Jeff Gordon / Avril Lavigne
January 11, 2003

By Sarah

These holiday breaks really leave me craving new SNL. And here we are.
I had an okay Christmas, I guess. Family was here, candy was shoveled in, you know the drill. No "big" presents, really, and I'm disappointed that I am no closer to getting a car than I was before. I'm going for my driving test on the 21st, and I'm scared to death. Everyone is assuring me that it was easy, but I'm still incredibly nervous.

<[BOOK REVIEW]> Live From New York
I bought Live From New York this break, and what a great book it is! I seriously recommend it, it's so fascinating. Now my parents (probably my friends, too) really think I've gone nuts, when I'm reading this big thick book about a TV show that I also watch constantly on reruns and write reviews of. Oh, well. I really would like to see the early to mid-80s period, just out of curiosity. Some things were left out, and some people weren't even mentioned that I would have liked to hear about, for example Mark McKinney, Jim Breuer, Maya Rudolph, Eddie Murphy was discussed; none of them were interviewed. There are so many good stories, and I learned a lot about how the show works and the kind of pressures people have there. It kind of scares me, now, because almost everyone came off as hating the show, although they say it was one of their best experiences, blah, blah. I'm frightened of Lorne, though. He just seems really confusing and kind of hostile sometimes. I don't know if I would be able to deal with that if I were there. One of my favorite phrases that I must have read several times is, "crock of shit." It seemed like everyone said that, and I really crack up at that phrase. Anyway, buy the book, it's depressing at first, with the drugs and stuff, but it gets much happier as the years go on. A good little tidbit: Dr. Evil of Austin Powers fame is basically an impression of Lorne, except it doesn't look like him, of course.

<[SHAMELESS PLUG]>
The SNL Retrospective Archive at http://www.geocities.com/snlra/ is a great place to find guests, info about the "Curse of SNL" and other info.

<[IT'S MAIL TIME]>
Kyle writes:
I don't even bother with the other reviewsyour reviews are the bestkeep up the good work.

P.S. Jimmy laughs a lot during sketches...but so what?! The shit is funny!

My Response: Wow, thank you so much for the compliment. And I don't even know what else I can say about Jimmy. He mostly annoys me when the sketch sucks like Leatherman did. Many fans have been commenting on how Jimmy looked distracted on the Al Gore show, and not as goofy on WU as usual. You decide. I think the joke about him not returning next season was a joke though. 
There was a little joke I read on the SNL Newsgroup once when someone said they'd like to see a SNL Blooper special. The reply to that comment was, "Yeah, they will make one in a few years, I hear. Its going to be called The Best of Jimmy Fallon."
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Jeremy writes:
You do a great job on the SNL reviews at that website! I was just searching around the web, and your reviews are very informative. I am also a junior in high school, and like hearing about your life and stuff. Keep up the good work!
Its really cool that you are this interested in SNL, and devote your time to writing these reviews. I think Tracy Morgan is hilarious. I am surprised that you don't find brian fellows to be funny. At first i thought it was stupid, but it has gotten to be funny. Just the way he acts so stupid is funny, (I think his "i'm brian fellows" is way too cliched) but otherwise its a great skit. "why does this pig hate jewish people," "that bird better pray he doesnt screw up my credit" (that was from last year with the rock)... i agree that the willy wonka skit from al gores episode was hilarious! Also i love hardball, and think tracy makes it all the better. I thought al gore did a great job as trent lott in that skit. well email me back again, i'd like to get to know you online as any snl fan is cool! hehe well enjoy tonights rerun if you will be watching it. BtW i use kazaa to download skits from SNL, its great to be able to watch old ones. the other day i downloaded this commercial for uncle jemimas booz, its hilarious with tracy morgan. from 3 years ago. lol.

My Response: Okay, that's good that I'm not just rambling on about non-SNL topics to the annoyance of my readers. Thanks, and keep reading!
Brian Fellow has his moments, I suppose, like any sketch. It's just the same thing every time. Like Jack Handey, Brian Fellow is either really disliked by someone or really loved. It's kind of a divided audience. But whatever floats your boat or finds your lost remote, as I like to say. (I stole that from Outkast)
I use WinMX to find videos. It's pretty good most of the time. I have the "Uncle Jemima's Pure Mash Liquor" commercial too.
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Questions? Comments? What would you like to see more of? What should I stop rambling about? E-mail me at ECFroggy04@aol.com and I just may post you in my next review.
And it just doesn't get any more special than that!

<[AT THE MOVIES]> LotR: The Two Towers
Yeah, I know it's kind of late for this movie, but there was a big rerun break short review, I promise.
I mostly saw this movie to humor my sister, who is now obsessed with Elijah Wood. This whole series really is nerdy, when you think about it, because Tolkien made up a whole language (Elvish) and this crazy world. Wow.
I wasn't looking forward to the movie because the first one bored me out of my mind. But this one really redeemed itself. There was enough action/battle to keep me interested. I'm sorry, but that Legolas is just so damn cool and hot. It's not even Orlando Bloom himself; it's the elf stuff that makes him so cute. I love that elf, I do. The evil fighters who I can't spell their names- (is it Orcs?) still disgusted me, and the scene in the marsh with the dead guy was startling, although I could tell what was going to happen. The movie followed Aragorn, Legolas, and the dwarf way more than Frodo and Sam or the other Hobbits. Hey, I'm glad I knew most of their names. It was INCREDIBLY better than the first film, which was confusing to me.
I Give This Movie: FOUR STARS

And now, for a limited time only
<[THE REVIEW]>

Tonight's Host: Jeff Gordon
Of NASCAR fame, yes. Oh, boy. My dad is a fan of racing, although he is not a fan of "Gordie". I am so not looking forward to this.

Tonight's Musical Guest: Avril Lavigne
And to top it all off for me, we get "Punky" Lavigne. I knew about this Gordon/Lavigne lineup for a while, but it wasn't confirmed. But it is inevitable that she come on, I guess. ANYONE who spells "skater" with an 8 is almost as annoying to me as people who write "U" instead of "YOU" in everyday notes/e-mail/chat. Not really that mature, in my book.
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Spoilers from Saturday-Night-Live.com
Avril Lavigne and Jeff Gordon will appear in a DeMarco Brothers sketch
a "Diana Ross DUI" sketch with Maya Rudolph
a stripper poll sketch
pre-taped commercials for other Fox series: "Joe Not-A-Rapist" and "Joe Huge Penis"
Figures on the DeMarcos. If they get cut, I'll be so surprised.
The others, I don't know they have potential, I suppose.
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My Grading System: Scale of 1-10, 1 being Craptastical, and a 10 being Fab-o-riffic. And, yes, I made those words up, too.
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<[COLD OPENING]> Special Message From North Korea
Starring: Horatio Sanz, Maya Rudolph's voice
Comments: A slow start. Nobody was laughing. I wasn't laughing. I don't know current events as well as I should, but I think I could have written this and made it better. Sorry, writers.
Major Player: Maya Rudolph (voice)
Live, From New York, It's: Horatio Sanz/Maya Rudolph
Grade: 5
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<[MONOLOGUE]> Jeff Gordon
Starring: Gordon, Parnell, Dratch
Comments: Not that bad, but they should have had a "real" NASCAR fan come out and kill them like Jeffie said they'd do.
Major Player: Dratch
Grade: 6
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<[COMMERCIAL]> Joe Hetero
Starring: Meyers, Poehler, Dratch, Chris Parnell's Voice
Comments: Funny. I didn't get a chance to watch "Joe Millionaire" but I wanted to catch it. It looks hilarious
Major Player: Meyers, because he said "Y'all look fierce in those gowns" Hee.
Grade: 8
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<[SKETCH]> Brian Fellow's Safari Planet
Starring: Morgan, Gordon, Sanz
Comments: Why again? Is it just me or is Brian Fellow getting smarter? I think we should put Brian away. Away in a tiny lockbox. He's the only recurring character that's appeared twice this season, so far, I believe.
Major Player: I'd say the sheep because it was the only thing that made me laugh. But it has to be Morgan.
Grade: 5
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<[SKETCH]> Access Hollywood
Starring: Fallon, Rudolph, Parnell, Meyers
Comments: Extremely random, but it gave me a few chuckles, I guess. It was just an excuse for Maya to do a Diana Ross impression it seems.
Major Player: Rudolph
Grade: 6
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<[COMMERCIAL]> Joe Caucasian
Starring: Morgan, Poehler, Rudolph, Dratch, Chris Parnell's Voice
Comments: Even better than the first one. I'd watch it if it was on. I can hear it now "What, you're black? How DARE you lie! And I thought you were white this whole time. WE HAD SEX IN THE SPA! I hate you"
Major Player: Morgan
Grade: 8
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<[SKETCH]> Career Day
Starring: Gordon, Meyers, Poehler
Comments: This was just about the only sketch of the night that I actually laughed at. Aw, I felt so sorry for Seth. Jeff Gordon isn't doing too bad tonight, actually. Very charming as the fighter pilot. What I wouldn't give to be one of those kids in there. And they sound so bored.
Major Player: Meyers
Grade: 8, only because I actually laughed, and I feel sorry for this episode.
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<[SKETCH]> Star Dates
Starring: Dratch, Richards, Edwards, Gordon
Comments: I've watched part of this show. It's so funny, with their C-list celebrities and their either slutty or ugly dates. I love it. I don't even know who Gary Busey is. Dean got into something before WU. Yay.
Major Player: Richards
Grade: 6
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<[COMMERCIAL]> Joe Not-A-Rapist
Starring: Parnell, Rudolph, Dratch
Comments: Well, same old thing, but it's still funny. Parnell resembled Jack Osbourne with that look he had.
Major Player: Parnell
Grade: 7
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<[MUSICAL GUEST]> Avril Lavigne
She's definitely not the best live act I've ever heard, and I hate to say it, but this song is kind of growing on me.
Better get it removed before prom
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<[WEEKEND UPDATE]>
Starring: Fallon, Fey, Kattan, Poehler, Dratch, Forte, and whoever was Shakespeare, I couldn't get a good look
Comments: Update is losing it, really. The clone cult cracks me up. And Amy captures that crazy lady perfectly. Rachel as that clone/Angelina Jolie's baby is still hilarious. Jimmy's internal monologue was all right, I guess. There have been some references this year to Jimmy leaving, and I wonder if that will expand. Will Forte's bit was all right, I guess, they just needed him for Jimmy. Gay Hitler should NEVER be crossed with Hollywood. In fact, we shoul never see Hollywood again. Throw him in the lockbox with Brian Fellow.
Major Player: Tie between Dratch and Poehler
Grade: 8 because of the Cult people
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<[SKETCH]> The Aquarium Repairmen
Starring: Gordon, Poehler, Meyers, Rudolph, Fallon, Sanz, Armisen, Forte
Comments: I am dumbfounded. What the hell was this? At first I thought it would be another annoying duo (a la the Bloders), then it was the psychiatrist who was really an insane patient, randomly? Fred Armisen screaming and writhing on the floor with his pants down made me cringe in pain for the show. And leave it to Jimmy and Horatio to tear off their moustaches and crack up. Hey, that got the only laughs in this sketch. Who was high when they wrote this?
Major Player: Poehler, as she was one of the sane ones.
Grade: 2 (I hated it)
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<[SKETCH]> Charlie Rose
Starring: Hammond, Richards
Comments: Bo-ring. I don't even know what to say. I don't watch Charlie Rose.
Major Player: Richards
Grade: 5
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<[COMMERCIAL]> Joe Dude
Starring: Fey, Dratch, Poehler, Rudolph, Chris Parnell's voice
Comments: Chalk up another appearance for Tina Fey. It caught me by surprise.
Major Player: Fey
Grade: 8
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<[MUSICAL GUEST]> Avril Lavigne
Okay, this song has run its course.
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<[SKETCH]> The Terrye Funck Hour
Starring: Parnell, Gordon
Comments: Oh, man. We're dying here, I'm sorry. Please never repeat this.
Major Player: Parnell
Grade: 2
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<[SKETCH]> The Stripper Pole
Starring: Morgan, Edwards, Meyers, Parnell, Poehler, Forte, Dratch
Comments: All right, I guess. Hey, it was better than the last sketch was.
Major Player: Poehler
Grade: 6
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<[RESULTS]>
Comments: Well, the good news is that Jeff Gordon was a pretty good host. He didn't play himself, and he didn't read off the cue cards. The bad news is everything else (and I didn't think it was physically possible until now) both sucked and blew at the same time. I'm usually not this negative about the show, but oh, man, the material was horrible, and the audience was dead. I really feel sorry for Jeff that he had to be subjected to this. Easily worst show of the season so far. The "Joe ___" commercials kind of saved it, a little. A tiny little bit. No, not at all.
Highest Rated Sketch(es): The Joe Commercials, Career Day
Lowest Rated Sketch(es): The Aquarium Repairmen
Busiest Player(s) of the Night: Both Chris Parnell and Rachel Dratch appeared eight times.
Underused Player(s) of the Night: Fred Armisen, Darrell Hammond, and Chris Kattan each only appeared once.
Major Player(s) of the Night: Amy Poehler got three Major Players tonight.
Host Sketch Count: Jeff Gordon appeared seven times.
Surprise Guest Appearance: None
LFNY Tally: Hammond 2, Parnell 2, Sanz 2, Sandler 1, DeNiro 1, Tipper Gore 1, Rudolph 1
Non-WU Appearances from Tina Fey Counter: Now Three
Grade: (2 x 2) + (3 x 5) + (4 x 6) + (1 x 7) + (5 x 8) = 90 / 15 = 6 I thought it would be worse.
Next Week: Ray Liotta / The Donnas
I saw Ray Liotta in Heartbreakers (okay, stop laughing) and I've never heard The Donna's song(s). I've heard of them, though.