Saturday Night Live

Season 29 Episode 1

Jack Black/John Mayer

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Oct 04, 2003 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
17 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Jack Black/John Mayer
Live from New York, "and all of that," it's... Darrell Hammond!

Sketches include, "Californians For Schwarzenegger," "Huggies Thong," "Queer Eye For The Straight Gal," "The Wade Robson Project," "Cooking Class," "Yankee Super-Heroes" (cartoon), "The Wheel Bar & Grill," "The Wine Critic," and "Telemarketers" (musical number).

John Mayer performed "Clarity" and "Bigger Than My Body."moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • All That Glitters Isn't Necessarily Gold

    A Review by the Former "Heystu," Amateur Critic and Foosball Legend

    The beginning of the 29th season of the cultural icon that is Saturday Night Live began in a haze of extravagence, with a remodeled stage, some cast additions, and new opening credits. That does not necessarily mean that all the rough spots have been polished, though. It's still an uneven cast, with the same three of four actors appearing in nearly every sketch. It reminds me of the Murphy/Piscopo heyday of the early 80's, except that it's more of an oligarchy, and there are no budding superstars.

    After an uneven Year 28, I wondered in my last review if we were headed into another 1994-95. It's hard to say at this point: after all, the season premiere nine years ago (Steve Martin/Eric Clapton) was actually bearable to watch. It wasn't until after a month or so into Year 20 that all hell broke loose.

    And now, a sketch-by-sketch analysis:

    COLD OPENING: Longtime SNL scribe Jim Downey is a master of political and topical sketches. Since first joining the show midway through Year 2, he has probably earned the title of being the show's most consistent writer. Ever. This time around, he has Ah-nuld (DH, who should've left a season ago) explaining his agenda as a candidate with one too many words. I remember seeing Hammond play Ah-nuld at the Emmys two weeks ago, and I thought his performance could've been better. Now, it has been enhanced by better makeup and stronger writing.

    THE OPENING CREDITS: After three years of watching the cast party to a jazz-turntable groove, we finally have new opening credits. I heard it was directed by the same guy behind Missy Elliott's "Work It" video, and he definitely has a magic touch here. Still, the opening from 1979-80, with the semi-animated crowded barroom and the vague feeling that a good time was coming to an end, is the all-time best. This one comes in third, behind the Times Square intro from Year 3. BTW: My man Forte is now a regular, and gets slapped. Yippee!

    MONOLOGUE: I saw a sneak peak of the new stage watching the promos for this week's show, and I like it. No more faux-dingy alley background. Anyway, "School of Rock" star and all-around ball of energy Jack Black rolls out of the doors for a second time (the first being in '01) and proceeds into a musical number about the pitfalls of stardom. I really loved the Will Ferrell cameo, and rumors of him hosting later this year gives 2003-04 some good mojo.

    "Huggies Thong:" Ad spoof with buttcheek-revealing diapers. Not only is it cute, but it's also funny.

    "Queer Eye for the Straight Girl:" A spoof of a certain Bravo reality show has five outspoken lesbian stereotypes (the jock, the femi-nazi, the old spinster, etc.) making a woman (TF) seem less feminine. As much as I loved seeing writers like Fey and Paula Pell in the occasional sketch, "Queer Eye" just doesn't work.

    "The Wade Robson Project:" New cast member Finesse Mitchell makes his SNL debut as the co-host in this spoof of another cable show. This time, dance guru Robson (newly promoted regular Seth Meyers) introducing bad dancers. Um, okay...

    "Cooking Class:" Our three favorite adult learning annex students, Gabe, Ruth, and Vasquez, are joined by a whiny yuppie (Parnell) in a cooking course taught by a careless slacker (JB). What makes this series of sketches so charming is the awkward flirting of Gabe and Ruth (Armisen, Dratch), who remind me of a middle-aged Todd DiLaMuca and Lisa Loopner. And as for Vasquez, well, he's just Vasquez.

    SMIGELTOON: "Yankee Super-Heroes" pits the Bronx Bombers against attacking aliens. I loved the character exaggerations of Steinbrenner and Boomer Wells, and the ending was not too bad, either.

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: From his new album "Heavier Things," John Mayer sings "Bigger Than My Body." Well, at least it's an improvement from that piece of dreck he calls "Your Body is a Wonderland." (Note: "Wonderland" was a big hit from last year that was about foreplay. You've been warned.)

    WEEKEND UPDATE: One element of the show that received little or no cosmetic change was the uneven Fallon/Fey "WU," which seems to be coasting on all those great reviews from three years ago. After last season, with Jimmy acting rather smug and insipid, with poor Tina having to carry the load, I had low expectations for tonight's edition. Turns out, it was a surreal and otherwise sturdy affair, with a soap-opera spoof and an imagined fistfight between Bill Cosby and Wanda Sykes (Kenan Thompson, Maya Rudolph). I think I'll muffle my criticisms of "Update" ...for now, at least.

    "The Wheel Bar & Grill:" JB plays a guitarist with some personal issues that come to light with his father (Sanz) in the audience. I had no idea Amy Poehler could do such a great Shelley Long impression, which gives this otherwise bland sketch a great kick.

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: That little Dave Matthews wannabe performs the upcoming second single from his new album, "Clarity." Nothing special, unless he comes up with a kick-ass music video to accompany the song.

    "Wine Tasting:" A noted wine critic (JB) is welcomed to an Italian villa and spits in Seth Meyers' face for five minutes. The reaction on his face is the only saving grace of this sketch.

    "Telemarketers:" An amusing musical sketch that was cut off by "the man." I'm kidding; it was one of those "ten-to-one" sketches that are always cut off when they run longer than expected. Premise is, a septet of headset jockeys lament their jobs, with all due thanks to Congress' meddling.

    All in all, an uneven effort to launch Year 29. It appears that Seth Meyers is being conditioned into becoming the show's go-to guy, though he still needs a little work. Newbies Finesse Mitchell and Kenan Thompson were reliable with what little they were given. Unfortunatly, the rest of the cast seems a little too excited to be here. Then again, there was early criticism about some of the previous season openers. For example, the Jerry Seinfeld/David Bowie broadcast from '99 is an example of an episode that has aged quite well since its original broadcast.

    Sketches That Will Probably Be Removed and/or Shortened For E!: "Wade Robson," "Wheel Bar & Grill," "Clarity," and "Telemarketers."

    Feel free to contact "HelloStuart" at sma17kc@netscape.netmoreless
Kyle Gass

Kyle Gass


Guest Star

Jack Black

Jack Black


Guest Star

John Mayer

John Mayer


Guest Star

Will Ferrell

Will Ferrell


Recurring Role

Paula Pell

Paula Pell


Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • When introducing John Mayer, Jack Black mispronounces his name as John Meyer. The NBC rerun (and the 60-minute edit) have corrected this.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Tina Fey: As of yesterday, the Bush administration said they still haven't found the source of the White House leak that outed a woman as a CIA operative. So, just to recap, here are the things President Bush can't find: The White House leak, weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, a link between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden, the guy who sent the anthrax through the mail... and his own butt, with two hands and a flashlight.

    • Jimmy Fallon: Sean "P. Diddy" Combs announced Tuesday that he will compete in the New York Marathon, in hopes of raising $1 million for education charities. Combs does not expect to make good time in the race, because it's very hard to run fast with Ashton Kutcher up his ass the whole time.

    • Tina Fey: Rush Limbaugh resigned from his job on ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown" after racially-charged remarks about Philadelphia Eagle quarterback Donovan McNabb, saying that McNabb is given too much credit for his performance because he is black. Finally, someone has the guts to say what the liberal media doesn't want you to know: Black people are not good at sports!

    • Tina Fey: According to a new study, women in satisfying marriages are less likely to develop cardiovascular diseases than unmarried women. So don't worry lonely women, you'll be dead soon.

    • Tina Fey: In a recent interview, Colin Farrell admitted that he used to smoke "280 fags every week." Just to clarify this statement, in some parts of Europe, the word "fag" is a slang term for a gay dude.

  • NOTES (9)

    • Starting with this episode, the montage music would be used for the next three seasons.

    • Sketches not shown in the 60 minute version: "Huggies Thong," "Wade Robson," "The Wheel Bar and Grill," "Telemarketers," and John Mayer's performance of "Clarity."

    • The "Wheel Bar & Grill" sketch was written by future cast member Jason Sudeikis. There is an actual watering hole by that name off the campus of the University of Kansas.

    • Jimmy Fallon only appears on Weekend Update and in a small role during the monologue as he was busy filming the movie "Taxi" during the week. Fallon returned to full duty beginning with the Al Sharpton/Pink episode.

    • Darrell Hammond does not participate in the cast's musical number during Jack Black's monologue.

    • Garrett Morris can be seen in the audience during the monologue.

    • This episode includes a new introduction and a new set, which resembles Grand Central Station. The new opening montage no longer credits the SNL house band.

    • Seth Meyers, Jeff Richards, and Will Forte have been promoted to full cast members with this episode.

    • This is the first episode for Kenan Thompson (of Nickelodeon fame) and Finesse Mitchell. Thompson is best known for imitating Bill Cosby on "All That," which could be best described as a kid-friendly SNL.