SNL: S15E15... HOST: ROB LOWE... DATE: MARCH 17, 1990

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or...

Damage Control Done Wrong

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I have to admit that even though I've never been a huge fan of Rob Lowe, I do like a lot of his films. This is more due to the fact that he's connected to both the Brat Pack and Lorne Michaels produced films than anything having to do with him as an individual.

Part of me doesn't like him because he seems to get credit for being funny when he's really nothing more than a good-looking guy who reacts to the funny people who surround him. The other reason I am not a fan is the reason he's hosting tonight.

This episode was a major letdown because it felt like it was nothing but damage control for a sexual predator who's trying to revive his failing career following the leak of a sex tape between him at twenty-four and a sixteen-year-old girl. I don't know what's worse, the act itself or the fact that he videotaped it.

Either way, this was a very disturbing episode because Rob Lowe never once has an apologetic tone. If anything, he and the cast seemed to push that his actions were not a big deal through jokes as if this were just a common occurrence that didn't deserve the negative reaction that it received.

The incident in question was almost referenced from the opening sketch to the final goodnight there was no sense of remorse from the host or no criticism from the cast. Meanwhile, I see that Andrew Dice Clay's visit is coming up in the cue where I know some of the cast members weren't happy to the point where people where boycotting the show simply because of the way that he says words about women when telling his stupid jokes.

This type of hypocrisy really bothers me, especially when considering the adage that actions speak louder than words. Don't get me wrong, I do feel that people should get a second chance if they genuinely own up to their mistakes. I just don't feel that was the case in this instant because it never felt like Rob Lowe wanted any more than to get back into the public eye in an effort to save his career over attempting to share his regrets.

I know that a mea culpa is the last thing you want when you tune into a show for comedy so I do understand why they didn't go with this approach but I also don't want to tune in to a comedy show to see a guilty man continually joking about an incident that should be considered a career-killing disgrace.

So, there you have my thoughts on this episode, it's now time to move on and share what I saw, as I give you... 

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started at the White House where, once again, George Bush Sr. is desperate to defend his job by sharing even the smallest of successes. About halfway through the sketch, we cut to backstage where Rob Lowe shares Sex Tape Worries and how it might affect his appearance being that it involved sex with an underage girl which might not sit well with the audience. It doesn't take much for Lorne and a couple cast members to ease him of his worries so we then went back to the Bush sketch for the announcement of, "Live from New York..."
  2. Rob Lowe then officially opened the show with a monolog where they make light fun of Rob Lowe's situation where once again they treat the fact that he had sex with a sixteen-year-old on video as if it were no big deal.
  3. This was followed by a fake ad for an album filled with Irish Drinking Songs where the main themes have to deal with nothing but drinking and fighting.
  4. Church Chat then returned for another installment where this time, the Church Lady pesters Rob Lowe about his sex scandal where he was caught making a sex tape with an under-aged girl while speaking in code after promising not to bring it up. As always the Church Lady blames all of Lowe's sins on his relationship with SATAN and finishes the sketch by paddling his butt with a wooden cricket paddle.
  5. This was followed by a fake political ad for Governor Wade Hammond who is running for office and brags about his body count from his use of the death penalty in an effort to get more votes. 
  6. Sprockets then returned for another installment with a special edition called Dieter's Dance Party where a room full of people dressed in tight black clothes dance and discuss bizarre "German Hits" of the day. 
  7. Dieter's Dance Party was then interrupted by a fake German ad for Clearasil where the main joke is that everyone is speaking German because other than that it was almost a real commercial.
  8. This was by another fake political ad this time for Jack Harbaugh who claims that he will make the death penalty a more painful experience in order to get more votes.
  9. The Pogues then took to the stage to perform White City.
  10. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, the annoying Energizer Bunny fell into a vat of acid so Jon Lovitz's Annoying Guy character stepped in and took its place. A. Whitney Brown got another Big Picture segment where he discusses the changes in Russia following the collapse of communism.
  11. The Arsenio Beckman Show was, of course, a parody of Arsenio Hall where Rob Lowe plays Arsenio Beckman who mocks Arsenio Hall's opening monolog and how crazy he used to get with the crowd, all the while saying nothing at all. I'm pretty sure this was a funny sketch back in the day because the impressions of both Hall and his show were pretty spot on but through modern eyes the reference material is so out of date that it didn't seem funny at all. 
  12. Randy X For Governor the third and final political ad where Randy promotes himself as being so pro-death penalty that he's actually the guy who pulls the switch which is why he wears a mask and his last name in an anonymous X.
  13. We then went to a prison for a sketch called Mace's Trainer where Phil Hartman plays Mace who is a rapey inmate and gets Rob Lowe as his new cellmate. This Mace character seems sexually threatening to Lowe as he introduces him to the cell but it turns out he's more interested in Rob Lowe's body because he wants to lose weight by the time he gets out and figures Rob might fit as a trainer to teach him how to work out. This is when Rob Lowe flips the script by suggesting he practice Lambada and as the two dirty danced around the cell it turned out Rob Lowe is actually the rapey one which to me is a weird move to make considering this episode is Lowe's attempt at damage control following a statutory rape incident.   
  14. Helmet Head was a sit-com sketch about a military vet who managed to get his helmet stuck to his head during the war. In the sketch Helmet Head is extremely sensitive about the situation and gets irate whenever his guests offer simple solutions as to how to remove the helmet. After his attitude ruins a fun night with the neighbors he decides to go see a Helmetologist who only manages to make it worse.
  15. The Pogues then returned to the stage to perform Body.
  16. Alexander's Fur World was a fake as for a fur coat store where all of the furs came from either suicidal animals, road kill, or violent animals who had to be put down in an effort to ease the guilt of their customers.
  17. Finally, Rob Lowe closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

I kind of don't want to use my usual terms to describe my three favorite moments from the night but it is what it is and here's what I managed to come up with. First, I loved the fake ad for the compilation of Irish Drinking Songs because one of the tracks reminded me of The Irish Drinking Song as performed by Buck-O-Nine that I was introduced to somewhere around this time. Next, I really liked the Alexander's Fur World ad because the idea of fur coats made of suicidal animals was a funny idea to me. Finally, I was a fan of this week's Church Chat because even though it was still light, it was the only sketch of the night to criticize the host for his actions instead of treating it like it was no big deal at all.

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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.