SNL: S17E19... HOST: TOM HANKS... DATE: MAY 9, 1992

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or...

Long Live Brocktune!!!

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Other than the fact that Tom Hanks was the host, this episode had bad news written all over it. First off, before the show even started, I was annoyed to find that this was a show with the fewer but longer sketch format with only thirteen segments to watch. It’s been a while since I shared this match but minus the monolog, the news, the two musical performances and the final goodnights this leave eight pieces of original content seven if you don’t count the ten seconds it takes to get through yet another Deep Thoughts.

Though this is a pet peeve, I’ve grown used to it over time but still think it takes away from the show especially when a sketch that would otherwise be funny becomes just okay when it runs on a little too long. This turned out to be the biggest issue of the night and I’m happy to take it because as soon as I started the show there was instantly a sign that made me uncertain which was when Tom Hanks announced that he was a last-minute replacement for Joe Pesci who was working on Home Alone II.

As great as Hanks is, every last minute host makes me nervous and the fact that we’re now getting near the end of the season had me worried that the writers were wearing down as well since the last couple episodes have been just okay. This season seemed front-loaded with good writing with the back half dependent on bigger named hosts.

I don’t know if these last-minute changes provided the right kind of pressure to get everyone to produce but aside from sketches dulling some of the jokes by running too long, this turned out to be a pretty fun episode which was a pleasant surprise because I didn’t want to have to bash another show legend that just had a night that was just a bit above par while I was expecting a hole in one.

With all of 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 fake political spot for the Ross Perot For President 1992 campaign where Dana Carvey and the tiny millionaire started out talking about the Rodney King Riots claiming that if he were President at the time he’d simply write a personal check to clear up all of the problems and then he would train all of the Crips and Bloods to take on the Chinese Technical industry in exchange for five percent of all future profits. He then went on to make a similar promise to the entire country if they would simply elect him to be the next President of The United States. As always, this being the opening sketch is eventually built to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”  
  2. Tom Hanks then officially opened the show with a monolog about how excited to host the show with Bruce Springsteen and how he is actually filling in for Joe Pesci who had to back out because the filming of Home Alone II ended up running long. This makes me a little nervous because looking at the lineup of sketches the show looked a little rushed even before I learned of this fact. It also didn’t help that this monolog seemed rushed as well. We then followed Tom Hanks backstage where Tom Hanks and the cast openly joked about the concerns that I just expressed until it turned into a quick parody of the, “What do I look like a clown to you…” scene from Goodfellas.
  3. We then got a fake ad for John Cabrizio Chevrolet Mazda Hyundai where Rob Schneider played a local car dealer who was using the insanity of the Rodney King Riots to pass on his crazy deals on cars that were damaged during the incident.
  4. Sabra Price Is Right was an Arminian parody of The Price Is Right where Tom Hanks revisited his deal pushing Arminian character to host the show while wheeling and dealing with the contestant and making them purchase what was supposed to be their prize.
  5. This was followed by one of my favorite sketches of all time where Tom Hanks tries to start a Mr. Belvedere Fan Club that met at the local community center. There was a pretty good turnout, considering the subject, that range from obsessed fans to Tim Meadows who was only there for the open mic night that was taking place later in the evening. The main point of this meeting is for the group to come up with a special name to secretly share their love for Belvedere when meeting with fellow fans. In the end, they all eventually agree on Brocktune.
  6. Bruce Springsteen then took to the stage to perform Lucky Town.
  7. Once again, Kevin Nealon gave us the news. This week, Jay Leno made a special appearance to share what he witnessed during the Rodney King riots while Kevin Nealon underhand pitched him the setups for what was more of a stand-up routine. David Spade also dropped in to talk about his family history as Mother’s Day started to near. Queen Shenequa also got a segment to talk about her West Coast family’s experience with the Rodney King Riots as well.
  8. She Turned Into Her Mother!!! was a horror movie parody where Tom Hanks and Julia Sweeney were discussing their day over dinner with Julia evolving in front of Tom’s eyes, starting slowly by saying similar things then builds to take on her voice and ending with her taking on her mother’s physical appearance as well.
  9. Bruce Springsteen returned to the stage to perform 57 Channels and the song Living Proof back to back.
  10. The Dark Side With Nat X then returned for another installment where this time the host of the only fifteen minute talk show on television interviewed the Rodney King Jury about how they even selected to serve let alone how they came up with the not guilty verdict that triggered the riots that week.
  11. This was followed by a Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey where Jack pondered whether or not God liked enchiladas playing of the claim that he lives within all of us.
  12. Showcase Playhouse Theater was a PBS style show where the host introduced a play called They Wanted To Fly where Mike Myers and Julia Sweeney played little kids in a stage play where we could see that they were attached to stunt strings but never lifted off of the ground.  
  13. Finally, Tom Hanks closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

 Know this is weird to say with Tom Hanks as host, especially if you don’t read the note up above, but this episode turned out to be surprisingly good thanks to these three favorite moments of the nights. First, I loved Mr. Belvedere Fan Club because I genuinely liked Mr. Belvedere as a kid and then ironically loved the show when I got old so this Brocktune joke bridged these two feelings together. In fact, this sketch inspired a resolution where I was going to learn to draw Brocktune in drag. Next, I really liked the sketch They Wanted To Fly because I loved how you could see that the actors were attached to strings and as much as they talked about their desires they never once lifted off the ground. Finally, I was a fan of Sabra Price Is Right because I love the real Price Is Right but also because even though I know it’s offensive, I still find humor in the friendly but pushy Arminian character that Tom Hanks plays.

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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.