Saturday Night Live: The Best of Cheri Oteri [2004]

Cheri Oteri breathed bracing fresh air into the seasons she appeared on Saturday Night Live, and created memorable characters both absurd and delightful. This 78-minute disc contains samples of some of her signature performances, including the preternaturally peppy cheerleader, Arianna, paired with a strapping Will Ferrell. (Ever tried to lead a cheer at the team's…swim meet? Arianna never met a challenge she couldn't conquer.) Oteri also takes on media icon Barbara Walters, satirized decades earlier by the incomparable Gilda Radner as Baba Wawa. Oteri's impersonation both pays homage to Radner's and takes it to a new level of absurdity; Oteri's Walters is a randy, name-dropping old coot who doesn't miss a beat--or an opportunity to aggrandize herself ("I was horseback riding the other day with Saddam Hussein…"). Don't miss the brief skit where Walters tries to have phone sex with a nonplussed Tom Brokaw. Other signature characters include Oteri's Judge Judy and the prescription hound Collette (appearing here in a priceless bit with John Goodman as a flummoxed pharmacist). And of course, the abusive Burger Castle counter chick Nadeen, who shoots down every customer request with a "Simma down, now!" Extras include audition and dress rehearsal footage, and an audio commentary by Oteri. --A.T. Hurley

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