EPISODE REVIEWS


Jennifer Aniston / Sting
November 20, 1999


In the beginning, God created the world. Before doing so, he used a clever
line as his opener.

Something cool for you all. Well, not for you all, since this really
concerns just me. But, for those of you who are vicariously living through
me, something cool for you all. In May, my school band is going on our
yearly trip, which is only cool on a bi-annual basis. For example, in 1997,
Ottawa-- semi-cool. In 1998, Cleveland-- cool. In 1999-- Canada's
Wonderland, outside of Toronto-- pretty weak. In 2000, New York--KICKASS!
We're going to be going to see at
least one Broadway show, which should be good as long as its not
Cats, but the highlight is unquestionably......
A TOUR OF THE SNL STUDIOS!

This trip is set for late May, so the season will likely be over by then and
there might not be a lot of cast members around for me to get photos with.
So unlike Sean, who gets photos taken with himself and the likes of Darrell
Hammond, Cheri Oteri and even Lorne himself, I might have photos of myself
with the doorman, who was once given a nice tip by David Koechner.

Of course, the best thing that could happen would be to have Lorne Michaels
be there, and we happen to strike up a conversation, and I dazzle him with
my wit. Then, with so many people leaving after this year, Lorne decides to
hire me on the spot as a featured player for the 00-01
season..........................IT COULD HAPPEN! DON'T RUIN MY DREAMS!

The bad part about being a cast member, though, is that I'd probably have to
stop doing these reviews. It might hurt my objectivity, and also lose me
some friends backstage. ("Excuse me, Mr. Parnell? You know that sketch you
were in? IT SUCKED! **1/2 for you, jabronie!")

Sigh. A guy can dream, can't he?

OVERVIEW
Jennifer Aniston has never hosted the show before, and it turns out that she
is the only Friend not to host (except for Matt LeBlanc, and don't you get
the feeling that when Friends is over, so is his career?). The show
Friends is an interesting phenomenon for me. I enjoy the show a lot,
but if I ever met the characters in real life, I would punch them in the
face. Seriously. Ross is a whiner, Joey's an idiot, Phoebe's nuts, Monica
is anal-retentive and Rachel is a shallow bitch. Chandler I can handle,
because we're both sort of sarcastic jerks. Hopefully Jennifer will be
pretty funny. The musical guest is an old SNL favorite, Sting. The Stinger
is usually good for a catchy song or two, and he's also good for a sketch.
Let's see if SNL can make it three straight good solid shows in a row.

[COLD OPENING] Donald Trump has John Carpenter as his V.P.
* Watch as SNL jumps on the bandwagon of the pseudo-celebrity march. Enjoy
your fifteen minutes, trivia-boy.
* Not much of a point to this sketch. I did enjoy the concept of the
see-through bathtub.
* If Donald Trump were to win the presidential election, that would be the
end of the world. Seriously.
* I'll tell you why this guy won the million dollars; the questions were
easy. I got all of them right off except for the one about the architect
that designed the Louvre. This Carpenter guy was in the right place at the
right time when the question writers took the night off. WWTBAM is easy,
until the last six questions or so. Win Ben Stein's Money is a much
harder show
RATING: ***1/4

[MONOLOGUE] Jennifer Aniston
* All that stuff about being the fifth cast member to host was kind of a
slap in LeBlanc's face, wasn't it? I thought they'd have him come out and
ask why he had never hosted.
* It took me a few seconds before I realized that they were spoofing
Fight Club. This was a pretty subtle way of going about it.
* Some of the taunts were pretty good. Molly sure likes that "pretty lady"
taunt, doesn't she? Calling Molly "Superstar" was also funny. Ana as Olive
Oyl?
* The fighting even looked fairly realistic, with a few dubbing mistakes.
Rachel Dratch must have had some kind of a wig on, because being dragged by
the hair would hurt like hell.
* GREAT LINE ALERT: "The first rule of Fight Club; don't talk about Fight
Club...or are you supposed to talk about it? I don't know, I haven't
actually seen it yet. Isn't that awful?"-- Jennifer Aniston
RATING: ****

[SKETCH] Pretty Living
* This is the first sign that this was going to be a good show. A Pretty
Living skit that was... gasp, GOOD? What is the world coming to?
* Molly really has slimmed down over the summer. Now she doesn't look like
a walrus in the sweatpants.
* Sting made a pretty good lech. I suppose it's a by-product of the
tantric sex.
* GREAT LINE ALERT: "Stay tuned, because we're going to give tips about how
to give your dog power of attorney."-- Ana Gasteyer
RATING: ***3/4

[SKETCH] Nick Burns, your company's computer guy
* The opening song reminded me of 1988-1994, when every little character
had theme music.
* Funny, but not quite recurring character material. It got a little old
by the end. If Nick Burns does come back, Jimmy should drop the lisp. He
could barely speak when he was going through all of those computer terms.
* Minesweeper? Bah! Solitaire beats that jabronie game any day.
RATING: ***3/4

[COMMERCIAL] Porter for island leader
* Funny idea. I laughed at the idea of his campaign being based on killing
a fat guy.
* The fevered brain stuff at the end hurt the overall sketch.
RATING: ***3/4

[SKETCH] Angela avoids embarrassment with Privolin
* Another funny idea. A good spoof on these confessional commercials.
* Rachel didn't actually have any lines, but BOY, did she look
disapproving. That's character acting for you.
* Nice touch at the end, with Jennifer trying to get the box on camera over
the band.
* GREAT LINE ALERT: "She's just talking to the wall about herpes medication
again."-- Ana Gasteyer.
RATING: ****

[SKETCH] Mr. Peepers on Sex and the City
* When I saw the HBO logo, I thought they were going to spoof Dennis
Miller Live
.
* The dialogue between the women was PERFECT. It was just like the vapid
dialogue on the real show. I also liked the nose on Jennifer Aniston as she
imitated Sarah Jessica Parker.
* Something I've never understood about Sex and the City. If the
main character has to be someone who sleeps with a lot of men, wouldn't you
cast someone, I don't know...attractive to play the part?
* YES!! Mr. Peepers! Any sketch that involves Chris Kattan trying to hump
an aquarium is good in my books.
* The Eyes Wide Shut bit didn't really lead to anything. Hey, just
like the movie itself! The only good part of this little bit of the sketch
was the good Chris Issak song.
RATING: ****1/4

[WEEKEND UPDATE] Colin Quinn w/Tracy Morgan, Will Ferrell
* Really good Update. My personal favorites were the bits about Linda
Tripp, John Carpenter, Chris Gaines on the $10 dollar bill, and Clinton
being "vastly overblown."
* Will's bit as George W. Bush was great. "Do some lines...from the book."
HA!
* The forum between Colin and Tracy was okay, if a bit predictable. This
was, of course, Tracy's only sketch of the night. Sigh.
* GREAT LINE ALERT: "The dancers were so effective, even Patrick Ewing
scored in the last two minutes."-- Colin Quinn
RATING: ****1/2

[MUSICAL GUEST] Sting
* This song is called "Brand New Day," which is also the name of Sting's
new album.
* It's no "Every Breath You Take," but it's not bad.
RATING: ***5/8

[SKETCH] Urchin rental for Christmas
* Rather a bizarre sketch, but funny.
* It was scary how much Rachel Dratch looked like the part of a 19th
century British urchin. That's character acting for you.
* Okay, you've got Sting, an Englishman, on the show. There is a sketch
about English urchins. Sting is not in the sketch. Huh? He could have
played a third brother, or something.
RATING: ***3/4

[COMMERCIAL] Plunkett for island leader
* I figured that there would be a rebuttal to Porter's ad.
* Will Ferrell is the master at acting like a psychopath. I had a good
laugh at him just randomly starting to bark.
* GREAT LINE ALERT: "Kim Plunkett: He's Going To Eat You."-- Will Ferrell
RATING: ***1/2

[SKETCH] Parents get emotional over Pokemon
* In the great tradition of Colin's debate with the little girl about
school reform, and Will's "Get off the shed!", here is another SNL sketch
about children being berated.
* Beck's "Loser" song was a nice touch, if not exactly subtle.
* GREAT LINE ALERT: "You always have to fit in. I didn't like REO
Speedwagon, but I had a nice rack so I was fine."-- Jennifer Aniston, as the
mother.
RATING: ***3/4

[MUSICAL GUEST] Sting
* This was...different, but kind of catchy.
* My friend Dave is a big fan of the Police, but I've got to say that most
of those songs just sucked. Sting's songs now tend to get sappy, but at
least they sound like songs. Most of the Police's songs just sounded like
really badly done reggae.
RATING: ***1/2

[SKETCH] Weird Lady at Thanksgiving
* An okay sketch, with a variation on the "Cheri Oteri plays a sociopath"
theme.
* I think I myself once bought a coat at the Burlington Coat Factory.
* If you're scoring at home, this is the second father that Chris Parnell
has played tonight, the second mother than Ana has played tonight, and the
second crotchety old man that Darrell has played tonight.
* Let's see if I tell a story to all the cat's names. There's Langley, and
I have a distant cousin with that last name. Othello, which I just read in
English class about a month ago. Jesus...well, what can I say that hasn't
already been said? Nut-nut, and I have two testicles. Gilligan, and....uh,
I've been on a boat before. Montel...maybe it's time to end this bit.
RATING: ***5/8

ACTORS OF THE NIGHT: Jennifer Aniston, Will Ferrell,
SKETCHES OF THE NIGHT: Weekend Update, Mr. Peepers on Sex and the City
WORST SKETCH OF THE NIGHT: Trump has Carpenter as V.P.
LINE OF THE NIGHT: "They told me to have fun, stay relaxed and stay away
from that Chris Kattan guy."-- Jennifer Aniston, on the SNL hosting advice
given by her "Friends."
BUSIEST CAST MEMBER: Ana Gasteyer (6 sketches)
CAST MEMBERS WITH TIME TO WASH LORNE'S CAR: Tim Meadows, Tracy Morgan, (one
sketch each). SNL is racist!
NUMBER OF NOTICABLE MISTAKES: One. Jimmy stumbled over the computer terms
in the Nick Burns sketch.
AVERAGE SKETCH RATING: ***4/5
GUT FEELING OVERALL RATING: ****1/4

OVERVIEW:
This was the best show of the year. Several sketches that were just great,
and not one that was all that bad. Jennifer Aniston was terrific as host,
though I noticed that she didn't stray too far away from her Rachel
character. Combine this with Sting's okay music, and you've got one hell of
a show!
Next week is the best of Mike Myers. This one is certainly worth watching.
Week after that is a new show, with Christina Ricci hosting and Beck
singing. Looks promising from here. I'm in a rush, so I'll just say TTFN,
ta ta for now.


Episode Review written by Mark Polishuk


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