EPISODE REVIEWS


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


Hi everybody! Max Athorn here again with my third review. I was very surprised at the quality of last weeks show. I think it will be tough to beat. But that was last week and now

[PRE-SHOW THOGHTS]
Norm MacDonald, huh? Well, he was very funny on the update in the past, some of his old jokes are still ringing in my ears. I expect a lot, because this guy is a hardcore comedian, and it should be good. Still, it would be hard to compete with last week. We shall see.

[OPENING] Rudy Giuliani makes a World Series bet
Wow, that wasn't too good. Yeah, there were a couple cute little jokes in there, but really now! Don't start a show out with something like that, I'll bet half the audience turned it off right there. Rudy Giuliani jokes can be funny, but I live in Minneapolis! How much can I know about the mannerisms of the mayor of New York City? The Cow dung thing was funny, but it was too easy. Overall, they aren't off to a very good start. C-

[MONOLOGUE] Norm Macdonald
Awesome. This monologue had to be good, and it was. Norm had so much he could have said, and he did it with just the right amount of poise! He talked getting fired, but he did it without really offending anyone. In fact, it was almost cute. That saved me from turning against this episode early on. A

[SKETCH] Martha Stewart Living promo
When a show is in trouble, just do one of these! Ana Gasteyer is the most underrated player on the show, and this is the reason why! She is the one who always plays the quiet, reserved characters, but she is so damn good at it! Martha Stewart is only the beginning. Still, the content of this sketch was very good. SNL was right to do this sketch, in a situation like this they should feel very lucky that they have a player who can so accurately portray a celebrity under the spotlight. Good sketch. A

[SKETCH] Great Moments in Yankee History
That was good, too! Besides the opening, they're off to a very good start. Now I will be very impressed if they can continue this as a series of sketches. I'll bet Tracy Morgan can do a pretty good El Duque! This could really get off the ground, but only if done correctly. MacDonald's constant sarcasm makes this a very good sketch, this is exactly his sort of character and he was able to turn it into Lou Gerhig very effectively. B+

[SKETCH] Celebrity Jeopardy
YEAH!! I LOVE THIS! I could (and I probably will) repeat myself several times on this subject, but I should probably bring it up anyway. First of all: Will as Alex Trebek. There is no better. He has the mannerisms down just right, he is able to raise and lower is voice with just the right amount of monotonous banter. He makes the sketch work. Secondly: Darrell as Sean Connery. This is yet another impersonation Darrell Hammond can do with ease. He probably has this down so well its like second nature to him! Sometimes his lines are a little stupid, ("Ruff.. just how your mama likes it, TREBEK" a little childish for my taste) but that isn't Hammond's fault. Thirdly: Norm as Burt Reynolds: He's still got it, what can I say? The Turd Ferguson thing was a great touch. Finally: Jimmy Fallon as French Stewart. Is there anyone that guy can't do? He is unbelievable! I have never seen Jimmy do an impression that I didn't think was dead-on perfect! Hopefully that'll be me in 10 years. Celebrity Jeopardy rules. They can never stop doing this sketch. A+

[SKETCH] NBC Crosstalk: How Thin is Too Thin?
Sorry, no. That was a little bit too crude. If it was meant as a commentary then they can have it, I suppose. However, I think they can make a statement about weight disorders without being quite so crude. You could also call this the "Meet Rachel Dratch" sketch. Not bad, Rachel, but don't make your debut so crudely I don't think there is very much funny to say about Calista Flockhart's eating situation, and even though it was a good impersonation, I wouldn't do that. Where's Norm? Overall: No. C-

[SKETCH] Larry King's News and Views
I don't even have cable, but I've seen enough of Larry King to know this was a perfectly done sketch. The best part of it was the length. If it had been too long, it would have gotten stupid, but it wasn't too long, so it was good! The camera angle thing was perfect. Without that little twist it would have been very bland. And all of the things he said! Who wrote that? It's fabulous! A

[CARTOON] Fun with Real Audio
Ahh.. I don't know, that wasn't too good. Those Real Audio things have a tendency to be borderline offensive, and that was no exception. I think they could do without the cartoons! They are really hit and miss, and they are usually miss! C

[SKETCH] Larry King's News and Views
Now this is good! OK, they just did this sketch 10 minutes ago, and it was the perfect length. But they realized they could get more laughs if they did the same sketch again! Perfect! If they had done ALL of the jokes in one sitting it would have gotten boring, but since they didn't, it was fresh and funny! A

[WEEKEND UPDATE] Colin Quinn
As usual, Colin did a good job. His delivery is right there, so it was good. However, some of the jokes were a little bit lame. A Bob Dole penis joke? Come on! The Martha Stewart joke was good, its good to make fun of her. OK, then comes the "MILLENIUM" thing. This was pretty weird in the premiere. It just broke the "Wow, that was weird" record! Bottom line: it was so weird it was funny. Then came a KKK joke, which was not funny, followed by a few more standard issue "hit or miss" Quinn Jokes. Now on comes Cheri. Cheri Oteri is a hilarious person, but what the hell was that? My words of wisdom: "Cheri, that was stupid! Your facial expressions were great, but the jokes were offensive!" She wasn't being very funny, I barely laughed. Maybe next time, sweetheart. Don't use anymore kooch jokes, OK? Overall Update: B

[MUSICAL GUEST] Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg
Generally speaking, rap is dumb. I suppose that was decent rap, and it did keep me entertain, so I will give it a marginal B

[SKETCH] The McMulluns argue at Halloween
Ooh! A dancing tooth sketch! That was a fabulous sketch idea, but the writing was not entertaining. I think there is something wrong when you have two comic geniuses like Norm Macdonald and Cheri Oteri who are dancing in dental costumes and I'm not laughing. I almost want to let them try that again, because it just didn't work that time! I can tell it was a good idea, so I'll give it some credit. By the way, I didn't get the punchline! What did Tracy say at the end?? B-

[SKETCH] Michael Jackson drowns his sorrows
Eh.. ok. Norm was pretty good here. He got to do the sarcasm thing again. Tim does a great Michael Jackson, and Jimmy, of course, does a fabulous Howard Stern (that belongs on Celebrity Jeopardy soon) but the writing was not good! What is wrong? Why can't this be funny? Hopefully we can make a turnaround soon, that was very mediocre. C

[MUSICAL GUEST] Dr. Dre featuring Eminem
Very entertaining considering it's Rap. B+

[SKETCH] Bravo's Inside the Actors Studio
The last sketch of the day? I'm not surprised. Hey! There's Will Farrell! We haven't seen nearly as much of him today. It was a very funny impersonation, but I don't think very many people got it, and Clint Eastwood is no good. You can't make very many people laugh with a spoof on an interview with Clint Eastwood. Farrell is what made the sketch work, and that's about it. C+

[COMMERCIAL] Chess for Girls
This was a fabulously funny commercial, but why are you replaying reruns from a couple years ago? B+

[OVERALL]
Eeek, I don't know. That was not nearly as funny as I would have wanted it to be. It was not a strong finish at all, and that is very important. Norm did a good job acting, but the writing wasn't that great, and without writing, acting is nothing. Next week should be interesting, I look forward to see what the writers do with Dylan McDermott, because the comedy of next week will involve the cast going back to being very funny and having the host be the straight man. I want to see a good episode, because this was not that great. B


Episode Review written by Max Athorn


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