SNL: S17E16... HOST: MARY STUART MASTERSON... DATE: MARCH 21, 1992

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or...

A Some Kind Of Wonderful Host

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My very first crush was on a girl with pixyish hair way back in first or second grade. Though I was still too young to know what to do with these thoughts, I definitely knew I was infatuated and remember writing secret proclamations of love. I don’t know whatever happened to that girl since she changed schools at the end of the year and I was too young and dumb to know how to keep in touch or if the feelings were mutual. I do however know that she is the reason why short haired girls catch my attention to this day.

Thanks to this love of short hairstyles, Mary Stuart Masterson was another early childhood crush thanks to her role in Some Kind Of Wonderful, which is a better dramatic film if you watch it as if she where the lead instead of the more stereotypical teen romance with Eric Stoltz fulfilling his male fantasy of being wanted by all of the girls. Though her character has become cliché over time, I remember this movie being the first time that I felt more heartbroken over a supporting character’s loss over feeling excited by the “hero’s” win.

Due to this past connection with tonight’s show host my expectations where a bit high from the get. Then I started to think about how I’m almost always disappointed by high expectation shows which led me to drop any preconceived thoughts to where I was really open for anything. I’m glad that I ended up starting the viewing on this equilibrium because it turned out to be a pretty good episode where a couple sketches hit a few late season flat spots that I might not have been as lenient about if my expectation were still super high.

Aside from the actual content, I think that my favorite part about this episode is how the weaker moments are more toward the middle allowing the start and finish to be fun enough that any hammock-like slump in the middle is easier to overcome.

With that, it’s now time to move on from my rambling flashback on childhood love and move on to share what I actually saw in this episode, as I give you…  

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with another parody of The McLaughlin Group where as usual the host grills his guest over the headline-making topics of the day while belittling anyone who doesn't share his same exact views. This this was a Presidential Election year, the main focus was on the remaining candidates' campaigns and with this being the opening sketch it eventually built to the announcement of, "Live from New York..." 
  2. Mary Stuart Masterson then officially opened the show with a monolog about how she is often cast as the tough but vulnerable characters before going on to show that she can pull off vulgar and stupid as well by a spastic dance that supposed to be sexy since she also revealed her bra. By the time she was done, she even thought it was stupid and pointed out how it made her feel vulnerable before she reassured the audience not to worry because she's also tough enough to put it past her and move on.
  3. We then got a fake ad for Action Cats which was a toy for kids that allowed them to turn their feline friend into an action toy through a collection of clip-on weapons and accessories.
  4. Lisa Pongrasic: Very Pregnant Undercover Cop was, as the title suggests as suggests, a sketch about a bad ass of an undercover cop who also happened to be extremely pregnant. After a quick cold opening where the police captain yelled at our baby-bearing hero over her over the top antics we got one of the best opening credits scene ever, featuring a very pregnant Mary Stuart doing very extreme cop things without being slowed down by her belly at all. After the credits, the novelty kind of wore of as the sketch almost became almost a legitimate undercover drug bust scene with only a couple of jokes.
  5. Lyle, the Effeminate Heterosexual then returned to the show where this week the effeminate but straight Dana Carvey had a confrontation with the mailman over what he would get out of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues who is blown away after discovering that Lyle is not actually gay to the point where he's also married. This was just the introduction to get to the sketch's theme song. The rest of the sketch is filled with more of the same confusion that's still pretty funny even though it's pretty much a one-note joke.
  6. This was followed by an installment of Deep Thoughts By Jack Handey where Jack shares his plans on how to deal with Thanksgiving food that you don't like.
  7. En Vogue then took to the stage to perform Never Gonna Get It and the song Hold On back to back.
  8. Once again, Kevin Nealon gave us the news. This week, "George Wendt's daughter" from the Bears Fans sketch dropped in to share a few beauty tips for brides to be to think about when planning their look for their wedding day and being that she's a beauty pageant queen her pointers leaned to the extreme. Cajun Man also dropped in once again, this time to talk about March Madness.    
  9. The Delta Delta Delta sorority sketch also returned for more of their brand of youth culture bashing while the girls of the show plan for Alum Week. Mary Stuart Masterson joined in as a homecoming guest only to scare the girls with tales from the real world outside of school where no one cares which sorority you're from.  
  10. We then got another Deep Thoughts By Jack Handey where this time Jack shared his advice on how to make a child feel lucky.
  11. This was followed by a fake ad for Monster Spray that was marketed to kids to keep monsters away while they're in bed. The product was also so overpriced the Phil Hartman, as the pitchman, suggested to kids that they should steal from their parents to buy it since they'll just deny that it works. 
  12. Who Shot Me?! was a sketch that took place in a rough high school where Kevin Nealon played a teacher who got shot. He then went on to question the students in the same way a teacher might if he were looking for a jokester who was simply shooting spit wads since he was way more annoyed than scared.
  13. This was followed by yet another Deep Thoughts By Jack Handey where Jack ponder the joys that a Native American must have felt back in the day when they would kill a settler who was stealing their land.
  14. En Vogue then returned to the stage to perform Free Your Mind.
  15. Colosseum Events Committee was a sketch that took place during the gladiator days where we met the group who planned all the fights. During this pitch session, the three men involved brainstormed their way through the craziest of ideas, to somehow come up with an early version of baseball only with a lot more violence.
  16. We then got a Schillervision short film called Million Dollar Zombie where Victoria Jackson was in an abusive relationship so she didn't hesitate to look into her Publisher's Clearing House victory claim only to end up a mindless envelope stuffer who helped to generate the enormous amount of junk mail that the contest company produced.
  17. The Panhandler was a sketch where we got to hear the inner thought of Phil Hartman as he contemplated giving a homeless Chris Farley some money. Throughout this internalized struggle, we also witnessed Chris Farley's inner thoughts that were strictly about the booze until he ended up getting denied and thought he was getting attacked by spiders thanks to a case of DTs.
  18. Finally, Mary Stuart Masterson Closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

Regardless of my current crush status on tonight’s host, this was still a pretty fun episode, especially thanks to these three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved Lisa Pongrasic: Very Pregnant Undercover Cop because even though the sketch as a whole felt like it dragged on a little long, the title sequence with a pregnant woman performing cop stunts was a hilarious site to see. Next, I really like the fake Monster Spray ad, because not only was it funny that this was a placebo product playing of children’s fears to get them to steal from their parents, the part where the bug monster ripped of the kids head and started eating his next was so startling that I couldn’t do anything but laugh. Finally, I was a fan of the fake Action Cats ad because I love that it may have inspired the future Laser Cats sketches that I’m a fan of.

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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.