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Universal Studios Home Video presents
Saturday Night Live: The Best of Cheri Oteri (2006)

"Only one question remains, what do you think of me?"
- Barbara Walters (Cheri Oteri)

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: September 01, 2006

Stars: Cheri Oteri
Other Stars: Will Ferrell, Tobey Maguire, Chris Kattan, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Chevy Chase, Kelsey Grammer, Jimmy Fallon
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (adult humor)
Run Time: 01h:17m:58s
Release Date: May 23, 2006
UPC: 025193016928
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

Saturday Night Live would not be the pop culture icon it is without the consistent presence of strong female featured performers. It all started with the incomparable Gilda Radner, and continued with the likes of Jan Hooks, Nora Dunn, and Amy Poehler, who is in the current cast. During the 1990s, featuring arguably the third best SNL cast, the top lady every Saturday night was Cheri Oteri. Her chameleonic abilities enable Oteri to craft some of the most memorable characters the show has ever seen; most of which are at play in the new Saturday Night Live: The Best of Cheri Oteri DVD.

As with the rest of the Saturday Night Live DVDs, the sketches are in no particular order, as most of Oteri's classic characters are given at least one chance to shine. We get a great example of her "Simma Down" character with guest host Tobey Maguire along for the ride. There's a sketch featuring Oteri and Chris Kattan as a chronically horny couple who can't get enough of each other, regardless of where they are. Guest host Sarah Michelle Gellar is the unwitting participant who often gets in the way of their violent flirting in this particular skit.

Oteri (like so many of the other SNL cast members of this era) is at her best when she is working along side Will Ferrell; one of her most popular bits is as one half of a cheerleading duo with Ferrell. Their "Spartan Fever" never waning, these sketches embody hilarious physical comedy. This compilation includes a pair of "Cheerleaders" sketches in their entirety, as well as a montage of the rest of this character in action. Unfortunately, the best "Cheerleaders" sketch is with guest host Jim Carrey, and that one isn't here.

We also get sketches with Oteri parodying celebrities like Barbara Walters and her best impression, Judge Judy. She's got Judy's mannerisms down pat, and the sketch that is on this disc features a great cameo by the real TV judge. Through the years, she also tried her hand at becoming Jennifer Lopez, Melissa Rivers, and more, with varying degrees of success. While she's not the best impressionist around, Oteri can hold her own with fellow cast member Darrell Hammond, a master at the craft.

Not all of Oteri's characters are appealing, and some are just plain annoying. Her Collette Reardon character is difficult to like, as this overmedicated pharmacist has too many crazy mannerisms to be funny. Rita Delvecchio is another one I could have done without, as this little old Italian woman couldn't have been very funny on paper, let alone on the screen. Every performer has their dud sketches, though, and overall, Cheri Oteri was one of the more gifted comedians to ever grace the Saturday Night Live stage.

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: The overall quality differs from sketch-to-sketch. Overall, things are much the same as their original broadcasts, as image clarity is impressive and colors are strong and realistic. There is some grain and dirt from time to time, but this isn't surprising given the source material.

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio is also standard TV comedy fare, with nearly everything staying up front. The audience laughter is about the only thing that travels to the rear speakers, but the funny dialogue is always clear and easy to decipher.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 16 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English
15 Other Trailer(s) featuring Saturday Night Live: The Best of Commercial Parodies, Dave Chappelle's Block Party, NBC Comedy Thursday, Law & Order: Trial By Jury - The Complete Series, Miami Vice, Saturday Night Live: The Best of Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live: The Best of David Spade, Kate & Allie, Charles in Charge, Gimme a Break!, Magnum P.I., The A-Team, Knight Rider, Northern Exposure, Columbo
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Cheri Oteri and SNL associate producer Lyle Jackson.
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Photo Gallery
  2. Audition
  3. Dress Sketch - "Morning Latte" skit that was cut out of the final show.
  4. TV Appearance - Conan
Extras Review: A nice extras collection includes an audio commentary with Cheri Oteri and SNL associate producer Lyle Jackson. The pair seem to have a close relationship and talk about the show as a whole and Oteri's fine work during her tenure on it.

We also get Oteri's eight-minute audition clip where she wins the SNL brass over with her Rita Delvecchio and Joy Lipton characters. There's a Dress Sketch, which is a skit that was shown during the SNL dress rehearsal, but cut from the final show. This funny bit involves Oteri and Will Ferrell doing a "Morning Latte" show with guests Shaquille O'Neal and Kelsey Grammer.

Finishing things up are trailers for other Universal Home Video releases and a five-minute clip from one of Cheri Oteri's appearances on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

Extras Grade: B


Final Comments

The great Cheri Oteri hasn't done much since leaving Saturday Night Live, but her legacy on the show is one that will live on for years. A collection of memorable sketches are compiled in Saturday Night Live: The Best of Cheri Oteri. This nice compilation features broadcast-quality audio and video, and there's even a few extras, including an audio commentary with Oteri.


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