by Brendan Wahl
Let me just start off by saying that I watched this episode last night but I don’t really remember too much of it so this is going to be my attempt at analyzing the show while I watch the tape from last night’s program. A first on Hot Off The Press!
Anyway… our host this week is the lovely future Mrs. Wahl, Emma Stone. Not just a fox and someone who’s super easy on the eyes, Emma is a talented thespian and has proven her acting credentials in films like Zombieland, Superbad, and ESPECIALLY Easy A. So it came as no shock that Emma would eventually be pegged to host the long-running comedy series that we all know and admire so much.
Joining Ms. Stone is Kings of Leon, a musical act based out of Tennessee that specializes in southern blues & rock. While I’m not wholly familiar with the act, their last appearance on the show was the highlight of an otherwise subpar episode featuring an awkward Rosario Dawson. I don’t have too much more to say…
Worst. Preamble. Ever.
1. Reid Rally (4:04)
In an attempt to overcome his Republican opponent Sharron Angle, Harry Reid (Brittain) has a rally and attempts to put distance between himself and President Obama (Armisen), who is somewhat unpopular in Nevada. After listing off things like double-crossing Obama “if that’s what’s best for Nevada,” his strategy seems to work against him as he reveals himself to be a double-crossing politician who can’t be trusted. B+
2. Monologue (4:06)
Emma points out all the movies she does where she ends up making out with a nerd and of course is interrupted by several of them in the audience, who make the same point. Their requests for make-out sessions are denied however, which in turn eventually sparks a similar one by her Superbad castmates Jonah Hill (Moynihan) and Michael Cera (a spot-on impression by Killam). Bill Hader’s powerpoint presentation is the highlight of this otherwise run-of-the-mill monologue. B-
3. Baby Spanx (1:06)
Feeling self-conscious about your fat baby? Now you can hide it with Baby Spanx, elastic shapewear that makes the baby look like a chiseled one. The way they satirize some parents here is pretty funny and once again, if you have Sudeikis in a spokesperson role, he usually sells it with vigour. B+
4. Dream Home Extreme (5:49)
In a rehash from Brian Williams/Feist from Year 33, one lucky lady (Stone) receives a new home and her reaction is slightly less than enthusiastic. Wiig’s spastic anxiety works wonderfully against Stone’s stoic demeanour as she stands idly by and watches her lose it. The footage of previous winners (Hader, Pedrad, & Pharaoh) was hilarious, particularly Hader’s reaction. The ending of this sketch was also funnier than the first time they did this sketch and it all adds up to a funny piece. A-
5. WXPD Channel 9 News (3:25)
Spoofing those news stories that seem to petrify parents with tales of teenage fads that are questionably accurate in the first place, this news channel features a reporter (Hader) asking an everyday teenager (Stone) about “souping” (drinking expired soup can contents to get high) and other ridiculous things much to her disbelief. “Trampolining” is probably the most ridiculous one and the quick switch from colour to black-and-white with the ominous music is dead-on. A+
6. Digital Short: Sign My Cast (2:10)
The traditional girl-with-a-cast (Stone) at a high school gets people to sign it of course but keeps slipping in the dreaded grape jelly (Samberg) and gets in increasingly worse shape. This sounds absolutely ridiculous but her singing was pretty funny as were the lyrics along with the very dark ending. Another classic digital short for sure. A+
7. The View (4:10)
Haven’t seen this one in a while. Continuing with the trend of “Hot Topics,” the gang welcome Lindsay Lohan (Stone) taking a break from rehab to discuss reasons why she can’t go to jail. The chemistry between the four castmembers doing their impressions is great as usual and Stone’s performance as LiLo is infectious fun. Also, they smartly kept this sketch short and it allowed the jokes to hit at a rapid-fire pace and deliver for the most part. This show is on a roll. B+
8. Wrangler Open Fly Jeans (1:08)
Spoofing that d*ck picture that Brett Favre (Sudeikis) sent to some cheerleader, the retired-not retired-retired football player plays spokesman to the new open fly jeans. I dislike Favre for being a douchebag and the recent picture-messaging incident just proved my point, so this was like icing on the cake. A
9. Kings of Leon sing “Radioactive” (3:23)
Taking a rock-blues approach as usual, KOL delivers a number that is pleasant to listen to vocally and with some great instrumental sections. This band has proved they can deliver in a live setting before so this should come as no surprise that their first song is a success. B+
10. Weekend Update with Seth Meyers (14:39)
Seth’s rant against Virginia Thomas and her delayed reaction to ask for an apology from Anita Hill for claiming that Clarence Thomas sexually assaulted her was due. That rant was particularly funny but “The More You Know” graphic at the end really sold it. A dig at KFC and a rise in stink bug populations was also quite funny. Joining in as guests on Update this week are Jimmy McMillan (Thompson), the representative for The Rent Is Too Damn High party (this is legitimate) responding to accusations that he himself hasn’t paid rent since the 1980s for his apartment, staff writer John Mulaney commenting on things that he loves in another hilarious commentary from the man (why isn’t he a castmember yet?), and city correspondent Stefon (Hader) comes by to talk about the hot spots around town but of course has a hard time getting through it without laughing (I don’t blame him). A pretty lengthy edition of Update this week but of course, another great one. A+
11. Les Jeunes de Paris (3:20)
In a take of stereotypical french programming, one man (Killam) attempts to seduce a young lady (Stone) at a cafe with some dancing and of course, a dance-off ensues. Soon enough, their friends (Elliott, Moynihan, Brittain, & Pedrad) join in on it as well. I don’t even know what this sketch was realy trying to be but by God, it’s another absurdly entertaining sketch that this season seems to excel in thus far. A
12. My Brother Knows Everything (3:58)
Recorded live from her older brother’s (Samberg) bedroom, Morgan (Pedrad) praises her bro with her best friend Meredith (Stone), who is also super-attracted to him. The various segments within the show are pretty hilarious especially using her brother’s weirded-out facial expressions as a rating system. This is another fun character from Pedrad and Stone provides lots of funny moments as well. B+
13. “Sex” Ed Vincent’s Sex Symposium (2:34)
Bringing a character over from iO Chicago, Brittain excels as odd sex ed teacher Ed Vincent describing sexual acts. His descriptions are quite funny because his character is quite understated. I don’t even know how I can fully explain why I enjoyed this so much but it had a lot to do with Paul Brittain’s performance and the whole premise of this commercial piece. A+
14. Kings of Leon sing “Pyro” (4:02)
Another tune from KOL; another success. Though not quite as good as the first, this was another enjoyable tune that had a bit more of a slower pace. B+
15. Googie Rene’s Partially Damaged Halloween Costume Discount Basement (3:01)
It’s the second appearance of Googie Rene (Thompson). This time, Emma Stone plays sexy assistant to the crazed shopowner and his weird method of swearing without completing the words. Everything worked here from Thompson’s crazed manner of speaking, the aforementioned incomplete cursing, and the strange complaints from his customers. A
Emma looks elated to have been on the show this week and thanks everyone before the show cuts prior to credits starting up.
I heard some people worry that Emma Stone might be another Ellen Page-like host (great actress/nervous and bumbling host) but she excelled this week with a fun performance throughout the entire episode and never faltered or even broke character once. She was a delight to look at as well and when you have the talent and the looks combined, big things are in the future. Emma has a big career ahead of her, I do believe.
Kings of Leon rocked the house again with a pair of good performances. They weren’t anything outstanding like Kanye or anything, but they provided plenty of entertainment value for the night.
The cast was generally given a lot to do tonight especially Paul and Taran out of the featured players. Brittain in particular excelled with the debut of his new character Ed Vincent in a hilarious piece and also did really well playing Harry Reid in the cold open. Taran on the other hand showed off some talent of his own as well with a killer Michael Cera impression during the monologue and also rocked the house with some fancy dancing in that ridiculously awesome french sketch. All in all, we got a superb episode this week for sure and definitely the best one so far this season. Yes, I am giving this one full marks.
If Emma had my last name and kept hers, her name would be Emma Stone-Wahl. It’s meant to be.
In that Dream Home Extreme sketch, I loved that the bag of chips Emma was eating out of just simply said “Potato Chips.” Also loved the little dig at Two and a Half Men.
Teens are taking turns hiding Osama Bin Laden so they can give him oral sex in exchange for lip gloss? I knew something was up.
Gotta agree with Stu about the NPR story. So true.
Stefon’s segment had so many great lines. “Look over there! Is that Mick Jagger? No, it’s just a fat kid on a Slip’n Slide.”
My God, the Emma Stone bumpers were HOTTTTT.
I seriously went back and re-watched that Paris sketch like five times. Looooved it. Also, it made me realize how tiny Paul Brittain is. He is quickly becoming my favourite newbie.
Host Rating: A
Musical Guest Rating: B+
Show Rating: A+