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Saturday Night Live: The Best of Will Ferrell (2002)

TV Movie  |  Not Rated  |   |  Documentary, Comedy  |  28 September 2002 (USA)
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The best skits from Will Ferrell's days on Saturday Night Live 1995-2002

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Title: Saturday Night Live: The Best of Will Ferrell (TV Movie 2002)

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The best skits from Will Ferrell's days on Saturday Night Live 1995-2002

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Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!
22 November 2003 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

There's something infectious about Will Ferrell. He's like a giddy boy ready to do anything for a laugh--and more often than not he delivers. Whereas recent comic additions to NBC's "Saturday Night Live" have done nothing but harm the show, Will Ferrell remained the top in the game from his reign during 1995 - 2002. He's finally left the show, probably to be replaced by some unfunny dimwit like Jimmy Fallon. Ferrell's got about five projects lined up for the next few years, including "Curious George" and "Bewitched." I've had my eye on him for quite some time. I'm glad that his career is finally getting off the ground.

In this 72 minute collection of his best skits, it's evident that the man has a keen observation for comedy and what works. Take, for instance, his impersonation of Robert Goulet in an interview with Conan O'Brian, included on the DVD. His catchphrase is "Goulet!", and he uses it as a fallback method when there are long moments of no comedic passage between the two. But he never overuses it like a lesser comedian might do. This is all minor stuff, of course, but it's the minor stuff--in the end--that counts.

We've got the best of the best here: Bobbi and Marty Culp, George W. Bush, Harry Caray, and more. It's all good fun, too. Watching Ferrell makes the time fly by--the 72 minutes feel like thirty.

I've seen a handful of better "SNL" stints involving Will than those included on this DVD. Running at 72 minutes, I feel that producer Lorne Michaels could have pushed for at least 90 minutes of footage--the basic running time for a motion picture. Two hours would have been great, too--there sure is enough footage. A few scenes are spliced together and not shown in their entirety--the film takes bits and pieces from different skits and then includes the full-length ones such as "Celebrity Jeopardy" here and there. But it's a small complaint, because you'll be laughing so darn hard you'll wet yourself.

My favorite skit of the collection? Probably "Celebrity Jeopardy" or the Harry Caray skit with Jeff Goldblum, ruined only because Goldblum somehow forgot his lines. Ferrell saved him by subtly pointing him in the right directions. At one point, Goldblum leans forward and says, "I'm not sure how to answer that," an obvious indication that he has forgotten his lines. "It's not rocket science, just say yes and we'll move on," Ferrell replies, still in character, of course. And another thing I noticed it that Ferrell induces laughter but laughs at his own gags and those surrounding him very little--and when he starts to smile he quickly hides the grin, unlike Jimmy Fallon who on basically every single skit on this DVD cracks up and can't control himself. (I'm not exaggerating. He cracks up on every skit.)

Many comedians got their careers started on "SNL." There was Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, John Belushi, and Steve Martin, such a frequent host of the television show when it first aired on NBC starting in 1975 that he was often considered a castmember himself. Over the past few years, "SNL" has gotten stuck in a rut--the last time it was consistently funny was during the late eighties and early nineties, when such comedians as Mike Myers and Dana Carvey flaunted their comedic charm for the camera and led their way to aspiring film careers, coughing up "Wayne's World" and "Austin Powers," to name a few well-known titles.

Will Ferrell is following that chain reaction. A true "SNL" comedian in the sense of the meaning, and with his promising film career ahead of him, it's evident he may just become the next Chevy Chase or Bill Murray or Steve Martin. It's the true "SNL" dream, and by golly, he's living it.

Thanks for the laughs, Will.

"Saturday Night Live: The Best of Will Ferrell" runs 72 minutes and has a bundle of special features, including: Will's audition tape, a deleted dress rehearsal scene, two Conan O'Brian interviews, a photo gallery, and more. It is not rated and contains mild sexual references/nudity and language.

4.5/5 stars.

  • John Ulmer



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