Kevin Kline/Willie Nelson episode (aired on May 22nd, 1993)
This was the season finale to the 1992-93 season, my favorite season of all time. I first saw this episode last year on May 20th when it came on the Classic SNL (ironically, that was the same date the 1999-2000 finale aired), and man was this a great episode.
The show opened with a Clinton sketch with two former cast member cameos. One by Jan Hooks as Hilary Clinton (although this wasn’t that big of a deal since she made frequent cameos on the show around this time) and another by Dan Ackroyd as Bob Dole. This opening was great. But I really don’t think much of Ackroyd’s impression of Bob Dole. He didn’t look anything like Dole, although he did kinda sound like him.
The monologue had Kevin Nealon impersonating the host while the real host sits back and relaxes. But Audience McGee (Adam Sandler) isn’t fooled by Nealon’s disguise. At first, I was wondering why he heck Kevin Kline looked a lot like Kevin Nealon. Anyway, this was a nice monologue, and Sandler’s Audience McGee character was hilarious. The ending was funny, too. But why was Chris Rock, of all people, dressed as Willie Nelson? Well, I guess that was the point.
The “Jean Carlo Gambrelli’s Flatulence” sketch is one of my favorite sketches. It was kinds immature, yes I admit, but it was hilarious.
Weekend Update with Kevin Nealon – the usual great stuff. Farley’s Bennet Brauer character was funny, but he looked a lot like his Matt Foley character which debuted a week before this episode. David Spade’s Hollywood Minute bit was hilarious as usual.
The “You Like-a The Juice” guys return here and should’ve never been recurring in the first place. Even the first time they were used in the Jason Alexander episode, it was repetitive. But this was repetitive in a kinda funny way, though, and at least they admitted how stupid the sketch was, which made it funnier. I also liked the part where they travel to Greece to get some of the holy “juice”. Nice to see Robert Smigel, too. Ever notice that whenever Smigel would appear on screen, he was usually always playing somebody with a funny accent?
The Criminal Encounter sketch/film was funny, but strange. I didn’t even know what the heck it was at first. Plus, you couldn’t even hear the audience until the end.
The “Schmee” sketch was undoubtedly the weakest sketch of the night, but it wasn’t that bad, it just pales in comparison to the earlier sketches. It was kinda funny in a really silly way. It also is significant in that it was Chris Rock’s last sketch.
The Audience McGee thing at the end went on a little too long, but it was still pretty funny. Who was that playing McGee’s friend, though? I guess it was one of the writers for the show.
This episode was great. The season that followed this, 1993-1994, wasn’t quite as good as the earlier 90’s seasons, but it was still a good season.
Now, onward to the Christopher Walken/Weezer Review:
Overview: Sigh, the season finale. I can’t believe we’ve arrived here so fast. I felt like this season just started. Anyway, the host tonight is Christopher Walken, my favorite host ever. He hosted my favorite episode from 1992-93, and he’s always a hilarious host. But don’t you think he’s kinda hosting again too soon? He usually hosts every 3 or 4 years, and the last time he hosted was last year. Aw, who cares? Walken’s a great guy, and I expect a good season closer tonight. My only doubt is that I have a fear that they’re going to do a sequel to that hilarious Cowbell/Blue Oyster Cult sketch with Christopher Walken from last season. I really don’t like it when they do sequels to hilarious sketches, since the sequel shamefully tries to live up to the original version, but it just can’t and just rips off the original anyway (i.e. The Idiot Doctor, Schwetty Balls, etc.). Anyway, aside from that, my hopes are high from this show.
Other Predictions: They’ll bring back the classic Census skit that Walken did with Tim Meadows last year. Even though, like I said before, I’m against bringing some classic sketches back, his Mr. Leonard character from that sketch was hilarious, and it wouldn’t be too bad if they brought that character back. I can see him being recurring and putting him in different situations in each sketch whenever Walken hosts. Another prediction is that they’ll do a Continental sketch – well, duh! C’mon, this is a tie-in. And finally, for his monologue, it’s obvious he’ll sing and dance, but more specifically, I predict he will do a parody of that hilarious “Fatboy Slim” video he was in, by dancing around the SNL studio in the same way he did in the video. That would be funny.
Additional Note: Please, please, PLEASE do a Celebrity Jeopardy sketch tonight!
[COLD OPENING] Mayor Rudolph Guiliani
“Go Yankees!” -- Mayor Guiliani (Darrell Hammond)
The show opens with an address from Mayor Guiliani (Darrell Hammond). Ah, the typical Darrell Hammond impression showcase sketch (maybe his last one, too, since he might not return next season). This was pretty good, and it was nice to see his Guiliani impression again. Kinda weird that they did this in tonight’s Christopher Walken episode, since when Christopher Walken hosted in 1995-96, the cold opening featured a cameo from the REAL Rudolph Guiliani. Rachel Dratch reminded me a little of Cheri Oteri in this sketch for some reason. But like last week, Darrell Hammond hardly look enthused when saying the opening line. In fact, he even walked off camera before it cut to the opening montage.
[MONOLOGUE] Christopher Walken
“Hey, Jimmy, WAZUUP?” -- Christopher Walken to Jimmy Fallon
This was a hilarious monologue. Christopher Walken keeps messing up the song “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off”, even when Jimmy Fallon keeps trying to tell him the right way to sing it. Christopher Walken was his usual hilarious self here. He just amazes me. Even Jimmy Fallon was cracking up all throughout this, but then again, he laughs in every sketch he’s in. I was really hoping for a Fatboy Slim video spoof for Walken’s monologue, but this was just great enough.
Yaay! No repeated commercial!
“I am going to see Shrek with TV’s Jimmy Fallon” -- Mango (Chris Kattan) to Leon the Janitor (Christopher Walken)
Another Mango sketch (and quite possibly the last one, if Kattan doesn’t return next season). In this one, Leon the Janitor (Christopher Walken) is in love with Mango, but Mango would rather be with Jimmy Fallon. I usually don’t like Mango sketches all that much since they’ve really run this character to the ground last season, but as long as they’re keeping the Mango sketches to a minimum this season, that’s fine. Kattan’s Mango character seemed a little more animated and silly in this outing. This was pretty good, and of course, a great job by Walken, too (I thought it would’ve been funny to see him attempt to do an impersonation of Mango, but oh well…). Jimmy Fallon playing himself in this sketch was funny (note that this is the second sketch in a row where he’s played himself tonight), and Walken’s dream sequence was hilarious. The surprise party thing at the end was kinda weird. Maybe this was a sign that this is the last Mango sketch.
Why was Will Ferrell amongst the crowd of Mango admirers, yet didn’t have anything to say? Also, when they were rolling the fake credits at the end of the sketch, did anybody notice Bruce Villanch’s name under “Additional Material by”?
[SKETCH] Hardball with Chris Matthews
“Go home and tell Santa you want to be a dentist, you freakin’ elf!” -- Chris Matthews (Darrell Hammond) to Paul Begala (Chris Kattan).
Another edition of “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” this time on the energy crisis, with guests Bob Barr (Chris Parnell), Paul Begala (Chris Kattan), and Christie Whitman (Ana Gasteyer). This was okay, but they seem to be doing this sketch too often now. They just did another Hardball sketch 3 episodes ago, and now it’s getting kinda old. Of course, the funniest parts were Matthew’s insults at Paul Begala, but that seems to be dominating the Hardball sketches now and becoming the main output, which actually kinda ruins the point. Chris Parnell was okay again as Bob Barr (I wonder how he gets his lips to look like that whenever he plays Barr), and Ana was pretty funny as Christie Whitman, but she should’ve had more screen time.
[SKETCH] The Continental
“Check out my collection of erotic hobbled figures - I got them on E-Bay” -- The Continental (Christopher Walken) to his date.
Ah, the Continental! Sure, every Continental sketch is the pretty much same, but it’s always funny, mostly due to Walken’s delivery. Only he could really make this funny. I was cracking up at the exaggerated “dazed-out” face Walken made after getting punched out. I wonder why they continue to play Phil Hartman’s voice-over in the intro of the Continental. When they brought back the Deep Thoughts in the 97-98 season, they replaced Phil Hartman’s voice with a new voice over intro. Why can’t they do that here?
[WEEKEND UPDATE] with Tina Fey and…that other guy!
“At a South Dakota school this week, a police officer roamed the school with an unloaded gun to test the response. The school past with flying colors when concerned students spotted the gun and shot him” – Tina Fey.
Pretty good jokes as usual tonight. Chris Kattan’s “Terrible Re-enactment” bits are almost on the verge of getting tiring, but they’re still funny as long as they’re not done TOO frequently. Kevin Nealon’s surprise cameo was great! It was great seeing Kevin Nealon again since he was my favorite Update anchor, and I loved seeing him do “Mr. Subliminal” again. But Molly Shannon doing porno movies? NO! The “cliffhanger” bit with Winona Ryder (another cameo) was silly but funny, and it was a good spoof of all those damn “cliffhangers” that the season finale of all these sitcoms this year have to end with (was Winona Ryder supposed to crack up at the end?). The only bad part was Jimmy’s Old-Timey Joke Corner bit – it was pretty much a train-wreck. Not even the audience really laughed much. But other than that, this was a great Update. I guess Jimmy throwing the pencil off-camera at the end of every Update is now his trademark (coughcoughdavidlettermancoughcough)
Additional Note: There were some glitches during the commercials, and the camera cut in late to Christopher Walken introducing the musical guests.
[SKETCH] The Luv-ahs
“Finally, she was willing to accept her lover’s body in places no one has ever trespassed – specifically, the Eerie Canal” -- Walter (Christopher Walken) on his sex encounter with his wife (Ana Gasteyer).
The Hippie Lovers (Will Ferrell and Rachel Dratch) return. Ehh, I didn’t like this sketch at all the first time they did it, but it was slightly better this time around (not much), mostly due (yet again) to Christopher Walken. They didn’t have to reuse the same ending as last time, with Will complaining about his back problems. Overall, a pretty weak sketch. I was afraid they’d bring these characters back.
[TV FUNHOUSE] The Anatominals
“This is what the show’s come to? It’s not ****ing worth it!” -- Lorne Michaels’ thoughts on what SNL has turned into now.
NBC Productions presents “The Anatominals,” a cartoon series featuring animals with real life genitals. A self-admittedly disastrous cartoon, but after watching this the second time, that’s what made it funny. The twist with Lorne Michaels making a deal with the devil was pretty funny (and probably had some truth to it, too) and picked this up, but who was that guy doing the voice for Lorne Michaels? He didn’t sound anything like him. Why didn’t Lorne just voice for his own part?
[SKETCH] Interview with a Centaur
“So, is there a company that manufactures Centaur ass-wipe?” -- Boss (Christopher Walken) to Centaur applicant (Chris Parnell).
Hospital Boss (Christopher Walken), interviews his Centaur applicant (Chris Parnell), and asks him several questions on what it’s like to live as a centaur. This was a pretty slow sketch, and there was really no point to it. Walken and Parnell’s performances kinda salvaged this a little, though. But what was with the ending? It seemed kinda abrupt and had no punchline.
[SKETCH] What’s Up His Butt?
During a business meeting at a bathmats company, (Will Ferrell) suddenly snaps at all the other employees. They all wonder what’s crawled up his butt, so they take him to the doctor (Christopher Walken) to find out. Turns out that there’s a badger crawled up in his butt. At first I thought this was going to be some sort of “The Sarcastic Family” take-off, when Will was clapping slowly like that. Anyway, this reminded me of that Taint sketch from the Conan O’Brien episode. This was another strange sketch with a silly premise. But they just ended it out of nowhere! They made it seem as if they were going to show a scene after they all said “Okay, let’s go” when the doctor told them how to get the badger out of the Ferrell’s butt, but it just ended right there. Like the previous sketch, the ending was really abrupt. I think they just did this sketch to take advantage of Will Ferrell again, but this is hardly one of his best moments.
Hmm, why was Will Ferrell playing maracas with the musical guests? And strangely, he was wearing the same outfit he wore in the Mango sketch, with the glasses and all.
[MISCELLANEOUS] Memorial Day is Here
Jimmy Fallon, Horatio Sanz, Chris Kattan, and Tracy Morgan perform the “Christmas Time is Here” song once again, this time in the form of “Memorial Day is Here”. I’m surprised we’re seeing this yet again. They already re-did the Christmas song before, for no real reason. The rhymes really seemed tacked on here this time, and the lyrics didn’t fit. Oh, well, they all looked like they were having fun anyway (especially Kattan), for the last sketch of the season (ironically, the last sketch of last season also had the cast members singing together – remember the “Diggin’ a Hole” sketch?). Even Tracy, for his only sketch tonight.
GOODBYES: Yep. This is now officially the first season with all its goodbyes cut off on the live versions. Wow. I really wish NBC would’ve let them roll the full credits, just for tonight’s sake since it’s the finale and all.
Conclusion: An okay episode, but kinda a little disappointing for a season closer. Christopher Walken did his usual great job, though. He was his usual hilarious, cue-card reading self. A decent episode, but this really felt kinda empty for a season finale.
Additional Note: In the dress rehearsal pre-show commercial, they showed a clip from a sketch that didn’t make it on air; the clip was in black and white and had Christopher Walken and Rachel Dratch (dressed in a ‘Shirley Temple’-type outfit) dancing around in circles.
And just about all my predictions were blown to the wind tonight. No Cowbell sequel. No Mr. Leonard sequel. No Fatboy Slim spoof. Not even a Celebrity Jeopardy, which was really disappointing.
BEST SKETCH OF THE NIGHT: The Continental WORST SKETCH OF THE NIGHT: Interview with a Centaur, What’s Up His Butt? BLOOPERS OF THE NIGHT: Eh, none really
Cast Member Count Down: JIMMY FALLON: 4 sketches (Monologue, Mango, Weekend Update, Memorial Day song) WILL FERRELL: 3 sketches (Mango, Luvahs, What’s Up His Butt?) ANA GASTEYER: 5 sketches (Mayor Guiliani Address, Monologue, Hardball, Luvahs, What’s Up His Butt?) DARRELL HAMMOND: 2 sketches (Mayor Guiliani Address, Hardball) CHRIS KATTAN: 5 sketches (Mango, Hardball, Weekend Update, Centaur Interview, Memorial Day song) TRACY MORGAN: 1 sketch (Memorial Day song) CHRIS PARNELL: 3 sketches (Hardball, Centaur Interview, What’s Up His Butt?) HORATIO SANZ: 2 sketches (Mango, Memorial Day song) RACHEL DRATCH: 4 sketches (Mayor Guiliani Address, Monologue, Luvahs, What’s Up His Butt?) TINA FEY: 2 sketches (Monologue, Weekend Update) JERRY MINOR: 1 sketch (What’s Up His Butt?) MAYA RUDOLPH: 1 sketch (Monologue)
The star of the night was pretty much Chris Kattan, which is surprising since he’s hardly used this season. I guess this pretty much means this might be his last show. But sadly, a lot of the cast members (who also might be leaving after this season) didn’t get used tonight, like Darrell Hammond, Horatio Sanz, Tracy Morgan, Chris Parnell, Maya Rudolph, Jerry Minor, and even Will Ferrell. With all these cast members underused, this reminded me of the season premiere with Rob Lowe where most of the cast members hardly got any screen time (even Rob Lowe wasn’t used much).
Now, that the season is over, time for the traditional final year-in review for this season (and my first one, overall):
YEAR-IN REVIEW FOR 2000-2001:
TOP 5 FAVORITE EPISODES: 1. Dana Carvey episode (10.21.00) 2. Kate Hudson episode (10.14.00) 3. Sean Hayes episode (2.17.01) 4. Val Kilmer episode (12.09.00) 5. Pierce Brosnan episode (5.5.01)
TOP 5 LEAST FAVORITE EPISODES: 1. Tom Green episode (11.18.00) 2. Julia Stiles episode (3.17.01) 3. Renee Zelwegger episode (4.14.01) 4. Charlie Sheen episode (1.13.01) 5. Lucy Liu episode (12.16.00)
TOP 3 FAVORITE HOSTS: 1. Dana Carvey (10.21.00) 2. Sean Hayes (2.17.01) 3. (tie) Alec Baldwin (4.7.01), Conan O’Brien (3.10.01), and Christopher Walken (5.19.01)
TOP 3 LEAST FAVORITE HOSTS: 1. Tom Green (11.18.00) 2. Renee Zelwegger (4.14.01) 3. Jennifer Lopez (2.10.01)
TOP 10 FAVORITE SKETCHES: 1. Celebrity Jeopardy (from 12.16.00) 2. Angry Boss Yells at Employees (from 05.05.01) 3. Talkin’ ‘Bout ‘Ginas (from 2.17.01) 4. Behind the Music with Rock & Roll Heaven (from 12.09.00) 5. (tie) Chris Kattan – Olympic Profile (from 10.07.00) and The Weakest Link (from 5.5.01) 6. Inside the Actors Studio (from 10.14.00) 7. Church Chat (from 10.21.00) 8. Golden Girls Obsession (from 5.12.01) 9. Palm Beach (from 12.09.00) 10. Napster Testimony (from 3.10.01)
TOP 10 LEAST FAVORITE SKETCHES: 1. Lorne and Tom in a Tub (from 11.18.00) 2. Charlie and Fleisy (from 1.13.01) 3. Airport Blind Date (from 10.7.00) 4. Oprah (from 11.18.00) 5. Rock Around the Clock (from 11.18.00) 6. Pretty Living (from 12.16.00) 7. Dog Show (from 11.18.00) 8. The Wedding Story (from 4.14.01) 9. Woodrow – The Sewer Bum (from 10.14.00) 10. Apollo Amateur Night (from 3.17.01)
TOP 3 LEAST FAVORITE COMMERCIALS 1. Priceline.com (from 12.16.00) 2. Magic Mouth (from 10.21.00) 3. Gatorate Love Bucket (from 1.20.01)
TOP 3 FAVORITE WEEKEND UPDATE SEGMENTS 1. Eminem/Elton John Re-Enactment (from 2.24.01) 2. The Kid From Billy Elliot’s Commentary (from 2.17.01) 3. Mr. Subliminal Commentary (from 5.19.01)
TOP 3 LEAST FAVORITE WEEKEND UPDATE SEGMENTS 1. Adam McKay Pre-Recorded Commentary (from 10.21.00) 2. James Madison Commentary (from 12.16.00) 3. Tracy Morgan Darryl Strawberry commentary (from 4.7.01)
TOP 3 FAVORITE TV FUNHOUSE CARTOONS 1. Ray of Light (from 2.10.01) 2. The X-Presidents (from 1.20.01) 3. Backstreet Boys (from 2.14.01)
TOP 3 LEAST FAVORITE TV FUNHOUSE CARTOONS 1. Sex and the Country (from 11.18.00) 2. Find the Black People at the Knick Game (from 3.10.01) 3. Survivor Real-Audio (from 4.14.01)
TOP 10 FAVORITE BLOOPERS 1. Horatio’s moustache peeling off in the “Rap Street” sketch (from 1.20.01) 2. The Pig going bezerk in the Dog Show sketch (from 11.18.00) 3. Jay-Z “accidentally” dropping the s-bomb in the Goulet sketch (from 12.16.00) 4. Chris Parnell accidentally spilling the drinks in the Margaret Healy sketch (from 12.9.00) 5. Weekend Update graphics screw-up (from 3.17.01) 6. Ana Gasteyer’s character break in the Delicious Dish sketch (from 4.7.01) 7. Kattan’s wig falling off in the Mr. Peepers sketch (from 11.4.00) 8. Sean Hayes and Jimmy Fallon cracking up at Will Ferrell’s walk on in the Jeffrey’s sketch (from 2.17.01) 9. Jimmy Fallon cracking up in most of the sketches. I guess he’s inherited the “Character Break Syndrome” from Molly Shannon. 10. I can’t really think of anything else, so I’ll just take up space.
THE SEASON OVERALL: This season overall was kinda poor. With the exception of a few pretty good shows (Dana Carvey, Sean Hayes, Kate Hudson, Pierce Brosnan), a majority of the shows were weak, and there were some that was just rock-bottom awful (Tom Green, Julia Stiles, Renee Zellweger…). There was no real excellent show.
This season has also used their hosting choices poorly. About 70% of the hosts seemed targeted to the younger audience viewers. We’ve had a lot of female hosts this season which is a nice change of pace, but hardly any of them gave memorable performances, with Calista Flockhart being the real stand-out. The only real good hosting performances came mostly from traditional hosts like Walken, Carvey, Baldwin, etc., but not even they did their best here. Plus, where was John Goodman?
The fake commercials have been pretty good, but we’ve had a real shortage of commercials this season – there only must’ve had about a grand total of 6 or 7 overall. They started repeating their commercials 6 episodes into the season!
Weekend Update has been pretty good all season, but the chemistry between the two anchors seems inconsistent. While Tina Fey is a great Update anchor, Jimmy Fallon is all wrong for Update. He can’t really tell a joke, he messes up his lines too much, and doesn’t have that anchorman look or feel. I suggest removing Fallon from Update next season and giving the job solely to Tina Fey if she can handle it. She has potential to be a great Update anchor by himself.
And finally, the writing and sketches has been a little inconsistent, too. It could be good at times, but it could REALLY bad at times, too. For example, the election stuff was great and never got old, but this season suffered a lot from relying too much on old recurring characters, and most of the newer recurring characters are just not that good. They’ve been able to get in quite some classic sketches this season, but a good majority of the other sketches were either bad or just unmemorable.
The casting has been sort of weak. With 13 cast members, there’s hardly any room for all of them to get adequate screen time, and it seems like while some cast members have gotten lots of attention, others have hardly had any. It seems as though most of the cast members are leaving after this season anyway.
Even though SNL fans have been contemplating this for the past few years, I think now is the time for SNL to have its cast change. New cast, new writers, new everything. The show is starting to weaken a little again, and it’ll probably only get worse next season if they don’t fix this. The writers are getting lazy and we need a fresh new cast with a lot of new people.
Here’s who I would suggest keeping for next season:
Rachel Dratch Jimmy Fallon ??? (still thinking about it) Tina Fey Chris Parnell Maya Rudolph
Now that this season is over, I’ll do the old corny schtick and wish you all a good summer, and see you next season. I’m outta heah…