WACKY ANECDOTE CORNER
Last weekend, Jordan Davidson was down in London visiting his friend Pete.
We talk on the phone and arrange to get together to watch SNL that Saturday
night. My shift at work, however, extends into the wee hours of Sunday
morning, meaning that I had to have the show taped and pretty much
precluding any chance of a reviewer get-together. Sunday, I'm sitting on my
couch watching baseball, when I get a phone call from Jordan. After a few
moments of seemingly innocent conversation (asking if there are any good
taxi services in London, etc.), he asks me if my doorbell makes any
particular chime. I say no, and then my (normal) doorbell rings. At this
point I slap my forehead comically, and open the door to none other than
Orangeville's finest son himself. As his bus was leaving in only a couple
of hours, we only chatted and watched some of the Masters. Even still, I
can now say that I have indeed met Jordan Davidson himself; I did not,
however, get an autograph. Damn. And yeah, he looks somewhat like Elton
John. Not as much as you would expect from all the hype, but the basic
facial structure is there.
NON-TESTICULAR MAIL SACK
"Actually, some places were in Canada. Once they went to Nova
Scotia."-- Larry Spivack
Larry is making reference to a comment I made in a past review
about how, on
Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, they never used to have any
questions about Canada. I must've missed the show about Nova Scotia, but
even still: the biggest single country in the world, and there is only ONE
damn question about it? Plus, Nova Scotia is one of the loser provinces.
"Mark, I read your review on Jordan's board, and I
have to ask what's up
with your 'get my name on SNL' campaign? I don't mean to sound harsh, but
honestly, nobody from the show probably even knows you're alive. Why would
they go out of their way to appease some random fan? As much as you
'weren't trying to be arrogant,' calling yourself the so-called dean of
reviews and pointing out how other people rip you off sure sounded arrogant!
Just stick to writing your reviews (otherwise, they're good) and stop
trying to make yourself famous."-- Freddie Keller
First of all, if Freddie or anyone else thought I was bragging,
wasn't. I just meant that while I may have been the first to start using
more creative methods of reviewing, people have followed my lead in making
THEIR OWN original flourishes. To name one particular example, there is
Mario Lanza and his acclaimed Will Ferrell Moments (as a side note, it's a
shame to see that Mario is retiring: he's one of the best).
Second of all, the campaign to get my name on SNL is being conducted with my
tongue FIRMLY planted in my cheek. Jordan and I mentioned the idea in an
ICQ chat a few months ago, and we both had a good laugh about it, but I kept
the notion around as a possible 'intro' bit that I could use some week. The
odds that anybody on SNL with any influence on the writing actually reads my
(or, really, any reviews) is slim and none. Actually, since Sean Bradley
never updates his page anymore, nobody reads them! (rim shot) Anyway, the
campaign is just a running gag that will likely be forgotten by next season,
or maybe even the end of this season. Now, with that out of the way...
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!
Renee Zellweger makes her SNL debut, and she now replaces Frank Zappa at the
bottom of any list of SNL hosts that is written alphabetically. Somewhere,
Frank is crying his eyes out and his children, Dweezil and Moon Unit, have
to comfort him. Then again, the man named his children Dweezil and Moon
Unit: let him suffer. Anyway, Renee is best known from her role in Jerry
Maguire, in my opinion one of the lamest movies of all time. The only
good part of that film was, in fact, Renee herself; how she'll do at sketch
comedy is still up in the air. She was recently in the news for putting on
some weight for her role in Bridget Jones' Diary, and she got all the
way up to...140 pounds. How sad is it that in Hollywood, an actress who
weighs 140 pounds is considered fat? Almost as sad as the fact that the
heavily favoured Ottawa Senators are getting their asses kicked by my
beloved Toronto Maple Leafs.
Voice of Reason: Wait a second, that had nothing at all to do with the show.
Shut up, Voice of Reason. Let me gloat. The musical guest
is Eve, one of
the many "Rough Rider" rappers led by Theodore Roosevelt during the
Spanish-American war of the late 19th century. Eve, with her hair, wears
the colours of the Ottawa faction of Rough Riders; the rival faction from
Sasketchewan wears green. Hopefully Eve restrains herself from making
inflammatory statements that incite the Sasketchewan group; the last thing
the world needs is for Don Narcisse to be killed in a drive-by shooting. It
would be interesting, though, to see if he does his trademark shimmy whilst
being riddled with bullets. Interesting...but deadly.
I think that last paragraph might've set a record for the most
references ever, but the bottom line is that Eve will be be performing and
hopefully she won't suck.
[COLD OPENING] Taxamaphone
Well, there's actually not a saxaphone involved in this sketch at all, but
there was no other way for the title to work. Live with it. This was the
second time that the Kulps have opened the show, the first being the 98-99
season finale with Sarah Geller. If you think about it, the Kulps really
could be considered SNL's trademark characters now that the Spartan
Cheerleaders, Roxbury Guys, and Molly Shannon's myriad of characters are
gone from the show. What will be left, then, once Will leaves? The Bahsten
Teens? Scary. Anyway, this skit was basically like every other Kulps skit;
despite the repetition, the medleys themselves are always original and
funny, and the sketches are always fresh. What is a poor reviewer to do,
then, in order to rate a Kulps sketch? Why, rate the pre-medley banter, of
course! See, you can always find a way to be judgemental if you try hard
enough. The pre-medley banter was mostly jokes about how the IRS are
bastards...yes, the originality was at an all-time high. Other than that,
there were the usual jokes about the mics being hot, or, in this case,
Graham Chapman: Oh, what a dreadful, tinny sound.
The medley was, as always, good. The sound effects from Pink
"Money" and Will threatening to tax us all up were both funny. Considering
the subject matter, I am shocked at the exclusion of the Beatles' "Taxman"
from the medley. Is it just because George Harrison wrote it? Come on,
people! Give George some credit; the man survived a stabbing, for crying
out loud! How many of you can say that? B
[MONOLOGUE] Where's Anne Frank?
My first laugh comes from Renee's shirt; to refresh your memory, it was this
black thing that looked like the bastard child of a tube top and a vest.
Anyway, the monologue itself was pretty straight-forward, with a reading
from Renee's badly organized diary. I mean, stuff from 1993 is only two
pages behind the events of 1998? I guess not much happened in her life
during those years; the same thing happened to me. You figure that either
Chris Kattan actually is gay, or else his wife/girlfriend/whatever is very
understanding about her husband/boyfriend/whatever being outed so often on
national television. The entries about Jonathan Lipnicki being a midget and
Alison Janney snorting coke at the Golden Globes were pretty funny. The Jim
Carrey entry was kind of funny, but Jim Carrey is actually supposed to be a
very insecure guy. This public dissing from his ex-fiancee might drive him
over the edge. Jim might end up in a clock tower with a rifle while
shouting "sssssssomebody STOP me." B
[COMMERCIAL] Fatasses Redux
Wow, he lost all that weight, gained it back at Subshack, went back to
Subway and lost it all AGAIN, and then returned to Subshack to regain the
poundage! Those rapid weight fluctuations can't be good for your health.
All joshing aside, this is of course a rerun from the Conan O'Brien episode,
and it originally got a B because fat people are funny.
[SKETCH] The Other Hollywood Crowebar Only Pries Open Meg
Ah, the obligatory Jerry Maguire sketch. I would've bet money that
Rachel would've played the kid, but since the joke was about Jonathan
Lipnicki's 500% weight gain, that might not have worked. Hell, I think
Rachel weighs less than Lipnicki does now, but I'm getting off- topic. This
was basically a one-joke sketch, but it was okay. The "Show Me the Sequel"
tagline was funny. I must register my disappointment with the re-use of
"Secret Garden"; the Boss couldn't even write a different song for the
sequel? Boo-urns...or maybe, br-oo-ce. Given how talentless and worthless
that Tom Cruise is (Editor's Note: Mark hates Tom Cruise), Fallon's
impression could have been a lot meaner, though I did like the bit about "L.
Ron Hubbard Almighty." If any Scientologists out there are reading
this...well, no offence or anything, but you're a fucking idiot. Religious
differences should by all means be tolerated, but only for REAL religions,
not ones made up by science fiction writers. You don't see people walking
around worshipping Issac Asimov, do you? Okay, rant over. Horatio with the
giant glasses looked like Sally Jessy Raphael. B
[SKETCH] At Least Chris Matthews Is Louder Than One Billion
Poor Paul Begala. Not only does the real Chris Matthews always get on his
case, he is further mocked on SNL. There is nothing wrong with sitting down
to pee, Matthews!...uh, I mean, that is...shoot, I've got to stop this
giving out personal information in these reviews. Changing the subject, the
sketch itself was your average Hardball bit. Renee's loony and increasingly
lame character looked like Emily Litella. Parnell didn't really add
anything, and the only lasting effect of his presence in this skit will be
the inevitable angry phone call from Bob Barr's office. Darrell was his
usual loud self; the man must need a Halls after these skits. B-
[SKETCH] Hugs and KISSes
Apparently this is a real show, but I have never seen it. The idea might be
worth a recurring skit, but the funny concept of a KISS wedding could've
been taken a bit further. Rachel as the crying mother was a nice touch. I
don't see why Renee's character was so broken up over her wedding; KISS is
romantic. Look at their name. It's like you're sitting in a tree,
K-I-S-S-I-N-G (or, if you're Australian, Koy-Oy-Ess-Ess-Oy-En-Joy). Perhaps
she was crying because she would have to put up with looking at Will in his
underwear for the rest of her life. Will Ferrell is a funny man, but nobody
needs to see those. Renee looked pretty cute in her KISS makeup, but then
again, she looks cute anyways. B-
[CARTOON] It's Like Groundhog Day...They Have Groundhogs
In the Outback,
Ah, Bryant Gumbel. Remember when he had some pride as a journalist? Some
of his attempts at suicide were funny, but Robert Smiegel really made this
cartoon just so I would have an excuse to talk about Survivor. If the final
two involve Rodger or Elisabeth, one of them will win: the old Kucha people
on the jury will vote for them, and Jerri won't vote for Keith, Tina or
Colby because they voted her bitchy carcass out. If neither Rodger nor
Elisabeth are in the final two, then Tina will probably win; Keith and Colby
might be hurt by their sometimes arrogant behaviour. If the final two are
Keith and Colby (rather unlikely, since one will likely be voted off because
they're both physical threats in the challenges), then Colby will probably
win based on his Texan charm. So basically what I'm predicting is that
Keith is fucked any way you look at it, and Tina is the logical favourite to
win. My head says Tina, but my heart, however, is still sticking with good
ol' Rodger, just because he is apparently the nicest man on the planet.
Also, in Survivor-related issues, Amber and Alicia were BY FAR the hottest
ones of this cast. Jerri is a skank, Elisabeth is cute but looks somewhat
like a ferret, Kimmi is a butterface, and the rest were out of my age range.
On the male side...well, I'll let the ladies decide that one, since I'm
not qualified. As far as the cartoon (the original point of this segment,
in case you forgot) goes, it gets a C.
[WEEKEND UPDATE] Jacob and Janice Sitting In A Tree...K-I-S-S-I-N-G
How bizarre: just this past week I had thought it might be funny to somehow
incorporate the "sitting in a tree" line into this review. And now, here it
is twice. Life's like that. Kind of a weak Update this week; the stories
were only average, with the only highlights being the Mariah Carey/Skank
Records bit and the Mike Myers sound effects. The joke about Bob Dylan
telling people about his marriage but nobody understanding him was a direct
rip-off of a joke on Conan last Friday night...boo-urns to joke copying.
Jimmy's bit about The Producers was good, for no other reason than he
used the "chigga-chiggAH...oh yeah" sample.
Duffman: Hey, that's Duffman's song!
Why don't you give it a rest, Sid? Anyway, if the play is
anywhere near as
good as the film, it will be a huge hit -- The Producers is one of
the funniest movies ever made. The Jacob Silg bit was the same as usual,
and I think all of the ground that there was to cover has been covered with
this character. Will's voice didn't even stay at the same pitch throughout,
which only added to the sloppiness of the segment. Why not do something
creative and have Jacob lose his virginity to one of the Delicious Dish
women or something? See, ~~I could write for this show.~~ B-
[MUSICAL GUEST] There Are Two Canadian Football League Teams
Rough Riders, You See, And...Aw, Forget It
This being my first experience with Eve, I haven't the foggiest clue what
this song is called. It was surprising to see Gwen Stefani show up, even
though her part in the song was minimal at best. Since Gwen looked like a
million bucks, though, who cares about the song? Eve herself is also not
unattractive...she looked like about $401, 217 (though there was a deduction
for dressing like Crocodile Dundee). This song was little more than a
backbeat with some uninspired rapping over top of it...ergo, a solid D- is
[SKETCH] Come....On Down, You're The Next Contestant on
the Price is
There has been a lot of speculation over what has been lacking during this
season of SNL...the answer, quite frankly, was a lack of sketches involving
vomit. The goose egg has been broken. This was quite a funny sketch, and
apparently a close replica of a skit done back in 1996 with Teri Hatcher.
Since I had never seen the first one, however, it was new to me...wow, I
can't believe I just used a cheesy NBC tagline. Anyway, this was a very
endearingly goofy skit, filled with comical mishaps. The idea of playing
cheesy TV theme songs to impress a date is pretty funny, especially since
everyone knows that the ultimate song for setting a romantic mood is "I Want
to Sex You Up" by Colour Me Badd. Nothing makes a woman feel more special
than that. I'm shocked, offended and appalled that the ultimate theme of
the sixties, "Nah-nah-nah-nah-nah
-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-BATMAN" didn't make the
cut. They could've even made a joke about penguins and The Penguin; oh the
lost opportunity. B+
[SKETCH] The Doctor is In...sane
This skit is a sequel of sorts to a sketch from last year's Freddy Prinze
show, also featuring Will as a doctor informing a couple that they will not
actually be having a baby. This time, we learn that the doctor's name is
Dr. Beaman. This is good, since recurring characters should have names, and
BY ALL MEANS should this character be brought back. This is a prime example
of how funny Will Ferrell is when he is let loose; it's the comedy
equivalent of giving Da Vinci a brush or Jimi Hendrix a guitar or letting
Pee-Wee Herman watch a porno. Just about everything that came out of his
mouth was funny; the phone conversation asking about Hungry Hungry Hippoes,
the interest in long-distance savings, the constant verbal abuse hurled at
everyone who came in, the hysterics when Renee went into labour with her
baby-shaped kidney, etc. Even the cameo from Molly Shannon was funny, thus
marking the first funny thing involving Molly Shannon since approximately
1999. Let's just hope she doesn't pull a Lovitz and keeps showing up all
the time. Cameos tend to become less funny the more they occur, sort of
like how Jehovah's Witnesses are funny the few times they show up at your
door but then after a while the taunting gets old and they just start to get
on your bloody nerves and you scream "I don't mind going to hell if it
means I can get the fuck away from you!!!" And then they walk off
slowly, in shock, and you feel bad about mocking someone else's religious
beliefs and you have to find some Scientologists to tease in order to make
up for it. Anyway, my dogs are barking after that long walk off-topic, so
this sketch gets an A.
[MUSICAL GUEST] Don Narcisse Plays For the Sasketchewan
He Does A Dance When He Sco...Oh That's Right, I Was Aw Forgetting It
This was funny for so many reasons. First, Eve is missing a pant leg.
While this does show off her rather shapely leg, the visual was so funny
that I laughed out loud. They're called pantS...it's a plural for a reason.
Then, when she asked to "lemme hear you all," nobody said anything!
Hilarious! The backup dancers had maybe the worst routine in the history of
dance; they were just kind of jiggling around without any rhyme nor reason.
And then, to top it all off, Eve actually stops...
Jerry Seinfeld: ...in MID-SONG, mind you...
...in order to plug her album. Unbelievable. The song gets
an F for the
music, but an A for the comedy.
[COMMERCIAL/SKETCH] Classical Gas
This was yet another ad helped by Chris Parnell's incredible likeness to a
TV pitchman. He really might be a new-age Phil Hartman. The visual of Ana,
Horatio, Will and Maya solemnly singing the ridiculous lyrics was pretty
funny. The idea of classic songs like Also Sprach Zarachusta being
desecrated is horrifying; I mean come on, that's Ric Flair's entrance music!
Respect needs to be shown. In a classical-music related note, I recently
bought a CD of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra doing U2 songs. Needless to
say, it's great. Thankfully, no glue-sniffing teenagers got anywhere near
the production of it; it was only a glue-sniffing teenager that bought it.
Wait a second... B
PERFORMERS OF THE NIGHT: Will Ferrell, Chris Kattan
BEST SKETCHES OF THE NIGHT: Crazy Doctor, TV Theme Song Date, Kulps
WORST SKETCH OF THE NIGHT: Fun With Real Audio
BUSIEST CAST MEMBER: Will Ferrell (5 sketches)
CAST MEMBERS WITH ENOUGH TIME TO MEMORIZE THE PHONE BOOK: Jerry Minor, Tracy
Morgan (0 sketches each).
MISTAKES: Jimmy started to crack up during the Dr. Beaman sketch...can you
really blame him, though?
"Prepare to be H & R Rocked."-- Marty Kulp (Will Ferrell)
"You had me at paginas."-- Tom Cruise (Jimmy Fallon),
to Jonathan Lipnicki
"Begala, you look like a defective Pez dispenser."--
Chris Matthews (Darrell
Hammond) to Paul Begala (Chris Kattan)
"You just puked penguin on me." -- Renee Zellweger, in the date sketch
"Tape some old episodes of Benson!"-- Dr.
Beaman (Will Ferrell),
giving birthing advice.
"Classical music just got awesomer."-- Chris Parnell,
in the ad for
Classical Music Classics
A very good show, one of the 3-4 best of the year. The first half of the
show was kind of average, but the last three sketches were great. If you
ever wanted examples of my sense of humour, the last three sketches were
pretty much it; that kind of random, Monty Python-esque humour is right up
my alley. Renee Zellweger did a good job as host, but her comic talents
were overshadowed by that wacky, one-panted Eve. I guess between Renee and
her half-shirt and Eve and her half-pants, they could combine almost a full
50% of a clothing ensemble. Good for them.
The next live show (barring any complications from the writer's
May 5th, hosted by... Pierce Brosnan? Uh, okay. I don't think he'll end up
on a lot of Guess the Hosts ballots, but since he's English, perhaps he has
a dry wit about him. Let me go out on a limb and predict at least two
sketches about James Bond. The musical guest is Destiny's Child, which is
pretty ironic when you consider that SNL pretty blatantly mocks them with
the Gemini's Twin characters. I have no real feeling whatsoever towards
Destiny's Child; to me, they're just there. In essence, there is no way to
possibly forecast the quality of this next show, so let's just cross our
fingers and pray. Until then, adieu.
Public Enemy #1 in Nova Scotia, Mark Polishuk
BACK to Renee Zellweger "SNL" Episode Reviews