Bigger and better than ever, MVSNL is a real treat

Rhonda Mak

At the beginning of Monta Vista Saturday Night Live, host and English teacher Mark Carpenter opened with a fierce monologue of his attempts at acting — how he would come in a teacher and exit a star, with MVSNL being the start of his stardom.

MVSNL was held at the auditorium on Friday, Sept. 20 and Saturday, Sept. 21. Directors had been planning the show since September. Overall, the show was hugely successful, despite some minor setbacks.

The show started out strong with a rendition of the popular MADtv sketch “Can I Have Your Number?”, featuring junior Caressa Suarez and sophomore Annie Zenin. From there the show continued on sound footing, despite falling flat slightly during “Saving Broadway,” a story about Broadway musical characters in an economic slump because there was a lack of showgoers to their musicals. The jokes were funny, but only for those who were familiar with Broadway shows, found few and far between within the audience. The first half of the show ended on a strong note with “B108 Morning Show,” a skit about two hip-hop radio DJs slotted at 5 a.m.

The intermission was preceded by a charming performance by violinist duo No Strings Attached, consisting of juniors Michael Ligier and Andy Wang. Though they lacked the head-banging, hard rock spirit of previous MVSNL musical guests who were all rock bands, No Strings Attached still received a cheering round of applause. Officially starting the intermission, a group of five students under the name Monta Vista Jazz Band performed, playing a wide array of catchy jazz tunes.

Starting off the second half of the show, the traditional teacher sketch featured Carpenter and his fellow English teachers Matt Brashears, David Clarke, Vanessa Otto and Eric Otto, as well as student advocate Richard Prinz. This skit, which played off of plagiarism in students’ work, was well-received, especially because all the teachers in the skit, being English teachers, have given the plagiarism speech numerous times.

After that, however, the show had trouble getting back on its feet. While the “Weekend Update” sketch, featuring Carpenter, junior Nick Egan, freshman Costi Gonzalo and freshman Alexis Standridge did bring out some smiles, jokes fell flat on some accounts.

The show gained lost momentum with “Don Draper’s Guide to Picking Up Women,” in which sophomore Eric Crouch played a suave fictional ad man clad in formal wear and donning a fake cigarette. The audience boomed with laughter as he demonstrated each of his tips, each followed by women played by freshman Andre Becker, junior Andi Pappas, and senior Linda Jean Price falling at his feet. Stronger acting and stronger writing made the skit more compelling than the previous one.

As per tradition the show finished off with “Celebrity Jeopardy,” featuring Carpenter, junior Derek Ching, sophomore Zarek Peris, sophomore Zach Sanchez and senior Robert Sulgit. Carpenter made for an impressive and convincingly-distressed Alex Trebek, his frustration bringing out from the audience. Following “Celebrity Jeopardy” the entire cast and directors came back on stage and bowed. They were met with roaring applause.

Carpenter had exited a star. They all had.