Jack Black / The Strokes
January 19, 2002


Well just because the show has become hipper, that by no means makes it better. In fact I was horrified by the poor writing this season, not that the climate for comedy is too forgiving.

But I have been psyched concerning the duo for this week's ep in Jack Black and The Strokes. Sweet lord, I put expectations of this show all the way to the Jim Carrey and Soundgarden level. SNL have been quite willing to toss a bone to the music snob, with performances by some of music's new guard in Ryan Adams, Paul Simon and The Strokes. Who's next? Andrew W.K.? The White Stripes? The Coup? Don't ill me SNL.

Conspiracy of the Rold Gold Variety:
A massive conspiracy sketch concerning Dick Cheaney? Hilarious concept, but the audience still wasn't ready for it. In fact, the seemed unwilling to return to the notion that Bush could be childlike or Cheaney could have influence. Where was this sketch in April?
MacGrade: B (Audience reluctance really killed it)

Jables, Kage, Monologue:
Jack Black comes out in his usual kenitic state. We are treated to a hilariously self-indulgent song and an appearance by everyone's favorite potential Duke: KG. This is the bliss of live television.
MacGrade: A+

Bow-n Appetit, oh Sweet Lord I'm a laugh riot:
A sketch concerning our love for over-sized novelty bows. And truthfully the sketch proves to be more of a conversation-starter than an exercise in hilarity. Irregardless it proved entertaining.
MacGrade: B

Roll the Presses, no dude roll em' tight:
Stoner sketches are very hit or miss, but the joy of this, is that it is an enjoyable paranoid fantasy that reminds us of the kind man at 7-11 who has four bags of Cheetos under his arm. JB sets the tone earlier while looking up skeptically at the boom mic hanging over his head.
MacGrade: B+

He's not fond of Zoot Suit Riot Either:
Jack Black plays a monster who is constantly given virgins for sacrifice, but all he wants is someone a tad more "experienced"? Jimmy Fallon as a charming knight, then hears, and is convinced by this beast. This kind of reminded me of a sketch for Jon Lovitz for some reason. Also, at this point in the show I was heard to say aloud, Jimmy Fallon as for you being on the cover of YM, all is forgiven.
MacGrade: A-

The new O'Teri and Ferrell?:
We are treated once again to another "luv-ahs" sketch. Dratch and Ferrell's sex life is once again examined by an unwilling couple, and JB seems custom-fitted into the world of the Klavens. Who wouldn't be delighted to hear that Will's character has an orgasm even morning at 7 AM (6 Central).
MacGrade: A

C'mon, give Gunther some love:
SNL making fun of its own network? This seems to only have happened a half-dozen times in the shows history. This highlights the deparation for sexual tension between castmembers, and this leads to brother and sister? While this is satirical, if I hear Only Time by Enya again, I will bust whatever elevator speaker it is playing in.
MacGrade: C +

And Nicole Kidman actually has tracking songs, and they still didn't make fun of her?:
A sketch poking fun at celebs who sing, c'mon like you need helping making fun of the Bacon Brothers or Dogstar? We did get an enjoyably ironic Spacey impression. How is it ironic? While Spacey makes Ben Stein seem like Belushi at the Delicassan, Spacey is a master imitator. Forget you pal, I don't have to explain myself to you. This sketch was another exercise of writers execution being a tad off.
MacGrade: B -

On the Cover of the Bass, I'm hating puns right now!:
A better of bass legends between Black and Ferrell. This is a sketch that dreams are made of. Concept was written all over it, and it was a daring sketch that paid off incredibly! Where the hell was the audience on this one, I got horrific flashbacks to how they unfairly shafted Norm MacDonald. The rage!
MacGrade: A+

Frank Stallone Vs. Germany:
Weekend Update still seems to have lost its edge to me since the double anchor system. I was insanely thrilled by Jimmy Fallon going into Conan-mode concerning the audience's lackluster joy and tired applause sign operator. We were also greeted with an appearance by Amiele, while I was part of the 15% of people understanding the joke, it could have been replaced by a Gosford Park or Ghost World reference and gotten the same reaction. The key was the D! Tenacious D are essentially the greatest acoustic-satanic-metal-folk-politically-savvy duo ever. The show's tone is based on their flawless performance.
MacGrade sans D: C -
MacGrade w/ D: A

Eat it Starsailor!
Seeing the Strokes on my set made my heart sing and head swim. Damn you beautiful features Casablancas. Their raw energy was well transferred, however you could see meddling as the trademark Camel shirt was missing. Conspiracy? Why should I care, Last Nite is worth at least maiming for.
MacGrade: A + (I honestly can't think of a better SNL performance by a musical guest, although the Beasties are a close second)

Insert Mark Cuban Joke Here:
The redneck wife and husband sketch is revitalized? Aren't I supposed to be tired of this by now? Oh wait, JB picks it up with the manic energy and Kattan's package dangling created for true spotenaity. Also I enjoy the concept of science on the show.
MacGrade: A

If I hear about Billy Joe MacAllistair again I'll be wicked pissed:
As a follow-up to the Time Life series of song's by a glue-sniffing son. We see JB revitalize Happy Birthday. This seemed to have shades of Jimmy Tango's Fat Busters and Mr. Music. A rock opera that would be good on the D's sophmore album. This kind of rung of Tom Green's Rock Around The Clock sketch. This is gold my friends, gold.
MacGrade: A+

I'm threatened by this hostility:
Everyone on this site seems to agree on one thing, bashing Jack Handey. I am crusader that found Handey's anecdote about a cell, a monkey, and a key to be pure sub-minute gold! I tend to enjoy gold!
MacGrade: A

Meg White? Haven't heard of her:
Hard to Explain gets the SNL treatment and charisma bubbled off the stage. I know saving rock n'roll is a near impossible task, but you've got to start somewhere (Nirvana chose the SNL set as well, y'know).
MacGrade: A+

What a dynamite show. It all came together, and the show did not get lazy in the least. This showed SNL could be daring and innovative in the sketch and music departments. Could this lead to Bruce Campbell and Princess Superstar doing the show?

MacFavorite Sketch: (tie) Birthday and Bass Off. These were more high concept but had a huge payoff.

MacHated Sketch: Hate is such a strong word, but I disliked the Celeb album sketch and Friends promo in comparison. It seemed to taint a boss show.

MacWhere Was This Actor?: Tracy Morgan's been given a lot of time to rest. Will he fill the vacant hosting job next week a la Eddie Murphy or something?

Oh the bar is so high SNL, don't dissapoint me!


Episode Review written by Dan MacRae


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