Jeff Gordon / Avril Lavigne
January 11, 2003

By Bob Barron

As a huge BeeGees fan who is listening to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack as I type this- I'd just like to send my condolences on the death on Maurice Gibb. The Bee Gees were a great band and pretty much made an overrated John Travolta movie famous and also provided for a great joke in Wayne's World while at the same making great movie. It's a shame he's not stayin' alive.

The pre-review stuff kinda goes a little long this week so feel free to scroll down and read my thoughts on the actual episode.

 

Sports Report-

Maple Leafs- I saw them play Tuesday against Boston and it was a good game. They got behind early but soon rallied to take the lead and win the game. They lost to Boston tonight but have been playing great recently- particularly Eddie Belfour. Oh yea- and unlike the other team from Ontario- They have their finances in check.
Devils- Devils have basically been playing defensive hockey all year and running neck and neck with the Flyers for first place in the Atlantic Division.
Canucks- They've recently hit the skids with a losing streak but hopefully will shrug it off and return to dominating the Northeast Division, especially with the tough competition they have.
Nets- Aside from a night off against the Kings they have been playing amazing basketball. I saw them against Cleveland and Toronto recently and they played good solid basketball. The Nets are not one of those teams that feels they have to have some sort of thug image or have some guy go out and carry the team- they just win. And K-Mart has made sure of that.

Mailbag!!!!-

Chad Ruffner writes-

Hi Bob,

 

Much like Smackdown! from this past
Thursday, this was not a good way to start 2003. The
only thing I remotely liked about this show was the
Y2J/HBK/Randy Orton promo/confrontation. Everything
else ran the bad to horrible range, Including that
ultra gay and excessively long "Posedown" between HHH
and Steiner. At least they have kept these 2 from
locking up , or facing each other In a meaningless
Main Event Tag Match. Still it was a horrible
segment. Second place Is the decision to have Booker
T and Goldust (The most over act on The Raw Brand has)
drop The Tag Titles to The Not Over Team of
Regal/Storm. Yeah, good move there. HHH must've felt
threatened that someone was stealing his spotlight
again. I assume that Vince McMahon appearing on Raw
next week will be some sort of reset start for Raw
again. In the past I would've panned such a move (IF
that Is the case), but every single restart they have
had over the past month hasn't worked, so what have
they got to lose? What did you think of the show?

 

Chad

I now recap RAW for www.smarktalk.com so well if you ever want to know my thoughts on the show- head on over there.

Liz Butler writes-

Have you ever seen the show Sigourney Weaver hosted in
'86? There was this sketch called "Alienses" that
cracked me up. Phil Hartman plays Hicks and I wanna
say Dana Carvey plays Hudson, but it's been years
since I've seen it. Any suggestions of where I can
find a copy?

I have seen the show but I don't remember the particular skit. If anyone here sells old SNL's- drop me a line and I'll plug your site.

Chad Ruffner writes-

Hi Bob,

 

I just want to get your thoughts
about the news that Vince McMahon has admitted he Is
basically out of Ideas as to what the fans want, and
Is considering giving full Creative Control of The Raw
Brand to Eric Bishoff? Me, I'm split so far. It Is
good to hear that Vince McMahon has finally admitted
what we as fans know all along, that he doesn't know
what we want to see. However, I don't think putting
Bishoff In charge Is going to be the answer. I hate
to beat a dead horseshould'vece should've stuck to his
guns from this past June and put Vince Russo In charge
of The Raw Brand. Maybe he would've had some new
Ideas, maybe he wouldn't have. Bishoff's only talent
while In WCBillionare'sfree reign to a Billionare's
Checkbook, and using It to bring In talentless stiffs
like Ultimate Warrior and SIntegrals. Then again, he
was Originalral to The conearly of The Orinal NWO, and
The arly success of Nitro. The Bottom Line Is The WWE
can't afford another year like 2003. Changes must be
made.

 

Happy New Year,
Chad 

Bischoff did put wrestling on his show which is a good thing. The best way to fix RAW would be to tape it and to fire Gerwitz. A taped RAW would give the wrestlers more freedom and allow for longer matches. Long term planning is the answer. Not putting the title on HBK to get a pop at MSG and then putting it on Triple H one month later. Russo is not the answer- a taped Raw and long term planning is.

JuKickMyDog@aol.com writes-

Loved your Al Gore Review. Hope you have a great Christmas and a happy new year.
If you're Jewish, then Happy late Chanukah, or if you're Chinese happy 1rst of January.

Thank you. Santa, Hannukah Harry and Kwanzaa Dean all made sure I had a nice holiday season.

Alejandro Tamargo writes-

Hey Man. I'm a Phish phan, and the only explanation I can give you as
to
why so many of us like these dorks is, you either get it or you don't.
Phish
Phans are just like Trekkies. Either you're obsessive about it, or you
sit
there and wonder "Why the hell are all these freaks so obsessive about
this?" There's nothing else I can say. Funny episode though. I
thought
it was the funniest in years.

Alex

Thanks for clearing it up. I thought Phish was a pretty good band and all but I just didn't understand how that would translate into massive and loyal phanbase. I guess I just didn't get it.

Kate (I guess her parents are Prince and Jewel) writes-

Hi Bob,
My name is Kate Richardson (I also write reviews) I read your reviews often and enjoy them. I was just reading Nick Mayhew's and he mentioned that you talked to Tina Fey at 1 pm. Was he serious? If he's just kidding, then I feel kind of stupid for asking, but if he's serious, then whoa! I'm the biggest Tina Fey fan! Well, It'd be great if you could clear this up for me. And, keep up the good work on your reviews, they're really great!
-Kate
Yes, on Friday December 13th I did meet Tina Fey and did talk to her about WU. When I lived in NY I hung around 30 Rock a lot and I don't mean to brag but I got to meet all the cast members and stuff. Thanks for the kind words but I must clarify- I am the biggest Tina Fey fan.

Timothy Gubbels writes-

Hi,

I would like to buy a VHS copy of the latest Gore-hosted SNL show.
Please help.

Tim

Once again- I DO NOT tape episodes of SNL and therefore have none to sell.

Wanna be in the mailbag????? Email me at philhartmarip@yahoo.com

 

THE STORY OF BOB BARRON: ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT

Now this story may shock you a bit because I think I pride myself and the reader prides him or herself in knowing that I am a good upstanding person. In fact all proceeds from writing this review go straight to charity.

Now as many of you know- I am studying in Canada while being an American citizen at the same time. Now many of you will say: Who cares? Canada is just the 51st state to begin with.

Well apparently Canada doesn't acknowledge its well known statehoodism and made me get a student visa and all that to study in their country. So I assume all this is complete and go up to Canada for a semester of studying, sex and drunken keg parties!!! Well replace that with buying DVDs, going to hockey games and the only time being drunk was in the middle of a class and you've got my semester. Anywho- I go home to the 11th state- New York and soon I went back ready to begin another semester of hockey games, dvds and getting drunk at the most inappropriate times.

And then while walking through the airport I get stopped in customs. Now either I accidentally wore a turban on my head or Dean Edwards and Rachel Dratch got ahold of my bag. So I go into this room praying that some hot chick is gonna give me a cavity search if there was one needed. It turned out- none was needed as I was sent to this dude and I showed him all my ID and all that stuff while trying not to make a joke that could get me arrested.

So then the guy searches my name through the computer and he says words that every guy named Manuel or Juan dreads to hear:

Sir- did you know that you were in the country illegally?

So then he explains to me while I try not to laugh my ass off that my parents forgot to pick up the correct forms and I was never officially allowed into the country of Canada. So for the past four months I was living and studying in Canada illegally. I mean what if I had anthrax or something??? Now for my readers who are shocked by my illegality status- don't worry- I am now officially allowed in Canada.

Canadians- got a great border patrol up there eh?

And now the actual review-

Cold Opening-
Cast- Horatio Sanz
Thoughts- What's with Horatio playing evil dictators with anti-American stances? I hope he's not being typecasted. This was a pretty weak way to open the show. I've been kind of out of the loop recently so I didn't really understand Sanz's spoofing of this guy. This was pretty much a hit and miss affair with some funny stuff (The Sweet Home Alabama joke) and some unfunny stuff (a lot of the jokes). I don't mind hit and miss skits at the end of the show but they are not good ways to open the show. **

Monologue
Cast- Jeff Gordon, Rachel Dratch, Chris Parnell
Thoughts- Well since Jeff "Mr. Personality" Gordon is the host I guess I shouldn't be complaining too much about this being not an actual monologue. I was actually shocked at the fact that I enjoyed Rachel Dratch in a skit. Her burn on Jeff Gordon was delicious and as someone who wishes Rusty Wallace a nice car crash into a wall (for reasons I don't want go get into) I enjoyed her insult from him. Other then that the skit blew those were the high points. **1/4

Joe Millionaire
Cast- Amy Poehler, Seth Meyers
Thoughts- This was a pretty funny commercial parody that I hoped would actually turn out to be an actual skit but alas- it was still very funny. ***1/2

Brian Fellows Safari Planet
Cast- Gordon, Tracy Morgan, Horatio Sanz
Thoughts- After seeing this idiot on my screen- I was hoping that Joe Millionaire stuff was a skit. Brian Fellows is a dead character and has been for a pretty long time now. The crowd reacts to 'I'm Brian Fellows' and (insert animal here) is crazy but during the rest of the skit they just there going: Wow- the acoustics in Studio 8H sure are great. I did mark out hardcore for the mention of Bill O'Reilly and the O'Reilly Factor and whomever wrote this skit deserves a gold star. But since I am not able to give out gold stars so I think giving a skit that deserved a DUD a *1/2 rating is nice enough. *1/2

Access Hollywood
Cast- Jimmy Fallon, Chris Parnell, Maya Rudolph, Meyers
Thoughts- What the fuck was this shit? I mean Maya's Diana Ross impression was pretty bad as was Fallon's Pat O'Brien impression. Everyone said have Jimmy do impressions and he'll be peachy keen. Well he did an impression and it sucked. He's useless. DUD

Joe Caucasian
Cast- Morgan
Thoughts- Another good parody. ***

Career Day
Cast- Gordon, Poehler, Meyers
Thoughts- Wow- I wonder if Seth Meyers will wake up one day and go: I'm tired of carrying skits. Let those losers wallow in their ultimate suckiness. Seth, as usual, completely carried this skit per his usual Seth Meyers awesomeness while the rest was Satan the race car driver. **1/4

Star Date
Cast- Gordon, Dratch, Dean Edwards, Jeff Richards
Thoughts- The skit had a pretty weak plot but Richards' Gary Busey was fantastic and helped make the skit into the good territory. ***

Joe Not-a-Rapist
Cast- Parnell, Rudolph, Dratch
Thoughts- Damn- these skits are saving the show and depending on whatever the average skit is- well it owes the Joe stuff. ***

Avril Lavigne
Thoughts- I love Avril Lavigne. There. I said it. I love Avril Lavigne. You can give me all that she's not punk, she's fake, she's like Britney and Christina- WHO GIVES A CRAP???????? IT'S THE MUSIC THAT MATTERS!!!!! You can tell me you don't like Avril because you don't enjoy her music and I'll say okay- that's cool. But if you don't like other because of other intangibles well that is definitely not damn skippy hippy. I love every song on her album and am glad she released I'm With You after Sk8er Boi so she could show everyone she had a serious side. Anyway- it may not be a Naked or a Losing Grip but I love Avril and I love this song and I especially loved this performance. Avril totally made the show with this one. ****

Weekend Update
Cast- Tina Fey, Fallon, Chris Kattan, Poehler, Dratch, Will Forte
Thoughts- Because if there's one thing Weekend Update needed- it was MORE Jimmy Fallon. The fact that Jimmy Fallon actually got a Grammy nomination shows how seriously the Grammys should be taken. Idiot Boyfriend is a waste of good recording tape that maybe could've been used to finish Norm's long awaited comedy album. Or maybe they could put Dratch and Fey on CD. Anything but the wretched crap that is 'Idiot Boyfriend'. It is truly idiotic. Anywho- the Cloneaid stuff was pretty funny as was the mention to wrestling (the guy's name was Mike Sanders) and it was cool seeing Forte on Update. Jimmy just brought this WU way down but we've sadly grown accustomed to that. This is one of those WUs that could've hit the 4s had we been greeted with some Sethdom. ***1/2

 

Broken down Aquarium
Cast- Gordon, Sanz, Fallon, Poehler, Rudolph, Meyers, Armisen, Forte
Thoughts- Is Lorne trying to turn me against Jimmy Fallon and Horatio Sanz. I know all the stupid 12 year old girls watch this and go: OMG JIMMY IS LAFFING ON SNL OMG LOL I LUV SNL. I'm glad a 12 year old girl is finding pleasure from Jimmy rather then some dude on the internet inviting her to some crazy ranch but me- an 18 year old who witnessed the Canucks AND Maple Leafs lose in the exact same night does need any more rage instilled in him and Jimmy and Horatio's stupid little antics piss me off. Sure you two fucking jackass are having your little fun cracking each other up but you guys need to know something:

YOU ARE ON LIVE TELEVISION ACROSS THE WORLD. ACT PROFESSIONAL.

There are people who would give everything they owned to have the jobs that Jimmy and Horatio do and to go out there and have such little respect for everything just pisses a loyal viewer like me off. I like watching people who go out there, have fun and are funny while doing it while at the same time acting professional. Jimmy and Horatio must have bad self esteem issues if the only way they think they can get a rise out of an audience is by going out there and cracking each other up. I was crazy happy when Molly left and if this keeps up I will not shed a tear if you either of you get hit by a bus because you're too busy thinking of ways to crack up on the air. DUD

Charlie Rose
Cast- Darrell Hammond, Richards
Thoughts- About the laughing thing- I ragged on Darrell for doing it in the Barrymore episode but except for the whole stint in rehab, the general wackiness and a rumoured heart attack- you can always count on Darrell Hammond. This is one of those skits that seemed like it could've gone somewhere and was kinda funny with the mixups of Rumsfeld and Cheney but it seemed like it got cut off at the knees. **

Joe Dude
Cast- Fey, Poehler, Dratch
Thoughts- As a Feynatic- this kind of creeped me out a bit and made me question whether there were homosexual overtones in the three hugs I got from her. Aside from the questioning of my sexuality involving hugs with Tina Fey- wait a minute- I can't be gay- I don't even like Maya Rudolph! Anywho- I found this- like all the other Joe skits to be rocking. ***

Avril Lavigne
Thoughts- May 13th can't come soon enough. Cause that is when for the second time I will have the privilege and honour of seeing Avril Lavigne in concert at the Nassau Coliseum. I mean yea I know the Nassau Coliseum is like infested with all the other diseases Long Island has but it's AVRIL!~. I think seeing Avril is worth getting cholera and dyssentary. I LOVE the live version of Complicated. It is like 10 million times better then the album version which is not to shabby. Basically- this was the best musical performance since Paul Simon singing the Boxer on SNL. Great great stuff and I wish the whole show had just been one big Avril concert. Hey- it beats Jimmy and Horatio. ****1/4

Terry Funk
Cast- Gordon, Parnell.
Thoughts-Well the guys name was Terry Funk so I guess they were trying to appeal to the hick fans who watch NASCAR by having three references to wrestling on the show. I'm sure people who were in the middle of nailing their sister loved this skit but as an only child I was not amused. _* for Terry Funk

Stripper Pole
Cast- Morgan, Parnell, Poehler, Dratch, Edwards, Forte, Meyers,
Thoughts- At least Dean FINALLY got some skit time. As a Dean-a-holic and Dean-a-maniac I was getting worried he never made it straight outta Compton. This was typical last skit fodder and the thought of seeing Rachel Dratch near a stripper's pole was pretty gross. Not too much to laugh at her but it had like one or two moments all of them involving Dean. *

The Bottom Line- Average skit was **.26 but because of Avril I will be super nice and give this show a thumbs in the middle. Without Avril this show would've hit Drew Barrymore territory which is never a good thing. Less Jimmy, Horatio and Maya and more Amy, Seth and Dean is the way to go and I hope they realise it before it's too late and the show really starts going down the shitter. Avril Lavigne can't bail you guys every week.

Thumbs in the Middle