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Date Posted: 14:49:11 04/12/17 Wed
Author: HerbertMcHoover
Subject: Damon Wayans / Dionne Farris - April 8, 1995 (20.17)
In reply to: HerbertMcHoover 's message, "Retro Reviews - April 2017" on 18:35:53 04/02/17 Sun

Leading Off:
• In a sign of the apocalypse and the world coming to an end, Damon Wayans hosts SNL. He was a cast member in season eleven, fired for reading his lines in a Mr. Monopoly sketch flamboyantly during a live show. Nice to see him return to host this episode and show some of his potential that never made it to air ten years ago in the last disaster season. Such a strange pick, but it was a strange year.

A Statement from Judge Ito: 1/2*
Mark's Judge Ito was not great and this was yet another poorly done OJ Simpson trial sketch.

Morwenna Banks has been added to the cast in a full-out desperation move by Lorne.

Monologue: ****
He could have been in the Hartman cast! He had that potential! Damon actually provides the most entertaining stand-up all year long. I wish he came back to host again, because he was tremendous here and I loved his impression of a man giving a report in the eye of a tornado.

Why are they rerunning a commercial with Janeane Garofalo?

Camp Ujaama: ****1/2
I forgot Ellen Cleghorne was relevant. She reads off a bunch of bizarre names, such as diseases, places, products and body parts with Damon Wayans. A simple premise that worked much better than it should have this year.

Men On Film: DUD
One of my least favorite sketches of the season. Farley played himself disguised as Roger Ebert and Wayans played his flamboyant character from In Living Color, Blaine Edwards in this SNL setting. However, I can't give it more than a DUD. This was yet another example of a sketch that would not end. David Alan Grier made an appearance here.

Weekend Update: ***
So close for Norm's first ten joke Update! His best jokes were: Mandela, OJ Simpson/knife(!!!), women's tennis, Buttafuoco(!), sitting on her fat ass all day long, Julia Roberts(!), Willie Nelson(!), dog/eating babies, crack whore.

David actually played Jeff Foxworthy once again to explain the Ebola virus. Adam Sandler makes an appearance on this Update to update Mike Tyson on his personal life. Norm signs off as Kevin Nealon.

Stiles Monroe: ***1/2
Speaking of Kevin Nealon, he makes his first appearance of the night as a patron, listening to Damon Wayans play the trumpet. There is a lot of spit in the trumpet and the joke is obvious early on. However, the execution was key to making this work better than it should have been. Similar to Rookie Cop and some of the sketches that used blood this year, they got clever with their techniques on making the water come out of the trumpet. At first, just a few drops. After a few minutes, it was nearly a sprinkler in Molly and Kevin's faces. I just did not like how gross things got before Damon started playing the piano.

Court TV: ****
The final Court TV sketch and it was buried very late into the show. None of them have been great and we have already gone through a few Lance Itos, so it is mind-boggling how it has been so tough to get one good installment out of it. That is until now. Damon brings back his character from In Living Color, Anton Jackson. This sketch was all about Damon. It was not about Laura or Michael McKean or even the person playing Judge Ito. Damon has been lively as hell this episode and his library of characters and experience as a live performer has been a very handy tool.

Perspectives: DUD
The third Perspectives. All three were unmemorable and were given unfavorable grades. Kudos to SNL for keeping this sketch going when the writers righted the ship, but these were nothing special until the cast overhaul.

Cirque du Soleil: DUD
This would be Morwenna Banks' biggest live sketch moment on the show. It was certainly different for SNL. The audience did not care for it though and it turned out to be another misfire for SNL this season. Elliott and Banks made their only appearances of the night. It seemed like Banks was hired, so the female could get some more presence in the cast after the loss of Janeane Garofalo, but she was deemed to be unnecessary, due to the quiet emergence of Molly Shannon as a good straight person, even without the wild characters she was known for.

Christopher Walken for Skittles: ***
Oh hey, Jay Mohr! You are around in the cast as well. This was the most spot-on job he had done with Christopher Walken. The problem with this sketch was that he blew past the one minute time he was supposed to give this commercial. That was because he took a long time delivering his lines, with a lot of pauses to get the point across.

Tom Jones Briefs: 1/2*
Season twenty.

Episode MVP: Damon Wayans.
Damon was one of the best things to come out of this season. He seemed to appear more in this episode than he had during the one season he was on the show.

Final Thoughts:
Damon made this a great episode. His appearances had life and he gave off a different energy than the other hosts did all year long.

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