Black / John Mayer
October 4, 2003
Since I'm tired of writing them,
and people are sick of reading them, I'm throwing away my pre-review
crap. It's too boring to write, and even more boring to read.
OVERVIEW: I was disappointed to hear original premiere host candidate The
Rock was replaced with Jack Black, but not for long. I liked
Jack before this SNL, so let's hope I like him more by the end
of the show. As for John Mayer, he's a "take him or leave
him" kind of guy to me, but he's popular. We'll see
what happens, even though I don't review musical guests.
Arnold's Campaign Plan
I don't know... is it just me, or could there have been a better
opener? I saw Darrell do this at the Emmys (not the same thing,
but the impersonation of Arnold), and it wasn't spectacular then.
But, I give SNL props for doing a political sketch, days before
the California election. Otherwise, a few laughs. But you basically
got the idea after the second joke. GRADE: C+
Well, this is basically an updated version of the one used for
David Spade, Adam Sandler, Phil Hartman, etc. But it was
still better than last year's... well... actually, it was the
best since that aforementioned opening.
Jack Black Monologue
Okay, did I miss that memo on Jack Black becoming a "megastar"?
He's a star... but he's no Denzel or Julia or even Mike Myers.
Either way, this was a hilarious opener. When he started singing,
I groaned, but it actually was funny. Especially with the off-the-bat
dissing to new cast members Finesse and Kenan. And poor Kyle
Gass (Black's Tenacious D partner) just can't get in on his good
looks, eh? I thought that was Will Ferrell, but I had my doubts.
I didn't think he would need to make a cameo for nothing! At
least wait, to promote "Elf" in a few weeks. At this
rate, he'll be hosting to promote "Elf". Anyway, good
monologue! GRADE: A-
Okay, is it that hard to write a quality commercial? No one wants
to see a poor baby in a diaper thong. The idea is just so wrong.
And unfunny, if it wasn't bad enough. GRADE: D-
Queer Eye for the Straight Gal
This was okay. Could've been better as the original concept,
with the cast members impersonating the real guys. But, there
was some funny stuff here. Hopefully not a recurring sketch.
Tina Fey was the funniest part of the sketch, really. GRADE:
The Wade Robeson Project
This oddly sounds familiar. Is it a real show? If so, then there's
problems on TV. Seth Meyers should get new material. He's never
funny in any of these type shows. Finesse Mitchell debuts...
nothing spectacular. Seems like an okay recurring sketch. As
for the dancers, nothing funny, except for Jack of course. This
should've closed the show, since the last sketch usually sucks.
These four are interesting. It's an "under the radar"
type recurring sketch. It's not something I look forward to,
but when I see it, I'm impressed. Fred Armisen has a great character
here, but that doesn't say a whole lot for a guy who appears
once or twice a show at best. Chris Parnell's addition is good.
They needed a different character, and this was a decent replacement
(anything is better than Tracy last year). As for Jack Black,
he was funny here, but was better in the majority of the other
skits. GRADE: B
TV Funhouse: Yankee Superheroes
Hey... remember when TV Funhouse was funny? Me neither. It has
been a while. I'm not a sports fan, so I guess most of this
will fly over my head, but it still wasn't edgy or risque, like
his older SNL toons. I wish he would just take a year off, to
develop new ideas. GRADE: D
Hey... remember when Weekend Update was funny? It's seriously
gone to their heads, that mild fame they got last year for Update.
It went from "they aren't too bad" to "they're
the best anchors for Update yet" to "okay, can someone
please replace them?". I think its just a lack of trying
on their part. When I'm more impressed by the guests than their
jokes, it's not a good thing. Jeff Richards, as I realized tonight,
is shaping up to be a replacement for Darrell Hammond. He has
some great impersonations, ranging from Burt Bacharach to David
Letterman to Rush Limbaugh, now. No, he's not amazing, up to
Darrell's standards, but he's starting. Just please shoot Drunk
Girl. It's not funny. Finesse Mitchell is apparently Tracy's
replacement? He takes the Update commentaries that Tracy did,
and makes them equal to Tracy's. No, that's not a great thing,
but I admit I laughed. I see good things for him, if he can get
past this first season as a featured player. The highlight of
the night was Maya as Wanda Sykes and Kenan Thompson as Bill
Cosby. I thought Maya did a great job as the shrill-voiced Wanda
Sykes. Sure, Wanda is funny, and her show is funny. Just, her
voice can make nails on a chalkboard be music to one's ears.
Enough about that, how about that Cosby impersonation from Kenan?
I'm liking this guy already. Never watched "All That",
but I'm sure he'll be better on SNL. I hope to see this again.
Helped by that Emmy skit alone, Update receives a GRADE of B.
Shelley Long Was On "Cheers"!
Amy is still funny in her third year, but let's hope she tones
down the annoying characters she plays. Is there any actress
more annoying on the planet than the tragically unfunny Shelley
Long? "Cheers" got better when she left. Enough about
that, an average sketch. Jack tries hard to make good material
great, and he does well. And am I the only person who really
doesn't like the "Cheers" theme? It's okay... not great.
Just like this sketch! GRADE: C
One joke... yes. Funny? Yes! I just liked it, and that's hypocritical,
since I hate the one-joke SNL sketch. Much like the "beating"
Seth took from DeNiro last year, he takes his fair share of wine
and saliva from Jack, when Jack keeps spitting the wine all over
Seth. The funniest part came when Seth went to the other side,
and Jack had to spin around to hit Seth. I don't know if it was
improvised by Seth or not, but it was still funny. Again, Jack
makes a sketch even better than it is. GRADE: B
The Death of Telemarketing
Jack does another musical sketch (he did an all-musical skit
last time he hosted, too, unlike his monologue and other part
musical skit tonight). This one is good, because who doesn't
hate telemarketers? Will Forte appears in a cameo? This is only
his second appearance, and it's another singing part. Too bad
for Will. The last sketch, again saved by Mr. Jack Black. So
bad for the writers and cast. So sad. GRADE: B-
Player of the Night: Jack Black
Skit of the Night: Jack's Monologue
Worst Sketch: Huggies Thongs
It's too bad. I really liked this on first viewing, but now that
I review it, the sketches are less funny. Jack Black saves the
show, really, and I can't say The Rock would've did any better.
And it looks like SNL's not-hot streak will continue next week,
when Justin Timberlake performs as musical guest, and get this...
host. Seriously, don't you need to know the general basics at
least, of acting or singing to do either? Looks like SNL is running
out of hosts. Anyway, I'll be back then, with a guaranteed low
grade for the show. I'm Joey MacQueen and I am outta here!