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Kevin Spacey

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"SNL - SEASON 32 REVEALED"

by Nummer and H-Bomb

Episode 7: Kevin Spacey / Nelly Furtado (12/2/06)

CONEY RATING SYSTEM
FOUR CONEYS! = John Belushi
THREE CONEYS! = Amy Poehler
TWO CONEYS! = Tim Meadows
ONE CONEY! = Melanie Hutzel
HALF A CONEY! = Charles Rocket
No CONEYS! = Self-Explanatory

Matthew Fox
Tenacious D

0-10 Coneys Garbage
11-20 Coneys Needs Improvement
21-30 Coneys Average
31-40 Coneys Above Average
41-50 Coneys - Instant Classic
51+ Coneys - Unparalleled Comic Genius

OAD = Original Air Date*

(*To be fair, coneys will be awarded the same as they were the first time they aired)

NUMMER H-BOMB
THE GOOD!

This show ended up being nowhere near the level of quality I predicted it would be in my preshow comments, but there were still a few damn good moments.

It was no surprise that the most coneys came from Tenacious D. Performing both the opening and closing tracks off the new "Pick of Destiny" album, Jack Black, Kyle Gass and their touring band did everything possible to spice up both segments allotted to them.

They started things off with "Kickapoo", a song that tells the story of what inspired Young JB to runaway from his religious upbringings in Kickapoo, Missouri to Hollywood, a land "where the ocean meets the sand". Although anyone not up to speed on the D might have had a hard time following the story since JB and KG tackled so many of the song's characters themselves (the film and CD both feature Dio and Meat Loaf as guest stars), the song still rocked. Equally as good was hearing JB make the song Network TV proof. I have to say "`twas I who freaked the Dragon freak-a-lie, sing freak-a-loo" or hearing him tell his Dad to "suck a rock" were notable attempts at sanitation.

Their second song entitled "The Metal", probably worked even better and it also featured fan favorite Lee from the HBO series. The song is about how all musical genres, at least in JB's mind, have never been able to fully overcome the raw power of heavy metal. Sure it was a one-bit gag, but seeing all the cast members dressed up as said genres (especially Wiig's wimpy version of "techno") was pretty funny.

On the sketch side, the "History Buff vs. Math Wiz" sketch was top notch. This was likely penned by Will Forte, and I must say, he has had some really good sketches so far this season: "Poland Springs Delivery Men" (Cook), "Jon Bovi" (Pressly) and even Doug Frangelo (Reilley) come to mind. Tonight's History Buffs was just classic Will however. Only Forte can yell "No son of mine will EVER be a math wiz" shortly after shattering a drinking glass in his bare hand with such conviction. Hard to believe he was rumored to be on the chopping block just three months ago.

A culmination of three smaller moments rounded out "The Good" category tonight. The first was Bill Hader's impression of Michael Richards during the monologue. Just like Al Pacino, Vincent Price or Peter Gallagher, Hader has unveiled yet another master impression from his growing repertoire. It's a shame his screen time has been on a downward spiral lately.

The second two were both in Weekend Update. Up first was the return of Wiig's "Aunt Linda" character for a few more movie reviews. I know it was just a retread of her debut appearance in the Baldwin episode last month, but when your review of "Borat" includes the line, "if you want an actor with a mustache, you call Tom Selleck", you've got a funny segment on your hands. The second Update laugh came from Poehler's rant about party girls Paris Hilton and Britney spears. "What's up with the deforestation?" C'mon nah'!

Despite only appearing in what seemed like bit parts throughout the evening's sketches, host Matthew Fox did a respectable job with the material he was given. However, I have to admit I was quite disappointed with the apparent underutilization of Foxy's talents as an actor. He undoubtedly demonstrated he could pull off a wide range of characters, from house music performer D.J. Luxe to a crazy mountain man. So, why did it feel like he was only on screen for about 10 out of the show's 90 minutes?

That being said, there were still a few skits that ended up being quite noteworthy, like Fox's monologue and the History Buffs vs. the Math Whiz. While Fox wasn't laugh-out-loud funny during is monologue, he at least looked pretty comfortable and even managed to be witty, which is a lot more than I can say for past hosts. Bill Hader only spiced up the already decent segment with his uncanny impression of Michael Richard's Kramer, "with the floppy hair and the high pants." Knowing that SNL just had to tackle the whole Richards debacle, I have to say I was quite happy that they decided to take the short and sweet route with this bit, rather than devoting an entire sketch to it. And you know what they say, any Hader is good Hader.

Forte's History Buffs vs. the Math Whiz was, by far, the best skit of the night. From his mustache and glasses to his screaming and breaking a drinking glass with his bare hand, Forte kept the laughs coming. You would think that Forte's strong penchant for loud yelling would get old, yet he always seems to think up idea after idea where it continues to work. "Answer your mother, you Leon Cholgote (sp?)" Best.

Honorable mentions definitely go to Keenan Thompson in Deep House Dish, Wiig's Aunt Linda and Poehler's diatribe on Hollywood starlets "flashing their bizness." Although Deep House Dish in and of itself was far from hilarious, I do love Thompson's D.J. Dynasty Handbag. "Bou-kay?" Wiig continues to shine as Weekend Update Culture Correspondent, Poehler's Aunt Linda. Calling Mel Gibson's latest film, Apocalypto, "a pot of stinko?" Come on, that's some funny shit. And finally, Poehler's tirade on young female stars "showing their baby factories," was extremely amusing. In spite of its very Fey-like tone, Poehler certainly got a few chuckles out of me. "You NEED hair down there! It's a back-up system for underwear! Even when you're showing it, you're not showing it! There was a time when a lady garden was as big as a New York slice of pizza."

Rounding out the "Good" of the evening with perfect coneys was naturally, the rock duo sensation, Tenacious D. Backed by a live band, JB and KG gave us two solid performances of "Kickapoo" and "The Metal." Admittedly, these aren't my favorite songs off of their new album, "The Pick of Destiny," but the D managed to keep their performances interesting, most notably during, "The Metal," where various SNL cast members mimicked the different genres of music that tried to destroy heavy metal. I wouldn't have expected anything less than 4 coney sets from these two gentlemen and I'm glad to see that they didn't disappoint.

NUMMER H-BOMB
THE BAD!

Anchored by the most recurring sketches of any episode so far this season, chunks of tonight felt like last season's Tom Hanks and Kevin Spacey episodes: blown opportunities.

Striking first was Poehler's Nancy Grace sketch, which after only two appearances already feels played out. Remember the first one back in the Pressly episode when Grace kept interrupting the news to complain about how someone in the studio had moved her chair? Well, update the news stories and change the chair to a pen that feels "light" and you've got this week's installment. Cookie cutter. Don't get me wrong, Poehler's southern accent filled Grace impression is dead on, but the sketch, not her pen, is just too light.

Deep House Dish was equally guilty. Replace Dratch's old Tiara-Z co-host character with Samberg's new T-Shane, treat him the same way, then update the musical segments and Pow! Keenan's latest. Also, make sure DJ Dynasty Handbag says things like "Britney Spurs" instead of Britney Spears and "bu-k" instead of OK. This sketch should have been retired when Dratch left.

Sudeikis also got another whack at a George W. Bush cold opening tonight and sadly, it was even less effective that his first attempt. It's still pretty early, and I'm not ready to write Jason off after only two attempts, but this characterization has a ways to go. Also, after having what I considered to be a bad show back during the Reilly episode, it seems that Sudekis has entered some kind of slump. At this point last year, he was virtually in every other sketch. Now he seems to be warming the bench with Hader. This is not where I expected either one of these guys to be at this point in the season.

Tonight's remaining segments including Mayan Empire, Mountain Man and even the Sale Mart commercial parody just felt underdeveloped. Perhaps more time could have been spent on these instead of Deep House Dish or Nancy Grace?

Unfortunately, this week's episode appeared to fall into last season's trendy trap of sub-par sketch material. True, the show did boast some shining moments with the likes of History Buffs, but skits like Nancy Grace, the Mayan Empire and Sale Mart just seemed to fall flat on their faces.

Hader's Kramer rendition aside, I also found many of this week's impressions to either be lacking in character or just plain annoying. For instance, where is this great President Bush imitation that I hear Sudeikis does, because I surely haven't seen it? To Sudeikis' credit, he has only played the 43rd President twice as of date, but I can't say I've been too impressed with what I've seen so far. Perhaps third time's a charm? As for the most annoying impression, Rudoph's Whitney Houston won hands down. Who the hell cares about Whitney Houston?? Rudolph has become the female Daryl Hammond, in my opinion, with the same old tired characters. It's time to get rid, y'all.

And nice copping out on what could've been a great opportunity at a Lost sketch. Instead of the kick-ass parody we were all hoping for, we get Fox surrounded by Lost fans in an elevator, bugging him about the popular show. Besides Armisen's theory on the smoke monster being, "nightmares and trees," what could've been an amazing sketch was quickly swept under the rug with all of the other unremarkable skits from this evening.

Finally, where was the alleged sketch that Jables was to appear in? I was actually shocked to find the show ending without JB, and maybe even Kyle, popping up in at least one skit. Could Lorne have really thought that Nancy Grace was funnier than any character Mr. Black would've spewed out? If their songs were any indication, I would think not. In the words of Aunt Linda, I give this an "Oh, Ghaa."

NUMMER H-BOMB
THE BOTTOM LINE!

It wasn't Matthew Fox's fault, but aside from Tenacious D and few other moments, this show was forgettable. Where was the Lost sketch we were all hoping for? I was really hoping for a full on parody, not just a few cast members in an elevator with Fox discussing plot theories or the difficulty of keeping spoilers quiet. Speaking of missing sketches, according a Tenacious D/Epic Records email blast from 11/30/06, I got my hopes up after reading "Jack will also appear in a sketch". Guess it must have been cut after rehearsals or dress? Too bad. We could have used it tonight.

Sketch-wise, this episode was a huge letdown. Luckily we didn't have to imagine how much worse it would've been without Tenacious D as musical guest. It's a shame, really, because Matthew Fox seemed really excited to host and I think he could've pulled off a much better show with funnier material and more airtime.


CONEY COUNT

SKETCH NUMMER H-BOMB

1. Cold Opening: NBC Special Report
Premise: George W. Bush speaks with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki

1 CONEYS! 1 CONEYS!0.5 CONEYS!

2. Monologue: Fox

3 CONEYS! 3 CONEYS!

3. Commercial Parody: Sale Mart
Premise: Spoof of Wal Mart

1 CONEYS!0.5 CONEYS! 1 CONEYS!

4. Sketch: Nancy Grace
Premise: Recurring parody of the CNN Headline News program

1 CONEYS! 0 CONEYS!

5. Sketch: Deep House Dish
Premise: Recurring sketch about the house music scene

1 CONEYS! 2 CONEYS!

6. Sketch: Matthew Fox meets Lost fans
Premise: Lost fans bombard Matthew Fox with show theories

2 CONEYS! 2 CONEYS!

7. Music: Tenacious D "Kickapoo"

4 CONEYS! 4 CONEYS!

8. Weekend Update
Guests: Hammond, Keenan, Wiig, Maya

2 CONEYS!0.5 CONEYS! 2 CONEYS!

9. Sketch: Mountain Man
Premise: Wiig and Poehler try to score a kiss from Matthew Fox

2 CONEYS! 1 CONEYS!0.5 CONEYS!

10. Sketch: History Buffs vs. Math Wiz
Premise: A son in a history buff family intends to be a math wiz instead

3 CONEYS! 3 CONEYS!

11. Sketch: The Mayan Empire
Premise: Theory suggesting chocolate killed off the Mayan empire

2 CONEYS! 1 CONEYS!

12. Music: Tenacious D "The Metal"

4 CONEYS! 4 CONEYS!

TOTALS

27 / 48 Coneys

25 / 48 Coneys



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