Samuel L. Jackson / Ben Folds Five
January 10, 1998

[OPENING] President Clinton's $40 billion movie project

Darrell Hammond is usually pretty damn funny as President Clinton, but last night I thought he was a little off (Maybe Darrell was a bit distressed over Norm's firing?). Will Ferrell was OK as Gore, and I thought that the whole "Porky's" thing was slightly humorous.

Grade: B


[MONOLOGUE] Samuel L. Jackson

I liked it, he was pretty good with his arrogant list of New Year's resolutions ...

Grade: A-


[COMMERCIAL] Lemon Glow Floor Cleaner

It was unfunny; it was stupid; and it was a waste of Molly Shannon's talent.

Grade: F


[SKETCH] Publisher's Clearing House Giveaway

One of the better skits of the evening, but that's not saying much. Will and Ana Gasteyer were pretty good. Tracy Morgan makes one ugly woman. But, all in all, it was a pretty decent skit.

Grade: B+


[SKETCH] Bravo's Interview with Quentin Tarentino

The best skit of the evening! Norm was awesome as Quentin Tarantino, with all the head motions and even the voice. Hell, he even looked like him. Darrell showed us all once again what a great impressionist he is with his takes on Jerry Mathers and Walter Cronkite. Samuel L. Jackson and Ana Gasteyer (as Ann B. Davis) were great as well.

Grade: A+


[SKETCH] PBS's Jazzterpieces

Not bad, but not that good either. They could have found a better way to do this sketch.

Grade: C


[SKETCH] Judge Judy

The best of the live sketches of the evening. Cheri Oteri was very funny and believable as Judge Judy....Samuel L. Jackson and Ana Gasteyer were also good in this sketch, as was Tracy Morgan.

Grade: A-


[TV FUNHOUSE] George Clooney

Another great Robert Smigel cartoon, not as good as Ace and Gary, but still helped to brighten the evening.

Grade: A-


[WEEKEND UPDATE] with Colin Quinn

Poor Colin, I mean how would you feel if Howard Stern and Chevy Chase were saying to the press ("Hey man, no offense, but you suck! We want Norm!"). I thought he got off to a good start with his little Jeff and Steve story, but I thought it was all downhill from there. Plus, the hideous new set didn't help much either. Hopefully, he was just nervous and he'll improve with time. The one bright spot was Will Ferrell as Harry Caray summarizing the events of 1997, with his awkward references to Norm (Geez, Norm. You've gained some weight.). All though his first Update was a near disaster, I still have faith in him, and fortunately the rest of the show just plain sucked, as will elaborate on later ...

Grade: C-


[MUSICAL GUEST] Ben Folds Five (performing 'Brick')

After the near disaster of the Update, I was looking forward to hearing one of my favorite bands perform one of my favorite songs....unfortunately, they sucked. Ben Folds was singing WAY TOO CLOSE to the mike, and you could hardly understand him at most points. It was awful, just awful ...

Grade: D


[SKETCH] Titanic's evacuation

Although it was nice to see Tracy Morgan get in more sketches than usual, this one was just plain awful. It was stupid, unfunny, pointless, and way too cannibalistic.

Grade: D-


[SKETCH] Mango breaks another heart

Having to see Chris Kattan prancing around a stage half naked like a Vegas showgirl, is enough to warrant at least a D, but to add insult to injury, we had to see Samuel L. Jackson's character pant after Mango. That was just too much.

Grade: F-


[SKETCH] The Learning Annex

A slight improvement over Mango, but not much. Molly, Ana, and Samuel were good, but it wasn't funny...Now, if Norm were there.....oh, I won't speculate any further.

Grade: D


[SKETCH] The Playboy Channel

Chris Kattan, half naked again, and Molly Shannon showed way too much cleavage.

Grade: F


[COMMERCIAL] The Weston Collection's I'm #1

Doesn't even warrant a summary.

Grade: F-

Episode Review written by A.J. Russell

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