Alec Baldwin / Coldplay
April 7, 2001


SPORTS CORNER
I will forego my usual intro to instead bring up a matter of the utmost
importance. The Jays are 5-1., baby! Let me be the first to predict it:
Toronto Blue Jays, World Series champions, 2001. The last time they won the
Series was in 1993, the year before a major baseball strike. What do people
say will happen when the collective bargaining agreement expires after this
season? A BASEBALL STRIKE! Thank you very much.

SELF-INDULGENCE CORNER
I got this idea a few weeks back to start a campaign to get my name
mentioned on SNL. If you support the idea of having myself (and by proxy,
the entire SNL on-line community), then be sure to either e-mail SNL via
their official website (www.nbc.com/snl) and demand to hear Mark Polishuk's
name on Saturday Night Live. If you are a reviewer yourself, cut-and-paste
the following line in each of your reviews (preferably near the top): I WANT
TO HEAR THE NAME 'MARK POLISHUK' ON SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, SO IF YOU ARE
ASSOCIATED WITH NBC, MAKE IT HAPPEN! Together, we can all make this happen!
Go forth, my minions! E-mail, e-mail! Make me famous!

WACKY ANECDOTE CORNER
So I'm watching TV last Monday night, when I get a phone call. This guy
tells me his name is David Jordan and he's an agent for Revenue Canada;
apparently, I'm being massively audited. Now, I obviously figure out that
this was a late April Fool's joke, since a) there was barely anything on my
tax return TO audit, and b) the voice sounded like my friend Matt, who has
been known to play a joke or two. So I play along for a spell, asking this
so-called agent if I could just send my yacht as collateral, etc.
Eventually, I get tired of this tomfoolery, and tell "Matt" to quit wasting
my damn time. As it turns out, it isn't Matt. I then perhaps think it's
Dave, one of my brother's friends, who has also pulled the odd phone gag in
his day. Again, nothing. "David Jordan" asks me to remember the name he
gave, and it suddenly hits me like a candlestick wielded by Colonel Mustard.
During some distant ICQ conversation, I must have given my phone number to
that original prankster, Jordan Q. Davidson. Yes, I gave my phone number
out to someone over the Internet that I had never met before...then again,
Jordan (probably) isn't a sex offender or anything. Probably.

Anyway, that wacky Iraqi had called all the way from Waterloo just to
attempt to make me look like quite the fool; the April fool, as it were. We
chatted for a little bit, before I began to realize what a 20-minute phone
conversation with somebody in Waterloo would do to my phone bill. Anyway,
Jordan, jeers for the transparent joke, but cheers for the sheer surprise of
the whole matter. Plus, your voice sounds sort of like Butthead, as in
"Beavis &." Sorry.

SHOW OVERVIEW
Alec "Mr. Temper" Baldwin makes his 9th hosting appearance, more than any
other man not named John, Buck or Steve. Hey, the anacronym of their first
names is JABS...zany. Alec is appearing in Pearl Harbour, a film
that is destined to be 2001's Big Summer Movie That Sucks. Clue #1: they
show the attack happening during the day, when it real life it happened at
night. Unbelievable. Anyway, Alec has proven himself to be a fine host in
the past, and his mere presence seems to inspire the writers to put together
som quality material.

Tina Fey: Since Alec is such a good host, I become a bit more critical in
approving the staff's sketches. For example, Adam McKay came to me with a
sketch about Alec playing a German nihilist who shares a cab with Neil
Armstrong and former Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Mike LaValliere. In other
weeks, that might've made the cut, this week, I cracked down.

Dennis McNicholas: We cracked down.
Tina: What?
Dennis: Well, we're both technically the head writers for SNL.
Tina: Are you on Weekend Update?
Dennis: Uh, no.
Tina: Is every newspaper and magazine in the country writing articles about
the "fresh, new SNL" and either interviewing or at least you?
Dennis: No.
Tina: Is there a sexy
photo of you wearing garters in Rolling Stone?
Dennis: Not in Rolling Stone, no.
Tina: Do you have legions of on-line SNL reviewers proclaiming their undying
love for you?
Dennis: No.
Tina: Then it's settled. I am the real head writer of SNL.
Dennis: My mom says I'm cool.

The musical guest...or wait, I guess it's guests, since there are four guys
in the band. Or is it "guest" because it's a singular band? DAMN THESE
MIND GAMES. Anyway, Coldplay are here, and they're a British band whose
album "Parachutes" was hailed as one of 2000's best records...or I guess one
of the best CDs of 2000, since nobody listens to records anymore. DAMN
THESE MIND GAMES. I haven't heard any of their material besides their
ridiculously overplayed single "Yellow," so it would be unfair to judge them
on the basis on the one song. Hopefull they'll be good.

[COLD OPENING] Negotiating Strategery
Another Dubya sketch, and maybe the most lacking of them all. George Bush
the elder was bland and colourless, but Carvey made him funny; perhaps Will
needs to get into some comic exaggeration, since the "Dubya is stupid" jokes
can only go so far. Get Tom Davis back to write some more political
openers, stat. The concept of the sketch was reasonably good; this is the
kind of negotiating prowess that Dubya used, back when he owned the Texas
Rangers, to trade Sammy Sosa. Yeesh. Then again, maybe the Chinese PM did
get the worst of it: he has to vacation in Texas! (rim shot) The Chinese
PM, by the way, looks like Harry Caray. C

[MONOLOGUE] Pink...Is His Favourite Colour. Pink...Is The Way Of Your
Lover

According to the tabloids, Alec has hooked up with Jennifer Love Hewitt, who
is a solid 22 years younger than he is. The man is a motorcycle and a
leather jacket away from one hell of a mid-life crisis. That banging sound
you just heard was Kim Basinger shooting herself after having her divorce
mocked on national television. Seriously, if I'm her, I'd be calling up my
lawyer and adding another zero to the divorce settlement. Alec probably
also didn't do himself any favours by indirectly comparing himself to the
mother of all philanderers, Willy J. Clinton. Do you get the feeling that
Darrell will be going guest appearances on SNL as Clinton for years and
years to come? He might even ask to be buried giving the crooked thumbs-up.

Reverend: We are gathered here to today to mourn the passing of
Darrell Hammond. Our first speaker is his former Saturday Night Live cast
mate, Mr. Mark McKinney.
Mark McKinney (walking in behind the reverend): I'm Mark McKinney.
(walks off quickly)

Monologue gets a C.

[COMMERCIAL] Stocks Are Falling..Get It? Falling? Ah, I've Got
Nothing.

Ha ha! Suicide! Hysterical! Anyway, this was a fairly average commercial,
and not exactly timely: the stock market has been gradually plummeting for a
few months now. I'm afraid that my stock-trading friend Eric will end up
like Alec's character...let's just say the past few months have not been
kind to his portfolio. C

[SKETCH] Get Schwetty
In theory, this is the worst thing SNL could possibly have done. Take a
one-time, classic sketch like the original "Schwetty Balls" Delicious Dish,
and rehash it. Plus, it seemed as if the Delicious Dish was being put to
bed when Molly left; bringing in Rachel is kind of like if Kevin Nealon had
brought in a new cousin named Klans after Dana Carvey left in 1992.
Nevertheless, enough new twists were added (the caller, the choking bit,
etc) to make it seem fresh. Rachel actually almost did choke after the
"piener" mishap, and thus managed to break character in a DD skit: something
even Molly Freaking Shannon did in five years. Then again, I don't see how
anyone could keep a straight face during any of this; if I was driving and
heard this on the radio, I swear I'd get into an accident. Alec at least
kept a straight face: he gets a well-deserved Phil Hartman award for that.
I can't help but wonder what Kim Basinger thinks of the Schwetty weiner. A-

[SKETCH] George C. Scott is Spinning In His Grave
You weak Americans...if it were Canadian soldiers captured, they'd fight
like wild dogs to escape. Then again, the entire Canadian military only
consists of about 25 people, so they wouldn't really have any choice. This
sketch was okay, if only because it was funny seeing G.I. Joe cliches be
deflated. I liked Rachel's comment about "running through some tires once."
It's a shame that Steven Seagal wasn't one of the captured soldiers; not
only could he take on a billion Chinese, he could do so without ever getting
punched. Then again, Steven might be Chinese...or native, or Inuit, or
Italian, or Martian, or whatever. My friend Dave is half-Chinese
("Chinglish, as he calls it), so I'll have ask him about those sideways
vaginas. B-

[SKETCH] The Glass-Grabber
Matt Schroeder, in his famed "Days in History" segment, somehow forgot to
mention the birth of Charles Nelson Reilly for January 13th, 1931. For
shame. Normally I would praise SNL for choosing a more obscure actor for
this skit, rather than someone relatively well-known like Drew Barrymore or
Dustin "Screech" Diamond, but I actually had no idea who Charles Nelson
Reilly was. I had heard the name, but never actually seen him in anything.
Apparently, I haven't missed much. Will's comments are getting evermore
ridiculous and funny; I liked the one about A Troll in Central Park
being equivalent to "looking into the face of God." Maybe I just liked the
skit because Will said "Well played," which is one of my catchphrases.
Yeah, I'm weird. B

[BASKING IN THE GLORY OF TINA FEY...OR WEEKEND UPDATE] The Title Is
Already Long Enough

The newsbits were generally good, but the featured attractions this week
were the four (!) Correspondants. Jimmy's "I Have an Opinion" was okay, but
basically pretty much just an excuse for sound effects, and bizarre,
Sandlot-esque analogies. Tracy's Darryl Strawberry bit was just
weak. The Kid Rock/David Spade bit was just an excuse for a celebrity
cameo; perhaps Spade is replacing the late Joe C as Kid Rock's personal
midget. The unquestioned jewel of this bunch was Tina's rant about Hugh
Hefner, and here's why: Tina's bit had JOKES. Jimmy, Tracy and Spade/Rock
based their material on their ascribed "personalities" on the show; Tracy as
the streetwise black man; Jimmy as the lovable, confused anchor; Kid Rock as
the drunk jackass (then again, he probably wasn't acting). These bits were
based on copping an attitude and hoping the audience would laugh. Tina was
telling actual jokes and it all built up to a bigger punchline. This kind
of intelligent humour, even moreso than her looks, is why everybody loves
Tina Fey.

Dennis McNicholas: Sniff.

She even fit in a cheap plug for The Weakest Link. Sure, it looks
like a cheap knockoff of both Millionaire and Survivor (the ads even refer
to it as such), but you've got to love a game show where the host is allowed
to be mean to the contestants. You just know that Regis has always wanted
to cut loose and yell at people who don't know the chemical symbol for
water, or something. The contestants were the ones who thought they'd show
off their smartie-pants ways by signing up for a game show; their failures
deserve to be mocked. B+

[MUSICAL GUEST] Freezing Dramatic Performance
Ah, "Yellow." My radio nemesis. The song is kind of repetitive, but
overall a good tune. No clothes comments here, since I dress pretty much
the same as these guys. Just casual, comfortable attire. A criticism of
Coldplay is that they're ripoffs of Radiohead, but I don't see it; their
lead singer isn't a spaz. Anyway, this was a solid performance, so nothing
to see here, folks. Move along. B

[SKETCH] Or, As Americans Call Him, Robert Goo-LETT.
It's a mark of this bizarre SNL season that Will's throwaway impression of
Robert Goulet has become a recurring bit. Now, all of a sudden, there are
three more Goulets on the scene and starring in a crappy play. So, who was
the composer? Since all the songs seemed to sound the same, it was probably
Andrew Lloyd Webber. The highlight of this sketch were the newspaper
reviews: I would've recorded all of them for the Starting Line-Up, but my
pencil wasn't fast enough to get them all down. It was a bit of a surprise
to discover that Tony Dungy, coach of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, also
moonlights as a drama critic for the Houston Chronicle. Maybe that's why
the Bucs choked last year; get your priorities straight, Coach. Another
funny bit was the look on Ana's face as Will tried to inhale...er, sorry,
kiss her. The fact that she was playing Goulet's daughter made it even
funnier. Hinted incest never ceases to be funny. B+

[SKETCH] Bad Analogies R' Us
Word on the street says that Tom Daschle might be the Democratic
presidential candidate in 2004. If so, maybe there's hope for Darrell yet.
It might be tough for Daschle to get elected with (as Darrell portrayed him)
a voice like Carol Channing, but who knows what the American voters will do?
Bringing out dead squirrels and making analogies to whorehouses might be
just the thing to get him votes in the redneck states.

George W. Bush: Come on...do you really think I'll lose the votes of my
fellow hicks?

Good point, Mr. President. Kattan was good, just because he spoke in a
patronizing, grade- school teacher kind of voice that I found kind of funny.
The concept was okay, but the sketch dragged on a bit too long to really
work. B-

[SKETCH] The Brandy Tree
For one horrible moment, I thought that SNL (in the year 2001) was going to
do a Buttafuoco sketch. Horatio looked a LOT like Joey himself. It just
turned out to be a sketch about putting photos of loved ones into brandy
glasses...that's much more normal. This was one of those sketches were, if
you showed somebody the show's segments out of order, they would still be
able to tell that this one went on in the last 20 minutes. Given that it
was on at 12:45 in the morning, it was an acceptable skit. Ol' Tony
Malone's got himself quite the scam going; his cousin does all the actual
work, but Tony gets most of the profits. Slick. B-

[MUSICAL GUEST] The Second Best Song Featuring the Word "Beautiful" in
The Title on SNL this Year

This song is apparently called "Beautiful World," and it is NOT on the
Parachutes album. Odd that they wouldn't play a second song off the record
they're touring the US to promote, but who am I to discern the methods of
musicians? I'm still trying to figure out why the Beatles released the 30th
anniversary version of the White Album in a CD package that was too big to
fit into the average CD-rack slot. Goddamn Beatles...I blame this one on
Ringo. Anyway, it was a pleasant surprise that Coldplay even got a second
song; David Gray and Nelly Furtado (the other "new" artists to guest this
year) only got one each. The song was pretty short, but good; any song with
a mouth organ is good in my books. Heh heh...mouth organ. B

PERFORMERS OF THE NIGHT: Alec Baldwin, Darrell Hammond
BEST SKETCH OF THE NIGHT: Schwetty Weiners, Robert Goulet, Weekend Update
WORST SKETCH OF THE NIGHT: Bush Negotiates, Reliable Dividends commercial,
BUSIEST CAST MEMBERS: Will Ferrell (5 sketches); Ana Gasteyer, Darrell
Hammond (4 each)
CAST MEMBERS WITH THE TIME TO MEMORIZE HAMLET: Maya Rudolph (0 sketches).
MISTAKES: Will and Ana messed up a few lines in the Bush/Delicious Dish
sketches, respectively. Pesky verbal diarrhea. A cue card briefly covered
the camera during the Jack Wilcox sketch. What is this, amateur hour?

STARTING LINE-UP
"You're made in the shade with pink lemonade...and I do mean pink." -- Bill
Clinton (Darrell Hammond) talking to Alec Baldwin about his newfound
romantic freedom.

"Sometimes I get so fired up that I boo the opposing team." -- Pete Schwetty
(Alec Baldwin) on baseball.

"There is no word suitable to describe it, so I shall make one up. It was
scrumtrellescent."-- James Lipton (Will Ferrell), on the brilliance of
Charles Nelson Reilly.

"You make Gandhi look like a child pornographer."-- James Lipton (Will
Ferrell), again on the brilliance of Charles Nelson Reilly.

"Wherever two or more whores are gathered, there is always one named Tina.
Thanks, Mom." -- Tina Fey, Weekend Update.

"Robert Goulet, the man Time Magazine once mentioned..."-- Darrell Hammond,
in the voice-over for Red Ships of Spain.

"Lasting Impressions: for in-your-face elegance." -- Tony Malone (Alec
Baldwin)

AFTERSHUKS
Has there ever really been a bad Baldwin show? Of the 5-6 I've seen, I
cannot recall any one that was any worse than okay. Ergo, the streak
continues: this show gets a B. Nothing was especially memorable (besides
Tina's Hugh Hefner bit), but the show went along at a nice, steady pace.
Alec was good as usual, and Coldplay were good. I might have to Napster a
few of their songs (of course, I will have to search for 'Koldplay'...damn
court orders).

Next week stars Renee Zellweger, or as I like to call her, the saving grace
of the otherwise wretched Jerry Maguire. She has some experience in
comedy, but in a lot of her public appearances, she seems a little neurotic
and shy. Hopefully she'll do a good job. The musical guest is Eve, who is
the second heavenly divine guest of the season (after U2). Kudos to Lorne
for booking the mother of all humanity...expect a wacky monologue starring
Darrell Hammond dressed up as a snake. Wait a second...this just in. This
Eve is apparently a rap/RnB peformer. I have never heard of her, but as
long as she's more RnB than rap, it might be all right. Until next week,
adieu.

Mark Nelson Polishuk


Episode Review written by Mark Polishuk


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