SNL: S21E20... HOST: JIM CARREY... DATE: MAY 18, 1996

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Great Episode, Average Season Finale

I have extremely mixed feelings about Jim Carrey and always have. The main issue is that I’ve also, always had extremely mixed feelings about over-the-top physical comedy to where, when it’s done right it can get me to laugh my ass off but there’s a fine line to where it became unbearably annoying. It’s one thing when a character acts this way but when it feels like a person’s persona they can seem like they’re trying way too hard. Plus, I was raised as a stand-up comedy fan so I always preferred a well-crafted joke.

I really liked Jim Carrey when he was on In Living Color and I even liked many of his early movies but I started to dislike him as a personality when I started to see him in interviews. He just reminded me of the class clown who wasn’t all that creative in his efforts to get attention but for some reason, everyone seemed to eat it up which only adds to the annoyance that real funny people don’t always get the same results.

Then there came the turning point in his career where he became the sad clown taking on serious roles while still trying to be a goofball while promoting his work. I really like the idea of a lot of his work but I still struggle to get past him seeming to try too hard to be weird even though when you boil down what he says, I completely agree with a lot of the messages he tries to push.

I guess the real problem is that I’ve always wanted to like Jim Carrey more than I actually do and can’t figure out how to resolve this conflict. Thankfully, this mixed feeling didn’t really come into play during this episode because sketch comedy is the perfect place for these over-the-top characters so I wasn’t bothered at all.

In fact, I found this to be a very fun episode. Jim Carrey fit in well with the cast to where if he didn’t turn out to be such a big success, he could have easily been a Not Ready For Prime Time Player. It did feel more like he was work than having fun as the host but he was putting in an effort to do a good job and not just working in order to promote his latest project because he also seemed to like to be there.

My only issues are, the fewer but longer sketch format and the fact that the show has still yet to get to a point to where they have a legitimate season finale. This is by no means Jim Carrey’s fault, I just can’t wait for the season closers to feel more special to end out the year instead of an average episode.

With all of that said, it’s now time to shift gears from sharing my views to sharing what I viewed as I give you…

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a parody of Nightline where Bob Dole was interviewed about his recent announcement that he officially quit the Senate in order to focus on his presidential run. Right away, he got upstaged by Bill Clinton who announced that he was quitting as president in order to focus on his own presidential run. This led to a game of one-upping where Bob Dole started to make crazy promises in an effort to out-do Clinton. This being the opening sketch, it led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
  2. Jim Carrey then officially opened the show with a monolog where he acted as some sort of alien addressing the audience about the differences between his planet and ours, highlighting how his quirky ways are normal where he comes from. He then stopped the bit after noticing one member of the “audience” who wasn’t laughing. It turned out this audience member didn’t like Jim Carrey’s attempt to try something new, so Carrey quickly shifted gears and started to revise some of his famous characters which instantly got the guy to laugh which was enough to get us to move on.
  3. Jim Carrey then played a foreign exchange student who joined the Spartan Cheerleaders and shared some crazy cheers of his own while hyping the crowd at the high school wrestling match.
  4. Roxbury Guys then returned with Jim Carrey as their new club comrade to do the head nod dance to What I Love, Baby Don’t Hurt Me, while aggressively trying to dance with any women who would make a hint eye contact.
  5. Overprotective Lifeguard was a sketch where Jim Carrey played a lifeguard watching over a hot tub and was way overzealous with playing the role of the tiny pool protector.
  6. Once again, Norm MacDonald gave us the news. This week, had no guest and was just Norm giving the news.
  7. Soundgarden then took to the stage to perform Pretty Noose.
  8. I'll See You In Hell! was a sketch where Jim Carrey threatened everyone at work by saying, “I’ll see you in hell,” to the point where the threat becomes meaningless.
  9. Spade In America then returned for another installment where David Spade made fun of the cast before looking back at his favorite Hollywood Minutes.
  10. The Joe Pesci Show also returned with Jim Carrey as Jimmy Stewart who was on the show to complain about Mark McKinney as Jim Carrey over his impersonation of him only both guest ended up getting acted by Jim Breuer as Joe Pesci. That is until Jimmy Stewart fights back and ends up kicking Joe Pesci’s ass.
  11. Soundgarden then returned to the stage to perform Burden In My Hand.
  12. Jimmy Tango's Fat Busters was an infomercial parody with Jim Carrey playing a pitchman selling weight loss through a combination of heat beads and crystal meth.
  13. Finally, Jim Carrey closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

This may not have been the best season finale but it was still a really good episode thanks to these three of my favorite moments of the night. First, I loved The Overprotective Lifeguard because it cracked me up to see Jim Carrey performing lifeguard moves into a tiny Jacuzzi. Next, I really liked Jim Carrey with the Roxbury Boys because this was when they fell into their true characters which just wasn’t quite there during their first appearance. Finally, I was a fan of Jim Carrey joining the Spartan Cheerleaders because this was a perfect use of his high energy.

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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.