My Birthday Episode: Year 20


Up until realizing that this was a birthday episode, my original subtitle was, Not Bad For A Hot Host Episode. Before you go thinking that the phrase hot host is at all sexist, let me be clear that, in general, I’m not often a fan of shows where the hosts are mostly famous for their looks where they are a woman or a man. For the most part, these good-looking hosts seem to treated like props to be felt up or fawned over by cast members of the opposite sex with at least one sketch devoted to a same-sex interaction.

These hot hosts are also rarely all that funny other than the fact that they like to smile and laugh at the ugly funny people’s jokes which in turn creates a feedback loop to where they think that their humor is grand. This can build a false sense of self-confidence to the point where they don’t even seem to recognize the fact that they’re actually doing bad.

This seems like a great way to live life but it’s not always that fun to watch. Luckily, this was only partially the case with this episode, which made it fun to view. Though I do feel like Elle MacPherson was treated like a prop to be flirted with as the premise to most of the night’s jokes, I think that the fact that she’s not an actress made it seem like she was genuinely having fun rather than desperately trying to prove her comedic worth.

Most of the time, these hot hosts come from the world of soap operas and one-hour TV dramas so they often bring their melodramatic acting style into every scene. This acting style may actually be a bigger issue to me than just having an issue with looks. The non-actress fact might also be why I was more lenient with the fact that Elle always had smaller rolls where sometimes she was just in the background and rarely the star of the sketch.

I wouldn’t say that this episode is going to top any of my favorites lists, but I do have to admit that it was a pleasant surprise. With that said, it’s now time to shift gears and share what I saw as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with more parody coverage of the ’96 Presidential election where this time Bully, “Pat Buchanan” forced “Steve Forbes” into donating money into his campaign while the two attempted to check out of their hotel rooms following a recent political event. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”

  2. Elle MacPherson then officially opened the show with a monolog about how happy she was to host the show. She then went on to ramble about how she lived in New York and loved. I say ramble, not because she seemed ill-prepared because it was intentional to allow the on-screen text discuss how hot she was without the worried of the audience missing anything all that important while reading.

  3. This was followed by a repeat of the A.M. Ale ad from earlier in the season which was a malt liquor for early morning drunks.

  4. The Spartan Cheerleaders then returned to do their usual hilariously quirky cheers only this time they were at the high school swim meet where once again they were unwanted.

  5. Tim Meadows then portrayed a jazz pianist for a sketch called Winston Graff Recording Session where he used TV catchphrases to make up the melodies to his new collection of songs.

  6. Mary Katherine Gallagher also returned for another installment where the awkwardly spazztic Catholic school girl competed in the Fresh-Faced Teen modeling competition where she takes on Elle MacPherson.

  7. Sting then took to the stage to perform Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot

  8. Once again, Norm MacDonald gave us the news. This week, Lucien and Fagin returned to share that they were still huge fans of Norm to the point where they are the founding members of the Norm Macdonald fan club.

  9. Redenbacher Holiday Theatre was a sketch where the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue was adapted into a holiday special put on by the popcorn pushing Redenbacher family. This was a musical sketch where men and boys slept on the cold winter streets in order to get their first copy in the morning. We also got to see Elle MacPherson as a Santa of sorts for the swimsuit themed holiday. Molly Shannon also played a Wicked Witch Of The West-looking feminist who, after a quick cut to the end of the special, turned out to not only be won over by the concept but actually joined in on the holiday, though none of the men waiting in line cared about these details as they all rushed home to masturbate.

  10. Stan Hooper In The Hospital was a sketch where Norm MacDonald played the titular Stan who woke from his coma thinking that his sister, played by Elle MacPherson, was his incredibly good-looking wife while denying the fact that Cheri Oteri was his actual wife.

  11. Sting then returned to the stage to perform You Still Touch Me.

  12. 1-600-AUSSIE was a phone sex line where all of the sex talk workers were Australian making them damn near impossible to understand by their horny American callers.

  13. Fuzzy Memories the returned for another installment where Jack Handey recalled a tale of his mother’s fancy Easter Eggs that were so fancy that he and his siblings had to

  14. First Date Manners was a sketch where Jim Breuer was extremely lenient with his rude blind date because she was played by Ell MacPherson who was way out of his league.

  15. We then got a repeat of the Fuzzy Memories from earlier in the season where Jack Handey recalled a family crisis where the family was too broke to pay the bills so little Jack buried his piggy bank in the backyard.

  16. Finally, Elle MacPherson closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

Again, this was a surprisingly fun episode, especially thanks to these three of my favorite moments of the night. First I loved Stan Hooper In The Hospital because, even though it was wrong in this current, oversensitive atmosphere, Norm’s over-the-top sexist jokes about looks where so intentionally extreme that I couldn’t help but laugh. Next, I really liked Redenbacher Holiday Theatre because I’m old enough to love the joke about how the annual release of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue felt like an actual event. Finally, I was a fan of the First Date Manners sketch because of how it humorously highlighted how the hot hosts often get unearned leniency thanks to their extraordinary looks.


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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.