It happens about every season or two at least once. What we get is a musician or actress/musician who wants to test out their chops in both fields on Saturday Night Live. You have the unexpectedly terrific choices like Justin Timberlake and even a surprisingly adept left-field choice like Britney Spears, but then you have a dud like Ludacris from Year 32.
This week, we get Jennifer Lopez or as she is affectionately (?) referred as…J’Lo.
(As an aside: is it J’Lo or J-Lo? I must know this! I have seen it written both ways I think but the true style has eluded me. People, find out please! I can not go on living until I know!)
Jennifer Lopez makes her second appearance this week both as a host AND musical guest, to which I originally responded with “Oh.” Lopez is certainly not my first choice when I am asked, “Who do you think should host again?” Probably not my last choice (coughCarlosMenciacough), but definitely not my first. Either way, she’s here, she’s queer, get used to it.
Except the queer part. That may or may not be true.
1. We Are The World 3
When the first thing I saw on the screen was Quincy Jones (Thompson), I immediately thought there would be a sketch riffing on We Are The World and I was pleasantly surprised that that’s exactly what we got. Indeed, Jones admits to We Are The World 2 being a gigantic failure and therefore, We Are The World 3 is recorded as an apology. Featured here is almost everyone in the cast (I think Seth was the only absent one) as various performers. Jennifer even appears in the open with an amusing Rihanna impression along with Eddie Vedder (Hader), Willie Nelson (Forte), Melissa Etheridge (Elliott in another fantastic impression), Gwen Stefani (Wiig), and a bunch more. Really fun way to start the show. B+
J-Lo (okay, this is how I’m constantly using it for the whole review until someone corrects me) brings up her past life, shills her movie, and then runs into a former member of her entourage (Thompson), whose soul job skills involve holding someone’s orange juice, which is not helping out that much in his search on the job market. The two trannies (Hader & Sudeikis) kind of killed it for me, but overall it was a decent monologue. C+
3. Gyne-Lotrimin Ladies World Cup of Curling 1987
One of my favourite current recurring bits makes another appearance as Pete Twinkle (Sudeikis) and the ever-adept Greg Stink (Forte) provide some stirring color commentary during a game of curling. The usual happens here with Greg not knowing how the sport is played and Pete making some dirty puns with the sponsor. Still great. “There’s nothing fine-ah than a yeast-free vagina!” A-
4. Digital Short: Flags of the World
This was bizarre with a capital B. I don’t even quite know how to describe this. The film goes through a bunch of flags I guess and then goes to ridiculous types of flags. I don’t really want to ruin it though. It’s something you’ve got to experience yourself. Possibly one of the best digital shorts this season. A
5. Hollywood Dish
Well, I think I predicted this sketch would come back. This time, they have names! Jennifer is the guest of Brady Trunk (Hader) and Anastasia (Wiig), who make faces, mouth out words, and generally make Mrs. Lopez very uncomfortable. The twist at the end of this is essentially the same one from the Taylor Swift (11/7/09) episode, but overall it was still pretty amusing. B
6. Telemundo Vancouver 2010
Hosts (Lopez & Armisen) from the Telemundo network obtain coverage of the winter Olympics, but do NOT enjoy covering it due to all the snow and cold weather surrounding Vancouver. Samberg shows up as a Canadian representative of some kind as a funny bit and Hader has a humourous section as well, confusing curling with shuffleboard. I’ve heard some criticism of this sketch, but I liked it regardless. B
7. Undercover Celebrity Boss
I’ve never seen Undercover Boss (the show they’re mocking), but this was pretty easy to understand. Instead of regular people, celebrities are thrust into being undercover workers, but as one can imagine, they don’t keep themselves hidden that well. The highlight of this funny piece is Richard Branson (Hader) doing the absolute worst job of all. B+
8. Jennifer Lopez sings “Pieces”
To be honest, I don’t completely remember this song but I do recall that it was fairly listenable which is definitely NOT what I expected. B
9. Weekend Update with Seth Meyers
Once again, Seth brings the goods this week on Update. He has some pretty strong material this week including my particular favourite, the one about the woman’s love handles saving herself from being shot and then going back to slowly killing her soon after. Two guests visit the Update desk this time with the first being Bobby Moynihan as the New Media correspondent. Trying to show Seth a video on youtube, it keeps buffering in a funny bit. Bobby’s return later puts the icing on the cake. The second guest is the return of Governor David Paterson (Armisen) in another genius performance. Lots of jokes about Jersey like usual, but Armisen has really taken this impression and made it into a sort of character for him like a really bad comedian who thinks the world of himself. Wonderful edition this week. A+
10. Besos Y Lagrimas
The show takes a bit of a dip here, resurrecting a sketch that hasn’t been seen in nearly four years. I enjoyed the other two slightly, but this one was kind of flat as we get the usual soap opera antics from several Mexican performers (Lopez, Armisen, Hader, Sudeikis, Wiig, Elliott). It just felt kind of empty like something was definitely missing here. C-
11. Eternal Spark of Love
Another sketch that I didn’t expect to see again! Kenan plays the narrator of a romantic encounter between two office workers (Lopez & Suds) as they make awkward chit-chat in front of the copier. Eventually, J-Lo’s strange puppet-related quirk is revealed and it only adds to the demented fun of this bit. Along with What Up With That?, it’s probably my favourite thing Kenan is doing right now. A-
12. Jennifer Lopez sings “Starting Over”
J-Lo busts out another slow tune and is starting to make me think she has matured somewhat as a musician. B+
13. Smashmouth in the Closet
It’s my favourite sketch of the night. A little girl (Pedrad) is scared of the monster lurking in her closet, despite her mom’s (Lopez) reassurance. Instead of a monster though, Smashmouth (Armisen, Hader, & Moynihan) pop out and start singing the catchy tune, “All Star.” This was also quite brilliant, especially with the mother’s final words at the end. A+
14. Car Horns And More
I love this new character from Jenny Slate! Tina Tina Shanhouse (Slate) shills for more interesting-sounding car horns to liven up your drives and to stop from boring people. J-Lo even joins in on the fun as Tina’s sister, Kiki. B+
15. Closet Organizer
Ahh, a repeat. But it’s a great one anyway. I think I gave it an A-
And we come to the end of the night where J-Lo thanks Darrell Hammond for some reason (huh? Was he in something that got cut?) and everyone waves goodnight.
Jennifer proved she could hang with the late-night comedy gang and seemed to be a pretty good sport throughout the night. If she is legitimately doing this new ‘I’m maturing and so I’m not such a bitch anymore’ thing, than applause for her.
Aside from her personal life though, she was an affable host and musical guest. She essentially played a Mexican, Latina, or herself (so another Latina), but she seemed to have fun doing it and I had fun watching her do it as well (not like that, perverts!).
Host/Musical Guest Rating: B
Show Rating: B+