EPISODE REVIEWS


Joshua Jackson / 'N Sync
March 11, 2000


When I found out the billing of tonight's show, I freaked. An all teen lineup? (Dawson Creek star Joshua Jackson and pop phenomenon group 'Nsync.) Great This was a bad move on SNL's part to promote a whole night to a young audience at a time way past their bed time. Jackson, as expected, lacked a needed comic flare and couldn't pull of adult roles. The solution? Have an abundance of teen- related skits. These comic bits were either amazingly funny, or downright horrible, with little in between. As for 'Nsync - they do what sells. You can't really blame the whole manufactured pop thing solely on them The extreme ups and downs of the night led to a slightly above average show.

Angry News Anchors

Relatively funny. The beginning, featuring Ted Koppel in a bathtub, was a hilarious sight. SNL sure likes using telephone sequences and politics for its opening and tonight it didn't stray from the norm. I could only hear them ramble on and on for so long about how boring their jobs would be before I was asking - what's the point? And the bigger question is - why was Molly Shannon playing herself? That wasn't funny. No interesting twists in the plot yields a common:
C

Monologue

Yawn You know you're in for a rocky show when the host has to justify himself. SNL practically had to explain themselves as to why they chose this host and this boy-band ('Nsync) to fill the entire night, so I do understand why they devoted the time to having Jackson speak of his teen idol status. But really, I don't want to hear a long-winded speech about why he's worthy of being on the show, I just want to laugh. The one line that saves this line from failing is when he said that 40-year-old men who volunteer to coach little league would "definitely" know who he was.
D-

Hamburger Helper Antibacterial

At first I was excited, I figured this commercial might have potential. But it never ended up going anywhere. The best line was Ana Gasteyer saying "It stings at first", but to revolve this whole commercial on that line was a waste of time. Plus, isn't this a repeat?
B-

Regis's New Co-Host

The impressions in this sketch were phenomenal. Darrell Hammond was a near-perfect Regis Philbin, using a great imitation of his speech pattern. The funniest character would be Chris Katan as "Live's" producer Gellman. His funny mannerisms were dead-on. The appearance of Starr Jones was not funny, but it was an excuse to bring on Tracy Morgan for his once-a-week sketch. When host Jackson walked out as Donny Osmond I became excited. His impersonation was very good. That is until they did a close up and it just blew the whole illusion the zoomed-out camera shot and given me. Gasteyer's appearance as Darva, the newly annulled "Who Wants to Marry A Multi-Millionaire" bride was amusing. She recited the same lines to Regis as she did to her yet-unseen husband on the Fox show. That was classic. And my gosh - was that Jimmy Fallon as Chris Rock? The make-up artists get an A+ for that one. Overall:
A-

The Wedding Singers

When Jackson stood to give a wedding speech I was ready to hit the mute button. Thankfully, Will Ferrell and Horatio Sanz came to the rescue, interrupting Jackson every time he spoke. Were the interruptions funny? No, but it did save my sanity. I'm thinking whoever wrote this skit was drinking at the time it was seriously flawed.
C-

7° Celsius

The opening was funny with Gasteyer and Cheri Oteri acting as Nickelodeon reporters announcing that 7° Celsius, a popular mock boy-band, was holding a press conference. "They could press my conference anytime!" adds Gasteyer. (The way she delivered that line - excellent!) The actual conference was boring, but Jackson, as an obsessed teen fan, gave his first admirable performance of the evening. The funniest part of the conference wasn't what the band members were saying, but the "Bios" of each guy underneath. (Sanz's character, Sweet -T, is listed as "hugable" and "way into Tetris." ) The musical guest, 'Nsync was reasonably funny as a new group named No Refund. (Odd fact: They got the name No Refund from a Connecticut group by the same name who just won a contest sponsored by 'Nsync. The prize? For the group to perform at No Refund's high school. Woo - hoo. I know this because, and ONLY because I live in Connecticut and this was front-page news. This is a very boring state.) 'Nsync's performance, or shall I say No Refund's performance was wonderfully timed. If they kept them on any longer, it would wear thin, fortunately they cut it off at the right time. The song they sang, "Supersize It," was unbelievably dumb, but that made it all the more fun.
A

Frat Fantasies

Once again, Jackson is more believable if nothing else in this role as a college student. The sketch begins after the guys had just finished watching "If These Walls Could Talk 2" on HBO, (did they mention it by name? I picked it up by context clues but couldn't tell if maybe they forget to say what they were watching,) and were reminiscing about the female on female action they saw. (Ha ha) Anyway, Fallon's character has the ability to have three wishes fulfilled, for some unexplained reason, and he recalls blowing the first two on turning a small keg into a bigger keg and growing his cousin's leg back. (Funny - but huh?) Inspired by the HBO special, he and his friends request for their third wish to be for two lesbians to appear in bed in their dorm (that made me smile.) Then when Gasteyer and Dratch entered on to the scene as a pair of butch women engaging in feminine conversation on a mattress, I lost it. They played that so well I could no longer contain myself. The college guys' glares of disgust were also humorous. Oteri's brief emergence as a wise Native-American magic woman was extremely confusing and could have/should have been scripted better. And that last line by Chris Parnell - "What can I say? I loves the women." Talk about a ridiculous way to end the skit. If it weren't for Dratch and Gasteyer, this would be horrible, but because they were awesome:
A-

Weekend Update:

I've come to the conclusion that the usual writers were on vacation this week. You can generally always count on Weekend Update for some laughs, but this week the good jokes were too few and far between. Quinn's best news bits were those of the Giffords. (Kathie Lee possibly joining the cast of the Broadway production of Annie Get Your Gun - the new title - Audience Get Your Guns and Frank begging ABC for his job back now that Kathie Lee would be around the house more.) The story of a beauty queen who relinquished her crown after being arrested for drunk driving was funny as well. (Who wants to hear a story like that? *goes to picture of Clinton giving thumbs up*) And just who was that guy, Kevin was it? (I have no clue who he was, but he has a great name!) He appeared out of no where, or so it seemed. His best lines were "I count Al Gores when I sleep at night" and "I went to St. Joe's - Harvard of the two year colleges." Asides from the aforementioned jokes - it got boring. Just as the news anchors from the opening sketch were bored of the political race, I'm bored of the political jokes. Make them funny or cut them altogether!
C-

Musical Performance

Singing their new hit song "Bye Bye Bye" with a lot of energy, 'Nysnc probably impressed their teen fans with their crazy dancing. If you didn't already like the group, this performance wasn't likely to make you fan of them. But they get effort points for apparently giving it their all anyway.
C+

Let's Talk Books

This was unbelievably immature but I loved it!! Discussing "current" authors such as I. P. Freely, Sharon Dicks, Lotta Cox, Eileen Dover and Harry Paratestes, the childish elementary school humor worked great! If you watched this skit, you must have laughed at least a couple of them like the Asian literature: A Spot on the Great Wall by Hu Flung Poo, and How to Make Money by Chu Sum Wang. Other gems include The Tiger's Revenge by Claude Balls and Symptoms of Venereal Disease by Mia P. Burns and Dick Hurtz. The ending was hysterical as Ferrell asserts loudly that he loves the author Dickson Butts. Who says potty humor isn't funny?
A+

Colette Reardon Goes to School

The crazy, heavily-medicated freak is back. As usual, Oteri is excellent in the role of Reardon, but just as commonly, the sketch goes on long past the point of no longer being funny. (Note to SNL staff - make these segments shorter!) The premise was rather funny, having Reardon's son bring her to his rich private school for occupation day. (She's a bus driver who has been on leave for 20 years!) The highlight of her performance came when she told the students never to buy medication from someone unless he "is a doctor, is dressed like a doctor, or has a car." Similarly funny is when Reardon came on to the teacher (Ferrell) calling him, "Professor Sweet Sack." His retort, a demand for her to stop telling her tales of "bus driving, medication, and pooping" was delivered excellently. And cheers to the writers for including the obscure pop culture reference of MC Hammer's song "2 Legit 2 Quit." "Any MC Hammer fans?" Reardon asked. "Hands?" implying them to raise their arms in support. That part had me rolling! If they had made it a bit shorter, it would have been A+ material, but hey, an A isn't bad.
A

SNL Presents (Neil Armstrong)

These short films are really starting to bother me. I'd rather see a bad sketch over these previously taped and edited bits of strange tales. Neil's constant thoughts of being on the moon were clever, but monotonous after it was done twice (Although it was funny again a final time when he and his wife were in bed and she implored him to "let it go.") And when he was sent out to go buy Sprite and Doritos - I don't know why that was so funny, but I laughed really hard at that. But other than that, it was just a waste of time.
B-

Musical Performance

'Nysnc returns! And I couldn't be happier. Or not They performed a ballad, and as far as boy band ballads go, it wasn't bad - only it was tiring! My gosh, you think they'd realize that at this late at night they need to do things that will keep the audience up, not put them to sleep. It gets a passing grade for at least giving me a little temporary shut-eye.
C-

Three-Way Time

Talk about an indecent proposal! Gasteyer and Parnell appear in a sequel to a skit which involved babysitter Heather Graham and the aforementioned pair in a threesome on the second show of the season. When Parnell asked Jackson, the lawnmower guy, to do the same with his wife for his birthday and he fled right away, that was almost humorous. But when he returned after having changed his mind - huh? I'm just hoping this skit doesn't become a trilogy.
C -

OVERALL GRADE: B-
BEST PERFORMER OF THE NIGHT: Ana Gasteyer
BEST SCENE OF THE NIGHT: Rachel Dratch and Gasteyer as lesbian lovers in Frat Fantasies
BEST SKETCH OF THE NIGHT: Let's Talk Books
THING I HOPE NEVER TO SEE AGAIN: Joshua Jackson hosting


Episode Review written by Kevin Mathews


BACK to Joshua Jackson "SNL" Episode Reviews