SNL: S17E14... HOST: ROSEANNE & TOM ARNOLD... DATE: FEBRUARY 22, 1992

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or...

My Birthday Episode: Year 16

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Being that I was a huge stand-up nerd as a kid I was aware of both Roseanne and Tom Arnold before either of them were the household names that they were at this time, let alone before they became the annoying tabloid couple. Don't get me wrong, I was and am a fan of both of their work as individuals but their collaboratively chaotic relationship was never all that interesting to me.

By not interesting I mean that I just never cared, to the point where I didn't think it would affect my views on this episode while watching through modern eyes even though I remember the reviews being pretty negative at the time. I mean, I've been a fan of ever visit from Roseanne up to this point and I that know I like at least some of Tom Arnold's future appearances. That said, I was surprised to find that I was a tad bit underwhelmed.

I think a major part of this minor disappointment is that this visit felt more like a Public Relations response to all the controversies that these two crazy kids were getting into at the time. Even though I wasn't bothered by the actual crazy days of their drug-fueled love since these were the days of "Any publicity is good publicity," that led everyone to be at least little out of control, I was a little bothered by the way they seemed to use this visit to share their response is a way that felt pretty forced.

It also sort of felt that they phoned it in at time especially since this was the first show in quite a while that went back to the fewer but longer sketch format, which, to me, feels like the hosts don't want to put in the extra work to come up with more material. Instead these episodes have fewer sketches for the hosts to learn while filling out the rest of the night with padding.

That said, most of the sketches that were not in response to tabloid rumors made for a pretty fun show. In fact, there was even a sketch that made me a little emotional which really caught me off guard. To make things stranger, the sketch in question was tonight's Coffee Talk with Mike Myers as Linda Richman and Roseanne and Madonna as his/her special guests.

In the sketch, the three talk about their love of Barbara Streisand only to get a genuine surprise when Streisand snuck in to say “Hi” at the end of the very end of the scene. For whatever reason, the image of these three celebrities getting so excited by this special surprise was really touching to me.

I think this is due to the fact that, at this time, both Roseanne and Madonna where already deep into their jaded phase while Mike Myers' head was growing thanks to his success with the show, yet this very simple surprise instantly reverted them all back to where they were acting like excited little kids which was quite a site to see, especially since it seems so long since I’ve experienced this sense of excitement and joy in my life.  

Alright, with that, it's now time to move on from bumming everyone out and share what else I saw, as I give you...   

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with A Message From The President Of The United States where Dana Carvey as George Bush Sr. addressed the country for the first time since officially winning the nomination for his attempt at a second term. He also acknowledged that it was close enough to him to get the message that the people were pissed which made him a little nervous as he built up to the announcement of, "Live from New York..."
  2. Roseanne and Tom Arnold then officially opened the show with a bit of a stand-up routine where they joked about themselves and their relationships both past and present while expressing concerns that they may be to the point where they are overexposed. Worried that they have nothing new to share, Tom nervously started to make-up new rumors in an effort to please the audience. 
  3. Dick Clark's Receptionist returned with David Spade as the late producer's office gatekeeper who is too hip to recognize even the most famous appointments who dropped in, including "Our Savior, Jesus." Being that this was the period where Roseanne was going through her super diva phase her angry reaction felt like it came from experience.
  4. Coffee Talk then returned once again with Linda Richman sitting in for Paul Baldwin and Roseanne and Madonna playing her special guest for the night to talk coffee and movies in their over the top New York accents. This sketch ended with a special visit from Barbara Streisand which was a legitimate surprise to the cast. 
  5. Tall Tales of the Recession was a western-style sketch with Dana Carvey as Dollar Bill who shared a tale of two CEOs who had a layoff competition that's to a piece of regulation that turned hiring practices into the Wild Wild West where these executives could do whatever they wanted.
  6. Red Hot Chili Peppers then took to the stage to perform Stone Cold Bush.
  7. Once again, Kevin Nealon gave us the news. This week, Dana Carvey dropped by as his Grumpy Old Man character to bitch about the Winter Olympics while he shared the horrible hurdles of winter sports from back when he was a kid while reassuring that the actually "LIKED IT."
  8. Delta Delta Delta also returned for another installment of the female cast playing sorority girls that mainly made fun of youth culture from the time while Roseanne played the first ever sorority girl to be accepted from night school as a way to explain their age gap.
  9. A Star Is Born was a parody of a biopic about Tom Arnold's life and how he was absolutely nothing without Roseanne only to become the most famous mooch of all times while it also shared how he went from Thomas to Tom. 
  10. Daily Affirmation also returned with Stuart Smalley who introduced us to Roseanne and Tom who played his sister and her ex-husband who was now a deadbeat dad and the three aired out some family laundry that got crazier and crazier the more that we learned. At one point Stuart offers Roseanne a healing technique while he tried to get her to take her aggressions out by hitting a pillow with a foam rubber bat only to end up getting violently assaulted by Tom Arnold instead due to all the pent-up anger.  
  11. Red Hot Chili Peppers then took to the stage to perform Under The Bridge.
  12. When then got a Deep Thoughts By Jack Handey where Jack shared his views on why a shark riding an elephant is the most dangerous animal on the planet.
  13. Finally, Roseanne and Tom Arnold closed the show by thanking the audience and saying their goodnights.

Even though I was a tad bit underwhelmed by this episode, it was still pretty fun thanks to these three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved this week's Coffee Talk because, as I mentioned above, the genuine excitement over the genuine surprise of Barbara Streisand dropping by, surprisingly led me to get a little emotional. Next, I really liked this week's installment of David Spade as Dick Clark's Receptionist because the part where he didn't recognize Jesus always cracked me up especially since I was born and raised an Atheist. Finally, I was a fan of this week's Daily Affirmation because when Tom Arnold goes at Stuart Smalley with the foam rubber bat he really goes to town to the point where it's concerning while it's also hilarious at the same time. 

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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.