John Goodman / Ja Rule
November 3, 2001


*note to self: Always, ALWAYS re-read your whole
episode review; no matter how long it is; to check for
errors and never, NEVER make promises, or "promises",
that you cannot keep.*

1.) If you guys noticed, there were some grammatical
errors in my first episode review of the year. This
definitely made an A student in College English look
stupid. (I was in a rush and I wanted to end my review
as soon as possible. You guys may not give a sh*t, but
I'm just telling you this for my own sake. *I should
have been an Honors or AP English student but some
other students were recommended. Maybe it's because
I'm Spanish. ;)
2.) As I said in my first review, I was going to
highlight the good points and bad of last season, but
I'm not going to do that in this episode review. Don't
cry. When I have enough time out of my busy schedule
with school and family to go over some tapes and take
notes, then that will be the time for my big review of
one of SNL's best seasons ever.

Oh..by the way, the name's Nelson.

Yes, thee one of a kind latin episode reviewer Nelson.
(Am I always this egotistical?.....sometimes, but just
to kid around...)

Why am I one of a kind? I'll tell you why. I've read
some episode reviews out there and I got to give my
props to them (Good job, folks.). But, being the
critic that I sometimes can be, there is a major flaw
that I've recognized and pin-pointed in some of them.
That most occuring flaw is the telling of a very long,
long, LONG ass story about themselves, what they did
over the weekend, or their opinions about stuff not
relevant to SNL or the episode itself. "Okay..this is
my opinion on the new Michael Jackson album..." "This
is what I did over the weekend..." "Call me
Ishmael..." Well, I may be speaking on the behalf of
all SNLers when I say that when I turn my views to
read an SNL episode review and if there's a load of
junk in the beginning, I just scroll on down until I
see the real beginning of the freaking episode review!
I may have committed the same sin last year, but
forgive me. I was a newbie. (I don't even know what I
did, to tell the truth. It's been a long while since
I've turned back and read my old reviews.) That's why
I don't do such a thing. Because I know you guys can
give a rat's ass about my life story or what I did
over the weekend or what I ate for breakfast this
morning or what not. If I typed in 66 pt font size and
in bold faced letters the words "Nelson died this
morning" or "Nelson has contracted herpes", it
wouldn't matter as much as a nice, episode review
would to many of you readers and fans . I may be
contradicting myself or being a hypocrite by typing a
long editorial before the real beginning of an episode
review, but I'm just telling you how I feel. Do I care
about your opinions about the music business or what
you did on Sunday? No. Just start your episode review
and that's that. Hopefully, I'm not being mean. I'm a
very nice person once you get to know me, but I'm just
being straight-forward. (I'm part Colombian and Puerto
Rican for Christ's sake! Have you ever met one who is
not straight-forward on issues or debates?)With that
being said and done, let's start, shall we?

John Goodman. Just be a castmember already if you're
going to keep coming back! Honestly, though, I love
seeing the big man come back for more. He's always
itching closer and closer to breaking Steve Martin's
record for the most episodes hosted. Give us 10 more,
big boy! You always do a great job when you host.
Ja-Rule. I'm not a fan of his. As a matter of fact,
I'm not a real fan of hip hop, period. I'm more of a
"System of a Down, Weezer, Devo, etc." fan.(Isn't that
weird? A Hispanic who doesn't really like rap music?
What's next? A Hispanic who doesn't like baseball or
hates beans and rice?)Will these two media powerhouses
team up to create a stand-out show? As Jason Jackson,
host of one of my favorite TV shows "NBA2Night", would
say: the answer is......forthcoming.

Ashcroft calms down America:
For long as I remember, I haven't laughed as hard to a
cold opening. Usually, a snicker or a chuckle would
come out of me when viewing the usual cold opening,
but this one was good. Really good. The "baby wipes
and dust buster" crack was good. Darrell Hammond's
John Ashcroft sounded funny, but it was the jokes that
count and the jokes certainly propelled this sketch to
being one of the funniest of the night. This sketch
exemplified what sketches should be. Funny,
exaggerated, and totally outrageous.
Grade: A

Monologue:
No. Sorry Chris Kattan, but no. Nice try. New Yorkers
may welcome the likes of Byung Yung Kim back to their
homes, but what about WS MVP's Randy Johnson, Curt
Schilling and the rest of World Champion Arizona
Diamondbacks?! Ha! Yanks have finally met their match.
I'm a New Jersian, but for some reason, I wanted to
see the Yanks fall. Maybe it's because they beat my
Mets last season. Anyway, the monologue was pretty
subpar. Basically, the only joke was the Byung Yung
Kim impersonation and that was it. I can't give a good
grade for that.
Grade:D+

Herbal Essences...Now for Men!:
Herbal Essences is known for their wild commercials of
women reaching orgasm while shampooing their hair, and
SNL decided, "Hey! Why don't we replace the old
premise of the commercial with men! That would get
some good laughs!" Did this plan work? Let me say this
appropriately enough by stating it in a "while
reaching orgasm" way. *grunting* NNNNNNNNNNNNNNo!!!
Sorry. Just leave the shampoo to the females and leave
the usual magazines and videos to the males. Maybe
you'll get better laughs that way.
Grade: D

Hudson Valley Community:
The concept was quite ammusing and creative, as the
sketch featured a public access-like talk show that
featured guests with names or names of their companies
that are some what associated with our dreaded enemies
back in "Dirty, Run-Down Land". "Old Sammie's Bin
Ladles!" What a classic! It was great to see Dan
Aykroyd again. Why doesn't he ever host? The world may
never know, but his appearance in this well
orchestrated sketch made the sketch even better.
Grade: B

Wilford Brimley just can't lay off the Pork Ribs and
medication from Liberty Medical, can he?:
I cannot remember the last time I laughed so hard at a
parody commercial like this one. I've seen a whole lot
of Wilford Brimley in the past in his Liberty Medical
commercials, which made this parody even more funnier.
Definitely one of the highlights of the show. "What
I've been saying were just down-right fibs. Like the
diet and exercise thing." What a classic!
Grade: A

The Girl with No Gaydar:
Look forward to seeing more of this later on in the
season. I smell another recurring character! Great
sketch and great sketch idea. Only one flaw in this
sketch. Tracy Morgan, why? Never, EVER wear a small
gay rainbow colored tank top that shows your gut
hanging out ever again! You did a good job, but don't
scare us like that ever again! Other than that,
everthing was in sync and made for a very hilarious
sketch. Great performance by one of my favorite
castmembers, Rachael Dratch.
Grade: A

Pregnancy Test:
This parody was not as good as "Wilford Brimley" but
it wasn't as bad as "Herbal Essences" either. I've
seen these "A.P.T" or whatever the hell they call them
pregancy test commercials before with the
"confessionals" and all. One word comes in my mind.
Bullsh*t. It's about time someone made a parody of one
of the dumbest commercials ever to be made. It was
kind of disappointing, though, but overall, it was a
good effort on the behalf of the SNL writers. Nice
try.
Grade: C

Anthrax-Gotta catch 'em all! (Sorry. I wanted to do
that.):
This was very, very, VERY funny. Very similar to a
favorite sketch of mine last season when Darrell
Hammond did the same impression of Dan when discussing
NBA basketball games in the Calista Flockhart episode,
but this one was even more hilarious. "Carl, go down
into the basement. Mabel get in here, take your
clothes off and put these shoes on. Also the hat. Now,
put one leg up on that chair, arch your back, and
listen to this because this one is going to be a
humdinger." What a classic! Darrell did a great job in
this sketch that made everyone laugh in these cautious
times in America.
Grade: A

Ja-Rule, or what some people who hate Ja-Rule would
say "Ja-Suck!" Ha Ha Ha...kill me...:
Like I said before, I'm not a big fan of his. If
you're a hip hop fan, you may have loved this
performance, but if you're like me, you may wanted to
fast forward this part. But just because I'm not a fan
of his doesn't mean I'll give him an F. No....I'll
give him a D for such a tired, "Oh..but I don't feel
like performing" performance.
Grade: D

Weekend Update:
I always enjoyed this segment since last season. Tina
Fey is just so cute! I just want to have her
baby!.(Did I say that out loud?) Jimmy Fallon
continues to have weird looking hairstyles that always
amuses yet perplexes me. The jokes were great, like
usual. Weekend Update has always been consistent. It
was good to see the Blues Brothers back again. Even
though it's just not the same without John Belushi
(Forever R.I.P.), it was good to see the Brothers back
at SNL.
Grade: B+

America Undercover: The True Story of White Trash:
Amy Poehler just seems to get better and better each
episode. If you look over the last couple of episodes,
you can see the difference in Amy's appearances and
performances. She definitely has a bright future in
SNL. Can't say much for the other newbies,though, but
for Amy, former Upright Citizens Brigade member and
actress in "Deuce Bigalow" and other various movies
and TV shows, like "Undeclared", she is just a hit
waiting to happen. As for the sketch, it was just
funny. Just the image of someone staying enclosed in a
stove was funny. While Chris Kattan's bulge spoke for
itself. (Just kidding. Everything was just hilarious
and pretty well-written.)
Grade: A

Ja-Rule...again?..:
Ja-Rule is a good man, but like I said before, I'm not
a fan of his music, so I can't say too much about his
performance but just this: D plus...for effort in
trying to pump up a crowd while he's lip-synching to a
song that just irritates me.
Grade: D+

Bad Conceptual Theatre:
I was so surprised and amused when the theme song of
the sketch "Bad Conceptual Theatre" started to play
and when Dan Aykroyd, portraying the character
"Leonard Pinth-Garnell", would sit in his usual stool
and introduce a scene from a horrid play and tell you
how bad it is. I remember this recurring sketch from
the 70's. Of course, I wasn't even born then. I'm 17,
for Christ's sake! But NBC sometimes broadcast vintage
SNL episodes from their SNL archive library in early
Sunday mornings and I would record them and check them
out. This recurring sketch had always been a good one,
and this latest rendition was no exception.
Grade: B

Super-Sleuths:
There's nothing funnier than seeing Horatio Sanz
gorging on a sandwich, talking with his mouth full.
But let me just put my whole review of this sketch in
a nutshell. Amy Poehler was a castmember of the
Upright Citizens Brigade, which once featured Horatio
Sanz, who was featured in this sketch eating a
sandwich, which was probably made in a deli or
convenient store, in which the title "convenient
store" starts with a C which is the grade I'm giving
to this sketch. (I'm good, aren't I? Ladies and
gentleman, this was total improvisation. I never write
anything down for my episode reviews. It's all in the
mind. Thank you.)
Grade: C

Overall: B

Despite its flaws in its musical performances and in
some parts of the show, I have to say this is one of
the best episodes of the season thus far. It may be to
early for me to say so, but I'm guaranteeing this
episode will be amongst the best this year. John
always does a great job. His 13th appearance in SNL,
as well as Dan's cameo, made this episode even more
special.
Next week, the host will be the foxy Gwyneth Paltrow
from the new movie "Shallow Hal" and the musical guest
will be Ryan Adams. Don't worry, folks. I don't know
who the hell he is either. But if I'm the only person
who actually doesn't know him, then I just made a
total ass of myself.

If you have any questions concerning SNL or if you
just want to comment me on my reviews, send an e-mail
to nb_7384@yahoo.com

If you're in need of a drinking buddy or a one-night
stand, look at the e-mail address above. (Just
kidding, of course..really...)

This is Nelson "El Rey de LHS (my high school) and New
Jersey" Bermudez saying good bye and happy SNL
viewing.

Quote of the Night: "Carl, go down into the basement.
Mabel get in here, take your clothes off and put these
shoes on. Also the hat. Now, put one leg up on that
chair, arch your back, and listen to this because this
one is going to be a humdinger."-Dan Rather, played by
Darrell Hammond


Episode Review written by Nelson Bermudez


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