by Brendan Wahl
(Season 37, Episode 14)
1. Romney: Believe in America (4:03)
Mitt (Sudeikis) continues in his attempts to humanize himself by sitting in front of a fireplace, brushes off losing in the polls by saying he doesn’t want to peak too early, and trying to pet his dog, who just keeps barking, not wanting to get anywhere close to him.
- Always enjoy Sudeikis’ Mitt Romney impression and this was another solid opening.
– Most of the humour came from the vagueness in which he described the Superbowl and his insults directed towards Newt Gingrich for doing slightly worse than him.
– The dog may as well have been a co-star here though as the constant barking was very funny as was the dog interrupting Jason’s LFNY, making him start over again. It all looked intentional though.
Rating: *** 1/2
2. Monologue (2:54)
- This wasn’t a laugh-out-loud monologue but it had a very cute song at the center of it as performed by one of my favourite people in the world, Zooey Deschanel. The fake moon in the background was pretty adorable too.
– I love how she knows how to play the ukelele.
Rating: *** 1/2
3. Halftime for America (:59)
- A very funny parody of those Clint Eastwood Superbowl ads with Hader doing one of my favourite new impressions from him.
– It’s nice to see another ad trio. We haven’t seen these since the Ben Stiller episode.
4. Piers Morgan Tonight (6:14)
Piers Morgan (Killam) does a show on the mishaps during the Superbowl Halftime Show, interviewing MIA (Pedrad), who could care less, LMFAO (Armisen & Sudeikis), who talk about doing something outrageous to get attention being silly, a concerned Christian mother (Deschanel), Madonna (Wiig) herself, who sits on her throne and scowls about MIA being a nobody, and the strange tightrope guy (Samberg).
- This was fantastic. Seriously, I really enjoyed everyone’s performances here and especially liked Taran’s take on Piers himself.
– Nasim was great as MIA, portraying her as a political radical who will suddenly agree to something if the money is there. I also liked her comparing giving the middle finger to a Superbowl commercial where a dog murdered a cat and then bribed the owner not to tell.
– Jason and Fred looked absolutely hilarious as LMFAO.
– Zooey was the biggest surprise here, giving a layer of depth and good character work for her Christian pundit mother. I especially liked her talking about the decency strap she created to stop this from happening again. The name of the protest group being “One Finger, A Million Moms” was also hilarious.
– I enjoyed seeing the return of Wiig’s Madonna impression and I liked her comment that Cee Lo was doing an impression of Janet Jackson’s boob.
– Andy was really goofy as the tightrope guy, but it was also quite funny. The actual visuals behind it was hilarious. I wonder how they did that.
Rating: **** 1/2
5. Les Jeunes de Paris (2:59)
The return of the dancing french students brings about a fellow romantic (Jean Dujardin of The Artist!), who also attempts to woo a young lady (Deschanel) away from Francois (Killam). Extremely choreographed dancing commences.
- I will always love these sketches but this one was even more fun than usual because they threw in an awesome cameo and did a whole silent film motif that I absolutely loved.
– Took me a while to figure out that it was the actor from The Artist. I actually had to look it up to verify who the crowd was fairly excited to see.
– The dancing was really well-choreographed. This is destined to become a future classic.
6. Halftime for America (1:11)
- I also really liked this one with his comments on the Chinese people owning half the stadiums and his comment that after every quarter, his pants get higher.
– I also loved how this turned from a Chrysler ad into an ad for Little Caesars.
7. Daily Post, 1941 (3:19)
The new editor (Deschanel) at the Daily Post has trouble understanding all the stereotypical fast-talk that her fellow employees (Moynihan, Sudeikis, & Wiig) use when communicating with each other. She tries to do it herself but fails miserably and then complains about all the typos it causes.
- I really enjoy sketches like this where you have a typical situation for a sketch with an outsider commenting on the actual weirdness of all the proceedings that are going on.
– Zooey was perfect for this role and pretty much everything she said made me laugh. I particularly liked when she asked if everyone was on cocaine and her attempts at fast-talking were very funny and adorable all at the same time. She also seemed to crack up a bit when Bobby Moynihan was doing his fast-typing bit, which was hilarious.
– The only thing that I would add is that they should have done the sketch in black and white. That would’ve added a little something to it.
8. Halftime for America (:51)
- Another funny ad that I enjoyed. Best parts were another sight gag involving his pants, the visual of Hader’s hair being blown back, and the whole thing being a trailer for “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Rating: *** 1/2
- I can appreciate a good live performance as much as the next person and that’s exactly what this was. I didn’t really dig their stuff when I listened to them on Youtube before the show but this was definitely a worthwhile jam. Their performance was also sort of in the same sense as the host and it fit really well with the episode.
10. Weekend Update with Seth Meyers (11:10)
Guests: Arianna Huffington and Get in the Cage with Nicolas Cage and…Nicolas Cage
- Say what you will about how good Michaela Watkins was, but I believe Nasim did an even better impression of Arianna Huffington. The writing was also quite good as well. I really liked Nasim stating that they will just copy and paste the stories from the New York Times and put it in the Huffington Post. Her singing an Al Green tune was also quite funny, but the Newt Gingrich insult was especially biting.
– When Seth introduced Get in the Cage, I groaned a bit just because these are pretty repetitive. However, that all changed when the REAL Nicolas Cage came out alongside Andy’s insane impression of Cage, which was fantastic. Nicolas did an awesome job maintaining a straight face throughout the segment and got some great laughs throughout the piece. Andy looked like he was on the verge of breaking character a few times and I also liked how Seth kept mentioning that they are EXACTLY ALIKE IN EVERY WAY. The Black History Month line was random and hilarious too.
Rating: **** 1/2
11. Bein’ Quirky (5:39)
- I was REALLY hoping that they would do something with Abby’s Zooey impression but since she only did it once, I wasn’t sure if it would happen or not. This was another CLASSIC segment. All the impressions were top-notch: Abby as Zooey, Taran as Cera, Kristen as Bjork, and ESPECIALLY Zooey as Mary-Kate (she even looked the part!)
– There were so many terrific parts of this sketch like Zooey and Abby making big eyes at the camera while Mama Cass plays, Zooey saying that her posture was adopted from her 90-year old grandmother, Abby pretending to fall off something, Bjork somehow knitting without her arms, and Zooey making a cozy for her coffee which doubles as her sleeping bag.
– The occasional singing to the camera was very funny as was the occasional interruptions from Taran as Michael Cera.
– Loved the ending too with Zooey saying she’s a billionaire and then all three girls piling into a photobooth.
12. Verizon (1:32)
An employee (Hader) of a Verizon store tries to sell a customer (Armisen) the latest technology in phones but only ends up confusing him with all the weird details that he doesn’t really need to know.
- This was silly fun that didn’t overstay its welcome and Hader’s wide-eyed employee character was quite funny. I also liked him telling Fred that if dropped in the toilet, “it breaks immediately.”
– I just realized all of Bill’s appearances tonight have been pre-taped. Weird.
13. Patio Party (5:00)
A number of party guests wait around for the two hostesses (Deschanel & Wiig) to bring out the crab meat that they keep hyping up as the evening wears on. Their patience begins to wear thin as the crab never actually makes an appearance.
- Zooey and Kristen were both good here with their southern accents but this was one of those sketches that just dragged on with the same joke for too long. Unlike some of these types of sketches though, this did have its moments. Some of the parts I did like were Bobby’s quick comment that they’ve been there for two hours, the t-shirts they made for the crab party, and the ending with Zooey and Kristen mouthing that they don’t have any crab and quickly turning off their lights.
– It looked like Bobby got there a little late. He made it look pretty natural if so, though.
Rating: ** 1/2
14. We’re Going to Make Technology Hump (2:56)
The second edition of this sketch sees Jacob (Samberg) and new co-host Danielle (Deschanel) present scenarios involving a toy car and a label-maker, a vintage 80s scene between a Duckhunt gun and a pager, and an electric drill and dictation machine.
- This one was actually a bit more clever than the first one they did, which I also enjoyed.
– The first scene was the funniest with the label-maker printing out the word “Yes” over and over again, but I enjoyed all of them.
– The second scenario’s best part was the word “boobs” written on the pager and the little dog popping onto the screen.
– The final one was also pretty good with the drill and the dictation machine and the best part of that one was definitely the little pink dictati0n machine/daughter walking in on them.
Rating: *** 1/2
- Another very enjoyable performance. The rapping in this song was phenomenal.
16. Victorian Ladies (3:57)
- Enjoyable ten-to-one sketch with good solid performances from Kristen and Zooey but a lot of fun from the male castmembers here as well.
– My favourite was Bobby as the suitor who constantly thinks crows are trying to attack him at all times. Jason was also very funny though as the cross-eyed suitor.
– Loved the crazy-weird ending.
Rating: *** 1/2
OVERALL: My new favourite episode of the entire season. I expected Zooey would be a fun host but I did not anticipate how versatile she would be as she performed in many different roles tonight, not necessarily always playing the cute innocent girl. I mean, she WAS cute in everything but that’s just because that is who Zooey is. The show was excellent though and even the occasional rehashes (Les Jeunes de Paris, Get in the Cage, Technology Hump) were switched up enough to make them very enjoyable. Here’s hoping she comes back to host again soon.
HOST: ZOOEY DESCHANEL – 8 segments (Monologue; Piers Morgan Tonight; Les Jeunes de Paris; Daily Post, 1941; Bein’ Quirky; Patio Party; We’re Going to Make Technology Hump; Victorian Ladies)
CAMEOS: NICOLAS CAGE – 1 segment (Weekend Update)
JEAN DUJARDIN – 1 segment (Les Jeunes de Paris)
FRED ARMISEN – 4 segments (Piers Morgan Tonight; Les Jeunes de Paris; Verizon; Victorian Ladies)
ABBY ELLIOTT – 4 segments (Les Jeunes de Paris; Bein’ Quirky; Patio Party; We’re Going to Make Technology Hump)
BILL HADER – 4 segments (Halftime for America (all three); Verizon)
SETH MEYERS – 1 segment (Weekend Update)
BOBBY MOYNIHAN – 4 segments (Les Jeunes de Paris; Daily Post, 1941; Patio Party; Victorian Ladies)
NASIM PEDRAD – 4 segments (Piers Morgan Tonight; Les Jeunes de Paris; Weekend Update; We’re Going to Make Technology Hump)
ANDY SAMBERG – 6 segments (Piers Morgan Tonight; Les Jeunes de Paris; Weekend Update; Patio Party; We’re Going to Make Technology Hump; Victorian Ladies)
JASON SUDEIKIS – 5 segments (Mitt Romney: Believe in America; Piers Morgan Tonight; Daily Post, 1941; We’re Going to Make Technology Hump; Victorian Ladies)
KENAN THOMPSON – 2 segments (Piers Morgan Tonight; Les Jeunes de Paris)
KRISTEN WIIG – 7 segments (Piers Morgan Tonight; Les Jeunes de Paris; Daily Post, 1941; Bein’ Quirky; Patio Party; We’re Going to Make Technology Hump; Victorian Ladies)
VANESSA BAYER – 1 segment (Les Jeunes de Paris)
TARAN KILLAM – 6 segments (Piers Morgan Tonight; Les Jeunes de Paris; Daily Post, 1941; Bein’ Quirky; Patio Party; We’re Going to Make Technology Hump)
JAY PHAROAH – 3 segments (Piers Morgan Tonight; Patio Party; Victorian Ladies)
EPISODE MVPs: Zooey Deschanel/Taran Killam