John Goodman / Ja Rule
November 3, 2001

Classic Sketch of the Week has been discontinued until further notice.

OVERVIEW: John Goodman / Ja Rule
-Host- Drew Barrymore:
John, returning for his 12th time hosting, is always cool, so I'm not worrying. Incidentally, this is the first time that John has hosted in the first half of the season in eleven years. This is also the first Goodman episode that I've reviewed.
-Musical Guest- Ja Rule: Categorized as a "gimmick rapper," he doesn't appear to have any extraordinary talent, although Put It On Me was entertaining.

[COLD OPENING] America Strikes Back
Synopsis: John Ashcroft (Darrell Hammond) strongly hints that there'll be a terrorist attack without saying it.
Performers: Brian Williams (SEM), John Ashcroft (DAH), Reporter #1 (MAR), Helen Thomas (ANG), Reporter #3 (DEE), Dr. Anthony Fauci (CHK)
Notes: Sniffif this was last year, Chris Parnell would be doing his Tom Brokaw. Anyway, this was very nicely done and I enjoyed the carefree attitude that Darrell & Chris showed.
Sketch Rating: A
Quote: "If we let the terrorists control us with their imminent attacks, attacks will probably happen tomorrow, or three weeks, or later today" John Ashcroft
Live from New York, it's: Darrell Hammond

[MONOLOGUE] John Goodman
Synopsis: John Goodman tries to make up a monologue on the spot.
Performers: Host, Yung-Yung Kim (CHK)
Notes: Twelve times, John. Not thirteen. Pretty funny, despite the mistake, although it was pretty short.
Sketch Rating: A-

[COMMERCIAL] Herbal Essences for Men
Synopsis: Men try to get the same shampoo-related Urge in a courtroom, without much success.
Performers: Judge (ANG), Attorney (AMP), Witness #1 (WIF), Witness #2 (JER), Witness #3 (DEE), Witness #4 (HOS), Court Recorder (RAD)
Notes: Eh, this wasn't the worst idea for a parody I could think for this product, but this commercial just didn't feel very good.
Sketch Rating: D+

[SKETCH] Hudson Valley Community Circuit
Synopsis: (Dan Aykroyd) moderates a discussion concerning people with unfortunately Afghani-related names.
Performers: Keith Vester (DAA), Al Gezzera (HOS), Sheila Kyda (ANG), Al Kyda (WIF), Tallulah Bands (RAD), Dealer #1 (DEE), Dealer #2 (JIF), Old Sammy (DAH)
Notes: While Dan was pretty much wasted in this sketch (although he'd do better stuff later that night), a lot of it was pretty funny, especially Darrell's bizarre Old Sammy. Yep, puns be fun.
Sketch Rating: B
Quote: "Sheila and Al Kydawe work for the Kyda Trading Network." Sheila Kyda

[SKETCH] Liberty Meadows
Diabetes spokesman (John Goodman) actually doesn't care a lick about his health.
Performers: Willfred Brimley (host)
Notes: I've actually seen the real commercial for this, and the real guy annoys so much that I'm almost maniacally glad that someone did a parody. And it was pretty darn good, I must say.
Sketch Rating: A-
Quote: "Hell, I wouldn't eat oatmeal if it was a filling in a Dove bar." Wilfred Brimley

[SKETCH] Gaydar
At a party, it's revealed that (Rachel Dratch) is the Girl With No Gaydar.
Performers: Alicia (ANG), Nicole (RAD), Guy #1 (JER), Guy #2 (TRM), Guy #3 (JIF), Guy #4 (CHK), Julius (host), Dad (WIF)
Notes: When I heard the word "Gaydar" during the commercial break, I was understandably just about to jump out a high window. But this actually turned out to be a quality sketch, partly thanks to an exaggerated performance by Rachel Dratch. Also, this was the only sketch Tracy was in tonight. So, combining the last 2 shows, seven-season cast member Tracy has had one voiceover and one on-screen appearance. [Ross Perot activated] And that's just sad.
Sketch Rating: A-
Nicole: "That shirt, it's so colorful!"
Guy #2: "It's rainbow power, sweety!"

[COMMERCIAL] Pregnancy Test
Synopsis: Despite stating that these testimonials aren't by actors, it's obvious that supposed lovers (Amy Poehler) & (Seth Meyers) barely know each other.
Performers: "Boyfriend" (SEM), "Girlfriend" (AMP)
Notes: Y'know, it's just terrible that our kids are gonna inherit a trillion dollar surplus. While all these other politicians are gallivanting about-wait, I'm sorry. [Ross Perot deactivated] This was a nice sketch for two featured players to shine, and it had a great concept too, which is unusual for the commercials on SNL.
Sketch Rating: A-

[SKETCH] CBS Evening Anthrax Report
Synopsis: Dan Rather (Darrell Hammond) reports which news anchors currently have contracted anthrax.
Performers: Dan Rather (DAH)
Notes: This sometimes lulled (was this actually six minutes long?), but it was very funny for the most part, and it's good to see Darrell being liberal with Dan's bizarre metaphors.
Sketch Rating: B+
Quote: "Carl, go down to the kitchen, Mable, take your clothes off and put these shoes on, also the hat; now, put one leg up on the table, arch your back and listen to this 'cause this is a humdinger." Dan Rather

[MUSICAL GUEST] Ja Rule: "Always On Time"
Now, this wasn't bad at all. Ja Rule didn't exactly blow me away, bu the lady he was singing with looked and sounded classy.
Performance Rating: B

[WEEKEND UPDATE] Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey with Seth Meyers and The Blues Brothers
Synopsis: Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey anchor the SNL news broadcast for November 3, 2001. Seth Meyers explains why the New York Yankees are losing, and the Blues Brothers (Dan Aykroyd) & (John Goodman) deliver an editorial on Afghanistan and perform "Gotta Get Home To My Baby."
Performers: JIF, TIF, SEM, Mighty Mack (host), Elwood Blues (DAA)
Notes: Seth was amazingly good in his editorial; they have to have him back doing another one soon. It may not have been the best idea to have the Blues Brothers deliver an editorial (although parts of Elwood's section were funny), but their performance made up for it.
Sketch Rating: A
Quotes: "On Monday, attorney general John Ashcroft issued a terrorism warning, advising all Americans to be on high alert this week. On Friday, he announces that the period of high alert may be extended indefinitely. I think I speak for all Americans when I say: Bitch, I can't be more alert than I already am. I'm opening my mail with salad tongs, I take my passport in the shower with me, I'm watching so much CNN that I'm having sex dreams about Wolf Blitzer. How about this? You stay on high alert, and I'll go freeze my head like Walt Disney and you can wake me up when all of this is over, alright?" Tina Fey
"Everything and everyone Boston roots for loses. If Boston rooted by gravity, we'd all be floating three inches off the ground." Seth Meyers
"It was reported that Michael Jackson has a cameo roll in the Men In Black sequel, where he plays an alien but doesn't wear a costume. Touché, Michael. You beat us to the joke this time. But we'll be back." Jimmy Fallon

[SKETCH] America Undercover
Cops (John Goodman) & (Dean Edwards) respond to a call from (Chris Kattan), whose wife (Amy Poehler) won't get out of the stove.
Performers: Operator (MAR), Husband (CHK), Cop #1 (host), Cop #2 (DEE), Wife (AMP)
Notes: I know they've done this before (and I know Chris Kattan's done this before), butit just seemed better this time. Amy in particular shined, although John also did a nice job.
Sketch Rating: A-

[MUSICAL GUEST] Ja Rule: "Givin' It Up"
Notes: Alright but forgettable. Ja Rule seemed to be having fun.
Performance Rating: C+

[SKETCH] Bad Conceptual Theater
Synopsis: Theater company (Chris Kattan), (John Goodman), (Seth Meyers), (Amy Poehler) & (Jeff Richards) acts out a play written by 1000 monkeys on 1000 typewriters in 24 years.
Performers: Leonard Pith Garmell (DAA), Ronny Begman Jr. (CHK), Billy Rasmasin (host), Abigail Dennis Marie (AMP), Michael Kershner (SEM), Joseph Pickney (JER), Judith Bentwerth (MAR)
Notes: Apparently, this sketch has been around forever, so apparently it's good that it's back. Ironically, this has a pretty good concept (hehe). Dan's introduction was pretty good, but the play itself was better. And I was surprised that used an actual monkey; SNL has not had the best experience with live animals.
Sketch Rating: B+

[SKETCH] Student Sleuthes
Synopsis: Child detectives (Seth Meyers) & (Amy Poehler) are hired as (John Goodman)'s partners in a prostitute murder case.
Performers: Lieutenant (HOS), John Maroney (host), Booky Newton (SEM), Sam (AMP)
Notes: Being still pretty young, I've seen more than my fair share of these stupid kids movies, so I know these characters inside and out. So reeally, only I could appreciate the nuances of the sketch.
Sketch Rating: A
Quote: "I'll have you know that I've worked on some pretty heavy stuff in my day. Like the Case of the Missing Shopping Bag, and the Case of the Rented Canoes, and the Case of the Stinky Sneakers." Booky Newton

Players of the Night: Dan Aykroyd, John Goodman, Seth Meyers, Amy Poehler
Best Sketches of the Night: America Strikes Back, Weekend Update, Student Detectives
Worst Sketches of the Night: Herbal Essences for Men
Cast Sketch Breakdown: Host (7 sketches), AMP, CHK, SEM (5 sketches), ANG & DEE (4 sketches), DAA, DAH, HOS, JER, JIF, MAR, RAD, WIF (3 sketches), TRM (1 sketch)
Overall Episode Rating: A-

AFTERTHOUGHTS: John Goodman / Ja Rule
Ah, this was a jolly good show, a relief after the see-sawing Drew Barrymore episode. John was cool, Dan was cool, and Ja Rule wasn't half-bad. Well, next week is Gwyneth Paltrow / Ryan Adams, breaking the five-episode streak of having the host and musical being the same gender. Oh well. Good night.

Episode Review written by Mikintosh

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