Hello again...time to kick off another review and say farewell
six-year SNL veteran Molly
Shannon. Always seems strange when cast members leave the show in
Shannon did join the show in the middle of the
lost-but-not-totally-forgotten 94-95 season featuring
the likes of Chris Elliot, Michael McKean and Janeane Garofalo (the most
annoying female cast
member in SNL history). In fact, it probably was Garofalo's abrupt
departure (you could tell
watching she didn't want to be there) during her only season on SNL that
helped paved the way for
Shannon to come aboard and give us such memorable characters as Mary
Circe Nightshade from "Goth Talk" and Teri Rialto from "Delicious Dish",
as well as some funny
impressions of celebrities like Monica Lewinsky, Courtney Love, and
Meredith Vieira from the
television talk show "The View". But for all of Molly's talent, she
also brought us some utterly
annoying characters like dog-show woman, freaky joyologist, and Sally
O'Malley....don't even get
me started! She looks as if she's been going through the motions on SNL
this season (and waiting
for her next movie contract), so I guess it's a good time for her to
go. Cheri Oteri (who I actually
find funnier) looked like she was going through the same thing last
year. As for Molly, how can I
pay her tribute? Given my disdain for most of her recent recurring
characters, how about something
like this (apologies to the late Louie Armstrong):
Well goodbye Molly
It's so nice to see you leave
After six long years
That wasn't always the case,
Your Lewinsky kicked ass, Molly
But then Helen Madden and Sally O'Malley
Just drove us to tears...
Nah...how about a goodbye "Schoolhouse Rock" style?
Molly, Molly, Molly
I've got adverbs here
You've absolutely positively
Lost it dear
When a "Dog Show" sketch came on
I drank another beer...
You know what? Maybe I haven't liked all her SNL work, but
probably a lot of Molly
fans out there, so how about I borrow a quote from singer Henry Gross
(circa 1976) to describe
how they're feeling:
Finally the tears fill our
And I know that somewhere tonight
She knows how much we really miss her
Shannon is gone
I hear she's drifting out to sea
She used to love to swim and play...
Ok, so the song was paying tribute to a dog's passing, but
impressed I found a song
called "Shannon"? Maybe it's time for me to get rid of my "Hits of the
Actually it's time to get this week's review underway...Sean Hayes of
"Will & Grace" fame is host
(would've been appropriate to have an Ace & Gary cartoon this week) with
musical guest Shaggy
(but it would not have been appropriate to bring Rob Lowe back).
Ebersol/McMahon alliance concocted a way to quicken the XFL games so
this week's SNL
actually aired at 11:30 EST...hopefully it will be worth it.
COLD OPENING / WILL FERRELL IS KING OF THE WORLD
With Gee Dubya as our president, it's good that the funniest SNL cast
member will probably open
nearly every show, but it's getting a little predictable to open every
week with a political address. Of
course, if predictable is funny...which Ferrell is...I guess it's not so
bad. Best line was Ferrell's
attempt to wrap up while the cameraman kept zooming in for the LFNY
close-up: "I have just one
more thing to say...live from...no wait...two more things to
say...first, don't mess with Texas; second,
live from...no wait...". Ferrell is king!
MONOLOGUE / I'LL TAKE THE FIFTH...OF BEETHOVEN?
That was Sean Hayes actually playing the piano, wasn't
it?...impressive! Quick, can you name the
'70s recording artist who had a hit single with "A Fifth of Beethoven"?
If you said Meco, give
yourself a gold star...you know, I think it's definitely time for me to
get rid of those "Hits of the 70s"
NPR / I WANT MY MOLLY-TV
So how many of Molly's old characters will we get to watch one last
time? (Official Molly Sketch
Count =1) At least Teri Rialto of NPR's "Delicious Dish" is one I
actually like. Not the best
installment of "Dish" but definitely the most far-out....Lizard Cosell??
infinity...weird! If that really happened after eating a portabello
mushroom, I'd be tripping at least
three times a week.
COMMERCIAL / HOMOCIL
Finally, a cure for parental anxiety disorder! Will Ferrell is great as
one of the parents, but the kids
get the best lines in this one: "Hi Dad, this is called a double suzy"
and "Who wants creme brulee?"
TIME TO PLAY A LITTLE HARDBALL
Bill Clinton is doing his darndest to stay in the headlines, but let's
face it--Darrell Hammond is not
the big kahuna anymore. He'll have to start showing off his other
impressions; although I don't
regularly watch Chris Matthews talk show, I've seen enough of it to say
Darrell's got it down pretty
good...."and it wouldn't matter if Bush did a line of coke off the
lochness monster's ass...we'd all still
be talking about what Clinton thought of 'The Wedding
Planner'...morons...you're all morons!"
(Official Molly Sketch Count = 2) Chris Parnell gets off a couple shots
as Harlen Spector:
"Scottish common law says we can shrink Clinton down to the size of a
field mouse." I'm not saying
this was a hilarious sketch, but Strom Thurmond has an island.
WELCOME TO JEFFREY'S....NOT
Sean Hayes had the best lines in this sketch as one of the sales clerks:
"Diesel's hip....yeah, a hip that
should be replaced." and "$300? Wow, so your check came in from being on
=3) It was also funny to watch Hayes and Jimmy Fallon almost lose it
when Will Ferrell rode in on
his motorcart and then answer a call on his microscopic cell phone.
MUSICAL GUEST SHAGGY / I THINK WE'RE IN TROUBLE, SCOOB
I'm not familiar with this artist...and who was singing with him? I
listened to this a little and Shaggy
sounds like he's created a new musical genre: reggae hip-hop.
WEEKEND UPDATE WITH FEY & FALLON
The good: Tina's best were "Bush wanted to send a clear message to Iraq
by knowing exactly
where Iraq is" and "taking your billionaire to work day" on the sub
collision story. Jimmy actually
wound up with the funnier stories this week, including "I need a price
check on the whore pills!" and
"News of the (Sesame Street) firings was brought to the employees by the
letters F and U."...and a
good Count impression by Jimmy as well. BTW, for those who were
wondering, Phil Hymes
(who's referred to in the WU Inside Joke) is the lighting consultant for
SNL...no, I don't know every
staffer for the show...I taped the show and just happened to catch his
name in the closing credits.
The guest: I didn't see the movie "Billy Elliot" but from what I've seen
of it in the trailers it looked like
Sean Hayes caught the essence of the kid pretty well. Seemed like one
of the shorter Updates so
far this season...I bet I know why...more Molly time!
HSN / WOULD ANYONE REALLY BUY THIS CRAP?
Recurring sketch alert! Ana Gasteyer returns as the host of "Hello
Dolly" with Sean Hayes at her
sides pushing the Fancy Pantsies line. Hayes shows more comic timing
with the Chop Suzy asian
doll..."me love her long time". The character Gasteyer plays reminded
me a little of the woman host
on the "Pretty Living" show with Molly's crapologist...Ana plays the
self-depreciating bit as well as
anyone. Her best was "I was this close to kicking a blow dryer into the
bathtub...I looked up and
looked at my doll shelf and saw all 24 of my dolls saying, 'Don't do it
mommy--have a kahlua and
go to bed'."
I'M 50 BUT I'LL BE RETIRING TONIGHT...THANK GOD
(OMSC = 4) It's a model fashion show with Hayes as host Adrian Dante.
As I was watching this I
thought that Molly was due for another sketch appearance. Maybe she'd
show up as Mary
Katherine Gallagher aspiring to be a fashion model...or maybe she'd do
another bit as supermodel
Veronica...or maybe....oh.....no.....it's Sally O'Malley! Quick, run
for the remote!! Whenever I see
SO'M I like to kick...stretch...and kick...a hole through my TV set! If
anyone finds this character
amusing, please e-mail me and explain why, because I'm sure not seeing
it. Hayes gets off the best
line (again): "I should call security but you're so mother-humping odd I
can't keep my eyes off
you!"...maybe that's her secret.
MUSICAL GUEST SHAGGY RETURNS
Gee, this song sounds alot like "Angel of the morning". Also featured
are the lyrics "Shooby doo
dooby doo"...is Shaggy sure he didn't mean "Scooby doo"?
AND NOW ALL THE NEWS YOU DON'T NEED
Another Ana Gasteyer compliment (she's officially the lead woman on the
show now, although she
always was to me): she makes a very funny news reader, right down to the
way she inflects like a
professional anchor. Despite a clown car colliding with a truck full of
Billy Basses and then with a
prison van full of prisoners, for some reason I didn't find this sketch
particularly amusing except for
Ana's deadpan delivery.
SCHOOL'S OUT...FOREVER...FAREWELL MKG
(OMSC = 5) I normally wouldn't grade a musical bit going to commercial,
but this wasn't any
normal musical bit. Molly just had to get into the catholic school
uniform one last time...I'd like to
describe how I'm feeling by quoting from the made-for-TV movie "Sickly
Feeling: Portrait of an SNL Reviewer".
I'VE NOW OFFICIALLY JOINED THE BRIAN FELLOWSHIP OF THE MISERABLE
Why is stupid funny? Why is Tracy Morgan being stupid funny? The
answer...because it's not!
There was no need to bring back this lame sketch which aired once last
season at 12:45. The fact
that it's airing at 12:45 again is just some writer's attempt to
resurrect this piece of refuge and hope
someone finds it funny. And Tracy Morgan...what is his purpose? On the
show I mean...it would take too long to answer his purpose for
COMMERCIAL / CORN CHIP NAILS (R)
I swear this is the third time they've run the Corn Chip spot this
season. I know they ran it during
the Rob Lowe season opener and I thought it ran again, but I can't
remember when. After its initial
airing I wrote that I hoped they wouldn't repeat it but they did; now I
must assign it a one-grade
drop from what I gave it the first time. I'd like to drop it two
grades, but you can't drop two grades
from a D-minus, and please don't tell me F-plus and F-minus are grades
because they just aren't,
JUMPING JEHOSAFATS AND 'GINAS
Anyone out there see the movie "Stuart Saves His Family"? I think it
was plucked from the movie
theaters after its first screening, and I know my local video store has
only had it checked out
once....I guess I was reaaaaaally bored, what can I say? The only funny
line from this cinematic
h-bomb was when Al Franken called someone a "sick, disgusting,
....VAGINA! (cue echo)" The
only reason it had me on the floor was because it was the absolute last
thing I expected him to say.
I bring this up because I'm about to review a sketch about people
"Talkin' bout 'ginas". (OMSC =
6) We get to see Molly as Anna Nicole Smith one last time, and Kattan's
Farrah Fawcett was
definitely out there. Maya Rudolph as Gayle King (one-time Hartford CT
television news anchor,
now famous because she's friends with the Oprah) proved to be pointless,
and this sketch was just
dudding along until Will Ferrell as the wrestler Chyna had me howling!
GRADE: B (all Ferrell; rest of the troop gets a D-minus).
FINAL GRADE: B-minus. Although the second half of the show
little flat, Sean Hayes
showed enough as host to bump up this grade a little. It has been a
challenge the last couple of
weeks to have any genuinely funny sketches air after "Weekend Update",
and that's usually a sign
that the show isn't having its best season. And Molly's six appearances
had to be the most she's had
in a single show this season. Good luck in Hollywood...BTW, does this
mean that writer T. Sean is
leaving the show too? Is this person Molly's brother? Does anyone
Next week we've got a third straight live SNL (always a dicey
proposition) with Katie Holmes and
musical guest Dave Mathews Band (am I the only person annoyed that they
refuse to use the word
'the' in front of their band name? Yes!
BACK to Sean Hayes "SNL" Episode Reviews