Dana Carvey / The Wallflowers
October 21, 2000

The actual review won't come for a while, since there is a fairly important
matter to take care of. Another SNL reviewer on this page made some pretty
unflattering remarks about me last week, and I feel I must respond. His
comments are italicized, my rebuttals are in normal font. I posted this
very same rebuttal on Jordan Davidson's SNL
Message Board, so if you read it there, scroll on.

For a while, the reviews of saturday-night-live.com have been controlled
by two people, Jordan Davidson and Mark Polishuk

Sean Bradley is the only one who *controls* the reviews. While Jordan and I
are the two most read recappers, it's not like we have any special
privileges or anything. We don't get input into how the site is run, or Tina
Fey's e-mail address, or anything of that nature.

Now upon in-depth analysis of their reviews, it occurred to me that Mr.
Davidson has not made me upset yet. Sure, he's a little easygoing when it
comes to his critiquing, but he really has not offended me.

Jordan Davidson: Whew!

Polishuk on the other hand has insulted me deeply. The only positive
thing I can find to say about him is that he was one of only very few who
agreed with me in saying that the Jackie Chan season ender sucked big time.
Other than that, there is not much else to say.

What about my sparkling wit?

First of all, let us notice in his Jackie Chan review that the three
worst musical guests from last year were: Sisqo, DMX, and Dr.Dre/Snoop Doggy
Dogg/Eminem. Notice that all three are either black artists, or (in the case
of Eminem) are rappers (a generally black musical form).

The reason for this is simple: I DON'T LIKE RAP. That is my opinion, and
since I am writing a critical review, I have to give my opinion. If a rapper
gives a performance on the show that I enjoy, I'll give it a higher grade.
Until then, tough.

Also, Mr. Polishuk deemed the Jamie Foxx episode to be the worst episode.
Note that the host for this episode is also black.

Since the host usually has very little to do with the writing process in any
given show, the fact that Foxx hosted the show was of little consequence. I
thought Foxx was very good as host, but the material was weak. My main
problem with that very show was that I found a lot of the sketches
(Ferrell's John Rocker bit, Amateur Night at the Apollo and a spoof of MLK's
"I Have a Dream" speech) to be racially offensive.

By the way, I thought that the Freddie Prinze/Macy Gray show was the best of
the year. Macy Gray, as it so happens, is black.

Even if we were to dig into the archives of his episode reviews,

At this point, I have to deeply apologize to everyone. I am very, very sorry
about my early reviews. The ones I wrote for the 97-98 season are very bad,
and I hoped that they would be consigned to the depths of time.

...we would find that he found the Cuba Gooding, Jr. to be average at
best (7 out of 10. That's 70%, folks. In most schools, that gets you a big
fat C.

I didn't find that show to be particularly good. Next. By the way, at my
school, a 70 is a B-. But that's just quibbling...

The Samuel L. Jackson episode to be average as well (73%, another C),

Again, not a particularly good show.

Puff Daddy's performance to be worse than average (60% now),

It's PUFF DADDY. Of course it's going to be below average! Hell, even rap
fans don't like Puff Daddy!

Busta Rhymes' performances to be even lower (60% and 50%), Lauryn Hill
(who won a grammy for Album of the Year for the album she was promoting that
night) to be low as well (70% and 65%), and Beastie Boys to be equally low
(60% and 75%). Now, in his infinite wisdom, he gave Eminem a C+ and an F for
his recent performance on the show.

Again, I don't like rap, and thus the low ratings. I normally like Lauryn
Hill, but those particular performances seemed unnecessarily rapped up.
"Ex-Factor," in particular, was completely ruined and that is one of my
favorite songs. By the way, the last time I checked, Eminem and the Beasties
are white guys.

So now the question is, "Is Mark Polishuk racist, or just really blind to
the quality of black performers?" Perhaps that question can be answered
later, if not in this review, then in a future one.

Here's the answer right here: the idea that I am a racist is completely
ridiculous. My friends, who read these comments, were bent over in laughter
at the very notion of it. I review things on SNL based on quality, not
through any kind of racial bias. I am not blind at all to the "quality of
black performers," but I don't think that Puff Daddy is a quality performer.

Also, have any American readers noticed that Polishuk never passes up an
opportunity to make a dig at America.

Those are obviously meant in jest, since I am a Canadian. Canadians are
genetically pre-disposed to poke fun of Americans.

This reviewer then concludes his review with Mark, take that sheet off of
your head!
I am deeply insulted that this chump would dare to insinuate
that I'm in the Klan just because I gave Busta Rhymes a poor rating. Get
your head out of your ass.

What more can be said about Dana Carvey? Star of such cinematic classics as
Clean Slate,Trapped in Paradise and Opportunity Knocks,
Carvey then went to conquer the small screen with his long-running sketch
show The Dana Carvey. On top of all this, he was apparently on SNL
for a while as well. You learn something new every day. For example, last
Monday I learned that I was a hateful racist. Okay, okay, that will
probably be the last comment on the subject...for this week.

All kidding aside, Carvey pretty much ruled SNL during his run, so this
should be great. Here's a fast fact about him: he's 45 years old!
Actually, I was surprised to learn his age; he's approaching my father,
which is a little scary.

Bruce McCulloch: He's hip, he's cool, he's 45.

The musical guests are the Wallflowers, led by Jakob Dylan, the son of Sara
Lowndes and actor Matt Dillon. Jakob is known to be very close-lipped about
his father, which is probably why he changed the spelling of his last name.
If you check the lyrics of the songs, however, you can find several
references to his dad; one of their songs from their last album was called
"Bleeders." Matt Dillon was in There's Something About Mary.

Paramedic: We've got a bleeder!

All kidding aside, the Wallflowers are a pretty good band and should give a
good performance. Between these guys, Radiohead, and Paul Simon, SNL's got
some good music this year.

Here's a fast fact; Carvey last hosted on 10/26/96 when the musical guest
was Dr. Dre. The very next week, the host was Chris Rock with the musical
guests being...the Wallflowers! *CYMBAL CRASH* That's incredible!

[COLD OPENING] And Now For Something Completely Different...A Debate

Canada is having an election on Nov.27, so that means I get ONE MORE month
of political B.S. Joy. I would rank this sketch second of the triad;
better than last week, but still not as good as the premiere. I'm surprised
that SNL didn't take more advantage of the garishly bright red carpet; I
thought that was the funniest thing about last Tuesday's debate; St.
Louisans apparently haven't gotten Cardinal fever out of their blood yet.
Kattan's bit was the most enjoyable in the sketch, and having papa George
participate in the debate was a funny, if obvious, choice. B+

Live from New York, it's...Dana Carvey Carvey, incidentally,
has said the opening line more than any other cast member.

[MONLOGUE] Stand-Up!
Who needs the writers, anyway? This was a lot more enjoyable than seeing
yet another monologue with questions from the audience or having five cast
members come in. Good ol' Dana. I notice that he didn't do an impression
of the Republican V.P. Candidate, Dick Cheney. Poor Dick, he never gets
noticed. I will pause for a moment so you all can giggle like children at
the previous line........there. If Johnnie Cochran is actually defending
Microsoft in the antitrust trial, I would recommend the Chewbacca defence.

[COMMERCIAL] Giving A New Meaning To Being Full of Hot Air
Bill Maher as an expert on politics? You must be talking out of your ass!
(Rim shot) The fart joke has been an SNL staple for years, and it is now
back in all its flatulent glory. This ad was good for a cheap laugh, but it
was nothing special. C

[SKETCH] The Funniest Monotone Since Kissinger
The Delicious Dish is possibly my favourite recurring sketch on SNL, yet for
some reason is not generally well-liked by the masses.

Bret Hart: What's wrong with you people?

Maybe I'm just a sucker for dry, low-key humour. Plus, any sketch that
keeps Molly Shannon contained is good in my books, even though she was more
animated during this outing. Another of my favourite things about this
sketch is the satisfied look on Ana's face whenever she makes a joke. It's
all about the little moments...and the larger moments of comedy like Dana
talking about dumping human waste on the Black Draculas. Like I always say,
SNL needs to put more of these sketches on; they've got it down to only
about one per season. A

[SKETCH] You Knew It Was Coming
The Church Lady is like the Rock; you know what's going to be said, what's
generally going to happen, but it never seems repetitive and its always
entertaining. Church Lady seemed a bit more direct this time than usual:
for example, chewing out Hillary Clinton for not performing her "Christian
wifely duties." I'm not exactly a religious person, but I'm pretty sure
that the Bible doesn't say anything about giving head.

Revelations 4:69-- And thou shalt sucketh from thou husband's wang.

A big highlight was the return of Chris Kattan's Anne Heche impression. The
sketch from 1997 with he and Mark McKinney (as Ellen) on Oprah was classic.
Watching the classic SNLs with McKinney is hard on me because the man was SO
DAMN FUNNY but yet he still got canned from the show. Anyone who has seen
the Kids in the Hall would agree with me. Getting back on topic, however,
this sketch is a B+

[SKETCH] Be Vewwy Vewwy Qwiet, I'm Hunting Wabbit
I still think the ultimate comic take on George Bush came when he moved
across the street from the Simpsons. What a great episode. This sketch
just reinforced the "Dubya's An Idiot" theme that SNL has already done in
better forms. Last year's Carvey guest appearance in the Christopher Walken
episode was pretty much the same thing, except in an office instead of a
forest. The only real funny moment was when Will started playing with the
antlers. Maybe this sketch just felt bad for me since I watched
Bambi this past week in film class, and the thought of a deer being
shot just felt bad. Sniff....R.I.P. Bambi's mother. C+

[MUSICAL GUEST?] Put The Damn Dogs Back!
A bonus performance from this year's one-hit wonders, the Baha Men. I am
getting horribly sick of this song's Macarena-esque level of irritation.
The only good thing that this song has spawned are the rants by Alan
Coulter, the announcer for Letterman. Alan Coulter is a funny man. D

And this is the moment where time ends. You see, I didn't watch SNL live
this week. I went out to a bar to watch the World Series with some friends,
and put my brother in charge of taping the episode. Last week's show was
also taped (by my competant mother), and my brother decided to start
recording after that show. The problem is, the tape is only two hours long.
So, I ended up missing Update, the first Wallflowers song, and a sketch
(which was apparently a VH1 Vogue Fashion Awards bit). Once again, the
credited Smiegel cartoon never materialized. My brother, coming back into
the living room after spending a half-hour looking at porn, noticed
something was amiss and restarted the tape again.

So the bottom line is, I missed a good chunk of show this week. The worst
part of it was, my friends and I came home to watch the game during about
the 10th inning. While I was upstairs, happily watching baseball, the tape
was screwing up just a floor below. Plus, the godless bastard Yankees won,
making the whole night completely worthless.

My Brother: Who cares? Nobody reads your reviews anyways.

If you care, please send an e-mail to mattpolishuk@hotmail.com The e-mail
can be blank, if you want, but just send it so I can shut him up. Consider
it a silent protest. I did happen to catch a few bits during the
commercials of the baseball game, so I'll comment on what I saw.

[WEEKEND UPDATE] Gosh, It Seemed Short This Week
I clicked over to see Tina (sans glasses) ending a heated rant about
something. Tina looks better with glasses, I think; it gives her a
mysterious air. Of course, glasses are generally one of my turn-ons, along
with a sense of humour and money. This led into Adam McKay's bit, which,
thank the Lord, was not a film. The idea of accosting people on the street
isn't exactly original (coughcoughTomGreencough), but it was pretty funny.
One of the featured bits that I missed was ROBERT FREAKING DENIRO making a
cameo to counterpoint Fallon's critique of him from last week. This would
have been funny simply to see who would start laughing first, Fallon or
Bobby D. The one week I miss, and Robert De Niro shows up. My brother is a

[MUSICAL GUEST] The Glenallen Hill Song
Glenallen Hill, when he played for the Toronto Blue Jays, once had a
nightmare where he was being chased by spiders. He sleep-walked right
through a glass table, putting him out of action for about a month. Ha!
The bald guitarist is making the enormously unfashionable move of wearing
jeans with a jean jacket. Now that is a faux pas. Anyway, this is a pretty
good tune, and I saw enough of it to be able to justifiably rate it an A-

[SKETCH] Vogue Fashion Awards
Missed it completely. Dana as Rudy Boetsch sounded funny, though. And this
point, the tape came back on.

[SKETCH] Suddenly, I Yearn For Head-Wound Harry
Of all of Carvey's recurring charcters to bring back, why Ching Change? He
wasn't that funny to begin with, and grew progressively duller every time.
His forbidden lust for chickens just wasn't recurring character-worthy
material. Since we are in the World Series, let's go through the problems
with this sketch in pitch format.

Strike One: A cue card was plainly visible on-screen. There's a pink slip.
Strike Two: Horatio was WAY over the top
Ball One: A chicken version of Death of a Salesman was perversely
Strike Three: Dana sang "Tomorrow" from Annie. That song will now be
stuck in my head for the next week. Damn you, Carvey. Three strikes and
this one is out. C-

[MUSICAL GUEST] I'm The Older Brother; No Hand-Me-Downs for Me
This song is also from their new album, "Breach," and the tune if called
"Hand Me Down." I like the lyric "you're living proof that evolution's
through." Now THAT is a pick-up line. Has anyone actually ever seen Jakob
Dylan smile before? He never looks like he's having any fun, which is odd
considering that the Wallflowers make good music and sell a lot of records.
How could someone be rich and not be having fun? Money is the root of
happiness, after all. A-

ACTORS OF THE NIGHT: Dana Carvey, Chris Kattan
BEST SKETCHES OF THE NIGHT: Delicious Dish, Monologue
WORST SKETCHES OF THE NIGHT: Bush and Son, Ching Change
BUSIEST CAST MEMBERS: Jimmy Fallon, Ana Gasteyer, Chris Kattan (four
sketches each)
CAST MEMBER WITH TIME TO WASH LORNE'S CAR: Rachel Dratch (no sketches)
CHARACTER BREAKS: Carvey started to chuckle at Horatio's incredibly
over-the-top character in the Ching Change sketch. Molly came perilously
close to actually breaking up in a Delicious Dish sketch, which would have
ruined the concept forever. FOR-EV-ER.

"I thought of that one last Christmas, but I had to wait until now to use
it."-- Margaret Jo (Ana Gasteyer) on her one-liner in the Delicious Dish

"Isn't he some kind of black Dracula?"-- Terri Renalto (Molly Shannon) on
Count Chocula

"My next guest is someone who loves to bob for apples and bananas...Anne
Heche!"-- Church Lady (Dana Carvey)

"I know you're not right in the head, son. It might be this dyslexia, but
when you were a boy, Babs and I just called it retardation."-- George Bush
Sr. (Dana Carvey) to his son

"I just wanted your kids to come into the back of van so we could film
talking about Bush."-- Adam McKay, to an irate parent

I must reserve final judgment until after I've seen the whole thing, but
this show was pretty good. For now, it gets a B+. Dana Carvey needs a new
program to showcase his talent; he is much too good to not have regular
work. As expected, the Wallflowers were good.

Next Saturday night will be a repeat, and I will be spending the evening
with friends. This Tuesday, you see, is my 19th birthday. The Canadian
drinking age is 19. You do the math. The next new SNL is the week after,
with the white-hot Charlize Theron hosting and the not-at-all- hot
-but-keep-in-mind-I-am-a-heterosexual-male Paul Simon singing. Until then,


Episode Review written by Mark Polishuk

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