It's been a week now and we still don't have a president....our
is in chaos! Could the folks at SNL have dreamed up a better scenario
for this week's show? Looks like we could have a gem on our
hands...welcome aboard, Ally McBeal (even though I don't watch your
show) and musical guest Ricky Martin--so when will he ask us to start
calling him "Rick" Martin now that he's a mature adult? I'm watching
this week's show on tape so I can point out in detail all the funniest
COLD OPENING / "DUH-DUH-DUH-DUH-DUH-DUH....": I don't
was talking with friends all week about the presidential election and
joking, 'you know, maybe Bush and Gore could share the presidency--it
could be like the odd couple in the white house, since they don't have
much in common'. Well wouldn't you know--either I should be writing for
SNL or one of my friends already does and stole my idea!
You couldn't have come up with a better premise for a Gore/Bush
sketch. Ferrell's 'Gee, Dubya' was perfect, right down to the bandage
on his right cheek (covering up that boil or whatever)....'eat it
Gore'...'unificators'....brilliant! Just a political aside, could this
guy really be our next president? I know Letterman, Leno, and Conan are
rooting for Bush to win so they can mail in their monologues, but I
wonder what kind of leader he's going to be?
Anyway...on to "The Presidential Odd Couple": again
I'm showing my age,
but I remember watching reruns of this classic 70's sitcom.
Evidentially so did the SNL writers, from the narrator asking 'can these
two men share the white house without driving each other crazy?', to
Hammond (playing the Felix Unger role) picking up Ferrell's cigar (as
the Oscar Madison slob) to GW reading Nickelodeon magazine, to GW
drinking Al's milk (right out of the Odd Couple's opening credits),
right down to the classic theme song. Great touch having GW flip off
Gore as he's tucking Georgie in...stupid line that had me cracking
up--Ferrell saying he'd leave his laundry 'lying around in humorous
piles'. Finally, the rock/paper/scissors was the coup de grace, and of
the three scenarios, you know Gore would have to choose paper covering
Bush's rock (I did used to wonder as a kid why paper would beat rock but
I guess if it didn't the entire premise of the game wouldn't work). It
took me until the fifth episode, but I am finally giving out a top
grade, not because I had the same "Odd Couple" idea in mind, but
because they were able to pull it off so well--Hammond and Ferrell have
nailed these candidates down perfectly!
GRADE: A (and well-deserved).
MONOLOGUE: When I saw Calista Flockhart up there, I thought
be Rachel Dratch? Lo and behold, they put 'em both on stage together.
Best line was Calista telling Rachel's Ally: "for gods' sake, eat a
burger". Anyone willing to make fun of themselves (or the characters
they play) gets a good grade in my book.
COMMERCIAL PARODY / CRACKLIN' OAT FLAKES WITH ECSTASY: Ok--this
totally conviluted premise, but putting that aside....Will Ferrell once
again manages to carry a sketch by going over the top....giving the
tongue to Chris Parnell? Nobody else makes this work but Ferrell....he
is quickly going down as one of the all-time great SNL cast members (did
I really say that? yes I did...hey, get off the shed!!!)
THE RETURN OF THE CULPS: They're back...and their timing is
have always been a big fan of this sketch because of the clever choosing
of the songs matching a particular theme, and also because Ferrell and
Gasteyer work so well together and can both sing quite well. First a
quick comment on Calista's character--she looked like Carol Brady with
the hair style and almost sounded like Laura Petrie from the old 'Dick
Van Dyke' show (old-age alert). As for the Culps, what made this
musical montage even funnier than most was that they changed alot of the
lyrics to fit with the Al Gore theme (gee, I never pictured the Culps as
Democrats--sarcasm alert). "Gore, Gore, Gore....in the Bush....he's a
Ralph Nader (classic!)....I'm a loser baby....who let the dogs out (did
we really need this, but the Culps make it funny)....hey, F-F-Florida,
you aint seen n-n-nothin yet.....maybe the funniest Culps clip I've ever
GRADE: A (two tonight...am I getting easy?)
NICK BURNS / HELP ME RHONDA: It took me a couple of installments
sketch to warm up to it, but since then it's been pretty amusing. A
couple of funny lines: 'can't run Quicken on Cindy Marguilles'....'if we
could build a time machine and go back to 1998'...even Kattan's 'I don't
like you guys' smelled a little of Frank Burns from M*A*S*H. Second
time in two weeks Fallon referred to Playstation 2...I'm guessing he
might have one...ok, he got to kiss Calista Flockhart square on the lips
so I shouldn't make too much fun of him. Nice twist at the end with
Calista's Rhonda character getting to deliver the closing "You're
GORE ADDRESS: Loved watching Hammond turn his head like a robot
follow the camera shots. When he said "lick the dots", he flashed the
Clinton smirk (nice touch).
This sketch went a little long, but had a few funny moments--liked it
when Hammond was telling us one of the voters accidentally voted
libertarian AND changed her long-distance service.
MUSICAL GUEST RICKY MARTIN: Speaking of taking a time machine
1998, I thought I did when I saw the musical guest. All kidding aside,
who directed this segment? It was very professionally done with all the
camera cuts and quick zooms and fog on the floor. Is a music video
being recorded from this because that's what it looked like. As for the
song, all in all kind of a catchy number (she bangs, she bangs--a bit
risque for the teen idol), and I'm not much a Ricky fan.
WEEKEND UPDATE / FEY & FALLON FOR THE FIFTH TIME: Another
from the dynamic SNL duo, but I have to ask the other reviewers what's
the big deal with blasting Tina Fey for her commentary/monologues? I
don't seem to remember many complaints when Colin Quinn did it, so give
it a chance--personally I don't think some of them are that bad.
Obviously there was alot of material from the presidential election, and
there were some hits and misses from F&F--my favorite was Fallon's
pharaoh ballot. Hammond's Clinton was ok, but it got better when they
added Ferrell's Janet Reno (might have been the swan song for that
character, but not a bad sendoff if it was). It's also obvious all the
sketches Ferrell and Hammond have done together has created a stronger
chemistry when these two are in the same sketch, probably why they added
Reno to go along with Clinton (there's a time to keep calm and then
there's Reno time). Chris Kattan's Queen-Mother was a waste (an example
of Ferrell being able to carry a weakly written sketch while Kattan
doesn't quite cut it). The Charlie's Angels were ok--Fallon looked like
he was enjoying the group grope (and he got to see Calista's butt after
kissing her earlier--guess that's the two-fer). Maya Rudolph only
getting a token appearance this week as Lucy Liu.
ANIMAL PLANET / SCORPIONS, BATS, AND SNAKES, OH MY: I can't
seen an entire episode of the 'Crocodile Hunter' program, but it was
still pretty funny. Kattan as the Aussie Crock Doctor works, and
Calista as the ditzy wife is also effective.
RICKY MARTIN PART DEUX: Sometimes if I don't like the musical
tend to change the channel when I see the slide come up (that's if I'm
watching the show live). I'm glad I taped it this week because
otherwise I would've missed Chris Kattan stealing the show with his
Ricky Martin impression. It looked like Martin was a little pissed off
with Kattan, which is funny because the writers had to have planned the
GRADE: A (for Kattan's appearance, the song didn't do much for me).
THELMA & LOUISE?....NOT: Molly Shannon gets her one appearance
night, and frankly, it was a waste. This was a pretty disgusting
sketch...from the skin bracer and ben gay right down to the gold bond
powder on Ferrell's 'gray walnuts' (although it looked like Shannon was
going to lose it at the end when Ferrell went a little crazy with the
gold bond. Morgan/Minor count (this could become a new segment of my
review with the infrequency of these two on SNL): Minor takes a
commanding 2-1 lead and actually gets some substantial speaking
parts...sad to think both of these guys may not get much face time until
there's an african-american guest host (hello, David Allen Grier, now an
GRADE: D (for disgusting).
CBS SPORTS UPDATE WITH DAN RATHER: Hammond's Dan Rather impression
perfect--it even has a trace of Keith Jackson in it when he's reading
sports scores--but it's the closest I've heard anybody try to do him.
Great job of nailing Rather's classic one-liners from election night and
of taking the election-night projection process and applying it to
sports. Classic lines: a pair of jumper cables at a mexican
funeral....shakier than Ted Kennedy in a whorehouse with a full
bar....for the folks in Utah it's like new year's eve, 4th of july and
your first handjob all rolled into one This sketch could only run at
FINAL GRADE: B-plus....by far the best show of the season!
alot of current events material to work with, plus recurring characters
were used effectively. Not much else to say about this one...bring on
Tom Green. Again I'm going to show my age--I've never even seen Green's
MTV show. I may have to check it out this week so I won't go into next
week's review totally blind.
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