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SNL Sketch Showdown: Palin/Hillary Cold Open vs. Bill Brasky

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Welcome to the “Saturday Night Live” Sketch Showdown. Every weekday, an IFC writer will determine the winner of a matchup between two classic “SNL” sketches. You can check out the full bracket here.

Greatest Cold Open Versus Best Last Sketch Of The Night

You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase “in like a lion, out like a lamb” as it applies to March’s weather, but it also totally applies to “Saturday Night Live.” The show has historically always put its strongest sketch right after the monologue (not counting the commercial parodies) to keep you hooked at least until “Weekend Update,” and then, you know, all bets are off after there. The show always gets stranger and goofier in its second half — perhaps capitalizing on how slap-happy audiences at home get as Saturday night quickly becomes early early Sunday — and it’s always its zaniest in the last 10 minutes. It’s the scene that has to stretch to fill time until the last commercial break, so anything goes. It has to — they don’t have any other sets built or material prepared to kill time.

The Matchup

“A Nonpartisan Message from Governor Sarah Palin & Senator Hillary Clinton” was, at the time, a big big big deal. It was Tina Fey’s third appearance on SNL since leaving in 2006 to work on “30 Rock.” Amy Poehler (Clinton) and Fey (Palin) set aside politics to discuss sexism in the presidential campaign. Palin calls for people to stop photoshopping her head onto “sexy bikini pictures,” and Clinton demands people stop calling her a “boner shrinker.” It eventually devolves into them chiding each other like little children — and reminds audiences how great “SNL” has been at cultivating a long line of strong female comedic performers.

The “Bill Brasky” sketches all unapologetically follow the same formula: Some drunken businessmen are letting off some steam with a round at a bar while in town (wherever that is) for a convention and they reminisce about a salesman whose exploits are superhuman, dangerous, and too absurd to be true. But, as it turns out, he shows up at the end, buys them a round, and every-thing that’s been said about him was probably an understatement. These guys are like little kids, totally enamored with an older classmate they look up to. Just imagine that this older kid who has a toenail on his penis and will eat a homeless man if you dare him, and you’re pretty much there.

And The Winner Is…

“Bill Brasky.” Not even close. Fey’s return to “SNL” for that sketch made waves and captured the zeitgeist for that week, but Brasky is a cult classic — to the point that people upload videos of themselves imitating the sketches with new facts furthering the legend of the 10-foot-tall sales-man whose foreskin is used as a tarp when it rains at Yankee Stadium. People are doing that to kill time, they’re legitimately paying tribute where tribute is due.

Did the right sketch win? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.

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It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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