Ray Liotta / The Donnas
January 18, 2003

By Chris Shifty

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2000/2001 (16) _ 2001/2002 (20) _ 2002/2003
(10)

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Phony SNL Auction Item (
Giant Candy Cane).
TV Moment of the Week (
The Shield). Pre-Show Thoughts. The Review.
The Rankings . Insert Mark Polishuk Here.
WE HAVE AN OPINION with Greg and Chris.
Goodbye with Phil Hartman & Tom Hanks. Next Time. Thanks.

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Phony SNL Auction Item: Giant Candy Cane [featured in Jeff Gordon '03] A great Christmas present if you are a washed up movie star.

Current Highest Bid: A fake Oscar with Busey's name on it.

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Television Moment of the Week: The Shield While 24 was once again great and had some shocking moments, nothing was more disturbing seeing a guy getting his ass kicked by a huge book then his face is pressed against a oven burner. Twice. Ouch. I know it's fake, but hats off to the actors and makeup team. A show not to miss.

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PRE-SHOW THOUGHTS

(01) Well the general consensus was that the Jeff Gordon show sucked, and Jeff's Gary Busey was excellent. And The Fish Tank sketch was a horrible sketch. It wasn't the biggest disappointment since I wasn't expecting Chris Walken calibre, but I was expecting Jonny Moseley calibre and they achieved worse than that.

(02) My Reisen parody was well recieved at SNL You. I had that brewing in my head for the longest time. When I discovered the website last year I thought it woudl be a good place to put it down. So last week I finally wrote it, but didn't finish it. Anyway the final draft was never sent but what's on the site is good.

(03) Ray has done some great movies and I've recently seen him on Conan and Carson. His film Narc appears to join the list of his great movies. After last week's crapfest I hope the writers have their act in order.

(04) SNL has told the world who's hosting the next three shows. Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, and Christopher Walken. I'm satisfied with the host selections, especially Walken. Garner will either be another Brittany Murphy show or a good one. McConaughey I've always thought was this actor who if he had a good movie would be a huge star but he's fallen short many times. He's done. He was hillarious in that Bill Murray/elephant movie so perhaps it will be a great show. On Comedy Central on this Sunday the 19th, Comedy Central will air all Murray stuff. So movies and SNL.

(05) Spoilers eh. Seems like Darrell will have a big role this Saturday. Excellent. Hannibal, Live with Regis and Kelly (about damn time), Donald Rumsfeld. The Falconer is pencilled in. If they can pull of a better sketch or a sketch that doesn't ruin the idea then go ahead. Forte will have his first recurring character. Fallon and Meyers seem to have another recurring one again.

(06) Most Impressions on SNL List This is according to SNL Archives. As of the Jeff Gordon episode. I found the results interesting. Even with Kattan being on the show so long I didn't believe he would be so high on the list. Plus him, Hammond and Fallon have chances to move up on the list. I doubt though Hammond will have seven new impressions this season but it's possible. If Fallon stays on for atleast two more seasons and returns more impressions he could find himself in the number one position. Now this is just the number of impressions that each castmember performed. The majority of impressions a star has usually only appears once or twice while each member has a handful of recurring impressions. Hammond's Bill Clinton has appeared 58 times. Phil portrayed Clinton 18 times. The list follows with ranking, castmember, number of impressions, number of seasons, there most frequent impression and times appeared.

1. Phil Hartman 68, 8 seasons, Bill Clinton 18x

2. Darrell Hammond 62, 8 seasons, Bill Clinton 58x

3. Will Ferrell 59, 7 seasons, George W. Bush 30x

4.Chris Kattan 58, 8 seasons, Paul Begala/Andy Dick/Ricky Martin 4x

5.Tim Meadows 55, 10 seasons, O.J. Simpson 13x

6. Dana Carvey 50, 7 seasons, George Bush 32x

7. Jimmy Fallon 47, 5 seasons, Carson Daly 6x

8. Ana Gasteyer 40, 6 seasons, Hillary Clinton 14x

9. Kevin Nealon 38, 9 seasons, Sam Donaldson 9x

10. Jan Hooks 37, 5 seasons, Nancy Reagan 6x

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COLD OPENING: Rumsfeld Sings [7.9/10]

Rumsfeld is favourite of my (the impression, not the person) and here he does alright. Darrell what are you doing with booze?! Stay clean and sober. He's Donald Rumsfeld he can do anything. Remember when he asked the reporters questions? "These boots are made for walking..."

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: Ray Liotta Goes Crazy [7.5/10]

Uh, not another Fallon mono. This thing went all over the place, with Liotta being a partying guy who annoys everybody, to a singing guy, to a guy with attitude. I enjoyed this since Ray seemed to be really into to it and then he punched Fallon.

SHOW: Live with Regis and Kelly [8/10]

"I'm telling a story!" Not up to par with previous Regis sketches from SNL's past but it does well. It gets everything. Ripa always being pregnant, the banter, Gelman, the audience it was a delight. I think when Regis said he wanted a show on his own he ment talk show not that game show that put ABC in a coma. Good job on the tattoo.

SHOW: Dragon Show [8.3/10]

Right from the start I questioned that Dratch seems to stand out. Even without her fake breast enlargements she would've stood out but they were used for extra bounce. Again Ray is shoutting and he does it well. Flashbacks of 'Death to Smoochy'. Clippers game was good, but both the Lakers and Clippers suck this year so it didn't really matter. Parnell would've fit well in Fallon's roll. The girls gone wild line was the funniest of the sketch. The ending wasn't that great.

COMMERICIAL: The Falconer [7.5/10]

Ah The Falconer. So what is in that box? The novelty has worn off a little but the prop department did well. Say what you want but this amuses me. Ray and Donald at the sorority girls place was a good idea. That Donald is bastard. Cut his legs off?

SKETCH: Straight Talk [8/10]

Parnell appears only once and many members of the cast appear here too. I really well written sketch that makes points at the obvious. Like I mentioned last night, perhaps the audience just realized they wasted their life savings and well shat their pants. Parnell can play one evil dude. The writers did well here, but the rest of the night doesn't do too well.

SHOW: Hannibal Alternate Ending Two [6/10]

Hammond and Ray were great in the sketch and I liked the piano music in the backround just like in the movie but their was hardly any comedy. Looks good on paper, but on screen nope. Even with another return by Pat O'Brien the sketch wasn't saved. Does Fey have a hard on for the Hilton Sisters? Nobody cares. All they do is party. Perhaps if they were in movies or some scandal but they're just young rich whores. Dean's Wayne Brady was excellent. Another free ad time for NBC. Access Hollywood is produced by NBC, and this deal appears on a NBC show. Just like The West Wing, just like that Friends thing last season and with Bravo in this sketch. NBC just bought Bravo.

WEEKEND UPDATE: with Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey [8.2/10]

Was an alright WU. This time Tina really bombed. The only things I liked was that Air Bud 2 bit and "The gay porn star could not be reached for comment because his mouth was very busy trying to earn $10 million." The Metrocard joke was really a New York only joke. Its funny for us a little bit but if you live there it's much more funny. Tim Calhoun. The thing he does with his fingers is great. Not as funny as his first appearence, but still a great appearence that warrants one more time. I don't know if they could do a sketch with him, he seems more like a WU Only character. I would vote for him. Another China reference by Tim. Tracy, bombed on WU which doesn't always happened. The Joke Off returned and wasn't that funny.

SHOW: The Hangman [6/10]

Ray appears again as The Hangman. He said it so well. And Forte proves he should appear on the show more often. Amy and Rachel appear and I knew he wanted to have sex with grandma. "She's a mean 82." I believe Parnell would've played Colonel Blackstone. Amy's character likes to get in on, with many, many men. "Kick Draw McGraw." I am The Hangman. The bit where Forte was willing to have sex with The Hangman was funny.

SHOW: Top O'Morning [6/10] "Darts." The golf aracade was the smartest thing in this sketch. Where was Jeff?! I mean he appeared last time and said two things the least the could've done was shove him into this sketch. Would've added another laugh. Ray could've punched him for ruining his last swing. Lets see what I wrote when this first appeared: All signs point to recurring sketch "Not here not now." and "Pull yourself together." was funny the first time but I don't want see it again if this comes back. Basically it lost points for being predictable, but the Lucky Charms thing has been done before, but it was good.

SKETCH: Late Night Casino [6/10]

Fey appears again and apparently her husband does too. He's done some stuff on Conan before. Armisen reminded me of Jon Stewart as that old boy band manager. His pathetic delays carried this sketch. Kattan's voice was alright. Some of the jokes were lame, some were alright the audience was dead I suppose.

OVERALL SHOW RATING: [79.8/110] = 72.5/100

Well on paper looked great and it came off as good. After ten shows this finds itself in the top six with the averages. Now by disregarding averages I would also have to agree. It had some good sketches, but four sketches were awarded with atleast a 6. Liotta was really into his characters. No trouble with the cue cards.

Sanz, Richards and Parnell all comined together to make one appearence. Parnell's was taped the other two didn't show at all. Parnell did some voiceover and actually him and Richards did appear at goodnights. Did anyone see Sanz? Darrell showed up ready to get out of there to go home and watch SpongeBob. It came to me that Fallon was everywhere tonight even after last week's disgrace. It reminded me of the WWF incident at a MSG houseshow. The other wrestling fans will get this. HBK = Fallon. HHH = Sanz. Sanz took the fall for last week's incident and Fallon walks away. Huh?

Probably the most musical show in recent memory. Opening, Mono, Dragon Show, Top O'Moring, Late Night Casino plus MG The Donnas. I watched them but just like Marty McFly's band The Pinheads they're just too darn loud. I couldn't make out the lyrics. I caught the OT of the Kings/Flames game. Great OT goal by Calgary. The first period was great and apparently the rest sucked. 'Cept for OT. Forte appeared in three times tonight and they weren't small parts. I would like to see Ray host again. He seemed to enjoy himself, he really got into characters but the writing wasn't excellent.

TONIGHT'S THREE MALE STARS
are brought to you by Jensen Syringe Company

01 - Ray Liotta (good performance, was into roles especially the Dragon one where he would go from all happy to bitter angry former General Hospital star)

02 - Will Forte (The Falconer, Calhoun, prsisoner)

03 - Darrell Hammond (Rumsfeld, Hannibal, Regis!)

TONIGHT'S THREE FEMALE STARS
are brought to you by Velvet Jones Romance Novels

01 - Tina Fey (well all the women weren't great they were pretty much even. But Fey looked so what's the word I guess she got the look down for the waitress. The Air Bud 2 thing and she did do another appearence outside WU)

02 - Amy Poehler (prisoner's wife, sorority girl, Kelly Ripa)

03 - Rachel Dratch (12 year old, grandma)

FUNNIEST THREE SEGMENTS: Dragon Show, Live with Regis and Kelly, Rumsfeld Sings

Honorable Mentions: Straight Talk 

IMPRESSIVE IMPRESSIONS: Amy as Kelly Ripa. Darrell as Donald Rumsfeld, Regis Philbin, Hannibal Lector. Ray as David Caruso. Dean as Wayne Brady.

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MONOLOUGE RANKINGS:
[01] - (8.9) Al Gore DEC 14
[02] - (8.4) Brittany Murphy NOV 16
[03] - (8.3) Matt Damon OCT 05
[04] - (7.5) Nia Vardalos NOV 09
[05] - (7.5) Ray Liotta JAN 18
[06] - (7.4) Robert DeNiro DEC 07
[07] - (7.0) Eric McCormack NOV 02
[08] - (6.4) John McCain OCT 19 
[09] - (5.4) Sarah Michelle Gallar OCT 12
[10] - (5.0) Jeff Gordon JAN 11

TOP TEN COMMERICALS:
[01] - (8.4) NRA Happy Hunting [Damon]
[02] - (8.3) NRA Reminds You [Damon]
[03] - (8.0) NutriQuick [Damon] 
[04] - (8.0) Welcome Back, Potter [Murphy]
[05] - (8.0) Straight Talk [Liotta]
[06] - (7.9) Big N'Tasty [DeNiro]
[07] - (7.5) Drop the LBs with Missy E [Vardalos]  
[08] - (7.4) John Handcock Insurance [McCormack]
[09] - (7.4) Pier 1 [Vardalos]   
[10] - (7.3) Glenda Goodwin Attorney [Vardalos]

 

WEEKEND UPDATE RANKINGS:
[01] - (8.9) John McCain OCT 19
[02] - (8.8) Matt Damon OCT 05
[03] - (8.7) Nia Vardalos NOV 09
[04] - (8.2) Al Gore DEC 14
[05] - (8.2) Ray Liotta JAN 18
[06] - (7.9) Eric McCormack NOV 02
[07] - (7.6) Sarah Michelle Gellar OCT 12
[08] - (7.4) Jeff Gordon JAN 11
[09] - (7.3) Brittany Murphy NOV 16
[10] - (7.1) Robert DeNiro DEC 07

EPISODE RANKINGS [average]
[01] - (78.8) Al Gore DEC 14
[02] - (78.5) Nia Vardalos NOV 09
[03] - (77.6) John McCain OCT 19
[04] - (76.3) Matt Damon OCT 05
[05] - (74.8) Robert DeNiro DEC 07
[06] - (72.5) Ray Liotta JAN 18
[07] - (65.3) Brittany Murphy NOV 16
[08] - (63.8) Eric McCormack NOV 02
[09] - (63.4) Sarah Michelle Gellar OCT 12
[10] - (56.4) Jeff Gordon JAN 11

Insert Mark Polishuk Here: The Hangman's Prisoner Doesn't mind having sex with men if he's caputured. Girlfriends aren't that trustworthy. Buddies with The Whipmaster.

*NEW* We Have An Opinion with Greg Haledjian and Chris Shifty*NEW*

Shifty:
Well Greg slapped me in the face in his review last week and then we went at with back and forth e-mails. I think Greg threw his hard drive on the floor since I signed up to all this animal porn... he was so pissed off and I was brought to tears after one comment. Greg and I agreed there must be a better way. That we could use our massive hatred towards immigrants and ourselves and our love for SNL for the imbetterment of mankind. Or anybody who reads these reviews. So the debut of 'We Have An Opinion'.
Greg:
That's the best we could come up with?
Shifty: Yeah I'm stumped.

Greg: Topic No 1. Terrible makeup job on Tracy Morgan Yes/No? Was meant to be bad?

Shifty:
Tina had no trouble coming across as a man. Parnell looked like a rapist. Tracy did not look like a black man dressed as a white man! He wasn't wearing gloves! No makeup on them either. Like I said before, Eddie Murphy got the good makeup. Now does Lorne have to save money on makeup so they can pay for acting lessons for Fallon and Sanz?

Shifty: Let's move to No.2. Fericito is only new recurring character of season. Good/Bad?

Greg:Good, I like the fact SNL had the balls to come out with a new character while all of the recent characters have been sucking badly. It's ashame they only used Freds character 2 times this season, I hope they bring him back for 2003.

Shifty: He was supposed to appear a third time but that was cut. Good. Don't want to kill characters to soon. Kill them once you've sold a few T-Shirts. I can see the Fericito T-Shirts with the pharse "I'm just kidding!" on the back replacing all those Roxbury or Superstar shirts. And where is my Celebrity Jeopardy! play set? That would be cool. Where was I? Ah yes. I like stand alone sketches (Day Spa) and I recurring (Hardball) if they're good. Who wants to see Rudolph bring out another bad recurring character. 

Greg: No.3. What's wrong with WU?

Shifty: The Daily Show isn't sucking so it's not the news. Maybe borrow some Iraq jokes from WU circa Dennis Miller. No one will notice. When this new Update came about it was a refreshing change to Colin's Weekend Update. I really only liked his intro music. But Tina was this 'female head writer' and Jimmy was this castmember who did good impersonations and a few characters and he wasn't regulated to WU always. Tina was, but she was busy with the show. Then sometime at the start of 2002 they were huge stars. Tina got a garbage bin full of money dragged up to her office door to adapt some script. Jimmy got hosting gigs and then the writing staff won that Emmy. SNL rarely has won Emmys so it wasn't like Oprah or the Late Show winning. Anyway, there has been maybe two Updates up to the standards of previous seasons. Perhaps they've done all the jokes they can do. Whatever it is, I don't ! look forward to the segment like I used too.

Greg: Weekend Update is going on its 3rd year and what do you expect. Not everything can stay strong forever. Norm died in his 3rd year, but limped to a 4th. Jane and Bill finished 2 years just cause of the fact they were with the original cast. Dennis, who knows how he made it for 6 years. Back to the new guys, I know they will never change Fey/Fallon due to 2 reasons. 1. Fey is the head writer. 2. Fallon draws a good girl count to the show. More Fey rants shud be brought back, plus give Fallon less jokes. Check 2000-2001 for most of those 2 reasons on full force.

Greg: Okay this is a hot topic, and it is No.4. Should Fallon and Sanz be let go?

Shifty: I wish Christmas was herrrre. I wish you wouldn't break characterrrr! Now in the past seasons castmembers occaisionally break character. Usually to a flubbed line or a prop mishap. My boy Parnell has never done that yet and he's been fired. I like to throw in a little PTI reference from time to time. So unless they pull a Norm I don't see them being fired nor should they be let go. But try to keep them apart.

Greg: They should never be let go. Horatio has barely been on the show and its only his 5th year. Fallon is a defenite no just cause he's what is keeping the show strong. He has been behind Will Ferrel for 4 years and this and next season will be his turn to shine.

Shifty: No.5. Who the hell are the Donnas?

Shifty: I'm not hip and with it. Who the hell are The Donnas? Bunch of ladies? I've been on Mars in a cave with my eyes closed and my fingers in my ears and my nose stapled shut. Who are they? It doesn't matter who they are! I'm watching hockey when they're on! Or possibly playing Animal Crossing so I can get my weekly song!

Greg: The Donnas are what the radio stations like to call 'The first ever Girl group with punk.' Ahem, no. Radio stations are morons, the donnas are a girl rock and roll group thar are just good new music for a new age of music about to start hitting MTV, MTV2, MM.

Greg: No.6. Who should host?

Shifty: Not Jeff Gordon! Lorne tell O'Brien he's taking a week off in March again 'cause he's hosting SNL again! Or maybe with The Emmys under his belt he won't lower himself to SNL. Then get Jon Stewart. Or Jimmy Kimmel! After watching him on Letterman this week it doesn't sound like the show will last. He honestly said they have no guests, he has family members working on the show, the show goes live and they did a terrible test show. I would like to see him do well, but he's up against Leno, Letterman and Elimindate. So to answer the question someone who is funny and hosts their own show.

Greg: Get somebody to host thats doing something in the Entertainment Field. Al Gore, Eric McCormack, Matt Damon, and John McCain were the hosts that you must have been thinking, what the fuck, why are they up here. Snl did get lucky with McCain and Gore, but the other 2 were horrible shows. Having Ray Liotta this week should be interesting, but last week with Jeff Gordon has to be the biggest mistake ever. I think SNL should get somebody from Lord of the Rings to host, get sombody from the old casts, Will Ferrel after Old School comes out.

Shifty: Finally Topic No.7. Who would you rather do? Amy or Tina?

Shifty: I disqualify myself since I've done them both!

Greg: Definetly Amy, ever since show 1 I've wanted to do her. Wow, I sound like a stalker. Read my other reviews to see about everything I say about Amy Poehler

Shifty: Well it's a well known fact sonny jim that I had a thing for Tina. Well a small thing since I've neve met her or communicated to her via carrier pigeon. But I thought she was hillarious, fresh, sexy and one of the best people on TV. Then she got popular, married, and not that hillarious or fresh. But she's still good, she's got the semi-powerful thing going on. As for Amy she looks like Bev D'Angelo's young sister. Who's Beverly D'Angelo? Chevy's wife in the Vacation movies. So I would say Amy. And I'm spent.

---------------And so now its time to say goodbye.--------------------------

Tom Hanks: Let me understand this, 'cause maybe it's me! Maybe I'm a little goofed up, you know? I'm funny, how? Like I'm a clown? Like I'm here to amuse you? I make you laugh, I'm here to amuse you? Funny? What do you mean, funny? Funny, how?! How am I so funny?!
Phil Hartman: Just... you know how to tell a story.
Tom Hanks: No! No, no, no, I don't know! You said it! How do I know! You said I'm funny! Why am I so funny?! What is so FUNNY about me?! You tell me!! WHAT is so FRICKIN' FUNNY?!!

NEXT TIME: Half Time Show Lets hope SNL pulls out all the stops for this. The Primetime Specials were great but they would've made the shows in February much better. They just didn't do great against Survivor. Then in February Mr.Matt is here, I've said that it should be an average show. That will be the 11th show of the year. On the 11th review of the season I'll have my Third Annual SNL Mid-Season Awards.

THANKS TO: saturdaynightlive.tv, FallonFey.com, SNLRC, The SNL Message Board, SNL Transcripts, Saturday-Night-Live.com, and for you for either skimming or reading this.

If it's Sunday, you're reading SNL reviews. Go Sens! (how about that shutout streak?! 30 wins, number one in the league, with no owner)