Senator John McCain / The White Stripes
October 19, 2002

By Sarah

Yes, I actually got a response! That's awesome, to me, because I thought nobody reads this shit I work so hard on every Saturday night/Sunday morning. 

But I guess Joi does, because I got this e-mail:

"I thought I'd be pretty sure that Dean Edwards wasn't going to make it back for his second season because he didn't do much in his first except for the "Afghan Hash" sketch and the Denzel Washington impression. While on the topic on SNL, I remember the episodes with Rudolph Gulliani (if it's spelled incorrectly, let me know), and Steve Forbes. Man did they suck. Politicians along with overpaid athletes (Derek Jeter) don't seem to feel the energy of the show."

My Response: Thanks for inadvertently being my first e-mail about SNL ever, Joi! I'll send you out a nice new windbreaker for your achievement.
I agree, I thought Dean wasn't coming back. Now, just because I thought that doesn't mean I don't like Dean. He's just underused. A lot. When Tracy leaves, if Dean is still around, he'll probably get his time. As for the politicians and athletes, I've already talked about that above.

Questions? Comments? What should I add? What should I shut up about? E-mail me at and (unless you specify not to) I'll publish your mail in my next episode review.
And it just doesn't get any more special than that.

Ladies, gentlemen, and SNL fans alike: the moment you've all been waiting for:

It's been an average season so far, and many people have already given up because Will and Ana are no longer on the show. But you gotta have faith, people. SNL has pulled through many hard times, and this year seems like it's on the easier side of those hard times.
As if I haven't talked about him enough
Tonight's Host: Senator John McCain
Wooooooooohoooooooo. I'm trying to see this with an open mind. Really. I've enjoyed his work in the Senate, I guess, and the Presidential Campaign. Yeah, and monkeys are gonna fly out of my butt!

Tonight's Musical Guest: The White Stripes
Previously scheduled: Nelly. I wouldn't have really minded that, but I like TWS too. I can't remember their new song, but I know "Fell In Love With A Girl". They're a garage/punk (I guess) band consisting of two people, supposedly either siblings or ex-spouses. Or something. It's all a tangled web, and I frankly don't care.

Grading System: on a scale of 5, a 5 being a Classic Sketch, a 1 being "They'll have to use canned laughter on this rerun"

Starring: Parnell, Rudolph, Sanz, Meyers, Kattan
Comments: Hey, a nice break from the typical presidential opener. The ballots in Iraq probably do look like that. I couldn't tell who was in the other picture, besides Seth.
Live, From New York, It's: Horatio Sanz
Major Player: Sanz
Grade: 3

<[MONOLOGUE]> John McCain
Starring: McCain, Armisen
Comments: The return of Ferecito, Armisen's first recurring character. I thought at first that he would give McCain some different advice than he gave Jimmy Fallon in the season premiere, but nope. It's still "I'm just keeeding!"
Major Player: Armisen
Grade: 2, not fresh enough

<[SKETCH]> Hardball
Starring: Hammond, McCain, Morgan, Dratch
Comments: New opening, and no Begala? Oh well, this one was pretty good with Tracy and his "black man racism" jokes. Hardball is probably my favorite news parody.
Major Player: Hammond
Grade: 3

<[SKETCH]> Lifetime Movies
Starring: Poehler, Rudolph, McCain, Parnell, Hammond, Kattan, Dratch
Comments: Ah, yes. The Lifetime Channel. It really is a men-bashing network, which I am totally against. These movies are really exaggerated stories with facts that were made up by feminist writers. I love it.
Major Player: Poehler
Grade: 4

<[SKETCH]> Wake Up Wakefield
Starring: Rudolph, Dratch, McCain, Sanz, Fallon
Comments: McCain's art teacher character was so like my crazy art teacher, who also happened to have a Volkswagon bus. What a coincidence. However, it was just the average WUW.
Major Player: Rudolph
Grade: 3

<[CARTOON]> The Ambiguously Gay Duo
Cast Voices: None
Comments: All right, the return of Ace and Gary! That "Superman" song really is the gayest song ever (no offense to the gays). Smigel always pushes the limits of network censors, which is great.
Grade: 4

<[SKETCH]> Meet The Press
Starring: Hammond, McCain
Comments: I've never seen this show, so I don't know how it really is, but this was funny to me anyway. McCain plays himself, woohoo.
Major Player: Hammond
Grade: 3

<[MUSICAL GUEST]> The White Stripes
I like the White Stripes because their songs are short and sweet, you know? Maybe this is just the California in me talking, but would it hurt them to step out in the sun once in a while? They could still be The White Stripes with a tan.

Starring: Fallon, Fey, Forte
Comments: Damn, Seth breaks his WU appearance streak. I was praying he'd be there this week. Okay, before I say something dumb, was Forte's senator guy supposed to be a character or an impression? I've never heard of that guy, but I don't know politics too well, so I could be totally mistaken.
Story Of The Night: Told by Fallon "In entertainment news, Robert Downey, Jr. appearse to be dating me in drag. I hope that works out for them/us."
Major Player: Forte, as the only guest
Grade: 4

<[COMMERCIAL]> John McCain Sings Streisand
Starring: McCain
Comments: "Did you see her legs? They were like butt-ah." He seemed a little too stiff in this sketch. It's sketch #2 where he plays himself.
Major Player: None
Grade: 2

<[JACK HANDEY]> My Big Thick Novel
Comments: Man, I never get these. Jack's just not that funny to me.
Grade: 1

<[SKETCH]> Top O' The Morning
Starring: Fallon, Meyers, Richards, McCain
Comments: Do I feel a "recurring" here? This reminded me of a Mike Myers kind of skit, with the accents and all. It was pretty good. Jimmy's wig had me thinking of Legolas from The Lord Of The Rings. (Jimmy: "NERD ALERT!") Yeah, I know, Jimmy. Finally, Seth and Jeff show up in something.
Major Player: Tie between Meyers and Fallon
Grade: 3

<[MUSICAL GUEST]> The White Stripes Again
Good, but I liked the first song better.

HOLD THE PHONES!!!!! BUT CALL RIPLEY'S ANYWAY! The credits weren't cut off for the first time in a long time. That's pretty notable.

Comments: Wow, I was pleasently surprised by McCain's performance. He only played himself twice, and was in almost every skit. He seemed a little too stuffy in a couple skits, though. The White Stripes were a success, as well. No cast member dominated the sketches this show, which is good. Also, I noticed that we didn't hear the "Cast Call and Places" lady in the commercial breaks, like last week. I kind of enjoy those. Where were Dean, Seth, and Jeff here? They started the season out so well, then disappeared. SNL has a new thing this season with showing the band more often as a bumper, like they used to with GE Smith.
Best Sketches: Lifetime Movies, TV Funhouse (Each got a 4)
Worst Sketches: Jack Handey (Got a 1), Monologue, John McCain Sings Streisand (Each got a 2)
Busiest Cast Member: Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch, Jimmy Fallon, and Darrell Hammond each were in 3
Least Appearances by a Cast Member: Dean had NO SKETCHES (Dean, we still love you anyway! By 'we', I mean myself.)
Major Player of The Night: Darrel Hammond with 2 counts
LFNY Tally: Hammond 1
Parnell 1
Sanz 1
Tina Fey In Outside-WU Appearances Counter: Zeeeeerooo
Grade: 1 + (2 x 2) + (5 x 3) + (3 x 4) = 32/11 = A 3 again for this show.

Next Week: Halloween Special
Next Live Show: Eric McCormack/Jay-Z
How random is that? Will and Grace has been around forever and they pick him to host now? And I don't know what Jay-Z has been up to, but I don't mind him.