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McCain - Episode 3

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by Nummer and H-Bomb

Episode 3: John McCain / The White Stripes (10/19/02)

= John Belushi
= Amy Poehler
= Tim Meadows
= Melanie Hutzel
= Charles Rocket
HALF A CONEY! = Self-Explanatory


Pre-show Comments
As always, hopes are high. I’m really thinking McCain will pull off some “out of nowhere” good buzz that Ian McKellen got last season. I read the sketch spoilers Friday morning and wasn’t surprised at all to see a number of political stuff scheduled. SNL political humor is part of the show’s roots. For the most part, it’s usually good. I’ve also heard that McCain can’t raise his arms above his head due to a Vietnam injury. Will that angle be played? Adding in The White Stripes (originally scheduled guest Nelly is rumored to be rescheduled by the end of the year) shouldn’t hurt either. I must admit that I don’t automatically find the name John McCain synonymous with laughs. But I’m actually pretty excited about this upcoming episode mostly because I have no idea what to expect. And it’s always best to see musical guests from your hometown, even if I’m not a huge fan. Lots of debate over which songs they’ll play. Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground. It’s a given. Hotel Yorba?? Jolene?? Or could it be so obvious as Fell In Love With A Girl?? I’m convinced that no matter what, it’s gonna be a good show.
Cold Opening: Iraqi State Television – Decision 2002
Premise: Iraqi TV Network updates residents on their current presidential election.
What? No Parnell Bush opening? I’m wondering if Parnell’s inaugural performance as Bush last week didn’t satisfy Lorne. This sketch did manage to be a good substitute though. I didn’t like the recycled ballot humor. Very 2000. Maya also showed her limitations by using her Versache voice for an Iraqi woman. Kattan was pretty good (?) and Armisen’s face as one of the “no” voters was best. Sanz as Saddam gets the effort award in this one, but by the time he came on, the sketch had already ran WAY TOO LONG. 2 Coneys (could have been 3 or 4 if shortened by just a minute!)
This was a great opener!! I am totally loving Horatio as Saddam! The whole concept of updating the Iraqi people of the current poll even though no one else was running was good. Even Kattan was funny. But it was things like Armisen’s and Meyer’s pictures as the “secret ballots” that voted against Saddam, and Saddam’s acceptance speech to Starship that really brought out the laughs. Off to a great start!

Monologue: McCain
Armisen in the monologue! Featured players usually bitch that they’re stuff doesn’t get on the air for months – even years! Armisen in only three episodes has landed a Weekend Update spot, first sketch of an episode placement and now a monologue! Plus it was Ferricito! McCain trying to keep up with him was very well done.

Ferricito in the monologue?! Awesome!! Armisen’s Venezuelan comedian character first appeared 2 weeks ago and is already back. And in the monologue!! This guy is going to be all over SNL, which sucks, since he never makes me laugh. I’M JUST KIDDING!! McCain’s crack about Bush not working weekends had me chuckling as well. Not quite as good as Damon’s angry dance-off but it’s definitely a close second.
Sketch: Hardball
Premise: Recurring sketch in which Hammond spoofs Chris Matthews’ cable news show “Hardball”.
I’ve always loved this sketch. Tracy Morgan as Harry Belafonte was hysterical. “The poodle is the black man of the dog world”. So many one liners from this sketch have already been added to my personal vocabulary.

Hammond was hilarious in this skit as Hardball’s Chris Matthews. I was laughing the entire time this was on. “ Rebecca DeWitt, what General Ashcroft just said was pretty crazy. Can you beat it?” Actually, everyone (Dratch, Morgan and McCain) was excellent in this sketch. So far McCain = Perfect Coneys.

Sketch: Lifetime Movie – The Gillian Woodward Story
Premise: Spoof of Lifetime Network original movies. Plot revolves around a wife (Poehler) who thinks her husband (McCain) is getting too personal.
This sketch should have followed the monologue so Hardball could have been a bit longer. This was a funny idea, but like the Cold Opening, it just went on and on. McCain’s recurring goofy ass faces saved it to an extent, and Poehler’s shower scene has already trumped the latest Playboy, but it just went forever. There were also boom mistakes like mad (which did manage more laughs than Maya’s performance).

Oh My Gad!! McCain as the creepy, hovering, space invading husband!!! Hilarious!! I think Nummer was right when he said it’s his chubby cheeks. He was by far the best part of this skit. Although it was longer than it needed to be, I’m still giving it...

Sketch: Wakeup Wakefield
Premise: Recurring sketch about self produced high school morning news updates.
What the hell? Maya has been in 90% of this episode so far. What gives?

I actually don’t mind this sketch as much as I should. It has an annoying factor up there with Boston Teens and Brian Fellows, but Dratch as Sheldon and Jazz Times Ten usually rack up a few laughs. Wakefield is also similar to Boston Teens in that Sanz’s supporting role usually steals the show. McCain’s Steely Dan themed pumpkins were brilliant.

When I heard that this was in the sketch line-up, I was really hoping they would take it out. Unfortunately it was left in and ruined my perfect Coney run!! McCain was decent as the hippie art teacher, mainly because of the long ponytail and hawaiian shirt. Not a lot of laughs though.
Sketch: A Cartoon By Robert Smigel – The Ambiguously Gay Duo
Premise: Recurring cartoon that begs the question, “Are Ace and Gary really gay?”
This has been wearing thin over the years. It still manages a few good visuals though. Surprised Smigel didn’t opt for the Ex-Presidents given McCain.

Yes!! It has been a while since I’ve seen the Ambiguously Gay Duo. This cartoon is always funny and tonight was no different.

Sketch: Meet the Press
Premise: Spoof on Sunday Morning political news show. Hammond plays host who keeps insisting that McCain should re-run for President in 2004.
OK. McCain episode is doing pretty well at this point. The only problem is that the really good sketches are being stretched out too long. This was again the case with Meet the Press. The idea of badgering McCain was good, but it didn’t go anywhere. Hammond laughed (I think it was accidental) pretty good in the beginning of it and McCain did manage more of his crazed faces, so it still snags...

I thought this was pretty good even though it kind of dragged on. Hammond’s unexpected laugh was hilarious. His hounding of McCain as to whether he was going to run for president in 2004 was good but lengthy. “What if President Bush does not run? What if he forgets to run?” After this episode, I almost wish McCain was running for president!!

Music: The White Stripes
Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground! THIS WAS FUCKING AMAZING! Funnier than all the sketches so far even! Jack’s voice was just all over the place. I didn’t really like them this summer when I saw them with The Strokes for this same reason, but somehow it worked on TV. I guess I just need the close-ups of his face and eyes. 4 Coneys. Easy.

I’m wondering if Jack White thought this performance was actually a skit?! I’m not a huge fan of the White Stripes, but it was pretty decent. I was actually too busy laughing at JW’s antics to really pay attention to their musical talents.

Weekend Update
So much better than last week’s Gellar disaster. Will Forte finally got a chance to show his talents too as political candidate Tim Calhoun. I have to say, Calhoun was getting some huge laughs at the SNL party.

Awesome Weekend Update! Fey’s bit about genetically engineered onions had me in tears!! Hehe. And Forte as senatorial candidate Tim Calhoun. My God does that guy have a creepy voice!! “America needs another big lake.” My first real laughs for Forte.

Sketch: McCain Sings Streisand
Premise: McCain is fed up with Streisand telling the government how to do their job, so he decides to do hers.
This is the kind of out of nowhere buzz I was hoping for. McCain singing? Who knew? This is up there with the great music spoofs of SNL. “Love. Soft as an easy chair”! So many rewinds on Sunday.

If you’re like me and you can’t stand Streisand sticking her nose into everything political, this sketch was exceptional. And you can tell that McCain really means it when he says, “Do I know how to sing? About as well as she knows how to govern America.” This sketch couldn’t have been more perfect! Right on, McCain!! “Papa can you hear me? Papa can you see me?”

Vignette: My Big Fat Novel
Premise: Recurring taped segment which focuses on a new chapter of Jack Handey’s Big Fat Novel in each installment.
I’m a big Jack Handey fan. I love Deep Thoughts. I love Fuzzy Memories. I love this. I’m really glad to see this idea back for another season. Not as good as The Personal Blow Dart Counter from last year, but still good.


Sketch: Top o’ the Morning
Premise: Who cares? It’s Fallon based.
Leave it to Fallon to ruin the great pace of this episode. In classic form, Fallon manages to once again COMPLETELY RIP OFF MIKE MYERS. This reeked of All Things Scottish and British Soccer Hooligan Weekly. Awful. Awful. Awful. And you would think a sketch with Jeff Richards playing a drunk named Dooley was fool proof. Awful.

What is this?? Have you noticed the high coney ratings for the sketches thus far?? A huge reason for that is probably the fact that Fallon hasn’t really been in any of them. But now here he is fucking it all up. McCain’s attempt at an irish accent garnered some chuckles though.

Music: The White Stripes #2
We’re going to be Friends. I found out Friday this was going to be the second song. I would have liked Hotel Yorba or Fell in Love With a Girl over this very Beatle-ish song – but still acceptable. Plus, since there wasn’t much drum activity, Meg could focus on looking cute – which she did.

Again, not a big fan, but this was ok. JW still looked a little psycho though.

Closing Comments
I was happy with this episode. If certain sketches would have been a bit shorter, this would have been an instant classic. I’m also very glad I can breath a sigh of relief after Gellar last week. I’m also very surprised that with such a politically themed episode, no George W appearances were made. I’m really wondering if Parnell or Lorne are re-tooling it. 35 Coneys out of 52.

Next week is a best of Halloween compilation. Bring on the Sandler Halloween costumes! Crazy pickle arm!

Best episode yet!! McCain got a lot of good buzz and did not disappoint. Eric McCormick / Jay Z in 2 weeks. Still a toss-up at this point.
35 out of 52 possible Coneys.
39 Coneys out of a possible 52.

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