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:
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.
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?
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:
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.
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.
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:
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
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.
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
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.
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.
'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.
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
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
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