Jeff Gordon / Avril Lavigne
January 11, 2003

By Stooge

Before we get started, here's a couple of e-mails I got about my last review.

From Cooki157@aol.com

Your totally right. Jimmy just doesn't seem to care anymore. Did you see how
he so obviously set his pencil downon the side of the desk? It just seems
dispespectful. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the Jimmy Fallon but he needs to
get his priorities in order.

 

 

From memory_grove@yahoo.com

I was just writing to say THANKS for the SNL reviews. I always read yours! I
agree with you on many points, such as the more questionable hosts being by far
the most entertaining, and I agree about Darrell and Chris being underused.
Really agree with you on the Gore, SMG, and DeNiro episodes.

On the things that I disagree about, such as not liking Jarrets room and liking
Sully and Denise, at least I sort of get a glimmer of why you don't/like those
sketches.

Thanks, and I'll keep reading. But it's bugging me that you don't have a better
name than Stooge. Maybe your real name is better (hope Stooge was not given to
you by your mom at birth!)

Thanks for the comments. As for my name, even before I was born, my parents thought that I wouldn't grow up to be very smart, hence the name. Looks like they were right ;)

 

(PRE-SHOW THOUGHTS)
Odd how I made a joke in my last review about someone like Carrot-Top hosting the first January show, and then Jeff Gordon ends up hosting it. He isn't exactly Carrot-Top, but c'mon, it's close enough. I'm actually kind of looking forward to Gordon hosting, though; the best episodes this season were hosted by people who many thought would do bad (Nia Vardalos, Al Gore, and John McCain), so maybe this episode will follow. 

Looking at the dress rehearsal promo, it looks like we're getting a sketch with Jimmy and Horatio as AAA workers, Parnell and Rachel in the studio audience, Brian Fellow (ugh!), and the DeMarco Bros (I had a feeling they'd do those characters this week).

________________________________________________________

 

(COLD OPENING) A Message from Kim Jong Il
Highlights:
- The "Sweet Home Alabama" review.
- Some pretty funny lines.
Lowlights:
- Dead in a lot of spots.
Additional Notes:
- This was similar to the opening to the Winona Ryder episode, and Maya played the translator in that one, too.

 

 

(MONOLOGUE) Jeff Gordon speaks to NASCAR fans in the audience
Highlights:
- Parnell and Rachel were pretty funny, especially when they revealed who they really were.
Lowlights:
- I don't follow NASCAR, so I didn't really care for this.
Additional Notes:
- None.

 

 

(COMMERCIAL) Joe Hetero
Highlights:
- A short, clever, and hilarious Joe Millionaire parody.
Lowlights:
- None.
Additional Notes:
- None.

 

 

(SKETCH) Brian Fellow's Safari Planet
Highlights:
- I admit, some of this made me laugh.
Lowlights:
- I'm really getting tired of this sketch. It hit its peak in The Rock episode, and hasn't been very funny since. I'd rather take Horatio's Vasquez character over this.
Additional Notes:
- I don't think the sheep was supposed to eat those plants, since Horatio looked surprised by it, and started breaking character a bit.
- Why was Horatio in this again? Wasn't he a guest in the last Brian Fellow sketch?

 

 

(SKETCH) Access Hollywood
Highlights:
- Maya as Diana Ross.
- Jimmy as Pat O'Brien. Hard to believe that this is his first impression all season.
Lowlights:
- This was a little too short; I felt some more could've been done with this.
Additional Notes:
- None.

 

 

(COMMERCIAL) Joe Caucasian
Highlights:
- Even funnier than the first one.
- Tracy's make-up and his one-liner.
Lowlights:
- None.
Additional Notes:
- None.

 

 

(SKETCH) Career Day
Highlights:
- When it was revealed that Seth was the fat kid's father
Lowlights:
- The rest of the sketch dragged.
Additional Notes:
- Did Amy really screw up her "I might like a pair" line? If so, then she made a good ad-lib afterwards.

 

 

(NEXT WEEK) January 18, 2003 ­ Ray Liotta
Should be good. Hope this doesn't turn out to be disappointing like DeNiro, Damon, McCormack, or SMG. Also, it will be the 10th episode of the season, so I'll be doing my list of best/worst sketches, best/worst episodes, etc. of the season so far.

 

 

(SKETCH) Star Dates
Highlights:
- Jeff Richards' Gary Busey impression was hilarious. I had heard about his impression before, and it was good to finally see it.
Lowlights:
- The studio audience response could've been better. I feel sorry for Jeff, because the audience never seems to respond well to his sketches, even when they're really funny like this one.
Additional Notes:
- None.

 

 

(COMMERCIAL) Joe Not-a-Rapist
Highlights:
- Again, very funny.
- The sleazy look on Parnell's face.
Lowlights:
-
None.
Additional Notes:
- None.

 

 

(MUSICAL PERFORMANCE)
No comment.

 

 

(WEEKEND UPDATE) Fallon & Fey, Crazy Clone People, Gay Hollywood Hitler
Highlights:
- Rachel's return as the messed-up baby.
- Jimmy's Star Jones joke.
- Jimmy's Brad Bitt joke.
- Tina's "Sex and the City" joke.
Lowlights:
- The Amy/Kattan segment dragged before Rachel came in.
- The bit with Jimmy's inner thoughts went on for WAY too long.
- Gay Hollywood Hitler. And did we need to see Kattan twice in the same Update?
Additional Notes:
- That guy sitting in the audience behind Forte was distracting with his mugging to the camera.
- Was the bit at the end with Jimmy putting his pencil into that box supposed to be an inside joke? I think it's obvious now that something happened backstage that supposedly "banned" Jimmy from throwing the pencil at the camera like he used to. And who was that guy in the Shakespeare outfit anyway?

 

 

(SKETCH) Gary's Fish Tanks
Highlights:
- None.
Lowlights:
- Damn, this sucked! The writing was awful to begin with (looked like a 1994-95 leftover with Farley and Sandler), but I knew this was doomed as soon as Jimmy and Horatio showed up. Their overacting and character breaking together ceased being funny long ago; they should be banned from being in sketches together except for Jarret's Room. Not even Fred going crazy at the end could save this.
Additional Notes:
- Phil Hartman Award of the night goes to Fred for keeping a straight face during Horatio and Jimmy's laughing.

 

 

(SKETCH) Charlie Rose
Highlights:
- Jeff Richards with another great impression. He and Jimmy are both returning to their impersonation roots tonight, which is great (though Jimmy still has a long way to go). Jeff played Charlie Rose before in the Mango sketch with Ellen DeGeneres, and since then, I was hoping he'd get a chance to showcase the impression in his own sketch.
Lowlights:
- Darrell's only appearance of the night, and he should've been given a bigger role.
Additional Notes:
- None.

 

 

(COMMERCIAL) Joe Dude
Highlights:
- Tina in a sketch!
Lowlights:
- These Joe Millionaire parodies are starting to lose its bite. They should've ended it after the 3rd one.
Additional Notes:
- None.

 

 

(MUSICAL PERFORMANCE)
No comment.

 

 

(SKETCH) The Terrye Funck Hour
Highlights:
- Good to see Parnell in a role different from the usual voice-over or straight-man roles that he constantly gets typecast into.
- Jeff Gordon's only notable performance of the night (which is STILL not saying much).
Lowlights:
- The sketch itself was pretty lame. Why does almost every new character done nowadays have to be in the tired "public access show" format?
Additional Notes:
- None.

 

 

(SKETCH) Stripper Pole
Highlights:
- Dean with a big role!!!!!!!!! Has hell frozen over?!?
Lowlights:
- Typical weak last 5 minute sketch. Dean, Amy, and even the usually reliable Tracy couldn't save it.
- Studio audience was again dead, but this time, I don't blame them.
Additional Notes:
- None.

________________________________________________________

(CONCLUSION)
Well, so much for my prediction about this episode turning out to be surprisingly good. I don't think this episode surprised anyone. This was really bad and rivals the Eric McCormack episode as the worst of the season. Jeff Gordon was absolutely bland as the host, and even his best performance of the night (in the Terrye Funck sketch) was still pretty lame and not much of a stretch for him. He didn't play himself in any sketches, though, so I'll at least give him credit there. What happened to the DeMarco Bros.? I know a lot of people can't stand those characters, but I sure as hell would rather see that than the Gary's Fish Tank fiasco.

Overall Highlights of Tonight's Show:
- The Joe Millionaire parodies. The last one could've been scrapped, but for the most part, they remained solid. This season, they seem to be doing a lot of recurring commercial parodies throughout an episode, and these and the NRA ads from the premiere have been the only good ones so far.
- Star Dates.
- Charlie Rose.
- Jimmy's Pat O'Brien and Maya's Diana Ross impressions in the Access Hollywood sketch.
- Most of the Weekend Update jokes.

Overall Lowlights of Tonight's Show:
- Gary's Fish Tanks. Take a typical 94-95 sketch, mix it with The Leather Man and Jimmy and Horatio's unfunny mugging and laughing, and you get this mess. Only second to the Subway Fred sketches (at least the Fish Tank sketch has somewhat of a comedic premise) as the worst of the season.
- Jeff Gordon as the host. Not in the Charles Barkley/George Foreman/Nancy Kerrigan territory of bad, but he was bad in the manner that his performances all night were bland, the writers gave him no good material to work with, and he seemed to be missing from every other sketch.
- The studio audience. Not as dead as the 10.12.02 episode, mind you, but they didn't laugh too much during some of the actual funny moments (Jeff Richards' two sketches in particular), yet they laughed at Jimmy and Horatio's 12,342,354th character break together (which will just encourage Lorne to put on more bad sketches with those two). The audience must've been filled with idiots like that guy who kept making goofy faces behind Will Forte during Update.
- Gay Hollywood Hitler.
- Brian Fellow.
- Career Day.
- The Terrye Funck Hour.
- Stripper Pole.

Funniest Single Moment:
- I'm having a hard time deciding between Jeff Richards' Gary Busey impression (every thing he did in that sketch cracked me up, even just the way he looked) and Tracy Morgan as Joe Caucasian (with his poorly put-on white make-up and his hilarious one-liner). Since I always seem to pick Tracy moments for the "Funniest Single Moment of the show" and Jeff hasn't really done much this season, I'll go with Jeff as Busey this time.

Best Lines:
- Horatio Sanz as Kim Jong Il / Maya Rudolph as translator: "I was a chronic bed-wetter. Not only my own, but the beds of others."
- Horatio Sanz as Kim Jong Il / Maya Rudolph as translator: "[Reese] Witherspoon finds genuine emotion hidden under a blandly familiar plot, and I'd like to kidnap her and sodomize her."
- Jimmy Fallon as Pat O'Brien: "Good evening, I'm Pat O'Brien and I don't breathe through my nose ever."
- Tracy Morgan as Joe Caucasian: "I'm gonna get all these white chicks pregnant."
- Jimmy Fallon: "The February issue of Playboy Magazine features a nude pictorial of Allison Eastwood, daughter of actor Clint Eastwood. Early word on pictures: Dirty ­ Hairy."
- Jimmy Fallon: "Star Jones was rushed to the hospital on Christmas Day after suffering from altitude sickness. Let's just hope that during future holidays, Star learns not to pile the ham so high that it becomes dangerous."
- Jimmy Fallon: "New York City hasn't seen this much public wood since the last time Brad Pitt walked through Greenwich Village."
- Tina Fey: "HBO announced Tuesday that the upcoming season of "Sex and the City" will be the last. HBO executives said that the girls have simply run out of holes."

CAST MEMBER COUNT DOWN
DRATCH: 8 sketches (Monologue; Joe Hetero; Joe Caucasian; Star Dates; Joe Not-a-Rapist; Weekend Update; Joe Dude; Stripper Pole)
FALLON: 3 sketches (Access Hollywood; Weekend Update; Gary's Fish Tanks)
FEY: 2 sketches (Weekend Update; Joe Dude)
HAMMOND: 1 sketch (Charlie Rose)
KATTAN: 1 sketch (Weekend Update)
MORGAN: 3 sketches (Brian Fellow's Safari Planet; Joe Caucasian; Stripper Pole)
PARNELL: 8 sketches (Monologue; Joe Hetero; Access Hollywood; Joe Caucasian; Joe Not-a-Rapist; Joe Dude; The Terrye Funck Hour; Stripper Pole)
POEHLER: 7 sketches (Joe Hetero; Joe Caucasian; Career Day; Weekend Update; Gary's Fish Tanks; Joe Dude; Stripper Pole)
RUDOLPH: 7 sketches (A Message from Kim Jong Il; Joe Hetero; Access Hollywood; Joe Caucasian; Joe Not-a-Rapist; Gary's Fish Tanks; Joe Dude)
SANZ: 3 sketches (A Message from Kim Jong Il; Brian Fellow's Safari Planet; Gary's Fish Tanks)
ARMISEN: 1 sketch (Gary's Fish Tanks)
EDWARDS: 2 sketches (Star Dates; Stripper Pole)
FORTE: 3 sketches (Weekend Update; Gary's Fish Tanks; Stripper Pole)
MEYERS: 5 sketches (Joe Hetero; Access Hollywood; Career Day; Gary's Fish Tanks; Stripper Pole)
RICHARDS: 2 sketches (Star Dates; Charlie Rose)

Parnell and Rachel were both given an incredible amount of sketches tonight. I bitch a lot about how they're constantly underused, so I was pleased to see this, and they were funny in most of their appearances. Amy also had a lot to do. Kattan had his two bad roles in Update. Darrell barely got anything again. We got another rare "Tina in a sketch" sighting. Seth was given a lot of sketches for a featured player. Jeff had two impersonation showcases and did great in both of them, which shows that they need to let him do impressions more often (as well as Jimmy). Fred tried to make the best out of his 1 appearance of the night, but still couldn't save that sketch. And Dean got to co-star in a sketch!

Thanks for reading. ADIOS.