SNL: S17E20... HOST: WOODY HARRELSON... DATE: MAY 16, 1992

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A Solid Standard Show

But A So-So Season Closer

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Here we are again, at the end of another season where, once again, I’m surprised that it’s yet to evolve to be more of an event big enough to earn a fancy word like finale instead of just last show of the season. Don’t get me wrong, as I said the last time he hosted, I’m a fan of Woody Harrelson and will even go as far to say that this visit was better than his last. I’ve just grown to expect bigger things for the season closers that just haven’t happened yet.

That said, the episode did have a cameo from George Wendt which is one thing I expect at the end of each seasonal year. Most contemporary finales are filled with cameos almost to the point where it feels like a homecoming or host and cast members from the past. This old style that lacked any special guest made it feel like just another standard show that was pretty fun to watch.

Another thing that I’ve grown to expect when rounding out the season is almost a showcasing of the most popular reoccurring characters of the year, guaranteeing one last visit before the cast member is released or any fears that the show might be canceled. Yes, this episode brought back a Sprockets and few other obscure characters but again, there was nothing that special at all, adding to the overall averageness that just doesn’t give the show the right sense of closure.

With all of that said, this overall season was a bit of a slip when compared to the last one but it was still solid enough to keep me excited about continuing. And with that, 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 a parody of The Tonight Show where Johnny and Ed did a parody of the very last segment of the very last The Tonight Show. In the segment, Ed was drunk disruptive while Johnny tried to introduce the next bit which was a collection of filmed interviews of his competition as they said their goodbyes. This was followed by a bunch of surprise drop in visits from show regulars that ended with David Brenner getting mauled by an albino tiger from the San Diego zoo which led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Woody Harrelson then officially opened the show with a monolog about how he was thirteen when the show first aired and then went on to perform a song that he wrote for this special occasion of hosting the season’s last show, only to get too caught up in the introduction to get around to singing it. He eventually did get around to the song but it wasn’t all that noteworthy.
  3. We then got a repeat of the Action Cats sketch from earlier this year that offered attachments that would allow you to turn your cat into an action toy.
  4. Take Your Shirt Off was a sketch that took place on the beach where Woody and the male members of the cast are enjoying their day in the sun. Woody took off his shirt as if it were no big deal then turned to Chris Farley to talk him into joining. At first, Farley doesn’t want to disrobe because of his weight issue but Woody eventually talked him out of not being concerned about his appearance and enthusiastically joined in. This process then repeated over and over again as Woody talked everyone else to ignore their increasingly disturbing physical trait and take off their shirts and have fun ending on Dana Carvey who was embarrassed by his exposed baboon heart from an earlier operation.
  5. Sprockets then returned for another installment where Dieter discussed the failure of Euro Disney’s opening week with a German filmmaker played by Woody Harrelson who opened a competitive theme park called EuroTrash that highlight the darker themes of European culture.
  6. This was followed by a Deep Thoughts By Jack Handey where Jack suggests a new format for math test that doesn’t require correct answers to pass.
  7. Vanessa Williams then took to the stage to perform Save the Best for Last.
  8. Once again, Kevin Nealon gave us the news. This week, the Bears Super Fans dropped in via satellite to talk about the Bulls taking on Knicks for the NBA Championship. Opera Man also made another appearance to sing about the top stories of the week.
  9. We then went back to the Delta Delta Delta sorority for some more youth bashing where this time the girls prepared for their finals only to be interrupted by Woody and David Spade who wanted their notes to cheat which didn’t go over well with the girls until the guys started to flirt which caused the girls to drop their guard and give in.  
  10. The Singing Cowboys then returned, this time with Woody singing the lead of a song called We're Cowboys And We're Proud that snuck in a lot of offensive jabs and city folks and people of color while pleasantly singing about their country life without them.
  11. Zoraida the page returned to pester Woody Harrelson on his way back to his dressing room where once again she confused the fictional characters that he played with Woody the real person.
  12. Frank Gannon, P.I. P.I. returned were once again the Politically Incorrect Private Investigator searched a crime scene for clues only to unintentionally offend everyone in the room with his disconnect in what he considers tasteful.
  13. Vanessa Williams then returned to the stage to perform The Comfort Zone.
  14. The Sensitive Naked Man also returned for another installment where this time our naked friend was at a baseball game with his son who is embarrassed by his naked dad yet Rob Schneider misinterpreted his kid’s concerns with something personal being disguised.  
  15. This was followed by another Deep Thoughts By Jack Handey where Jack pitched a movie idea about a brain scientist whose gets hit in the part of the brain that makes you obsessed with brains and how they work.
  16. Bad Expectant Mother was a fake PSA sketch where Victoria Jackson played a pregnant wife who doesn’t hesitate to join in on all of the things that you’re supposed to avoid when you have a kid inside your stomach like drinking, lifting and using a microwave with her belly inside the machine. The fun part of this is that she’s not the typical white trash that’s just going on with her trashy life like you’d expect from this sort of scene but is instead just oblivious to the fact that she was doing anything wrong at all.
  17. Finally, Woody Harrelson closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

I said it above but it bears repeating, though I didn’t find this to be the best season finale, I did find it to be really fun thanks to these favorite moments of the night. First, I loved the Take Your Shirt Off sketch because as a fat guy with stretch marks I really related and like how they addressed male insecurities way before men were open about it. Next, I really liked Frank Gannon, P.I. P.I. because I miss the days of being politically incorrect and I feel that since being non-P.C. was part of the character I was allowed to laugh at crude jokes. Finally, I was a fan of this week’s installment of The Sensitive Naked Man because I love how he always misreads the situation thinking that his companies issue has nothing to do with his exposed schlong.

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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.