EPISODE REVIEWS


Norm Macdonald / Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg & Eminem
October 23, 1999


kuhsiloP kraM yb weiver LNS rehtona s'ereH.

Ah, major league baseball does it again. SNL delayed by fifteen minutes
because of World Series baseball. I turned over to the Series game at about
9:40, and I shocked that they were already in the sixth inning! I thought
that SNL would have no problems, but then the (#*#(^ Yankees scored four
runs and won the damn game. I'm no Atlanta fan, but I would cheer for
anybody over the Yankees. Not to sound judgmental, but anybody who likes
the Yankees is a crack- smoking, bandwagon-jumping goddamn idiot. Not to
sound judgmental, of course.

Last week I watched A Fish Called Wanda before SNL. This week I
watched The Blair Witch Project. This is what we call a contrast. I
would say that Blair Witch didn't quite live up to the hype, but it
was still pretty freaky. I probably wouldn't have found it as scary, but I
watched it and SNL over at a friend's house, and so I had to take a fifteen
minute walk home at 1:30 AM. I'm not ashamed to say I was a little nervous.
A cat ran across the street, and I almost shat my pants. That's what a
real horror movie should do to you.

OVERVIEW
Norm Macdonald returns to Saturday Night Live. The comic possibilities here
are just about endless. This show could be really, REALLY, funny. The
"musical" guests don't deserve a mention.

[COLD OPENING] Rudy Giuliani makes a World Series bet
I like Darrell's impression of Giuliani. It's funny because everything
Giuliani said was true. Let's be honest, people; the most powerful man in
Atlanta is Ted Turner, and he's the biggest hayseed in the world. It's
scary that such a man has so much money. A good opener, and I like how
Giuliani tried to pawn off that controversial Virgin Mary painting. GREAT
LINE ALERT: "Yankees win, we get the severed head of John Rocker. Braves
win, and I'll dress like Scarlett O'Hara and you can service me with a
plunger."-- Darrell Hammond, as Rudy Giuliani. ****

[MONOLOGUE] Norm Macdonald
One of the better monologues in quite some time. Everything about it was
one big FU to Don Ohylmeyer. Whatever happened to that guy, anyway? I must
correct Norm about one thing; you don't need to be funny to host SNL. Ask
Heather Graham. GREAT LINE ALERT: "I wanted to keep my job, and NBC felt
the exact opposite way."-- Norm Macdonald. ****1/4

[SKETCH] Martha Stewart brags about her IPO
Not a bad bit. It could have been funnier. Don't ask me how, because it's
not my job to write the show. I can sit back and criticize it all I want.
I LOVE THIS JOB! Ana's impression of Martha Stewart is always funny.
***5/8

[SKETCH] Great Moments in Yankee History
I thought this would be a running gag throughout the show, but I guess it's
just a stand-alone skit. Not great, and it really is pretty insulting to
the Gehrig family. It's like that Wendy's ad, where
the ballplayer is retiring, and he gives his speech by saying "Today, I am
the luckiest man in baseball...because I just found out that Wendy's is
bringing back the bacon double-cheesburger." Dave Thomas is a soulless man.
***1/4

[SKETCH] Celebrity Jeopardy
Oh my God, was this funny. The usual stupid humour in these, but I was
almost in tears by the end of the sketch. Norm and Darrell were perfect in
their characters, but I thought Fallon's French Stewart could have used a
little work. The look was perfect, but the voice was a bit off. This is a
sketch where delivery is EVERYTHING. All of the idiot guests deliver their
lines in perfect character, and Ferrell as Trebek is just so damn
frustrated. Just a great sketch. Why is potent potables always a category?
GREAT LINE ALERT: "Ah, ruff. Just the way your mother likes it,
Trebek."-- Darrell Hammond, as Sean Connery. ****5/8

[SKETCH] NBC Crosstalk; How Thin is Too Thin?
An okay sketch. Chris Parnell seems to have the respectable looking pervert
role down pat. Rachel Dratch makes her SNL debut, and she was pretty funny
as Ca-Missed a Meal Flockhart. When she had her face all pinched up, Ana
Gasteyer bore a remarkable resemblance to my next door neighbour. Spooky.
GREAT LINE ALERT: "I read Architectural Digest, and that doesn't make me
want to be an office building."-- Ana Gasteyer, as the editor of that
magazine. ***7/8

[SKETCH] Larry King's News and Views
A skit like this is always hit and miss, depending on the writing. This one
was mostly miss, as the majority of the comments were just dumb, as opposed
to funny. I did enjoy the liberal use of the word "gang." GREAT LINE
ALERT: "Has anybody ever died of a heart attack? I mean really?"-- Norm
Macdonald, as Larry King. ***1/2

[CARTOON] Fun with Real Audio
When did Smiegel come back? I saw him in the opening credits, and I said
"All right! Welcome back Smiegel!" Then I saw the cartoon, and I said "Get
the hell away Smiegel!" Not his best effort. I liked the stutter on Tom
Selleck, though. **1/2

[WEEKEND UPDATE] Colin Quinn
Weakest update of the year, though it was still okay. Maybe it's a sign of
how strong Update has been this season. I was surprised to see that Norm
didn't even make an appearance at the desk. The Millenium update wasn't
great, and Cheri's bit about Marla Maples was useless, except for now we
know what Park Avenue cooch is. GREAT LINE ALERT: "After hearing there was
3 million dishwashers in America, Pat Buchanan called for harsher
immigration laws."-- Colin
Quinn. ****

["MUSICAL" GUEST] Dr. Dre w/Snoop Doggy Dogg
The less said about this the better. The highlight for me was seeing Snoop
Dogg saying the word "icky" about ten times in five seconds. And this man
is considered cool. **

[SKETCH] The MacMullens Argue at Halloween
They included the theme from Ghostbusters, which was the highlight of this
sketch. I was a huge Ghostbusters fan when I was a kid. Norm seemed a
little...I don't know, tipsy? Tracy Morgan continues to earn his salary
with his bit part as the cop. GREAT LINE ALERT: "You dirty, fire-breathing
whore!"-- Norm Macdonald, as Don MacMullen. ***

[SKETCH] Michael Jackson drowns his sorrows
Aren't Michael Jackson jokes getting kind of old? I mean, SNL shouldn't
mock these people whose careers are undeniably over. I did like the bit
about the Macaulay Culkin tattoo. Fallon's appearance as Howard Stern
seemed kind of tacked on. ***1/4

["MUSICAL" GUEST] Dr. Dre and Eminem
My rap-loving brother was saying that Eminem was "so sweet. He was just
freestyling and doing all these rhymes." I hadn't the faintest idea what he
was talking about. *1/2

[SKETCH] Inside the Actors Studio w/Clint Eastwood
This was pretty good. The last sketches on all three shows this year have
been funny. GREAT LINE ALERT: "My favorite phrase is 'James Linton getting
raped by the devil.'"-- Norm Macdonald, as Clint Eastwood ***3/4

[COMMERCIAL] Chess for Girls
I've seen this before, so no rating. This was Molly Shannon's only
appearance of the night.

ACTORS OF THE NIGHT: Cheri Oteri, Norm Macdonald, Darrell Hammond
SKETCHES OF THE NIGHT: Celebrity Jeopardy, Rudy Giuliani makes a World
Series bet
WORST SKETCHES OF THE NIGHT: The cartoon, Great Moments in Yankee History
LINE OF THE NIGHT: "How did I suddenly get to goddamn funny?"-- Norm
Macdonald, from the monologue
BUSIEST CAST MEMBER: Cheri Oteri, Will Ferrell (3 sketches)
CAST MEMBERS WITH TIME TO WASH LORNE'S CAR: Chris Kattan, Horatio Sanz (0
sketches)
NUMBER OF NOTICABLE MISTAKES: Tim and Norm looked like they were about to
lose it during the Michael Jackson sketch, but they held character.
AVERAGE SKETCH RATING: A bit more than *** 3/8
GUT FEELING OVERALL RATING: ***1/2

OVERVIEW
A great first half hour, then it became middling. Norm was hilarious, which
goes to show that they should have had him appear in more sketches when he
was a cast member. It's good to see that all of his bridges weren't burned
when he left NBC, and it was all just Ohlmeyer's meddling. The rappers were
their usual awful selves.

Next week is the Halloween special, and then Dylan McDermott and the Foo
Fighters on November sixth. McDermott is unknown to me, because I don't
watch The Practice, and the Foos are okay.

I've gotta run, because today (Oct.24) is my birthday and I must gorge
myself with cake. See you on the flipside.


Episode Review written by Mark Polishuk


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