Senator John McCain / The White Stripes October 19, 2002
Before I get started, I got several e-mails this past week complaining about my recent negative comments about Chris Kattan. Folks, Kattan-bashing is nothing new and I'm certainly not the only person who can't stand him anymore. Don't be offended just because of someone's opinions. I don't agree with Nick Mayhew's negative comments about Maya Rudolph, but I don't bombard him with hate mail all the time, because those are just his opinions. ________________________________________________________
(PRE-SHOW THOUGHTS) It'll be weird seeing John McCain hosting. Though it's nice to get something different from the usual young hosts that we get too much of nowadays. The last politician we had host was Rudy Giuliani, who was good despite playing himself in nearly every skit, so maybe we can expect the same for tonight. I'm sure McCain will be comfortable in front of a live audience. But will he be funny? ________________________________________________________
(COLD OPENING) 2002 Iraqi Presidential Election Highlights: - Good to see a bit of a different cold opener. It was still political related, but showing the elections take place at Iraq was a nice change of pace. - Horatio's Saddam Hussein was hilarious. Lowlights: - How come Darrell stopped playing Saddam only after 1 week? Horatio's Saddam is funnier, but too over-the-top. Darrell's was more accurate. Additional Comments: - When this first started, I thought this would be Ferey Muhtar Talk Show again (there's no way they could ever top Darrell's moustache mishap). - Kattan looked like his Geraldo Rivera impression.
(MONOLOGUE) Sen. John McCain takes tips from Ferecito Highlights: - Ferecito was a nice surprise. - Seeing McCain go "I'm just keeding!" like Ferecito. - Nice transition at the end when they showed the next sketch being set up before the monologue was done. Lowlights: - Not a real monologue, as usual. Additional Comments: - Everybody expected Ferecito to be brought back, but I didn't think it would be this soon. I don't mind, though, because the character is funny for now. - Only 3 episodes in and Fred already has a recurring character??? Amazing. I wonder if this is a record for a featured player. He's already showing more promise and being used more than Dean, who's been on the show for a whole freakin' season now!
(SKETCH) Hardball Highlights: - Hardball! I always love this. This is probably my new favorite current recurring sketch now that Celebrity Jeopardy is gone. - All of Rachel and Tracy's crazy comments. Lowlights: - Not quite up there with the Hardball sketch from The Rock episode. Additional Comments: - I thought McCain was going to play himself in this. - This felt weird without Kattan as Paul Begala, but they can't use him anymore since Begala has his own show. This sketch showed they could do Hardball without Begala and still make it funny.
(SKETCH) The Gillian Woodward Story Highlights: - Good performances from the cast. - This had the perfect feel of the typical sappy Lifetime movie. Lowlights: - Unfortunately, this could almost pass for a real Lifetime movie considering the lack of funny material. I nearly fell asleep. - Ana Gasteyer's Lifetime sketch from last season was shorter and much funnier compared to this. Additional Comments: - Why did they cut to a still shot of the police station during the shower scene? - This used the same courtroom set from last year's "Kournikova vs. Penthouse" sketch - Nice to see Darrell in a non-impression role. - It was weird seeing Amy and Rachel standing beside each other, because I get them confused for each other sometimes.
(NEXT LIVE SHOW) November 2, 2002: Eric McCormack I've been waiting for another Will & Grace castmember to host since Sean Hayes. Though I wish it was Debra Messing instead of McCormack since I put her down on my Guess the Hosts list. If they do a Will & Grace sketch that week, I bet Rachel will play Megan Mullally's character, and Kattan or Seth will play Sean Hayes' character.
(SKETCH) Wake Up Wakefield Highlights: - Don't care; I hardly paid attention. I never liked this sketch. Lowlights: - Same as above. Additional Comments: - Rachel looks like Kevin McDonald from "Kids in the Hall" in that wig. - Horatio's character was subdued here. Why didn't he do the crazy dance like he always does?
(TV FUNHOUSE) The Ambiguously Gay Duo Highlights: - Ace and Gary! This sure woke me back up after the last 2 skits. When was the last time an actual Ambiguously Gay Duo cartoon was done (not counting their cameo in the X-Presidents toon from last season)? Lowlights: - Eh, this wasn't really as good as the usual Ace and Gary cartoons. But I'll give Smigel a break here since he hasn't used these characters in a while, so it was still good to see them. Additional Comments: - Adam McKay was listed at the ending credits of this as writing an additional joke.
(SKETCH) Meet the Press Highlights: - Darrell's increasingly absurd comments, especially the line about President Bush forgetting to run in the 2004 elections. - The way Darrell kept leaning over the desk in that weird way for the whole sketch. Lowlights: - None. Additional Comments: - Hardball and Meet the Press in the same episode? Man, Darrell is getting a real workout tonight. - Darrell looked nothing like Tim Russert, but he did a good imitation of his voice. - Did Darrell break character at the beginning, or was he supposed to laugh like that?
(MUSICAL PERFORMANCE) No comment.
(WEEKEND UPDATE) Fallon & Fey, Tim Calhoun Highlights: - Tina's onion's joke. - Jimmy's Robert Downey Jr. joke. - Tina's Pam Anderson/Kid Rock joke. - Will Forte in his first big role on the show. He seems pretty funny judging from his Tim Calhoun bit. His lines were hilarious, and the finger pointing was also a funny touch. - The pumpkin/anal sex joke. Lowlights: - I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm really getting tired of Tina's patented rants. None of her rants so far this season were up to her usual standards. It's like she's not even trying anymore. Additional Comments: - I said before that Forte looks like Jim Breuer, but now I think he looks more like a cross between Breuer and Jeff Richards.
(SKETCH) McCain Sings Streisand Highlights: - A very funny concept, and McCain was hilarious with his slams on Barbera Streisand. Lowlights: - None. Additional Comments: - None.
(MISCELLANEOUS) My Big Thick Novel by Jack "Sellout" Handey Highlights: - None. Lowlights: - NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I thought these were gone for good! Damn you, Handey! Damn you! Additional Comments: - Bring back Deep Thoughts! Heck, I'll even take Fuzzy Memories over another season of this.
(NEXT WEEK) October 26, 2002 - Saturday Night Live Halloween Special I bet they'll show a Halloween-related sketch that was cut from this episode.
(SKETCH) Top O' The Morning Highlights: - Jimmy and Seth gave solid performances, and their Irish accents were funny. I usually like sketches where the characters talk in silly accents (Bahston Teens), and this may have potential to be recurring. - Jimmy's mullet. Mullets are always funny. Lowlights: - The sketch itself wasn't really hilarious or anything, but it was acceptable this late in the show. Additional Comments: - This reminded me of Mike Myers' "Scottish Soccer Hooligan Weekly", with less gore. Speaking of which, it seemed like all of Myers' recurring sketches other than "Cawfee Tawk" were U.K. oriented. - Jimmy continues his inability to get through a whole show without breaking character, as you can see him trying not to laugh after he punched a hole through the wall. - Jeff was basically playing the Irish male version of Drunk Girl.
(MUSICAL PERFORMANCE) No comment.
(GOODNIGHTS) This is the first live show I've ever seen where they showed the full goodnights without cutting it off.
(CONCLUSION) A BIG improvement over those first two mediocre-fests. Funny how the first good show of the season is the third live show, which usually sucks. Hopefully the writers and cast are getting out of their slump and they're ready to get back on track (did that sound cheesy?).
Overall Highlights of Tonight's Show: - John McCain was a surprisingly excellent host; he appeared to be having a good time, he was funny in most of his appearances, and he stayed away from playing himself too much. - The political material (Hardball, Meet the Press). - The return of Ace & Gary. - Will Forte's first big role. - McCain sings Streisand.
Overall Lowlights of Tonight's Show: - Jack Handey. - Wake Up Wakefield. - The Lifetime sketch.
Funniest Single Moment: John McCain going "I'm just keeding!" and his silly face in the monologue.
Best Lines: - Darrell Hammond as Chris Matthews: "Next week, the Hardball College Tour continues when we come to you live from Bob Jones University with Special Guest: Coolio." - Tracy Morgan as Harry Belafonte: "Pokemon is a slave master!" - Darrell Hammond as Chris Matthews: "(singing) Craz-o. Craz-o. Belafonte is a crazy mofo." - Ace: "Let's blow this popsicle... stand." - Darrell Hammond as Tim Russert: "Would a relatively young John McCain challenge a reanimated Jimmy Carter zombie?" - Tina Fey: "Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock will reportedly get married next month at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The couple is registered at the center for disease control." - Tina Fey: "A Michigan Man was arrested for indecent exposure after his neighbors witnessed him having sex with a pumpkin. What's more disturbing is that it was anal sex!" - John McCain: "I've been in politics for over 20 years, and for over 20 years, I've had Barbera Streisand trying to do may job. So I decided to try my hand at her job."
CAST MEMBER COUNT DOWN DRATCH: 3 sketches (Hardball; The Gillian Woodward Story; Wake Up Wakefield) FALLON: 3 sketches (Wake Up Wakefield; Weekend Update; Top of the Morning) FEY: 1 sketch (Weekend Update) HAMMOND: 3 sketches (Hardball; The Gillian Woodward Story; Meet the Press) KATTAN: 2 sketches (2002 Iraqi Presidential Election; The Gillian Woodward Story) MORGAN: 1 sketch (Hardball) PARNELL: 2 sketches (2002 Iraqi Presidential Election; The Gillian Woodward Story) POEHLER: 1 sketch (The Gillian Woodward Story) RUDOLPH: 3 sketches (2002 Iraqi Presidential Election; The Gillian Woodward Story; Wake Up Wakefield) SANZ: 2 sketches (2002 Iraqi Presidential Election; Wake Up Wakefield) ARMISEN: 2 sketches (2002 Iraqi Presidential Election; Monologue) EDWARDS: 0 sketches FORTE: 1 sketch (Weekend Update) MEYERS: 2 sketches (2002 Iraqi Presidential Election; Top of the Morning) RICHARDS: 1 sketch (Top of the Morning)
For once in a long time, the cast felt like an ensemble, as the airtime between them was balanced out well and nobody hogged the screen-time. It's funny how last week I mention that Amy gets too many of the main female roles and how Rachel is stuck with too many bit parts. Well, this week, Amy only had 1 sketch and all of Rachel's roles tonight were big. And wait; let's not forget about poor Dean, who was nowhere to be seen in any of the sketches. Even when the rest of the casts' airtime is balanced out, he still gets the shaft. Not even a cameo as Silent Background Guy.