Well, we had little hope that the SNL would rebound from its disillusioning Dana Carvey episode last week. For some reason, lately we’ve been giving the show the reverse of the benefit of the doubt, the doubt of the benefit if you will. And when we casually started the episode late Saturday night, it seemed that our prognostications would be proven valid, that we were in for another ho-hum effort with a perfectly fine but completely ordinary host. But, while Russell Brand would prove to possibly be the weakest part of the show, the episode turned around on the basis of two sketches, two pieces that will no doubt sit atop our best of the season list.
Yesterday we posted a new ‘Kieran’s Korner’ with Kieran’s thoughts on the recent ‘SNL’ hosted by Dana Carvey. We figured we’d get some real wisdom, some genuine perspective. And we did. But now we have a special treat, some observations about the show from an even wiser, more experienced source. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re proud to present the first (and hopefully not last) ‘Kieran’s Mom’s Korner’:
I have some thoughts on SNL. I think it took a wrong turn when they changed the closing music from something with lots of saxophones to something lighter.
Also, I never liked that sketch with “I hate when that happens.”
But some of the early stuff with Dan Akroyd, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner and even Chevy Chase was brilliant.
Well it seems that Carvey got at least one thing right last week: everyone does have their own favorite cast.
Even before we finished our analysis of last weekend’s Dana Carvey hosted ‘Saturday Night Live’ we had no doubt that this particular episode, this particular crossroads, required additional insight. Perhaps, more than ever, a Kieran’s Korner was needed. As you know, we consider Kieran our elder statesmen when it comes to ‘SNL’ knowledge and personal experience, our very own living, breathing, sweater vest-wearing ‘Live From New York.’ To some degree, the Carvey years, ’86-’93, were always nostalgia to us; we were practically an infant when Carvey debuted, and thus only began to appreciate his talent towards the end of his tenure, largely because of the runaway success of ‘Wayne’s World.’ Our first time seeing the show live came just after Carvey’s exit, the final seasons of Farley and Sandler, and indeed we didn’t become regular viewers until the great cast turnover of 1995 (and, to be fair, like Kieran, we initially didn’t care for that group funny). So while the Will Ferrell era was the first cast we became intimately familiar with, watched week in and week out, the Carvey period came during Kieran’s formative years. We knew then that any effect the last episode had on us, there was a good chance that feeling would only be amplified for Kieran. So we turned to Kieran for his special brand of wisdom, to discover his reaction considering his similar but much more personal relationship with ’86-’93 . And, as usual, he obliged.
Speaking of the death of childhood, let me tell you about the flood of negative emotions I experienced watching the first episode of the 21st season of Saturday Night Live.
We’re going to warn you right off the bat that this is probably going to be the most subjective SNL recap we’ve yet written. So if you like your SNL analysis free of emotional attachment, well, then you should look somewhere else (we’re sure the web might offer one, maybe two, other options), because, unfortunately, as we watched this last SNL, hosted by legendary cast member Dana Carvey, our reaction was intrinsically bound up in how we’ve watched this show since childhood, and how the this particular episode made us reexamine and reassess our feelings about the show, Dana Carvey and his SNL era. So, at the extreme risk of being self-indulgent, here we go.
Before we head into the weekend we just wanted to remind you that tomorrow night’s SNL is a repeat from 2000 with host Dana Carvey and musical guest Linkin Park. New episodes return ne…I’m sorry? What’s that? It’s not a repeat? It’s a a brand new episode? Really? C’mon. Really? With Linkin Park? Nooooo. Really?? Okay. Wow. What, was Crazy Town already booked? Jeez. Alright. I mean, you see why you’d think it’s a repeat, right? Right. But, hey, if it’s new, it’s new…so we’ve just been informed that tomorrow night’s SNL with host Dana Cavery and musical guest Linkin Park is, in fact, a new episode. So tune in to see if Carvey does George Bush and The Church Lady, and maybe catch Linkin Park playing their hit song.
In the mean time, here’s our hands-down favorite Dana Carvey sketch, a performance we’d often recreate throughout elementary school. My friend’s parents loved it.
This past weekend’s SNL could have been the funniest of the season and it probably wouldn’t have mattered. That it wasn’t the funniest of the season also will not matter years from now. No, what this episode is being talked about for, the reason that it will ultimately be remembered, is that it featured the first public meeting between Jesse Eisenberg and the social network magnate he portrayed to the tune of a Best Oscar nomination. It was a worlds colliding, fabric of the universe fraying, I’m seeing double (four Zuckerbergs!), moment (although Andy Samberg’s presence as a tertiary Zuckerberg carried much less weight and meta-significance). It was awkward, sure, but that was by design, as the two ‘bergs, Eisen and Zucker, seemed rather comfortable with each other, indeed, giving the sense that they may, in fact, be bros. The tone was less confrontational and more self-congratulatory, as if Eisenberg and Zuckerberg had successfully pulled the wool over our eyes, that the real Zuckerberg is not an unnaturally focused, perennially scowling, monotone misanthrope, but a laid back, dorky, goofball visionary, and that perhaps Zuckerberg was in the on the joke the whole time. Now, that’s not the case, but if there’s any sense of animosity between the two ‘bergs, then Zuckerberg is a far greater actor than anyone is giving him credit for (and by all accounts he’s a terrible, terrible actor).
The Greatest Muppet Movie Ever Made casting news just doesn’t seem to stop. Last week were ecstatic to report that Paul Rudd is on board (along with Jon Krasinksi, Ed Helms and Jack Black among others), now comes word that Billy Crystal, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Alan Arkin have agreed to cameo (although, if we had our choice of Alans we’d prefer Alan Alda. Actually, our first pick would be Bill Hader as Alan Alda. But with Hader’s Apatow/Segel ties – roles in Knocked Up, Superbad, Pineapple Express and Forgetting Sarah Marshall– it’s probably only a matter of time before he’s on board).
But with the deluge of casting news – it seems like nearly all of young Hollywood is going to pop up in the film – there remains one name we’ve yet to see, one actor who would truly make The Greatest Muppet Movie Ever Made the greatest Muppet Movie Ever Made. We’re talking, of course, of…
Charles Grodin, DUH!
Before all is said and done, Will Ferrell, Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Michael Cera, Jack McBrayer, Tony Danza, Chi McBride, Michael J. Fox, Johnny Knoxville, Scott Wolf, Tom Hanks, Tina Yothers, Alan Thicke Jason Bateman, Bobby DeNiro and a host of others might pop up in the film. But, Grodin, that would be the big get, and he’d really bring this thing full circle.
Dana Carvey on The Jay Leno Show attempting to break the record for most impressions in a minute. Unfortunately, this brand of humor is a perfect match for Leno’s graveyard. I wish I could get behind this, but it seems like Carvey is just doing impressions of his impressions, and most of which we’ve been seeing for decades. Sadder still is that he has nothing to promote so he just plugged a hair salon instead (sadder still is I’m not sure if this was a joke or it’s actually where he gets his hair cut). I still maintain that Carvey was one of the most talented SNL cast members of all time, but lately he hasn’t been doing much to prove it. Still waiting for your comeback, Dana. Still waiting.