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Michael Wren Gucciardo,
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Less than 6 months after Amy Poehler's final SNL show as a cast member and right on time for to promote her new 'Parks and Recreation' show' comes this Best of compilation and just like last years Presidential Bash '08 it manages to squeeze some more out of the Sarah Palin sketches while they are still marginally topical. This is all fine and good if you're pandering to a short term memory kind of public, but will this special still hold up in a couple of years? Thanks to Amy's unbridled enthusiasm it probably will.
Even though Amy was a cast member from 2001 till 2009, there is very little material culled from her early years. Not enough for my tastes, as I would have liked to have sampled some skits I that haven't been seen in some time. Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan only make one brief appearance. Instead, the bulk of the show is from the last three seasons that feature the new wide screen aspect ratio. Especially well represented are the 2005 Paul Giamatti and 2007 Drew Barrymore shows, from which two full skits and one short snippet each are included.
Now it's true that Amy P became the show's go-to cast member after Jimmy Fallon left in 2004. For a while there it seemed like there was hardly any sketch on the show that did not feature her in some capacity and on top of that she also teamed up with Tina Fey on Weekend Update. So naturally a lengthy compilation of WU gags is the centerpiece of this compilation, featuring not only Fey but also Seth Myers (who is credited as creative consultant on this show. This segment even includes her farewell speech from December 2008.
In my comment on the aforementioned and equally Poehler heavy Presidential Bash '08 I mentioned that that special already felt like a prototype Best of Amy P. It turns out I was right, for no less than three skits compiled therein reappear here: the Sarah Palin/Hillary Clinton cold opening, the Bush Twins skit and the Palin Rap (which ones again plays during the end credits). Now I never had a problem with Tina and Amy making fun of George W. Bush on WU, or even taking swipes at his twin daughters once in a while (one such joke opens the WU compilation here) but the fact that the pair of them also teamed up in a sketch as said twins (from the Paul Giamatti show) always went a bit too far in my opinion. Oh well, I guess there's just no escape from that skit in these compilations.
Also included are recurring characters such as Caitlin, Bronx Beat with Betty & Jodi and The Dakota Fanning Show, the inescapable Justin Timberlake appearance and a reminder of how Amy just kept on working on the show up until the very last stages of her pregnancy. As usual there is also a compilation of celebrity impressions in which we see that AP actually does a better Christopher Walken impression than Darrell Hammond! Still, out of more than 140 shows (her own words) it would have been nice to see a little bit more of young Amy, the way she was when she first appeared as Andy Richter's little sister on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and as Duece Biggalows date with Tourette syndrome.
7 out of 10
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