This is my third review in a row. I had kind of a mix-up with my last one and because of this I am finishing this review early, so Sean gets it by Sunday's evening deadline and staying up late with lots of coffee;)
PRE-SHOW THOUGHTS: I was one of the few people to watch the Emmy Awards, and I thought that Ellen did a great job with humorous jokes that still acknowledged the September 11th tragedy. However, I was never that great of a fan of her comedy act or her old television show. Of course though, I had to watch her "coming out" episode. It is pretty brave of her to go public as a lesbian, and I wonder if this will be touched upon during the show. Let's hope the writers are not too exhausted to write good show also with their third show in a row. I guess from the spoilers that there will be a Mango and Culps sketch along with a Rudy Guliani appearance. I have always hated the Culps so I am not looking forward to that. Maybe it will get cut in dress rehearsal.
COLD OPENING: CBS News Special Report by Darrell as Dan Rather about the videotape of Osama Bin Laden. Darrell does a good job with his Rather impression here. I have not been totally up to date about the Osama tape., but I guess it parodies the translation of the tape with the same voice for everyone, mismatch of the dialogue with their mouths, and the odd content. The translation had some funny lines like the insult against Horatio as a "fattie," but it went on too long with too few laughs.
Best Line: "And in case anyone cares, I still do not have anthrax, yet." Dan Rather.
MONLOGUE: Ellen appears to be doing her monologue by herself with no help from the cast members poking fun at her sexuality. Says that she just pretended to be gay and has a husband Jerry. Her jokes are not as amusing as she was at the Emmys since I assume that she wrote these jokes herself like in the Emmys. Very disappointing monologue.
THE CULPS: For some reason they did not have a sketch commercial but had a real once instead. I have always hated the Culps. I never thought that this recurring sketch was funny except for a few random lines. However, SNL insists on showing them again and again since 1995(?). I love both Ana and Will, but they are irritating in this sketch. The only amusing part was the mike not being a "hot mike" at first and then finally buzzing away as usual in this sketch. Ellen as the three wise man does not add anything.
Grade: D+ (plus for being short and in the holiday spirit)
KITTY SINGLETON: This is a parody of that show Alias which I have seen twice. She even has the red haired wig like the Alias character. Those hits that Will gave Ellen looked faker than Pamela Anderson's breasts. The fact that she gets beat up by the bad guys is not in itself a laugh inducer making this the fourth disappointedly bad sketch in the row. This show is not looking too good.
SNOWMAN THE NARRATOR: Snowman cartoon by Robert Smigel who can no longer perform for all the kids with the new terrorist threats. Who know Snowman was so up to date on the latest news. It makes me nostalgic to those Christmas cartoons that I watched as a youngin. Tom Brokaw interrupts with a voice eerily similar to Chris Parnell. That is his name on the credits! Maybe then he did not leave SNL on such bad terms as rumored. Not to bad parody on the celebrity self-absorption that they must do benefits galore like they are the most important people on the earth and they insist on doing "good" things and not selfish ones like award shows.
Best Line: "My left nut is more famous than Jerry Stiller"
NO DOUBT: I know that they have a new album coming out. This song was adequate but not spectacular in my opinion.
WEEKEND UPDATE: WU is always the highlight especially in a bad show. The jokes were all excellent. Jimmy's hair again is groomed and looking good for the second week in a row. I wonder whether if he reads these reviews or comments on the SNL newsgroup? Tracey Morgan's commentary about gifts for his wife was only mildly amusing. That was a nice farewell to Guliani, and even though I do not live in New York City, I still had a tear in my eye during the song. Who knew that Tina could hold a tune also? What a talented cast.
Best Lines: "That does not look like me!" Guiliani. "Yeah it's your combover." Jimmy.
"I think you mean Frodo and Gandolph." Tina. "Nerd alert!!!" Jimmy.
MANGO: This skit is okay most of the time for me, but it can get on my nerves sometimes. Ellen is at the William Morris Agency, and Mango interrupts her meeting with her agent Will to meet with the same person. I did not expect that kiss and the buttocks rub by Ellen with Mango. I guess since Mango attracts homosexual men that he would then attract lesbian woman. . Jeff Richards as Charlie Rose was good as was Horatio as Bruce Vilanch, the guy on Hollywood Squares and the writer for many award shows. It had some good ideas like lesbians being unhappy with her love for a "man"; however, they never developed them much with the rushed ending. However, it was mainly amusing for me.
Best Line: "What the freak? Ellen, I may be the sleazy but I am not the easy! Or am I?" Mango in response to Ellen's kiss and butt grabbing.
FAMILY VACATION: Family of Will, Ellen, Rachel and Jimmy goes on vacation skiing but thinks that maybe they did not do some things before leaving. I bet most family vacationers can relate to thinking that they left something on or open after leaving for their vacation. But I did not laugh once during the whole thing.
JACK HANDEY: Most people reviewers here seem to hate the Jack Handey pauses. They, however, are supposed to be strange and stupid since this is Handey's style. Of course, it was not laugh out loud funny; however, for a short sketch it was okay in my opinion.
DIVORCED FAMILY HOLIDAY: Ellen spends the holiday with her significant other Will and his kids. I bet that some family holidays resemble this though exaggerated to the extreme here. However, the sketch was not written well with no funny lines. Seth and Amy have good chemistry together but were irritating here as the kids.
CHRISTMAS SONG: They tricked us again with the Dick Cheney opening for that same old song but now taking place in a snow globe. The costumes at least this time are a hoot especially the peasant dress on Kattan. Jimmy added more rhythm on the keyboard, but it was still the same old song. I know that I was the only one that did not like it last time. I guess in the spirit of the holidays that I'll be charitable with a better grade for this one.
NO DOUBT: This song had a sixties disco feel to it. However, it did not have a good pulsing dance beat enough for me. I usually do not mind their music but for some reason their songs on the show have not impressed me.
POSTSHOW THOUGHTS: This show sucked in a major way with only WU, Mango, Snowman cartoon and Christmas song making better than C. It only beat the Drew Barrymore show on the overall ratings scale, and the cast and writers did not have anthrax scaring them this time. I have heard that the Reese Witherspoon episode was also bad, but I still have not seen that show. This was a Will dominated show with six sketches with him like the Drew one. I like Will most of time on the show, but there are other cast members on the show who have not been there as long as him who should be getting more airtime. The writers moreover need to take a break badly as shown by the weak material for this show. I need to go and buy some Christmas presents badly. Happy holidays everyone!!!
OVERALL SHOW GRADE: C-
MY SHOW RANKINGS SO FAR THIS SEASON (no Reese Witherspoon since I missed that show):
1)Sean William Scott/Sum 41
2)Billy Bob Thorton/Creed
3)John Goodman/Ja Rule
4)Gwenyth Paltrow/Ryan Adams
5)Hugh Jackman/Mick Jagger
6)Derek Jeter/Shakira/Bubba Sparxxx
7)Ellen Degeneres/No Doubt
8)Drew Barrymore/Macy Gray
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