I admit it: I'm part of the
generation that grew up with Saturday Night Live, and yet somehow I
never watched it on television. Even so, SNL wormed its way into popular
culture to the point that even I knew about its star comedians and famous skits.
Now, thanks to the "Best of" series, I'm finally getting a chance to
see for myself what everybody was laughing about. And... it's no wonder it was
popular. It's really funny.
The Best of Adam Sandler
has a self-explanatory title: this 73-minute program collects the best skits
and individual comedy routines of Adam Sandler. We get to see a selection of
his comic characters, including the Gap Girl, Cajun Man, Canteen Boy, and Opera
Man, as well as plenty of other skits and comedy routines. In fact, some of
Sandler's funniest material is found in his solo pieces: I particularly enjoyed
his songs... the "Hanukkah song" in particular is hilarious. While of
course the skits that we see in this collection are usually ones that Sandler
had a major role in, we also get to see the contributions of other well-known SNL
cast members like Chris Farley, and a whole lot of guest stars, including Alec
Baldwin, Kirstie Alley, Courtney Cox, Michael Keaton,
and many others.
The "Best of" program
is fast-paced and intelligently assembled, with shorter skits interspersed with
the longer ones, and with recurring pieces like the "Opera Man"
segments scattered throughout the program. On the whole, the material holds up
very well, with the skits just as funny as they were on their original
broadcast in the early- to mid-1990s; the one exception is that the skits that
poke fun at then-current events (notably Opera Man) don't work as well,
especially if you don't have perfect memory of popular culture and current
events from ten years ago.
By virtue of being on DVD, Saturday
Night Live is no longer exactly "live," but somehow the energy of
the live shows is captured and retained perfectly here. The cast members are so
obviously having a good time that it draws you in to having a good time along
with them. Sandler's often grinning or half-laughing as he goes through his
skits or routines, and it's both charming and contagious.
The Best of Adam Sandler
is presented in its original television aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and looks
perfectly acceptable. This isn't material that really calls for stunning image
quality, after all; the picture could be a bit sharper, but it doesn't really
matter all that much. The image is clean and free of flaws, and colors and
contrast look fine as well.
Since The Best of Adam
Sandler includes just his comedy work, without SNL's musical
interludes, all the track needs to do is to present the dialogue clearly, which
it does; the Dolby 2.0 track is clean and natural-sounding.
The only special feature is a
photo gallery, which is of minimal interest.
Saturday Night Live: The
Best of Adam Sandler brings together some really funny material from
Sandler's stint on the show; both fans and casual viewers will find a lot to
laugh at in this collection. It's recommended.