Monday, May 12, 2008

Help Me Out Here

Okay, so that above was last weekend's SNL sketch, clearly a take-off on Match Game, obvious to anyone who's ever even heard of the show. But uncharacteristically for SNL, they opetd for thinly-veiled (very thinly-veiled) aliases instead of just using the panelists' real names. My question is why? Are there rights issues that were unexpectedly complicated? Were they afraid of dishonoring the booze-soaked memory of Charles Nelson Reilly and Bret Sommers? Did the show get in trouble after Alec Baldwin so perfectly sent up Reilly in that Inside The Actors Studio sketch? Baldwin's impersonation, by the way, ran circles around Fred Armisen's (I have to tell you, I'm getting reeeeeeeal tired of Fred Armisen in general). The entire sketch seemed like it missed the mark, didn't it? Maybe if they used real names! It's totally baffling.

So in the interests of clarity: Amy Poehler's playing the Bret Sommers, Armisen is Charles Nelson Reilly, Keenan Thompson is Nipsey Russell, Wiig is either Fannie Flagg, Marcia Wallace, or Joanne Worley, Lord knows who Casey Wilson is supposed to be (any guesses?), and then Dear Shia looks like Gallagher but acts like David Copperfield.

Strangely unsatisfying sketch, leaving many, many questions. Like why is Shia wearing a Planet Unicorn shirt? And where the blue blazes was the Richard Dawson???? Help me out here, guys.

(Oh, on the bright side, they did a Suze Orman sketch and Hulu's actually got it up. Yay!)


Alan said...

I think Casey Wilson was a busty Charo-ish woman (minus the accent). Shia was definitely magician Doug Henning.
Unicorn included!

Pamela said...

Shia was supposed to be Doug Henning (it's an illuuuuusion!), and I'm pretty sure Fred Armisen was supposed to be Paul Lynde, not Charles Nelson Reilly.

As for Casey Wilson...not sure. Generic 70s sexpot, perhaps?

AB and the Bear Suits said...

But CNR was all about the ascots!

Tara said...

They usually had some no-personality sexpot du jour, which is what I assumed Casey Wilson was doing. Joe, I can't believe you didn't recognize a Doug Henning takeoff! You're so young.

I assumed that the reason they thinly veiled the Match Game-ness was because it involved a murder? So they didn't want to imply that the real people would have been so cavalier about Gene Rayburn's death?

Joe Reid said...

But wouldn't they be just that cavalier, Tara? Wouldn't they?

You know, the name Doug Henning rings a bell, but after a trip to wikipedia, his face doesn't. Huh.

And it's totally Charles Nelson Reilly. Paul Lynde was The Hollywood Squares.

Keith said...

I thought Casey Wilson was doing a Debralee Scott knockoff.

patty m. said...

I'm with Pamela here, Joe. Armisen really seemed to be doing Paul Lynde (the shakey accent, super-sexualized ambisexuality) even though you're 100% right that it was the wrong show. No idea why they didn't use the real names; then we could just talk about how bad the impressions were, rather than trying to guess who the object of each bad impression was supposed to be.

There was so much wrong with this sketch in so many ways. (I half expected someone to write "making whoopie" on one of the cards in a nonsensical nod to the Newlywed Game.) Who, exactly, was the target audience for this sketch?!

And Casey Wilson. Meh. I haven't seen her do anything worth watching yet. You know what the show needs? More cowbell. (And as much Wiig as can be crammed into an hour and a half.)

andy said...

The not-Brett-Somers DID write "making whoopie" on her card! (It's 2:00 into the clip.) Someone must have their game show histories confused... aren't the definitive Match Game answers "boobs," "buns," and "panties"?

This sketch totally squandered a half-decent premise... it should have been a showcase for solid impressions and humor that played off the real show's drunken behind-the-scenes shenanigans. Instead, they decided to spend a couple of minutes hammering one joke about not-Paul-Nelson-Reillynde.

Shia's magician was the best thing about it... at least he brought a Will Ferrell-level commitment to the part.

floretbroccoli said...

Definitely Paul Lynde. Definitely the wrong show for Paul Lynde.

Is this were I mention that my parents, neither of whom is named Charlie, have a painting of the word "Charlie," which was originally a gift to Charles Nelson Reilly, hanging in their living room?