
  4. Honey, I Shrunk Hans And Franz was, as the title suggests, a parody of Honey, I Shrunk The Kids where the muscle-bound brothers continue to boast about their size and strength even though they can fit in one's fist.
  5. Rickie Lee Jones then took to the stage to perform Satellites.
  6. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, Mr. Subliminal returned to the news for a segment on his views on the Panama situation from the time, mainly using his subliminal speak to send messages to Manuel Noriega that he should quit his reign as dictator. Phil Hartman also started a new segment called George Steinbrenner: Health Watch where he keeps tabs on the unhealthy coach. Finally, Jon Lovitz introduced his new annoy Frenchman character named Frenchie who simply shares his obnoxious views while speaking with a stereotypical accent.
  7. Merv Griffin's Casino Show was a parody of Merv's career as a lounge performer in Atlantic City where he provides all the lounges services from waiting table to retrieving cars while doing a really lame act. I know who Merv is because he developed so many game show but I don't know him well enough as a performer to understand some of the audience's laughs. It is interesting that Trump makes an appearance doing his classic move of selling a piece of property at a high price only to buy it back cheaper after it fails, which was the case with this Merv Griffin casino and why he is wearing so many hats while trying to do his act.
  8. Wild Horse was a sketch that took place at a ranch where Phil Hartman a bad ass who thinks he can break a wild horse. At first, this seems like something that's not new to him but when he jumps on its back he gets thrown to the floor almost instantly. Rick Moranis then stepped in to give it a shot only to experience the same results. Person after person tries only to be thrown through the air as well. Finally, everyone decides to give up then watch as a male horse approaches and attempts to mate with the wild beast and he too is thrown through the air.
  9. Rickie Lee Jones then returned to the stage to perform Ghetto Of My Mind.
  10. We then went to a press conference where Phil Hartman played the new MLB Commissioner who shares his New Baseball Rules which mainly involved going overboard in memorializing the late commissioner who had just passed landing Phil Hartman in his new role as rule maker. 
  11. We then went to a bar where Nora Dunn and Jank Hook are hanging when the notice Rick Moranis drinking alone and offer to buy him a drink. They keep talking about how cute he is and at first, it sounds like he may be a potential date but when Victoria Jackson steps in and the two girls share their find the three women's tones shift to where the cute talk sound like they are talking to a baby which doesn't go over well because the girls take it to the extreme. 
  12. Word Busters was a game show sketch hosted by Phil Hartman where two teams of two play a word guessing game like Outburst with one person guessing while the other gives clues without using words with most categories being pain-related. For the most part, the nonspeaking person is very pestering, poking and prodding to get a reaction/guess in a way that, more often than not, turns out to actually work.
  13. Finally, Rick Moranis closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

This episode made it very tough to find these three favorite moments of the night but here's what I managed to come up with. First, I loved Rick Moranis' opening bit where he ran around working every role on the show because it felt like he was making fun of Bruce Willis who just last episode, demanded to play with the bad. Next, I really liked Honey, I Shrunk Hans And Franz because it was unquestionably the funniest sketch of the night. Finally, I was a fan of the Wild Horse sketch because the hint of a male horse being thrown from the back of a female horse while trying to mate was a funny sight to see.

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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.