Dan Aykroyd / Beyonce
May 17, 2003

By Maria Sakhrani

It's that of year kids...a time to reflect, to be thankful for the season we had, the great lines that made us laugh till our sides hurt. That time...was NOT this year.

For a series that won the Emmy for best writing, you have to ask yourself, where did it all go wrong? Really uninspired jokes? Hosts that are not even worthy to be a host at the Sizzler? Buddy Mills? As we go through the season of regret, there have been a few standouts. And even though I did not submit reviews for all the shows, I did watch all of them, so I can make a fair judgement. I humbly present my SNL 2002-2003 season in review. I would like to thank all the past reviewers who inspired me to "borrow" your ideas for this. And to the good folks at snltranscripts.jt.org for helping me jog my memory

Let's get to the awards!

Co-winners of the "NEVER HOST AGAIN!!!" award go to Jeff Gordon and Ashton Kutcher (yes I know this was his dream but must he shout?)

Winner of the "Good start newbie!" award: Nia Vardalos. So My Big Fat Greek Life got canned. With the waxing sketch and the school election, it shows that sketch comedy and improv is her strength.

Winner of the "Wow, that was a surprise..you're funny!" award goes to Al Gore. For a guy they take potshots at on a weekly basis, he took it in stride and had fun with it.

Winner of the "Wow, that was a surprise...you're awful!" award goes to Bernie Mac. I love his show, but he didn't have the same spark.

Winner of the "Potshots are heading your way dear" award goes to Christina Aguilera. To think she got TWO women doing impressions of her and countless jokes she still agreed to perform. What a trooper! What a sport! She's still a ho!

Winner of the "just because of that, I won't have to hurt you today" award goes to Horatio Sanz for his moving tribute to Mr. Rogers. Why can't he show this type of professionalism the rest of the season is beyond me.

Winner of the "surreal moment by an Oscar Winner" award goes to Adrien Brody's 'introduction' of Sean Paul on May 10th. What in the hell....?!

Hall of fame award goes to Christopher Walken. Cuz hey, shouldn't he deserve one after hosting 6 times?

The "How did it get past the censors!" special achievement award goes to the Colonel Angus from 2/22. It flew over my head the first time, but after watching it again, it was disgusting, potentially offensive....and sheer brilliance.

Best and worst:

HOSTS
Best:
Walken
Vardalos
Gore
Latifah
McCain

Worst:
Gordon
Kutcher
Bernie Mac
Murphy
Brody

EPISODES
Best:
Latifah
Walken
Vardalos
Gore
McCain
Honorable mention: Matt Damon (on second viewing I realized I was too harsh. The Justin T. bit was hilarious.)

Worst:
Gordon
Murphy
Kutcher
McCormack
Garner
Dishonorable mention: Robert DeNiro. (Yes Walken read the cards just as badly, maybe even worse. But DeNiro seemed uncomfortable doing 1/2 the sketches.)

MONOLOGUE:
Best:
Murphy (hated the showm but the battle was great)
Latifah
Gore
Damon (it was more of a sketch, but like I said, the JT bit was hilarious)
McCain
Honorable mention: Walken (admit it, it's not a Walken epsidoe unless he sings in the monologue)

Worst:
DeNiro (I wasn't expecting him to be hilarious, but at least try to be!)
Gordon
Kutcher
Gellar

MUSICAL GUESTS
Best:
Sean Paul and Wayne Wonder
White Stripes
Foo Figheters

Worst:
Avril Lavigne
50 Cent
Jay-Z

SKETCHES:
Best:
Colonel Angus (feb. 22)
Day Spa (Nov. 19th)
McCain sings Streisand (oct 19th)
CNN Newsbreak (April 12)
CSB Special Report (Nov. 19th)
Honorable mention: Stuart Smalley (Dec 14.) Good to see Al back and Astronaut Jones (Nov 16) Garrett!!

 

Worst:
Your choice of any of the Jeff Gordon sketches (Jan 11)
LensMasters (May 10)
Velvel Productions (May 10)
Courtroom Bullhorn (Nov 2)
Channel 5 Movie (March 15)

 

 

Best new character: I'll say it, The Falconer. Seeing a falcon puppet getting drunk and eating spaghett is a riot.
Worst new character: Buddy Mills. Aside from those ill-timed rimshots, nothing redeeming.

Most improved sketch: Live with Regis and Kelly
Least improved sketch: (tie) Jarrett's Room and the Leatherman. What a surprise, both of them include Fallon and Sanz who now giggle their way through. Once in a while is fine, several times a night is just ridiculous.

WEEKEND UPDATE:
Best: Superbowl 1/2 time special
Worst: just about every other one.

Best guest: Tim Calhoun
Worst: Drunk Girl

COMMERICIALS:
Best: NRA (if it means Carrot getting shot, then so be it.)
Global Century Insurance
Pier 1 (Nov 9)
Mom Jeans (May 10)

Worst:
(tie)Count Chocula for seniors and Swiffer Sleepers. Bad, bad, BAD!
Hot Sauce Carrying Case (April 5)

 

IMPRESSIONS:
From the cast:
Darrell Hammond as Regis Philbin and Amy Poehler as Kelly Ripa
Maya Rudolph as Christina Aguilera
Maya Rudolph as Donnatella Versace (I know many of you hate the sketch, but Donnatella DOES talk like that.)
Jimmy Fallon as Pat O'Brien
Special note: the entire cast doing American Idol auditions.

From the hosts:
Matt Damon as Axl Rose and Justin Timberlake
Sarah Michelle Gellar as Christina Aguilera
Al Gore as Sen. Trent Lott
Queen Latifah as Frenchie Davis from American Idol.

 

Lines to remember:

-You've got Robin Williams' forearms in your panties. (Day spa, Nov. 9)
-'Patronizing of course, is talking to people like they're stupid (Monologue, Dec. 14)
-that if anyone is looking for Anal Angus.. to come knockin' at the rear entrance.. of Shady Thicket. (Colonel Angus, Feb. 22)
-That,s big talk from a country whose only contributions to world culture in the last 50 years are Gerard Depardieu and that horny skunk! (Hardball, Feb. 22)
-The people in Nellyville are living in ferr (March 8)
-I feel like I might shake a fart loose. (May 10)

 

(from Weekend Update)
-(concerning Britney's restaurant troubles) "However, Christina Aguilera's Filthy Hot Dog Stand is still going strong" (Nov. 2)
-(on Bennifer getting married!) "It's the third for Jennifer, the first for Ben and the last for neither" (Nov 16)
- (about Tom Cruise winning his lawsuit against a gay porn actor) "He could not be reached for comment for his mouth was really busy trying to earn 10 million." (Jan. 18)
-(about Nic Cage's car being stolen) "Meanwhile Cage roams the street unpunished for Captain Corelli's Mandolin." (Feb. 9)
-(About Mini-Me's battle of the booze):"Friends are trying to get him to a lower case a.a. meeting" (Feb. 15)
-(about a chicken and rooster getting married): "And on their wedding night, the chicken came first." (Feb. 15)
-(about Monica Lewinsky hosting Fox,s Mr Personality) "when asked to give an answer on what is the most the degrading thing she,s ever done, she,ll have a new answer (April 5)
-(about Bennifer's plans to remake Casablanca) "This is for people who liked the original but wished it was terrible." (April 12)

 

Tonight, we have one of the original not ready for prime time players Dan Aykroyd hosting for the first time. Musical guest is Beyonce Knowles. Tracy and Chris' last show. Time to hope for the best and pray for the worst.

Bush is God...deal with it! (Hardball-Cold reading) Hardball is popular for a reason. 9.5

Lines: "I haven't seen a guy this cocky since Ruben from American Idol at a waffle eating contest."; "The only shot that they have is to lower the voting age to 6 and nominate Spongebob Sqaurepants"; "sex between a human male and a female dog, I'm okay with"; "I'm asking every American male to get a tattoo on his fanny that says 'Exit Only.'" "That was the loony bin, they need you back by 8."

Let's get misty eyed and block our ears (Monologue) Since this is his first time hosting, I'm going to nice here and give a 7. Let the record show however, that I was NEVER a fan of the Blues Brothers and Jim Belushi being involved makes matters worse.

Egg-travaganza (Top o' The Morning) Nothing like some yolks to crack you up! Get it? Cracks, eggs..eh, funny. 8
"Colin Farrell Anti-Bacterial Cream: you put it on when you can't remember where you put it."; (to a boy trying to steal whiskey) "Not until you're 13" "' Julio?' 'We ran out of Irish names.'"

Be thankful it's the last time we see this (Buddy Mills) It should have been Mango instead of this. The audience is either on drugs or are seeing something that I'm missing. 4

See those claws? (The Falconer) Not as funny as before, but a bird pulling a switchblade? Good times. 6

(TV Funhouse) For all the Bennifer bashing this year that I have highly enjoyed, having a dog looking like Robert Duvall was disappointing. 5

Paging John Goodman, we need you to play a tall fat chick (Versace) Wasn't the best one all year, but how's about the Letterman bit! 6

 

WU: Not much to say here. 6 (moved up to 9 because of Kattan. Am I getting teary eyed?!)
Lines: (Ruben vs. Clay for ther American Idol title) "In what is sure to be the ultimate battle of the sexes."

(Astronaut Jones): What's with the new intro? Ah well. 7
"Oh cut the crap Maya, you know I want to get you pregnant."

The place that Lady and the Tramp could have gone to (Doggie bar) What the....? 4
Line:"Because of the new butt sniffing ban, I will ask you to take it outside."

(Sam Elliot) Last sketch of the year. Disturbing to say the least. Eww...intriguing. 6

Postgame: Started strong up until the dog sketch. But overall, better than 3/4 of the season. Hardball was the major highlight, showing this will be front and center next season.

Tracy and Chris, as much as we would love to forget this season, we' re gonna miss ya. For the rest of y'all, time to regroup and refocus for the future. This season was at best, slightly decent, with many weak spots. Time to call in the cleanup crew and start anew.

Thanks to those who post my reviews and those who read them. Enjoy the summer and we'll meet again back in September. Peace my homeys! :)