Well, it's the season finale already, and hosting is Winona Ryder. I don't really like her, and this shoplifting debacle she got in was ridiculous. SNL should've gotten someone better for the season finale, or maybe an SNL Alumni host or former cast member. Also, coincidentally, Winona Ryder made a cameo in the last season finale. The only positive thing about her hosting is that they'll hopefully do a follow-up to the Weekend Update Cliffhanger from the last finale. Jimmy should be wearing glasses, and we'll find out who the father is.
This will also sadly Will Ferrell's last show. I'm hoping for a big send-off, and them to feature him in a lot of sketches and bring back some of his most memorable characters or impressions. The list is about endless: James Lipton, Neil Diamond, the "Get off the Shed!" father, Neil Diamond, Robert Goulet, Idiot Doctor, etc. I also hope that they make an open mention of this being his last show like they did with some cast members' last shows like Phil Hartman and Molly Shannon.
(11:30) COLD OPENING: Jimmy Carter meets Fidel Castro - Darrell looked hilarious as Jimmy Carter, though the eyebrow shrugging and bugged eyes reminded me of his Jesse Jackson. - Maya was funny as the translator. - I knew Will was going to say the opening line for his last show, but I'm surprised Maya said it along with him. It's good to see her finally opening the show for her first time.
(11:34) OPENING MONTAGE - What? No Smigel cartoon? They usually always have one in the season finale.
(11:36) MONOLOGUE: Winona Ryder - This kinda reminded me of John Goodman's monologue from 1995-1996, with the footage from backstage dressing rooms. All the stuff they showed the cast doing backstage was very funny, especially Tina shaving, Jimmy pissing in Lorne's coffee pot, and Will's spraypainting. - Jeff and Dean shouldn't even have to worry about whether they'll make it on to the regular cast next season, since it most likely ain't happening. If they're even still on the show next season, I bet they'll still be featured players. - Good to see Lorne again. He's hardly been seen this season other than the season premiere and his walk-on with no lines in the Cameron Diaz episode.
(11:43) SKETCH: Celebrity Jeopardy - Awesome! Celebrity Jeopardy! Though the last CJ was kinda weak, I'm still excited about it coming back for one last time. - Good to see Jimmy back on CJ. He showcased yet another great impression, this time of Dave Matthews. - Winona was good as Bjork. - I liked Ferrell's line "Are you Icelandic or retarded?" - I actually saw the "Hard on" joke coming when I saw "Chardonnay", but it was still pretty funny. However, nothing will ever beat "Anal Bum Cover". - A great surprise cameo from the real Alex Trebek, and a perfect way to end Celebrity Jeopardy. I sure will miss this sketch, it's had an excellent run and brought many great laughter and impressions.
(11:53) SKETCH: Uncle Mike and Uncle Danny - A very good sketch. Ferrell and Parnell were hilarious together, and they're expressions while singing were killing me. - I liked Rachel and Kattan's looks of disgust. - Did anyone else notice that Horatio tripped on the floor at the end of the sketch?
(12:01) SKETCH: Bearologist - This sketch was supposed to be done originally in this season's Gwyneth Paltrow episode, but it got cut and was also cut from the Billy Bob Thornton dress rehearsal. In the A&E Close-up on SNL from last month, they showed many parts of the rehearsal of this sketch, and it looked really funny. I'm surprised it finally made it to the live version now, but I bet Will asked them to do it again since this is his last week.
(12:05) SKETCH/COMMERCIAL: Botox - A really good commercial. The ladies were all funny here.
(12:07) SKETCH: The Search for a Playboy Centerfold - At first, I thought that this was going to be another version of that Playboy sketch from the Josh Hartnett episode. - Maya looked like Alicia Keys with that wig. - Good to see Amy's one-legged character back again. - I think this is the first in a long time that Paula Pell made an appearance in an actual sketch instead of just in the usual Question and Audience monologues. I remember she had a lot of bit parts in sketches back in 1995-96. - I think Ana's starting to get a little too open with her pregnancy. We didn't need to see her wearing a low-cut shirt with that huge belly of hers, even if she was working for Playboy.
(12:15) WEEKEND UPDATE: J-Fal and the Feystress - What was with Tina's weird mouth movement after her first joke? - The best joke was the San Francisco earthquake one. That had me rolling. - I liked Tina's baby rant, and how she got the other ladies of the cast in it. I always love it when Tina says "cooter". - I thought Will would play Robert Goulet tonight since he did last night on Conan (the interview was hilarous), but it's still great to see him playing Neil Diamond again. And I like how he brought out Gay Hitler, Darrell as Geraldo, and Drunk Girl. - Oh my god, I can't believe the real Neil Diamond came on. That makes 2 cameos tonight from actual celebrities that Ferrell impersonates. This is really turning out to be an excellent send-off show for him. - Aw, no sequel to the Weekend Update Cliffhanger? Still, a good end-of-the-season Update. Weekend Update has had an excellent run all season.
(12:25) MUSICAL GUEST: Moby
(12:32) SKETCH: The Luvahs - I'm not too excited about the Luvahs appearing again when they just did 2 episodes ago, but at least I won't have to see these characters again. - This sketch was just a mess and even worse than the usual Luvahs sketch. My main problem was that it seemed to be an exact re-write of the Drew Barrymore Luvahs sketch, with the same hot tub set and Jimmy playing the same character. This was just an excuse to do it for Ferrell's last time, and the writers obviously didn't show any effort at all in this. Even the usually funny "Get off my back!" ending sucked.
(12:41) SKETCH: Mango gets busted - Oh, god, why'd they have to do this character on the season finale? - The second sketch in a row that mentioned a three-way. Yeesh, were the writers horny this week? - The expected "Winona shoplifts" sketch of the night. - The only laugh I got from this sketch was when Jeff as the security guard tackled Kattan to the ground when he got caught stealing the clothes. Other than that, this was horrible.
(12:48) MUSICAL GUEST: Moby - They pulled a "Lenny Kravitz" and cut Moby off right in the middle of his musical performance. Not that I really care, but I don't see why they did that since it wasn't even at the end of the show. But if it was to allow more time for the sketch that followed this, then I understand.
(12:53) MISCELLANEOUS: Will Ferrell tribute from the cast - This is the best thing that the show could do for Ferrell's last show. It was great to hear commentary on Will by the whole official cast, minus Amy Poehler for some reason (I guess since she's still new). This was very nice, touching, and very funny (Tracy's part). This has to be the best send-off for a cast member I've ever seen. - I never knew before that it was Will who made NBC rehire Chris Parnell. That was very nice of Will. - It's also interesting to note that both the first and last sketches of this season were a serious tribute to somebody and had a bit of comedy at the end. The season opened with the Mayor's tribute to the people who died in the World Trade Center, and the season closes with the cast honoring Will.
(12:59) GOODNIGHTS - The "We'll miss you, Will" signs and banners from the cast and crew were so nice, and how some of the cast members were in tears when hugging Will. We're all going to miss you, Will.
CONCLUSION: Aside from the those two bad recurring sketches, Mango and the Luvahs, I thought this was a very good season finale, and also a great Will Ferrell finale. Winona Ryder wasn't that bad as the host. She had a few funny moments, and didn't weigh down the show.
BEST SKETCH OF THE EPISODE: Celebrity Jeopardy; Uncle Mike and Uncle Danny WORST SKETCH OF THE EPISODE: Mango gets busted; The Luvahs MOST BIZARRE SKETCH: Bearologist BLOOPERS: Horatio tripped at the end of the Uncle Mike and Danny sketch, Jimmy had his usual breaks during the Luvahs sketch WHAT WILL PROBABLY BE CUT ON COMEDY CENTRAL: 2nd musical performance; Botox; Mango gets busted; the Luvahs
CAST MEMBER COUNT DOWN
RACHEL DRATCH: 5 segments (Uncle Mike and Danny, Search for Playboy Centerfold, Weekend Update, The Luvahs, Will Ferrell tribute) JIMMY FALLON: 6 segments (Monologue, Celebrity Jeopardy, Bearologist, Weekend Update, The Luvahs, Will Ferrell tribute) WILL FERRELL: 10 segments (Carter meets Castro, Monologue, Celebrity Jeopardy, Uncle Mike and Danny, Bearologist, Search for Playboy Centerfold, Weekend Update, The Luvahs, Mango, Will Ferrell tribute) TINA FEY: 3 segments (Monologue, Weekend Update, Will Ferrell tribute) ANA GASTEYER: 5 segments (Monologue, Bearologist, Botox, Search for Playboy Centerfold, Will Ferrell tribute) DARRELL HAMMOND: 6 segments (Carter meets Castro, Monologue, Celebrity Jeopardy, Bearologist, Weekend Update, Will Ferrell tribute) CHRIS KATTAN: 5 segments (Uncle Mike and Danny, Search for Playboy Centerfold, Weekend Update, Mango, Will Ferrell tribute) TRACY MORGAN: 2 segments (Monologue, Will Ferrell tribute) CHRIS PARNELL: 2 segments (Uncle Mike and Danny, Will Ferrell tribute) AMY POEHLER: 4 segments (Monologue, Botox, Search for Playboy Centerfold, Weekend Update) MAYA RUDOLPH: 5 segments (Carter meets Castro, Botox, Search for Playboy Centerfold, Weekend Update, Will Ferrell tribute) HORATIO SANZ: 3 segments (Monologue, Uncle Mike and Danny, Will Ferrell tribute) DEAN EDWARDS: 2 segments (Monologue, Search for Playboy Centerfold) SETH MEYERS: 3 segments (Monologue, Uncle Mike and Danny, Bearologist) JEFF RICHARDS: 3 segments (Monologue, Weekend Update, Mango)
Well, as expected, Will Ferrell was the man of the night here. He had a whopping 10 sketches, which is possibly the most that any cast member has ever appeared in a single episode. It was great to see him used to his full potential on his last show.
Well, so the season is over. Overall, I think this has been a very solid season, and it really surprised me because I thought it would turn out to be just like last season which was pretty weak, or would turn out even worse, but I was wrong. 2001-2002 had a lot of great highlights: good sketches, excellent commercial ads, better new recurring sketches, the addition of Amy Poehler, the return of Chris Parnell, and good hosts. And you know what the best thing about this season was? NO ADAM McKAY FILMS!!!!!!
TOP 5 BEST EPISODES 1. Hugh Jackman/Mick Jagger 2. Seann William Scott/Sum 41 3. (tie) John Goodman/Ja Rule ; Jon Stewart/India.Arie 4. Jack Black/The Strokes 5. (tie) Alec Baldwin/P.O.D. ; Winona Ryder/Moby
TOP 5 WORST EPISODES 1. Drew Barrymore/Macy Gray 2. Ian McKellen/Kylie Minogue 3. Billy Bob Thornton/Creed 4. Derek Jeter/Bubba Sparxxx/Shakira 5. (tie) Josh Hartnett/Pink ; Britney Spears
TOP 5 BEST HOSTS 1. Jack Black 2. Jon Stewart 3. Hugh Jackman 4. (tie) The Rock, Seann William Scott 5. (tie) Kirsten Dunst, Alec Baldwin, Ian McKellen
TOP 3 WORST HOSTS 1. Derek Jeter 2. Josh Hartnett 3. Billy Bob Thornton
TOP 10 BEST SKETCHES 1. Dale McGrew gets too patriotic (from Seann William Scott/Sum 41) 2. The New Happy Birthday Song (from Jack Black/The Strokes) 3. Dick Cheney/The Christmas Time is Here Quartet (from Ellen DeGeneres/No Doubt) 4. The Girl with No Gaydar (from John Goodman/Ja Rule) 5. Christmas Kangaroo (from Hugh Jackman/Mick Jagger) 6. The Duets of Neil Diamond and Bigfoot (from The Rock/Andrew W.K.) 7. News Media (from Jon Stewart/India.Arie) 8. Hardball with Chris Matthews (from The Rock/Andrew W.K.) 9. The Robert Goulet All-Holiday Special (from Hugh Jackman/Mick Jagger) 10. Jarret's Room (from Hugh Jackman/Mick Jagger)
TOP 10 WORST SKETCHES 1. The Farting Baby (from Reese Witherspoon/Alicia Keys) 2. Station WUUB edits King Kong (from Drew Barrymore/Macy Gray) 3. Subway Fred (from The Rock/Andrew W.K.) 4. Action Talk Show (from Drew Barrymore/Macy Gray) 5. Derek Jeter's Taco Hole (from Derek Jeter/Bubba Sparxxx/Shakira) 6. Astronaut Jones (from Cameron Diaz/Jimmy Eat World) 7. War Party (from Billy Bob Thornton/Creed) 8. The Luvahs (from Winona Ryder/Moby) 9. Ferey Muhtar Talk Show (from Ian McKellen/Kylie Minogue) 10. All the Mango sketches
TOP 10 MOST BIZARRE SKETCHES 1. Fiesta Politica (from Gwyneth Paltrow/Ryan Adams) 2. The Farting Baby (from Reese Witherspoon/Alicia Keys) 3. Action Talk Show (from Drew Barrymore/Macy Gray) 4. The Little Mermaid (from Reese Witherspoon/Alicia Keys) 5. Fenced-In Area (from Billy Bob Thornton/Creed) 6. The New Happy Birthday Song (from Billy Bob Thornton/Creed) 7. The Ferey Muhtar Talk Show (from Ian McKellen/Kylie Minogue) 8. Astronaut Jones (from Britney Spears) 9. Crash Papayas (from Cameron Diaz/Jimmy Eat World) 10. Jonny's Journey (from Jonny Moseley/Outkast)
TOP 3 BEST COLD OPENINGS 1. World Trade Center tribute (from Reese Witherspoon/Alicia Keys) 2. President Bush adresses the nation (from Seann William Scott/Sum 41) 3. Blake Murder Mystery (from Alec Baldwin/P.O.D.)
TOP 3 WORST COLD OPENINGS 1. A Message from Tom Ridge (from Ian McKellen/Kylie Minogue) 2. CBS Evening News (from Ellen DeGeneres/No Doubt) 3. Donald Rumsfeld Press Conference (from Billy Bob Thornton/Creed)
TOP 3 BEST COMMERCIALS 1. LooseBear (from Hugh Jackman/Mick Jagger) 2. Herbal Essences (from John Goodman/Ja Rule) 3. Classic Kotex Pads (from Ian McKellen/Kylie Minogue)
TOP 3 WORST COMMERCIALS 1. Friends promo (from Jack Black/The Strokes) 2. Flenderson's Bows (from Jack Black/The Strokes) 3. Camp X-Ray (from Britney Spears)
TOP 3 BEST TV FUNHOUSE CARTOONS 1. Michael Jackson and Pals (from Gwyneth Paltrow/Ryan Adams) 2. The Narrator that Ruined Christmas (from Ellen DeGeneres/No Doubt) 3. Bambi 2002 (from Kirsten Dunst/Eminem)
TOP 3 WORST TV FUNHOUSE CARTOONS 1. Fun with Real Audio: Colin Powell (from Jon Stewart/India.Arie) 2. Fun with Real Audio: Oscar Highlights (from Ian McKellen/Kylie Minogue) 3. Fun with Real Audio: NBC Fall Retooling Preview (from Drew Barrymore/Macy Gray)
TOP 3 BEST WEEKEND UPDATES 1. Ellen DeGeneres/No Doubt (Tracy Morgan, Guiliani) 2. Drew Barrymore/Macy Gray (Colin Quinn, Gay Hitler, Neil Diamond) 3. Cameron Diaz/Jimmy Eat World (Halle Berry, Denzel Washington, Julia Roberts, Geraldo Rivera, Jasper Hahn and friend)
TOP 3 WORST WEEKEND UPDATES 1. Billy Bob Thornton/Creed (Harry Potter) 2. The Rock/Andrew W.K. (Gene Shalit) 3. Josh Hartnett/Pink (Maya Angelou, Henley & Stiles)
TOP 3 FUNNIEST BLOOPERS OF THE SEASON 1. The entire cast in the Dale McGrew sketch from the Seann William Scott episode can't keep a straight face 2. Darrell Hammond's moustache peels off during the Ferey Muhtar Talk Show sketch from the Ian McKellen episode 3. Jimmy Fallon ad-libs some comments about his bad haircut during the Reese Witherspoon Update.
RACHEL DRATCH: Rachel hasn't really gotten much airtime this season. I think she's pretty funny and when given the time to shine, she shows a lot of her talent. She will most likely be on next season, but she needs to be exposed more. BEST PERFORMANCE: The Girl with No Gaydar (both skits)
JIMMY FALLON: Not one of his better seasons. He was in a real slump earlier in the season when he would hardly appear in anything else other than Update, and he never did impressions anymore. After several shows into the season, he got back into the groove a little bit, but still hasn't showcased many impressions to us this season unlike previous seasons, and his frequent character breaking in sketches can get really irritating. He's a dealock to return next season, and I would like for him to stay on Update (he's really improved this year on Update) and do more impressions. BEST PERFORMANCE: Mick & Mick (from Hugh Jackman/Mick Jagger)
WILL FERRELL: What can I say? The guy is always great. Even in his 7th season, he was still as fresh and funny as he was when he started out. Even though he has missed a few shows and his screentime was limited in the shows from January to March due to his movie schedule, he has still contributed to the show excellently. He is a very unique performer, and there will be never be anybody else like him. He will be extremely missed now that he's gone. BEST PERFORMANCE: Dale McGrew's Patriotic Thong (from Seann William Scott/Sum 41)
TINA FEY: She always performs excellently on Update. She has great timing on her jokes, funny subtle facial expressions after some certain jokes she tells, and has great charisma. She is a big factor in the success of Update. She has also had a few parts in some sketches, though none of them were really major, but it seems she's being groomed to become a regular sketch performer in the future, which I am looking forward to. BEST PERFORMANCE: Weekend Update, from Ellen DeGeneres/No Doubt
ANA GASTEYER: Earlier in the season, Ana hasn't really gotten much screen time which was a shame since she's always a great performer, and when it was revealed that she has gotten pregnant, I thought that meant we'd be seeing her in even less sketches. But contrary to what I predicted, since her pregnancy, she has gotten a lot more airtime and sketches and proved that pregnancy can't hold her back from being her funny self. She's having her baby over the summer, and she has said that she plans on returning next season, and I'm looking forward to another season with her. She is one of the reasons the current female cast is very strong. BEST PERFORMANCE: Martha Stewart Living (from Billy Bob Thornton/Creed)
DARRELL HAMMOND: Not one of his better seasons. After Clinton, there hasn't been all that much left for him to do. And his personal problems began to affect his work. He doesn't look enthusiastic anymore, sometimes pulled a Norm MacDonald by skipping the goodnights, and he even missed an entire show, back in March. He never looks happy anymore, yet he says he want to return next season, but I honestly would like it better if he left. He's had his stay, brought us many great impressions, but now seems like that time to leave. Plus, it will feel a little weird with him being there now that Will Ferrell's gone. If you're going to stay on SNL, at least look like you actually want to be there. BEST PERFORMANCE: A Message from Dick Cheney (from Drew Barrymore/Macy Gray)
CHRIS KATTAN: I've been very open on my dislike of Chris Kattan's performance this season. He had no reason to be on this season. He's just unnecessarily brought back his Mango character way too many times, and it's run out of laughs and ideas. And nearly every other thing he's done this season was just a variation of something that he did in earlier seasons. His originality is running dry. The only decent work he's done this year was his half of the White Trash Couple sketches he's done with Amy Poehler. And that's not enough to make me want him to stay on for another season. If he stays on next season, I'll bite off my toes. BEST PERFORMANCE: America Undercover White Trash couple sketches (all of them)
TRACY MORGAN: True, he really has no range, but he's a likeable and very funny guy when he plays himself. He has a nice, laid-back attitude, and doesn't mess up to much. This season, he has finally gotten himself a popular character, with Brian Fellow, which could mean a good reason for him to stay on next season. BEST PERFORMANCE: All of his Weekend Update commentaries
CHRIS PARNELL: His return to SNL mid-season was a very unexpected and pleasant surprise. He's one of my favorite cast members. Since his return, he's been given a lot of screentime and more bigger roles, and now that Will is gone, I think Parnell will be the perfect candidate to take over as the star of the show. He's a very professional performer, can play any role, and is very funny, plus he can use the attention. BEST PERFORMANCE: Uncle Mike and Uncle Danny (from Winona Ryder/Moby)
AMY POEHLER: The best newcomer of the year, and Lorne was right on the money for hiring her. She has already been on a sketch comedy show in the past, which is why she fit in on SNL so well, and she's also been promoted from featured player to regular player only after a few shows. That hardly ever happens, Eddie Murphy and Mike Myers have also had the honor of being promoted mid-season. Amy has done very well on SNL so far. She has a great unique and wacky style, and can play any role. She's consistently gotten lots of airtime, and I think she'll go on to be a big star in the future. BEST PERFORMANCE: Date with a Porn Star (from Seann William Scott/Sum 41)
MAYA RUDOLPH: She has done very well this year, and has gotten more screentime. She's a funny and very versatile performer and she'll probably get even better in the future. I hope to see her again next season. BEST PERFORMANCE: Versace (all of them)
HORATIO SANZ: He's a hard guy to review. I always have mixed feeling on him. Sometimes, I find him really funny and he can really enhance a sketch, other times he overacts too much and annoys me. This hasn't been a great season for him because other than the Seann William Scott episode, he's didn't have much airtime per show. If he didn't return next season, I wouldn't really care, but it probably won't happen since most of his recurring characters are with Jimmy Fallon, who himself is more than likely to return next season. BEST PERFORMANCE: Ozzy (from Alec Baldwin/P.O.D.)
DEAN EDWARDS: After his first episode where he was given a lot of screentime and exposure, I thought he would go on to be the most popular of the newcomers. Boy, was I ever wrong. After his first episode, he's been completely underused for the rest of the season, given usually 1 sketch per show and as a small role. Some people compare him to Jerry Minor from last season, but at least Jerry got the time to shine, in January and February of last year. Dean hasn't really had any period of the season where he was used a lot. He most likely will be dropped from the cast now, and it really wouldn't bother me. He seemed like a funny guy, but I haven't seen enough of him to convice me to want him to stay. BEST PERFORMANCE: Weekend Update, from Cameron Diaz/Jimmy Eat World
SETH MEYERS: In his first few shows, he did basically nothing and was always unrecognizable in sketches. But the John Goodman episode has made him more recognized and since then, he's been really funny and brought us a lot of good performances. Seth was a great newcomer this season, and I'm sure they'll keep him next season, and hopefully Lorne will let the "two seasons as a featured player" rule slide by for him and let him join the regular cast. BEST PERFORMANCE: Amateur Sleuths (from John Goodman/Ja Rule)
JEFF RICHARDS: I've seen some of his work and stand-up routines outside from SNL, and he's hilarious. But on SNL, he hasn't been given much to do this season. Earlier in the season, he was used even less than Dean and was basically an extra with all the non-speaking roles he was always stuck with. But in March, Jeff got the time to really shine. In the shows in March, he was given more roles and a lot more opportunities to showcase his great impersonation talent. But then after that, his screentime unforunately mellowed out again and since then, he's really only been used to play Drunk Girl and that's it. It's good that he has a pretty popular recurring character, but he can do a lot more than just Drunk Girl and I don't think that character is enough to guarantee his stay on the cast next year. If he gets dropped which will probably happen, then that will be too bad since he had a lot of potential not only to be a good cast member in general, but also to be one of SNL's greatest impressionists. BEST PERFORMANCE: The O'Reilly Factor (from Jonny Moseley/Outkast)
And that's from me for this season. It's been great and a lot of fun reviewing for the whole season, and I'd like to thank you for reading my reviews and thank you to Sean Bradley for posting them on his site. I hope to return for another season, and I like sharing my opinions with the other reviewers out there. Speaking of which, it has been announced that senior reviewers Mark Polishuk and Jordan Davidson will be dropping out from reviewing full-time next season and only reviewing shows every once in a while. Much like Will Ferrell leaving the cast, Mark and Jordan departure from reviewing regularly will leave a big hole in the SNL reviews. Those two have really layed down the path for SNL reviews today, and are the first two to really make a big deal and effort out of SNL reviews. Without them, SNL reviews today would look like they did back in 97-98 and 98-99. Mark and Jordan will be missed, but it is good that they'll at least review shows every once in a while. Mark said that he wants to stop reviewing regularly because he feels that he's repeating himself in his recent reviews and isn't as funny as he used to be, but I disagree. I think his reviews are now better than they were in previous seasons, and many times, they're even funnier than the SNL sketches themselves.
Have a good summer, and I hope to be here next season. For one last time, I'm outta heah...