EPISODE REVIEWS


Mayor Rudy Giuliani / Sarah McLachlan
November 22, 1997


PREQUEL: EXCELLENT show! Hands-down, the best episode of the season so far! Even though the show was about 90% recurring characters, even some of those characters received big laughs for the night. Let's review:

 

Cold Opening: slow, for a cold opening, but some of these backstage glimpses are fun, and seeing Colin, Molly and a foppish sort of Mayor Rudy "Rudy" Giuliani was amusing. "Live from the center of the world, it's Saturday Night!" "B+"

 

Monologue: Rudy tells us how safe New York is since he first got elected, "Hitch-hiking is SAFE again!" Norm MacDonald potrays a typical hitchhiker who stands to gain from these new safety discoveries. Will he be hitch-hiking or picking up hitch-hikers? "Yeah, I can get a car.." "B+"

 

Nightline: Ted Koppell (Darrell Hammond) interviews Saddam Hussein (Will Ferrel). I'd been thinking that we might eventually see Darrel as Saddam, but once Koppel introduced Saddam, I knew it could only be Will who would soon potray him, and there he was! He was pretty good as the madman, too, or isn't that his usual character potrayal (Reno, Unabomber, Applewhite)? Anyway, Saddam mentions his "good friend" Rudy, and Rudy is bewildred while watching Nightline, and calls in to say the accusations are flase. In the end, Koppell decides that Saddam is "alright", and the tow become best buds. The pre-filmed footage of Koppell and Saddam frolicking through the city was funny and unexpected! Loved the show of them kissing on the horse carriage! "A+"

 

Rita: It might just be me, but the Rita sketch has been funny lately, now that she's not just yelling at kids from her porch. Seeing her inside the house or interacting with other cast members is starting to make this sketch work. Seeing Rudy in drag as Rita's mom was a definite plus, too. I was hoping he'd get to go that route. The Sinatra bit was good, too: "He sat up!" Good to see Colin Quinn in a sketch, also! "You see this? It's mine now.. wait a moniute - this IS mine.." "B+"

 

Mary Katherine Gallagher: She seemed to resurface a little TOO soon, hasn't she? However, the Spelling Bee segment had its moments. Will and Cheri came out funny as the other child contestants, and Rudy as the teacher prsising had some great lines: "Can you use it in a sentence?" "Alright. Your spelling bee word, is 'sysygy'." "B"

 

Grafitti: Excellent commercial for the Mayor to do. If you write your name in grafitti in New York, the Mayor's Council will add the word "Sucks". That'll show those vandals! This is a definite keeper from tonight's show, look for it in a Best of special in the near future! "A+"

 

Weekend Update: Sometimes Norm's up, sometimes he's down. Tonight he was UP! The 6-foot Barbie joke was perhaps the best, although I also enojyed the Bald joke, the Dog Personals Service joke, and Black Tail magazine. Where can I get a subscription? Ana Gasteyer reprised her Cinder Calhoun character, joined by Sarah MacLachlan, and they sang "Basted In Blood", which I found funnier than any of those songs Adam Sandler used to do. Ana had a medley, for God's sake! Sandler just made pathetic rhymes. Watching Norm actually eating a turkey leg at the end made the bit all the more funny! Glad to see Norm was up this week, where he deserves to be. "A"

 

Sarah McLachlan: Was hoping for "Building A Mystery" or even "Possession", but this piece sounded pretty good. Anyone else think she looked like Janis Ian in the opening credits? You'll recall Janis was on the first SNL, although her song "At 17" was cut from the rental videotape version, and this should be punishable in the same way not rewinding those videotapes are!

 

The Joe Pesci Show: Special Politicians show. Good to see Rudy portray himself again, not to mention Tracy Morgan as Marion Barry! Tracy is slowly but surely moving up my list of talented current performers on the show. He's starting to prove himself on the show! Terrific! Seeing Rudy's Security men show up at the end was great, even better to see Rudy himself attack Pesci with a stickball stick of all things! "A"

 

Taxi Driver: Rudy plays the manaical cab driver who doesn't like how Rudy has changed the city. Great concept for a sketch that didn't have to rely on a recurring character. The celebrity seatblet warning messages were cool, too. I especially like how the set was panned out at the end, with the band suddenly appearing on the background scene. "Freakin' Giuliani!" "A"

 

Janet Reno's Dance Party: this sketch is usually so repetitive of itself that it seems to get pushed further back into each show it appears on. I admit, the concept of Janet Reno dancing to "My Sharona" is actually quite funny, and this time it was even funnier, thanks to the broadcast in Times Square. That MADE the sketch for me. Seeing Janet and Rudy box was one thing, but seing it pan out in Times Square took the bit one step further and made it stick out as a good comedy piece. There was a dress rehearsal photo of the boxing match in today's (Monday November 23rd) Times-Picayune in New Orleans. Good call! "B"

 

Colin Quinn Explains the New York Times: I briefly remember some jokes about the Saudis, and the gay ambassador/meat-packing heir. Colin's take on current events is quite sharp, and he seems a pro at it. I may have said this here before, but he has a kind of Dave Barry/Art Buchwald edge upon him. I wonder if HE could have potrayed Saddam Hussein earlier? What would that have been like? It seems Colin's the man when it comes to making fun of current events and politics. "A-"

 

Perspectives: The gag still remains funny. As usual, the concept is a limited talk show, where Lionel Osborne (Tim Meadows) uses the entire time to discuss facts we already know, but once it's time to mention the important stuff, "We're out of time!" Rudy was cool in this one, especially to have Tim say "Fantastic!" when Rudy announces that he can't run for Mayor next time. "Outstanding!" "B"

 

OVERALL: "A-", funniest show this season! I was hoping to have seen Andrew somewhere, but it was still a great show. I want to see more like this. Some shows could have done more with the host, but neglected to do so. I've seen many good ones so far this year, but this one will definitely stand out for a while longer!


Episode Review written by Patrick Lonergan


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