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by Nummer and H-Bomb

Special Episode: Christmas 2002 (12.17.02)

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

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)


SNL Christmas Specials are usually very good. Unlike the Halloween Special were sketch choices are somewhat limited, SNL typically has at least one Christmas themed episode every season. This leaves the amount of possible sketches wide open.

It's actually been about 5 years since I've caught an XMAS special, though. I'm kind of curious to see what will make the pick. John Goodman's "Drunk Santa" sketch from the 1998 season was phenomenal, but I'm not sure if it will make primetime. Sure thing sketches include: Matt Foley's Santa, Consumer Probe, Baldwin's "Schweaty Balls" and hopefully Hanukkah Harry.

It should be worthwhile. Hopefully co-host Jimmy Fallon won't stick his mug in front of the camera too much either.

I'm thinking that the upcoming SNL Christmas Special will just like any other SNL Special. Good and bad sketches alike, but all in all, usually a pretty decent mix. Off the top of my head, I can't really think of a lot of Christmas skits that might make up this show. I'm expecting Adam Sandler's Hanukkah Song for sure. And maybe some Motivational Santa with Matt Foley. The one I'm really hoping makes the cut is John Goodman's Santa Claus sketch from 98. " I'll be sittin on my throne, eatin nuts." So hilarious!! If the recent Halloween Special was any indication, I think this Christmas episode will be pretty good.

Sketch: Mary Katherine Gallagher Christmas
Premise: MKG joins a holiday school function
OAD: 12/14/96

Molly Shannon is up there with Fallon in my opinion. I never cared for this character at all. Throw in some other truly unfunny chaps like Rosie O’Donnell and you have a truly bad way to open a “best of” show.

I vaguely remember seeing this sketch live, but it’s been so long it’s like I’m watching it for the first time. I can’t recall thinking it was that funny then, and my mind hasn’t changed now. I usually get annoyed very quickly with Shannon as Mary Katherine Gallagher. Also, I can’t stand Rosie O’Donnell, who happened to be the host for this episode. The funniest part was Ferrell’s brief choir solo at the beginning of the sketch. Not the best skit they could’ve picked for the opener.

Sketch: Martha Stewart’s Home for the Holidays: Topless XMAS Special
Premise: MS conducts her holiday show topless
OAD: 12/7/96

Have I ever mentioned Ana is on my Shitty SNL Players list too? Never liked these MS sketches too much. They were always the same joke over and over. The topless twist in this one was OK and it made me laugh in ’96, so I think I should give it at least…

Ugh. This was so stupid. I have never found this sketch funny. And the fact that Gasteyer is “topless” during the whole thing is just a ridiculous attempt at humor. Not funny. Luckily it was short!

Past Cold Opening: The Chanukah Song
Premise: Adam Sandler performs the third version of “The Chanukah Song” from the 8 Crazy Nights soundtrack
OAD: 11/16/02

See Murphy / Nelly review for original comments.

I enjoyed it when Sandler played this during the Murphy episode a month ago. Sandler is a huge favorite of mine and it was great to see him back on the SNL stage. The same goes for Rob Schnieder! I especially loved Sandler’s still picture on the monitor after he sings that he wants to “put some more Jew” into ½ Jew Jennifer Connelly. Very entertaining!!

Sketch: It’s a Wonderful Life – Hidden Ending
Premise: The original ending revealed?
OAD: 12/86

This was an OK sketch. I’m not a big fan of the actual movie, so a parody of it doesn’t appeal too much to me. Carvey is pretty funny in this and according to Fallon’s lead in, this particular sketch was an inspiration to him. You almost have to give it less coneys for that!

I absolutely love Carvey’s Jimmy Stewart impressions!! Tigs!! I’ve seen this sketch once before, but again, it’s been a while. It’s a pretty decent skit. And nothing says the holidays like violent humor!!

Sketch: The Kulps
Premise: The Kulps perform pop songs for XMAS
OAD: 12/15/01

As mentioned in previous reviews, I never liked the Kulps. So far this is a very bad XMAS special.

I remembered not really liking this sketch, especially during this episode hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, which was not a very good show overall. I just recall being really sick of this skit by the time this episode rolled around. Ferrell is still kind of funny, but the idea was so overused at this point I just couldn’t get into it. Adding Ellen’s singing to the mix didn’t make it any better. In fact, it seemed to make it worse.

Sketch: Steve Martin’s Holiday Wish
Premise: Martin reveals his true wishes for XMAS
OAD: 12/6/86

Finally! Something good. I always loved this sketch as a kid. This was taken from the episode where Martin, Chase and Short all hosted SNL together promoting Three Amigos. So much buzz.

I’ve never seen this skit before. It wasn’t knock you on your ass funny, but I got a few good chuckles out of Steve Martin’s increasingly selfish Christmas wish list. Especially the one wishing for an extended 31 day orgasm.

Sketch: Consumer Probe
Premise: TV show examines unsafe holiday toys
OAD: 12/11/76

As I mentioned in the Halloween review, Consumer Probe sketches were always gold. Aykroyd plays this character so well. No complaints.

Yeah!! Great sketch. Dan Aykroyd continues to be hilarious as the self-absorbed, completely ignorant, total sleazeball president of Mainway Toys, who half-heartedly tries to convince the public that his dangerous toys are safe. His sunglasses and slicked back hair are best!! General Tron Secret Police Confession Kit! Mr. Skin Grafter! Johnny Switchblade Adventure Punk! Teddy Chainsaw Bear! And my own personal favorite, the Bag O line, featuring Bag O Glass, Bag O Vipers and Bag O Sulfuric Acid!! I can always count on Consumer Probe for some good laughs.

Sketch: Mall Santa
Premise: DeNiro plays a mall Santa with an attitude
OAD: 12/7/02

See DeNiro / Jones review for original comments.

Eh. Didn’t like this at all when I saw it on the DeNiro episode 2 weeks ago. Tonight was no different. See DeNiro review (12/7/02).

Sketch: The Mark Jensen Family Christmas Special
Premise: Prop malfunctions during holiday special

Never saw this one before. Don’t know how I missed it. This was classic Ferrell. Glad to see something of a surprise in this rather dull XMAS special. Does anyone know where this sketch came from? I’m beginning to think it was a dress rehearsal sketch since it’s not showing up in any episode guides.

Oh my GAD!! I don’t know how I’ve never seen this skit before!! Fucking hilarious!! Why is Ferrell even spinning on that thing to begin with?! I could see the fake puke coming from a mile away, but it still had my laughing my ass off!! Not many people can pull this off without the fake puke going everywhere, but Ferrell does a great job, even while continuing to spin around! And his singing is always entertaining!! Awesome sketch!!

Sketch: Santi-Wrap
Premise: Sanitary toilet style protection paper to be used on Santa’s lap
OAD: 12/11/76

This was pretty funny. A little long for a commercial parody, but still funny. Anything with Belushi is worth at least 2 coneys most of the time too.

This was pretty good! Santy Wrap!! So decorative AND protective!! John Belushi as the drunk Santa Claus!! “Ho, ho, ho….eh….ho….burp.” Great!!

Sketch: Merry Christmas, Dammit!
Premise: Gumby hosts a Christmas Special

Holy shit! Lorne allowed a sketch from the era he wasn’t a part of! According to Tom Shales’ book “Live From New York”, Lorne totally disregards the episodes he didn’t produce for “best of compilations”. Too be honest, he should have skipped over this one. Murphy’s Gumby is funny for a very short time and this sketch was WAY too long. I gave up half way through and had to fast forward to the end.

It’s kind of nice to see these old skits since most of them I’ve never seen. It’s been a LOOOONG while since I’ve seen Eddie Murphy in any SNL sketches. And I totally forgot that Julia-Louis Dreyfus was in the cast once upon a time. This sketch was ok, but too long. Really started to lose it’s momentum after Gumby reads to the kids.

Sketch: XMAS Song
Premise: Recurring Holiday song with Kattan, Sanz, Fallon and Morgan

Always good. Not sure which one this was though. Possibly the first appearance?

Yes!! The original skit that started it all!! I remember seeing this and absolutely loving the song!! I was singing it for days!! I wish it Christmas toda-ay, I wish it was Christmas toda-ay!!

Sketch: Delicious Dish
Premise: Baldwin plays guest with “Schweaty” foods
OAD: 12/12/98

This sketch made me laugh like a son of bitch back in ’98. It’s so simple and juvenile that it worked. If I were to see it again for the first time now, I don’t think I’d be as impressed, but at the time this was comic gold – despite the inclusion of Gasteyer and Shannon. I still say this is a ripoff of the then recently released South Park Chef’s “Salty Balls” song. This did after all, come during one of the less creative periods of SNL history.

Ah…Schweaty balls!! These NPR skits can get kind of boring sometimes, but this one was rather good. It’s scary how much Gasteyer and Shannon sound like the ladies on The Delicious Dish. And Baldwin!! “No one can resist my Schweaty balls.” Hilarious!!

Music: Luciano Pavarotti & Vanessa Williams
OAD: 12/12/98

No buzz.

I’m a sucker for Christmas carols, so I actually really enjoyed this. The full orchestra along with the boys choir made it an impressive performance.

Vignettes (all combined): Fey/Fallon
Premise: Hosts Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon had 11 vignettes scattered throughout episode

These were awful. Fey couldn’t even save them. Fallon was beyond bad in these. Totally killed the hopes for this special being any good.

These were completely unnecessary. I usually love Fey, but she was just as hokey as Fallon in these. I mean, why does Fallon think his rantings on why there are so many birds in the 12 Days of Christmas would make anyone laugh?? And why are Fey and Fallon always the spokespeople for SNL?? I mean, isn’t this a “variety” show!! Get some Poehler and Armisen out there yo!!!

Closing Comments

Uggh. What a subpar special. XMAS specials in the past have been amazing. The 1999 edition comes to mind. So many good things were left out. Goodman’s drunk Santa, Matt Foley XMAS and even the Charlie Brown cartoon from Gore/Phish. They should have ditched the Fey/Fallon bullshit and added two more sketches. Oh well.

SNL will return live on 1/11/03 with NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon handling the hosting duties. Canadian diva Avril Lavigne will act as musical guest. There will also be a live SNL Super Bowl halftime special on 1/26/03. No idea what to expect on that one.

This Christmas special was ok, but could have been so much better. It was definitely not as good as I expected it to be. I was really surprised not to see Farley’s Motivational Santa. Instead we get the Fey and Fallon intros, which barely made sense. That stuff should have definitely been left out. They really brought down the show.


24 out of 60 Coneys.

30.5 Coneys out of a possible 60.

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