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Being in the UK I never really got a chance to see anything other than the film projects that grew out of SNL sketches as it never got an airing here. Of course now I could probably get it on one of the many cable channels we have or even on-line I guess, but generally it has never featured on my "must watch that" list (and yes, I am sad enough to have such a list). The couple of DVD's floating about offer me the chance to go the other way though as I can watch the sketches and characters that comedians now more famous for their films did when they were "coming up" (although one might say that SNL is "up" to a certain extent).
Although I have always found Ferrell's style to be hit and miss, this is a funny DVD with plenty of strong sketches. Ironically the highlight of the piece is not really thus due to him though. I refer to the Blue Oyster Cult sketch which is famous for Christopher Walken, and rightly so. Now that I think about it actually, my second favourite sketch here owes more to others than him, as the contestants on Jeopardy are funnier than the host. Anyway, even within these sketches Ferrell still does well and produces good laughs. The thing that marks him out from those around him is that, if he does crack up, he is usually the last to do it and he holds it together very well. By contrast, Jimmy Fallon seems unable to keep from laughing no matter what he is doing.
As with any sketch show the DVD is not as even as I would have liked and some of the sketches are a bit silly; not a problem in and of themselves perhaps but when they are alongside more inspired silliness then they do seem a little weak the chess cheerleaders being an example of this. However generally the quality is high and each sketch is funny and imaginative and hasn't dated at all. Well worth a look then as a summary of Ferrell's time at SNL for those unacquainted with it, although I imagine that SNL viewers will find as much missing as present.
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