SNL Season 30 – REVEALED!



Episode 14:  David Spade/Jack Johnson (3/12/05)


The Rating System:                               Totals:


4 Coneys – Best Ever                             0-10 Coneys – Garbage

0 Coneys – Worst Ever                           11-20 Coneys – Needs Improvement

                                                            21-29 Coneys – Average

                                                            30-39 Coneys – Above Average

                        41-49 Coneys  - Instant Classic

                                                            50+ Coneys - Unparalleled SNL Genius


1.  Cold Opening:  CNN:  Martha Stewart Homecoming

Premise:  Stewart lays new ground rules for her company

Jason:  2 Coneys                      Heather:   ˝ Coney      



2.  Monologue:  David Spade

Jason:  2 Coneys                      Heather:  ˝ Coney



3.  Sketch:  Art House Neighbors

Premise:  Recurring sketch about bizarre art lovers

Jason: 1 Coney                          Heather:  ˝ Coney



4. Commercial Promo:  Deaf Judge/Idiot Doctor

Premise:  Preview of new TV shows

Jason:   3 Coneys                      Heather:  2 Coneys



5.  Sketch:  Stunt Double

Premise:  David Spade adjusts to having a female stunt double

Jason:   2 Coneys                      Heather:  1 Coney



6.  Commercial Parody:  Woomba

OAD:  12/18/04

Jason:  1 Coney                        Heather:  1 Coney



7.  Sketch:  Cell Mates

Premise:  Two new cell mates get to know each other

Jason:  2 Coneys                       Heather:  1 Coney



8.  Music:  Jack Johnson “Sitting, Waiting, Wishing”

Jason:  1 Coney                         Heather:  2 Coneys



9.  Weekend Update

Guests:  Jorge Rodriguez (Horatio Sanz)

Jason:  1 Coney                                    Heather:  1 Coney



10.  Sketch:  Sean Penn’s Celebrity Roast

Premise:  Sean Penn (Seth) hosts a roast for Clint Eastwood (Hammond)

Jason:  2 Coneys                      Heather:  2 ˝ Coneys



11.  Sketch:  Office Delivery

Premise:  A UPS delivery man tries to pick up an office worker

Jason:  1 Coney                         Heather:  ˝ Coney



12.  Sketch:  CeCe and Roger Barry

Premise:  Two aging jingle writers perform their “greatest hits”

Jason:  1 Coney             Heather:  1 Coney


12.  Film:  Bear City

Premise:  A look at a town where Bears have replaced people

Jason:  3 Coneys                       Heather:  3 Coneys



13.  Music:  Jack Johnson with G. Love “Breakdown”

Jason:  2 Coneys                      Heather:  2 Coneys



14.  Sketch:  Dirtball and Burnout Convention

Premise:  Infomerical on an upcoming white trash convention 

Jason:  3 Coneys                       Heather:  2 ˝ Coneys



Final Coney Order (out of a possible 56):

Jason:  27                                 Heather:  21 




Episode Comments:


Jason:  Stop the press.  Wake up the kids.  Call Tom Shales.  Tina Fey has gone a whole 90 minutes without making one George W. Bush joke!  What seemed to be mandatory humor for Season 30 has temporarily gone by the wayside.  3/12/05.  Some say a day to live in modern SNL history.  On to the review…


Tonight we got a look at David Spade’s first return to the SNL stage since his cameo during the Alec Baldwin episode back in 2001.  And although he had hosted before that, Spade seemed a bit different tonight.  Throughout the episode, Spade seemed to have an attitude towards the other cast members.  It was almost like he felt better than them and therefore didn’t have to try as hard.  During each sketch, Spade was extremely laid back and if something happened that caught his eye, he made no reservations about briefly stopping to point it out.  This is the kind of behavior one would expect from an SNL legend like Bill Murray, Chevy Chase or more recently, Adam Sandler or Will Ferrell.  Seeing Spade act this way got a bit annoying and did nothing but reinforce Spade’s cocky persona.


I formed this impression about Spade right during the cold opening.  After Spade became the sixth cast member to portray Martha Stewart, it felt as if he was doing a stand up routine instead of a characterization.  As supporting characters in the scene attempted to add a comment, it was almost like he wouldn’t even let them finish before jumping back in with his next line.


Should any of this behavior surprise me?  Probably not.  Spade isn’t the first cast member to come back acting like a big shot.  With hits like Tommy Boy and Black Sheep under his belt when he left SNL back in 1996, I’m sure Spade expected continued success on the big screen.  He probably never guessed that by 2005, his whole monologue would revolve around a character he plays on a Capital One commercial.  So did all this ruin the show?  Not completely.  Seeing Spade back on SNL was still a nice break from the norm and I’m sure it reminded many of SNL days past.


The other sketches tonight were a mixed bag of recycled premises and ideas nobody had time to think up proper endings for.  Making up the recycled column was Art House Neighbors, Stunt Doubles, Sean Penn’s Celebrity Roast and CeCe & Roger Barry.  Art House Neighbors (Maya and Armisen) was a sketch originally seen in the Topher Grace episode and actually became one of that show’s strongest moments.  Unfortunately, tonight’s second appearance was almost a 100% retread of the last time.  The premise is clear:  Art lovers can’t pronounce common names, they have odd chairs and even stranger food.  We get it.  Please don’t show us again.


Remember the “Air Commander” sketch during the Jude Law episode?  Or maybe the “Movie Accent” sketch from Colin Firth’s episode?  If those episodes are too old, how about the “Seasons of Love” sketch from the last live episode hosted by Hilary Swank?  If you answered yes to any of the above, you are officially smarter than Seth Meyers thinks you or anyone in the audience is.  I can’t think of another reason he could have for continuing to use this director behind-the-scenes premise.  Credit is given to Horatio’s totally best Vin Diesel impression, but the rest of Seth’s “Stunt Doubles” sketch was worst.  Don’t tell me you’ve exhausted your bag of tricks in only your fourth season Seth.


Sean Penn’s Celebrity Roast also had the “been-there, done-that” feel.  Sketches like this are little more than a chance to throw a ton of celebrity impressions into one ring.  It is just too bad Seth’s extremely weak Sean Penn character got the lead.  Penn impressions on SNL are nothing new.  In years past, people like Jay Mohr, Jim Breuer and Robert Downey Jr. have all took a stab at Jeff Spicoli, but Seth’s was easily the worst.  On the plus side, Armisen’s George Carlin and Spade’s Owen Wilson were scary accurate.  I’m still questioning why one of them weren’t made the host over Penn.  “You want some lettuce with that day?” – Armisen (as Carlin).


The final recycled moment came courtesy of Maya.  For the 100,000th time, Maya has created a character for herself that is one half of a singing duo.  To her credit, the concepts behind them are usually pretty funny.  Take tonight for example:  here we have a singing team who are performing their greatest commercial jingles to adoring fans.  This would be funny until you realize Maya uses the same voice, movements, facial expressions and reactions every single time.  If it wasn’t for David Spade’s comments between songs, this sketch would have ranked among the season’s worst. 


The remaining sketches had potential until you realized they were missing endings.  Both Cell Mates and Office Delivery ended before you were able to figure out what was supposed to be funny.  Cell Mates especially, aside from Spade’s lines like “Spider comin’ back”, what was the punchline we were building towards?  Were Spade’s characters expected to be so funny that we wouldn’t notice the sketch isn’t going anywhere?


This leaves Bear City and Weekend Update.  As already mentioned, this is the first time in recent memory that Fey let an entire Update go by without making fun of the President.  Unfortunately, she and Poehler also failed to bring anything funny to the table.  Apart from a few obvious Michael Jackson and Martha Stewart jokes, this ended up being the worst Update since last December’s Robert DeNiro episode.  On the other hand, Bear City delivered more automatic coneys with a new installment about a Bear’s regrettable decision to use a handicap stall in the men’s room.  Best.


With the music, I hoped Jack Johnson would have been a little better.  His first song sounded like a million other songs on the radio and even G-Love’s appearance during the second song only bumped the whole thing up one coney.  Oh well.  At least it wasn’t more rap.


Similar to Dan Aykroyd (the last SNL alum to host), Spade has proven you can’t always turn back the clock for a sure thing.  Can next week’s host Ashton Kutcher deliver something other than an average score for the season?  Stranger things have happened.


Episode tidbit:  Tonight’s episode was delayed in Milwaukee due to the mass shooting that occurred earlier in the day.



Heather:  So, I’m thinking that instead of SNL, this week’s episode should’ve been called The David Spade Show featuring some other people from SNL.  Look, I’m well aware of the fact that Spade used to be a cast member and he does have some experience hosting the show, but must that really keep him from at least trying to expand beyond, well, just acting like himself?  Maybe I was unintentionally expecting too much, but I found myself far from pleased with Spade’s performance this time around.


 With the exception of just a small number of sketches, Spade basically just dominated the screen time with barely any regard toward creativity or the fact that there were other people on the set.  The cold opener was, by far, the best example of this.  In that skit, we find Spade playing Martha Stewart, except, wait a minute…he’s merely acting like David Spade with a blonde wig, which crazily enough, highly resembled his own head of hair.  What, did he mistakenly accept some comedic pointers from Fallon when rehearsing for this character?  He acted nothing like the recently freed Stewart!  Apparently, Spade couldn’t even come up with an impersonation of her voice so he just ended up using his own.  Not only that, he seemingly also felt the need to ramble on and comment of everyone else’s lines as well. Needless to say, it was not a good start to the show and, unfortunately, it didn’t end there.


Next came the monologue, where Spade actually boasted about an upcoming Best of David Spade SNL DVD, which admittedly had me wondering what the hell Spade did to deserve a best of disc?  Luckily, though, it appeared to be a joke as he went on to say that they still needed two more sketches and that hopefully they would pick them up during this episode. Disappointingly, however, the monologue went on to be just another boring question and answer session with Spade assuming his normal condescending self.


The series of sketches that followed the monologue were essentially of the same caliber as the majority of the skits we’ve seen thus far this season.  Save for a few amusing instances, the night was pretty much filled with played out and pointless ideas and Spade certainly did nothing to add any real humor.  To me, sketches like Art Dealers, Stunt Double, and CeCe & Roger are completely worthless for laughs.  Art Dealers might have stood a chance if it hadn’t utilized the exact same concepts as it’s debut two months back.  While Sanz’s ridiculously funny Vin Diesel impression was definitely worth noting, the behind the scenes view that we saw in Stunt Double seemed to have become a staple in practically every episode this season.  As for skits like CeCe and Roger, all I can say is, “CUT IT THE FUCK OUT, MAYA!!”  On the same note, Cell Mates, Office Delivery and Weekend Update were totally uneventful and never really amounted to anything substantially funny. 


So, with all of this negative criticism, how exactly did Spade’s episode NOT end up ranking at the bottom of the list?  The answer to that lies within Bear City, Sean Penn’s Celebrity Roast and Dirtball & Burnout Convention.  Bear City is a known favorite of mine.  Something about growling bears in human predicaments makes me laugh every time!  Sean Penn’s Celebrity Roast proved a decent skit, especially thanks to Armisen’s George Carlin (“Here’s a name.  Douchebag!  Have a nice daaayy!”) and Spade’s Owen Wilson (“Who dressed up my ball sac in a tuxedo?” – referring to honoree Clint Eastwood).  While Dirtball & Burnout Convention saw more of Spade commenting/laughing at the cast’s antics/flaws, the notion of these types of gatherings is still hilarious to me, particularly given my close proximity to the Mt. Clemens Gibraltar Trade Center while growing up.  Believe it or not, these kinds of conventions really do take place, folks! 


In regards to Jack Johnson, I don’t exactly prefer his music, but I have to say he did sound pretty damn good.  In comparison with the previous musical acts that have taken the SNL music stage, he’s certainly one of the better acts we’ve seen so far.


Well, obviously I was hoping for a much better show this week with host David Spade, but it’s evident one can only accomplish so much when there’s so much ego right from the get-go.  Oh well, I’ll just close by saying I’m not exactly holding my breath to see Spade back on that set again.



SNL Coney Rankings:  Season 30 – REVEALED!




Jude Law/Ashlee Simpson – 41

Paul Giamatti/Ludacris (with Sum 41) - 33

Paris Hilton/Keane - 31

Luke Wilson/U2 – 29

Robert DeNiro/Destiny’s Child - 28

David Spade/Jack Johnson - 27

Liam Neeson/Modest Mouse - 25

Ben Affleck/Nelly - 23

Queen Latifah – 22

Jason Bateman/Kelly Clarkson - 20

Kate Winslet/Eminem – 21

Topher Grace/The Killers - 21

Colin Farrell/Scissor Sisters - 18

Hilary Swank/50 Cent – 16




Jude Law/Ashlee Simpson – 35.5

Paul Giamatti/Ludacris (with Sum 41) - 29

Robert DeNiro/Destiny’s Child – 26.5

Liam Neeson/Modest Mouse - 23

Luke Wilson/U2 – 23

Paris Hilton/Keane – 22

David Spade/Jack Johnson - 21

Jason Bateman/Kelly Clarkson - 19

Kate Winslet/Eminem – 18.5

Colin Farrell/Scissor Sisters – 18.5

Topher Grace/The Killers - 17

Ben Affleck/Nelly – 16.5

Hilary Swank/50 Cent - 15

Queen Latifah – 14.5