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REVIEW: Saturday Night Live, October 29, 2005- Lance Armstrong & Sheryl Crow

Published on October 30, 2005
By Al Barger

Saturday Night Live will forever be bad mouthed. It's not good like back in the 70s, or some such nonsense. It would be nearly impossible for it to be shocking and new in the way it was 30 years ago.

But in fact the show is running pretty strong this season. The Weekend Update runs particularly good with the Tina Fey/Amy Poehler grrl power running strong. There segment guessing whether disses against their rivals were from pop idiot Lindsay Lohan or respected columnist Maureen Dowd. In fact, their Maureen Dowd quotes were far pettier and more high-school.

They hit a specially inspired moment of absurdity in the newscast with some freaky footage of Kenan Thompson as Aunt Jemima cast apparently as an Islamic terrorist sweetly wishing pancakes on the infidels. That was delightfully far out- though I'm still not sure what it meant.

Over ten years, Darrell Hammond has proven to be perhaps their most irreplaceable man ever. He extends his run with refinement of his Bill O'Reilly spin. He's the only person I've seen who has managed to effectively satirize this seemingly rich target. He gets him in his physical mannerisms and stock quotes, but also in his absurdly arrogant and militant stupidity.

Host Lance Armstrong was competent, but mostly did not seem to inspire the most interesting writing- except for one piece with his fiancee and musical guest Sheryl Crow.

Actually, Crow as herself provided the basis for two of the best sketches. She was the guest on an Indigo Girls tv show. It was a pretty good exercise to see how much they could milk their cheesy lefty folk singer schtick without really ever going into lesbian stuff at all. Instead, they got good mileage out of professional rivalry, and arguments over harmony singing. Also, they had to stop repeatedly to give out URLs for women's rights groups representing, among others, women with moustaches.

But the funniest thing all night was her sketch with Armstrong. She's just arriving home from a long tour, and Lance Armstrong insists on playing her this song he's just written for her- with musical accompaniment by the gardeners. Armstrong's song was of course actively and purposely hideous, as he's pronouncing himself now her equal as a songwriter.

The thing that made it so funny is that Armstrong's stupid song proposing that they move to Africa so that Sherl Crow can be his "Nubian princess" was a more memorable, moving and interesting piece of music than his woman's "real" songs. Sheryl Crow is just awful, the very textbook definition of mediocrity.

I would have been throwing stuff at the screen if those utterly flavorless corporate country folk rock food products had been in any way memorable. As it was though, the songs were so boring that my mind drifted away to random thoughts mid-song before the annoyance could build to the activity of blasting that tv with a 20 gauge shotgun in the blessed name of Elvis.

How awful is Sheryl Crow's music? It's so bad that I came back to the computer after this show and listened to some Mariah Carey to get the taste out of my mouth. Seriously, this Crow crap made "We Belong Together" start to sound personal and uncalculated.

I'm sure that Ms Crow's a fine human being, however. I'm sure she'll be a great wife for Mr Armstrong. I hope she bears him many fine beautiful children that will keep her busy and away from music.


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