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Universal Studios Home Video presents
Saturday Night Live: The Best of Commercial Parodies (1975-2006)

"You know how advertisements are always interrupting your favorite TV programs? Well, I thought we might turn the tables and use a TV show to interrupt the world of commercials for once."
- Will Ferrell

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: September 01, 2006

Stars: Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Horatio Sanz, Phil Hartman, Rachel Dratch, Chris Farley, Kevin Nealon, Ben Affleck, Alec Baldwin, Eddie Murphy, Mike Meyers, Chris Parnell, Kelly Ripa, Ana Gasteyer, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, Queen Latifah, Julia Sweeney, Victoria Jackson, David Spade, Dan Aykroyd, Laraine Newman, Garrett Morris, Tracy Morgan, Mary Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen, Chris Rock, Fred Armisen, Jimmy Fallon, Cheri Oteri, Dennis Miller, John Belushi, Molly Shannon, Sam Waterston, Jessica Simpson, Gilda Radner, Kenan Thompson
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (occasional mature humor)
Run Time: 01h:22m:56s
Release Date: May 23, 2006
UPC: 025193007322
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ B+B-B B-

DVD Review

I used to be a regular Saturday Night Live viewer back in the old days, but the show sort of fell out favor for me in the late 1980s. I would sporadically tune in if I was home and completely bored, or if I happened to know a particular musical guest was going to appear, so I can't really say for certain if the show was regularly funny, or if like so many have said, it went through more valleys than peaks.

For this compilation of the best of the show's commercial parodies we're told it spans the show's 25 years, but without airdates for the spots I'd be hardpressed to know from what season they come. My hunch is that most come from the last ten years, but seasoned viewers can no doubt tell from the cast—though I did notice a fair amount of my former UCB dreamgirl Amy Poehler, so I know those are fairly new, or at least closer today than 25 years ago. Dan Aykroyd's Bass-O-Matic—a classic from the glory days—shows up here, as does one with John Belushi dieting on Little Chocolate Donuts, but by and large the core of the material carries a more recent vintage.

Not that there's anything wrong with a tilt toward the new, because darn if the content here isn't pretty funny, and even if one spot doesn't fully deliver (the pump it up Nikey Turkey with Chris Rock) there's generally two more that do (such as Oops! I Crapped My Pants and Dr. Porkenheimer's Boner Juice) right after. That's not a bad average for a disc with 60 or so commercials to choose from, though it was somewhat disappointing to have Will Ferrell serve as host during four or five fairly unfunny interstitial segments about him invading an ad agency, and these bits didn't really work on any comedic level.

Not having been a regular viewer in years past, most of these were new to me, and I'm pleased to say that nearly all of the commercials were laugh generators. They're crude more often than not—like Woomba ("It's a robot that cleans my business. My lady business.")—but with just a minute or so to work with the gag has to hit quick and hit hard, something that I usually found lacking in a typical SNL skit that never knew when to end. A couple seemed a little too similar to one another (the drug tweaked Tressant Supreme shampoo and Cracklin' Oat Flakes spots), but maybe that's just overanalyzing things a little much.

This won't necessarily get me to start watching SNL again, but the collection has some very funny bits, and that's good enough, I suppose.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: All segments are presented in their original format, and with the exception of the vintage SNL footage, colors are generally bright and natural. More a fault of the source material than the transfer, the older clips look positively ancient, sporting washed out colors and a veil of grain.

Image Transfer Grade: B-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: The disc is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0, and while this isn't especially showy, voice quality is clear and full, which is about all you really need. Simple and suitable to the material, the presentation won't really give your system a workout, but content is understandable.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 62 cues and remote access
10 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: For reasons I'm not quite clear on, there a bonus ten parodies included as extras, running an additional 11m:11s. As with the main content, there's some funny stuff here, including some decent Will Ferrell as the Petchow guy and Chris Elliot shows up with Michael McKean in the Eterna Rest commercial.

The disc is cut into 62 chapters, one per commercial.

Extras Grade: B-


Final Comments

I'm not really a big SNL fan these days, but this compilation of some of the better commercial parodies delivered some steady laughs for me, so I suppose that merits a recommendation for this release.

Yes, it's funny.


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