EPISODE REVIEWS


Drew Barrymore / Garbage
March 20, 1999


Once again I saw bits and pieces. That alone should tell the reader most
of the story. There was a time when I didn't miss a second.

Celebrity Jeopardy is a good vehicle for cast impressionists. I like this
spot. The jokes are solid; it's parody; and it's surreal. While I like the
Connery impression, I want to see Hammond stretch. This could be his
sketch if he wanted it. I guess it is already, but at least Fallon is hungry.
He's got new stuff every week. This sketch also satirizes the
shallowness and stupidity of celebrities. I like that. Comedy with an idea
is always better than random goofiness ala Mango. What will keep this
sketch alive is more rotation of guests. If it becomes "The Connery
Sketch" then it will choke. Barrymore did a pretty good Flockhart. Oh
and Ferrell is so good as a normal character who doesn't understand the
absurdity around him. His Trebek is great. Another example is the
character he played in the Jim Carrey episode when he is in the hot tub
dealing with Carrey as the lifeguard. Ferrell is at his best as the
everyman faced with the collapse of everything normal. His best sketch
of all time is like this--"Wake up and Smile" from the David Allen Grier
episode.

Banana Republic: Ferrell and Sanz. I see a promising future for these
two. Although I am still waiting for Sanz to settle in. He seems tentative.

VH1: Great parody. You see the pathos of these characters. The
Captain/ Sergeant comparison was very clever. Also the nostalgic look
back at the glory days of lame acts and comparing them to classics is
great material for parody and satire. This is great comedy writing. It is
subtle and to the point. I would be willing to bet that the writer of this
sketch is the same writer of the brilliant Cats parody some weeks back.
First rate.

Banderas Sketch: This idea started as lame and has gotten worse. I
noticed that Sanz the savior of the first installment was not in this one. I
can't remember if he was in the second. Did he pull out because they
were mocking a latino star, or because the sketch was lame? This is
meaningless comedy. It satirizes nothing and resembles nothing and
therefore parodies nothing. It is surreal, but it doesn't strike me as funny.
Kattan overuses his characters. I usually like the first time he does a
character. Forrester, Peepers, and Roxbury guy were all good viable
sketch characters during their first run, but quickly lost vitality. (sorry,
babycora11, but it's true)

I actually enjoyed his interpretation of the Cher song during update.
Here's why it worked: it forces an examination of the planning of these
songs and points out as absurd the emotions they try to evoke as well
as the bizarre sound effect techniques they employ. By reacting the
way Cher wants us to and making that seem ridiculous Kattan makes us
laugh at the shallowness of overproduced music. The wind in the hair
was especially effective and funny. This was much better than the
usual Kattan fare. I'm also glad they have abandoned some of the more
standup like aspects of Update. Stay behind the desk, Colin. Try to
resemble news.

Imagine what update would be like if Colin wouldn't laugh and snicker.
We don't need him to seed the laughter for us. I don't need to see Colin
laugh to decide if something is funny. Parody the freakin' news! Update
is more than the topical segment. Why not go to a reporter like a news
show? Eliminate all songs during update! Does anyone ever sing during
regular news? No!!!!

I am going to miss Smigel! Real audio is the ultimate parody.

A word about Chris Parnell: Chris Parnell is the first SNL player in a long
time that deosn't seem to have to rely on manic performance to sell
himself. A applaud his effort to introduce calm, yet biting comedy into
SNL's format. I guess Norm was like that too to a degree. Maybe he will
last now that Ohlmeyer is gone!

I missed the rest.


Episode Review written by Jerome Chapman


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