John Goodman / Ja Rule
November 3, 2001

Look! Look! It's not Thursday night! I'm not sending in my review at the
last minute! Woo-hoo!

It is, however, very late Sunday night (actually, Monday morning), and I am
very tired.

Here's the deal, folks: I know I promised non-lame reviews from now on
(especially after those three time-pressured pathetic reviews I sent in at
the last possible minute for the first three shows this season), but I'm
gonna have to break my word again. I will attempt to make this significantly
less lame than the last three, but I may not succeed. See, I'm in a play,
and we've been having rehearsals non-stop since we're going up THIS WEEK. I
was in tech rehearsals all weekend, and was so tired Saturday night that I
fell asleep after Weekend Update. Luckily, I had foreseen the possibility of
this happening, and I had set VCR to tape the show, and therefore did manage
to see the rest of the show. Anyhoozle, I'm sending my review in tonight
(this morning?) simply because I will be in rehearsals and performances all
this coming week and need to get this out of the way. Soyee-haw! And onto
the review (which will be brief-a relief for some of you, a disappointment
for others)!

[Pre-Show Thoughts]
Why is John Goodman hosting? What has he done recently? God. I mean, he
can be funny and all, but the last few shows he's hosted he kinda half-assed.
Hopefully the break from hosting will renew him. And as for Ja-Rulewell, I
hate rap, so that should give you some sort of indication as to what I'm
expecting from him.

[OPENING] John Ashcroft Urges Us To Live Our Lives "Normally"
This was great. I loved it. Darrell seems to have Ashcroft down well and
Kattan had me cracking up. Oh, wait, Parnell isn't here anymore, so I can
call Kattan "Chris" now. God, that's gonna take me forever to get used to .
Anyhoo, this was great, a little repetitive, but it was funny, and I'm
surprised I was able to laugh as hard as I did. Well done.
Grade: A

[MONOLOGUE] John Goodman
This started out good, then got stupid. What the hell? Very abrupt ending,
and not that funny. Bleah. And god, John looks terrible. What's wrong with
him? Has he gained more weight? And why does his voice sound so weird?
Grade: C

[COMMERCIAL] Herbal Essences for Men
Rather predictable, but I laughed anyway. Har har har.
Grade: A-

[SKETCH] Hudson Valley Community Circuit
Wow, the audience sure did have a delayed reaction to Dan Aykroyd, didn't
they? I know I started screaming the minute I saw him-mostly because he
looks pretty bad, too. God, these guys aren't aging well. Man. Anyhoo,
this was a riot. Seriously. I could see where this was going, but it was
still funny as hell. (How much d'ya wanna bet that there actually is an Al
Gezeera out there?) Hee hee hee hee hee. Dan did well as the moderator
(where was John? How come whenever Dan Aykroyd visits when John Goodman is
the host, he ends up being in more skits than John is?). And of course, it's
always nice seeing Jimmy (I LOVE HIM-sorry)even though he was a drug dealer
in this sketch. Hmmmlowers my attraction for him considerablyoh well, it's
just a character Yeah. Anyhoo, funny stuff, yo (don't ask where the "yo"
came from, it's late, just let it go).
Grade: A

[SKETCH/COMMERCIAL] Wilford Brimley on Diabetes and Liberty Medical
Sort of amusing, but it went on wayyyy too long.
I have a pre-diabetic condition, so this just amused me beyond no end. Wow.
God forbid I ever turn out looking like Wilford here.
Grade: B-

[SKETCH] The Girl With No Gaydar
Oh lordy, this was funny. Especially since I live in San Francisco, where
gaydar is just inherent in everybodyyeah, anyhoo. Funny stuff, John did
well, Tracy cracked me up, nice twist with Rachel's dad being there (now THAT
is funny!), andJIMMY (who didn't see that coming?)!!! The song was cute,
Grade: A

This was pretty damn funny, too. Although this just confirms my belief that
Rachel Dratch and Amy Pohler are related. Good lord, they look alike.
Anyhoo, she did well, Seth (look! I've learned one of the newbies' names!)
was funny, and this was great. Hee hee hee.
Grade: A

[SKETCH] CBS Evening Anthrax Update
Wow, Darrell sure does sound like Dan Rather. Doesn't look much like him,
but he sure has that voice down. This was hilarious, although it went on
about five minutes too long and started to get really old. And they were
borrowing from that whole CBS-calling-the-election-too-soon concept, weren't
they? Hmmmanyway, 'twas funny.
Grade: B+

I went and made some nachos during this performance. That should give you a
clue as to my opinion of it.
(I don't grade the music.)

[WEEKEND UPDATE] with Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey
*deep breath* JIMMY!!!!!! I LOVE JIMMY!!!!!!!!
Although I am so not wild about the new hairdo. What is this, the fourth
hairstyle in four shows? Good lord, Jim, pick a look and go with it. My
god. Hell, just go back to the spikes. They made you look
cuter*sigh*sorry, I'm getting distracted here.
I cannot believe that the company that syndicates "Seinfeld" pulled the
episode where Susan (George's fiancée) dies after licking envelopes. Isn't
that a bit too much? That's one of the funniest episodes (and I would know,
being the SeinFanatic that I am)!!! Susan didn't die from freaking anthrax,
she died because the glue on the envelopes was toxic!!! The point is that
cheapskate George, who didn't really want to get married in the first place,
didn't want to spend money on expensive wedding invitations and bought the
cheap ones with the toxic envelopes! It's funny in a very morbid way!! It's
not about biological warfare!!! Gaaaahhhh!!!
Anyhoo, Seth Myers' commentary on the reason why the Yankees are losing (Red
Sox fans are rooting for them) was pretty good. And it was nice seeing
Elwood Blues again. I never saw "Blues Brothers 2000", so I don't know
anything about John's character (Mighty Mack), but I sure did like seeing
Elwood, badly aged and bald, but Elwood nonetheless. It made me miss John
Belushi. Anyhoo, the song was kinda cool, although what genius decided to
put Dan and John in shorts? Who the HELL would put two aging, overweight men
in shorts? Don't get it, yo.
Bottom line-the news items were amusing, the song was cool, Blues Brothers
and shorts don't mix.
Grade: A-

[SKETCH] America Undercover: Behind the Bruises
I got a headache watching this sketch. It was stupid, loud, and boring. In
fact, it was at this point during the original broadcast that I fell asleep.
When I woke up and watched the tape, I realized that this sketch is far too
long, not funny enough to justify the length, and I never ever want to see
Chris Kattan adjusting his underwear ever again. Or slobbering on Amy (or
anyone else for that matter).
Grade: C-

I was asleep for this performance and I fast-forwarded through it when I woke

[SKETCH] Bad Conceptual Theater
Bad Conceptual Theater, huh? Well, it sure made for a Bad Sketch.
I think I chuckled only once during this whole thing, and that was when the
monkey started applauding at the end. When a clapping monkey is the
highlight of a sketch, you know you're in trouble.
Grade: C-

[SKETCH] Bookie Newton, 12-Year-Old Detective
This was such a rip-off of Encyclopedia Brown. Anyone remember those books?
Anyway, it wasn't that funny at all. In fact, it was just annoying. Amy's
voice irritated me, and Seth was just a bit too cutesy to the point where I
wanted to smack him. And what the hell is with Amy Pohler and Seth Myers
being in all these sketches this week? WTF??!! They're just featured
players! It's not the Seth and Amy Show! AAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!! NEED MORE
Sorry 'bout that last outburst.
Anyway, this was not that funny. At all. I didn't even smile.
Grade: C-

Hey, cool, Dan's playing the harmonica.


What an anticlimax!

Well, this show was better than the first three, but it still was wildly
uneven. Some sketches were hee-haw-knee-slapping-pee-in-your-pants funny,
some were just amusing, and some just SUCKED. Hmmmwell, John didn't do
half-bad this time around, and I always enjoy seeing Dan Aykroydalthough
really doesn't look good. Ehhh, whatever, it was cool. Not a bad show, but
not so hot, either.

Next week the host is Gweneth Paltrow with musical guest Ryan Adams. Not
Brian Adams, RYAN Adams. Hmmmnever heard of him. Will be exhausted next
week after performances so must remember to program VCR. Until then, this is
one very tired Renee Epstein saying


Episode Review written by Renee Epstein

BACK to John Goodman "SNL" Episode Reviews