SNL: S15E08... HOST: ROBERT WAGNER... DATE: DECEMBER 9, 1989

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or...

Who Does Number Two Host For???

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First off, I have to admit that due to my underwhelmed views of this season, I had low expectations for tonight's episode. Don't get me wrong, I have absolutely nothing against Robert Wagner, in fact, it's his serious CV that made me a little concerned. You see, as I've said several times in the past, these non-comedic actors have a 50/50 success rate, or even a little worse during so-so seasons like this one.

I don't if I've just grown more comfortable with this season's tone or if my lowered hopes made it easier for me to be won over. Either way, I found this to be a pretty fun show even though I didn't see that much of an overall improvement. This is what leads me to believe that my lowered hope for the serious host is why I didn't end up feeling let down. 

Up until this point in the season, the only episodes that I genuinely didn't like where hosted by comedic types that I genuinely love leading me to feel let down when they failed to make me laugh. That wasn't the case tonight because even though there were a few sketches that led me to zone out there were also a couple that literally had me laughing out loud.

So, now that I've shared my views on this slightly better than so-so episode, 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 A Special Christmas Message From The President Of The United States where Dana Carvey as Bush Sr. and a small child as a sleeping Dan Quayle who still believe in Santa which is the focus of the first part of the President's message. After that, he goes on to desperately share his progress, wanting to be seen as a successful POTUS. As always, this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, "Live from New York..."
  2. Robert Wagner then officially opened the show with a monolog about how he refused to sing Christmas songs to open the show because he preferred to open the show with a few jokes since he sees himself as a comedic host. He then attempted to tell a joke that was so bad he quickly bailed out on his attempt to be funny and went right into singing a Christmas song.
  3. We then got a repeat of the fake Yard-A-Pult ad from earlier in the year which is a contraption that catapults your yard waste onto the neighbor's property which could be up to three blocks away.
  4. Matt Stevers: Male Nurse was a sketch from back in the day when nursing just wasn't a male career so most of the jokes stem from this sexist trope that doesn't make all that much sense today where the chance of getting a male nurse is 50/50. For some reason, they also give this male nurse a violent side and have him beat up the female doctor while she attempts to sexually harass him.
  5. Attack Of The Masturbating Zombies was a parody of an old zombie film only instead of the walking dead who want brain these reanimated monsters prefer to play with themselves while watching couples at Make-Out Point.
  6. Tales Of The Runaway Boulder was a PBS style sketch that started with Robert Wagner sitting in a den where he discussed the night's stories of a famous runaway boulder that was used in many films. Though this sketch was pretty funny, it was also way too convoluted to go into more details. 
  7. Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville then took to the stage to perform Don't Know Much.
  8. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, Dennis Miller's Christmas Craft corner was introduced where the lead anchor showed up a bunch of art supplies only to push everything into the garbage and suggest that you just buy the finished product.
  9. A Betty Ford Straight Arrow Christmas was a Christmas Special held at a rehabilitation facility filled with famous drunks and druggies from the time who all struggle to stay straight throughout the entire show.
  10. The Betty Ford special was interrupted by a Binaca sponsored segment entitled You Make The Call where they showed a Berry Goldwater speech where something seemed wrong leaving the home viewer to guess if he's drunk or has a valid excuse. 
  11. We then went to a fancy restaurant where Jan Hooks and Robert Wagner are on their first date when Jan learns that Robert is an extremely sloppy eater even though he talks with the confidence of the ultimate potential mate.
  12. "David Rockefeller" then got a segment where he explained his family's decision to sell their controlling share of NBC off to the Japanese. He then goes on to explain to the Americans who nervous about this foreign trade that if anything, the Japanese are less evil than the Rockefeller family and even provided a few examples. 
  13. In The Middle was a political talk show with two hosts, one representing the right, the other the left while the guest is stuck in the middle of every topic of discussion only to piss off either side depending on the direction he leans.
  14. Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville then returned to the stage to perform When Something Is Wrong.
  15. Swivel Chair Mystery Theatre was a sketch filled with heightened drama from everyone sitting in executive chairs who each turn to the sound of suspenseful music whenever they deliver a line. 
  16. Finally, Robert Wagner closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

I think this makes two shows in a row where I had no problem finding these three favorite moments from the night. First, I loved Attack Of The Masturbating Zombies not only because Conan wrote it but I think this was also around the time I learned what masturbation actually was so I was blown away that they went there when I saw the sketch play out live. Next, I really liked Wagner The Sloppy Eater mainly because of the host's commitment to the bit while never even cracking a hint of a smile while having food all over his face. Finally, I was a fan of Swivel Chair Mystery Theatre because the suspense being hyped in this chair turning drama actually got me to laugh. 

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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.