Alec Baldwin / Missy Elliot
November 15, 2003

By Bob Barron

First off- my birthday is in two days- well one technically so using my parents account I decided to set up an Amazon Wish List. So if you love my reviews that much go here and buy me stuff-

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/registry/34MYUJJLY6BWH/ref%3Dcm%5Fwlinvite%5Femail%5Fwl/002-0787721-9358431

Sports Report-

Leafs- So far they've done okay on their West Coast road trip going 0-1-2. That's the best you can hope for when you suck on the road. Rallying from 4-1 down shows heart and courage and all that good stuff.

Canucks- Ouch- what happened to these guys? I'm not too broken up since they lost in overtime in two of those games which means at least they got a point out of them. They have a three game homestand coming up which should help them get back on track.

The 2003 Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils- Brodeur is justice. Brodeur is rule. The guy is superhuman. The Devils are just playing good ole fashioned Devils hockey and shock of shocks- they don't lose.

New Jersey Nets- Just when the season was on the verge of falling apart- K-Mart came back and they start kicking ass again. Coincidence? No. He's the heart and soul of that team and has proven it by being the team leader in the two games they've won. I hope he doesn't act like a bitch about getting max money so they can keep him.

New Orleans Saints- They had a bye last week and if they don't beat the Falcons then that's just pathetic. They can really start to turn the season around.

Mailbag!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!-

JPohl1987@aol.com writes-

I was wondering if you knew the names of the songs that Beck played on SNL in February. I was looking for the songs and I found your address.
Thanks. -Jessie

 

Beck performed "Lost Cause" and "Guess I'm Doing Fine".

John Dupont writes-

Bob -- I'm 35 and have followed SNL pretty consistently since the 70s.
Even
then, it had its weak points. The 78-79 season was exceptionally rough,
and
the same goes for most of the 79-80 season. SNL is a show that, as we
know,
has endured meteoric peaks and valleys.
I feel the group that best rivaled the originals was the 86-90 cast
(Phil
Hartman had a lot to do with that), and the 95-98 seasons were quite
good as
well. The show showed quite a bit of promise during the 2000 season,
too.
As for this season, well ... It's getting to a point when I'm beginning
to
await a rerun week hoping to see a "Best of" show. Several problems
linger
with this season.
First off, I wholeheartedly agree that athletes suck. With a few
exceptions,
they're almost consistently bad. McEnroe himself, though, would've made
a
much better host. He has this aura about him that makes him fit nicely
into
the SNL mode. Much of that involves his reputation, his knack for
spontaneity and an ingredient that has been woefully missing from the
show
this season: He was anti-establishment.
The problem with SNL at this point is that none of its cast members
seem
'hungry'. Fey makes millions, nearly every cast member has already done
a
movie, and those who don't already feel they've crossed the threshold
of
stardom.
Ask Robin Duke and Joe Piscopo (who wasn't that bad) about that one!
What gets me worse is seeing both Fey and Fallon giggle and snicker all
through Weekend Update. It was annoying when Red Skelton did it years
ago,
and the same applies today.
The show is also suffering from the losses of Ferrell, Gasteyer (boy,
do I
miss her!), Kattan and Morgan. That's something that subsides with
time, and
the rise of a few young upstarts.
But the show has been on a bad dry spell since after the fantastic
Christopher Walken show last year (one for the ages). Shows with Bernie
Mac
and especially Dan Aykroyd were huge disappointments -- particularly
the
latter, who didn't have the same electricity he had even in cameos
during
the last few years.
This group needs to quit congratulating itself and assuming they're the
'chosen ones'. I'm getting my biggest laughs these days off "The Daily
Show". Why? It employs the same principles that made SNL great all
along. It
lets the audience decide what was funny. Cast members know their lines
or
read cue cards properly. And most of all, they're inspired and
motivated.
There are reasons to be hopeful. The show always picks up steam when
Alec
Baldwin shows up, much the same way as it has done with John Goodman,
Steve
Martin and Buck Henry.
Al Sharpton should be particularly good. Politicians are almost always
good
on the show. Even in the Ebersol era, the show delivered strong with
politicians -- George McGovern in April 1984 and particularly the Rev.
Jesse
Jackson edition in Oct. '84 (a true classic, one of the best shows
ever).
Maybe the show needs fewer prima donnas (both in terms of hosts and
cast
members) and people who really want to make a strong impression. I've
seen
Lorne Michaels turn the show around enough times to know he can do it
again.
I'm just hoping he doesn't wait too long to notice the red flags. The
show
needs help. Fast.
Best Regards -- John Dupont, Baton Rouge, La.

 

Well there's no length restrictions in the mailbag. I can't really comment on the 70s since I haven't seen many complete episodes and of course the humor is always going to be dated. 1986-1990 was one of my favourite casts as was 95-98. I usually just say 95-97 since 97-98 was just not as awesome as the other two years.

About this season- it seems like whenever SNL has a couple of 'eh' shows- the dogs come out and talk about how the show is dying etc. and Lorne needs to do all this stuff. Give them a chance. They're gonna have bad shows, they're gonna have good shows and sometimes they have these shows consecutively. Last year they had a couple of ruts but ended up finishing the season very strongly- so I'm not too concerned. Except for when they have OMG AWESOME years- SNL is gonna have some bad shows. It sucks but it happens.

McEnroe would've smoked Roddick. Roddick is just a bland tennis player who happens to be poking Mandy Moore. McEnroe has this cocky assholeish persona that I think would translate well to comedy. I wouldn't say McEnroe is anti-establishment. Aside from screaming 'You cannot be serious' there's nothing punk about him. He's about as punk and anti-establishment as Avril Lavigne.

On SNLers being famous: Jimmy and Tina are the only "famous" ones. No one knows who Seth Meyers, Jeff Richards, Finesse Mitchell, Fred Armisen and Will Forte are. Darrell is famous just for his longevity. Parnell got some press for doing Bush but that's it. Maya's got some press but no big movies or anything. Horatio had two movies that rivaled a Norm movie for box office. Amy and Kenan are probably right behind Jimmy and Tina in terms of notoriety. At one point last year Tina got bad about laughing at her jokes but has since improved. And when he's not with Horatio Jimmy is fine. For the most part they keep a straight face and do a great job.

Ana Gasteyer and Kattan aren't really missed too much. Ferrell's absence has hurt since a sure fire ***-***1/2 cold opening is no more and now the colds suck. And no skits have really been built around any of the black SNLers-probably because of Tracy's departure. 

I disagree with you on Bernie and Aykroyd. Bernie was a good show with consistently funny skits throughout. The Aykroyd show was awesome. Almost nothing sucked and it was a great way to end the season.

I don't watch the Daily Show. It airs at midnight here and that coincides with Letterman and Kimmell. I've always find it to be quite overrated whenever I watch. It's good and all but I don't see what all the hype is about.

Politicians are good because they try real hard and always have a lot of fire- since they don't want to look stiff and wooden in front of voters. Plus clips of the episode are always on the news and you want to look like you can have fun and laugh. Al Sharpton should be real good- he's a charismatic guy and I think he'll have fun poking fun at himself and others.

There are some castmembers who do need to go but Lorne has a lot of talent to work with- he just has to use it wisely.

 

BCull82@aol.com writes-

Who do you think is the most overrated wrestler in the WWE? I think it's Christian. Even though he has a good character, he has a limited offense. He had some great tag matches with Edge, but to me is not a good singles wrestler. He had a series of subpar matches with Booker T and with the exception of the ladder match with RVD on RAW a few months ago, he has had crappy matches with RVD.

jojo

 

People still think Christian is a good worker? Ouch. I'd say Taker is also overrated. Aside from a fantastic match with Angle- I haven't been too impressed with his PPV outings against Cena, A-Train and Lesnar.

Wanna be in the mailbag???? Email me at philhartmanrip@yahoo.com

 

A Minute with Stan Hooper-

A Minute with Stan Hooper:
Pete, Lou and Stan: Comedy Gold
It seems like we've found a found a footing for Stan Hooper in who is funny and who is not. The butler, whom Norm pushed on us in the pilot seems to be more in the background. And Pete and Lou seem to be the people that Norm plans on using the most.

The 3rd episode followed the theme of the 2nd and what will be the 4th episode. Stan does something and ends up riling up the hometown. Then we watch what happens. It's formula but there's a lot of things you could do with it. Considering that Stan has still just arrived in town- it makes sense that he would keep accidentally pissing off the townspeople.
I like how this episode focused on Pete and Lou- With Fred Willard not really being in much Pete has started to won me over. Daniel Roebuck just seems to put everything into his character. His facials are brilliant and his aw shucks attitude is perfect for his role. We also got a taste of Lou tonight and I found him to be quite funny as well. One thing that's interesting about Stan Hooper is how Norm hasn't really played up the fact that they're gay at all- nor does anyone seem to mind. Aside from Cockburn he hasn't really used it for a punchline at all.
The whole thing where Pete and Lou kept running up their debt to Stan reminded me of an episode of NewsRadio where because Matthew is the worst gambler in the world- he ends up owing Joe more and more money. The episode also paid homage to Cheers and Dirty Work- you KNOW I marked out.
I was surprised at the way the pool game turned out. The fact that they both sucked at pool was a nice deviation from the norm. The constant ways that Pete and Lou ran up their debt was funnier and funnier.
I know a lot of people are hating on Molly but I just can't dislike her. She's supposed to be like Eva Gabor from Green Acres. She's the one who ends up adapting to small town life and not minding all the intricacies (except for the voting) and she's just there as Stan's conscious- the one who tries to help him make sense of it all. She's not supposed to be funny- she's just there.
Chelsea does need to die and fast. She adds nothing to the show and is holding Ryan down. Ryan has two easy plotlines to deal with that haven't been explored. I am the only one who remembers that Ryan lives with Stan Hooper? I know they mentioned it for a brief second tonight but I just think that the issue of someone living in Stan's house should be explored a bit more. Also- Ryan and Mr. Hawkins are still on the outs and again- they only explored it for a bit second. Maybe their saving plotlines for a rainy day but damn- let Ryan do something. And send Chelsea far far away.
The episode took a bit too long to build up tonight but once we got the main plot it was really good. Pete is awesome, Lou kept up with him and it's amazing watching Norm slip so easily into the straight man role. The bare knuckle boxing scene was absolutely hilarious.
A good show but the show needs some minor tweaking that's holding it back from true greatness.
And now the review.

Cold Opening
Cast- Darrell Hammond
Thoughts- I guess they decided to give Darrell another chance or something- and again it was awful. Why? Because he's not doing an impression. He's speaking in his own voice, wearing makeup and saying idiotic statements. Not even Parnell was this bad. Why not give Jeff Richards a shot? If he sucks then just don't do Bush for a while. I just don't see the point of sending Darrell out there if he's just going to speak in his normal voice. It really is a shame since Darrell was amazing last year and had a career year- and this year he is just stinking up the joint and doing horrible impressions. At least he gave Tina Fey to Arnold. Enough with Darrell's Bush please. It's just embarrassing. *

Monologue
Cast- Mike Myers, Alec Baldwin, Jimmy Fallon, Horatio Sanz
Thoughts- The monologue started out really poorly thanks to you know who but seeing Mike Myers again was awesome and he was hilarious. I loved how Myers would change from his accent to regular Mike voice when plugging The Cat in the Hat. I just wish he could've done a skit or two as well. Jimmy and Horatio's characters reminded me of the black guy in the SNL Band who always seems to be laughing his ass off during every monologue. This was headed down a bad path but things picked up once Mike showed up. **1/2

Huggies Thong
Cast- Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch
Thoughts- They could've delved into the problems created by Maya doing a black man but since this is just a time filler commercial- there was sadly not enough time to devote to the potential problems among close minded friends and family. And that's a damn shame. **
Plastic Surgeon
Cast- Baldwin, Amy Poehler
Thoughts- I guess one of the perks of getting to host 10+ times is the chance to grope Amy Poehler's breasts. Steve Martin should really come back and host if that is the case. Baldwin was really good here as the sleazy doctor. I loved how Amy kept saying she was only taking so many jokes before she left. And come on- do you think I'm gonna not like a skit where Amy Poehler's breasts are the centrepiece? ***1/2

Gaystrogen
Cast- Chris Parnell, Fred Armisen
Thoughts- While it was no Homicil- this was pretty funny. Fred does look kind of gay (sorry Fred- but it's true) so he played a very good gay man. Solid funny stuff here. ***

Zing v. Burn
Cast- Baldwin, Parnell, Rudolph, Seth Meyers
Thoughts- He hasn't really done much this year and I was beginning to wonder whether Seth Meyers was still my comedy lord and saviour. Well as Zing v. Burn proves- Seth Meyers has still got it. I know others will find this to be incredibly annoying and hard to sit through but that was part of its charm. Seth and Alec's over-exaggerated after every burning and zinging were hilarious. My one complaint was that the winning zing was gayer then a Brian Kinney sex tape. I loved the stuff with the imaginary coffee cup and Seth's 4 point play owned. Some of the burns/zings were quite lame and like I said- the last zing just wasn't up to par. Still there was some great stuff here. ***3/4

 

Tony Bennett
Cast- Baldwin, Sanz, Armisen
Thoughts- I'll freely admit it- I found Horatio Sanz to be hilarious. Alec Baldwin also did a great Tony Bennett impression. Even though I didn't really know Robert Durst too well but I loved Fred's portrayal of him- all three of these guys just really clicked here. The bit where Tony called Richie Sambora was hilarious. I also enjoyed Sanz's aborted jokes and how creepy Fred was. Just great stuff all around and I'd like to see this brought back when/if Alec Baldwin hosts again. ****

Falconer
Cast- Baldwin, Will Forte, Kenan Thompson, Armisen
Thoughts- Poor poor Kenan. This guy just can't catch a break. He's done nothing in the last couple shows. I just don't understand why SNL would not use a guy with years of sketch comedy experience. And he's the only current SNLer to have ever done a movie with Abe Vigoda. I usually hate the Falconer but this wasn't too bad. The stuff with the falcon and Alec Baldwin was so absurd but I couldn't help but laugh and the beginning interplay between the Falconer and the Falcon was also funny. The rest of the skit was the usual crappy Falconer junk. Forte can do good stuff- this was not it. **

Missy Elliot
Thoughts- This reminded me of 50 Cent last May meaning that I couldn't understand a word she was saying. They also filmed it so I couldn't get a good look at the train sign so this week you're spared my bitching about how it never changes. I also hate when the musical guest feels the need to plug their album. Isn't doing SNL enough? It just reeks of insecurity. You're supposed to be so good that the viewer will sit at home and go: Wow- that Missy Elliot song was great- I'm gonna go buy her new CD now! And everyone knows that anyone being a musical guest on SNL usually has a new CD coming out or a CD that just came out anyway. I remember it really bothered me when Eve did it back in April of 2001 and it again bothered me when Missy Elliot did it. This song was awful and did not make me want to buy her new album that hits stores November 25th. _*

Weekend Update
Cast- Fey, Fallon, Forte, Armisen
Thoughts- I would first off like to thank Jimmy, Tina, Lorne- whomever for the fact that Horatio Sanz was not on Weekend Update. Will Forte was awesome here- that Sex Tape was one of the funniest things I've seen on Update. The guy's off the wall humour sometimes is a miss but then there are times when it's just a joy to watch- and this was one of them. I've noticed that Will Forte seems to be turning into another Seth Meyers meaning that he always is awesome on Update. Whether it be Tim Calhoun, a sex tape or his bits with Armisen- the guy's forte is Weekend Update. The jokes here were like the Ripa Update and that almost all of them were hilarious. I enjoyed seeing them bring back OH SNAP and Tina's Ahnuld impression once again should've made Darrell Hammond cry with shame. The bit with Christian Slater-Jack Nicholson and Tina was so stupid that it had me cracking up. Kudos to Jimmy for the good impressions. A couple of iffy jokes here mean it can't reach the magic five level but this was awesome. Tina and Jimmy have really stepped up this season and it's a shame I've had to consistently give the Updates poor rankings (for them) thanks to crappy commentaries. I'm glad they had a mix of awesome jokes and hilarious commentaries and I can give them the high rating that they've deserved since the Horatio Sanz debacle. ****3/4

Prince Charles Conference
Cast- Baldwin, Poehler, Sanz, Meyers, Armisen 
Thoughts- This skit had more homoeroticism then a very special episode of Queer as Folk. I always enjoy seeing the cast try out British accents and for the most part they did a very good job. I enjoyed the homosexual innuendo and the general joke of the skit. Horatio does need to work on his British accent though. There's not much more I can really add to this- funny jokes, funny premise= funny skit. It's a simple formula. ***3/4

Keen Corporation
Cast- Baldwin, Poehler, Meyers, Dratch, Jeff Richards, Thompson, Finnesse Mitchell
Thoughts- Alec Baldwin and Amy Poehler really do have good chemistry together. It's a shame the Devil and Daniel Webster is probably never going to see the light of day since it'd be interesting to see them interact in that film. At first I thought this skit was going to head towards the path of the skit with Will Ferrell and Ray Romano from 1999 but it proved me wrong and did its own thing. Seth was really funny at the beginning and the bickering between Amy and Alec was pretty funny in its own right. I wasn't really expecting much going in but this skit pleasantly surprised me and the continued the good streak the show had built up. ***

Roy Returns
Cast- Baldwin, Richards, Poehler
Thoughts- The skit had its moments (especially with the blood squirting all over poor Amy Poehler) but it was just too predictable. You knew that when Roy got back on stage he was going to get mauled and destroyed by the tiger or whatever animal he was using. And making fun of Siegfried and Roy is so last month. Come on SNL- get with the times. People are making fun of- well- they did the Prince Charles scandal so I guess people aren't really making fun of anything these days. A couple of funny moments and I'm always a mark for when SNL has squirting blood and other unnecessary gore. **

Missy Elliot
Thoughts- It was interesting that Missy decided to play an old favourite rather then a new song off her album. It reminded me when Moby played 'South Side' during the Winona Ryder episode. I'm not complaining mind you since I think Work It is a pretty good song even though the lyrics are a bit out there. And I know I sound like a broken record but I love it when the song or the musician brings some sort of energy to the table at 12:45 am. It's nice to be able to stay awake and catch the last skit. **1/2

Studio
Cast- Baldwin, Meyers, Dratch, Armisen
Thoughts- I know I've seen this before but I can't remember the episode. It may have gotten cut from one of the dress rehearsals that I attended. Seth's exasperation (We passed on Lord of the Rings. LORD OF THE RINGS!) was funny stuff and easily the highlight of the skit. Rachel and Alec were okay here but it's the last skit. I wasn't expecting much and I got what I expected. *1/2

The Bottom Line- The avg. skit was **.6 making this the first thumbs up since the Justin Timberlake show. Aside from a couple of clunkers this show had a lot of just solid funny skits. Alec Baldwin was a great host and I'm sure his experience made the show easier to put together then say putting together a show for a tennis player. Horatio Sanz really improved from the previous two shows and was restrained and got some laughs from me as a result. It was also good seeing Seth Meyers and Fred Armisen get a lot of airtime as they deserved it and were funny throughout the show. Good stuff tonight and I look forward to the Rev. Al Sharpton.

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