SNL: S15E04... HOST: JAMES WOODS... DATE: OCTOBER 28, 1989

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or...

The So-So Season Continues

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Though I'm not really bothered while actually watching the shows of this season, I hate having to come up with something to write for the review because, so far, this year hasn't been either good enough or bad enough to inspire anything all that interesting to say other than share that I'm stuck on the fence.

Again, this episode hosted by James Woods was sort of fun but mainly dry with a level of comedy that maxes out at the same level of an after-school sit-com that you liked to watch but literally never got you to laugh out loud. This level of comedy that I'm talking about is perfectly fine when it comes to Facts Of Life but I expect more out of Saturday Night Live especially when they have such a solid cast that has already found their legs.

Though I love this group of Not Ready For Prime Time Players this feels like another case where they've been at it so long with very few changes making the group stuck in their comfort zone instead of pushing any lines. I felt this way last season as well until they brought in Mike Myers creating a much more energetic second half.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like there is going to be any midseason switch up to save the season this year so I hope they figure it out on their own. I did do a quick search to find that next season is the year that they bring in some of my favorite future full-on Players as featured members of the cast, so I fully prepared to suffer through the next several shows before raising my expectations.

So, now that I've shared my views, it's now time to move on and share what I viewed, as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a parody of The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson where Dana Carvey played the late-night host with Victoria Jackson as herself, who does a quick poem about the intestines finishing her interview segment. "Nancy Reagan" then has a seat as the second just having been bumped the night before. She goes on to promote her book called My Turn which was about her life in the White House. This is another case where the parody of an interview is too close to sounding real to pick out the funny parts if they were even there. As always, this being the opening sketch, it ended with "Nancy Reagan's" announcement of, "Live from New York..."   
  2. James Woods then officially opened the show with a monolog about being excited to host the Halloween show and how he's looking forward to playing someone other than the bad guy in a film. As he speaks we break away to a home viewer who recognizes James Woods from an earlier crime. This was followed by a cut away to a police station where we see than more that one viewer has made a call to report on the madman of a host for breaking various types of laws, which causes police dispatch to send SWAT to the show to take out this horrible monster.
  3. We then got a fake ad for a new yard tool called the Yard-A-Pult that is a trebuchet that can launch everything from hot BBQ coals to dog poop several yards away so that you don't have to take care of it.
  4. AIDS-Aware Dracula was a sketch where Dracula asks his victims their dating history before attempting to suck their blood because of his fear of AIDS. He finally finds a woman that he deems clean enough to bight only it takes so long that he's killed by the rising sunlight.
  5. This was followed by a parody of Primetime Live where this week they cover abortion and Kirk Cameron's career. At least that's what they announce but instead, they show how that everything is closed highlighting the flaw in their effort to cover live events with a news show that starts at 10:00 at night. For the most part, the joke of the sketch is the effort to prove the show is actually live. They do eventually get to the stories pitched at the beginning of the sketch but these fake interviews seem to be an afterthought because neither adds much to the sketch.
  6. Don Henley then took to the stage to perform The Last Worthless Evening.
  7. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, Victoria Jackson checked in "via satellite" from Costa Rica to report on a presidential visit to the area. This is mainly a segment that makes fun of white news reporters who go overboard with the Spanish accent when reporting on Central American stories. A. Whitney Brown also dropped in for another Big Picture segment, this one about the President's trip to Japan. Finally, Dana Carvey stopped by as Dennis Miller so that he and the real Dennis can have another Dennis off to see who can say the most Dennis thing that they can.
  8. Sky's The Limit was a sketch that took place at a bar during open mic night with James Woods playing a ventriloquist who simply argues puppet over which one is the dummy as his entire routine that seems to go on forever. 
  9. Falling In Love was a short film featuring Victoria Jackson and Jon Lovitz at a fancy '50s Hollywood party where they lip sync a duet of an old-timey song for a sketch that is more cute than funny until the end when they are blown off the balcony because it gets too windy. 
  10. Don Henley then returned to the stage to perform The Boys of Summer.
  11. Three Dudes Holistic Automotive was a fake ad for homeopathic auto care by three new age surfer burnouts.
  12. We then got a repeat of the fake ad for the Helmsley Spook House which was a sketch from a couple of seasons ago that marketed a haunted house that was hosted by Leona Helmsley.
  13. This was followed by a Halloween Greetings with Tonto, Tarzan, and Frankenstein performing Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven. 
  14. Finally, James Woods closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

For the third time this season that I'm only four shows into, this was another episode where it was hard to find my favorite moments but here I the best three sketches that I settled on. First, I loved the Yard-A-Pult sketch because this fake ad might be the only sketch of the night to get a genuine laugh. Next, I really liked Tonto, Tarzan, and Frankenstein reading The Raven because I love these three characters and think that they can do no wrong. Finally, I was a fan of the Three Dudes Holistic Automotive simply because the idea of homeopathic auto care is a funny concept to me.

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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.