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Case Number 06320: Small Claims Court

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Saturday Night Live: The Best Of Jimmy Fallon

Lionsgate // 2005 // 85 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Eric Profancik (Retired) // March 2nd, 2005

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All Rise...

Judge Eric Profancik says this disc could've used more cowbell.

The Charge

"Jimmy Fallon went from being one of Saturday Night Live's biggest fans to being one of its biggest stars."
—The DVD Packaging

The Case

Granted, I do not watch Saturday Night Live (SNL) as often as I used to, but I think I've tuned in enough to know that Jimmy Fallon is not one of the show's biggest stars. He does not rank anywhere near the top with the unquestionable greats such as Gilda Radner, Chevy Chase, Jim Belushi, Eddie Murphy, and so on. Jimmy Fallon is, at best, an interesting supporting player who has a decent repertoire of impressions. But for someone in marketing to have the audacity to call Fallon a big star, that's unconscionable!

And that summarizes the problem—and ridiculousness—of this release: Fallon is not a star, was never a star, and this release should never have been created. It is just a sad ploy to milk a couple bucks out of people who love the show, coinciding with Fallon's "big" movie debut of Taxi (well, maybe not exactly coinciding). Of course, I'm sure a few people out there absolutely love Fallon and his humor, but the majority of SNL fans will merely dismiss him as someone who was lucky to get on the show and was even luckier to nab the coveted "Weekend Update" slot. But, if you've been paying attention, he wasn't given that great gig alone; he was paired up with the smarter and funnier (not to mention prettier) Tina Fey.

The main thing to be said about this release is that it's merely average. Some of the skits are amusing, while others are horrible. The few sketches that are better are so not because of Fallon but because of the ensemble comedians working with him in the sketch. Let's take a quick look at the skits included on this release:

• "Mick and Jimmy Backstage"
This segment works because of the genuine fun that Mick Jagger appears to be having in the skit. It's the strength of Jagger trying to outdo Fallon that helps make this one a solid beginning to the disc.
Grade: B

• "Jeopardy"
The Jeopardy skits are one of the only constants in the SNL repertoire. This time it's Sean Connery (Darryl Hammond), Adam Sandler (Fallon), and Tom Cruise (Ben Stiller) taking on the eternally flustered Alex Trebek (Will Ferrell). Again, this one works because it's the strength of all four people in the sketch, not just Fallon.
Grade: A-

• "Jarret's Room"
This is what happens when Fallon is made lead in a sketch: It stinks. Watching some "college student" doing a webcam show is lame, and Fallon's character is unlikable. Things only somewhat liven up when Stiffler shows up.
Grade: C-

• "Barry Gibb Talk Show"
This one has grown on me and is the one sketch that has stayed with me since viewing the disc. What an odd idea to have Barry Gibb (Fallon) of the Bee Gees hosting a modern-day talk show. But what makes this one stand out, besides the hot disco music, is Justin Timberlake playing Robin Gibb. Because he can't keep a straight face when Barry goes falsetto and because of his deadpan delivery of "No. No I don't," this sketch is mildly amusing.
Grade: B

• "Impressions"
The one thing Fallon can do is impressions. He doesn't have many of them, but the few he has he does very well. Further, because you get just a few seconds of each, it's enjoyable.
Grade: A

• "Z-105"
A morning radio show host (Fallon) is about to introduce the new DJ (Ben Affleck), but a voice war begins when it turns out these old buddies use the same characters. As each host does all the voices for the skits, it's a cat-and-mouse game between the two to see if they can maintain the voices throughout the skit. It sounds interesting in print, but Affleck is really bad at voices.
Grade: C

• "Update"
"Update" as in "Weekend Update," this is a quick compilation of bits from that segment of the show. It's not all funny, but the one-on-one interview with the real Paris Hilton and the kiss with Sir Ian McKellan are priceless.
Grade: B-

• "Sully and Denise"
Supposedly this Sully chap is Fallon's most popular character, but this segment where he confronts Affleck for trying to steal his girlfriend is horrid.
Grade: D

• "Flashback Songs"
During a "Weekend Update" bit, Fallon is about to sing another holiday song, much to Fey's dismay. She then rolls a tape of all the songs Fallon has done over time. Though there are too many "song bits" on this DVD, this one is funny since half the songs never really happened and each bit lasts just a few seconds.
Grade: B

• "Cork Soakers"
Another one of those SNL bits where they push the envelope, this one is a play on words. Just say the title in a bad Italian accent and you'll get the bit about how it's great to be a cork soaker. This is a lame bit, but the word play is amusing, as is Janet Jackson having trouble saying "cork" and not "rooster."
Grade: B

• "A Christmas Treat"
This is a very odd sketch where Horatio Sanz, Fallon, Chris Kattan, and Tracy Morgan form a quartet and "sing" a song. What's odd is Sanz plays a guitar and sings, Fallon plays a keyboard and sings a little backup, Kattan holds the keyboard and shakes his head and butt, and Morgan just dances. You have to see it to understand its oddness.
Grade: B+

• "The Leatherman"
An awful sketch where Britney Spears come to a store to buy leather pants. The whole bit centers around noisy leather, and the gag is stretched out too long, as many SNL skits often are.
Grade: D

• "Van Morrison"
Fallon pretends he's Van Morrison and sings a Happy St. Patrick's Day song. Dumb! Too much singing!
Grade: D

• "Nick Burns"
The other well-known Fallon character, this sketch falls flat because Burns is way too mean! He's gone beyond funny to pathetic.
Grade: C

• "Bloater Brothers"
Two brothers are pulled over by the police, and they cannot stop doing the worst one-liners and puns.
Grade: D

• "Summer"
It's the last sketch of the year, and it's also a Grease spoof where Fallon is Travolta and Fey is Newton-John. It's cute, but it's also yet another singing skit!
Grade: B

• "Abducted by Aliens"
Not sure what this is, but I think it was a cut bit. Here, Fallon, during a "Weekend Update" segment, is abducted by aliens—in other words, lifted to the ceiling by wires. It last five seconds and thus doesn't get a grade.

As you can see, most of the skits are weak, and the quality falls quickly the closer you get to the end of the DVD. Also, the best skits either contain other, stronger SNL players or feature Fallon in quick bits.

Oddly, this DVD is fairly well loaded, adding to my pain. First up is a commentary track with Fallon, Mike Shoemaker, and Steve Higgins. When the guys aren't just rambling about mindless things, they do share a lot of interesting background information on the sketches. They're even honest enough to admit when a skit sucks ("The Leatherman"). Then you get Fallon's "SNL Audition" (8 minutes) showing how he earned his role. Next are two bits from Fallon's comedy CD, Bathroom Wall, the music video for "Idiot Boyfriend" (5 minutes) and a music segment from Carson Daly's Last Call, "Road Rage" (3 minutes). Last up is the "Drinkin' in the Woods" dress sketch from SNL, and that's the end of the disc.

If you're intent on ignoring my advice and picking up this blatant excuse to steal your money, you won't have any trouble with the full-frame video or Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks. Both are very clean with no significant problems, and both present the material better than what you'd get from television.

But, if you are wise, you'll listen to me and save your money. Jimmy Fallon does not deserve an SNL disc. There are many other, more-talented players from the show, and I recommend you pick one of those up instead.

Case adjourned.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 72

Perp Profile

Studio: Lionsgate
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 85 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Comedy
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Audio Commentary with Jimmy Fallon, Mike Shoemaker, and Steve Higgins
• SNL Audition
• Update Camera Test
• "Idiot Boyfriend" Music Video
• "Road Rage" Last Call with Carson Daly
• "Drinkin' in the Woods" Dress Sketch

Accomplices

• IMDb
• SNL Official Site








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