Billy Bob Thornton / Creed
November 17, 2001


SNL GUESS THE HOSTS/MUSICAL GUESTS CONTEST FOR 2001/2002
Frank Serpas, of the old Saturday Net webpage, started this contest back in 1997 (I think) and then the "intellectual property" rights were given to Sean Bradley in 1999. Since Sean was unable to set up the contest due to his busy schedule at Penn State, I decided to take the reins of the contest myself. The rules were posted on Jordan Davidson's message board during the summer, and it's a simple concept; guess the 20 hosts and 20 musical guests that will appear on SNL this season. Some other rules...

- Cameo appearances (i.e. Matt Damon in the Gwyneth Paltrow/Ryan Adams show) obviously do NOT count as hosting appearances. Only the host or musical guest of record gets credit. Paul Simon's performance in the season premiere would not have counted as a musical guest appearance, though it's a moot point since nobody picked him anyway.

- If you guess, say, Jennifer Lopez as a host but she appears on the show only as a musical guest, then it does not count.

- If you pick two hosts that co-host a show (i.e. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck), then you get credit for both. The same goes for musical guests (i.e. Eminem and Dido, though in this case it has to be specifically announced as BOTH Eminem and Dido; one can't just show up).

- If you guess that the Rolling Stones will appear as MGs, and Mick Jagger as a solo act shows up, your pick does not count. It has to be your exact pick.

Of course, since the entry period has been over for almost two months now, I guess writing out the rules was pretty useless. Nevertheless, people not in the contest can at least feel free to root for their favourite competitor, not unlike Survivor. 17 brave people, including myself, submitted picks before the cut-off date of the September 29th season premiere. Just to avoid any hints of a fix and thus getting the nickname of Shoeless Mark Polishuk, I gave a list of my picks to a couple of impartial observers (Jordan Davidson and Matt Schroeder) in order to keep things on the up and up. And without further ado, here are the standings after six episodes.

8 correct guesses-- Marie Royce: 4 hosts (Reese Witherspoon, Drew Barrymore, Gwyneth Paltrow, Billy Bob Thornton); 4 music (Alicia Keys, Sum 41, Macy Gray, Ja Rule)

7-- Birdman: 3 hosts (Reese, Drew, John Goodman); 4 music (Keys, Sum 41, Ja Rule, Creed)
Art Vandelay: 3 hosts (Reese, Seann William Scott, Drew); 4 music (Keys, Sum 41, Macy Gray, Creed)

6--Matt Schroeder: 2 hosts (Reese, Goodman); 4 music (Keys, Sum 41, Macy Gray, Ja Rule)
Mikintosh: 4 hosts (Reese, Goodman, Gwyneth, Billy Bob); 2 music (Keys, Sum 41)
Charlie G: 2 hosts (Reese, Goodman); 4 musical guests (Keys, Sum 41, Ja Rule, Creed)
Sean O'Connor: 3 hosts (Reese, Goodman, Gwyneth); 3 musical guests (Keys, Sum 41, Ja Rule)
Mark Polishuk: 3 hosts (Reese, Goodman, Gwyneth); 3 musical guests (Keys, Sum 41, Creed)

5-- Jojo: One host (SW Scott); 4 music (Keys, Sum 41, Ja Rule, Creed)
Nick Mayhew: 2 hosts (Reese, Goodman); 3 music (Keys, Sum 41, Macy Gray)
Jordan Davidson: 3 hosts (Reese, SW Scott, Goodman); 2 music (Keys, Sum 41)
Kris Thompson: 2 hosts (Reese, Goodman); 3 music (Keys, Sum 41, Macy Gray)
Steve Bishop: 2 hosts (Reese, Drew); 3 music (Keys, Sum 41, Macy Gray)

4-- Charles "BrisbaneBB": 4 hosts (SW Scott, Drew, Gwyneth, Billy Bob); didn't submit musical guest picks

2-- Lorna Mitchell: 2 hosts (Reese, SW Scott); didn't submit musical guest picks

1-- Stooge: One host (Reese); didn't submit musical guest picks
Adam Grunstein: One host (Reese); didn't submit musical guest picks

In winning the overall competition, Marie is also tied for the lead in both of the individual categories. Marie, Mikintosh and BrisbaneBB all have four correct hosts; Marie, Birdman, Art Vandelay, Matt Schroeder, Charlie G and Jojo each have four correct musical guests. Incredibly enough, Marie could be doing even better if she hadn't inexplicably left multi-time SNL host John Goodman off of her list. Similarly, BrisbaneBB could actually have a perfect hosting score, except he omitted both Goodman and Reese Witherspoon (who should've been a gimme pick since she was announced as season premiere host way back in July). Hindsight is 20/20, I suppose, and since BrisbaneBB is beating me in the hosts contest and Marie is whipping me in the overall, I should just shut my piehole.

The next standings update will be during my review of the 12/15/2001 show. Man, these things are an easy way to fill up space in the preamble. Also, I should add that even though the hosts/musical guests for the next three episode have been officially announced, I will hold off changing the standings until these people have actually officially appeared on the show. For all we know, Derek Jeter could break his leg and be unable to host the show. I've been told that SNL has a backup plan involving another ballplayer should such a scenario take place.

Don Pardo: And your host....Luis Sojo!

SELF-INDULGENCE CORNER
I got this idea a few months back to start a campaign to get my name mentioned on SNL. If you support the idea of having myself (and by proxy, the entire SNL on-line community), then be sure to either e-mail SNL via their official website <http://www.nbc.com/snl> and demand to hear Mark Polishuk's name on Saturday Night Live. If you are a reviewer yourself, cut-and-paste the following line in each of your reviews (preferably near the top): I WANT TO HEAR THE NAME 'MARK POLISHUK' ON SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, SO IF YOU ARE ASSOCIATED WITH NBC, MAKE IT HAPPEN! Together, we can all make this happen! Go forth, my minions! E-mail, e-mail! Make me famous!

THE REAL SHOUT-OUT
After three weeks, the joke has been beaten into the ground. Anyway, the reviewer that asked for a plug is Jay Stuler (his real name this time) and his reviews are quite fun. Check him out now...well, wait until you're finished reading mine, of course. Leaving now would just be rude and uncouth, and certainly not befitting fans of a television program being hosted by a man named Billy Bob.

SHOW OVERVIEW
The aforementioned William Robert Thornton -- geez, when you write it that way, the name looks as if it should belong to the president of a yacht club and have a roman numeral after it -- is probably best known either for his Oscar-nominated roles in Sling Blade and A Simple Plan or his supporting roles in more mainstream films like Primary Colors or Armageddon. You could also know him as the lucky bastard that's married to Angelina Jolie and her giant lips. Nobody, however, ever remembers him in the role of political aide Billy Bob Davis on the early nineties sitcom Hearts Afire. Quite frankly, it is a travesty that this show didn't end up winning more Emmys than Frasier and Cheers combined. It starred both Markie Post AND John Ritter! How could it not have been successful??!! Anyhoo, Billy Bob has a pretty wacky sense of humour, so I predict that he'll do a good job as host. Anybody that looks like a gas station attendant and is still a big movie star must have something going for him.

The musical guests are Creed, who are one of those bands that make me sorry to be a rock fan. It's not that they're really all that bad musically; a few of their songs are pretty good. It's just that they're one of those bands that hasn't an original bone in their collective bodies. Creed are basically a watered-down, sell-out, mainstream, Christian rock version of Pearl Jam. There is a great article about these guys at Whatever-Dude.com <http://www.whatever-dude.com/posts/149/shtml> that perfectly sums my feelings about Creed. I'd like to add that it's pretty sad when you're a Christian rock band that's too scared of losing record sales to officially proclaim themselves as a Christian rock band. I must've missed that chapter in the Bible about marketing.

Gordon Gekko: Gekko 3:16 says I just took your money.

Nevertheless, as much as I think that Creed are tools, their performance might be good as long as their stick to their good songs.

[COLD OPENING] "Dave Shotten, Springfield Daily Shopper. Who Are You? Where Are You Going?" "Oh, Do Your Homework, Shotten!"
Wow, Darrell Hammond says LFNY. Didn't see that one coming. He and Will Ferrell have said every opening line of the season, except for Rudy Giuliani in the premiere. I know I'm just about the only person on the planet that cares about who says the damn line to open the show, but it bugs me when it gets monopolized. It's sort of like how the bourgeoisie monopolize the way that society shapes its values, and thus prescribe the capitalist master-slave relationship into the very idealogy of a culture. Or maybe I'm just reliving an essay I wrote for philosophy class last year about Marxism. Lousy school flashbacks come at the worst time. Next I'll probably remember that essay I wrote for history class about the Vietnam War, and there's nothing worse than flashbacks about Vietnam....essays. Speaking of war (what a great segue), this sketch was a nice spoof of both the desperation of the press to get enough material for the war-on-terrorism quota of their broadcasts and also of how some people want the United States to go easy on Afghanistan. I personally would love to see the United States continue to bomb the fuck out of Afghanistan until every Taliban or Al-Qu'ida member is dead in the cold, cold ground, but at the same time think that a stealth bomber that's worth several hundred million dollars should be more cautious than to hit a civilian hospital. So basically, my position is for Afghanistan to be bombed, but not any Afghans....except for the Afghans that are terrorists. And that concludes this edition of Mark's Unproductive And Roundabout Views On Politics. I, and apparently the audience, was unused to see Will Ferrell in such a small role, which is probably why they cheered his mere presence so loudly. Darrell's impression of Donald Rumsfeld is like a caricature of a miserly banker, what with the wincing and the squinting and the hey hey and the gleyvin. This sketch gets seven out of ten....or, this skit receives sept out of dix....or, this comedic vignette merits out of a possible ten points, seven points.

[MONOLOGUE] "Ok Class, We Have A Special Treat Today For Pass-Around: A Replica Of The Slingshot That David Used To Slay Goliath. While You Kids Are Looking At That, I'll Just Busy Myself In This File Cabinet."
Ah, the traditional SNL monologue bit of the host getting frustrated because they keep getting asked the same question (or in this case, getting shown the same impression) over and over again. Nothing like the classics. Whereas most hosts, however, tend to chuckle through these (Jeff Goldblum, I'm looking in your direction), Billy Bob pulled out his acting johnson and portrayed gradual frustration to a T. And it even culminated in a retared girl being yelled at, which is always funny. The bit about Billy Bob mistaking Dean for Tracy was funny, as was the WTF cameo from Ashton Kuchter. Dude, where's his ticket? (Editor's Note: That was horrible) Yeah, well, you try coming up with clever jokes week after week...uh, for free! Had to qualify that sentence since I frequently rip on the SNL writers for not coming up with clever jokes week after week, and thus now I avoid being a hungry, hungry, hypocrite. Darrell, by the way, had the most accurate impression of Sling Blade, but Maya had the funniest. This sketch gets an eight-inch acting johnson out of a ten-inch acting johnson. Don't ask me what an acting johnson is, since damned if I know.

[SKETCH] "After Two Months At Sea, The Pilgrims Were Running Out Of Food And Water...Yes, Nelson?" "Did The Pilgrims Have Yo-Yos?" "No, They Did Not Have Yo-Yos. When They Landed At Plymouth Rock, They Were Greeted By The Friendly Wampanog Indians." "Did The Indians Have Yo-Yos?"
In retrospect, when you consider that the pilgrims took a very long ocean voyage to get to North America, some of them had to end up gay. Sure, there were some women on the boats as well, but they were in the minority and mostly married anyway. What's a horny pilgrim to do but turn to the love that dares not speak it's name?

Homosexuality: Homosexuality.

Hey, I thought you dared not speak your name?

Homosexuality: Times change. Watch Will & Grace, Thursdays at 9-8 central on NBC.

There was something that just felt a little off about this sketch. The concept was all right, I guess, but the writers gave Billy Bob nothing more than a few stereotypes to run through. Kattan as the native guy was pretty funny, especially the bit about his "flawless caramel skin." A half-hour in a tanning salon, tops. It looked like a Canadian goose on the centrepiece, which is just such a blatantly anti-Canada slur that I put down my Tim Hortons coffee, wrote a letter of complaint to SNL, put on my toque, mucklucks and parka, and walked through the snow to my local mailbox to mail it, eh? This sketch gets a Canadian dollar out of an American dollar (65 cents US to 100 cents US).

[COMMERCIAL] "Baby...Baby...Aww, Lemon."
A repeat from the John Goodman show, which was only two weeks ago. Upon further review, Amy said "I'm so psyched that I'm not going to get fat," rather than "I'm so glad that I'm not going to get fat," as I had previous said. My shame is almost negligible. I gave it twenty four blue sticks out of thirty the first time, and the ranking still stands.

[SKETCH] "Hello, My Name Is Mr. Burns. I Believe You Have A Letter For Me." "Okay, Mr. Burns. What's Your First Name? "....I Don't Know."
Ha ha, his name actually is Mr. Burns! This was the average Nick Burns sketch, with the reversion back to the formula of Nick mocking people while solving their computer problems. But look! His father is there! How fresh! The insults were fairly clever, however (hey, unintentional rhyme) and thus the sketch gets by with only a warning this time. Billy Bob is so thin that he actually looks like a creaky old man, albeit a creaky old man that likes to play Duke Nukem. I remember many a trip down to the local computer place with my friends, back in the day, to play Duke Nukem over their network. Oh, the wanton days of youth (Editor's Note: This was, like, three years ago). Sketch gets a Duke Nukem 3D out of a Duke Nukem 4D.

[SKETCH] "She Thinks You're After Her Eggs!" "I Only Ate One!"
Q: What does Brian Fellows have in common with an impotent man? A: They both only come once a year. The once-a-season thing is probably because that since these sketches are all the same anyways, having it on an annual basis makes them seem new and fresh -- of course, that never stopped SNL from having several Pretty Livings per season, but I digress. Upon first seeing Rachel in her gray-haired goater get-up, I thought that the theme was going to be humans that looked like their animals, which would have created some hilarious segments involving Jeff Richards with a turtle, and Horatio Sanz with a hippopotamus. It was, however, the same as all the other Brian Fellows sketches, though these things are silly enough to be passably funny despite the repetition. I've got to start using the phrase "I'm Mark Polishuk" as a final answering point for every question given to me. This might hurt me for school exams, unless I start taking classes where you get credit for knowing your name.

Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden: Hell, let me set you up, son. Can you catch a football?
Not often.
Bowden: Throw a football?
Not well.
Bowden: Run with a football in your hands?
Sure, as long as I don't have a long distance to run and nobody hits me.
Bowden: Kick a football?
No, but I've seen U2's video for "Stuck in a Moment That You Can't Get Out Of" several times.
Bowden: Tackle people carrying a football?
If they're smaller than me, sure.
Bowden: Prevent people from tackling a guy trying to throw a football?
See answer to previous question.
Bowden: Jesus H. Christ. Never mind.

This sketch gets two out of three Billy Goats Gruff.

[SKETCH] "It Really Got To Me How That Lady...Uh, You Know Which One I Mean. You Played Her."
I should mention that I wrote my show preview well before Saturday, and thus the 'William Robert Thornton' bit was an original creation that SNL stole from me. Yeah that's right. In a meaningless bit of trivia, Billy Bob is the first person to appear on the SNL Actor's Studio as himself; everyone else was playing a character. He is also the second guest (after Norm Macdonald as Clint Eastwood) to actually get frustrated at the idiotic questions posed by Lipton. Frustrated enough to actually break out the ol' high-powered rifle, which I'm told is an old habit of every Arkansan. Even Bill Clinton used to take potshots in the Oval Office every once in a while...usually when Hillary was in the room, but I digress. A marked departure from the usual Actor's Studio format, and this sketch just got too weird to be any good. The in-studio segments were quite funny (especially the end, with Will straining to reach the cards with his cast) but the filmed stuff seemed like a Kids in the Hall sketch gone awry-- I can't be the only one to see a connection between Lipton and Darril, Mark McKinney's old KITH character. Sketch gets a Bionic SIX out of Sheldon the TEN-year-old genius, with a bonus point added for the repetition of 'Well played,' one of my personal favourite quotes.

[SKETCH] "Wow, You're A Real Live Martha Stewart! I Mean...Without The Evil."
Mmm....eagle. Somewhere, Don Henley is crying onto the shoulder of Sam from The Muppet Show. Actually, maybe Sam is crying on Don's shoulder, since I suddenly can't remember whether Sam had any shoulders or not. Damn my lack of a photographic memory concerning the Muppets. This was the third straight sketch in between commercial breaks, which is a little unusual. Also unusual is that the SNL writers have given Martha Stewart the vocabulary problems of George W. Bush. Flumpy mashed potatoes? Frienemies? She talks English good. Another okay Martha Stewart sketch, though the bikini at the end was a little gratuitous. I think you'd find bigger lumps in the gravy. This one gets VII out of X.

[SKETCH] "Okay, We're Young, Rich And Full Of Sugar. What Do We Do?" "Let's Go Crazy, Broadway Style!"
You can NOT tell me that this sketch wasn't at least partially inspired by the Buffy musical from a few weeks back. Like that show, this sketch showed the wide range of vocal talent amongst the SNL cast. For example, it turns out that Ana Gasteyer and Maya Rudolph can really sing. This revelation gets the Mark Polishuk Duh Award for November of 2001. A slightly more surprising revelation is that Jeff Richards is a really funny looking man. He's rather short and squat, with a head that sinks into his shoulders in a manner befitting a turtle and a torso wide enough for movies to be shown on his back. It's like somebody took Russell Crowe and Chris Parnell and combined their DNAs with that of an ape of some sort. It's almost a shame to not give this sketch a good review, given the creativity to have a song-and-dance number about the fall of Kandahar. The concept, however, much like Osama bin Laden, didn't really go anywhere -- left Afghanistan my ass. Tracy Morgan showed off some rare acting skill, by channeling the spirit of Sidney Poitier and the suit of David Byrne with his final speech. I was so inspired that I went right out and kill the first Afghani person I saw. My minimum sentence will be 15 to 25 years, which is a coincidence since this sketch also rates 15 out of 25.

[WEEKEND UPDATE] "You Busted Up That Crack House Pretty Bad, McGonigle. Did You Really Have To Break So Much Furniture?" "You Tell Me, Chief. You Had A Pretty Good View From Behind Your Desk." "Ah, McGonigle...Eases The Pain."
Rachel mentioned that she got a lesson from a Mrs. McGonigle, so I couldn't resist. Rather an average Update tonight, down from the past few stellar outings. First of all, WU was a lot shorter than usual, only about five or six minutes. Second of all, several of the jokes (especially Tina's) were kind of weak, as even Tina herself commented on after that MadTV-quality bit about kids staining carpets with their Harry Potter wannabe magic potions. You'd figure that Tina would know that jokes are bad when she, you know, writes the segment, but then again she looked especially gorgeous tonight. Perhaps Tina spent too much time in the make-up chair and left the Update writing to Fallon and one of the other schlub writers.

Dennis McNicholas: Or to me, the co-head writer. It's not just her in charge, you realize.

Did anyone hear something? Sounded like a faint whispering sound, not unlike the cry of a baby dove. Oh well. (Editor's Note: Maybe Dennis McNicholas' voice is actually what it sounds like when doves cry.) Wow, I bet Prince never had that notion in mind when he wrote the s...hey, wait a second. I don't even have an editor! Who are you? (Damn, the jig is up....it's actually me, former Cleveland Indians outfielder Alex Cole) Alex Cole! Why are you pretending to edit my reviews? (I'm ever so lonely) Anyway, after that brief yet stupid interlude, back to Update. (Please be my friend) Shut up! Some of the good jokes involved the 83-year marriage ending, the diamond-studded Victoria's Secret undergarments, and Charlie Brown's short legs making him more susceptible to disease. The audience 'Awww....' for poor ol' Charlie Brown was pretty cute. Charlie Brown is my hero. Fallon's bit about Britney and her clevageular Rolling Stone cover was also funny, though if Rolling Stone ever actually prints a cover of Jimmy Fallon with his ass hanging out, society as we know it may end. Now if Tina did a cover like that....well, it would make up for the average jokes this time around. And maybe also for Rachel's weak segment as Harry Potter, though her resemblance to Daniel Radcliffe is truly frightening. People make a lot of cracks about Rachel's appearance, but at least her ability to convincingly portray young boys will get her dates at the Neverland Ranch (rim shot). Despite some flaws, however, even an average WU is still pretty good. This Update is being rated out of two pairs of Alex Cole's glasses, and gets three frames out of four.

[MUSICAL GUEST] "You're Right, Lisa, You Shouldn't Go. It Wouldn't Be Honest. I'll Go, Dressed As You." "But What If He Wants To Hold Hands?" "I'm Prepared To Make That Sacrifice." "What If He Wants To Kiss?" "I'm Prepared To Make That Sacrifice." "What If..." "You Don't Want To Know How Far I'll Go."
This song is from Creed's new album, which I think is out now but won't bother checking because a) why bother plugging a band that I dislike and b) I don't care. It's called "My Sacrifice," and actually a pretty decent song. I would rate it higher, but Scott Stapp's performance during this song was hilarious. He did so many exaggerated dramatic poses and facial gestures that I thought I was watching Kenneth Branagh in a black wig. I guess Stapp could be credited with having energy, but this was just funny. The bass player looked like a female version of Jimmy Fallon, which is probably not a good thing since the bass player is a guy. There was a really nice camera shot during the bridge of the song, with the strumming guitar in the foreground and Stapp singing in the background. You know you're a hopeless film student when you're noticing the camerawork during a musical performance. Sigh. In the spirit of Scott "Branagh" Stapp, this song gets Henry IV out of Henry V-- and if you send me an e-mail saying that Branagh never made a movie of Henry IV, then that's how you know you're a hopeless English student.

[SKETCH] "Well Then I Guess I'll Just Have To Get Into The Crawlspace Again!" "I Hate It When He Gets In There"
I wonder if this sketch was written by one of SNL's female writers in an attempt to get her yokel husband to clean out their own fenced-in area. This seems plausible, since the only other possible motive behind the skit (making people laugh) didn't fit the bill. It was like an episode of King of the Hill gone awry.

MARK'S NOT-AT-ALL RIPPING OFF HIGH FIDELITY TOP FIVE LIST OF THINGS THAT COULD BE DONE WITH THE FENCED-IN AREA
5. Expand the space to make it large enough to hold a dog, like Art Garfun...er, Will's character suggested.
4. Add a roof, and then you have a perfect steel cage for midget wrestlers.
3. A holding pen for Maya (the wife)'s t-shirts.
2. A makeshift grave for any pets or loved ones -- preferrably pets.
1. Use it to put some wowsers in your trousers; lay some pillows and blankets inside, play a Barry White record, and all of a sudden the magic of the conjugal visit is right there in your own backyard.

Seth Meyers continues the streak of people that look goofy in a mullet; this streak extends to the beginnings of human history, and had less chance of being broken than Joe DiMaggio's 56-game-hitting streak. Overall, an average sketch but acceptable for post-12:45 slot. In a tribute to the Nascar shirts worn during this sketch, it gets a Ron Hornaday out of a Tony Stewart.

[MUSICAL GUEST] "It's Like My Dad Used To Say: 'Eventually Everybody Gets Shot.'"
This is another new Creed song, called 'Bullets.' It's also soon to be released on the soundtrack of Bullits, the sequel/remake/reimagination of the 1968 Steve McQueen classic crime film. In a controversial move, David Lynch is directing, and as a result the original film's famous car chase down the streets of San Francisco will be replaced by two ostriches walking backwards down a large hill in Helena, Montana, and the ostriches will frequently stop and converse with one another. Weird. Anyway, this song wasn't any good. Whereas Creed normally rip off Pearl Jam, this was a simplistic, two-chord, thoroughly poor song about killing yourself that was more screamed than sung; so Creed were ripping off Nirvana (rim shot). One bit of praise to the drummer, who did a good job. This song gets one drumstick out of two.

[JACK HANDEY] "It's About A Hard-Drinking Yet Loving Family Of Soccer Hooligans. If They're Not Having A Go With The Birds, They're Having A Row With The Wankers." "Cheeky."
Jack mentioned that he was tired of the Flanagans, not the Flanaygans, so Jon Lovitz can rest easy tonight knowing that his old pal Jack Handey hasn't forsaken him. This was better than last week's bit, though overall these Big Thick Novel segments are a poor imitation of the Deep Thoughts. Handey's comeback, much like the attempted comeback of Hall of Famer Jim Palmer during spring training of 1991, looks to be a bust. Also, last week's segment was chapter five hundred-something, and the narrator was eaten by a lion. This week, chapter 702, he's still alive. Handey's novel must be one of those multi-narrator dealies that are confusing for the first fifty pages until you figure out the structure. Damn you, Michael Ondaatje. This segment gets Chapter 500 out of Chapter 702.

PERFORMERS OF THE NIGHT: Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer
BEST SKETCHES: Monologue, Weekend Update
WORST SKETCHES: Kandahar the Musical, Fenced-In Area, Jack Handey
BUSIEST PERFORMERS: Rachel Dratch (6 sketches); Will Ferrell, Ana Gasteyer (5 sketches)
PERFORMERS WITH THE TIME TO TEACH TEN THOUSAND STARS HOW NOT TO DANCE: Dean Edwards, Horatio Sanz (1 sketch each)
PLACES WHERE THE SNL WRITERS COULD EASILY HAVE INSERTED THE NAME 'MARK POLISHUK': One of the zoologists on Brian Fellow's show, one of the characters at the dinner party could've been at least been named Mark, etc.
TERMS USED DURING THE REVIEW THAT WOULD BE COOL NAMES FOR ROCK BANDS: Acting Johnson, Hungry Hungry Hypocrites, Wanton, Well Played
MISTAKES: Billy Bob started to break up in the final Actor's Studio bit, but other than that, nothing.

STARTING LINE-UP
"Just so you know, there are no black hillbillies."-- Billy Bob Thornton to Dean Edwards, during the monologue

"This is the guy who refused to open his e-mail because he was afraid he'd get anthrax."-- Nick Burns (Jimmy Fallon), on Jeff Richards' character

"Gee, those things hold over 1000 songs. How many albums does Frankie Goes to Hollywood have?"-- Nick Burns, to Chris Kattan's character about his I-Jam.

"If I had a choice between interviewing my next guest and traveling through time by going into my homemade time machine to interview William Shakespeare, I would tell the great Bard of Avon to go screw himself."-- James Lipton (Will Ferrell)

"This year, Thanksgiving will be particularly meaningful for all red-blooded, properly documented Americans." -- Martha Stewart (Ana Gasteyer)

"I promise you, these yams are as thick and creamy as the real Dick Cheney."-- Martha Stewart (Ana Gasteyer)

"Even though a lot of the words this wise man used are not real, he's right."-- Will Ferrell, on Tracy Morgan's speech in the Kandahar sketch

"I had grown tired, tired of the hooligans and the shenanigans. I had to admit, I had even grown tired of the Flanagans."-- Jack Handey's Big Thick Novel

AFTERSHUKS
This was your typical third week in a row show, where the writers were obviously tired. What scares me even more is that next week is off, and then there are THREE MORE live episodes. That's six original shows in seven weeks, and thanks to the weird schedule this season, nine shows in twelve weeks going into the Christmas break. That already seems rushed, and the rust may already be showing with this latest outing. It might be the weakest show of the season, competing with the Drew Barrymore episode. Billy Bob was not at fault, though he wasn't given much to do; he only appeared in four sketches plus the monologue. Creed at least played one good song, so they sucked about as half as much as expected. I give this episode a disappointing C-

The next new episode, as I mentioned, is the week after next, and begins a run of three live shows going into the Christmas break. The musical guests are Shakira, a Latin-R & B style singer that I know little about besides the fact that she's quite the babe, and Bubba Sparxxx, a white rapper with a country good ol'boy gimmick that I know little about aside from the fact that he's a yokel. As for the host...words cannot describe my anguish at the choice that SNL has made; Derek FUCKING Jeter, shortstop for the New York Yankees. I've gone on record about my dislike for Jeter and his punk-ass bitch, pretty boy ways, and yet the show may still be entertaining to see exactly how badly he performs as host. That observation isn't based on personal bias, but fact; just about every athlete that hosts SNL does a poor job. It will also be entertaining to see Jeter bitch about the World Series that the Yankees LOST to the temporarily beloved Diamondbacks. Also, if there ever a week for me to break out the baseball-related humour, it's on December 1st. Until then, adieu.

Big Bad Mark Polishuk


Episode Review written by Mark Polishuk


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