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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Saturday Night Live - Christmas
Saturday Night Live - Christmas
Lionsgate Home Entertainment // Unrated // October 28, 2003
List Price: $14.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by DVD Savant | posted January 20, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Lion's Gate has put out quite a few Saturday Night Live discs, usually organized by performer. Last year they released a multi-disc set of musical performances from the show that pleased many DVD fans but disappointed others with specific omissions, like Prince. This SNL special was compiled in 1999 at the same time as another skits collection themed for Halloween. Both collections are successful, with the Christmas compilation having the edge in classic material.

Contents:

1. Christmas Eve at the White House
2. Opening Montage
3. Bill Murray welcomes Santa
4. Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood
5. Delicious Dish
6. Church Chat
7. Martha Stewart Living
8. Hanukah Song
9. A Holiday Wish
10.Matt Foley, Motivational Speaker
11. Consumer Probe
12. Lost Ending of "It's a Wonderful Life"
13. Santa Wrap
14. Hanukah Harry
15. Deserted Island Christmas
16. Winter Wonderland
17. Dysfunctional Family Christmas
18. Rita From Brooklyn
19. Master Thespian

This Christmas show is longer both in length and in amusing content than the Halloween Show. Surely due to the broader possibilities inherent in the Christmas holiday, there are more classics here. Eddie Murphy's skit has to be one of his best, and the same goes for Carvey's Church Lady (Santa = Satan) and Jon Lovitz' Hanukah Harry and Master Thespian skits. There's the expected Martha Stewart skewering, and another Matt Foley exercise for Chris Farley. Dan Ackroyd's schtick as Mainway, the evil marketer of deadly kid's toys is helped enormously by the presence of Candice Bergen, who has a wonderful time trying not to laugh. Steve Martin's A Holiday Wish monologue is equally hilarious.

The best skit by far is the incredibly accurate parody of It's a Wonderful Life. It's a truly wicked satirical jab. Dana Carvey's uncanny Jimmy Stewart imitation is just too perfect to not be funny.

Christmas has the requisite edgy material, such as the jarring and rather cruel-spirited Martha Stewart's Topless Christmas. On the other hand, the special has some great musical material that shows SNL at its best as an ensemble of killer comedy talent. Dysfunctional Family Christmas is a spoof of a syndicated K-Tel type music ad with vicious Xmas Carol parodies, but Winter Wonderland is a practically straight caroling number with most of the early cast members (+ a delightful Candice Bergen, again) belting out backup for Garrett Morris. It's charming to see the original cast (some of them gone now) having so much fun, and it even generates some Christmas cheer. This very satisfying show is more than the sum of its parts.


The quality of this Lion's Gate show is fine, with some of the skits limited by the video quality of 1970s broadcast TV. There's a refreshing absence of host intros like the ones that mar the music compilation discs. I only caught one clip with a distracting edit, in the Xmas Church Lady routine. It looked as if it was made to eliminate most of a musical performance - ?


On a scale of Excellent, Good, Fair, and Poor, Saturday Night Live Christmas rates:
Show: Excellent
Video: Good
Sound: Excellent
Supplements: None
Packaging: Keep case
Reviewed: January 19, 2004


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