SNL: S17E01... HOST: MICHAEL JORDAN... DATE: SEPTEMBER 28, 1991

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or...

A Night of Jordan as Jordan In A

More Memorable Episode Than I Remembered 

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My favorite part of starting a new season is when I open the folder filled with the review templates to see who the first host is. After the initial guest, I see the queue on a daily basis so spot number one is the only big surprise that provides the first clue as to how the rest of the season could potentially play out.

Though I was excited to see that Michael Jordan as the opening host, my memory of this visit was that it was good for having a sports star playing the lead. Then I actually read through the list of sketch titles and was surprised to find that I was almost able to summarize the entire night before even clicking on play. 

Sure this has happened a hand full of time in the past, but this was the first time I was able to write the summary for every single sketch that featured the host to then find that I was spot on during the viewing. The only summaries that I left blank were the couple that featured the cast alone but I was even able to break those sketches down the second they started since I apparently have this entire episode committed to my head.

This makes sense because this era is my wheelhouse when it comes to watching it live. By this point, Saturday Night Live officially became my show, not my parent's show that I was allowed to watch, not the older kid's show that I laughed at even when I didn't understand, no, this was the transitional period where the show officially became mine.

That's not to say that I didn't still watch it with others but it was my show that I didn't want to miss. This was also around the time where I had a paper route so I was able to afford my own entertainment system complete with color TV, makeshift surround sound stereo, and, most importantly, a VCR. This allowed me to record each episode to watch over and over again in a way that you just can't do once you pass the age of twenty.

Looking ahead, I'm not all that confident that I'll be able to pull off this memory trick every night but I'm excited to see how often memories do come into play throughout this season because that's what makes this challenge so fun. 

Oh well, we'll see how things go but until then, it's now time for me to shift gears, as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a new installment of Wayne's World where the basement dwelling cable access hosts talk about the current events that took place over the summer break leading them to introduce a segment called The Best And Worst Of The Summer Of 1991 which ended with the announcement of, "Live from New York..."
  2. Michael Jordan then officially opened the show with a monolog about how he's excited to host the show because it allows him to do something new besides playing basketball and acting in commercial where he has to play it safe to not to keep the sponsors happy. He then went on to share a couple clips for a few "ads" that never made it to air, including one ad for a douche and another ad for a Michael Jordan line of hardcore porn.
  3. We then got the classic ad for Schmitt's Gay Beer that parodies all of the beer ads from that time where women would magically appear whenever a beer was opened, only in this ad a bunch of beefy gay dudes appear instead of hot girls but this doesn't bother our beer drinking bros even the slightest bit as they turn out to also be gay.
  4. The First Black Harlem Globetrotter was a profile sketch that highlighted the history of the Harlem Globetrotters in a way that paralleled Jackie Robinson's influence on baseball. Though in the world of the sketch, The Globetrotters were already known as the Clowns Of Basketball, they were limited to very rudimentary moves and were very stiff for being athletes. Enter Michael Jordan's character who dominates the competition using modern basketball strategies that made it looked like he was taking on a team from the local elementary school. Even though the Globetrotters got the win the rest of the team wasn't happy about Jordan's ball hogging ways and blame it on the fact that he's black. Several of these teammates go as far as to threaten to start the Washington Generals when the owner saw money in Jordan and announced that he's there to stay. The teammates then confronted Jordan about being a team player so he tried to play the next game their way only this led to a horrible loss. Finally, after an overly dramatic scene between Jordan and his "sister," he goes back to playing a dominating game which was just too much for the white audience to handle. This led Michael Jordan to get fired because the world wasn't ready for his style. It also led it to take another twenty years for the Globetrotters to become the team that we know today.
  5. Bill Swerski's Super Fans returned with a special appearance by George Wendt and this time the beer drinking Bears fan switch the focus of their conversation to talking up "Da Bulls" since Michael Jordan played himself as their special guest who is lathered with compliments while being asked questions that highlighted just how great he was.  
  6. Public Enemy then took to the stage to perform Can't Truss It. 
  7. This week, Kevin Nealon took over for Dennis Miller as the host of the news where the real Jesse Jackson dropped in to perform a reading from Green Eggs And Ham in his best preacher tone making it sound like a very important manuscript.
  8. Daily Affirmation also returned and this time Stuart Smalley attempts to boost Michael Jordan's confidence, keeping in mind that Jordan was playing himself during the peak of his basketball career. To add to this irony, Stuart keeps referring to Jordan as "Michael J" in his efforts to protect the super star's anonymity.   
  9. Ellen Cleghorne then introduced her Zoraida who is an NBC page that does not hesitate to talk to the host and/or cast. This week she cornered Michael Jordan to share that she is a super fan only to shift her tune the second that he excused himself to get to work. The moment he started to walk away she started to yell out accusations that he was a jerk during their conversation when he was genuinely pleasant in plotting his escape.
  10. The Dark Side With Nat X was the next segment to return where this week the host of the only fifteen-minute show on television started with a new segment called "What Would Have Happened If He Was Black," where he shared his thoughts on what would have happened to Pee-Wee Herman is he was black and caught masturbating at a porno theater. He then interviewed La Toya Jackson but cut the interview short when the real Spike Lee dropped by since he was a much better representative of the black community since La Toya is borderline white. 
  11. Tales From The Barbecue was a sketch that took place at a black families Barbecue where Tim Meadows played the grandpa who worked the grill and shared tales of him barbecuing back during the war which is played out with a reenactment with Chris Rock playing the young Meadows who is Barbecuing on the deck of a ship during a typhoon. This not only impressed his own crew but also lured the Nazis, who were watching from a nearby submarine, to board the ship to ask for a taste only to get captured by the American crew, making Meadows/Rock a barbecuing hero to the world.  
  12. Public Enemy then returned to the stage to pay tribute to Miles Davis, who recently died, before going on to perform Bring Tha Noize. 
  13. The Elevator Fans also returned to pester Michael Jordan, again playing himself, only this time it's just Dana Carvey who got stuck with his hero only to annoy him by singing The National Anthem throughout the entire ride.
  14. Finally, Michael Jordan closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Another solid start to what I hope will end up to be another solid season which shouldn't be a problem as long as the quality of the content is even close to these three of my favorite moments from the night. First, I loved the Schmitt's Gay Beer because it is such a classic but it also might be when I stopped seeing an issue with people being gay since the imagery was shocking for that time period but there was also never a hint that any of these actions were wrong. Next, I really liked this week's Bill Swerski's Super Fans because the hula dance at the end is totally burnt into my mind but I also love the brilliance of switching it from a Bears-themed show to a Bulls-themed show to work in Michael Jordan as their guest. Finally, I was a fan of this week's Daily Affirmations because you have to remember at this time it seemed that each sport was only allowed one superstar so the fact that Stuart Smalley offered anonymity to "Michael J" while attempting to boost his confidence was super funny 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.