SNL: S17E18... HOST: JERRY SEINFELD... DATE: APRIL 18, 1992

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or...

Who Are These Brilliant Hosts

Who Put Out Just Average Episodes???

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I have to start this review by admitting that I have mixed feeling about Jerry Seinfeld that play into my issues with this episode. First off, being that I was a huge stand-up comedy nerd as a kid, I was a huge fan of Seinfeld at the time this episode originally aired making me pretty sure that I loved this show when I originally saw it even though now I found it to be just barely above average since observation based humor doesn’t really age all that well with time.

I also loved that television show Seinfeld and think that Jerry is pretty good at acting as long as he’s acting as himself. I think this is where my feelings get mixed. Where I love Seinfeld’s work during the first go around, it’s not really designed for prolonged repetition because once observations are brought to light it’s impossible to not see what’s coming more than once.

Without the mystery of the twist, observational humor can come across as very hackney if when dealing with original material told by the creator of the joke. I think this is why Jerry became a butt of so many of the contemporary comedians’ jokes. Though I liked how Jerry would embrace these impersonations and add to the jokes, after a while, the fine line started to blend making it hard to tell if you were getting Jerry as himself or the Jerry that was a character of himself since they seem so hard to separate.

Because of this, Jerry seemed to be acting like Jerry the entire night and more often than not it was him impersonating people who impersonate him and since the impersonations are already so close I felt at times like I was stuck in a Jerry Seinfeld Inception dream. Between that and the fact that this episode had the fewer but longer sketch format, I felt a little let down, especially since the first couple of sketches were extra-long making the second half of the show seem like it was extra rushed.

Finally, to top it all off, I’m often disappointed by how often it seems that people I find to be comedic geniuses aren’t often good at sketch comedy. It’s fine though because I still have fun watching these shows but as I’ve said many times before, my true issue is not that I didn’t like the night, it’s that I wanted to like it more.

With all that said, it’s now time to move on and share what I saw, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with parody coverage of the Clinton-Brown Debate that started in the green room with "Bill Clinton" and "Jerry Brown" having a pre-debate debate over who gets what podium and which topics were and were not off limits to allow both men to bury their controversies that, at least in Clinton's case are still going on to this day. We never got to the actual debate as the sketch was cut short due to the announcement of, "Live from New York..."
  2. Jerry Seinfeld then officially opened the show with a monolog/stand-up routine about New York, being that it's his hometown. This fact allowed him to go into specific details to win of the locals in the crowd. After all the New York talk he went into his classic routines about flying on airplanes, how cops should serve double duty by being janitors in their downtime, along with several other classic bits.  
  3. Stand-Up And Win was a game show sketch with Jerry Seinfeld as the host who quizzed three hack comedian contestants on their knowledge of hack observational jokes, many of which were hack jokes that hack comedians make while referring to Jerry Seinfeld as a hack himself.
  4. Make You Think was a sketch that took place in a high school with Jerry as the teacher who had a new plan to help the kids learn since they failed so badly on their latest test that he decided to throw out the results. This new plan was to get the entire class to work together as a group but even collectively, they were too dumb to figure anything out. This sketch seemed to go on forever because it was it was actually really long but felt longer since it only stuck to one note. I personally felt that it also dragged on because I just don’t find youth bashing to be all that funny since to me it highlights the poor job done by the elders plus, I don’t even think that it’s true. 
  5. Annie Lennox then took to the stage to perform Why?
  6. Once again, Kevin Nealon gave us the news. This week, Adam Sandler introduced is Opera Man character to recap some of the top stories of the week through song.
  7. Elijah The Prophet was a sketch that took place at a Passover dinner where Elijah was actually at the door when Kevin Nealon went to carry out the religious tradition of opening the door to let his spirit it. It turned out that Elijah is a bit of a jerk who criticized the food and hit on one of the children. Jesus also arrived near the end of the sketch but this just a real quick scene to get us out of the sketch.
  8. Lank Thompson: I'm A Handsome Black Man was a follow-up sketch to an earlier ad hosted by Mike Myer’s only this time he advised Black Men how to be handsome in a very cheesy TV way, like always wearing suits and forcing a cheesy smile.
  9. Postures was a sketch that took place in an office where all of the employees were stuck in awkward poses that only made sense once we saw how they spend their day. For example, Jerry walked hunched over with his hands behind his head which really looked strange when he entered the room but made perfect sense when he fell into his chair and landed in the perfect reclined position.
  10. Annie Lennox then returned to the stage to perform Legend In My Living Room.
  11. I'm Chillin' then return for another segment where once again Chris Rock and Chris Farley start by sharing their new sponsor Bullet Hole Tampons for those who have other bloody holes to fill and then went on to share The Mother Joke Of The Day.
  12. The Lenny Wise Show was the parody of what I’m guessing was a radio host from the Superman comics who interviewed Jerry Seinfeld as The Man Of Steal about his day to day life as a superhero as if it weren’t that big of a deal
  13. Finally, Jerry Seinfeld closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Though this episode left me a bit underwhelmed I still didn't mind to overall show thanks to these three moments of the night. First, I loved the Posture sketch because not only was it pretty funny but it also was a bit of a guessing game as each character was introduced and you had to figure out where they fit. Next, I really liked the Stand-Up And Win game show sketch because it made me laugh how this was pretty much just making fun of Jerry Seinfeld to his face. Finally, I was a fan of Jerry Seinfeld opening monolog because even though it felt played out when I heard it this go round the reason it now feels cliche is because it's been so over-referenced from being filled with so many brilliant insights. 

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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.