Once Upon a Time in 30 Rock

It’s that time again! Time to take a look back at that special time in my life where I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, and still thought I knew better. It’s time for another “Retro Review”; but unlike some of the previous ones, this one looks a little more cohesive than before. You will also notice that this review is a little more “Conceptual” than the others, partly because I had just started going to Community College at the time this episode aired, and among the classes I was taking at the time was “Creative Writing”…something that CLEARLY didn’t take effect for a few more years because (as you will see), there’s a lot of material that I “lovingly borrowed” from others. Speaking of which, I want to get this one item out of the way before we begin; It was during the 2002-2003 season of the show that a person who reviewed it for a number of years recently retired from doing so at the original website where I wrote these. One of the wrinkles he’d add to his reviews is incorporating a quote from “The Simpsons” to whatever sketch was being looked at. So if you see a number of quotes from “The Simpsons”, and you’re wondering why, I asked him for permission to continue doing that, so I did—and now you know. This was also the year I actually started getting fan mail for my reviews (*SIGH* Those were the days), you will see those intact (senders names retracted), as well as my feeble attempt at a “Running Gag” throughout the show.

 

As usual, All grammatical errors will remain in place because sometimes I need to teach myself a lesson, Old Thoughts are in Black ink, New in Blue; This was also the season where I graded everything by Stars (1 = Bad, 5 = Great, and so forth). One additional note: Whenever I can, I have tried to avoid using pictures with a “Getty Images” watermark in the past few months I’ve been doing this. Unfortunately, looking for images to go with the sketches this week, I seem to have been out numbered by them. It’s a small price to pay for authenticity, but this week, I have no choice but to use a few with the watermark (hopefully this doesn’t happen again). With that said, let’s get to the point…

 

HAYAK_COVER2

Salma Hayak/Christina Aguilera (Original Airdate: 3/15/2003)

 

 

FROM THE OFFICES OF “THE DOC”

Top O’ the morning to ye! (Almost) This is going to sound like I’m making this up, but sitting next to me right now is this giant crate of Various Liquors that the “Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Fire Arms” have sent me in honor of St. Patrick’s Day/Purim. Along With a Card that says, And I quote:

“Love Your Reviews, keep it up!”

Sincerely—
Amos G. Chandler,
President, ATF

Well even though I am underage, how can I say no to free illegal booze? Cheers! (OPENS A BOTTLE OF BEER, CHUGS IT DOWN.) Ahhh, Now before we get into anything funny, I made a little mistake. That’s right folks, it’s another edition of…

SINGERS: The Doc’s Malpractice Cornerrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

This weeks mistake involves a certain “Cartoon” from last week, and my reccolection of the history of World War II. I said that the asian person–during the “Bugs Bunny” segment– was Chineese, when even I knew that he was in fact Japaneese. Just goes to show you the history major that I really am, eh? And that Concludes…

SINGERS: The Doc’s Malpractice Corrrrrrrrrrrr-Nerrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Now then back to business, this show is the last show before the “Oscars” in a week, (Actually, that depends on whether or not Bush wants to drop any bombs. It happened to the “Emmys” it can happen to Oscar.) meaning that certain movies will be gaining “Classic” status. (Provided they win first.) And yet, I wonder if good quality movies such as Chicago, Gangs of New York etc. will be like these in the next few years…That’s right my friends, I think it’s time once again to take a look into the future…

(CONAN O’BRIEN ENTERS IN HIS “YEAR 2000” COSTUME.)

CONAN: The Future, Doc?

DOC: That’s right, television’s Conan O’Brien. Let’s take a look into the movie business’ future, all the way to the “Year 2000!”

EDITOR’S NOTE: This segment has been removed because 99% of the jokes I made came from a “year 2000” compilation book I used to own. It wouldn’t be fair to “Take credit” for any of them. Moving on…

DOC: …OK, now let’s free a couple of minds, shall we?

SINGERS: “Free Your Miiiiiiiiiiiind, and the Rest will follow…”

Our first letter comes from a girl named Joy. (EMAIL RETRACTED) Joy writes in and says:

Dear Doc,

I love your reviews and wanted to ask you a question. I was wondering, do you think that SNL has gone to much toward the hosts that are only promoting movies and musical guests that are current. Granted that they have had, Christopher Walken and Paul Simon in the last few years. What do you think? If so who do you think should host?

Joy.

Dear Joy,

With a few exceptions (I.e. Anyone Political.) sadly, yes. If you’ve read that “Live From New York” book yet, around the end of it, it explains why Lorne feels that having a guest with nothing to plug would make it feel like the “Old” show. If no one cared if they had to plug something, I’d like to see Either one of the guys from “Mr. Show” (Bob Odenkirk and/or David Cross) or–to some extent– Dave Chapelle. Thanks for writing.

“Your friendly neighborhood Doc”
“The Doc”—

Give me something to work with here anytime, reach me at (EMAIL RETRACTED). But right now, here’s my dark horse pick for Best Actress at next week’s Oscars, Ms. Salma Hayak…

 

 

EDITORS NOTE: OK, Where to start?

*The Storyline about my getting “Drunk” through the episode was actually based on an “Episode” of a certain Trivia Game I used to play on a daily basis for Years—“You Don’t Know Jack: The Ride”. The gist of which is the sponsor of the episode gives the Host a crate of Booze, only for Hilarity to ensue. This was pretty much my interpretation of that story—and if you watch the actual game after reading this review, you can see where I drew at certain points of “inspiration.” (read: Totally ripping them off)

 

*Next, the Cartoon I was referring to that had the Japanese soldier in a Bugs Bunny cartoon was an episode of “The X Presidents” making a Propaganda cartoon with modern stars (Including Tom Kenney himself playing Spongebob), which at the time seemed slightly offensive. If/when I review that Smigeltoon at some point, I’ll have to give it another look just to make sure I wasn’t being a gigantic prude at the time.

 

*That “Year 2000” bit I cut out was actually something I did Several times during my episode reviews, but only because I was looking for something to pad them out with. Keep in mind, as you’ll see, I was still writing my reviews one or two sentences at a time; not fully fleshed out like I do today. So, I needed something to keep the audience riveted…even if it means paying loving homage to something I just started being a fan of at the time.

 

*Reading that Viewer letter & my response some 15 years later, I’m honestly amazed I was not only coherent enough to come up with such an answer, but also that I would (eventually) be right about Chappelle hosting…granted, everybody in the world predicted the same thing at the same time, but we got our wish…eventually. Otherwise, that first part is true too, people really host SNL to plug something these days, not “Just to be on the show” like back in the day. I’ve accepted that a long time ago, and it sort of feels like second nature to plug something on the show today (Like they’d turn you away if you didn’t)…Thanks, Corporate Synergy!

 

*OK, nothing too embarrassing so far…in fact, compared to all the other “Current” reviews I’ve been posting in the past few months, this might’ve been as close as I ever got to “getting it right” back then. Let’s see if that changes…

 

 

HAYAK_BUSH

Bush Press Confrence or “I now call this emergency town meeting to order”

Finally, A Bush Sketch is funny! (Or maybe the drunkeness has begun, who knows?) This is because of the Other people who are willing to participate. In no particular order, the best “Questions” came from Tracy, Tina, and Rachel. But IMHO, Rachel deserved that dart in the neck at the end. If they want to do better Bush Sketches, they need more people, and that’s the loose way of putting it. Meanwhile, I honestly couldn’t figure out if it was Seth Meyers as Tom Cruise, or if it was Ben Stiller as Tom Cruise…Yeah, I’m starting to get drunk.

Diagnosis: ***

 

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: First, couldn’t find a screengrab from the actual sketch. Second, At this point in the show’s history; Will Ferrell left, but somebody needed to play President Bush. As much as Chris Parnell tried, a number of factors hindered it overall—one being his natural baritone vs. just how whiny Dubya can be sometimes, the other being the fact that he doesn’t seem to play it as idiotically as Ferrell did; Parnell just seems to play it as a typical dumb guy—at least when Will Forte took over the role a few years later, he brought the whine back, but it lost the swagger (and the less said about Hammond’s version, the better). Thankfully in this case, Bush is surrounded by other people he can bounce off of–Not unlike “President Apricot Rot”, who fills his press conferences with reporters only He can agree with. To this day, I honestly can’t remember why I was so hard on Rachel Dratch back then—she wasn’t bad, maybe her voice was a little too shrill, but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t funny…then again, I was only 18 back then, what did I know? I’m pretty certain this was written by Jim Downey, who at the time was still SNL’s resident political writer, and press conferences/C-SPAN sketches were often his bailiwick; considering the decline in quality he would have in later years, this sketch was actually slightly above average. Of note: Amy doing a version of her old “Stacy Richter” character from when Conan did “Late Night”; the rare Tina Sketch sighting, and Horatio playing Harry Knowles.

 

 

HAYAK_MONOLOGUE

Monolouge or “Are you adequately prepared to rock?”

Now here’s a woman who doesn’t need any booze to look hot, it already comes naturaly. Since she’s not exactly the funny type, doing this whole 80s rock thing was perfectly understandable…To a point. Once again, I thought that kattan looked ridiculous. But the real kicker was having Edward Norton there, Hmmm… (TAKES OUT TRI-CORDER) Note to self, Call NBC and tel them to save the Cameos for Sweeps months.)

Diagnosis: ** 3/4
EDITOR’S NOTE: Black Don’t Crack. Asian Don’t Raisin. Mexican don’t……Wreck Again??? OK, I’ve got nothing; but seriously, just like Lucy Liu, Time has been incredibly friendly to Salma Hayak–She looks just as good now as she did 15 years ago…I have to remind myself that because……(*TAKES DEEP BREATHS*)……Unfortunately, this Monologue is Very……(*TAKES DEEPER BREATH*)……Kattan-Centric (*THUNDER AND LIGHTNING*). Yep, I was hoping to avoid talking about an actual sketch where he’s the main focus; but since he’s a contestant on “Dancing With The Stars” now, it seems as though fate has decided things for me, and I now feel obligated to throw him a bone…So, here we go……(*TAKES DEEPEST BREATH*)……Normally, I’d complain that NBC doesn’t have video of the sketch thanks to rampant use of an 80s pop star’s songs, but in this case, I’m glad there’s a transcript, because the last thing I wanted to hear again was Spazzmaster Flash’s attempt at covering Pat Benetar. Norton’s appearance did add a little, but not quite enough to wash the stain of Kattan out of our system (Though he would get better a mere 10 years later when he eventually hosted).

 

 

HAYAK_MORNING

Top O’ the Morning or “Yeah, all right, listen up. This is the busiest drinkin’ day of the year. Where are the designated drivers? (HANDS ARE RAISED) Beat it, I’ve got no room for cheapskates!”

Well it would be St. Patricks Day, (Almost) So this is more than fitting, and Cheers to good timing… (TAKES DOWN A SHOT OF JAMESON) Now then, This “TO’TM” is much better than the two previous ones for the following reasons. Number one, Horatio getting bit by a Snake. (Priceless) Number two, Salma Hayak in a somewhat tight T-Shirt, need I say more? Well yes, All the snake gags were allright…except for that one where the snake is drinking. A lot of technical people out there might have noticed that the snake wasn’t even touching some of the booze while it was drinking, so I thought I’d like to point that out.

Diagnosis: ***1/2
EDITOR’S NOTE: Ah yes, Seth Meyers: Sketch Actor. Not that he was 100% awful as a sketch performer, but if you look at him here, and then look at him doing one of his “Closer Looks” on Late Night, you can clearly see a marked difference in performance skills. Anyway, “Top O’ The Morning” tried VERY hard to be a recurring piece, but at the end of the day all these sketches were was a pale, Irish version of “Wayne’s World” minus any Partying On. What make things more painful was that the sketch aired a lot during this season, but then ran only Once the following year—talk about a “0 to 60” decline. As for this episode, this was probably one of their more “technically involved” sketches with all the fake snakes—but as we all know, the more ambitious the special effect, the more likely it is to fail. On the plus side, this was also the year Horatio Sanz was starting to get on m. On the plus side, this was also the year Horatio Sanz was starting to get on my nerves with his constant corpsing along with Fallon, so seeing him get bit by one of the snakes was pure Schadenfreude, even though I’m certain he’s a much better person these days…also now that I’m watching it again, it wasn’t her T-Shirt that was tight—it was her jeans…and also my jeans all of a sudden. In the interest of fairness, I probably gave this one half a star more than it deserved because of hormones being in overdrive (Reminder: 18 years old when I wrote this).

 

REVISED SCORE: ***

 

 

HAYAK_HOT

TV Funhouse or “Aarrrrrrrgh, I’m not attractive.”

Wow, this early in the show? They must be drunk! But I digress, this was much (much) better than last week’s ‘toon, mainly because the only people being offended are cartoon characters. Which brings me to my hatred towards the show “Are you Hot”. Now don’t get me wrong, seeing hottie after hottie (Female that is) Is a delight, but Lorenzo Lamas is an asshole, plain and simple! Getting back to this, all the figures in this ‘toon make me want to dring until they’re hot…Which reminds me… (CHUGS DOWN A BOTTLE OF ABSOLUT MANDARIN.) Ooh, that’s good, where was I? Oh yeah, Lorenzo Lamas is an asshole!

Diagnosis: ***

 

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Year was 2003, and the World belonged to Reality Television. And somewhere in between all the “Survivors” and “Idols” that were offered to us that were palatable, an actual show was created where people of certain shapes & sizes were being judged solely on how they looked and nothing else (Yes, beauty pageants do it all the time, but at least they have Q&A’s and a Talent segment to help maintain their dignity……sometimes.). “Are You Hot” may very well have been birthed by the worst of humanity, it was That Vapid. A vapidness magnified a million fold when former famous person/TV’s “Renegade” Lorenzo Lamas (who voices as himself in this cartoon) tried to be the Simon Cowell of the show by totally breaking down the self-esteem of whoever was being judged with his trusty laser pointer. To this day, I’m not sure if the producers of the program encouraged Lamas to be an Asshole, or if that’s pretty much how he is in real life (which, if he isn’t, I apologize to Mr. Lamas for and encourage him not to sue me for defamation of character)—either way, the show was (Happily) canceled not too long after this Smigeltoon aired, and Lamas’ career never fully recovered…Karma: It’s a Bitch. As for the cartoon itself, at least Smigel knew an easy target when he saw it, so a lot of the jokes were low hanging fruit (as were the contents of some of the “Contestants” swimsuits). This wasn’t high caliber like the majority of Smigel’s work, but it did have its moments—Optimus Prime in a Bikini, the notion that Strawberry Shortcake could be considered “Erotic”, and the Barney Rubble punchline (Which, interestingly enough, was re-written to open the show in 2005’s “Best of TV Funhouse” show).
 

HAYAK_VERSACE

Versace or “Hey Kids, I found a whole bunch of clothes in the attic…(HOMER ENTERS WITH A BRIDE’S DRESS.)”

Hey Versace, give me some of what you’re having! Oh wait, I got some of my own… (POPS OPEN A CORK) Whoa, what a mess. I guess the writers haven’t gotten the hint yet, despite Christina looking here cleanest in months, it was still a little weak. Until Dean’s (See, I remembered, it’s Dean) “Jacko” appeared. That’s what saved it.

Diagnosis: **
EDITORS NOTE: (*SIGH*) C’mon, Maya! You know I want to like you, but doing characters like Donatella Versace make it increasingly hard to do (Seriously, a “Good” Versace sketch makes me yearn for a Bad “Bronx Beat” sketch sometimes). About Aguilera being “Clean Looking”, you have to remember that this was her during her “Xtina/Dirrrty” phase, and a lot of people started to write her off as Pop’s Problem Child while Britney Spears continued to thrive (4 years later, the tables turned dramatically for both…but I digress). So with that, seeing her cameo here and looking presentable at the same time was actually kind of refreshing—so much so, that she wound up doing double duty the following year to (mostly) rave reviews. Finally, Remember Dean Edwards? Me Neither—and truth be told, Amy Poehler did a better Jacko than He did (There, I said it!).

 

 

HAYAK_BOX

Box Man or “Instead of going to the box factory, we’re going to…The Box Factory.”

URP! (BREATHES SLOWLY) Ok, c’mon, pull yourself together, you got more than half a show left. (BREATHES MORE) OK, here we go. This was a rare combination of “Funny Strange” and “Funny Ha-Ha”. And to some True SNL fans out there, did it or did it not remind you of Robert Downey Jr.’s “Suitcase Boy” from 1985? Or even “Sort of remind you”? Anyway, this was weird. Funny weird.

Diagnosis: **1/2

 
EDITOR’S NOTE: The 2002 season of the show was noteworthy for two reasons; One being the first season without Will Ferrell, and two being Fred Armisen and Will Forte joining the cast. Fred has nothing to do with this sketch; so let’s talk a bit about Forte and the undeniable fact that he was hired to be “The Weirdo” of the cast—partly because…Kattan…(*THUNDER RUMBLES*)…was about to Leave the Show at the end of the year, so somebody had to fill the weirdness gap. Although we had yet to see just how weird Forte would be in later years, this was certainly a sign of things to come. This sketch in particular had a certain aura of “What the Hell did I just Watch?” But as time goes on with multiple viewings (in addition to viewing this among the rest of Forte’s portfolio), you’ll see that this was not only par for the course for Forte, but this sketch helped put him on the map. Strangely enough, when this episode re-ran for the first time, this sketch was removed from the episode entirely (but has since been restored in 60 min. reruns on whatever cable network owns the rights to the show now)—perhaps this meant that the world wasn’t quite ready for Forte’s weirdness yet. Upon further inspection, any/all comparison to Downey’s “Suitcase Boy” sketch is purely coincidental; his was “Performance Art”, Forte’s at least had a plot…and now, because I have a sick sense of humor, here is a supplemental song to go with this sketch…you’re welcome.

 

REVISED SCORE: ****

 

 

HAYAK_FRIEDA
Frieda Parts 1, 2 & 3 or “…And Mr. Burns learned that some awards can’t be bought.”

Since this is 3 part commercial, let’s review all 3 of them at the same time:

 Part I: Salma seems to come off looking a little desperate. (Just a little.)

Part II: Salma is coming off more desperate than before.

Part III: I love it when someone says “Cajones” in their native tounge, it makes it more funnier.

Diagnosis: (OF ALL 3 COMBINED) **

 
EDITOR’S NOTE: 3-part commercials can be tricky sometimes; especially with their slow build-up to an eventual payoff that’s spread out over the length of the show. In this case, the overall message is the same; “Why root for the obvious front-runner when you can look at a diamond in the rough?” Granted, not only was Hayak the star of “Frieda”, but she was also an executive producer; and it’s the Producer of a movie that takes home the award for “Best Picture”, so I can understand Hayak wanting to go gung ho about it. Having said that, yeahhhhhhhh, she came on a little strong—even for the sake of comedy. Of course, thanks to the “Rule of 3”, the 3rd sketch was the funnier of the bunch—especially when Hayak gets over-excited and says of Renee Zellweger, “SHE’S A DUDE!!” Further, considering how short each of these pieces were, maybe that’s why I gave it a low score? Too little to analyze, or I didn’t develop a short attention span yet. Looking at these again, yeah Hayak is pandering like there’s no tomorrow, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t funny.

 

REVISED SCORE: ***

 

 

HAYAK_UPDATE

Update or “Ugh, this has got to be the slowest news day ever!”

Either that, or the booze has slowed down my reaction time. (HIC!) At either rate, Jokes were great, “Gollum” was funnier this time around, And both “Old School Jimmy” and “Ferricito” returned! (YAY!) Even the “Update Door” was good this time! I oughta drink more often!

DISCLAIMER: The Producers of “The Doc’s Review” would like to note that this entire “Drinking” Episode is just a gag in honor of St. Patrick’s Day…

DOC: (IN A DRUNKEN STUPOR) Bullshit!

DISCLAIMER: Shhh! Any and all drunken behavior is for entertainment only, no harm is really being done, honest!

DOC: (DRUNK) Pipe Down, Superman!

Diagnosis: ****
EDITOR’S NOTE: OK, let’s see if we can be more specific here;

Favorite Jokes:  Freedom Fries (and the mini-comment that followed), Dog Groomer, Diamond Robbery, Gay Soaps.
Commentaries:

 

*“Ferricito” was Fred Armisen’s first big break out character that debuted the same time he did; Watching him now makes me feel all kinds of nostalgia—particularly the kind that makes me wish Fred could be this funny again without being pretentious all the time (I don’t care how good “Portlandia” is, there are limits.). The addition of Hayak as his lady friend helped a little, but was also something we could see from miles away considering (duh) she’s Mexican—sort of low hanging fruit, but at least the bit still worked.

 

*Yes, I know, it’s Easy to Hate…Kattan…(*THUNDER RUMBLES*)…but at least there are times when he can put his spazziness to his advantage; his appearances as Gollum from the LOTR movies was not only his last major character before leaving the show, but to his credit, at least this was one of his more “Accurate” impressions—it doesn’t change the fact that he’s still a spazz, but c’mon, I’m trying to find as many silver linings about him as I can.

 

*Finally, we get to one of the reasons why Jimmy Fallon has a career; his collection of song parodies that revolve around a holiday/event. Here, he covers songs by John Mayer, Coldplay, Eminem, and Christina Agullera. Truthfully, if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all, but at least they don’t suck.

 

It was during this year that the Fallon/Fey magic was starting to fade a little, but at least on this occasion, it felt like something from their 2001-02 heyday.

 

 

HAYAK_SEDUCTION

Seduction Class or “Marge, there’s just too much pressure, what with my job, the kids, traffic snarls, political strife at home and abroad. But I promise you, the second all of those things go away, we’ll have sex.”

(HEAVES A BIT) It’s OK, I’ll be fine! Nothing lost or gained…Hwaaah! (SPEWS) I deserve that. Anywho, this was the major lowlight for this show. Only thing that saved it was Fred’s crazy voice, you gotta love Fred. Oh and also, Bob Barker called. He wants that pen from the “Check Game” back! (DRUNKEN RAGE) You Heard me! Ugh… (PASSES OUT ON THE FLOOR)

Diagnosis: *
EDITOR’S NOTE: In 42 years of television, there is bound to be someone or something that will slip through the cracks—this (being one of many) was actually part of a semi-recurring series of sketches where Fred, Dratch, Horatio & Tracy (later replaced by Parnell) are a group of introverts who are willing to try new things seemingly together, only for hilarity to ensue. Surprisingly, the strangest thing about the sketch isn’t the foursome of oddballs, but rather the idea that Hayak is trying to play someone who’s French, even though her natural Mexican accent is a little too over-powering; If I wanted to see a bad mish-mash of accents, I’d watch “The Room” (Which coincidentally was first released the same year this aired…but that’s beside the point; and also, Christ, I’m getting old). Fred’s voice as “Gabe” always reminded me of the late Ron “Horshack” Pollilo from “Welcome Back Kotter”; a little irritating, but still somehow lovable. Wish I could say the same for Horatio, whose “Vasquez Gomez Vasquez” rubbed me the wrong way for some reason (Maybe it’s the lisp or the need to add the extra “S” at the end of certain words). Dratch comes in a distant 2nd or 3rd among the group, I think she might be playing the spinster angle a little too strong here. But it’s Tracy who steals the show with his want for “Asian He/She’s”. Otherwise, despite the slow pacing, the sketch is perfectly serviceable—certainly not worth giving one star today.

 

REVISED SCORE: ** 1/2

 

HAYAK_KONG
King Kong’s Dong or “Aww, it’s a boy…And what a boy!”

(3 DAYS LATER)

Ughhhh, My head! Oh god, I’m still here? Hey “Guy in the Control Room”, did I ever finish my review?

GUY IN THE CONROL ROOM: No, you didn’t you’ve got the King Kong sketch to go, do you wan’t me to recap for you?

DOC: No, no, I know it. (SIGH) All right, you can get through this… This one get’s my “Oy Vey of the Day” because I’m supprised that NBC could get away with this. The only thing stopping this from being really funny is a (AHEM) “Money shot”…

GUY IN THE CONTROL ROOM: Uh Doc that reminds me, your girlfriend called and she said “Thanks for 3 days ago, hope you come to”

DOC: What Girlfriend?

GUY IN THE CONTROL ROOM: Some heavyset 50 year old woman with a receding hairline.

(DOC PASSES OUT)

GUY IN THE CONTROL ROOM: Doc? Doc? Wakie, Wakie! Oh well, might as well finish it myself…

Diagnosis: ** ½

 

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Wayyyyyyyyyy Back on SNL’s 15th Anniversary special, the late Mary Tyler Moore came on (along with—strangely enough—Eddie Murphy’s Entourage) to do a segment on how Every once in a Blue Moon, SNL would put on a sketch that would border on the line of good taste, but still be funny as hell. From there, we see sketches like “Nude Beach”, The Widettes, The Claudine Longet Skiing invitational and other sketches that I’m certain Michael O’Donoghue was responsible for in whole or in part. A sketch like “King Kong’s Dong” would not only fit in among that bunch, but it would probably lead the pack. On the one hand, I can see why this was the last sketch of the night—it’s much less risky to see a simulated Giant Gorilla Johnson near 1AM instead of around 11:30PM. At the same time, it Still (to this day) amazes me that they were able to get away with this on Broadcast Television, let alone TV itself (Maybe HBO and certain channels after 10PM could pull it off). Prudishness aside, every time I think SNL has run out of envelopes to push; I think of this sketch, and I also think maybe they were trying to hang on to as many envelopes as they can back then?

 

REVISED SCORE: *** 1/2

 

Grand Diagnosis: ***

Prescription: Nothing to Criticize here, it was a great show.

Next Time: Bernie Mac is going to be Hosting with “Good Charlote.”

If “The Doc” was Consious, he’d be dedicating the review to all the men and women of America…Who Are Designated Drivers. Do your part this St. Patrick’s Day, would’ya.

Until Next time, “The Doctor is out…Cold!” As for me, this is the “Guy in the Control Room” Signing off! As for you, we gotta get you to a “Starbucks”, Pronto! (DRAGS DOC OUT OF ROOM)

 

 

REVISED FINAL SCORE: 3.075 Stars out of 5

UPDATED THOUGHTS: I Swear, I got better with creative writing. That aside, this actually was a solid episode from an otherwise questionable season. “Questionable” because this was the first year without their most durable player in Will Ferrell. And as some of us know, whenever an “Indispensable” cast member leaves the show (Ferrell, Hartman, Hader, etc), there’s always going to be a sense of reconstruction, readjustment and uncertainty—but at the same time, it gives those who have blended in to the background a chance to emerge. In this episode, the clear winner was Will Forte with “Box Man”—it was one of those “Just crazy enough to work” pieces that put him on the map, and he’d drift on and off the map for the next 8 years. At the same time, Fred got a couple of chances to shine with “Ferrecito” and “Seduction Class”…and those are performances I miss seeing Fred do; subtle, not overbearing, and actually funny. As for Hayak, she was/remains decent eye candy, but at the same time, she also seemed to be up for anything (ESPECIALLY Jerking off a Giant Gorilla). What’s just as surprising is the fact that people who you normally see on the show barely appear in it–Seriously, most of the cast appear in maybe two or three sketches throughout the show, they really seem to want to spread things out in this episode; Then again, good shows are often the ones that are more of an “Ensemble” instead of having just one person dominate the whole thing–so maybe that was a blessing in disguise.

 

 

OK, here’s what we have coming up in April:

 

*Reviews of the last time Louis CK & Jimmy Fallon Hosted—just in time for their next scheduled appearances.

*A list of some kind (TBA–though right now, it’s a toss-up between “Digital Shorts” or “Smigeltoons”)

*Absolutely NO “April Fools” entry of any kind (I hate both making those jokes, and being the victim of them), so I’ll be taking that week off.

 

And 2 Weeks from Today…The Hidden Gems of…………

 

(*DRUMROLL, CYMBAL*)

 

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See ‘ya Next time!

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