SNL: S21E09... HOST: MADELINE KAHN... DATE: DECEMBER 16, 1995

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Mad About Madeline

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Just the other day I was saying how host Laura Leighton reminded me of Madeline Kahn in her first sketch of the night which may have led me to be more open toward the Melrose Place star who I don’t think I’ve ever heard of. At the time I wrote that comment, I completely forgot that this was the season that Madeline Kahn returned to host the show after an eighteen-year absence from hosting the show.

As I said way back then, I’ve always been a huge fan of Madeline because she was one of my earliest childhood celebrity crushes thanks to the fact that I was a huge fan of Mel Brooks. I’m really sad that it took the show so long to have Madeline back on because her first two visits were so close together, I was hoping that she’d end up a lesser known member of the Five-Timers Club.

Unfortunately, the Five-Timer’s fantasy never happened but I am pleased as punch that she ended up getting this third visit because it was nice to see her perform one last time. Not only did I just like seeing Madeline again, the fact that there were seventeen segments to the episode meant the night was filled with quick jokes with no sketches that seemed to drag on for way too long.

Granted, a several of these segments were made up of repeat sketches and several that didn’t even involve the host but I mainly take issue when this is the case during nights that implement the fewer but long sketch format. Since there were so many fun sketches, in general, I’m far less critical of moments where I feel the time could be better spent featuring the show’s special guest.

It’s sad to know that Madeline Kahn is no longer with us but I’m very happy to come across this episode because part of me though she never returned outside of the two visits with the original SNL cast.

With that said, it’s now time to share what I saw during this viewing, as I give you…  

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with parody coverage of NBC's Christmas Salute To Our Bosnian Troops hosted by Darrell Hammond as Jay Leno along with the rest of the cast trying out some of their obscure impersonations the same way most of these parodies of star-studded specials usually play out. Again, when I say obscure impersonation, I don’t mean that the people being impersonated are obscure, they’re just not impersonations that the cast members are usually known for making. Of course, with this being the opening sketch it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Madeline Kahn then officially opened the show with a quick monolog about how great it was to be hosting again after eighteen years had passed since her last hosting appearance and how she really didn’t think it would take that long. She then switched gears to sing both the soprano and frog sounding voices to the Clarence “Frogman” Henry song, Ain’t Got No Home which she planned to perform years ago, back when she didn’t think it would take her so long to return as the host.
  3. We then got a repeat of the Gangsta Bitch Barbie ad from earlier in the season which was a Barbie line of products that was marketed to inner-city children.
  4. The Spartan Cheerleaders then returned to do their cheerleading routines at the high school basketball game, even though their presence wasn’t at all appreciated.
  5. John-John Mackey's Storm Tracker Accu-Cast was a sketch where Tim Meadows played the badass titular weatherman who treated weather like his personal bitch.
  6. Giant Bird was a sketch where David Koechner and Madeline Kahn played a couple who argued about typical married couple things while being carried away by a giant bird that grew to be huge from growing up next to a nuclear power plant.
  7. Leg Up then returned for another installment where this time “Debbie Reynolds” and “Ann Miller” had on Madeline Kahn as their special guest who played an old famous Russian ballerina.
  8. Bush then took to the stage to perform Comedown.
  9. Once again, Norm MacDonald gave us the news. This week, Colin Quinn dropped in as jolly old St. Nick to share with Norm how he became the present giving fat man.
  10. Lucien & Fagan's Antique Shop was a sketch where Mark McKinney’s and David Koechner’s old-timey British characters ran an antic store where they were very strict with their no return policy even when it came to Madeline Kahn who played their top customer who was partially to credit for keeping the store open with her purchases.
  11. Fuzzy Memories then returned for another installment where Jack Handey remembered to back when he was a kid and stuck his head out of a car window, accidentally knocking a dogs head off in the process.
  12. Spade in America also returned for another installment where this time David Spade shared his New Year’s wish list for 1996.
  13. Bush then returned to the stage to perform Glycerine.
  14. Wedding Vows was a sketch where Madeline Kahn and Will Farrell shared their bizarre self-written vows on their wedding day.
  15. Fuzzy Memories then returned again for another installment where Jack Handey remembered a crazy family crisis.
  16. This was followed by a repeat of the Old Glory Insurance ad from a couple of weeks ago which was an ad for an insurance plan to protect old people from attacking robots.
  17. Finally, Madeline Kahn closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

Not only was this a pretty fun episode, it earned bonus points for sentimental reasons thanks to sketches like the ones I’m about to share that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved the Giant Bird sketch not only because the special effects cracked me up but I always find it funny when people knit-pick one another over stereotypical things even when their lives are in serious danger. Next, I really like Madeline’s opening rendition of Ain’t Got No Home because her quirky voice was always something that always stood out to me and it was fun to hear the silly range she used to sing this song. Finally, I was a fan of the Wedding Vow sketch because I liked the way the vows escalated from starting pretty normal to being over-the-top by the end.

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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.