Christopher Walken / Weezer
May 19, 2001


Saturday Night Live 5/19/2001
HOST: Christopher Walken
MUSICAL GUEST: Weezer

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 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!

SNL YEAR IN REVIEW 2000-01
Get ready to argue, since the Third Annual Polishuk SNL Year In Review is
here. Pack a lunch, since this thing is really fucking long.

The dichotomy of the season, though, has been the differing reactions of the
mainstream media and SNL on-line fans to the actual quality of the shows.
While the newspapers are full of articles praising the "invigorated writing
and acting," some on-line fans have called this one of the worst seasons of
all time, right down there with 1994-95, 1985-86, and 1980-81. Both
positions, in my view, are exaggerated.

The media, as is their habit, tends to jump upon anything new and hype it to
death. The Sopranos, for example, is a very good program, but is
hardly "the best drama series of all time," as some critics call it. It is,
however, riskier, edgier and flatout different from anything else on the air
today, and this makes it stand out in the virtual wasteland of TV drama.
Similarly, SNL is once again getting media attention because of the sorry
state of sitcoms. Whatever your opinion on the quality of SNL, you must
admit that it certainly is an alternative to sitcoms about single parents,
or young people living in New York, or any of the other cliched crap on the
networks right now. Critics are looking elsewhere for a comedic fix, and,
wouldn't you know it, this 26 year-old show is putting out some interesting
stuff. Once SNL was re-discovered, however, the quality of show was
somewhat overstated. For example:

* The Bush/Gore sketches got the show a lot of publicity from media outlets,
but these sketches were only singled out because of the political content.
The guys on Crossfire probably just watched the political sketches,
had a good laugh and turned the show off since they had seen what they came
to see.

* When NBC decided to make SNL a trump card against Survivor, the
Thursday shows featured many of SNL's stronger sketches (Celebrity Jeopardy,
the Kulps, etc.), and thus somebody using those programs as a litmus test of
SNL's seasonal quality would be fooled into thinking that the show was alive
and well.

* The addition of Tina Fey to the cast and her promotion to Weekend Update
anchor got her more attention than most cast members in the show's history
(TV Guide cover, Rolling Stone article, etc). The media focused on her
status as the first female head writer, but let's face it: if Paula Pell,
for example, had been promoted to Update, do you think Paula would get as
much attention? We live in a shallow world, and (sorry to be cynical) the
fact is that Tina has been getting press because she's attractive. This
publicity is actually sort of negative for Tina, since cynical people who
don't watch SNL will roll their eyes and say "Oh sure, give the anchor
position to the hot woman" and ignore the fact that Tina is a terrific
writer and performer. The fuss about Tina seems to hint that WU is greatly
improved by her (and to a lesser extent Jimmy Fallon's) presence. Update
has been the one consistently good segment on SNL for about fifteen years;
while the quality of the anchors has differed greatly, the news bits have
always been solid. A funny Weekend Update is, no pun intended, not breaking
news.

With nobody focusing on the big picture, SNL is once again a hot property.
While this season has certainly had its share of ups and downs
(coughcoughTomGreencoughcough), the perception is that SNL is funnier than
ever. SNL on-line fans, however, like to be like A. Whitney Brown and tend
to look more at the big picture. The big beefs? Lame recurring characters,
uninspired choices as hosts and musical guests, annoying cast members (Molly
Shannon being the most cited example) and a dearth of good sketches. I'm
not going to try and change anybody's opinion about the season, since that's
their own business, but I for one don't think that this season has been bad
at all. To be frank, I think a lot of the criticism directed at show and
about how "it should be cancelled since it's not funny anymore" is just a
case of people needing something to write about. I am sometimes accused of
being an apologist for SNL, but what can I say? I find the show to be
entertaining more often than not. When I think something is stupid, I'm the
first to criticize it, but I find the majority of SNL material is funny.
Another, more logical reason for the alleged drop in quality are the
Thursday specials; when you consider that many good sketches were siphoned
into them, it's no surprise that the quality of the regular show drooped a
little. While there have been a lot of one-note recurring characters, that
number has dropped drastically since Molly Shannon left the show (this isn't
yet another 'bash Molly' post, just a truthful observation). A sketch like
"Wake Up Wakefield," for example, was much funnier the second time around,
so maybe it's just a case of giving the material time to grow on us and
develop. As for the choices of hosts and musical guests, be careful what
you wish for. SNL's only 'imaginative' choice for a host this year was Tom
Green, and we all know what became of that show. This is live, televised
comedy; it's hard to tell who is good at it until they get out there.
Sometimes a mainstream host turns out to be much funnier than expected (i.e.
Calista Flockhart).

In short, this season was far from being a cesspool of comedic waste. It
was also not a return to the glory years of the late 70's or early 90's. As
it usually is, the truth is somewhere in between. Rating the SNL season in
total, it receives a B (in my school system, that works out to about a 75%
average). There are things to be improved upon, sure, but watching SNL in
2000-01 has been a largely enjoyable 28 and a half hours of my life.

THE CAST
There have been rumours that Darrell Hammond and Chris Kattan will leave
after this season, as they have been with the show with 1995. If they do in
fact leave, both will be missed; Darrell for his uncanny impressions, and
Kattan for his raft of funny characters and his underappreciated skills as a
straight man (yeah, pun intended). Another alum since 1995, however, is
staying. Will Ferrell showed his status as MVP of the cast, and many a
sketch was improved simply by him doing a walk-on, or adding his peculiar
talent to it. What other actor could have made something like the Mr.
Tarkanian sketch, where a boss berates and kills his employees, so funny?
Even though next year will be his seventh season, Will's material is still
consistently fresh and funny, and his involvement can only improve a cast.
Plus, he does a killer George Dubya impression.
The rest of the cast is, as far as I know, all coming back. Jerry Minor is
the only exception, which is unfortunate because in his limited camera time,
he looked to be a pretty funny guy. My wish list for next year is for Chris
Parnell to get larger roles, Jimmy Fallon to return to doing impressions (he
turned into a good anchor, but his acting skills are being stunted), Tina
Fey to do more roles outside of Weekend Update and for poor Rachel Dratch to
get a few more roles that doesn't require her to dress as a man, a child, or
some kind of freak.

And now, the Polishuk Rankings for the past season. A note: as many of you
know, I missed my first SNL episode since 1997 thanks to my VCR-challenged
brother. Ergo, nothing from the Charlize Theron/Paul Simon show is included
here. Also, any sketches from the SNL Thursday Primetime Specials are not
included because I missed the majority of them (like millions of others,
watching Survivor.)

BEST/WORST SHOWS
5. Kate Hudson/Radiohead [10/14/00] 5. Katie Holmes/Dave Matthews [2/24/01]
4. Pierce Brosnan/Destiny's Child [5/5/01] 4. Lucy Liu/Jay-Z [12/16/00]
3. Calista Flockhart/Ricky Martin [11/11/00] 3. Mena Suvari/Lenny Kravitz
[1/20/01]
2. Renee Zellweger/Eve [4/15/01] 2. Julia Stiles/Aerosmith [3/17/01]
1. Sean Hayes/Shaggy [2/17/01] 1. Tom Green/David Gray [11/18/00]

BEST HOSTS
5. Conan O'Brien 4. Calista Flockhart 3. Kate Hudson 2. Dana Carvey 1.
Sean Hayes
WORST HOSTS
5. Val Kilmer 4. Pierce Brosnan 3. Jennifer Lopez 2. Lara Flynn Boyle 1.
Tom Green

BEST MUSICAL GUESTS
5. David Gray 4. Dave Matthews Band 3. Shaggy 2. Radiohead 1. U2
WORST MUSICAL GUESTS
5. Eminem 4. Lenny Kravitz 3. Bon Jovi 2. Eve 1. Jay-Z

BEST MONOLOGUES
5. Christopher Walken 4. Renee Zellweger 3. Conan O'Brien 2. Sean Hayes
1. Dana Carvey
WORST MONOLOGUES
5. Mena Suvari 4. Julia Stiles 3. Pierce Brosnan 2. Tom Green 1. Lara
Flynn Boyle

BEST SINGLE SKETCHES/WORST SINGLE SKETCHES
10. The Culps [1/13/01] 10. T.G.I. Friday's [1/13/01]
9. Talkin' 'Bout 'Ginas [2/17/01] 9. Deandra Wells [3/10/01]
8. Delicious Dish (Halloween) [10/21/01] 8. McKay's "Nihilist & the Baby"
[2/10/01]
7. Golden Girls Exposed [5/12/01] 7. Ching Change on Broadway [10/21/00]
6. CBS Early Basketball Predictions [11/11/00] 6. Woodrow the Screenwriter
[10/14/00]
5. Crazy Doctor Beaman [4/15/01] 5. Wisconsin Girl at the Apollo [3/17/01]
4. History Channel Look at WWII [5/5/01] 4. Van Morrison/St. Patty's Day
[3/17/01]
3. Celebrity Jeopardy [12/16/00] 3. Rock Around the Clock [11/18/01]
2. Presidential Odd Couple [11/11/00] 2. McKay's "The Pervert" [1/13/01]
1. Palm Beach [12/9/00] 1. Dog Show [11/18/00]

BEST/WORST NEW RECURRING SKETCHES
5. Roger and Virgina, the Lovers 5. Christmas singers (Horatio, Jimmy,
Kattan and Tracy)
4. Wake Up Wakefield 4. Gemini's Twin
3. Robert Goulet 3. Jarrod's Room
2. Crazy Dr. Beaman 2. Veronica & Co.
1. Rap Street 1. Sassy Employees (Maya and Jerry)

BEST COMMERCIALS/WORST COMMERCIALS
4. U.S. Olympic Highlights [10/7/00] 4. Corn Chip Nail Tips [10/7/00]
3. Cracklin' Oat Flakes...with Ectasy [11/11/00] 3. Magic Mouth [10/21/00]
2. Dog-Suing Attorney [12/9/00] 2. Reliable Dividends [4/8/01]
1. Homocil [2/17/01] 1. William Shatner/Priceline.com [12/16/00]

BEST/WORST SATURDAY TV FUNHOUSE SEGMENTS
4. Find Black People at a Knicks Game [3/10/01] 4. Anatominals/Lorne Goes
Nuts [5/19/01]
3. X-Presidents -- Clinton Joins [1/13/01] 3. Backstreet Boys Suck
[2/24/01]
2. X-Presidents -- Their Children [10/14/00] 2. Fun With Real Audio:
Survivor [4/15/01]
1. Ray of Light [2/10/01] 1. Sex and the Country [11/18/00]

BEST/WORST WEEKEND UPDATE SEGMENTS
5. Jimmy Sings [12/16/00] 5. Jacob Silg [4/15/01]
4. Kevin Nealon as Mr. Subliminal [5/19/01] 4. Jeanne Dixon [11/18/00]
3. Little Rasheed Jenkins [2/10/01] 3. Kid Rock Hollywood Minute [4/8/01]
2. Janet Reno and Bill Clinton [11/11/00] 2. New Year's Baby [12/16/00]
1. Tina Fey's Playboy rant [4/8/01] 1. Tracy on Darryl Strawberry [4/8/01]

STARTING LINE-UP FOR THE YEAR
10. "According to a report released Tuesday, female inmates in the United
States have been victims of sexual misconduct by corrections employees in
every state except Minnesota. So ladies, if you wanna rob a bank but you
don't want your cooter poked, head to Minnesota -- land of 10,000 lakes. "--
Tina Fey [Weekend Update, 3/10/01]

9. "I love my long, bony, vagina."-- Chyna (Will Ferrell) [Talkin' 'Bout
'Ginas, 2/17/01]

8. "Matthew McConaghey said he wants to die the same way as his father;
after sex. Matthew's mother has been quoted as saying 'Absolutely not.'"--
Tina Fey [Weekend Update, 1/20/01]

7. "There was Pepe Chun, a half-Hispanic, half-Asian. He stole an enemy
Jeep, but couldn't drive it."-- Lt. Col. Robert Ward (Will Ferrell) [History
Channel Looks at WWII, 5/5/01]

6. "News of the layoffs were brought to you by the letters F and U."-- Jimmy
Fallon, on firings at the Sesame Street Workshop [Weekend Update, 2/17/01]

5. "Katherine Harris hasn't gotten this much attention since Spring Break
'77. Look at her: she looks divorced. She looks like the woman being
cheated on in a Mexican soap opera. Katherine, honey, there's another
setting on your make-up mirror. It's called 'daytime.' Check it out."--
Tina Fey [Weekend Update, 11/18/00]

4. "It's got to be New Year's, the 4th of July and your first hand job all
rolled into one in Salt Lake City tonight."-- Dan Rather (Darrell Hammond),
on the Jazz's projected NBA championship [CBS Sports, 11/11/00]

3. "'But offstage, things were falling apart' is a registered trademark of
VH1 Behind the Music."-- VH1 Voice-Over [Behind the Music, 12/9/00]

2. "Get up, you crazy black man, I'll make you drink my piss!"-- Mr.
Tarkanian (Will Ferrell) to one of his employees (Jerry Minor) [Mr.
Tarkanian sketch, 5/5/01]

1. "Citing the high cost of the series and its low ratings, syndicator
Pearson Television has canceled the long-running series Baywatch. That
leaves men in search of large, fake breasts on television with only VIP,
Jerry Springer, Jenny Jones, Search Party, Extra, MTV Spring Break, MTV's
Making The Video, Wild On E!, Howard Stern, Silk Stockings, G-String Divas,
The Man Show, Unhappily Ever After, Blind Date, Bowflex Infomercials,
Cleopatra 2525, the XFL, the NFL, Sabado Gigante, Temptation Island,
Charmed, wrestling, Cinemax, Showtime, or commercials."-- Tina Fey [Weekend
Update, 2/10/01]

BEST INDIVIDUAL MOMENTS OF THE SEASON
10. Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora cracking up when the DiMarco brothers
put on wigs to make them look like Bon Jovi from the 80's [5/12/01]
9. Chris Kattan's re-enactment of Queen Elizabeth's hip injury [Weekend
Update, 11/11/00]
8. The cute face that Tina Fey makes whilst saying "Boys don't have
anginas!" [Weekend Update, 3/10/01]
7. Mr. Tarkanian (Will Ferrell) kills Chris Parnell by stabbing him 33 times
with a trident [5/5/01]
6. Conan O'Brien can't help but bellow "THE MOLECULAR MAN!" [3/10/01]
5. Will Ferrell rolls onstage in a motorized wheelchair and talks on a
minuscule cell phone [Jeffrey's sketch, 2/17/01]
4. The real Janet Reno appears during Janet Reno's dance party [1/20/01]
3. Will Ferrell as Chyna [2/17/01]
2. Tina Fey seductively makes a balloon animal [5/5/01]
1. Bono roaming around the studio during "Elevation" [12/9/00]

SHOW OVERVIEW
Whew. At this point, I can take off my "serious analysis" hat and put on my
"wacky reviewer" hat (which does not, for the record, read "I'm No.1").
Christopher Walken hosts for the second time in as many years, and this puts
him into the Five-Timers Club, a distinction only reached if you're a show
business icon like Elliot Gould or Buck Henry. Walken is one of those rare
performers who switch between creepy and dramatic to laugh-out-loud funny at
the drop of a hat; it's Walken's weird gift, however, that he can be both
without changing his delivery. Fast fact: Walken won an Academy Award in
1978 for his supporting role in The Deer Hunter, playing a wacky
hunter named Ted who goes out with his pal Charlton (Robert De Niro) to hunt
deer with automatic weapons. It's quite the comedic romp. Meryl Streep was
nominated for as best supporting actress as the deer.

The musical guests are Weezer, who can be connected to Walken through their
dual association with the greatest music video director of all time, Spike
Jonze. Walken dances his way through the Jonze-directed video for Fatboy
Slim's "Weapon of Choice," and Jonze also directed Weezer's famous 1994
video for "Buddy Holly." After their self-titled debut in 1994 and their
"Pinkerton" album in 1996, Weezer have taken a lot of time off while their
members have been in various other side projects.

Rivers Cuomo: Hey, we haven't made an album since 1996, and the long wait
has given alt-rock fans everywhere have huge expectations about our new
record. Is there any way we could put MORE pressure on ourselves?
Patrick Wilson: Why don't we call our new record "The Green Album," and thus
invite comparisons to the Beatles?
Brian Bell: That's a great idea!!!

All kidding aside, Weezer are a pretty decent band, and their performance
should therefore be pretty decent. I'm hoping for "El Scorcho" as their
second song, but I probably won't cry like a little schoolgirl if they don't
play it.

[COLD OPENING] Now Mugging Victims Can Say They Were Assaulted In Judith
Nathan

Much like the Mayor from Buffy, Freakin' Rudy Giuliani is proving
himself to be quite the snake. A politician that cheats on his wife...just
unbelievable. This was another funny Giuliani sketch, which proves an
interesting point. Three Freakin' Giuliani sketches in two seasons equals
consistent hilarity. Recurring sketches that air 4-5 times a year equals a
flogged and beaten dead horse. Rachel's extended cameo as Judith Nathan was
pretty funny; I don't follow New York politics, but word on the street
(because when you need info on New York civic affairs, Canadian street
gossip is the top source) says that this Nathan woman is dumber than a stalk
of corn. The look of dense gleefulness on Rachel's face as she smiled and
nodded was therefore both accurate and funny. The joke about Robert Blake
killing his wife was supremely tasteless, since everyone knows that Mrs.
Blake was killed by white supremacists that were really aiming at Charlie.
B+

[MONOLOGUE] The Weapon of Choice is Apparently Laughing Gas
Were this almost any other host, I would carp about the character breaks.
Because it's Walken, however, I'll cut him some slack. It's hard to fault a
guy when he's having so much fun, which Walken obviously was. Like any
other Walken monologue, it turned into him doing a song-and-dance routine,
but there were a few nice twists. The line about potato and po-tahto being
"spelled that way on the cards" was great. The monologue also had the added
bonus of seeing the female cast members all dolled up. One of these days
they've got to send out the male castmembers in dresses, just to make Walken
REALLY break up.

Internet Fan: yeah! have will farril dress as janet reeno and bring kevin
spaci back cuz that show was LOL! everything since then has SUCKED!!!

I apologize for Crazy Internet Fan. He has been silenced after a harsh
beating with a sack of doorknobs. B

[SKETCH] This Sketch Has Nothing To Do With Chuck Mangione
Um, remember the Cuba Gooding episode from 1999? Mango is a suburban dad
married to Molly Shannon and fervently heterosexual; that's the joke.
Unless there was an off-screen development in Mango's life that we didn't
see (and given how often this character showed up in 99-00, I think we saw
everything we could've possibly seen), then why is Mango suddenly dating
Jimmy Fallon? You would think that a recurring sketch about a flamboyant
male stripper who enchants men would have more continuity. I wasn't a fan
of this sketch, since it seemed like a real mess. Was there a reason that
Will was just standing in the hallway with all of the extras? The random
plugs were unusual, and the punchline (Mango is doing it for free stuff) was
sort of distracting from the actual "plot" of the sketch. The mention of
Mike's Hard Lemonade reminds of the time that my friend's ex-girlfriend had
several of those in one night and ended up throwing up over my balcony.
That really has little to do with the sketch, but my friend sometimes read
these things, so this will certainly piss him off. After years of
auditioning, Walken has finally made it into Star Wars. Had he done
an impression of Kevin Spacey whilst doing so, I think Internet Fan would've
died of sheer joy.

Internet Fan: the joy didn't kil me, but the doornobs almost did. :(

The "season finale" of Mango might turn out to be the series finale if
Kattan leaves; I think the end credits might be the biggest clue yet that
he's on his way out. That way, I can finally stop disrespecting Chris
Parnell by only referring to him by his last name in order to avoid
confusion. Oh, the silly things I worry about. C

[SKETCH] Hard Balls Can Lead To Testicular Cancer...So Cough. Again.
Again.

These sketches sure got old, didn't they? The first one was notable because
it was fresh and because it was the only funny sketch in the quagmire that
was the Tom Green episode. Since then, it's just been a tired routine of
Matthews insulting Paul Begala, a crackpot Republican and usually a third
crazy correspondant. Even the usually funny insults of Begala seemed
hackneyed, though the inclusion of the monkey footage was kind of clever.
Begala always has a frozen smile on his face like George Bush at the 1992
MLB All-Star Game, when 60,000 people in San Diego mercilessly booed him.
One bright spot besides the monkey -- Phrase I Never Thought I Would Write
#347 -- was Matthews at one point cutting off Begala with what faithful SCTV
fans will recognize as "the Great White North sound."
Coo-coo-coo-coo-coo-coo-coo-coo! C-

[SKETCH] The Intercontinental Champion
Speaking of sketches that follow a pattern, here's Walken's own recurring
character. The only thing that keeps The Continental funny is Walken
himself, since nothing has changed with this character in almost ten years.
This installment had a little bit of a twist, since we learned about the
Continental's previous marriage, but still not enough. Maybe actually
seeing the Continental's wife, or having him turn out to be married the
whole time, or putting him in a different setting would add some spice to
this broth. Did Walken turning into a cartoon character during this sketch
("Wowie wow wow wow")? Also, to all the women out there, I'm no shoe
expert, so maybe you can help me; do 'backless heels' actually exist, or was
that slip of the tongue? B-

[WEEKEND UPDATE] Did Jimmy Ryder, Or Did Tina?
Or, "Ryder? I Don't Even Know Her!" HA HA HA...ah, I've got nothing.
Fantastic WU to finish off the season, with nary a poor joke in the bunch.
There was even an old-timey joke, thus continuing to prove my theory that
anything involving a "1930's voice" (henceforth known as an old-timey voice)
is funny. Other particularly good stories were the stories about WU
stalwart Robert Downey Jr, closet homosexual John Rocker and sodomy victim
James Van Der Beek.

Sean Connery: He should've been wearing an anal bum cover.

And also grown bangs to cover his giant forehead. The big highlight of this
Update was the vastly underrated Kevin Nealon returning in order to bring
back the great Mr. Subliminal bit. In honour of Nealon, I almost considered
writing the entire review subliminally[cheap gimmick], but then decided to
go in another direction [lame jokes]. Most shocking was the revelation that
my vicarious girlfriend Tina Fey is a lesbian, which absolutely shattered
me. I was crying so hard that I had to take off my Tina Fey tribute glasses
in order to wipe away the myriad of tears before they stained my Tina Fey
tribute blouse. Though if she is a lesbian, that does explain the affair
with Winona Ryder. {{{HEALTH LESSON OF THE DAY: The female ovum needs to be
fertilized with sperm, which is only produced in the male. Therefore, Jimmy
Fallon has to be the father, since it is physically impossible for a woman
to conceive a child without a man.}}}

Virgin Mary: Yeah right.
God: What are you talking about? I'm all man.
Virgin Mary: It took ten seconds and I didn't feel a thing...some man.
God: Aw, cut me some slack. You said it was like a dream.
Virgin Mary: That's because it actually did happen in a dream.
God: Oh right.
Virgin Mary: Where are those child support payments, by the way?
God: Uh...gotta go appear in a bowl of soup in Monterrey, Mexico. TTFN

Yeah, I'm going to hell. Anyway, given Winona Ryder's reputation in
Hollywood, there are more candidates for fatherhood than just Tina and
Jimmy. Somewhere, Matt Damon is disconnecting his phone. A-

[MUSICAL GUEST] Marijuana is Bad, Mmkay?
This song is called "Hashpipe," and the lyrics deal with the same subject
matter as "She's Leaving Home," by the Beatles. River Cuomo's own
long-standing estrangement from his own father, Mario, makes his song even
more poignant. There was of course some bitterness over being given the
stupid name of 'Rivers,' but Mario also wanted his son to follow in his
footsteps and become governor of New York. Rivers, however, wanted to
follow his own dream of being a musician/haberdasher and designing hats with
built-in earphones so you could wear a hat and listen to music at the same
time. Mario was furious at his son, and they haven't spoken in over a
decade. "Hashpipe," then is a moving and poignant song about a child
leaving his home, except instead of a child, it's a hashpipe. The song
could've been even better if Rivers Cuomo was a good singer at all. Terry
Gilliam, however, did a good job playing the drums. B

[SKETCH] You've Heard of Oral Sex...Now, Here's Some Aural Sex
In a sketch filled with disturbing mental images (i.e. Shinshishinshi
through the ear), here is yet another: imagine 6'5 Will Ferrell somehow
managing to have sex with 5'1 (or so) Rachel Dratch. No wonder Roger has
back problems. Christopher Walken, with his inherent oddness, fits in
perfectly with these characters, and that made the thing funny. The fact
that these two are university professors really makes my mind boggle when
thinking about my own profs, but...ew. Stop freaking yourself out, Mark.
Shinshishinshi sounds like a perverted tongue-twister: Sally sells seashells
suited for shinshishinshi on the sea shore. B

[CARTOON] Yogi's Berries
Yeah, the joke was supposed to be as tasteless as possible in order to give
a reason for Lorne's distate, but still...this was wrong on so many levels.
Funny in some ways, but the fact that the joke centered around cartoon
characters' genitalia -- Phrase I Thought I Would Never Write #1601 -- was
just a little bit too disturbing. Lorne going crazy, the real storyline of
the cartoon, came too abruptly on the heels of the Anatominals to really go
anywhere. Lorne making a pact with the devil does explain...{{{CHOOSE YOUR
OWN JOKE! At this point in the review, the drugs wore off and Mark was
unable to finish the sentence. Fill in your own punchline, and feel free to
laugh at your own wit!}}}....and then the bass was removed from his stomach,
safe and sound. C+

[SKETCH] Centaury 21
Kudos to SNL for airing a sketch that shows the problems facing centaurs
every single day. Congress needs to take another look at Affirmative
Action, since it's apparent that the centaurs of the world are being
mistreated. Why can we not treat our semi-equine brothers and sisters with
the respect they deserve? Can't we all just get along? That being said,
this was quite a funny sketch. The studio audience was dead, but I thought
the dialogue was hilarious. Parnell was in particular funny because he gave
the bored impression that he had heard all these questions before, and he
just wanted to get on with it. Good work by the SNL props crew on turning
Parnell into a believable centaur, and also a hearty congratulations to
whomever it was that played the rear end.

Lorne Michaels: Say Adam, we need you (giggle) for a sketch.
Adam McKay: I get to be in a sketch?! Oh boy! What do you need, Lorne?
Lorne Michaels: We'd like you (snicker) to dress up as the hind end of a
centaur.
Adam McKay: The hind end of a centaur?
Lorne Michaels: Sure. All the cast members (snicker) had to do it at one
time or another. You do want to be in the cast, don't you, Adam?
Adam McKay: I sure do Lorne, but...dressing up as a horse's ass?
Lorne Michaels: Technically, a centaur's ass. They're two different things.
What are you, prejudiced against centaurs? I don't like those kinds of
racist attitudes on my show, mister. Maybe we should be a more enlightened
writer.
Adam McKay: No!! It's only Germans I hate, not centaurs! I love centaurs!
I had one over at my house for dinner the other night! Don't fire me! I
want to be on the show!! I'll do whatever you want!
Lorne Michaels: That's more like it.

It also bears mentioning that this is the second consecutive sketch that
involves animal genitalia, and possibly the third if you count what the
Lovers were leading up to when talking about that goat. While nobody enjoys
a good joke about animal genitalia more than I do, thrice is a bit much. B+

[SKETCH] Preparation B
This was an odd sketch. The ending came rather abruptly, and even though it
was a one-joke premise, the skit still felt it was missing a scene. Maybe a
rolling track at the end saying that the operation went well, and now Will's
character kept the badger as a pet. How strange am I that I found the brief
ending to be the oddest thing about a sketch featuring a man having a badger
crawl up his ass?

Sean Connery: He also could've used an anal bum cover. What's wrong with
these brigands?

The sight of Christopher Walken in the headlamp was good for a laugh; he
looked like a mad scientist. What's with all the sketches about bizarre
doctors lately? This one, the Taint sketch, Will's Crazy Dr. Beaman, the
"cough" sketch from last week...wacky. C

[MUSICAL GUEST] I'm Not The Only One/Staring at the Sun
This song is called "Island in the Sun," and is a good example of how
Weezer's music is improved if Rivers Cuomo sings like a normal person
instead of changing pitch every ten seconds. An enjoyable tune, a little
better than "Hashpipe." Having Will (again dressed in his Mango sketch
get-up), play the maracas was an odd surprise. I guess anything can happen
during a live show; maybe I'll see a similar surprise when I see U2 play
live on May 24th in Toronto. Then again, if Will Ferrell shows up playing
maracas during "Angel of Harlem," that would be an unequivocal sign that my
life is either The Truman Show, or else God likes to mess with my
head.

God: After that bit about me and the Virgin Mary, you deserve it, ya
heathen.

This performance gets a B.

[SKETCH] Christmas (Baby Please End This Sketch)
This is the end note that SNL leaves us with for the summer? If Kattan does
leave the cast, his final image on SNL will be goofily sticking his head
into the frame and having it pushed away by a giggling Jimmy Fallon. If
Tracy does leave the cast, then his only memory of his last show will be one
sketch spent listlessly dancing with no lines. If Jimmy or Horatio leave
the cast....well, that's not going to happen, so why bother making up a
fantasy scenario about it? I would like to point out that Jimmy appeared in
four sketches tonight, and played himself in every single one. I don't know
if a cast member has ever played himself as many times in a single show
before...somebody get SNL trivia Survivor Matt Schroeder on that right away.
D+

PERFORMERS OF THE NIGHT: Rachel Dratch, Chris Parnell
BEST SKETCHES: Weekend Update, The Centaur, Rudy Giuliani
WORST SKETCHES: Christmas/Memorial Day song
BUSIEST PERFORMERS: Ana Gasteyer, Chris Kattan (5 sketches each)
PERFORMERS WITH THE TIME TO PLAN SUMMER VACATIONS TO THE OZARKS: Jerry
Minor, Tracy Morgan, Maya Rudolph (one sketch each)
MISTAKES: The goodnights were cut off yet again, and that's a mistake in my
book. The theme of the night seemed to be a lack of straight faces. Winona
Ryder cracked up during the Weekend Update cliffhanger, the monologue was
full of amusement for Fallon and Walken, and Kattan in particular lost it
during the Christmas song. Since it's the last show of the year, though,
I'll cut them some slack.

STARTING LINE-UP
"What can I say? 57 with a combover and a broken penis, and the ladies are
still fighting over me."-- Rudy Giuliani (Darrell Hammond)

"When you put on that policeman's uniform, I got scared. I thought one of
us was gonna get in trouble. But when you took your pants off, I realized
you had fooled us all!"-- Leon the Janitor (Christopher Walken), in the
Mango sketch

"Massachusetts governor Jane Swift gave birth to twin girls this past week,
making her the first governor to have twin girls in office since Bill
Clinton was governor of Arkansas."-- Tina Fey, Weekend Update

"At a South Dakota school this week, a police officer roamed the school with
an unloaded gun to test the response. The school passed with flying colours
when concerned students spotted the gun and shot him."-- Tina Fey, Weekend
Update

"My lover has a fiery soul. I had better chase her, for she is my ride."--
Walter (Christopher Walken), in the Lovers sketch

AFTERSHUKS
Instead of having a finale loaded with all sorts of main event sketches, SNL
just ends the season ends on an average note with an unexceptional show.
Nothing was all that bad, mind you, but it was a bit underwhelming for a
season finale. This show was still a lot better than last year's finale,
noo doot aboot it. Walken was his usual self, and Weezer did an okay job.

Next week...is nothing! No more pencils, no more books, no more Davidson's
dirty looks! Well, there is a repeat of the Sean Hayes show, which was a
terrific episode that if you missed, you should definitely not miss it
again.

I hate to rip off Update and end the final review of the year with a
cliffhanger, but I thought I should tell everyone that I might not be
continuing reviewing next season. Quite frankly, these things have gotten
too time-consuming, and with my increased schedule at school next year, I
don't know if I'll have the time to write them. If I do continue (and it's
about 50-50 right now), expect a change in format and perhaps the
elimination of the non-SNL-related stuff that precedes the actual review.
Unlike Sean Bradley, I'll keep you updated. :)

At any rate, I'd like to thank everyone who took time out of their lives to
read one of my pieces over the past year, and hope that you enjoyed them.
If this does turn out to be the last SNL review I ever write, then thank you
to everybody who has ever read one of my reviews. A big thanks goes out to
the other great SNL reviewers, such as Jordan Davidson, Mario Lanza, Matt
Schroeder and about a dozen others who always inspired me to keep trying for
the best material possible or risk becoming yesterday's news like a new-age
Michael Keith Goodman. So, until next season (possibly), adieu.

The Long-Winded Mark Polishuk


Episode Review written by Mark Polishuk


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