EPISODE REVIEWS


Garth Brooks / Chris Gaines
November 13, 1999


Yo, yo, yo, Marky P in da hiz-ouse!...My God, I felt like such a tool just
then.

Well, tonight's show is being hosted by Garth Brooks, and the musical guest
is Chris Gaines. Now, if you didn't know (THEN YOUR ASS BETTER...sorry),
these two are one in the same. Chris Gaines is a character that Garth will
be playing in a movie next year, and in order to create a background for the
role, Garth decided to release an album under the Gaines name. He went the
whole way with it too; Chris Gaines sings mostly pop songs and ballads, and
has a look that is reminiscent of Prince, or the Artist Formerly Known As
Prince, or Symbol-Boy, or whatever the hell you want to call him.
My take on this is what the hell...if Garth Brooks wants to try something
new, I'm all for it. It takes guts to do something as drastically different
as this, especially when you're as established a star as Brooks is. But,
I'm afraid now he's just gone too far. What do I mean? Well, I found this
article from the Associated Press, and it's pretty far out.

GARTH BROOKS UNVEILS NEW "PHAT" PERSONA
"G.B. Cracka" to release rap album in time for Christmas by Paul
Shock

NASHVILLE- Country music superstar Garth Brooks has caused controversy in
recent weeks by announcing that he will release a rock/pop album under the
alternate identity of "Chris Gaines." Even more controversy is expected
after yesterday's announcement that Brooks will be branching out into the
world of hip-hop and gangsta rap with the release of "Ass-Kickin' Boots,"
the new album expected sometime around Christmas.
"Well shucks, I've always been a big fan of artists like Snoop Doggy Dogg
and Tupac Shakur, just to name a couple." said Brooks, during yesterday's
press conference.
At this point in the press conference, Brooks went backstage and returned
ten minutes later wearing a red New York Yankees cap, over-sized Fubu jacket
and a sullen look on his face.
For the next hour, Brooks answered questions in his rap persona, "G.B.
Cracka." When asked if perhaps his genre-bending would hurt his country
career, Cracka responded "It don't matta what I do. My rhymes is my
business, and any (expletive deleted)s who wanna (expletive deleted) with
the Cracka can go (expletive deleted) themselves. Music is music, no matter
if you're rhyming about truck-driving or cruisin' wit' yo' boys to look fo'
honies."
The opinion of the hip-hop world has been mixed, to say the least. "I
think it'll be great for rap and hip-hop to get a talented guy like Garth
Brooks." said rapper/producer Sean "Puffy" Combs. "If he ever wants to do
remixes of his country stuff, I'm his dog." Most rappers have, however,
been less than enthralled by the idea. "This is the stupidest thing I've
ever heard of." commented Wu-Tang Clan member Method Man. "What does this
redneck know about being a rapper? He's not street; he's from Nashville for
crying out loud. This whole thing is just stupid."
When told of Method Man's comments, Cracka became very angry. "That fool
don't know (expletive deleted). That's just a lot of (expletive deleted)
from the east coast. Those boys don't scare me. East coast don't scare me.
West coast don't scare me. All of these coasts better start worrying
about the boyz from middle America. I'll shock the world."
G.B. Cracka's first single, "Straight Outta Nashville," will be released in
November.

OVERVIEW: All silliness aside, the last time that Garth Brooks was the host,
he did was very funny. I expect a good show tonight...OR ELSE. Or else
what, you ask? Nothing really. I can't back that up.

[COLD OPENING] NRA is attacked
* For one awful moment, I thought that SNL was going to plumb the depths of
poor taste and do a sketch about school shootings. Good thing they just
mocked the NRA, who everyone hates.
* In the style of Comic Book Guy on the Simpsons, Will Ferrell does the
"worst...Heston...ever." Phil Hartman is spinning in his grave.
* Why aren't the Spartan Cheerleaders on anymore? They're still funny.
* This one was okay, but really lost steam near the end.
RATING: ***3/8

This is an interlude, but did anyone ever notice that during the opening
credits, there's a five second pause after Tracy Morgan's name? Maybe this
is because casual fans look at the credits and say "Chris Kattan..oh, he's
Mango. Tim Meadows, that's the Ladies' Man. Tracy Morgan...huh?" SNL has
the extra long break to give people time to remember who Tracy is.

[MONOLOGUE] Garth Brooks
* Good of SNL to show some continuity from Garth's first appearance.
* I remember his first show well, because my school's semi-formal dance was
that night, and I missed the first couple of skits.
* What was with the ending? "Gosh, Mango likes Chris Gaines? Stick around
and see how this turns out, folks." Is this Hee Haw all of a sudden,
with the shameless hucksterism?
RATING: ***1/4

[SKETCH] 007 has 107...venereal diseases
* That's a rather clever title if I do say so myself. Hooray for me.
* I thought we'd see Hammond as Connery playing Bond, but Parnell was fine.
* A good idea for a sketch. This just goes to show you...SEX IS EVIL.
That's why I'm still a virgin...plus I'm a nerd. I mean come on, I left a
dance to watch SNL, how much of a player can I be?
* Batman, eh? Well, he did keep a little boy in a cave. I mean, a "ward?"
Come on.
* Garth had a bit of the ol' marble-mouth going with some of those medical
terms.
RATING: ***3/4

[COMMERCIAL] Smurfs Miniseries
* Ah, the Smurfs. I used to love them, back in my wanton days of youth.
* For the next few days, I guess I'll be using the word "smurf" as a verb,
adjective, and a noun. Damn subversive television.
* I get to see Hammond's Connery impression after all, as he's Papa Smurf.
* If you think about it, Smurfette must have been a real whore. She was
the only female, right?
* The Celine Dion version of the Smurfs theme was HILARIOUS! I cracked
right up.
* GREAT LINE ALERT: "Due to legal difficulties, the Smurfs may be called
the Blurfs." -- Chris Parnell, in the ending voiceover.
RATING: ***7/8

[SKETCH] High school audio-visual project
* Not bad. I know several couples like this, who switch from love to hate
at the drop of a hat.
* I can see this being a recurring sketch. It only took Rachel three shows
to get a recurring character, where its taken Jimmy over a year.
* Word of advice to all prospective parents who are Red Sox fans; the name
Nomar would be awfully incongruent on a white kid from New England.
* GREAT LINE ALERT: "I don't think you have the skills required to hand out
little pieces of cheese."-- Garth Brooks, as the store manager, to Rachel's
character.
RATING: ***1/2

[SKETCH] Tracy knocks Chris Gaines
* Oh my God, was this funny. GET TRACY IN MORE SKETCHES!
* This sketch contained the line of the night, and I'm sure you can all
guess what it is.
* I liked the shocked look on Garth's face during the insults, especially
the "Girth Brooks" one.
* GREAT LINE ALERT: "These are tough times, homes."-- Lorne Michaels, to
Tracy Morgan.
RATING: ****1/8

[SKETCH] The Warner-Lambert Roll Call
* A pretty good skit. Another opportunity for the technicians to be in a
sketch.
* Why was the only woman, Rachel, the one who screwed up? Was SNL trying
to make a subtle statement about the plight of women in today's modern
workplace? Yeah, right.
RATING: ***3/4

[SKETCH] Donnie says it with flowers
* Another funny sketch. You can't go wrong making fun of trailer park
trash.
* Garth messed up the one line, but he made a pretty good cover.
* The Fist of Love?
* GREAT LINE ALERT: "I screwed up, you screwed up, now let's screw."--
Garth Brooks
RATING: ****1/8

[WEEKEND UPDATE] Colin Quinn w/Molly Shannon
* A lot of good newsbits this week. The ones about the Pope were pretty
funny, as was the one about George W. Bush being able to I.D. world leaders.
* Darryl Dawkins as man of the millenium. That's pretty funny. I liked
how Parnell described his dunks as "almost pornographic." I would have
preferred Dale Ellis, my favorite NBA player and the greatest three-point
shooter in basketball history, but what can you do?
* What's up with Molly acting like Adam Sandler? This had no point to it.
RATING: ****

[MUSICAL GUEST] Chris Gaines
* Pre-taping for the intro, I see.
* So this is Chris Gaines. I can safely say, if I didn't know this was
Garth Brooks already, I would totally buy into this guy as a brand new
musician.
* Gaines has an interesting sound. There's some tinges of country, but
it's mostly rock.
* Overall, not bad. He could have used better enunciation, but maybe he
was going for the rock technique of slurring your words, known as the
"Vedder Method."
RATING: ***3/4

[SKETCH] Mango stalks Chris Gaines
* And thus, the affair continues. Like sands in the hourglass,
these...sorry. Before Kattan leaves the cast, they have to bring this
storyline to a conclusion.
* GREAT LINE ALERT: "Can you make out with an ocean?"-- Garth Brooks, as
Gaines
RATING: ***1/2

[SKETCH] The Devil can't write love songs
* I always wondered who was behind the current raft of teeny-bopper pop
music. I guess we all know who it was now...(cue echo effect) SATAN!
* I liked Will's makeup. We've come a long way from Jon Lovitz in a devil
costume.
* Watch this; "The Devil can't write love songs" will be Garth's, or
Chris', new hit single.
RATING: ***3/4

[SKETCH] Wilson's return department
* Ana has had a bit part in almost every sketch tonight.
* The visual aids for the "simmuhduhna" and "keypitduhna" were pretty
funny.
* I'll mention this sketch to my friend Trevor. He works at Sears, and
would find this pretty funny.
RATING: ***3/4

[CLASSIC COMMERICAL] Royal Deluxe II
* This was kind of random.
* It was pretty funny, though. It's always good to see the old cast.
RATING: NA (not an original commercial)

[SKETCH] WXLU news tries to spice things up
* The beginning was brilliant, with Tim coming in and saying "Simmer down
now."
* The ending was funny, with Will trying to fool Tim, and then doing the
freeze-frame.
* Another good end-of-show sketch. Why do they save these for the end?
* GREAT LINE ALERT: "Words like "stiff," "impersonal" and "jackass" kept
coming up." -- Tim Meadows
RATING: ****

This is another interlude, but I liked the end credits. The camera was on
Horatio and Molly, who were hamming it up, of course. Then they panned to
Parnell and Ana, who gave a little thumbs up because they're total pros.
That just struck me as cool. Then they were slow-dancing together? I
thought these two were married?

ACTORS OF THE NIGHT: Garth Brooks, Ana Gasteyer, Chris Parnell
SKETCHES OF THE NIGHT: Tracy knocks Chris Gaines, Donnie says it with
flowers, Weekend Update
WORST SKETCH OF THE NIGHT: NRA is attacked
LINE OF THE NIGHT: "Go get me a soda, bitch!"-- Tracy Morgan, to Lorne
Michaels.
BUSIEST CAST MEMBER: Ana Gasteyer (8 sketches)
CAST MEMBERS WITH TIME TO WASH LORNE'S CAR: None really. Everyone got
involved. Molly Shannon was only in two sketches, so I guess she wins by
default.
NUMBER OF NOTICABLE MISTAKES: One; Garth's flub during the Flowers sketch.
AVERAGE SKETCH RATING: ***3/4
GUT FEELING OVERALL RATING: ***3/4 (whoa...spooky)

OVERVIEW
The best show of the year, so far. Not a bad sketch in the bunch, and some
were quite good. Garth Brooks is a great host, and he's also a talented
musician because Chris Gaines wasn't bad at all.

Next week is Jennifer Aniston, who I think is the only Friend who hasn't
hosted besides Matt LeBlanc. Her hosting means that I have three right in
the Guess-the-Host contest. I RULE! Sting is the musical guest, and he's
usually good. See you next week, same bat-time, same bat-channel.


Episode Review written by Mark Polishuk


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