SNL: S21E19... HOST: CHRISTINE BARANSKI... DATE: MAY 11, 1996

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or...

A Surprisingly Silly Visit From

A Tradition Comedic Bitch

Just as Christine Baranski joked in her opening monolog, I had no idea who she was based on her name alone but instantly thought of a ton of her roles simply by seeing her face. Right out the gate, I was a bit confused because even though I think she’s great at what she does, I didn’t really see her as host material. Then as she continued to talk, I realized she was rather funny which got me thinking, I only didn’t see her to be host worthy because of how often she plays the comedic evil woman who can be funny but doesn’t always come across as fun.

It’s too bad that her appearance alone makes her perfect for a rich bitch type character because it didn’t take long into the viewing for me to realize that she’s actually really silly. As I said, I’ve always thought she was good at her roles but I thought she always stuck to a straight woman/funny villain persona so I was pleasantly surprised to see just how silly she was as herself.

Not only was I pleasantly surprised by her personality, I was pleasantly surprised by the episode as a whole. Where I thought for sure that the night would consist of nothing but sketches where Baranski would portray the same snobby upper-class bitch berating her sketch co-stars, that actual show had her playing a wide range of characters that I loved way more than her usual pigeonholed roles.

In fact, Baranski is so fun when being silly I might have to look into more of her work now that I have this new outlook on who she actually is. She now reminds me of Catherine O’Hara where I remember her being more fun when I was a kid but then only end up in more and more comedic bitch roles to the point where I barely remember her full on silly side.

Sorry for rambling on about this topic, I just love when I get a pleasant surprise when expecting a slump of a show. That, and my head is still a little cloudy from cold meds so I’m struggling to tell whether or not my thoughts are as focused as I’d like.

Oh well, it is what it is, and now that I’ve shared my medicated thoughts it’s time to move on and share what I saw, as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with Dole/Rodman '96 where “Bob Dole” announced he’d be taking on Dennis Rodman as his running mates in an effort to improve his numbers. The real Dennis Rodman made a few quick statements before we cut back to the newsroom for the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Christine Baranski then officially opened the show with a quick monolog about being happy to host, while joking how most people are just now recognizing who she is since her name isn’t standard enough to stick out in people’s minds. She eventually turned to the audience to take some questions only to become the butt of a bunch of Polish jokes.
  3. We then got a repeat of the A.M. Ale ad that has already aired a couple times this season which was a fake ad for a morning malt liquor. 
  4. Molly Shannon then became Courtney love for the debut of The Courtney Love Show where the wasted singer interviewed racist Reds owner Marge Schott, played by Darrell Hammond, and Christine Baranski as Julie Andrews.
  5. Get Off The Shed then returned for a sequel where once again Will Ferrell continued to yell at his off-camera kids to get off the shed, while at the same time trying to entertain his guests.
  6. 20 Years And One Week was a sketch was Cheri Oteri played Barbara Walters to share two decades and one week’s worth of her celebrity interviews which allowed the cast to pull out some fun impersonations. The main focus was celebrity couples who claimed they’d be together forever only to later have their relationships famously fall apart.
  7. The Cure then took to the stage to perform Mint Car.
  8. Once again, Norm MacDonald gave us the news. This week, David Koechner as Norm’s brother Gary gave doing the news another shot only to once again end up too nervous to make any sense at all. Dennis Rodman also stopped by to review his own new book Bad As I Wanna Be in a very flamboyant way.
  9. Christine Baranski then played a Nightclub Singer who was horribly off-key to where everyone in the audience mocked her until she shared that she had a terminal illness and was just trying to live a dream which won the audience over right away even though it was a lie.
  10. Spade In America then returned for another installment where this time David Spade spent his time with Lucien and Fagin who pump him full of compliments while out on the streets of New York.
  11. Rolf On Death Row was a sketch where Colin Quinn played the titular Rolf who liked to gossip with his fellow death row inmates. The scene started with four inmates who would talk behind the others back and soon as they were sent to the chair.
  12. Goat Boy Sings Popular Songs of the 80's then made its debut to the show where Jim Breuer played his classic Goat Boy character who was a lab experiment turned talk show host who loved to sing ‘80s tunes.
  13. New Personality Traits was a sketch where Jim Breuer played a boss who drastically changed his personality with the help of some consultants in an effort to win over his new employees. His change is so extreme that he took on an English accent, grew out some chops, and even divorced his wife. This effort didn’t work so he kept on
  14. The Cure then returned to the stage to perform Inbetween Days.
  15. 1-600-LANSING was a phone sex line that catered specifically to the residents of Lansing, Michigan.
  16. Fuzzy Memories also returned for another installment where Jack recalled a haunted house from back when he was a child.
  17. Finally, Christine Baranski closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights. 

This episode turned out to be a pleasant surprise of a treat thanks to sketches likes these that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved The Debut Of Goat Boy because the concept and character are both so over-the-top surreal that I love everything about it. Next, I really liked the sequel Get Off The Shed II because I love the original and thought this one was still fun even if it was repetitive. Finally, I was a fan of The Courtney Love Show because Molly Shannon does such a good Courtney Love and Baranski was a pretty good Julie Andrews.

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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.