Cold Opening – Phone Chat
- Great to review Darrell’s fantastic Bill Clinton impression in this blog for the very first time.
- Already a laugh from the visual of Bill talking to Monica while she’s watching Dawson’s Creek.
- Darrell’s excellent line deliveries really shine here, his “No. I’m taping it!” killed with me and the audience.
- And now this is getting sillier, with Will joining in with them as Saddam Hussein.
- Will’s whole “Jewish friends” bit with Darrell’s Clinton was hilarious.
- Will is KILLING me here.
- Love that we’re now getting meta with Tim playing himself here, and the whole talk about Will’s Saddam potentially hosting the show is very silly & clever.
- A great subversion to the traditional LFNY with Will’s Saddam saying instead: “Live time, from the New York, it’s Saturday Fun Hour!”
- An overall very strong & memorable cold open, back when you could regularly have fun, silly, and strong cold opens on a weekly basis, something that sadly vanished after this SNL era.
- Huge applause break for the music icon after his entrance.
- Already, Garth is coming very likable & comfortable, like if he was made to be on SNL. This is incredible in hindsight, knowing how this hosting stint will go by.
- A very fun conceit with Garth singing a psychedelic revival song, as a supposedly musical genre that he used to do before transitioning to country.
- I love the look of Garth as he sings his psychedelic revival song, as well as the great guitar solo near the end.
- Great monologue overall, with catchy song & a very solid performance by Garth, making me already trusted in him as the host.
- I’m enjoying the fun concept of Garth as a modern cowboy interacting with real, old west cowboys.
- Will is perfect as an old-school cowboy, his voice here is solid.
- Strong line deliveries from Garth, and even if the sketch doesn’t have much else going for it, the execution & Garth’s performance more than make up for that.
- An overall pretty good, low-key sketch that was escalated nicely.
- A very famous installment from this recurring sketch, and easily its most important & definitive iteration.
- Great physical work as always by Chris, and even when I don’t mostly care for two of his biggest recurring characters (this one & Mr. Peepers), I’ve always admired his commitment and utmost professionalism in executing his roles.
- Garth is coming off great, and his obsession with Mango is funny; easily the best of the many hosts that were attracted to Mango through the seasons.
- Funny to hear Mango mentioning Ben Affleck here, considering the famous Mango sketch where Ben disguises himself as Matt Damon, which is possibly the other really popular Mango sketch beside this one.
- Great exaggerated ending yell from Garth, who singlehandedly made this installment work with his committed performance.
- A somewhat thin premise, but knowing Tim, I’m sure he’ll make it work.
- I love Tim’s reaction when he had trouble delivering his lines while eating. Moments like this show the beloved & reliable veteran that Tim has become in this late stage of his tenure.
- Funny how you could hear buzzer sounds in the background, which shouldn’t be that surprising considering the very famous & beloved two gameshow sketches that this episode has in store for us.
- Overall, not one of the more popular Oprah nor Monica Lewinsky sketches from this era, but the fun energy & good length kept it from getting old for me.
- Oh, I remember this brilliant premise with a rambling David Brenner being dropped onto various talk shows. This has always been amongst my favorite Fun With Real Audio pieces.
- Hilarious bit with Conan & Andy Richter struggling to open the trap door.
- An absolutely classic moment right now, with Brenner immediately falling through the trap door as he enters the Tom Snyder talk show, because his guest was just thrown through the trap door moments ago.
- Great escalation with Brenner now being interviewed by the Devil in the depths of hell. This is the type of brilliant & silly humor that I always know that Smigel is capable of.
- Hilarious & biting bit with Sally Jesse Raphael’s show being below hell.
- This piece overall most definitely lived up to my very positive memories of it. Easily amongst the strongest TV Funhouse pieces.
Old French Whore!
- Needless to say, an iconic & legendary gameshow sketch from this era & SNL’s history in general.
- Solid gameshow delivery & performance from Will, yet again playing another of his many utility/leadership roles in his tenure.
- A very silly & creative concept of honor students being aided by old French whores to answer traditional gameshow questions.
- Cheri is already stealing the sketch for me, her face, accent, and movements are already SLAYING me; a great example of how much Cheri could enhance sketches with just the simplest of roles.
- Great entrance from Garth in drag, and he actually looks not only convincing here, but pretty attractive as a woman. I would’ve never guessed that he’d pull off drag like this.
- I love how Garth’s character is easily answering these questions, and Ana is doing a good job in her role next to her.
- An absolutely classic turn with Chris’ “I think my whore is dead” which elevates this sketch from being great to a bonafide classic.
- I love the fantastic turn with Garth’s monologue complete with French music and dramatic closeup as well as a spotlight around him, as his character is disclosing her dreams of wanting to be a scientist, then leaving to America filled with hopes & dreams before facing the reality & spending nights pleasing factory workers for money. The transition after this mock-dramatic monologue as if nothing happened makes it even better than it already is.
- All in all, one of the finest gameshow sketches in SNL history, there wasn’t a moment where I wasn’t laughing throughout this masterpiece.
- Man, I love this theme song.
- Some good jokes throughout Update, but they’re sadly hurt by Colin’s usual stiff deliveries.
- Ah, here comes Ana to inject this somewhat lethargic Update with some energy. This is back when Ana was a regular Update fixture before she practically disappeared from behind the Update desk around season 25, with only one commentary during the Fey/Fallon Update era. I still wonder why she stopped doing Update commentaries after her first three seasons.
- The return of Ana’s Cinder Calhoun character, now being joined by Garth, marking a rare visit by the host to the Update desk.
- I’m enjoying the love song that‘s being sung here & Garth’s uncomfortable reactions throughout it are constantly cracking me up.
Who’s More Grizzled?!
- Yet another iconic & beloved gameshow sketch from this era.
- Norm! And I absolutely love how the audience greets him with an extended round of applause & cheers.
- Robert Duvall becomes the latest of season 23’s habit of having a legendary, highly-acclaimed and beloved actor being credited as a guest star and having him in a few sketches, such as Bob Hoskins & John Hurt in their own episodes as well.
- A fantastic & very creative concept for a traditional gameshow sketch, and the performances from Garth & Robert make it only better.
- Very strong characterization from Garth, he’s absolutely disappearing into this role of his.
- I love the categories here, especially the Dead Wives one which still makes me laugh out loud.
- The grizzled comments by Robert & Garth are both funny & depressing, which is definitely a combo perfect for the sketch’s premise.
- Norm is really great as the gameshow host, making me wish we saw him more in this role during his tenure.
- Damn at the whole God rant by Robert Duvall, such a great use of his very strong dramatic talents.
- The material here in general is fantastic.
- Wow at the “I’ve buried too many friends to make new ones“ response from Duvall while snubbing Garth’s handshake request. Fantastic gloomy ending bit to this sketch.
- Overall, just as brilliant & fantastic as I remember. Tonight’s episode is on a freakin’ roll with all of its great sketches.
Hey, Remember The 80’s
- Ugh, Goat Boy. Hopefully, Garth will save this sketch for me.
- A few minutes into this, and indeed Garth is saving this for me, as well as the fun performances from the rest of the panel.
- Cheri is perfectly cast as Cyndi Lauper.
- Hilarious sketch-stealing moment with Will dancing as “Soy Boy”, the guy that crashed Bob Dyaln’s musical performance during the 1998 Grammy Awards.
- Yeah, thanks to Cheri, Will, and Garth for making this sketch work, because without them this would’ve been pretty annoying.
- Oh, here comes a legendary sketch!
- Unless I’m forgetting something, this is an Adam McKay-written sketch, and pieces like this, Wake Up and Smile, Centaur Interview, and many others showcase how brilliant & absurdist his writing style is. He has always been my personal favorite writer in SNL history.
- An absolutely BRILLIANT sketch concept with moviegoers sitting through an endless stream of Shelley Long trailers which makes them descent into complete madness.
- I absolutely love how all of these endless movie trailers have James Brown’s “I Feel Good” in them for no reason whatsoever.
- Fantastic subtle descent into madness throughout the course of the sketch.
- Great bit with the cheerful jingle revealing that the doors have been locked from the outside.
- Jesus Christ at the apocalyptic turn in this sketch with Will’s character’s limps being torn apart to be eaten.
- Excellent moment with Tracy’s smiling character being revealed to have eaten his lower half.
- An overall outstanding sketch & a definitive one for this era’s unique, creative, and dark sense of humor. An all-time SNL highlight.
Lay Lady Lay
- Wow, a HUGE night for Will, as this is his 7th sketch appearance all night long, and this episode, in general, is such a perfect microcosm of Will’s glue-like & utility-player abilities. It simply shows how important he was to the show throughout his tenure.
- Great to see Robert Duvall in his own sketch, after how much he killed it in Who’s More Grizzled?! earlier in the episode.
- I’m enjoying the more low-key, semi-dramatic feel to this sketch, which makes it more endearing to me than outright funny.
- Solid rapport between Robert & Will, and the latter is doing a wonderful job in making the sketch work.
- I do really like the sweet ending; a very good way to end tonight’s fantastic episode.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
Old French Whore! / Loews (tie)
Who’s More Grizzled?!
Lay Lady Lay
Hey, Remember The 80’s
- A fantastic, absolutely flawless episode. Lots of memorable, legendary, and iconic pieces in tonight’s episode. Three of which (Old French Whore!, Who’s More Grizzled?!, and Loews) are widely-regarded classics. This episode, as well, is one of the very first to come to my mind when I think of how strong, creative, and just pure fun the late 90s/early 00s era of SNL was. And Garth Brooks, wow, he was an absolutely outstanding host tonight, one that fit perfectly into the SNL format, and gave many memorable performances, especially in the two classic gameshow sketches. While there was two recurring sketches tonight, both worked for me, and I did enjoy the silly & creative sketch concepts that dominated the night, which will become even more dominant in Garth’s second (and sadly, final) hosting stint from season 25.
- Tim Curry / Meat Loaf.
One Reply to “February 28, 1998 – Garth Brooks (S23 E14) [THROWBACK REVIEW]”
Wow, it feels so weird seeing you covering 90s episodes, especially seeing as how I’m not at this point in my watch of this era. Granted, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing.
While I’ve seen this episode, I’m not entirely sure what my opinion is though. I do love that Loew’s sketch, which is a great absurdist piece, and Tracy is very funny in his brief parts. And I also recall really liking the monologue, where the song that Garth sings is really fun, kinda making me wish that he did more psychedelic songs.
Overall Average: 7.9