This is it, folks. We estimated it would take us about two days to get to this point. Instead it’s taken 3 weeks. But, nevertheless, we’ve arrived. And the end. Well, the beginning of the end.
6:14pm, Season 5, Disc 1, Episode 1: ” The Fight”
00:10: Well, right out of the gate we have to compliment the DVD menus for this season. MUCH improved.
01:49: My school never had the “pool on the roof” gag. I kind of regret that. Feel like I didn’t have a proper high school experience.
02:32: Fun Fact: Elizabeth Berkley turned 44 during this season.
Read on: More fun facts, THE FIGHT, a big season from Big Pete, the curious case of Tori Scott, drinking, gambling, kissing, Punky Brewster, time travel and graduation day! And MORE!
Filed under Buffy & Hildegarde, Count Bleh, Crucial Taunt, Fashion Show at Lunch, LOST, Mars Investigations, Masochism, Rip-off, Saved by the Bell, Saved by the Bell Project, Yasmine Bleeth
Alright, that headline is an obvious and deliberately misleading statement, you got me. However, even more than being technically correct, this weekend’s show actually earned the distinction. I previously stated my disbelief over the choice of Barkley, NBA Hall of Famer, current commentator and compulsive gambler, as the first SNL host of the decade. It not only seemed completely out of left field, but even if Barkley was relevant among SNL‘s core demographic, you’d think they would have still chosen someone hipper, funnier and actually from a performing background for the first show. At least save Sir Charles for 2010 week 2.
But I was wrong. What I failed to realize is that Barkley was likely to succeed precisely because of his limitations. It’s the extreme version of Christopher Walken or John Malkvovich, where the fact that it’s the host in a specific role is more of the joke than the sketch itself. And with Barkley being a good sport ex-athlete instead of an eccentric actor, the writing staff was able to even more successfully use Barkley’s personality and performing constraints to his advantage. It’s like the Jets plotting a game plan whereby Mark Sanchez has to just manage the game, hand off the ball for the majority of the snaps and avoid turnovers (bet you didn’t see that sports analogy coming. Well, some of us care about football 3 weeks out of the year. Mostly for the nachos). And this is different from writing for an actor who just isn’t particularly talented when it comes to comedy. Despite her SNL showing, January Jones is still a better acting talent than Charles Barkley; it’s just that SNL could use Barkley’s weaknesses to its advantage. With Jones they could only try to minimize the damage by having her look pretty and leave the funny to the cast.
All those platitudes aside, while it was a surprisingly good episode by SNL standards, it wasn’t wall-to-wall successful, and I’d still rather see a host earn the laughs with natural comic ability as opposed to lack of it. However, Barkley really was impressive, and set the bar high for 2010 (tall guy joke!).
More: Highlights! Racism! Cake! Chopping Broccoli!