SNL: S15E12... HOST: QUINCY JONES... DATE: FEBRUARY 10, 1990

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or...

The Motivation For MadTV?

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Even back in the day that this episode originally aired all that I knew of Quincy Jones was that he was a producer who had a very successful career with his hand in many pots. Later on, I was surprised to find that he was the Executive Producer of MadTV which was weird at the time because at the time I thought he only dealt with music. 

Though I didn't remember this episode from when it originally aired, I went into the viewing very interested, assuming this was either an exploratory visit or the inspiration for this musical guest to switch gears and start to focus on developing competition to the sketch comedy show that risked having this behind the scenes man as a host.

Right out the gate, the show was pretty funny, and I'm not even talking about the opening sketch. During the opening montage, not only did they had to use two photos but Don Pardo had to take a second breath in order to fit in all of the musical guests from the night being that Quincy invited, what seemed to be, his entire musical stable to perform with him for the night.

Other than that this was a so-so show on par with the rest of the season, nothing that great while not bad enough to complain. Luckily, Quincy's connection with MadTV was enough to inspire this review because if that wasn't the case this review would be nothing but me rehashing my issues with this season while defending it at the same time.

So, now that I've shared my views on this episode, it's 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 Pumping Up With Hans And Franz Valentine's Day Special that was pretty much the same silly sketch as usually only to two muscle-bound brothers speak about their size and strength in a seductive tone and finish off the sketch with a medley of song parodies about muscles that lead the two to duet the announcement of, "Live from New York..."  
  2. Quincy Jones then officially opened the show with a monolog about Nelson Mandela being set free which led to the performance of a song that Quincy composed in order to celebrate the soon to be South African president's release. He then jokingly admits that he lied and that this was actually an old Dizzy Gillespie song and that he's not happy to be there but is excited about Mandela's release. Normally, I don't like the "I'm not happy to be here," joke but he did deliver it in an obviously playful tone.
  3. Century 21 Marriage Counselors was a sketch where Quincy played a modern-day counselor who provides help to patients by playing music that inspires them to sing the blues while sharing their deepest problems.
  4. We then got a parody of Driving Miss Daisy with Quincy in the Danny Glover role with Jan Hooks in the role of Miss Daisy. In the sketch, Miss Daisy's an even bigger pain than in the original sketch and Quincy is far less tolerant in dealing with her nonsense to the point where he quits by jumping out of the moving car sending Miss Daisy and her vehicle over a cliff. Apparently, this major crash wasn't enough to kill the old bag as we witness the new driver opening get filled by Toonces The Cat who also ends up sending the grumpy old woman over the cliff while she nags.
  5. This was followed by a fake ad for The Bob Waltman Special that promoted an upcoming interview between this Bob Waltman character, whoever he is, and Leona Helmsley who gets emotional while explaining her life now that she's broke. They also promoted an interview with Quincy Jones as Marion Berry who gets emotional and used his sniffling as an excuse to snort coke. They then go on to promote a few more interviews all with the same theme with people involved with scandals getting emotional over inappropriate things and not with what got them in trouble. For a fake commercial this went on way too long and used too many examples to where the premise became more annoying than funny.
  6. Jazz Perspectif was a talk show sketch with Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz as French Beatniks who interview Quincy Jones, as himself, about jazz. Other than the French accents and a couple of funny physical jokes making fun of the French's taste in humor, I struggled to follow the premise or purpose but still found this sketch to be rather fun. 
  7. Quincy Jones, Take 6, Tevin Campbell, Andrae Crouch, Sandra Crouch, Kool Moe Dee, Big Daddy Kane, Melle Mel, Quincy D III, Siedah Garrett and Al Jarreau all took to the stage to perform Back On The Block.
  8. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, was an all-news week with nothing but jokes about current affairs from the time as read by head anchor Dennis Miller.
  9. We then went to a Jewish Temple for A Coming Together between the Jewish practitioners and Baptist believer in an effort to resolve the differences between the two communities but was mainly a sketch to make fun of the stereotypical speech/preach patterns of the two religious leaders. It was also an excuse to get Kool More Dee and Melle Mel to perform a comedic rap song as fictitious rap artist to apologize for earlier anti-Semitic lyrics only to go on and bash the Italians instead.
  10. Sharing The Swimsuit Issue was a sketch featuring Tonto, Tarzan, and Frankenstein on Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue day where the three decide it's only fair to share the first flip through the magazine at the same time causing Frankenstein to get sexually frustrated.
  11. Quincy Jones, Take 6, Tevin Campbell, Andrae Crouch, Sandra Crouch, Kool Moe Dee, Big Daddy Kane, Melle Mel, Quincy D III, Siedah Garrett and Al Jarreau all returned to the stage to perform We Be Doinit.
  12. Soviet Central Committee was a sketch that I think was swapped out for sketch #14 on this list because I couldn't find this sketch anywhere on the internet while I also couldn't find sketch #14 on any online sketch lists.
  13. We then got a very weird set up to a sketch with Dana Carvey playing a carnie who maliciously kills a bunch of people on a Ferris Wheel by cranking it up to its maximum speed. At first, it seemed like this was going to be a quick in and out sketch but then we got introduced to The House Committee On Dials And Gauges for a hearing to explain why the speed gauge was designed to be able to go this fast in the first place. We also got to see several other gauges with similar flawed designs.
  14. This was followed by a fake ad for a Quincy Jones compilation record featuring the transitional tunes used to score a movie including tiptoe sounds and a melody to represent walking. 
  15. Tonto, Tarzan, and Frankenstein then returned to the stage to sing We Are World to end the night.
  16. Finally, Quincy Jones closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Again, this was far from the best episode out there but it was pretty fun thanks to these three moments from the night. First, I loved Toonces Drives Miss Daisy because I thought both the parody with Quincy was funny as was the parody with the cat. Next, I really liked Jazz Perspectif because even though I didn't like/get the premise, I still found this sketch to be funny. Finally, I was a fan of The House Committee On Dials And Gauges because the opening images alone were enough to get me to laugh while I was trying to figure out which sketch I was actually on.

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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.