SNL: S21E11... HOST: ALEC BALDWIN... DATE: JANUARY 20, 1996

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Welcome To The Six-Timers Club, Mr. Baldwin!!!

With this being my sixth review of Alec Baldwin as host, I’ve already shared most of my views on him as a man, his career, and his hosting abilities. In summary, for the most part, I’m fine with the man and his work and as far as his hosting abilities go, I feel that he might be the best reoccurring guest of all times.

Of all of the X-Timer Club hosts, including Buck Henry, Alec Baldwin is the only one who has yet to put out a disappointing episode. As sacrilegious as this may sound, I’m also including Steve Martin and every alumni host, including the original cast. The thing that I like about Baldwin the most is how he feels like an actual member of every collection of the cast that he works with and not just the star of the week.

Other than his first visit where there were a couple of sketches that felt like ego boosters based on his looks, the rest of the time he seamlessly blends in as if he was born to be a sketch comedian. I’m not just saying this to blow smoke up his ass because even though I’m a fan of Alec’s non-SNL career, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that he is my favorite. I’m just impressed by how he continues to live up to my expectations, no matter the year of the show that I’m watching.

Sometimes, like with Steve Martin, these older shows can be a bit of a letdown purely due to the fact that their old jokes where either played out through pop culture references or just didn’t age to line up with the modern comedic sensibilities. Though I found that the sketch where Baldwin molested Cantina Boy from a couple of seasons ago falls into this category, for the most part, Alec’s episodes age well.

I wouldn’t say that this particular visit was my favorite of his but it was still a show where I felt entertained from start to finish. As usually, Alec Baldwin put out the energy that he genuinely loved hosting the night to the point where you can sense an extra energy from the cast that makes it feel like they love his visits as well which always help to make the show feel special.

It’s no wonder why they’ve invited this guy to host seventeen times, just three episodes shy of a full season, which is why I argue that he’s as much of an official Not Ready For Prime Time Player as one season Players like Robert Downey Jr. and Michael Anthony Hall.

So, now that I’ve shared my views, it’s now time to move on and share what I actually saw, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a parody of Nightline where Darrell Hammond announce the breaking news that Lisa Marie Presley had filed for divorce with Michael Jackson. In the sketch, this news was much more important than the conflict that was still going on in Chechnya. Koppel started out by interviewing several other reporters about the how horrible this news is until he eventually interviewed Tim Meadows as Michael Jackson who not only announced that this just meant that he had more time to spend with the ladies, but he also announced, “Live from New York…”
  2. Alec Baldwin then officially opened the show with a quick monolog about the fact that he just became a new father. Mark McKinney and David Koechner as Fops Lucien and Fagan then joined Baldwin to help him share how much his love for Kim Basinger has only grown more with the birth of their first child.
  3. We then got a repeat of the fake Marshall Power Tools ad from earlier in the season which was a fake ad where the founding family of a power tool company pitched their family product without acknowledging that every single one of them was missing at least one body part.
  4. Spartan Cheerleaders then returned for another installment where this time the unwelcomed cheerleaders attempted to hype the crowd as their high school chess tournament.
  5. The Joe Pesci Show also returned for another installment with Jim Breuer as Pesci like always, but this time Alec Baldwin played Robert DeNiro who played the sidekick and help Pesci verbally and physically abuse his line-up of celebrity guests.
  6. Literary Theatre was a PBS style show hosted by Fops Lucien and Fagin who introduced a play called Dense And Densibility which of course was a parody of Sense And Sensibility where everyone in it was dumb. 
  7. Tori Amos then took to the stage to perform Caught A Lite Sneeze.
  8. Once again, Norm MacDonald gave us the news. This week, Colin Quinn brought back his Joe Blow character who gave an update on local news that is so local that it’s based on the things going on in his personal life. After sharing a few stories, Joe Blow attempted to befriend Norm and get to join him for a few beers after the show.
  9. Buckwell's Follies was a sketch where Alec Baldwin played a politician named Henry Buckwell who accidentally shot Lassie late one night after hearing a noise and thinking she was an intruder. We then learned of several other faux pas made by Buckell while out on his campaign trail in his effort to become a governor, including cursing at a baby and wiping his ass with the American flag which were all genuine mistakes. To top things off, he ended his run of bad luck by wiping his ass again after getting hit by eggs only this time he wiped his ass with the baby that he already cursed at.
  10. Fuzzy Memories also returned for another installment where this time, Jack Handey thought back to his youth about his days playing Pirate with his friends but in reality, they were just a gang of juvenile muggers.
  11. Accidentally Shot By Hunters was a talk show sketch that showcased several people that have been accidentally shot by hunters. Not only were the guest accidentally shot in the past for valid reason but Will Ferrell played a hunter shot a couple of them dead while watching the show from the audience.
  12. Alec's Belated Season's Greetings was a quick sketch where Alec Baldwin attempted to get all of his belated Christmas greetings and thank yous out of the way via video.
  13. She was a sketch where Alec Baldwin and Mark McKinney played to navy shipmates who had no problem talking about their ship as if it were a lady but struggled to use the same terms when speaking about the women in their lives.
  14. Tori Amos then returned to the stage to perform Hey Jupiter.
  15. Tales Of Bill Brasky then made its debut for the classic sketch where a group of drunks describe their pal Bill Brasky in impressive ways that were impossible to be true as if he were a fictional legend whose feats were amplified by the booze. Then at the end of the sketch, we got to see a hint that Bill Brasky was actually real as well as hints that he lived up to his preceded reputation.
  16. Finally, Alec Baldwin closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Another reason that I like Alec Baldwin as host is that he always makes it easy for me to find sketches like these three of my favorite moments. First, I loved The Debut Of Tales Of Bill Brasky because it’s a classic sketch that I always loved as a child, and kind of had a Bill Brasky-esque reputation at several times in my life. Next, I really liked Buckwell's Follies because it cracked me up to see the over the top mistakes that were made by this fictional politician. Finally, I was a fan of Accidentally Shot By Hunters because it reminded me of a sketch that I wrote back in my days in film school.

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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.