Jeff Gordon / Avril Lavigne
January 11, 2003

By Carson Mills

I Love Myself Corner
Top Ten Songs to Download (I guarantee you will like at least one of these songs. Please dowload these and discover good music):
1. ENON - Sold!
2. Secret Machines - Breathe
3. Burning Brides - Arctic Snow
4. 12 Rods - Part of 2
5. Songs:Ohia - Tigress
6. U2 - Sunday, Bloody Sunday
7. The Beta Band - Al Sharp
8. Spoon - Any Spoon song
9. The Bronx - Heart Attack American
10. Missy Elliot - Work it

 

COLD OPENING - Horatio Sanz, Maya Rudolph
How does one spell the onamatapoaia for snoring? This was boring. Note to the writers: jokes are funny, not lists. Sure, there was some ok gags. Pissing and masturbation jokes always cause me to crack a smile and the mini review of Sweet Home Alabama was funny and clever. I also loved the reference to John Vanbiesbrouck. Any other attempts at jokes only seemed funny because they were interspersed among a very dry, boring and jokeless cold opening.
Rating: 3.3

MONOLOGUE - Jeff Gordon, Chris Parnell, Rachel Dratch
Hooray, Jeff Gordon completes SNL's recent trifecta of sports hosts that I don't give a flying fuck about. Who's next? Canadian Curling Champion Kevin Martin? Jeez, I'm sure there's a a Leather Man with his name on it. The only interesting sports host would by Mike Tyson. This monologue was pretty typical, but when Chris and Rachel admitted that he was kind of a dud of a host I busted up. I also enjoyed the line about comedy being "nice and fast and in a circle." I wish that SNL's comedy was "nice and fast and in a circle." Pretty standard stuff with a couple of nice touches that provided some smiles.
Rating: 6.3

JOE HETERO - Amy Poehler, Seth Meyers
The first in a series of Joe MIllionaire spoofs. Seth does a good gay dude, but they had three other really strong gags, was it really neccesary to do a gay one? This made me chuckle, but it was the weakest premise of the four.
Rating: 6.8

BRIAN FELLOW - Tracy Morgan, Jeff Gordon, Horatio Sanz
I know, I know. Everyone hates Brian Fellow (or Fellows, depending on Tracy's mood). Sometimes, though, you've got to enjoy the skit for what it is - stupid. Actually, this was one if, if not the, best written Safari Planet's with some great lines about Tiger Woods and a snake beating up Brian's mom. Unfortunately, Tracy decided to bring his marble mouth into the skit and a lot of the best jokes were muffled and awkward. Horatio's last line here was funny, but kind of died. I like Tracy's new habit of singing the animal types. I don't know why, but it makes me laugh every time. I get a kick out of the character and this absurdist skit, but it's time they put this to rest and let Tracy come up with another character. Maybe they could have Mike Tyson come on as Brian's brother...I think that would actually work.
Rating: 7.5

ACCESS HOLLYWOOD - Jimmy Fallon, Chris Parnell, Maya Rudolph, Seth Meyers
I've been waiting for SNL to parody Access Hollywood. Pat O'Brien was just asking to be made fun of. Too bad the Access Hollywood parody was just a forumn for SNL to impersonate Molly Shannon impersonating Diana Ross. Honestly, go with the Access Hollywood parody, there's so much potential - the inanity, the banality, the insipidity, the grandiose celebrity ass-kissing. Jimmy's impression was close, but reeked of his Carson Daly impression. He should have played him a lot cockier and self-obsessed. Show him pretending to be best friends with Arnie and Eminem and spare us from the mediocrefest that was the Diana Ross skit. Actually there were humorous moments and Maya Rudolph, as annoying as she can sometimes get, is nowhere near Molly Shannon levels of awfulness. The gag with the wig was really funny and it's to the skit's benefit that this portion was short. Kudos for parodying Pat O'Brien's awful rhyming spiel he does at the end of every show. I want to see a straight up Access Hollywood parody next time.
Rating: 7.2

JOE CAUCASIAN - Amy Poehler, Tracy Morgan
Ah, that's pretty funny. I loved how awful Tracy looked. People will probably complain that they have too many of these commercials, but you gotta admit it's a pretty funny execution.
"I'm gonna get all these white chicks pregnant."
Rating: 8.0

CAREER DAY - Amy Poehler, Jeff Gordon, Seth Meyers
A pretty tam and boring skit. Despite this, Seth was really convincing here. Not much of a premise - kids bring dads to work, one dad has kick ass job and one dad has suck ass job. There were some pretty funny gags here, like Amy's character getting flustered or Seth's son insulting his dad. Honestly, it feels like this sketch has been written a hundred times before. If this was at the end of the show I would have given it a higher rating, but since it is near the top of the show it doesn't come off quite as well. At least Seth's trying.
Rating: 3.9

STAR DATES - Dean Edwards, Rachel Dratch, Jeff Richards, Jeff Gordon
This was the best skit of the night. Jeff's Gary Busey impression kicked ass. Actually, I could see this impression becoming its own reccurring character like Baba Wawa or Frank Sinatra or Sean Connery. Busey is such a freak. I loved how she initially thought it was Nick Nolte. I have no idea who Dean was playing or if was even doing a good job. His presence on screen seems very unnatural, but at least he's in some skits tonight. Honestly though, Jeff slayed this impression. His stories were so weird and funny, especially the one where he "reached out and grabbed her one free teeter." I also loved how Gary called his date his fiance. Funny stuff. The skit ended kinda weak though. This impression has a future and Jeff Richards has a promising future. Hopefully Darrell will leave and Jeff will take over on the impression front.
Rating: 8.4

JOE NOT-A-RAPIST - Maya Rudolph, Chris Parnell
The best concept of all four. Chris' face was hystericall. What a creep.
Rating: 8.3

MUSICAL GUEST
Hooray for Avril! Damn she's cute.

WEEKEND UPDATE - Tina Fey, Jimmy Fallon, Amy Poehler, Chris Kattan, Rachel Dratch, Will Forte
Weekend Update has been on the skids lately, but this one was an exception. In the season's first half, if WU took a risk on a long or conceptual joke it would fall flat (remeber that Seattle thing?) but tonight they really hit. Jimmy's stand up thing was great, as was the bit about the emotional affair, but the real hit was the Grammy thing. That one was a real risk because it was so long, but it was consistantly funny, much like WU as a whole tonight. Not everything was great. When the brought back the Angelina Jolie incest baby I was pissed, and the Gay Hollywood Hitler thing sucked pretty bad. The thing with the cloned baby would have been better if the two people turned out to be Jolie and her brother, but I guess that joke isn't really relavent any more. Tina's first joke did come off as a little smug, though, and some of the jokes were mere softballs. I did enjoy the jokes about Alison Eastwood, Jennifer Lopez and Star Jones (that last one was just plain old mean-spirited). This was a huge improvement over the last eight episodes. The Grammy bit was key. This was a really nice showing from Jimmy. By the way, who was that dude sitting behind Will Forte? What a wiener.
Rating: 8.0

OVA HEAH - Maya Rudolph, Jeff Gordon, Amy Poehler, Jimmy Fallon, Horatio Sanz, Seth Meyers, Fred Armisen, Will Forte
Ok, everyone hated this skit - it was one note, Horatio was supremely annoying, it was long, and Jimmy started laughing again. So many reasons to not like this. I tell you this much, though, this skit got nice and weird in the end. It almost seemed like a Mr. Show skit. As far as these characters go. Jimmy was actually pretty good, I laughed at his voice alone. Horatio on the other hand...the guy just yells. When the two started cracking up I groaned, but when Jimmy struggled through saying his one line I laughed pretty hard. His voice just got higher and higher. When the skit ended with Fred being insane and the whole skit just being an ad for fish tanks I laughed pretty hard too. People are saying this was the worst skit in three years, but it had enough weird elements and surprises that I would say it was far from the worst. It wasn't great, at times it was painfully bad, but it had its moments.
Rating: 5.3

CHARLIE ROSE - Jeff Richards, Darrell Hamond
A one-note skit, but Jeff was pretty good here. The best gags were when Rose started getting Rumsfeld confused with other people. Darrell was given little to do. Maybe, this episode is an indication that Darrell is on his way out. Not really much to say here, the impressions were good and there were some fun jokes, but the concept was pretty weak. Luckily it was short.
Rating: 4.9

JOE DUDE - Amy Poehler, Tina Fey
This gets a good rating simply because Tina looked like such a complete freak. These were all pretty good. One joke, but a good one, and it didn't linger too long, funny stuff.
Rating: 8.0

MUSICAL GUEST
Hey Avril's wearing a Home Hardware shirt. That's my girl.

THE TERRYE FUNCK SHOW - Chris Parnell, Jeff Gordon
I'm betting people hated this skit. Well, it was different, and sometimes it was funny. Chris veered into Kattan territory of annoyance, but kept it in check for the long run. Jeff Gordon makes his only note worthy appearence as host. He was quite funny here. Everyone I watched this with were like "what the fuck is this?" but I got a kick out of this thing. I enjoyed that Chris played such a flamboyant dude opposite of Jeff's hick. Nothing was wonderful here, but it was a definite change of pace for SNL. I'm sure all the wrestling fans don't appreciate that they had a dude named Terrye Funck (I know it's spelled differently) be so gay. On second thought, to line up professional wrestling and homosexuality isn't such a far reach after all.
Rating: 6.1

STRIPPER POLE - Chris Parnell, Seth Meyers, Tracy Morgan, Dean Edwards, Will Forte, Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler
A throwback to Flaco and Eddie perhaps? Anyways, this seemed like more of an excuse to get Dean into the show more. I'm not a big fan of his onscreen presence. He seems like he's acting to hard. Tracy seemed to just be doing him a favor hear, but he still outperformed Dean. The real highlight, or should I say only highlight, of this sketch was Amy. I love how her dialogue overlapped with Tracy's. The songs they played were kinda funny her, too. Racial stereotypes? Probably, but it was at the end of the show, so I'm sure no one noticed.
Rating: 4.8

OVERVIEW
Skit Average: 6.5
On paper this seems like a good enough episode, but the scores were brought up by some funny ads and an atypically good Weekend Update. Jeff Gordon was fairly unnoticeable as a host, and that's a compliment. This wasn't a very great episode, but there were some interesting skits like the Access Hollywood thing, the Fish Tanks skit and the Terrye Funck talk show. These at least kept the show intriguing to watch, even if the skit wasn't that great.

MVP - Jeff Richards
Jeff did a good Charlie Rose, but it was his Gary Busey that really rocked. One of these days the audience will just start laughing at him and his road on SNL will be paved, until then keep plugging away.
Runners Up - Amy Poehler and Fred Armisen for wearing Clash shirts at the end of the show. RIP Joe.

Worst Performer - Chris Kattan
Appeared twice in WU, and sucked both times.

Next week is Ray Liotta and the Donnas. That's gonna rock because Liotta's a psycho and the Donnas kick ass.

That's it! So long, feltch tubes!