SNL: S21E13... HOST: TOM ARNOLD... DATE: FEBRUARY 17, 1996

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or...

A Toned-Down Tom For Round Three

Since this is Tom Arnold’s third time hosting the show, I’ve already established the fact that I’m a fan but here’s a bit of a refresher. As a stand-up comedy nerd, I was aware of his work before he ever met up with Roseanne. I liked him the same way that I liked most comedians but his high energy rambling made him seem rather new with the potential to get there someday.

After he married Roseanne, I was entertained by the couple’s headline snagging antics but as an actual couple, I found them to be rather annoying. Once they broke up, I enjoyed Tom Arnold whenever he would appear in a movie but personality wise, I constantly bounced back and forth as to whether or not I found him to be annoying. I like him a lot more now that he’s sober, but I’ve always been, at least somewhat of a fan.

As far as this episode goes, I would say that it was a pretty good one. Though Arnold opened the show by sharing a story about how he was being obnoxious at the Golden Globes in a way that I feared that he might be obnoxious during the show as well, tonight’s episode brought us a pretty calm Tom Arnold that I would take over the hyper rambling maniac any day of the week.

His sense of calmness made it seem like he was there to actually act, and not just enjoy his time in the spotlight. Of all of his appearances, this was by far my favorite one but it still came across as just slightly above average considering the fact that he followed so many super strong hosts in a row. Again that’s not to say that I found it to be bad, just a little weak in comparison.

With that said, it’s now time to move on and share what made up this slightly above average episode, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with parody coverage of the WMUR 9 CNN Debate that made fun of the front-running Republican candidates who were running in the ’96 Presidential Election. The main focus was how the Republican Party was such a mess at the time that there was no way any one of them could have beaten Bill Clinton and that they were actually rooting for him. Since this was the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Tom Arnold then officially opened the show with a monolog where he talked about how happy he was to be back hosting the show again. He added how he was a tad bit surprised to be back following a recent incident at the Golden Globes where he said something off-color about Teri Hatcher while presenting. He then went on to make several cluelessly cruel jokes while interacting with the cast throughout the rest of the intro.
  3. The Life We Lead was a parody of a soap opera where the network had an idea to save some money by sneaking news stories into the show’s dialog, making for some very interesting, informative but melodramatic interactions.
  4. St. Gabriel's Bake Sale was a sketch where Nancy Walls played a loyal churchgoer who was extremely intense about the annual charity sale to where she would physically threaten any of the other women who did not go along with her self-imposed rules. The sketch ended with her kicking Tom Arnold’s ass after he as the preacher entered the church and attempted to snag a free lemon square.
  5. Tupac Shakur then took to the stage to perform California Love.
  6. Once again, Norm MacDonald gave us the news. This week, “O.J.” called in via phone to provide a special update to Norm where he claimed to still be looking for the real murder of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown while going about his normal life. Colin Quinn returned as Joe Blow for more local news that so local that it only deals with his own personal issues. Adam Sandler also dropped in as a special guest to sing a song called Dip Doodle which was about his grandmother following her recent death.
  7. Miracles Of Science was a talk show sketch hosted by Will Ferrell where Tom Arnold played a big headed guest named Gus “Brainiac” Grady who looked like he should have genius abilities thanks to his oversized brain, only to find out that he was actually a complete idiot.
  8. Jim Breuer then played the female character Naive Mrs. Kogen who was extremely naïve in her efforts to convince Officer Tom Arnold that her son, Colin Quinn, was not the criminal that he obviously was portrayed to be.
  9. David Koechner then returned as his Gerald “T-Bone” Tibbins character to prepare Tom Arnold for a major surgery only to have his prankster ways scare the hell out the nervous patient.
  10. Fuzzy Memories then returned for another installment where Jack Handey recalled his dad’s woodpecker-inspired suicide.
  11. Tupac Shakur then returned to the stage to perform I Ain't Mad At Cha.
  12. Tree Slice Display was a sketch where Tom Arnold played a forest ranger who used a giant slice of a tree where the rings noted a timeline of a couple of historic events along with several marks that noted the timeline of this tree idea. After a while, we learned that he obtained the tree through illegal means and that the cops were actually after him. It turned out that this sketch was actually a PSA to warn people about making sure that any forest rangers you may come across are actually legit before buying into their stories.
  13. This was followed by a fake ad for Petchow which was a rat poison that was disguised as dog food in an effort to fool rats into eating it up without realizing it’s actually meant to kill them.
  14. Finally, Tom Arnold closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights. 

As I said up above, this was my favorite Tom Arnold episode so far, thanks to these three of my favorite moment that I’m about to share. First, I loved Gerald “T-Bone” Tibbins: Prep-Nurse because I really like the T-Bone Tibbins character. Next, I really liked the Miracles Of Science sketch because I like the idea of the brainy looking character who is actually really dumb. Finally, I was a fan of St. Gabriel's Bake Sale because it was fun to see Nancy Walls as an overly aggressive church-going lady.

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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.