Kate Hudson / Radiohead
October 14, 2000

Hey, everyone, welcome to my second Saturday Night Live review! Three-peat next week, baby!

PRE-SHOW THOUGHTS: I've never heard the name Kate Hudson in my life, except for on the SNL websites. I've at least heard of Radiohead, but never one of their songs. I wasn't sure how this episode was going to turn out.

COLD OPENING- Second Presidential Debate: Last week's debate sketch had me rolling on the floor, but this was sorely lacking. It was semi-amusing to see Bush read off the names of foreign leaders, but the whole "I agree" thing was inaccurate and not very funny in the first place. Hopefully if they do this again next week it'll be better-- more along the lines of the first one. Also, has anyone else noticed that both of the lead-ins to "Live, from New York..." have been kind of weak?

OPENING MONTAGE: Still pretty cool, but hey! No Jerry Minor? Too bad...

MONOLOGUE: I've never seen Laugh In, so I'm sure a lot of the inside jokes flew right by me. Anyway, there wasn't much humor in this to begin with. If they're going to interrupt the monologue (a theme which I do enjoy, I like that much better than the host just telling jokes or something), it should be for something worthwhile.

SKETCH- Girls Gone Wild: This was classic. A prime example of how great SNL can be. Yeah, when the started showing the first commercial you knew EXACTLY what was going to happen, but they kept building it up so well (always funny to see Will yell "Son of a bitch!") and the twist at the end was so great that it didn't matter.

CARTOON- X-Presidents: I assumed this would be the "Sex and the Country" thing that someone in the newsgroup was talking about, but instead we got the X-Presidents watching the debate. The joke, apparently, was that one of the X-Presidents' kids was running, so why shouldn't the others' kids? It wasn't executed (no pun intended, George) very well, though. A better joke was on the Politically Incorrect poll: "Most pathetic presidential relative: A) Billy Carter B) Roger Clinton C) George W. Bush." Oh, well. At least we got another sketch immediately after this...better than sitting through commercials.
GRADE: C- (Hey, it's a Smigel cartoon that isn't deliberately vulgar!)

SKETCH- Inside the Actor's Studio: I've only seen this once before, when Screech was the interviewee. I liked it then, but that was primarily because I used to watch Saved by the Bell all the time. This sketch DID cause my one HUGE laugh of the night, though, when Will fell backwards out of his chair. The interview with Drew Barrymore wasn't great, but not bad by any means.

SKETCH- Sully and Denise: With The Ladies' Man gone, there are only two recurring sketches now that I like: Nick Burns and this one. The reason all three work time and time again is that they don't rely on some stupid catchphrase (Simma Da Na) or physical comedy (Mango). With Sully and Denise especially, there's a new twist each time. Nomar Garciaparra's cameo was great. Good one-liners, like always.

MUSICAL GUEST- Radiohead: What was this about??? This was like Nine Inch Nails on Nyquil. The entire song was pretty much a fairly derivative bass riff, interspersed with some pulsy techno sounds and the lead singer whispering into his mike. His weird convulsions didn't really fit the music, either. I will say that it did transmit a neat atmosphere, and the guitar player looked pretty cool.

WEEKEND UPDATE: Jimmy and Tina do it again! An excellent build on last week's total shocker. I love their little between-joke banter. (I know, scripted, but still funny) President Clinton was, as always, a riot, delivering some classic lines: "I should say that my friend Al Gore is the best choice, but that would not be truthful. And I feel that if there's anything this administration will be remembered for, it's honesty and integrity.", " 'Oh, Mr. Gore, there's a crisis in the middle east, what should we do?' 'Well I propose we calculate the ratio of an isosceles triangle...' What the hell is he talking about?", "And Bush isn't any better...subliminable? Unacceptabable? Can we say...unelectabable?" It was cool to see Darrel doing an impression of Bill Clinton doing an impression of Al Gore. This would be a hands-down A+, but most of the news jokes were kind of weak.

SKETCH- Woodrow: I didn't like this when they did it with Britney Spears, and I didn't like it any better this time. Points for effort, though, as everyone seemed to be really into it.

SKETCH- Meet the Press: This was okay. Nothing particularly humorous, and Darrel's Tim Russert blew, but at least it was topical.

SKETCH- Japanese Laverne and Shirley: Last season, MadTV did "Laverne and Shirley 2000", and it was set up pretty much like this, except in English, obviously. On the same night this episode aired, they did this Spanish soap opera, all in Spanish (it was a riot- captured the soap-opera feel 100%, although it was the only funny sketch during the first half-hour of the show, which is all I watched, obviously). This seems to be a poorly-done amalgam of those two themes. It wasn't even interesting watching them speak Japanese.

MUSICAL GUEST- Radiohead: This was much better. It sounded like it actually had a point. It was kind of funny when they showed the close-up of the drummer going wild and you realized that you couldn't hear him at all.

SKETCH(?)- Voting While Impaired: Hey! Jerry Minor! Huh? Anyway, this was interesting and semi-amusing. Good premise.

CLOSING: Oh, look at that, a sign that says "Let Ralph Debate". What is it with everyone's obsession with Ralph Nader? He's a radical freak! Do we REALLY NEED all of this change? Are things so bad right now? Oh, well. At least the Radiohead guy threw down the sign like he didn't really care.

OVERALL: This was a pretty varied episode. Some classic moments, but also some unbelievably terrible ones. A little more gelled that the season premiere, though.

Episode Review written by Alex Hartzler

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