February 7 – Saturday Night Fever

Live from New York

The iconic Saturday Night Live is celebrating its 40th season on the air this evening and in those 40 years, we’ve seen many classic characters hit our screens – both big and small. Here are the Top 5 Saturday Night Live characters, according to the Sip Advisor (a great character in his own right!):

#5: Irwin Mainway

Dan Aykroyd, the man behind Crystal Skull Vodka and so many great characters, can also list this shady salesman among his fine credits. Mainway appeared on the show Consumer Probe to defend his geared-towards-kids Halloween costumes and Christmas toys, such as ‘Bag O’ Glass,’ ‘Bag O’ Sulfuric Acid,’ ‘Teddy Chainsaw Bear,’ ‘Invisible Pedestrian,’ and ‘Johnny Switchblade Adventure Punk.’ I personally don’t see the issue with any of those products!

Mainway

#4: Celebrity Jeopardy

These are some of the best skits in the show’s history and while they may not be original characters, a couple of them were reoccurring, such as Will Ferrell’s Alex Trebek and Darrell Hammond’s Sean Connery. The Trebek-Connery rivalry was a great touch, as were many of the game categories, which Connery hilariously misconstrued, much to Trebek’s bewilderment. For example, “An Album Cover” somehow became “Anal Bum Cover” when Connery got ahold of it.

#3: Stefon

The New York club scene insider and Weekend Update guest, was responsible for introducing the world to some of the most bizarre underground hangouts, including Crease, Whimsy, and Kevin?… yes, that one has a question mark. Played by Bill Hader, fellow writers would change the cue cards for Stefon appearances between rehearsal and live run and then it would only be a matter of time before Hader would break character laughing and have to bury his face in his hands.

#2: Wayne Campbell & Garth Algar

“Party on, Wayne… party on, Garth! With those words, Wayne’s World took to the airwaves, although it’s a little known fact that Mike Myers first used the Wayne Campbell character on the Canadian show It’s Only Rock & Roll. Anyway, the Wayne’s World co-hosts took their skit success straight to feature films with two great movies, perfect for cameo appearances from musical acts, as well as actors. The characters have rarely been reprised, but they live on in the hearts of millions.

#1: Matt Foley

While Chris Farley made this character legendary, it was actually created by Bob Odenkirk, aka Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad. Matt Foley, with his unique way of motivating others, made us all fear an existence of living in a van down by the river. A highlight of each Foley sketch was the inevitable crash the inspirational speaker would take through a table or into a Christmas tree. The first table fall was actually accidental, but was the icing on the cake for the sketch and became tradition.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Saturday Night Fever

Saturday Night Fever Shot

  • 0.5 oz Sambuca
  • 0.5 oz Whiskey
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

Some honourable mentions go to Mr. Bill, the Festrunk Brothers, Toonces the Cat, the Ladies Man, the Butabi Brothers, and Mr. Robinson. While I’ve never been a big regular watcher of the show, I have many fond memories from it and have to thank the series for launching the careers of some of my favourite comedians!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
While this shot is certainly meant for the John Travolta disco dancing film from the 1970s, I believe it also works well for the theme of today’s post. The Sambuca and Lime Juice are to be shaken together first, with the Whiskey being floated on top afterwards, but I had forgotten this element and when the result was a wonderful tasting shot, I just went with it. This may be one of the best uses of Sambuca I have yet to find and I think things might have been helped by the Royal Challenge Whiskey from India.

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September 27 – Spinal Tap

I’m With the Band

For those about to rock… we salute you! And we also salute these fictional bands, some of which turned into real-life touring acts. Those which didn’t, should have. Hell, if the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had a music tour at the height of their popularity in the early 90s, why can’t we see Faith+1 or Fingerbang around the world!?

#5: The Blues Brothers – The Blues Brothers/Blues Brothers 2000

When Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd took to the Saturday Night Live stage to perform as Jake and Elwood Blues, nobody knew how musically-gifted the two actually were. The sketches were turned into a feature film and the SNL alum even toured together, performing live on stage. With the unfortunate death of Jim Belushi, his brother John has filled in at times (as Zee Blues), as well as John Goodman, who joined Aykroyd as ‘Mighty’ Mack McTeer for the sequel Blues Brothers 2000. Aykroyd’s love of blues music has even resulted in his owning a percentage of the House of Blues restaurant and live performance chain.

Blues Brothers

#4: The Dale Gribble Bluegrass Experience – King of the Hill

The Experience consisted of the back alley crew (Hank, Dale, Bill and Boomhauer) with young Connie Psupnesphone on her violin – or as it’s referred to in blue grass, a fiddle. Boomhauer’s unintelligible southern drawl speech is perfect for bluegrass and the troupe made it all the way to performing at the Bluegrass Festival in Branson, Missouri, before Connie’s overbearing father Con interfered. Their cover of ‘Blue Moon of Kentucky’ sounded pretty good and they even talked country legend Charlie Daniels into filling in on the fiddle when Connie disappeared. Despite all their efforts, though, they did not win the festival competition.

#3: Spinal Tap – This is Spinal Tap

The greatest fake rock band to become a real rock band EVER! Made up of David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean), Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest), and Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer) and filmed mockumentary style, this film covered Spinal Tap’s journey to the top of the music world. Spinal Tap later appeared on The Simpsons, thanks to Shearer’s voice work on the series, forever cementing their status as a great fictional band, although the group actually tours and performs. This is one act you wouldn’t want to be a drummer for, though, as each prospective percussionist has died from bizarre accidents and under mysterious circumstances.

Spinal Tap

#2: The Be-Sharps – The Simpsons

Homer, Principal Skinner, Apu, Chief Wiggum and later Barney Gumble (replacing Wiggum) made up this little quartet. With a Grammy Award winning and number one hit ‘Baby On Board,’ the group seemed destined for superstardom, but in a case eerily similar to The Beatles, creative differences and an Asian woman forced the band to split and remain a one-hit wonder. The Simpsons has also featured other fictional groups and musicians, including Bleeding Gums Murphy, Lurleen Lumpkin, the Party Posse, Captain Bart and the Tequila Mockingbirds, Sadgasm, and even Kirk Van Houten.

#1: Fingerbang & Faith+1 – South Park

Both of these bands are driven by the genius mind of Eric Cartman. First, he created Fingerbang, an attempt at capitalizing on the boy band craze. The death of Kenny – crushed by an elevator during a concert at the local mall – thwarted them in the end. They did gain one fan, but promptly split up, realizing that such fame doesn’t allow for a normal life. Years later, Cartman splits from the boys garage band Moop, to form the Christian Rock-based Faith+1 with Butters and Token. Faith+1 goes on to be a hit, receiving a Mir album distinction. Cartman, expecting a gold record to win a bet with Kyle, goes on a profanity-laced tirade, ruining the band’s innocent image.

Super Saturday Shot Day: Spinal Tap

Spinal Tap Shot

  • 0.5 oz Vodka (I used Finlandia)
  • 0.5 oz Peach Schnapps
  • 0.5 oz Crème de Cacao
  • Garnish with a Guitar Pick

As usual, this list was extremely difficult to pare down. I would have loved to include groups like Jesse and the Rippers (Full House), the Zack Attack (Saved by the Bell), and The Electric Mayhem (The Muppets), among others. I did manage to sneak a sixth band into the post by doubling up the South Park entry, so consider yourself extra special today!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I’m unsure of if this shooter has anything to do with the mockumentary band or if it’s more to do with the medical procedure… either way, I’m using it! And it is delicious. You get varying notes of Peach Schnapps and Crème de Cacao and both taste so good. Had I used a flavoured Vodka, I wonder if things would have got better or worse. Would a whole new flavour emerge, or would there be too many competing notes? The questions that keep the Sip Advisor up at night!

December 15 – The Mistletoe

All I Want for Christmas

As I researched my post on the worst Christmas albums, I came across a ton of horrible cover art that just has to be shared with all you little sippers. Prepare to be horrified and delighted all at the same time!

Rudy Ray Moore – This Ain’t No White Christmas

This Ain't No White Christmas

Horrible cover, but absolutely amazing idea! I need to get Mrs. Sip on board with Rudy Ray Moore’s idea of holiday attire. Who exactly is Rudy Ray Moore, you might be asking? Well, my little sippers, Mr. Moore is the legendary Dolemite, one of the most famous blaxploitation characters. This Ain’t No White Christmas is one of Moore’s comedy releases and features a two-part ‘The Night Before Christmas’.

Lenny Dee – Happy Holi-dee

happy-holi-dee

He didn’t even bother to put on the friggin’ Santa beard! Or, perhaps, the dogs he’s holding yanked it off and he said, “You know what, fuck it! Take the damn picture and let’s get out of here.” Dee’s Wikipedia page says that he was a virtuoso organist… Mrs. Sip would say the same about me! Happy Holi-dee isn’t Dee’s only release to incorporate his last name. He also had Dee-Lightful, Dee-Lirious, Dee-Licious, Dee-Frosting, and many more.

Thore Skogmans Julskiva – Klappa Pa!

Klappa Pa

Here’s all the meat I’ll be sexually gratifying you with… what’s that? You aren’t into meat loving? Oh, I guess I’m alone in that regard. Perhaps I’m being too hard on Thore here. He just looks like a happy-go-lucky dude who really enjoys meat and Christmas feasts. Klappa Pa sounds like something you’d hear at a German beer hall and that’s all well and good, but it’s certainly not something I’d want to get my stein on to.

William Hung – Hung for the Holidays

Hung for the Holidays

They made William Hung look like the worst South Park character ever… not that that was a really hard task. This whole idea was thrown together so quickly trying to capitalize on Hung’s 15 minutes of fame. The cover art for Hung for the Holidays might actually make the tracks on the album seem better. I hope nobody has to spend Christmas with William Hung because you know he’d be trying to share this drivel with any unfortunate guests.

Slim Whitman – Christmas with Slim Whitman

Christmas with Slim Whitman

His eyes say “you’ll be safe with me”, but his smile says “I will rape you”. And what a freakin’ awesome name! Seriously, this name would mean instant respect in any professional world, from journalism to porn. Whitman reminds me of Dan Aykroyd’s Saturday Night Live character Fred Garvin, male prostitute. To be fair, Christmas with Slim Whitman shows us not to judge a book by it’s cover, as Whitman’s voice doesn’t match the sex offender image he presents.

Drink #349: The Mistletoe

The Mistletoe Drink Recipe

After checking out this list, you’d probably agree with me that it’s a good thing cover art for music releases is largely a thing of the past thanks to the death of the album, tape, and CD.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This cocktail was pretty refreshing and I’ve always liked how Grey Goose Cherry Noir and Sweet & Sour Mix work together. The Club Soda gave the drink a nice level of fizz, while not distracting from the taste of any of the other ingredients. I also really like my simple but effective garnishing of the cocktail.

August 17 – Jell-O Shot

Celebrity Endorsement

Much like Bill Cosby has been the face of Jell-O in the past, many celebrities have lent their name and likeness to liquor products. Even 90’s boy band Hanson has been linked to a beer called MmmHop… while that seems totally ridonkulous, here are some legit spirit-celebrity relationships:

Ron Jeremy – Ron de Jeremy Rum

That’s right, the well-hung porn legend has released his own brand of Rum. Sadly, this elixir was temporarily banned from Manitoba, Canada liquor store shelves, despite no objectionable writing or images on the label, just solely based on Jeremy’s former career. I expect better of my country!

Ron de Jeremy Rum

Dan Aykroyd – Crystal Head Vodka

You’d expect the likes of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg to support this Vodka, but instead you get funnyman Dan Aykroyd being responsible. My buddy got a bottle of this spirit for his 30th birthday and we have yet to crack it open… shame on us!

Marilyn Manson – Mansinthe

It’s a very interesting choice for a celebrity to lend their talents to an Absinthe creation, but nothing Marilyn Manson does in the world of business and entertainment could be considered normal. This Absinthe blend does in fact contain the hallucinogenic wormwood, which has me very intrigued.

Donald Trump – Trump Vodka

Unfortunately, The Donald’s alcohol endeavor is no more, as “the company failed to meet the threshold requirements”… whatever that means. When the liquor was released, Trump was so sure of its success that he gloated the Trump and Tonic and Trump Martini would be the next big things to hit the mixology world.

Trump Vodka

Danny DeVito – Danny DeVito Limoncello

Why Limoncello? Why not!? It goes along with DeVito’s Italian heritage, I suppose. I kind of wish DeVito had resurrected his Louie De Palma character from Taxi and released some filthy sewer water concoction, just looking to make a quick buck in this scheme.

George Clooney – Casamigos Tequila

As if George Clooney needs another thing that makes him look cool, suave, and sophisticated! This Tequila has a ton of hype built up around it, largely because of Clooney’s association with the brand. It has quickly shot up my list as a must-try. Warning: It will not make you the world’s sexiest man alive!

Justin Timberlake – 901 Tequila

As JT explains, the 901 stands for 9:01pm, when the evening ends and the night begins! The 901 moniker also doubles as the area code for the artist’s hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. Either way, it’s a clever marketing tool.

901 Tequila

Willie Nelson – Old Whiskey River Bourbon

I’m surprised Willie Nelson’s endorsement power hasn’t been completely spent in the marijuana field (or even the tax evasion field), but here we are with a Bourbon product that bears the title of one of Willie’s classic cover tunes, ‘Whiskey River’… a song about getting blitzed on the booze.

Sammy Hagar – Cabo Wabo Tequila & Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum

The Van Halen rocker seriously likes his booze. Enough so that he started the Cabo Wabo bar chain and Tequila, later adding Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum. The Cabo Wabo Tequila is one of the few products on this list that I’ve actually tried (and enjoyed!) in Cabo San Lucas, no less!

Cee Lo Green – Ty Ku Sake

Here’s an interesting pairing. You have singer and songwriter Cee Lo Green dabbling in the Japanese traditional spirit of Sake. Whatever floats your boat, I guess. A few other celebs also have stake in this company, including gossip blogger Perez Hilton. Good company to keep…

TY-KU-Sake

Billy Gibbons – Pura Vida Tequila

The ZZ Top front man joins a long list of musicians who have entered the liquor game. This Premium Tequila (don’t they all advertise themselves to be that!) is surely consumed by sharply dressed men with great legs, on their way to La Grange. I wonder if Gibbons’ famous beard ever gets matted and tangled by the Pura Vida Tequila

Bill Murray and Mikhail Baryshnikov – Slovenia Vodka

Can you imagine the board of director meetings that happen within this Vodka company, led by the odd couple of actor Bill Murray and dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov? Between the jokes and choreography, I’m willing to bet that barely any work gets done at all at these offices.

Drink #229: Jell-O Shot

Jell-o Shooter

  • 1/2 Cup of Vodka/Spiced Rum/Tequila
  • Mix Liquors with 1/2 Cup Water and Cool in Fridge
  • 1 Cup Water, Boiled
  • 1 Pack of Jell-O (Watermelon, Berry Blue, Lime)

If I could have a celebrity endorsement for this site, I’d pick some of the finest alcoholics known to fame: I’m talking the Mel Gibson’s or David Hasselhoff’s of the world. As for myself, in the not-too-distant future, I will be a dot.com celeb and will have to be careful when choosing products to attach my name to. Look out for a future article regarding my selective process!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I figured Jell-O Shots had to be done at some point in this project and why not combine them with Frozen Cocktail Week, since there’s really no point in making a frozen shooter (you might as well just go ahead and entitle it Brain Freeze… light bulb!). Making Jell-O shots made me feel like a kid again… except this time I was getting ripped throughout the entire process. I want to thank Ma Sip and Cousin Sip for their help throughout the project. I decided to do three different versions of the shooters (lime with tequila, berry blue with spiced rum, and watermelon with raspberry vodka) with my favourite being the vodka-watermelon combo. I never really liked Jell-O Shots until I made them myself!