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How to join the Five Timers Club
Chip_douglas from Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands
6 May 2006
SNL's very exclusive five timers club is open only to those few who
have hosted Saturday Night Live 5 times (and up). Long unknown to the
public, the very existence of this secretive brother-ship was not
revealed until the joining of Tom Hanks in 1990. Therefore it is by
this standard that his entry in the Best of Saturday Night Live series
is best judged. See here for the first time the road leading up to
membership of '5TC', and take note, hopeful hosts.
The first step is giving good monologue. Don't just talk about yourself
and plug your latest release, make fun of both these situations. Hanks
knows this, having dissected his own good guy reputation as well as the
nature of the monologue itself on several occasions. Also leave the
singing and dancing to Christopher Walken. In a good show, the
monologue should be the only part where the host appears as him or
herself. If you show up under your own name in another skit, it is
obvious the writers are straining to find good stuff for you to do.
This leads us too...
Step 2: blend into the cast. The best hosts are often mistaken for
having been cast members during their heyday. This is not just because
of frequent appearances on the show, but owes more to seamlessly
joining in during skits. For instance, Tom all but disappears into the
background in the famous Aerosmith on Wayne's world skit (well, he is
playing a roadie), plays it straight in the hilarious Tales of
Ribaldry, and has a silly supporting part in the Spartan Cheerleaders
(making it the most dubious choice in this special). Although The
Hankster appeared most regularly during the Dana Carvey years (He was
churning out five comedies a year during this period), evidence
presented here proves him to be one of the few to do a decent show
during the disastrous 1985 season, and an older, wiser Tom is equally
well at ease with the late nineties Will Ferrell laden line-up.
Once you have been asked back a few times and a good working
relationship with the cast has been established, it is time to think
about possible recurring characters. SNL cast members thrive on them,
but only host eligible to be Five-Timers are allowed to repeat
themselves. Tom developed no less than three: Mr. Short Term Memory, a
Girl Watcher along side Jon Lovitz and a very Seinfeldian Stand up
comedian. Truth be told, nowhere do recurring characters overstay there
welcome more than on SNL, so thankfully in each case only the first
appearance is included here. Finally, in comedy timing remains
everything. Although the Hankster has been getting first dibs at all
the best dramatic parts in Hollywood ever since his Oscar winning two
punch, he is still a comedian at heart. Whether bantering with Lovitz
at the 25th anniversary, skating and panting his way through an Olympic
cold opening or playing two very different game show hosts, his
deliverance is spot on.
Additionaly, the DVD offers up a couple of surprises amongst the extra
features: a dress rehearsal version of Robert Smigel's infamous nude
beach skit (the one with the penis-song) that did not make it into the
Tom Hanks show, but was redone a week later with Matthew Broderick.
Lastly there is a tacked on animated 'photo gallery' featuring a still
of The Hankster and Mr. Peepers, a skit missing from on the actual
compilation. Very disappointing to those of us who watch the extra's
before the main feature.
9 out of 10
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