SNL: S15E05... HOST: CHRIS EVERT... DATE: NOVEMBER 11, 1989

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or...

The So-So Season Continues With

This Sports Themed Episode

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Just last season I was talking about how more often than not sports figures make for memorable hosts who have nothing to lose which makes the appearances lean toward funny. In that review, I added the caveat that this isn't a golden rule being that some of these sports stars can try a little too hard if their goal is to transition into acting, but even then, these sports based episodes are usually at least sort of fun.

That said, I found this episode to be a weird one because not only does Chris Evert not seem to want an acting career, she didn't have much charisma. I hate to point this out as a flaw because she's a tennis player and not an actress but she is the one who accepted the role even though she was extremely cue card dependent.

That said, my opening observation is apparently true because even though I found this to be a so-so show, I was surprised to also find that I remembered a lot of this episode from when it originally aired. Meanwhile, I've never actively followed tennis so it's hard to explain why my memories are so clear.

I think I remember the first sketch because Chris Evert destroys the set and I can relate to that type of hidden rage where inanimate objects aren't safe when I am alone and angry. The Colon Blow sketch is just a stand-out because it's a classic sketch. The biggest surprise of the day is how much the Evert Vs. Navratilova stood out to me all these years because it reminded me of my desire to live life without competition only to be forced into the games of the living.

Other than that, there were a few reoccurring characters that I find to be fun to watch. So, my issue with this episode isn't really all that host-based because I was onboard with most of the show but this season is still far too safe to live up to the late night edge that I've group to expect from SNL.

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

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with parody coverage of Chris Evert's Wimbledon Loss to Martina Navratilova with the cast and host providing the voices for the Queen and other royals as they give condolences to Evert for her loss before congratulating Navratilova. Apparently, this isn't the meat of the sketch because they then cut from this real footage to a locker room scene where Christ Evert Hulks out and destroys the entire room since she is out of the public's view allowing her to show her true anger. She almost got caught by the queen during her rampage when she enters the room looking for the bathroom but lucky for Chris the Queen is so caught up in her own world that she doesn't notice the mess or hear the announcement of, "Live from New York..."
  2. Chris Evert then officially opened the show with a monolog about how tennis and Saturday Night Live actually have a lot in common with a few funny jokes and the delivery of someone who is obviously reading every single line. Following the monolog, there's a quick add-on bit where Chris Evert destroys her dressing room because she didn't get enough laughs.
  3. This was followed by the classic fake ad for Colon Blow which was a spot for a fake cereal with so much fiber you'll never get off the bowl after eating it since it has the same amount of fiber than over 35,000 bowls of the average bran cereal.
  4. We then went "live" to Germany to see a report from Bush At The Berlin Wall where he shares the activities of the people behind him who are celebrating the divide coming down while also taking credit even though Reagan was the president to do most of America's legwork during his second term.
  5. Evert Vs. Navratilova was a sketch that shows the feud between the two tennis stars didn't stay on the court. In the sketch, Evert attempts to transition out of the sport that made her famous only to have Navratilova right on her tail, one-upping her at every new attempt that she makes. 
  6. We then got to see Bette Davis' Videotape Will with Jan Hooks as Bette Davis who's on video ranting and raving about all the people she hates to the point where it takes multiple tapes for her to finally sort out her estate by saying her son gets everything and daughter gets absolutely nothing because of the tell-all book that filled her mother with spite.
  7. Eurythmics then took to the stage to perform Angel.
  8. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, Jon Lovitz introduced his new Annoying Man character who speaks with a whiney voice and picks at Dennis while he drones on without saying a single clear sentence. Kevin Nealon then dropped in for a segment where he reviewed a selection of adult movies which was mainly a prolonged masturbation joke.
  9. Lothar Of The Hill People then returned for another installment where one about Lothar place a medieval counselor of sorts to the village men who all seem to have issues with women. This time, the sketch isn't just a sausage bitch fest as Chris Evert joins in to inform the group of the little man in the boat (AKA the clitoris.) 
  10. Victoria Jackson then took to the stage to perform a song with her ukulele called Draw The Line that explores when a close friendship becomes an affair.
  11. We then met Lyle, The Effeminate Heterosexual, played by Dana Carvey. This is a character who is super flamboyant while being straight to the point where he's even homophobic. In the world of the sketch, this is not a case of a closeted man who just doesn't know that he's gay. No, Lyle's a husband and father who really into women and sport with feminine sensibilities. At least that's the frame of thinking that makes it extra funny to me without coming across as cliche. 
  12. Eurythmics then returned to the stage to perform Baby's Gonna Cry.
  13. Chris Evert then started a sketch called Passages by talking into a mirror and quoting a daily affirmation. Her boyfriend then arrives and before the two start to make out she starts to second guess herself. We then went backstage to find Lorne Michaels and Jan Hooks watching the sketch on the monitor. Jan is concerned for Chris because this sketch is advanced enough that a true actress would struggle let alone a tennis player. We then went back to the scene to see the start of a song and dance. While everyone else thinks this sketch is an unfair train wreck, Lorne is highly entertained by watching the host working outside of her comfort zone.  
  14. The Nude House of Wacky People was a bit of a racist sketch with Mike Myers doing a Charlie Chan accent as the new head of Sony Pictures who's trying to reassure the American viewing audience that the quality control of their content will not be affected just because Japan is now in charge. He does this by sharing a film with the same title as the sketch that makes fun of America obsessions and the wackiness that Asian broadcasters tend to air. 
  15. Finally, Chris Evert closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

Even though I found this to be a so-so show, I think the season is heading in the right direction because unlike the last couple of shows, I found it very easy to find these three favorite moments from the night. First, I loved the Colon Blown ad because the ad's jingle gets stuck in my head to this very day. Next, I really liked Lyle, The Effeminate Heterosexual, because I've always found this sketch to be funny but now find it to be even more fun with the passing of time because I met a lot of effeminate straight men, just like this, when I was living up in Seattle. Finally, I was a fan of the Evert Vs. Navratilova sketch because this is a weird one that I'm not fully sure why but it stuck in my head ever since I was a little kid.

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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.