20 August 2005 | Chip_douglas
Eighty percent Scrumtrilescent
Alec Baldin could have have a whole other career making comedies. He started off in 'Married to the mob' and was almost unrecognizable in 'Beetlejuice', but somehow got sidetracked into more serious stuff, only letting his comedic side come out on the Saturday nights he visits New York city. In fact, many people involved with Saturday Night Live feel he would have made a great cast member. Don't be fooled into thinking he's just a straight man, somehow refraining from cracking up during the Pete Schweddy and Bill Brasky skits. The eldest Baldwin brother also displays a substantial gift for impersonating the likes of Tony Bennett and does a hilarious Charles Nelson Reilly.
By now you know the drill with these 'Best of Saturday Night Live' compilations: first up are the sketches deemed so good they seem to be included in every one of these specials. For instance, the "Canteen Boy" sketch was on the Best of Sandler, "Inside the actors studio" on the Best of Ferrell, and Pete Schweddy appeared on both Xmas specials as well as the Best of Molly Shannon. I'm still hoping to see Baldwin as one of the Roxbury Guys some day, but apparently that's just not 'Best of' material. Next up are some skits you may have never heard of but are pretty funny none the less, like our host as a Lassie killing, baby cussing, flag defiling congress runner. These sketches are great for those of us who don't get to see the show live every Saturday. Finally there are always a couple of lesser ones that are only included so we can see some interaction with the various SNL all stars: Myers, Sandler, Farley and Ferrell (they failed to find anything suitable with Chris Rock).
Personally I was hoping to see more from the Valentine's day show Baldwin and his then wife Kim Basinger hosted, but it seems somebody voted against mentioning their failed union (even though Alec was not beneath poking fun at it and it's eventual aftermath). That show featured a couple of 'zingers' that really should have been included, like the Family Feud parody (featuring two of the lesser Baldwins and a great turn by Phil Hartman). Also the Goodfellas cold opening from that show (play spot the SNL alumn) deserved to jump starts this compilation. Instead this one opens with the Prince Charles conference skit from 2003 that, while perversely funny in a Pete Schweddy kind of way, centers around a scandal most people have forgotten about by now. Actually, this sketch was never a show opener in the first place, meaning that the narrator (Paula Pell?) had to record a new line (the all important "Live from New York"), the only new material in the entire show. I would think there is enough good stuff featuring 'The Baldwin' to fill another special, but making a second edition would defuse the title 'Best of', now wouldn't it?
8 out of 10