Alec Baldwin / Luciano Pavarotti
December 12, 1998
Happy New Year,fellow reviewers,casual readers and Sean! Sorry for the extremely late review,but this episode aired the night before I got married and consequently,went on my honeymoon,so I only saw it twice before I left for the great cold northwoods...I wanted to wait until the first reviews were up,so I would have a base,but as it turns out,the first reviews weren't put up until it was almost time to come home,and besides, I was so busy doing other things :::Nudge nudge wink wink::: that I really didn't care about reviewing...but I'm back,I've had a few days to get reaquanted with my surroundings,I've watched the episode again,and I'm ready to review,but before we do that,let's introduce a new thing,not every week or anything,but when it's called for. It's called "SNL Expose", and to understand it,first you have to understand how Closed Captioning works. Closed Captioning is a service intended for the hearing impaired,but it has also proven a worthy supplier of hard to understand song lyrics,to help better understand "talkie" movies,and best of all--make this feature possible. Starting with the basics,CC basicilly appears in 3 styles,although it can be in multiple colors and places on the screen,it's most often used in 3 styles-"On the fly",which is what most live broadcasts use,"Scripted", which is used by programs like late night or daytime talk shows,where it's usually taped earlier in the day,or on SNL when a script of sketches and dialogue is supplied to the company X (in SNL's case,Vitac makes the CC), and "Clean cut",which is for commercials,Soaps,sitcoms,etc.,it is the same as scripted,but there's one major difference between the first two and the third. The first 2 scroll along the bottom of the screen,from left to right,bottom to top,usually in three sentance segments (a line doesn't dis- appear right away,it stays visible for two more lines,then is cropped off). Imagine it as a chatroom where only three lines of text can be displayed on the screen,and you have an idea of what the first 2 look like. The third will appear as one line at a time flashed on the screen, instead of scrolling.SNL uses a combination of the first two,because for about 60% of the sketches,after the opening and monologue,the program is scripted. Only if a last minute change is made does someone have to write what's happening on the fly,and it's easy to tell if it's doing that-there's lots of mispellings,the dialogue that should be spoken will scroll for a few seconds while they try to catch up,and it's choppy,,etc. You get the point. How does this all fit in with an expose' feature? Thanks to CC,we're able to tell when an "Unplanned" on air moment is authentic,or at least have a clue. Naturally,if a whole sketch is on the fly,you won't be able to tell,but when the dialogue is scrolling neatly along,and all of a sudden,it has to reflect what's happening,it's on the fly,and you know the mistake is real. Such is the case with,for example,the Xena sketch from the Brendan Frasier show,that was real.But I'm about to reveal what sketches and "Bloopers" are planned. Read on...
1/10/98,Samuel L. Jackson/Ben Folds Five,Weekend Update,"Harry Carry's Review Of 1997": Yes,the infamous-among-Norm-fans line that Will Ferrall made,"Just Think Of The Possibilities,Norm-",was scripted. Quinn's surprised look,the *Ad-libbed* lines like "...hey!...hey!" was all scripted,in order to garner cheap applause...that ol' CC scrolled along right on cue with the whole thing...
12/5/98,Vince Vaughn/Lauryn Hill,Sketch "Dog Show!": This is even a worse insult to CC-enhanced viewers. Will was trying so hard to make it look like he had to hold the dog down,and yet the dog just didn't want to move...again,the CC kept right up,and also,there were "[Cheers and applause]" lines (it's what CC always does on shows of this ilk),that appeared after lines link "No,Mr Bojangles". It's just disgusting,they've totally taken advantage of a few bloopers early in the 1997-98 season,and made a weekly thing out of it...
Well,that's all for this week's edition of SNL Expose',and you can always feel free to take a copy of said episode (not a rerun,obviously those are scripted,because they're reruns) and play the tape on a CC-enhanced TV.Now let's get on with the bloody review!
GE Cafe Rating System:
Sketch: President Clinton's 73rd Apology To The Nation
So true,"I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm really sorry.".The best part had to be when he started seducing the nation...but since I'm out of material (It was a one-joke sketch),I have to give it a... Rating: GE C
Opening Montage/Theme Song
It's the same..."Lucy Lawless Show's Theme" title is being replaced with "1998-99 Official Theme"... Rating: GE CAF
Monologue: "An Alec Baldwin Carol"
I sincerely believe that John Goodman will be a cast member in 2011... it's always humerous seeing future renditions of the opening montage,see the Charleton Heston show in 94'...the main difference is they didn't make a futuristic picture of the Band,perhaps a sign of things to come... anyway,this was pretty good,a little long,but well executed,and a great way to close out the calender year. Rating: GE C
Commercial #1: The NBA On NBC
It was funny at first,but after 5 minutes,it got boring...the funny thing about this lockout,it hasn't gotten the attention I think the involved parties have expected,like the baseball strike of 94...I just don't think anybody cares about it. Rating: GE
Sketch: Morning Latte'
The best ML so far,usually I'm not too fond of these,but this week's was rather funny! People get so hung up on pot,I mean,it's just a plant,but it's dips like this that...I'm getting on a rant :::Good friend of GE's tosses a Prozac in his general direction::: :::Inhales the Prozac::: Ahhh... anyway, it was good for Morning Latte',and it deserves... Rating: GE CA
LOL,the scoutmaster returns! Actually,I don't know if this is really him or not,but it seems the same. I was so afraid that the nurse would catch them 4 more times,but she got kicked out before it got too repetetive... "I'm this many"...classic stuff... Rating: GE CA
Cartoon: The Harlem Globetrotters
This pretty much sucked. I know smigel's roots are in those old crappy 70's cartoons,and while some people (like him) love them,I hated them then,and I hate them even more now. I understand that they're pseudo-spoofs of the old cartoons,but they still suck...a dunking baby Jesus was cOO,though...:::Is hip with the yung'uns and they're danfangled slang::: Rating: GE
Commercial #2: Dial 1010-1776-5-28-1830-242-3-316-68-22 And Save!
The wierd thing is,I can remember the relation of each of those numbers. Out of pure memory power,let's see if I can do it. 1010-Um,because it's easy to remember. 1776-The signing of the declaration of independence. 5-28-1832-May 28th 1832,the confining of American Indians on reservations...yeah,that's it...242-Some other catastrophe,invovling the Chinese,in February 1942. 3-I have no idea. 316-68-I think this is a demonstrater riot on March 16th,1968,which is my birthday (Not 1968, but 3/16)! 22-Of course,the number of Moody Blues albums released...it was a funny sketch, too... Rating: GE CAF
Musical Guest: Luciano Pavarotti With Vanessa Williams,The Phillidelphia Boy's Choir And St. Luke's Orchestra,Performing"O Come All Ye Faithfull"
Wow. This was incredible,not only the star power,but the grandness of it all. I couldn't get enough of this performance,and I only wish that the fat bastard had done two songs,but even with one,it's possibly the best musical act on the show,at least the best since Q's hosting earlier this decade... Rating: GE CAFE (Perfect rating) This makes up for Lauryn Hill by %110...you remember,I gave that one minus 1,204 G's?
Weekend Update With Colin Quinn,Tim Meadows And The Kwannzettes
I can't believe that Mark (Polishuk) found the Kwannzettes hysterical. The rest of "Update" was good,average stuff. As long as there's never anything to write about in this part anyway,I'd like to commend Mark on a superb job on the Vince Vaughn review..."Burn the cue cards. Then we'd see Vincey really sweat." LOL... Rating: GE C
Sketch: The Delicious Dish
LMGDBOBDOLEAO!!! Totally tasteless,predictable and F*CKING FUNNY! I'm sorry for using such expletives,but I got such a kick out of this,SNL hasn't had this kind of sharp,biting sexual wit in a sketch in 5 years... and I see it got on the Christmas show,which my good friend (You know who you are!) was kind enough to tape while I was away...anyway,it gets a... Rating: GE CAFE (Perfect Rating). Folks,this will probobly not happen again anytime soon-2 perfect ratings in one week...
Sketch: President Clinton's Impeachment Hearings
Ugh,this sucked...I KNEW it was gonna suck as soon as I found out the "joke" in the sketch was various people slamming Clinton,but saying he shouldn't be impeached...I shudder to think of the barrage of impeachment sketches that will be on the 9th...:::Shudders severely::: Rating: G
Commercial: Channukah Hymms
T'was a nice idea,considering the *excitement* of Channukah,but just didn't play out as well as it should have. I shouldn't be too mean on it though,it was still funny,so... Rating: GE CA
Sketch: Bill Brasky Is A 9 Foot Two-Ton Man Monster!
YAY! :::Claps::: BRASKY! returns,and although McKinney and Keochner weren't there to help,it was great seeing the only two hosts' that've ever done it-Goodman and Balwin-in the same sketch. Previously,the only other 3 person Brasky sketch was in the 95-96 season,and there wasn't a host in it,just the three others (Will Ferrall,Mark McKinney and David Keochner), you may remember it,it was when Brasky died,they were at his funeral,but at the end,he bashed his arm through the coffin (which was as big as a bar table,LOL) and demanded a drink. It's great to see him again,and as well the other two hosts. I think one day,maybe when Goodman hosts this season,that all three original Braskyites and Baldwin come back to do a final one,because it should end before it gets worn out,but they shouldn't leave without getting everyone together... Rating: GE CAF
:::Sighs::: About 25 seconds again,and of course ton of fun wasn't thereBut I kinda expected that,after reading the preview on SNL.com last weekend Also,a word of thanks for updating the site so frequently lately! And for breaking the Luciano preview and the hosts for next year before anyone else,I don't know how you do it,but keep it up :-) This week's show was good,with a major low point,a couple of not so great sketches,a few really good ones,and two perfect segments,making it one of the most diverse shows of the year-it has every one of the six different ratings in it,not to mention 2 perfect ratings,unheard of during this period of SNL's history. Well,that about wraps is up,and for the few of you who are reading this,there's a big surprise in store for the January 9th review... let's just say that...GE Cafe-The Change Is Coming-January 5th 1999...
Episode Review written by GE Cafe
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