Winona Ryder / Moby
May 18, 2002


Good heavens, it's already the last live show of the season! ÝI hate getting older because time goes by so fast. ÝI still haven't gotten used to the fact that spring semester is over. ÝI've had a few nightmares lately where I'm late for a final exam or I'm sitting at home instead of being at school taking a final. ÝThey're so realistic, that when I wake up, I have to literally tell myself "school's over, it was just a dream". ÝI got my final grades last week and earned a 3.8 GPA, my first time ever on the dean's list. ÝI shocked everyone
I know! ÝI'm not trying to brag or anything, but to encourage all the other "Jarretts" out there that if you try hard, you'll be rewarded. ÝIn the past, I was always content with getting 2.5's and I hardly ever read my textbooks or studied. ÝI had the intelligence, but no drive to do well. ÝI think I've finally grown up over the past year, I can tell that I have. ÝToo bad it took me so long! ÝSo, I congratulate all the graduates this year, college, high-school, or whatever else. ÝAnd for those who haven't yet, keep working hard because the end is in sight and you'll get there soon!

Okay, getting off my soapbox now. ÝI got to see the new Star Wars movie and I thought it was excellent! ÝThe beginning is sort of weird and not Star Wars-like, but the last half more than makes up for it. ÝGreat movie. ÝToday, I got to see Spiderman and thought it was equally good. ÝThis is turning out to be one heck of a summer for blockbuster films. ÝFor the sake of saying, I'm eating Star Wars cereal out of the box as I'm writing this...yummy stuff. Ý

PRE-SHOW THOUGHTS

I feel like the only SNL fan who didn't know Will was leaving after this season. ÝI haven't looked at the newsgroup in months, so I had no idea until I started reading last week's reviews. ÝAww, Will, do you have to go? ÝI know he's been in the cast for long time, but he's probably the most popular guy in the cast. ÝI wish he wouldn't leave, but I understand his decision. ÝGood luck to you, Will! ÝYour presence will be greatly missed.

On a brighter note, I want to say "Happy Birthday" to Tina! Ý
It was in the newspaper today. ÝShe's sort of my role-model, but not in a creepy way. ÝThere are probably hundreds of young women who wish they were her or had her talents. ÝAfter seeing her on SNL for the past two years, I've been encouraged to work on my own writing and hopefully find a career in that field. ÝI'm considering taking classes at the brand-new Second City theater here in Cleveland. ÝWhat luck! ÝI'd be crazy not to at least try it out with it being a short drive from my home. ÝThanks, Tina for being a positive role-model, even though you're probably not trying to be one. ÝYou're a great representative for all the smart, brunette, self-proclaimed dorky girls out there who are trying to achieve their dreams. Ý

I probably should have put all that at the end of the review, but now it's done and over. ÝOkay, Winona Ryder is hosting the show tonight. ÝI'm not a fan of hers, but I don't dislike her, either. ÝI'm neutral on both her and Moby, tonight's musical guest. ÝI'm expecting some great things this week and it will probably feature a lot of Will, being it's his last show. Ý

COLD OPENING - JIMMY CARTER MEETS WITH FIDEL CASTRO

In a mock C-SPAN feature, Jimmy (Darrell) meets with Fidel (Will) to talk about Cuba and democracy with the help of an interpreter (Maya). ÝI think this is the first time Darrel's impersonated Carter. ÝI couldn't get over the huge lips and bulging eyes, it was hilarious. ÝInstead of discussing
democracy, Castro relentlessly rips on Carter for all his political blunders and other misfortunes during his presidency. ÝI was barely alive when Carter became president, so I don't have a clue about most of what Will brought up; they don't teach recent history in school. ÝGood thing I
could put on the CC to make out the word "stagflation". ÝI was hoping Will would get the "Live from New York..." line and he did get it, in Spanish! ÝVery cool. ÝI really liked Darrell in this sketch, but Will's "Castro" wasn't too exciting. ÝMaya did well with what she had.

Grade: B+

MONOLOGUE - WINONA RYDER

I remember all the buzz about her shoplifting recently, and that she was also dating Jimmy Fallon at one point. ÝEither one would have been perfect monologue material and the writers went with the shoplifting deal. ÝWinona's surprised at all the weird looks she's getting and feels that she's being watched. ÝTracy comes up on stage to share his own experiences of the same kind and shows Winona the new security cameras and what they're capturing at the moment. ÝWe see the three new guys predicting which SNL veteran will leave next, Tina shaving her face(!), Amy begging to be let out of Tracy's dressing room and lots of other hysterical stuff. ÝThis is one of my favorite monologues of the year. ÝEach camera clip was great. Ý

Grade: A

SKETCH - CELEBRITY JEOPARDY

Oh, man! ÝI just realized that we might never see another new "Celebrity Jeopardy" again. ÝWell, I guess they were getting old. ÝI do get annoyed with Darrell's Sean Connery impression. ÝIt's great, but the only place they can put it to use is in these Jeopardy skits. ÝThe other guests were
Dave Matthews (Jimmy) and Bjork (Winona). ÝJimmy did his Dave impression very well, his singing was especially good, and Winona was just as creepy as the real Bjork. ÝShe was a little
too crazy, but aren't all the celebrity impressions? ÝThe real Alex Trebek showed up at the very end, which was cool, but not surprising. ÝThe real Janet Reno showed up for Will's last
"Janet Reno's Dance Party" after all. ÝBut it's always cool to see the real celebrity willing to join in. ÝThe sketch was good, but predictable and not too innovative. ÝIt stuck to the old formula, which has always worked and gotten laughs. ÝThis is one of the few recurring bits that can do that. ÝNot bad,
but I don't think I'll miss them much.

Grade: B-

SKETCH - WEDDING SINGERS

I liked how this was a totally new sketch, that's always good. ÝWinona and Seth play a newly-married couple at their wedding reception. ÝWinona's two gay dads, Chris P. and Will, decide to sing a song for their daughter. ÝI don't know if it was a real song, but it sounded familiar; it was probably one of the "dime a dozen", cheesy, 80's tunes. ÝChris K. and Rachel play Seth's parents, who do nothing but look utterly disgusted the whole time. ÝThe dads get turned on by their own singing twice, turning off everyone else in the room. ÝThe idea of the sketch was good, but was exectuted somewhat poorly. ÝMost of it was just a constant switch-off between the
singing dads and the mortified in-laws; I stopped laughing at them the fourth time they were shown. ÝAll the players and Winona were great, but the sketch itself was weak.

Grade: C

SKETCH - BEAR RESEARCH

Okay, I saw part of this sketch on the A & E special (it was originally planned for the Gwyneth Paltrow episode). ÝI thought it looked dumb then, but it wasn't really that bad. ÝI was looking at this in rewind mode before watching it and I thought Tina was playing the female assisstant. ÝI still thought it was her when the sketch started, until I checked to what hand the girl was writing with. ÝTina's a lefty so I knew it wasn't her. ÝBut, wow, what a resemblance between her and Winona! ÝMy tape was snowy, too, so maybe that contributed to it. ÝAnyway, Will, the male scientist, wants to kill his wife so he can take control of the family fortune and prevent her
from becoming a better bear scientist. ÝHaha! ÝSo, he lets his bear loose when the wife (Ana) comes in, but the bear picks up the gun and shoots the wife instead of mauling her, the way it was supposed to happen. ÝI actually gasped when Ana fell to the floor. ÝIt wasn't that hard a fall, but it was a brave
thing to do with the baby. ÝThe police come to take Will away and Seth comes out of the bear suit to celebrate with Winona so they can collect the cash. ÝI thought the whole thing was kinda neat. ÝStrange, but funny. Ý

Grade: B+

SKETCH/COMMERCIAL - BOTOX

Haha, I'm glad they decided to rip on this crap. ÝThe other day as I was getting ready for work, I saw a Botox commercial and couldn't help but snicker at how innocent and nonchalant it was. ÝIt showed all these pretty flowers and similar crap without mentioning a thing about how they shoot poisons into your face with needles. ÝEww. ÝIt was great to see the various women in this sketch say all the nasty stuff in those gentle voices, especially the echoed line, "deadly bacteria". ÝWhen
the fake needles "punctured" their heads, I actually flinched. ÝIt's fake, but it's still hard to watch. ÝThis was awesome, just like every commercial this season! ÝExcellent job on all the commercials, I'm gonna miss seeing them.

Grade: A+

SKETCH - "GIRL NEXT DOOR: SEARCH FOR A PLAYBOY CENTERFOLD"

It was so different to see Rachel playing a slut, I couldn't believe it. ÝShe, along with Winona, Maya and Amy play a bunch of naive, cocky girls vying for the opportunity to become a centerfold model. ÝAmy gets to play the one-legged, gassy whore that last appeared in another sketch of this nature, but I forget which one. ÝI could have sworn she was missing her other leg last time, though. ÝNo biggie, but it was funny. ÝWinona was great, playing the pretty, but shy and terrified girl who couldn't stand revealing her naked arm. ÝThe whole thing was cool because I love to see young adult-oriented programming trashed like that. ÝWhat we have to watch nowadays is pure garbage, just my conservative opinion.

Grade: B

WEEKEND UPDATE -

After a lack of jokes last week, the week's edition is full of good stuff. ÝIt just kept coming and then Tina broke into another of her famous rants. ÝThis week's was about how this woman named Sylvia-something has reasoned that it's best for women to have children early, not later. ÝYeah, biologically that's true. ÝWomen who have children before the age of 20 are
actually the best off, many cancer risks (except cervical) are cut in half for young mothers. ÝBut morally, it's wrong and I like how Tina went on about it. ÝI was practically cheering her on. ÝSeveral of the other childless female players came out and complained, too, before deciding to go back and stare at Ana and feel jealous. ÝIt was so funny, good job, Tina! ÝAll the jokes were excellent, I've never mentioned individual ones, but they were all good. ÝAt the very end, Will came out to do his dismal Neil Diamond impression, where he was eventually joined by the real Neil Diamond and a bunch of W.U. all-stars: Drunk Girl, Gay Hitler and Geraldo Rivera. ÝNice group, but it was a little crazy, especially when the real Neil couldn't get the song going. ÝExcellent Update, I'm gonna miss these, too! Ý

Grade: A+

MUSICAL GUEST - MOBY

I think Moby's forte is techno, which isn't something I'm particularly interested in. ÝI listened a little bit, but I don't think it's enough to fairly grade it. ÝI think I mentioned before that I'd try to rate all the musical guests, but now I've realized it's unfair. ÝIt's easy for me to bash rappers and punk rockers because I don't like those kinds Ýmusic, but it's not fair in the end. Ý

Grade: N/A

SKETCH - THE LUVAH'S REVISIT THE HOT TUB

Jimmy and his new girlfriend, Winona (ironically), are back at the Welshly(sp?) Arms Hotel, as are Roger and Virginia. ÝIt seems the writers are low on ideas for new environments, but that's not really bad or anything. ÝThe last Luvah's sketch in the hot tub was in the Drew Barrymore episode and I thought it was cool then. ÝThis was a little dull. ÝWill moaned and groaned a whole lot and tried to make Jimmy laugh several times - that was pretty funny. ÝThis week's exotic meat of choice was roast capon, some kind of bird. ÝWinona starts "feeling" the eccentricity and freaks out Jimmy, who leaves the hot tub at the end. ÝThank you Jimmy for mocking how the couple says "hottub" all at once, that always drove me nuts. ÝVirginia and Roger shared some nasty stories like usual and that was about it. ÝIt's kind of amazing how a sketch I once loved more than any other has turned into something I now dread. ÝThe Luvah's has run its course and it was neat to
finally put a nice closure to the whole thing. ÝGeez, I'm gonna cry now, no more Luvah's. ÝAs redundant as they are, I'll miss them.

Grade: C+

SKETCH - MANGO GOES SHOPPING W/WINONA AND MOBY

I always like to see musical guests in sketches. ÝMoby was better than Eminem by far and I loved his t-shirt that said "I Heart Eminem" in response to Eminem's slanderous lyrics against him in his new song that he performed on the show last week. ÝBut, Mango...again!? ÝNOOoooooooo! ÝGood God, please never make me endure another Mango sketch ever again! ÝIf it's not too much to ask, ditto for the Mr. Peepers sketches. ÝI think Chris K. is cool, but those two characters are so frickin' horrible, they're as bad as Molly Shannon's "Helen Madden the Joyologist". ÝAnd that's BAD in my mind. ÝI don't even want to describe it, all that tasty Star Wars cereal might suddenly reappear in my lap. Ý

Grade: F

MUSICAL GUEST - MOBY

I don't know the name of this song, but it's one many of us have heard that features Gwen Stefani. ÝI'll guess it's called "South Side". ÝI really like it much better without Gwen moaning in it. Ý

Song Grade: C (Gwen version)
Performance Grade: B+ (no Gwen)

WILL TRIBUTE

I'll just call it that, as it's not a sketch or anything. ÝHere, the cast was able to take turns sending well-wishes to Will. ÝI thought it was a very sweet idea, but ruined when I realized the cast was reading off of cue cards (evident by Ana's stumbling in the beginning). ÝIt's kind of a shame they couldn't just speak from their hearts, unless they wrote down their own words in case they forgot. ÝActually, now I'm realizing the intent for this tribute probably wasn't supposed to be heart-warming since it gradually got more and more comical as it went along. ÝForgive my cue card complaints if my new reasoning is correct. ÝI won't grade this because it doesn't need to be. ÝOh, I forgot to mention how much I liked Chris P.'s message.

POST-SHOW THOUGHTS

I'm really surprised Will's leaving, I didn't think he was going to. ÝThe only person who I thought might leave was Chris K. since he was supposed to have left mid-season this year. ÝI don't mind him staying, but he needs new characters, fast. ÝI hope no one else leaves because I really like the current cast and I hope some of the overlooked players get more time next year. ÝBut I hope I never see Dean do his Michael Jackson impersonation (shown on the A & E special) or I may be forced to never watch SNL again. ÝOkay, I'm bluffing, but I hate M.J. jokes. ÝIf Dean's going to stick around, I hope he gets something better to do than that, I don't care how good his M.J. is. ÝI'm really glad Ana is coming back and Tina's staying. ÝHonestly, that's all I know, since I don't follow the behind-the-scenes stuff that closely. ÝI think Jimmy's staying, too, which is cool.

Cheap Awards time...woo...hoo... Now that we're all good and excited, here they are:

*Male Player of the Night - I don't think I need to say it, but just in case, it's definitely Will.
*Female Player of the Night - ÝTina, for her awesome work on Update
*Sketch of the Night - Botox
*Character of the Night - hmm...can't think of anyone

I hope to continue writing reviews next year, I probably will. ÝThanks to everyone who has given me feedback, if it weren't for you guys, I wouldn't be giving my best effort in writing them. ÝFor anyone affiliated with SNL who might be checking these out, thanks for a great season and bringing laughter back to everyone, especially the people of New York. ÝMy emotional pain continues to linger and I still have awful dreams of building falling over, but the strength displayed by those closest to the tragedy is comforting and reassuring. ÝThanks to SNL and New York for letting everyone know that it's getting better. ÝI'm praying that we have a safe summer and that we never have to see another episode of SNL like the 2001 premiere ever again, you know what I mean. ÝSee you all again in the fall! ÝTake care of yourselves until then.

Overall Grade: B-/C+


Episode Review written by Shelley R.


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