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Case Number 08605: Small Claims Court

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Saturday Night Live: The Best Of David Spade

Universal // 2006 // 80 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // February 15th, 2006

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson likes saying the word "Salon."

The Charge

"And you are?"

The Case

David Spade did his time on SNL for six years, from 1990 to 1996. This release supposedly chronicles the guy's high points, though a few of the included sketches, surprisingly, are from his stint as a host. Was there not enough fodder to sift through from his time as a cast member? Apparently not.

Either way, for all you Spade fans, here's your long-awaited Best of compilation:

• "Martha Stewart Cold Open"
One of the sketches used when he hosted, Spade plays Martha, fresh out of prison, addressing her employees about he new, edgier direction she wants to take her company. A decent bit, suffering from some obvious prison gags.

• "Monologue"
David Spade tells a few decent jokes.

• "Salon"
This commercial has Spade parading around as a dainty little hair stylist, selling "Salon," a hairspray that is activated by the user repeatedly saying "Salon." The premise is funny enough, but what sells it all is Spade's rope belt.

• "Receptionist"
Spade plays one of his more popular characters, the apathetic receptionist with the "And you are?" line. This one has the character working for Dick Clark, denying passage to a businessman, Clark's biological mother, and eventually the Son of God himself. It's textbook '80s SNL with a steady progression of increasingly bizarre circumstances within the sketch. That final line is pretty great though.

• "Stuntmen"
Another from his hosting duties, Spade plays himself as an actor, paired with Horatio Sanz butchering a Vin Diesel impression. When it comes time for him to do his stunt, Amy Poehler steps in as his double. The sketch is amusing, made better by Spade's willingness to rip on himself.

• "Total Bastard Airlines"
Probably Spade's best-known line: "Buh-bye." This sketch pairs him with Helen Hunt as two jackass flight attendants herding passengers off the plane as fast they can while being as rude as they can.

• "Dylan and Petty"
A brief bit from back in the day, when Spade did a hilarious Tom Petty impression on Dennis Miller's Weekend Update.

• "Gap Girls"
Spade and his "bad boy" cronies, Chris Farley and Adam Sandler, are here in a popular recurring sketch, where the three are dolled up as teen girls chatting in the mall. Jokes about Farley's weight abound, but Spade steals it as a disturbingly accurate representation of a blonde bimbo. Sara Gilbert guests.

• "Sean Penn's Celebrity Roast"
Spade is in this briefly, doing an okay Owen Wilson impression. The sketch itself works, harpooning Sean Penn's humorless and self-aggrandizing comment from the Oscars when he defended Jude Law against Chris Rock's barb.

• "Spade in America: Hatcher"
Here's one of three "Spade in America" sketches, which represented his swan song on SNL. This one has Teri Hatcher dressed as Spade and Spade comes out as Hatcher and the two make fun of each other. There are a few good lines, but for the most part the bit is awkward and strained.

• "PBS Afterschool Special"
Subverting the usual "teenage angst-ridden love parable," this sketch matches Spade, playing the naïve freshman boy with his boyfriend, Mike Myers' hotshot senior jock. The two negotiate the trials of sex and peer pressure, with Phil Hartman pausing in intermission to sell pro-abortion umbrellas.

• "Spring Break"
Spade and Farley team up on Update to do a short, yet drawn out, skit on Spring Break. The gag: "While we were down at spring break, this guy was like (weird facial expression)."

• "Dirtball and Burnout Convention"
An onslaught of white trash jokes with Spade reprising (pretty much) his Joe Dirt character. Easy gags, all of them, but they're funny.

• "This is My Point: Don Lapre"
My favorite of the collection. Spade is Lapre, the late-night hawker, trying to sell his groundbreaking system of shortening words to give you more time in the day. He's pretty good, but it's Jason Patric, playing the oblivious, obtuse co-host who knocks it out of the part. Best exchange --

PATRIC: But I'm mildly retarded.
SPADE: So am I! So is everyone!

• "Spade in America: Penn"
It's Sean Penn again, but this time the real deal. Spade hooks up with Penn who gives him a tattoo while Spade makes jokes that bounce right off him. The funniest of the three "Spades."

• "Karl's Video Store"
Jeff Goldblum guests as himself, perusing a video store for a flick, before settling on an adult feature that leads to an uncomfortable encounter with a fan. Spade is the owner of the store and significantly adds to Goldblum's discomfort.

• "Hollywood Minute"
Actually this is just Spade's farewell montage of Hollywood Minute bits from "Spade in America." It's funny, but indicative of my biggest complaint of this disc: Where are all the Hollywood Minutes?!?

• "NCI"
Another commercial, Spade is the spokesperson for NCI telephone service, which is motivated to serve its clients above and beyond providing simple calling plans.

• "Spade in America: Walken"
Even the great Christopher Walken couldn't salvage this train-wreck.

I like David Spade. I think his caustic wit and sarcasm routine is hilarious, and worked well during his tenure on SNL, especially when buttressed with the overt slapstick of his counterpart, Farley. As an overview of his career on the show, this disc offers a respectable variety of sketches, mixing his most popular with some that are truly funny.

My big complaint is the aforementioned lack of Hollywood Minutes. These bits should have been released en masse for this disc, or at least tucked away in the extras. That one montage does not cut it folks. Junk a couple of those "Spade in America" routines and unload some HM goodness.

I enjoyed the extras that came with the discs, especially the commentary by Spade and writer Matt Piedmont; it's funny, self-deprecating, and insightful (Sean Penn was slightly inebriated during his tattoo bit). A photo gallery, a couple of mediocre dress sketches, some bloopers, and an appearance by Spade on Late Night with Conan O'Briencomprise the rest.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 85

Perp Profile

Studio: Universal
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 80 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Comedy
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Commentary by David Spade and Matt Piedmont
• Dress sketches
• TV appearance
• Photo gallery
• Outtakes

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