Enter The Humble Days Of Chevy
I don't know if this is a case of synchronicity or if it's just fresh in my mind from my recent review of Steve Martin's appearance from earlier this season, but this seems to be the season where both Martin and Chevy Chase officially entered a more humble stage of their careers. Granted, both comedic legends have toned down on their arrogant approach to hosting the show during their past couple visits but this season they both seemed more sincere.
Don't get me wrong, Chevy never fully dropped the arrogant aspect of the character of himself but during tonight's show, his obnoxious attitude felt like he was using a comedy tool instead of coming from a genuine place like how it used to feel in the past.
Again, as I noted in my Steven Martin review, even though I was introduced to this SNL world of actors and characters at an extremely early age, it wasn't until around this time in my life that I started to see these actors as people and not just the characters they portrayed.
Due to the fact that I made this connection right around the time that my heroes were aging to be more humble as they settled into their careers, I was bothered by their early antics until now while I'm watching with modern eyes and know that their true personality and the personality of their characters are both a blend of fictional and for-real traits making me more judgmental of both and happy to see them evolve.
I hope that this trend continues to carry over to all the alumni hosts because another surprise from this challenge has been how often I've hated the original cast when they would return for a visit only to trash the current host while acting like they were the only ones to ever pull off a good year.
I really glad to get to this point where I no longer dread seeing Chevy Chase in my queue because he really was my favorite actor as a kid and the original Vacation is still my favorite movie of all time since it's always reminded me of the fun side of my family's dysfunctional ways before my parents' divorce.
Alright, before this review gets too dark, it's now time to shift gears from sharing my past and opinions and move on to share what I saw, as I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started with another installment of Wayne's World where this time the basement dwelling cable access hosts did a quick recap of 1991, being that this was their first visit in the New Year. One of the highlights was the collapse of Communist Russia which led Wayne and Garth to share a Top Ten List of reasons why they will miss the Cold War. Of course, this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, "Live from New York..."
Chevy Chase then officially opened the show with a monolog about how excited he was to work with this mediocre new cast and then went on to share his history with the show while taking a couple of jabs at the original cast members. He quickly apologized for being mean, claiming he was just playing into expectation while announcing that he's actually a new man. He then went on to have to search for names while thanking his family for helping him change and then started to lip sync Greatest Love Of All by George Benson before throwing to the start of the show.
We then got a repeat of the fake Love Toilet ad from earlier in the season where we were pitched a side by side toilet for those romantic couples who can't be separated even when they poop.
Adopt-A-Pet was a PBS-style sketch where Chevy Chase and Victoria Jackson showcased poorly trained pets that were up for adoption to any viewers who might be interested. Even though neither host had a positive trait to share about the animal they were trying to pitch, they were both still super surprised to find that no viewers were phoning in.
We then followed George Bush Sr. on a Campaign Stop where, the President at the time, dropped by a coffee shop in a tiny New Hampshire town with C-SPAN there to cover it. During the visit, Dana Carvey as Bush Sr. did his regular routine of desperately trying to spin even his slightest of achievements as being major accomplishments as he awkwardly interacted with the public wanting to just get it over with throughout the entire trip.
We then went to meet Jeffrey Dahmer in jail when he called for a meeting with his lawyers to share his plan on how he would convince the jury that he's crazy. The confused the Lawyers a bit since convincing anyone of his craziness was the least of their concerns. While the lawyers attempted to explain with, Chevy as Dahmer started to eat his own hand which freaked the lawyers out and sent them running out of the room.
Robbie Robertson & Bruce Hornsby then took to the stage to perform Go Back to Your Woods.
This week, Chevy Chase joined Kevin Nealon and the two gave us the news. Chevy didn't last much longer than the introduction as it quickly went back to a single host newscast. Chris Rock also dropped in to discuss whether or not Arizona is racist based on their recent decision to not recognize Martin Luther King Day. Soon after Chris Rock's segment, Chevy returned for a segment of his own where he discussed the history of breast implants continuing the coverage of the new debate on the use of silicon. Chevy and Nealon also did a bit of a play on the Mr. Subliminal routine where Nealon would speak and Chevy would suggest the word Nealon was looking for whenever he would get lost.
Bob Swerski's Quiz Masters was a game show sketch that featured George Wendt and the rest of his pack of Bears fans with Wendt playing the host of a Jeopardy-like game filled with questions about their beloved team. About halfway through the sketch, there was also a quick fake commercial for I Can't Believe It's Not Polish Sausage. We then returned to the game in time to witness Farley win the prize of spending five minutes on the cheese fry booth where French fries are blown around for him to grab and dip into a bucket of cheese that's strapped around his neck.
We then went to a Van Morrison Concert where the audience is old enough that the concert is filled with chairs for the old timers to sit and enjoy the show. Meanwhile, Melanie Hutsell played someone's young date who only wanted to dance and was the only one standing which really pissed off Chevy who was sitting directly behind her. This sketch used to drive me nuts as a kid because I couldn't stand the blank dumb stare that Melanie Hutsell would make to the point where it may be why I never really liked her on the show even though now I'm finding that I don't mind some of her characters.
Robbie Robertson & Bruce Hornsby then returned to the stage to perform The Weight.
Comforting Tim was a sketch were Chevy attempted to comfort Tim Meadows while trying to find out why Meadows was crying. Chevy tried to cheer him up only to get turned down as we found out that the reason for Tim's tears was the fact that this was his only sketch of the night and no effort went into writing it.
Kaufman's Big And Tall, And Short And Small Sephardic Jew Men's Clothing Store was a fake ad with Rob Schneider and Chevy Chase as pitchmen for this very specific store.
Finally, Chevy Chase closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
I'm so glad to finally be back on board with Chevy's appearance on the show because I now look forward to his future appearances where I hope he will deliver material that's at least as good as these three favorite moments from the night. First, I loved the Jeffrey Dahmer sketch because I laughed out loud at the premise that Dahmer was overconfidence in thinking that he knew how to prove that he was criminally insane as if this were his lawyer's biggest worry. Next, I really liked the Adopt-A-Pet sketch because loved how the truth in advertising approach led to zero interest. Finally, I was a fan of the Van Morrison Concert because of how much I hated this sketch as a kid to the point where it's almost more memorable to me than sketches that I actually enjoyed.