SNL: S17E05... HOST: KIEFER SUTHERLAND... DATE: NOVEMBER 2, 1991

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or...

The Calming Comedy Styles Of Kiefer

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Between Stand By Me, The Lost Boys and Flatliners, I was a huge fan of Kiefer Sutherland at the time this episode originally aired. I think a big part of this is due to the fact that he was never shoved down our throats as a hero. Whether he was portraying a good guy or a bad guy he always acted with enough of an edge to keep him interesting as opposed to the pretty boy heroes who were never put in a position to lose.

That said, Kiefer has never come even close to landing on my list of favorite comedic actors. Even in his lighter roles where he may have a funny line, he seems to default back to series after getting the quick laugh that is simply put in to ease the building tension. With that said, this was a pretty fun show to watch.

Sure, just like how Kiefer Sutherland doesn't top any of my comedy lists, this show is nowhere near my top ten but it was good enough to keep my attention throughout the entire show. Not once did I zone out or get lost while fidgeting with my phone which I'm beginning to find only happens with four out of five stars or better rated episodes.  

The more I think about it, the more I realize that these episodes that I'm considering to be are just as good as anything from last year. The only thing that different is how last season there was a slow rollout of new cast members as well as the debuts of many of the more memorable characters, leading the entire season to get bonus points for having at least one new reveal every single night.

Either way, I'm fine with the direction this season is going and as long as this is what I consider to be average, everything will be alright. So, now that I have my thoughts and hopes off my chest, it's now time to shift gears as I move on to share what I saw, as I give you... 

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with coverage of the William Kennedy Smith Jury Selection Process where we got to witness jurors being questioned on their views on the Kennedys in general in the court's effort to find an unbiased pool of jurors. Though some potential jurors have positive thoughts on JFK but, even then, they also see him and the rest of the Kennedy clan as a bunch of womanizing freaks. Juror after juror gets turned away due to their views until we meet Chris Farley who has no idea who the Kennedys are except for Ted, who he likes because he buys him booze at their compound parties. That said, he's such also such a blank slate to both lawyers agree to use him. Upon hearing the news that he's been accepted to the jury pool Farley then turned to the camera to announce with excitement, "Live from New York..."
  2. Kiefer Sutherland then officially opened the show with a monolog about the fact that he's wearing a tuxedo since he bought it expecting to need it for the award shows but that didn't go as planned, so he used hosting as an excuse to go formal. He then went on to explain that the attire reminded him of his lounge singer days which led him to sing a song before throwing to the start of the show.
  3. This was followed by the classic fake ad for the Lung Brush which is pretty much a chimney sweeping tool used by smokers to clean all of the gunk out of their lungs.
  4. Campaign '92: The Race To Avoid Being The Guy Who Loses To Bush was parody coverage of the Democratic debates building up to George Bush Sr.'s attempt at a second term. The premise of the sketch was that no Democrat wanted to challenge Bush since he was so popular due to his success with the Persian Gulf War. This was apparently before Bill Clinton was involved, during a time when the election seemed unwinnable. This entire idea was a surprise to me because I was too young to vote so I only remember the outcome and don't remember the details of the actual race.
  5. Whose Ass Should I Kiss? was a game show sketch hosted by Phil Hartman that worked very similar to, To Tell The Truth, where middle management contestants have to question a panel of three people who claim to be CEOs to discover which one is real through an ass kissing line of questions. 
  6. We then got a new installment of Deep Thoughts By Jack Handey where Jack shared a tale of his grandfather's fishing trip that ended with him returning home with a whore.
  7. Skid Row then took to the stage to perform Piece Of Me. 
  8. Once again, Kevin Nealon gave us the news. This week, we got nothing but the news without a single special guest or any sort of gag. I have to admit that even though Dennis Miller is the best technical SNL anchor of all time, I find myself laughing more at Kevin Nealon and other anchors more simple approach to comedic news coverage, especial considering the passage of time where the stories are no longer fresh or urgent and sometimes not even relevant at all, making the quick jokes more fun to watch.
  9. All Things Scottish then returned for another installment of Mike Myers as the Scottish store owner who lives by the code that, "If it's not Scottish, IT'S CRAP." This time, we met Myers' new employee played by Tim Meadow as well as Kiefer Sutherland who played Mike Myers' long-lost brother. Other than meeting these new people this sketch was pretty much just the same fun and games with Mike Myers as a hilarious but volatile Scotsman.
  10. We then got a fake ad for Kiddie Metal which was an album that featured Guns N' Roses performing bedtime songs for kids.
  11. This was followed by another Deep Thoughts By Jack Handey where Jack shared why he wished for a robot president that you can shoot at without getting in trouble.
  12. Daily Affirmation returned for another segment where Stuart Smalley is joined by his cousin play by Kiefer Sutherland who has a competing show based out of Canada which led to the start of an extremely passive aggressive feud.
  13. Skid Row then returned to the stage to perform Monkey Business. 
  14. Phone Illiteracy wasn't a sketch about anyone's inability to understand their smartphone as you would expect from a sketch with this title today but instead was a fake PSA where Kiefer Sutherland played the middleman between a person on the phone and a friend who just entered the room. It started out simple with the usual, "Oh, tell so and so that I said hi," then built to a full-on conversation. It didn't take long for Kiefer to grow annoyed and offer his friend the phone to talk for himself which is when the announcer stepped in to share the growing problem of Phone Illiteracy in America.
  15. I'm Chillin' also returned for another installment where Chris Rock and Chris Farley where we learned of their new malt liquor sponsor before hearing Rock's Mother Joke Of The Day.
  16. Finally, Kiefer Sutherland closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Though this was a bit of a slower show, it was still pretty fun thanks to sketches like these three of my favorite moments from the night. First, I loved the classic Lung Brush sketch because this is another one that's still fresh in my mind from the very first time I saw it. Next, I really liked the Kiddie Metal sketch because at one point I went so far as to think that Kiefer Sutherland was actually the real slash and the album was a believable idea. Finally, I was a fan of the fake Phone Illiteracy PSA because to this day, I have genuine anxiety when it comes to actually talking on the phone.

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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.