SNL: S15E11... HOST: CHRISTOPHER WALKEN... DATE: JANUARY 20, 1990

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or...

The Birth Of The Host Who Could Not Fail

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This episode marks the start of the relationship between Christopher Walken and Saturday Night Live. Though I would say that this episode as a whole was on par with the rest of this so-so season, this was another case where the host alone made it a show that I would actually recommend.

I don't know what it is about Walken but he's just one of those guys who could literally just read the phone book as himself and bet I could watch it for hours while still finding it funny. Though they did play off the host's awkward charm a little bit, with this being Walken's first visit they didn't push this appearance to be as awkwardly funny as his future hosting spots grew to be.

I don't mention this underutilization of the quirky host as a flaw, I am simply pointing out this early stage of Christopher Walken's SNL evolution because I'm fully aware of what's to come. It's kind of like how I was surprisingly underwhelmed by season one of Saturday Night Live even though I thoroughly did enjoy it while also knowing that I would grow to love it real soon.

Again, the underwhelmed feeling I had felt like it was more to the writing and how this season seems to be missing the edge that I'm traditionally drawn to when it comes to late-night comedy. Other than that, this was a pretty fun episode that I did genuinely enjoy and I can't wait for the host's next visit.

So, now that I've shared my views on this 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 parody of The Tonight Show where Ed McMahon was out sick so Johnny replaced him with a speaker hooked up to a soundboard filled with typical McMahon responses. The guest for this segment was Andrew Dice Clay who was there to share his controversial material from the time but had to switch the words that were deemed filthy to allow the segment to go out over the air. Gorbachev was the second guest to discuss the new Unified States that made up Russia following the communist collapse. Gorbachev then ended the segment by claiming to have important news, only to use the opportunity to announce, "Live from New York..."
  2. Christopher Walken then officially opened the show with a monolog about his reputation for being cold, distant and sinister to the put where it seems like he is reading off the cue cards, all while sounding cold, distant, sinister and sounding like he was reading off a cue card. To shed some like on the real Christopher Walken he cued the band and jumped into singing a peppy musical tune and finishes it off with a fancy dance.
  3. We then got a repeat of the classic Colon Blow ad from earlier in the season.
  4. Eternity was a sketch about a Calvin Klein produced game show with the title inspired by their line of perfume/cologne. In the show, the contestants are actually new spirits trapped in Limbo because they committed suicide. These contestants have to answer depressing questions about relationships and life and their answers were in the style of what we would now consider Emo.
  5. Girlfriend Dumping Service was a sketch where Victoria Jackson is dating a wealthy man who hires people to take care of her every need from driving her around to making her healthy meals. It turns out that he doesn't just hire people to provide luxuries but hires people to do his dirty work as well.
  6. Bonnie Raitt then took to the stage to perform Have a Heart.
  7. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, Annoying Man dropped in for another segment where he promises not to pester Miller only he can't resist his urge.
  8. The Continental was the first installment of the classic POV sketch where Walken tries to seduce a woman who never speaks and all we see is her glove. Even though we never hear a word from the fancy lady her action makes it very clear how she feels about the lecherous creep as she spends the entire sketch plotting her escape.
  9. Attitudes then returned for another installment with Jan Hooks and Nora Dunn as two spotlight stealing hosts who are both have that morning show host high energy as they interview unenergetic guests who have very interesting careers. This week, they interview Christopher Walken as the John 3:16 Rainbow Head guy from sport who is super dry and boring despite looking like the most interesting person in the room.
  10. Lease With An Option To Kill was a parody of a James Bond film with Christopher Walken as the evil villain who is upset that the building of his volcano island is taking so long because he doesn't have realistic expectations. At one point, a henchman captures 007 leaving Walken to have to explain what he's going to do to the secret agent as soon as the construction is finished. 
  11. Bonnie Raitt then returned to the stage to perform Thing Called Love.
  12. Hardbound was a talk show sketch where Kevin Nealon plays a host who interviews his favorite authors with Christopher Walken as his guest who shares his personal story as a writer leading Nealon to get turned on. 
  13. Finally, Christopher Walken closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

For being such a so-so season, it's amazing how often it's been super easy to find my three favorite moments from the night which luckily was the case with tonight's episode. First, I loved The Continental because I love this lecherous character even though in the real world I would hate the predatory creep. Next, I really liked Lease With An Option To Kill because I like the idea of showing the reality behind movie's unbelievable schemes. Finally, I was a fan of this week's Attitudes segment because I recently saw a documentary about their rainbow wig wear guest who constantly promoted John 3:16, so it was a little extra interesting 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.