Saturday Night Live

Season 29 Episode 20

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen/J-Kwon

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM May 15, 2004 on NBC

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  • Olsen Twinge

    A Review by the Former "Heystu," Amateur Critic and Star of Stage and Screen

    Scroll down for yet another bonus review!

    So here we are, at the end of the twenty-ninth season of Saturday Night Live. There was very little about this particular season that I would deem extraordinary, as it felt more like a transition year before the next overhaul, much like Year 19. The sketches were more inconsistent then ever, and the cast didn't really gel until around the three-quarters point of the season. And even that fragile coalition was put to the test by last night's somewhat surprising decision by Jimmy Fallon to leave the show. Rumors had been swirling for weeks that either Fallon or longtime cast member Darrell Hammond would seek greener pastures, but there was no confirmation on either rumor until the morning before the show. And in the event DH actually does decide to leave during summer sabbatical, the fine people at TV Tome will keep you posted.

    Tonight's hosts are none other than Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, the stars of such cinematic iconoclasts as "New York Minute," "It Takes Two," and "To Grandmother's House We Go." The former Full House stars are here to promote the first film I mentioned, which might I add co-stars DH as a comic foil. The musical guest is a neophyte MC by the name of J-Kwon, whose lack of publicity for his first album might suggest a short shelf life. Having heard his (possibly only) hit "Tipsy," I can vividly picture it on a decade-compilation disc several years from now ("Billboard Top Ten Hits 2004," perhaps?).

    And now, the last sketch-by-sketch analysis of the season:

    COLD OPENING: Yep, it's "Hardball" yet again, with Chris Parnell replacing Dan Aykroyd as the show's designated impersonator of presidential ass-kisser Andrew Card. Discussing the Iraqi torture scandal (what else would there be to discuss?), we're also treated to a chat with Sen. John Kerry (SM) and his "running mate" Al Sharpton (KT). Okay, but in retrospect I'm beginning to miss Chris Matthews' constant beleaguering of Paul Begala.

    MONOLOGUE: Mary Kate and Ashley (or MKNA, because it's easier to write) admit that their missing their prom, so get a way-too-realistic simulation complete with horny dates (JF and WF), a drunk classmate (MR) who can't hold her hooch in, and of course, the overprotective parents (FA and RD). I didn't go to my prom, mostly because I couldn't get a date, but it looks like I didn't miss much.

    "Paparazzi": It was okay in the Aniston episode, but did this really need an encore? Even so, it's a carbon copy of the first edition, with a photographer (AP) and two of her colleagues (MKNA) at a big premiere and they start mocking celebrities, including the sisters themselves. Flimsy and forgettable.

    "Two New Fragrances": And they're called "Mary Kate" and "Ashley." At first it seems that "Mary Kate" is for the inner wild child, and "Ashley" is for the goody two-shoes, but the descriptions by the voiceovers (CP and MR) get utterly absurd. This was one of the better ad spoofs of this season.

    "Joey Mack": One more time for the road! And I mean that because I found out he was departing the show six hours before everybody else did. Anyway, it's another interview with the DJ of many voices, and this time he really gets out of control with the twins. Oh yeah, and the Dave Coulier/Bullwinkle impression sucked.

    "The Swan": In a parody of the biggest bottom-scraper in reality programming today, talking mannequin Amanda Byram (MR) introduces the earnest albeit "fugly" Vicki (MKO) and, in her first appearance in a year and a half, amputee and perpetual reality show contestant Amber (AP). To paraphrase a Sergio Leone movie, the good was the "Duck Soup" homage with Vicki and her reflection (AO), the bad was the expected barrage of fart and hypoglycemia jokes, and the ugly was… well, you know.

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: Yep, he performed "Tipsy." It's catchy and everything, but it's too infectious to start a trend. At least several years from now he'll look back at this and laugh… on VH1's "Where Are They Now?"

    WEEKEND UPDATE: I'm beginning to wonder if 75% of tonight's show is on autopilot. Same goes for "Update," with more Abu Gharib jokes, more Tina-Jimmy punching, and more Jimmy-Horatio (he played a Greek contractor) giggling. Other then that, Big Jim pretty much dominated the segment, giving an effeminate review of Troy and finally admitting that this is his last show. An entire nation of fifteen-year-old girls cries into their pillows.

    "Pat N' Patti's Backpack Shack": Following "Debbie Downer" two weeks ago, I'm slowly wondering if the current cast is developing a Carol Burnett influence. I say this because the whole gag of this live ad was the tongue twisters, which the stars of the sketch (JF, MR, HS, Paula Pell, MKNA) mangled into submission. This was a bad idea for a sketch, but I'll give them an "A" for effort.

    "Access Hollywood": One last curtain call for the hyper-nasal Pat O'Brien (JF). Tonight, he's chatting with MKNA and their lost triplet Betty Faye (FA), whose pseudo-masculine flaunting distracts from the flimsy premise of "New York Minute." It's also a possible criticism of the twins no longer being girls but not yet being women, demonstrating their skimpy clothing and double entendres. And where the heck was DH in all of this?

    "Bloder Brothers '79": The show's favorite annoying forty-something virgins (JF and CP) make one last appearance, looking back at an incident involving sisters in a roller rink twenty-five years ago. MKNA play the younger sisters, while Poehler and Dratch play them as wrinkly bar-hags. Outside of the Don Pardo cameo, his first on-screen appearance since Season 22, this was just another throwaway sketch.

    "Camcorder": A family picnic to celebrate Memorial Day is sabotaged on two fronts: by weather and by an annoying dad (CP) with a digital recorder practically glued to his face. We take a good look at the family during this recording, with twin daughters (guess who) in mid-period, a son (SM) who goofs off, a wife (AP) that doesn't care, and grandparents (RD, HS) that might be on the fringe of senility. Family tensions unravel into a visit by the fuzz (WF), who promptly arrest dear old dad.

    "The Adventures of Harold": Oh goody, a short film piece! A twelve-year-old boy with premature male pattern baldness is mistaken for a new faculty member on his first day of Junior High. I found this to be weirdly amusing, which isn't that much of a departure from writer T. Sean Shannon's oeuvre.

    "Summer Sketch": It's the last sketch of the season, so what do you want to do? I know! Let's have a musical parody that doubles as a farewell to Jimmy! Sounds good!

    This concludes the final episode of "Jimmy Fallon Live." Yeah, that was snide, but he did hog the spotlight tonight, especially in the last forty minutes of the show. At least when Ferrell and Hartman left they let everybody salute them rather than stroke their bloated egos. On the bright side, my dream of seeing Tina Fey go solo on "Update" might finally become reality, unless Lorne does something stupid and replaces Jimmy with either Parnell or Meyers.

    With three teenage girls as host in as many weeks, it was apparent that SNL is still struggling to keep viewers of the show that are below the age of 25 from switching to the slightly inferior MADtv. MKNA were limited in role versatility, but made the most of their appearance. As for J-Kwon, I don't have energy to keep dissing him. And this week's burning questions: First, has Tina Fey ever been in three sketches in one episode before? Second, did anybody notice that Gilda Radner died fifteen years ago next week?

    Sketches That Will Probably Be Removed When They Air In Reruns, Which Could Happen Soon Now That NBC and The USA Network Are Now Half-Siblings: "Paparazzi," "Pat n' Patti's," "Camcorder," and as much as I hate to say it, "The Adventures of Harold."

    NEXT WEEK: It's "The Best of Christopher Walken." That should be interesting.


    And now, a retrospective of Season 29:

    Best Musical Guests:
    3. Jet
    2. Norah Jones
    1. OutKast

    Worst Musical Guests:
    3. G-Unit
    2. Maroon 5
    1. Britney Spears

    Best Hosts:
    3. Megan Mullally
    2. Alec Baldwin
    1. Justin Timberlake

    Worst Hosts:
    3. Halle Berry
    2. Andy Roddick
    1. Donald Trump

    The Ten Most Indeliable Moments of the Season:
    10. Condi Rice flashes a funbag (Janet Jackson episode)
    9. A message from Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson (Justin Timberlake)
    8. Queer Eye for the Straight Gal (Jack Black/John Mayer)
    7. Simon Cowell criticizes the Christmas Song (also Janet Jackson)
    6. Michael Jackson in a roller-coaster (Rev. Al Sharpton/Pink)
    5. Jimmy Fallon's really long goodbye (MKNA/J-Kwon)
    4. Justin Timberlake and Kermit the Frog have a falling out (also JT)
    3. Rumsfeld and Dubya lock lips (Snoop Dogg/Avril Lavigne)
    2. Oprah's Birthday Bash (Megan Mullally/Clay Aiken)
    1. Debbie Downer (Lindsey Lohan/Usher)

    Most Valuable Player:
    Will Forte

    Worst Overall Episodes:
    3. Halle Berry/Britney Spears
    2. Donald Trump/Toots and the Maytals
    1. Christina Aguilera/Maroon 5

    Best Overall Episodes:
    3. Ben Affleck/N.E.R.D.
    2. Lindsey Lohan/Usher
    1. Justin Timberlake

    Contact the author of this article at See you around!