I have said it before, and I will continue to say it as long as it is relevant… these Saturday Night Live releases are the perfect product for the PSP. They are short, funny and get right to the point with little depth or exposition required. It is easy to drop in and watch a skit here or there during your morning commute, waiting for a cup of coffee or while killing time before the big game. Of course, it is also easy to burn through a full hour by spinning the entire disc, as Ferrell is just so funny that it is s…metimes hard to stop at a single skit or two. In fact, out of all of the new SNL discs that have been produced, I feel that this particular title is the best of them all. The thing is, once you pick up one volume of the Will Ferrell set, you will most certainly go out and pick up the second. Fans of Bill Braski, Dubya and James Lipton, your time has finally come.
As this is a TV product, the audio is adequate but nothing really special. The emphasis during the original broadcast was not on superb audio, but simply on the comedy. Having said that, the dialog is quite easy to hear, and the volume levels are nice and high for a UMD product. No sounds travel back and forth from one speaker to the next, so I would assume that this is a mono track. Of course, the very fact that I would have to make this assumption is proof that this was not a disc created with audio superiority in mind.
While I am always a big proponent of products being seen in their original aspect ratio, that is a blessing and a curse on this disc. The PSP’s screen is so small as it is, and the 1.33:1 full screen ratio makes the image even smaller. On the plus side, however, this show is new enough that the images look crisp, clean and clear, with no problems with grain or blemishes. Colors look quite good, but not superb, and black levels are not quite as deep as I would have liked. Still, this is a quality transfer and a nice, clean video presentation.
There are a nice little selection of extras included on this disc. In addition to the boring photo gallery, viewers are also treated to two dress sketches, which are sketches that are performed during the cast’s dress rehearsal but don’t make it to final air. As is the case with all deleted scenes, many are cut due to time constraints, and that seems to be the case with these. One skit involves a guest appearance by a singing Shaquille O’Neil, and the other is one of the series of sketches that Ferrell did as a homeless nude model. Frightening-yet-funny stuff. Finally, there are two of Ferrell’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien appearances in their entirety. Never one to carry on the status quo, these appearances are almost like skits in themselves. My personal favorite is the one in which he shows up for the interview dressed as a half-naked leprechaun. It’s only funny because Ferrell makes it so.
Funny skits, quality audio and video, some nice extras… how can you go wrong? The beauty of this disc is that it is easy for me to have in hand and watch over and over again, thank to the concise nature of the skits. Maybe it is just because every generation thinks that their cast is the best, but I really have to put my money on Ferrell as one of the funniest performers this show has ever seen. His persistent ability to make the other cast members laugh should be testament enough to his talent. Lucky for us in the modern world, we are now able to witness that talent on the go, whenever it is convenient. The digital revolution is a beautiful thing.
Special Features List
- Photo Gallery
- Dress Rehearsal
- TV Appearances