Jeff Gordon / Avril Lavigne
January 11, 2003

By The Doc

FROM THE OFFICES OF "THE DOC"...

(AHEM) HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! (CONFETTI FALLS) OK, that's enough. (CONFETTI SUDDENLY STOPS) As of Jan. 11th, it has been 1107 days since that ol' Y2K stuff was making us paranoid, but IMHO, the point where we stop worrying is when we reach day 1500, which is about a year from now. Had a great "Giving Month", scored a couple of games, DVDs, Tunes and all that wacky stuff. Anyway, there's so much to get through, so I'm going to get through it now. To start off with, every reviewer has given their opinions on the season so far. And with that in mind, so must I. Ladies and gentlemen, presenting...

THE DOC's MID-SEASON CHECKUP

First, let's examine the cast one by one, followed by best musical guest and host/show. But I'm not going to do this the regular way, Since this is my last year as a reviewer, (I Did mention that before, right?) I'm going to do what I've always wanted to do...(AHEM) "Live from New York, It's Saturday Night!!!"

(CUT TO OPENING MONTAGE)

DON PARDO: It's "Saturday Night Live"...With Rachel Dratch...

DOC: 
I'm still very sure that she's funny...somehow. As long as she doesn't have to screech and shriek in all of the stuff she's in.

PARDO: Jimmy Fallon...

DOC:
He's gotten too arrogant for his own good, but I guess that sort of thing happens when you're sitting at the Update Desk. (See: Chevy Chase) Not that I'm condeming him completely, his big saving graces are the "Jarrett's Room" and "Leather Man" sketches. Just that if he wants to take his job seriously, here's a start...Don't laugh in the middle of your sketches, mmm'kay?

PARDO: Tina Fey...

DOC: 
She deserves to be in more sketches, other than "Update" that is. I don't care if it's a bit part or one of those full length type sketches, she needs screen time! I mean, look at that face, how could you not want to feature it?

PARDO: Darrell Hammond...

DOC:
IMHO, this is probably going to be his last season. Not saying that he doesn't have what it takes anymore, it's just that over the years he's limited the characters he's done over time. Primarily because of the fact that most of them aren't even newsmakers anymore. (I.e. Clinton, Gore and such.)

PARDO: Chris Kattan...

DOC: 
Ooooook, How do I say this without sounding offending? This'll be his last season too...I hope. Sure he has improved himself drastically by not doing "Mango" anymore, but that doesn't change the fact that Chris Kattan is still...Chris Kattan. A Hyper 10 year old in a early/mid-30s body. He should probably go back to doing Suel Forrester while he still has the chance.

PARDO: Tracy Morgan...

DOC:
Probably the most improved of the group. Despite the fact that he's still doing stuff like Brian Fellow, "Astronaut Jones" and those things that he does with Maya Rudolph, He has a supprising knack for portraying political figures/activists. (I.e. Al Sharpton, Harry Belefonte.) This is basically the Tracy you don't know.

PARDO: Chris Parnell...

DOC:
One really lucky son of a bitch if you ask me. I mean, the guy gets fired, re-hired in the same season, and now he's President Bush! That my friends, is luck If I ever thought so. He's still great at doing deadpan/straightman stuff, but he needs to have more looser characters in his arsinal.

PARDO: Amy Polher...

DOC:
I would like to use a quote from "The Simpsons" for this one..."At first it was cute and funny, but now they're just annoying!" If it weren't for her "Special" contract, she'd still be among the ranks of Seth, Jeff and the bunch. Of the stuff that she should take down a notch, that one legged girl. She deserves to be taken down a peg, a Whole Peg.

PARDO: Maya Rudolph..

DOC:
She's coming into her own in her own way, Granted she doesn't have an "Official" Recurring Character. (If you call those "Subway Fred" Type stuff "recurring") She's definately the "Larane Newman" of the group in terms of the fact that she's keeping her characters versatile and various. Except for that "Wake up Wakefield" thing, they've gotta stop doing those.

PARDO: Horatio Sanz....

DOC:
If anyone from SNL is reading this, heed this warning...Whatever you do, don't put Horatio Sanz in a sketch opposite Jimmy Fallon. (Unless it's a Jarrett's Room Sketch.) It's just a derailment waiting to happen, other than that, it's cool what he's doing solo...Except for that turkish talk show, that crosses the line a little.

PARDO: Featuring, Fred Armisen...

DOC:
Fresh out of the gates, he comes up with a character that has appeared twice. With possibly more to come. But like the other featured players, he needs more time.

PARDO: Dean Edwards...

DOC:
Looks like we have a new Tracy Morgan in terms of screen time, or lack thereof. I'm sure he has something up his sleeve, but until then it's another one of those "Watch and Wait" kind of things.

PARDO: Will Forte...

DOC:
Actually getting the most screen time of the (new) featured cast. This could be acredited to his "Producer" Status. (See: Credits of Recent episodes of "That 70s show") With that aside, I think he scores with that "Tim Calhoon" character of his, too bad that there's nothing too "political" going on, otherwise he'd do it again.

PARDO: Seth Meyers...

DOC: 
He's too good to be called "Featured", even he has his fair share of characters. His biggest character is that of "DJ Jonathan Feinstein", Before the whole 80s Changeover. I want him to be one of the "Normals" so much, it doesn't seem right to keep him where he is.

PARDO: Jeff Richards...

DOC:
I kept saying that he should be President Bush on account of the fact that he has the right face and voice* for it, (*See: "Dr. Phil") but that's why pencils have erasers. Just like all of the other Featured bretheren, he needs a recurring character.

PARDO: A Cartoon By Robert Smigel...

DOC:
With the exception of that "Religtables" toon, they have all been much better than they have usualy been. And if that "Charlie Brown" spot was any indication, it's only going to get even better from there.

PARDO: Lenny Pickett and the "Saturday Night Live" Band...

DOC:
What can I say about them, they're just about the only true original thing left about SNL, and if Mr. Pickett Left, I'd be at a complete loss of words. Don't ever change.

PARDO: Musical Guest...

DOC:
In normal reviews, I never review the musical guest. But since this is a special occasion, it's different. My choice for best musical guest so far....

PARDO: "...The White Stripes," And Your Host...

DOC:
Despite the fact that some shows have been major letdowns, there have been a fair share of diamonds. (CORNY METAPHOR TIME) But this one host and Show is the shiniest among the bunch...

PARDO: Ladies and Gentlemen, Senator John McCain!

DOC:
Here, you have a guy who is willing to make fun of himself as well as others, and isn't worried about tarnishing his reputation, I mean he is still Senator, isn't he? He does it all in this one... He plays himself, another politician, a hippie, a stalker, an Irishman, and a lounge singer. That my friends, is versatile. And that my friends, is the Doc's Mid Season Check-up. Now let's get to another issue at hand... That's right, it's time to "Free Your Mind!"

SINGERS: "Free Your miiiiiiiind, and the Rest will follow..."

Over the whole holiday break, I only got One letter, but that's not going to stop me from reading it.

<mailto:Blondie13828@aol.com>Blondie13828@aol.com writes:

"Well, now four people read your reviews! haha...just found this site (saturday-night-live.com) and read your review of the 11/16 show....great review, entertaining, and I agree! hehe."

It's good to have a fan, you're actually the 7th person who's read my reviews, thanks for the props...

Please don't forget. if you want to "Free Your Mind", the way to make it happen is a simple one...

<mailto:tvnutboy@yahoo.com>tvnutboy@yahoo.com
Subject: "Free Your Mind"

Remember, Whether the subject be Sex, Drugs, Payola or even The Magna Carta...Well, maybe not the last one...or even the ones before that...I forgot where I'm going with this, but Talk anyway!

Now to the real issue at hand...(SHUDDERS) Jeff Gordon and (SHUDDERS MORE) Avril Lavigne. (ANDY ROONEY: Y'ever notice how the first show of the new year is always the worst one of the season in terms of host?) Might as well get it over with...
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Korea or "Hey, we're just like the Waltons. We're praying for an end to the depression too."

It's "Meaningless Firsts" time everybody, It's the first time that the Korean language was used to open a show...Albeit "LFNY" didn't sound too Korean. This unfortunately, is one of those sketches when it's basically just one joke, the joke being of course that the guy is Insane, depressed, or Insanely Depressed. Some parts of the joke were OK, but this wasn't too funny.

Diagnosis: C-
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Monolouge or "On the chance that I don't survive, let me just say, seat belts save lives So Buckle Up."

Sure, they cold have gotten someone else to fill in for whoever chose to cancel on the 11th. (Hell, John Goodman would have been funnier than this.) But considering that NBC has semi-exclusive rights to NASCAR, why not shamelessly plug? I myself am not really a fan of the sport, I only tune in if there are firey auto crashes...Don't get me wrong, it's a shame that it happens, but what the hell is the point of watching people go 500 miles in a circle? It's more exciting than...

The TOP 5 things that are more exciting than Cars Racing:

5. Paint Drying
4. Cheese Aging
3. Snails Moving
2. Flys "Getting it on"
1. An entire episode of "Wall Street Week"


Getting back to the "triolouge", there was only one thing freaking me out about the whole thin, and that's the fact that Rachel Dratch Had to (Almost) Bare Her "Jumblies" with that tattoo...Oh, Crap!!!

TATTOO: Da' Plane, Boss. Da' Plane!

Leave it to me to re-hash old 70s TV shows.

Diagnosis: C+
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Joe Hetero or "He didn't give you Gay, did he? Did He?!"

Can you believe that show gained 19 million viewers? Of Course not. This is the 1st of many Short takes against the show. And unfortunately, this is the funniest of the 4. The others were good too, but this is an "If-I-had-to-choose" Kind of thing. This was the funniest mainly because of the was Seth handled it.

Diagnosis: A+
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Brian Fellow or "If I could talk to the animals, walk with the animals, speak and squeak and squack with the animals..." (MUSTACHE FALLS OFF) "Oh my god, Doctor Doolittle is Chief Wiggum?!"

(SIGH) Tragically, this was actually one of the better sketches of the night aside from the "Joe" Commercials. Some good ones were the "Tiger Woods" joke...Which Tracy must have borrowed from Colin Quinn. And that whole Snake thing...Other than that, it was just another Brian Fellow.

Diagnosis: B+
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Access Hollywood/Diana Ross or "...W,X,Y and Z/Now I know my ABCs (HOPS TO OTHER FOOT)/Won't you come and play with me." "We also would have accepted 'Tell me what you think of me.'"

OK, this and Brian Fellow were the only truly good sketches of the night. Only beef, is that Jimmy sounds in no way like Pat O'Brien. The rest of it is just Maya simply goofing off. At first, I thought that whole wig thing was unrehearsed, but that shows what I know. Also, getting back to that "Pat O'Brien" thing, Never ever say any "Shizzin to the izzin" kind of stuff ever again. It just makes us mad.

Diagnosis: B+
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Joe Caucasian or "...Disco Duck and Fleetwood mac./Coming out of my 8-track./Michael Jackson still was Black./Those were the Dayyyyyyyyyyyyyyys. (APPLAUSE)

I knew it was tracy, But once again, the key was the set up. The whole "I'm going to get em' pregnant" line was what lowered it a little.

Diagnosis: A-
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Career Day or "But isn't anybody going to follow in my footsteps?..."(CRICKETS CHIRP)

Lorne must have been giving out more "MadTV" Ultimatums to the Writers, y'know...

LORNE: Either you write this piece of Crap, Or I'm sending you to "Mad TV"!

WRITER: (GULP) Yes, sir.

LORNE: Tracy, "Get me a soda, bitch!"

I mean, c'mon! A Career Day Sketch? If I wanted something lacking in humor, I'd watch "Yes, Dear." Despite that fact, this isn't my "Oy Vey" for today.

Diagnosis: D-
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Star Dates or "...He's a wahsed up actor who should be going out with washed up supermodels." or even..."Gary Busey, you're alive! I feel so happy for you, but I just lost $10!"

At first I thought, "Well, at least Jeff is doing an impression of somebody famous, that's something." Then the sketch happened, I wasn't sure if Jeff was doing Gary Busey or "Slingblade's" Brother. Also, they gave the Host a minor role, which IMHO I thought was a stroke of genius. Then he just started talking and punching, which was just too much for him to do. And the ending was kinda gay. "I'd date him again", Please! I do give very little extra points for the fact that Dean was in a sketch.

Diagnosis: F+
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Joe Not a Rapist or "Frankly, I would have expected better from 'Jimmy the Scumbag.'"

It was the scummy look and blank facial expresion of Chris that made this funny, kinda reminds me of "Wade Blasingame's Brother".

Diagnosis: A
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Avril Lavigne:

That's Canadian for Alanis Ripoff. Seriously, Avril, I listened to Alanis Morrisette, I've met Alanis Morrisette, Avril, you are No Alanis Morrisette...OK, I've never met Alanis Morrisette before, but you do see where I'm going with this, right?

Diagnosis: N/A
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Update or "Here, have this." "Oh, an Award! Than...Oh wait, it's just a Grammy."(TOSSES IT )

At least Update didn't suffer so much. The whole Cloned baby/Angelina Jolie's Baby thing did very little. And when I saw Gay Hitler, I was praying for Will Ferrell to Come on. After all he does have a movie coming soon... And that whole "Grammy" thing with Jimmy was OK until we got to that "High School Enemy" part. That Plus Lame-o Jokes made this just Barely interesting.

Diagnosis: C
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Repairman or "Yep, here's your problem, ma'am... Someone jammed a 'Malibu Stacy' head down the drain."

This one get's my first "Oy Vey of the Day" for 2003 for the obvious reasons. For starters, didn't you read what I said about Horatio Sanz? I told you not to put him in a sketch with Jimmy. Especially if it involves prostetics of any kind falling off of one's face. 2nd (BRICK WALL DROPS DOWN, DOC DOES HIS BEST "SEINFELD IMPRESSION.) I'm confused, was this a sketch or a commercial? 3rd, what was the deal with Fred "dropping trou"? Can someone fill me in, because I wanna Know!

Diagnosis: F
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Charlie Rose or "I'm not Crazy, it's the TV that's trying to Kill me, aren't you TV?!" (CHARLIE ROSE) "I'm gonna kill you Homer, you are so dead!"

Now I'm sure that this is the begining of the end for Darrell Hammond. This was the only thing he did tonight, and it wasn't even much for him to do. And it's good that Jeff is burning up a few more of his impressions, but this thing was too 1-D.

Diagnosis: F

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Joe Dude or "Flanders, it doesn't matter. This time tomorrow, you'll be wearing high heels."

OK, not that kind of cross-dressing joke, but the meaning is there. Considering that I knew about this on SB's Spoilers, that's why it's getting a lowered raiting. But that still doesn't change the fact that Tina Fey was in it. (They must be taking my advice seriously.)

Diagnosis: B+

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Makeshift Talk Show or "Oh please, you speak of them as if they were a gaggle of Slack-jawed yokels."

For god's sake, this is as low as low can get. The last thing that we need is yet another Wayne's World/Jarrett's Room Ripoff. This was so stupid, that I need to make up a new word out of gibberish to replace the word "Stupid" Let's see...

The TOP 5 (gibberish) words to replace the word "Stupid":

5. Freganial
4. Numinal
3. Juggianic
2. Bunikane
1. Ticulastic


This sketch was so Ticulastic, that I wanted to watch Mad TV, With Chris in that awful coat, or Jeff in that even more awful coat and doing that kicking and punching. It just wasn't funny, not even "Funny Strange".

Diagnosis: F
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Strip Pole or "Smithers, it's one of those nude female firehouses!"

Again, I'm tempted to give extra points for the fact that Dean was in a sketch, But the sight of Rachel Dratch doing..."That" to a pole kinda Cancels it all out. Not even the sight of Amy's Oversized rack could salvage this one.

Diagnosis: F
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Grand Diagnosis: (Despite everything) C

Prescription: Lay off the sports guys for a long time, a Loooooooooooooonnnnnng time!

Next Week: When he's not acting, he's a Character for a certain Violent Video game. Coughcough...ViceCity...Coughcough. It's Ray Liotta with "The Donnas", And I'll be "mp3ing" their music shortly so that I know what they sound like.

This Review is dedicated to all the men and women of America...Who have already broken their New Years Resolutions...So in that case, all the Men and women of America.

Until next time, "The Doctor is out!"