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by Nummer and H-Bomb

Episode 6: Brittany Murphy / Nelly (11/16/02)

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

Murphy Buzz

Hot in Herrrre
OAD: Original Air Date*

*Now that Season 28 is five shows in, they have begun re-airing commercial parodies from earlier in the season. To be fair, coneys will be awarded the same as they were the first time they aired.

Well, as most of you probably heard, Heather and I had a 50/50 chance of actually attending this Saturday's show LIVE! NBC representatives were even telling me our chances were good! Alas, in the end, it was not meant to be. I must throw props to my esteemed employer for trying as hard as they did (and hey, they are giving us VIP Conan passes as a consolation!).

Anyway, most of you also know Sandler was supposed to host and musical guest this episode. While the last minute cancellation isn't clear, sources are saying he will still be making a guest appearance. This leaves the question, if he is in fact going to be hanging around NBC all night, what the hell is going on with the hosting? Who knows.

Murphy should be good. She's cute and a pretty decent actress. She also boasts a resume better than some would think: the short lived Drexell's Class, Clueless, Summer Catch and she voices Luann on the seldom talked about King of the Hill. As for Nelly, I say no buzz.

In other SNL news today, it has been confirmed that Norah Jones will take on musical guest duties for the next live show (not until 12/7). In MUCH MORE EXCITING NEWS: Phish (fresh from their self imposed hiatus) are in talks to play musical guest on the 2002 finale opposite Al Gore! This would be a perfect way to close out 2002 in my opinion since Phish has always held a place high in my CD collection.

About a month ago I found out that the supposed host / musical guest of this week's SNL was going to be none other than alumni Adam Sandler. Needless to say, when I heard this I was ecstatic. I am a huge fan and being that I was also going to be in NYC the same weekend, I was convinced it would be one the best shows ever. When it was revealed, however, that Brittany Murphy was hosting instead, I was pretty bummed, mostly because I don't really know any of her work. But I've been trying to keep an open mind and now I think it might end up being a pretty decent episode, especially given the surprisingly good Vardalos episode last week. There's a lot of buzz around an 8 Mile spoof, but I'm curious as to who would play Eminem. Parnell?? And definitely Poehler as the mom!! I'm praying there is no Brian Fellows or Boston Teens, but I wouldn't mind an Astronaut Jones sketch. As far as Nelly goes, I guess I would consider myself a fan. I like most of his stuff (with the exception of Dilemma featuring Kelly Rowland of Destiny's Child fame), and I even own Country Grammar. But seriously you guys, what is up with SNL's obsession with rap artist musical guests these past few weeks?? Regardless, I'm leaning towards a decent show this Saturday.
Cold Opening: The Chanukah Song
Premise: Adam Sandler performs the third version of “The Chanukah Song” from the 8 Crazy Nights soundtrack
It was good to see Adam Sandler back on the SNL stage (in only his second appearance back since he left the cast in 1995 – he later performed a song in a 1996 episode). It would have been nice to see him use his time a little better than a performance of the tired Chanukah Song. Although this was a completely new 2002 version, the song officially ran its course when it showed up on its second Sandler album (1999’s otherwise horribly underrated “Stan and Judy’s Kid”). Still, the Jewish references did manage to stay fresh and the Rob Schneider cameo was good. As far as cold openings go this season, this was a decent one.
Sandler!! Even though I’m still bummed about him not hosting the show, I’m glad he did indeed make a guest appearance. This new rendition of the Chanukah song made me realize how much I loved his singing performances when he used to be part of the SNL cast. And now I definitely can’t wait for 8 Crazy Nights!! Rob Schneider’s surprise appearance was also great. Tiny Elvis!!! Awesome!!
Monologue: Murphy
This was the best monolog since Damon. The premise was that the new SNL book failed to mention there is an East Coast vs. West Coast comedy war going on behind the scenes. Parnell, Morgan and Poehler (glad to see her back after the absence in the Vardalos episode) all had hilarious freestyle rap segments. Even Murphy’s chance with the mic was pretty clever.
This was way better than I was expecting it to be. I liked how they accomplished an 8 Mile spoof without doing an actual skit. Morgan calling Parnell a bitch was definitely best!! But seriously, can it get any better than Poehler free-styling?? Did anyone check out Morgan’s face while she was?? And, of course, Parnell’s rapping is always hilarious. His “don’t ask, don’t tell” reference to Ian was just so fucking awesome. Didn’t find Murphy’s rap very funny though. Nonetheless, I was laughing pretty good the rest of the time.
Commercial Vignette: “Welcome Back Potter” TV Spot
Premise: The WB has a new series based on a grown up Harry Potter returning to Hogwarts as a teacher
This was pretty funny. Up until the end I thought an actual sketch was going to follow it too! Despite the overused “Welcome Back Kotter” premise, the sketch still looked like it could have been pretty funny. Too bad they didn’t run with the idea a little longer.
So much buzz around Harry Potter!! First Conan, now SNL. This was funny, but I thought it was actually going to lead to a skit. I was actually pretty surprised when it didn’t. But seeing the “big city” taking over the vast area that used to be around Hogwart’s school was amusing, especially since we were in Manhattan this past weekend and it looked exactly like their setup. Got some good chuckles out of the still shots, especially when Armisen is raising his hand in class.
Sketch: The Leatherman
Premise: Fallon plays a leather salesman obsessed with leather
This sketch is 100% Fallon at his worst. The voice is his most blatant Myers rip off to date, and the idea of leather clothing being loud is funny for 5 seconds. Murphy was ridiculously bad in this one as well. Flubbed lines, Fallon giggles and Sanz completely recycling his screams from the last Leatherman killed this before it started.
When I first saw this skit with Britney Spears, I thought it was pretty funny. However, most of that was due to Sanz’s character. Fallon’s constant laughing, of course, takes a lot away from this sketch though. And Murphy is completely unimpressive thus far. I’m already sick of her “I’m so hot” routine and it’s not even a quarter way through the show yet. Sanz’s encounter with the rattler was about the only thing I really laughed at this time around.
Sketch: The Donahue Show on MSNBC
Premise: Donahue hosts a failing political news talk show
I thought this was a decent sketch. I’ve been a huge fan of Hammond’s Donahue ever since the Donahue/Carson Retirement Years sketch with Dana Carvey back in the late nineties. This sketch was not laugh out loud funny, but it had some really good dry humor undertones. Morgan as Sharpton is always a safe bet too.
I was kind of disappointed with this sketch. It seemed too long and I didn’t really find it funny at all. I thought I would find at least a few lines to laugh at from either Hammond’s Donahue or Morgan’s Al Sharpton, but no dice.
Sketch: Jarret’s Room
Premise: Recurring sketch in which college burnouts host a show streamed over the internet
No comment.
Ugh. This is the biggest problem with having hot young female hosts. Fallon is in A LOT of skits. I was really surprised to see that he didn’t burst out laughing per usual. But this sketch was still a long way from being even remotely humorous. Fallon sucked. Murphy sucked. And Sanz, whose antics I usually find somewhat funny no matter what, was just extremely irritating with his pot talk. This really was a just a horrible sketch. Horrible, horrible!!
Sketch: CSPAN
Premise: CSPAN investigates a gay butler
Meyers. He’s becoming less funny in every sketch lately. No chuckles in this one. The announcer got really annoying too. Not a good way to follow Jarret’s Room. They should have re-aired the Falconer.
Not one laugh. What the hell??
Sketch: Tennis Talk with Time Traveling Scott Joplin
Premise: Scott Joplin travels back and forth through time to host a show about Women’s Tennis
Rudolph? Is Rudolph really coming up with these off the wall sketches? Last week’s lawyer sketch was a great idea (just poorly delivered), and this premise actually manages to trump it! I laughed my ass off at this one. I think Dean Edwards officially got his first laughs from me this season here. Everything about this sketch was solid. The “pi-aney” interludes between topics were hysterical too.
This was pretty good. I absolutely love it when Morgan dresses up as a woman (he played Venus Williams), and if it’s possible, Edwards looked even funnier as Serena Williams!! Murphy’s repetitive “hot girl” act finally seems appropriate here as Anna Kournikova, but she still manages to not be funny. Rudolph, however, was amusing as the time traveling Scott Joplin, taking sarcastic shots at Murphy while playing old time piano tunes.
Music: Nelly #1
Don’t know the song. Don’t really care too. Still, it gets one coney since Nelly actually tries to sing at one point.
I don’t like this song. Made good use of the fast forward button here.
Weekend Update
The jokes were again pretty solid all the way through, but the appearance of Drunk Girl immediately killed all hopes of 4 coneys. This character is the only reason Richards doesn’t get Armisen-like attention. It was really funny the first time last season, but Richards’ failure to add anything more to the character makes it suffer.

Kattan and Rudolph were again pretty funny as Liza and David. Kattan does really good with this character.

I would also like to take this time to reveal some shocking news about last week’s Weekend Update (Vardalos). It has been reported and confirmed by a number of internet sources that Fey’s joke about “going down Times Square and getting crabs” at Red Lobster was actually the SAME EXACT joke Conan’s team wrote and used just a few days before on Late Night! I had no idea Fey and company were into ripping off jokes! No buzz. No buzz at all.

This was awful!!! Drunk girl. Worst!! I’ve been slowly becoming a Richards fan, but that is one character he definitely has to get away from. On the whole, though, it was a pretty bad Update. There weren’t any funny jokes. In fact, there was even a reoccurring “joke” that involves Phil Collins that I remember them using only a few weeks ago. It wasn’t funny then, and was even worse this time around.
Sketch: Astronaut Jones
Premise: Recurring sketch in which Morgan plays an astronaut always looking to get laid
Hell yeah! The third and almost best appearance of Astronaut Jones to date! This time around, he had the help of Cadets Nelly and Garrett Morris! So funny. They even added background singers and sound effects to the skit’s already flawless and catchy opening theme. Space titties. Obvs.
Alright!! I was hoping that this skit would make it to the live show!! And with some new additions, not only to the theme song, but also by the special appearances of Garret Morris and Nelly as Morgan’s fellow cadets. Morgan’s mention of “big green space titties” was hysterical albeit a little surprising only because I didn’t think they allowed that word on tv (at least they don’t on radio). But I guess anything goes after Weekend Update!! Great sketch!!
A Cartoon by Robert Smigel: The Religetables
Premise: Spoof of Jonah – A Veggie’s Tale
I never saw Jonah so this wasn’t too funny.
This was somewhat funny, but in a very very weird way.
Vignette: My Big Thick Novel
Premise: Recurring vignette revealing a new chapter of Jack Handy’s novel
Not bad. These are always good for at least 2 coneys.
Always amusing in it’s own clever way.
Music: Nelly #2

I like this song, but I was getting kind of bored at this point. Spent most of the song trying to figure out what was up with the guy in Nelly’s posse that was wearing the Phantom of the Opera mask.
Sketch: The Girl with no Gaydar
Premise: Recurring sketch in which Dratch attends parties not realizing the all the men are gay
These are still good, but Dratch needs to come up with some different writing for the gay men. This one at least threw a lesbian twist in there, but it still got a little trite by the end.
Finally, Armisen!! But I’m wondering why he’s only been playing waiters lately. Nevertheless, his pursed lips were best!! Hammond was also hilarious, even though he only had a one-liner. “Hey girl!” Still not a huge fan of this sketch, but it has it’s moments.
Closing Comments
Not a horrible episode, but not great either. I really don’t think they needed TWO Fallon sketches in there - especially two really bad recurring ones.

Murphy wasn’t that good of a host either. Her acting was really bad and she seemed to be limping a lot! Perhaps she twister having sex with Eminen at the Warren…I mean “Detroit” Stamping Plant in 8 Mile?

All in all, I’m sort of glad we didn’t end up with tickets to this one. I probably would have been a little disappointed afterwards.

No new episodes for 2 weeks. They do promise to be amazing ones though! Gore! DeNiro! PHISH! Can’t wait. And for those of you interested in the rerun selection during the hiatus, NBC is currently planning on re-airing the often referenced and talked about Ian McKellen/Kylie episode on 11/30/02. If you haven’t seen it yet, tune in and see what the best of Season 27 had to offer.

In hindsight, I guess I’m not too sad we didn’t get tickets to this episode of SNL. It was definitely not as good as I had anticipated. And once again, there was hardly any Poehler or Armisen, which was disappointing. At least I got my Astronaut Jones. And Adam Sandler, although it would’ve been cool to see him in an actual skit. Overall, though, not the greatest episode.
26 out of 60 Coneys.
22 Coneys out of a possible 60.

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