Saturday Night Live in the 90s was plagued with shows and skits that were often hit and miss. For viewers, it was always fun to watch, because when the show did something right, it was often one of the funniest things we remember from the decade. That’s where the new extended versions of SNL’s Best Of series can pay off.
New this month, Maple Pictures in Canada has released The Best Of Will Ferrell and The Best Of Tracy Morgan. For this review, we’ll look at The Best Of Will Ferrell, one of the funniest products of the 90s SNL clan. A remake of the original Best Of collection from 2003, the new version contains double the amount of material as the previous one, with a runtime of 144 minutes and 30 minutes of bonus footage.
It was great to see Ferrell in some of the classic skits, including a Roxbury skit, a good look at his Harry Caray imitation and an odd, but hilarious Robert Goulet commercial (complete with Ferrell dropping the N-bomb). He is a funny man, willing to do whatever it takes to make the skit funny, and more often than not, someone in the cast would be unsuccessful in holding back their smiles – resulting in an even funnier moment.
If there is one defining moment on the disc, it has to be the Behind The Music “More Cowbell” piece. This masterpiece is from an April 8, 2000 SNL show, fictionalizing the recording of the song "(Don’t Fear) The Reaper" by Blue Öyster Cult. The sketch featured guest host Christopher Walken as music producer Bruce Dickinson and Will Ferrell, who wrote the sketch, as cowbell player Gene Frenkle. The recording seems to be going well, but the band stops playing after a few moments because the cowbell part is rather loud and distracting. Dickinson, to the surprise of most of the band, asks for "a little more cowbell" and suggests that the cowbell player "really explore the studio space this time." It’s a legendary skit worthy of its acclaim as the fifth most memorable SNL moment.
The DVD collection is topped off with some really good bonus features, including a couple of TV appearances on Conan’s late night show (one in character as Goulet), dress rehearsal footage of skits that didn’t make the live show and Will’s actual audition.
Because of its length and clever bonus features, this new SNL Best Of release surpasses any of the older ones and is worthy of attention, rentals and purchases by anyone looking for a good laugh.