An e-mail that I got since my last review:
From Alex Callahan (Idunnoummm@aol.com)
hey i'd just like to say that i really like your reviews and agree with a lot of
them. you have your own sense of humor and that works well with the reviews and
funnier to read. i agree with you on kattan and jimmy. although both talented in
their own way, they are starting to become annoying. just writing to say you
have another fan.
I'm kind of looking forward to Jennifer Garner hosting, and I hope this will be a good episode. There's also talk that Ben Affleck and Ben Stiller will be making cameo appearances. I don't really care for Stiller nor do I know why he's even appearing in this episode, but I'm really looking forward to Affleck. I thought he was great when he hosted back in 99-00, and I wish he'd host again, but a cameo is still good. Hopefully with him there, they'll do a Sully and Denise sketch. We've been long overdue for another one this season.
(COLD OPENING) A Message from President Bush
- Good to see Parnell's Bush impression finally back on the air again, after it got cut a lotta times since the Nia Vardalos episode.
- The material was pretty weak. This was a little better than the Sarah Michelle Gellar one, but not as good as the Nia Vardalos one.
- I hope they're not going to keep Parnell's Bush impression behind the desk all the time, like they ended up doing with Ferrell's impression. I got so tired of the solo Bush openings by last season; the Bush impression is at its best when he interacts with others.
(MONOLOGUE) Jennifer Garner's valentines
- Kattan's cocaine/flowers line.
- Tracy looked hilarious in the cupid outfit (and reminded me of Jeff in last week's Jarret's Room sketch).
- Tracy's Lion King comment.
- Jennifer's comments to each male castmember (except for Dean and Darrell) during her song.
- Why didn't Jennifer sing anything to Dean or Darrell?
- Did anyone notice Kattan bumping into Darrell when he ran away from Jennifer?
- Dean had this funny frozen smile on his face in the background the whole time.
- A dead-on parody of these usual types of Broadway commercials.
- The looks on the castmembers faces while clapping were funny, especially Fred and Forte's.
- Why was the audience not "clappin'" after this ended (pardon the lame pun)? This just ended and led into the next sketch with no applause.
- The entire cast was in this except for Tina, Darrell, and Parnell. The second episode in a row to have a sketch that's only missing Tina and 2 other castmembers (after last week's cold opening).
(SKETCH) Two-Faced Date
- Jimmy's reactions were hilarious.
- Fred was funny as the ugly date. Good to see him getting more major roles lately.
- Good ending.
- Did Jimmy say "God damn it!" during one part? I thought you couldn't say that on TV. I think he realized this, since he kind of made an awkward face after saying it.
(SKETCH) Wake Up Wakefield
- Horatio's usual funny part as the teacher.
- I still don't care for this sketch, even when they take it out of the classroom setting.
(SKETCH) Saddam phones Osama
- Good to see Jimmy doing another impression.
- Fred's "Awkward!" line (another example of his bit parts being funny ones).
- A few funny lines.
- This was a mess and a lot of it seemed unrehearsed and made up on-the-spot.
- I'm still not too crazy about Horatio's Saddam impression. Not very accurate and too over the top. Am I the only one who likes Darrell's better?
- As usual, Jimmy and Horatio couldn't keep a straight face through the whole thing.
(NEXT EPISODE) February 22, 2003: Christopher Walken!!!!!!
(SKETCH) Gay soap opera actor
- After having some good original performances in the last few episodes (Gollum, Grande Rialto, Office Story), Kattan unfortunately had to go back to playing annoying roles that he's done dozens of times before.
- The ending was lame as hell.
- They seem to do at least one sketch like this every season, where they're filming a commercial or show but something goes wrong and they have to keep refilming the same scene over and over. I also notice that Parnell always plays directors in these types of sketches.
- Was that Eric Slovin (the end-of-Update cameo guy) as the guy who did the take?
- Tracy always wears that same wig whenever he plays gay guys.
(SKETCH) A date with Siamese twins
- Rachel looked hilarious. The running gag from the Cloneaid and Angelina Jolie's love child bits on Weekend Update continues.
- Kattan redeemed himself from the previous sketch with a decent performance here.
- Rachel's line at the end.
- After Jimmy cracking up in the last couple of sketches, he surprisingly held it together for this one.
(WEEKEND UPDATE) Fallon & Fey, Burt Bacharach, Tracy Morgan, Chris Parnell
- Jimmy's Screech joke.
- Jimmy's Smart bra/Anna Buffalo Smith joke.
- Jeff's Burt Bacharach bit was pretty funny. Also good to see him on Update not playing the now-tired Drunk Girl.
- Tina's Vern Troyer joke.
- Jimmy's Atari joke. The sound effects also brought back memories of when I used to have that game (which was up until this monthuh, I mean, waitforget I said that).
- The Technical Difficulties bit during Tracy's commentary.
- Tina's Rooster & Chicken joke.
- Parnell's rap song. Yeah, the surprise is completely gone now; everyone knows what to expect, but his songs are so well-done and funny.
- Jimmy's opening joke about the Al Quaeda bombed (no pun intended).
- Tina again laughs at one of Jimmy's jokes harder than the audience. It's not like she didn't hear these jokes before, so why is she doing this?
- Tina's Sea Lion joke.
- Tina's Colin Farrell joke.
- Parnell's talk with Jennifer at the end was too similar to his talk with Kirsten Dunst. They could have made it different.
- Tonight's Update ends with a blind man taking Jimmy's pencil away in a cup.
- What did Jimmy mumble to Tina after he broke character (yet again tonight) after the Screech joke? I couldn't make it out.
(SKETCH) Michael Jackson in a Tree
- There are some bizarre sketches that I think are hilarious (most Ferrell sketches, Scott Joplin, The Smile Masters, the New Happy Birthday Song), and other bizarre sketches where I just sit in stunned silence and wonder what the writers and castmembers involved were smoking (Adam McKay films, Dog Show, Farting Baby, the entire Tom Green episode). With this sketch, it was the latter. I was happy to see Dean's Michael Jackson impression finally make it on the air, but unfortunately, a) it was only a small part, and b) it had to be part of this mess.
(SKETCH) Wal-Mart clerks
- Seth was funny as the boss.
- A weak one-joke sketch, and Amy and Jennifer's "I know!"'s got very annoying.
(MISCELLANEOUS) My Big Thick Novel, by Jack "Sellout" Handey
You just never know when to end these, do you, Handey?
Almost got 'em all in, but it got cut off right at the very end. Darrell walked off-stage before the end; I hear he always does that now, but this is the first time I've seen it. Does he not like the rest of the cast or what? And where the hell were Ben Affleck and Stiller? They were nowhere to be seen in the entire episode. I don't care about Stiller not showing up, but I want my Sully & Denise, dammit!!!
Overall Highlights of Tonight's Episode:
- Clappin' ad.
- Two-Faced Date.
- A date with Siamese twins.
- Chris Parnell's rap song.
Overall Lowlights of Tonight's Episode:
- No Ben Affleck cameo.
- Wake Up Wakefield.
- Horatio's Saddam impression.
- Gay soap opera actor.
- Michael Jackson in a Tree.
- Wal-Mart clerks.
- My Big Thick Novel.
Funniest Single Moment:
- Tracy Morgan in the cupid outfit during the monologue.
- Chris Kattan: "I have this thing where all the money I used to spend on cocaine, I try to spend on flowers."
- Tracy Morgan: "You make me feel like the Lion King!"
- Jimmy Fallon as Osama Bin Laden: "I got permanent cave ass over here!"
- Horatio Sanz as Saddam Hussein: "(to Osama) You release more tapes than Steely Dan."
- Tina Fey: "Friends of Mini-Me actor Vern Troyer are concerned for his health, saying he's started drinking again. Apparently, things have gotten so bad that Troyer is up to four thimbles of Scotch a day."
- Tina Fey: "As part of a mass pet wedding ceremony in Thailand, Guy - a chicken, married Guk - a rooster. For the record, on their wedding night, the chicken came first."
- Jimmy Fallon: "Scientists have invented a smart bra which tightens its own straps when the wearer needs more support. Even more impressive, it beat Anna Nicole Smith at Scrabble."
CASTMEMBER COUNT DOWN
DRATCH: 5 sketches (Clappin'; Wake Up Wakefield; A date with Siamese twins; Michael Jackson in a Tree; Wal-Mart Clerks)
FALLON: 6 sketches (Monologue; Clappin'; Two-Faced Date; Saddam phones Osama; A date with Siamese twins; Weekend Update)
FEY: 1 sketch (Weekend Update)
HAMMOND: 1 sketch (Monologue)
KATTAN: 4 sketches (Monologue; Clappin'; Gay soap opera actor; A date with Siamese twins)
MORGAN: 5 sketches (Monologue; Clappin'; Two-Faced Date; Gay soap opera actor; Weekend Update)
PARNELL: 4 sketches (A Message from President Bush; Monologue; Gay soap opera actor; Weekend Update)
POEHLER: 3 sketches (Clappin'; Michael Jackson in a Tree; Wal-Mart Clerks)
RUDOLPH: 4 sketches (Clappin'; Two-Faced Date; Wake Up Wakefield; Wal-Mart Clerks)
SANZ: 4 sketches (Monologue; Clappin'; Wake Up Wakefield; Saddam phones Osama)
ARMISEN: 5 sketches (Monologue; Clappin'; Two-Faced Date; Saddam phones Osama; Wal-Mart Clerks)
EDWARDS: 3 sketches (Monologue; Clappin'; Michael Jackson in a Tree)
FORTE: 3 sketches (Monologue; Clappin'; Michael Jackson in a Tree)
MEYERS: 5 sketches (Monologue; Clappin'; Two-Faced Date; Gay soap opera actor; Wal-Mart Clerks)
RICHARDS: 4 sketches (Monologue; Clappin'; Weekend Update; Michael Jackson in a Tree)
Jimmy Fallon, Rachel Dratch, Chris Kattan, and Chris Parnell were the stars of the night. Fred and Seth had a lot of sketches for featured players. That's no surprise for Seth.
Darrell went through an entire episode only playing himself and not doing any impressions. This may be a record for him. With his airtime progressively decreasing lately with the exception of the Ray Liotta episode, I'm afraid Darrell may be on his way out. I know he's been on for a long time, but he's a very valuable castmember and has been on the show way too long to still be shoehorned into doing impressions. He has very good and versatile character acting skills, too, but sadly, Lorne does not realize that. He's only been given rare occasions to showcase it. I think he always had enough potential to be a Phil Hartman-type castmember, but I guess it's too late to start using him like that now. After he leaves, people will always remember him as being a great impressionist, possibly the best ever on the show, but he really could've been remembered as more than that if he wasn't just used for impressions. And also, after he leaves SNL, what will he have left? He never gets much publicity outside of the show like he deserves, other than talk show appearances.
Excuse me for that whole rant, but I just wish Darrell was going out with a bang like Tracy is (there's news going on that this will be his last season, too).
Thanks for reading. BUONAS NOCHES.