Archive for April, 2010

SNL Channel!

Posted: April 27, 2010 by Brendan Wahl in Uncategorized

Hey guys, if you’re as big a fan as I am of Saturday Night Live, you should check out http://www.justin.tv/br/brenbren23#r=sy57nkE~ for a streaming channel of various SNL-related things like episodes, movies, etc.


Not since 1992 and the release of Wayne’s World has there been so much positive hype surrounding a film spawned by an SNL sketch/character. But alas, leave it up to Will Forte and Kristen Wiig to surprise everyone by delivering a little film called MacGruber to be released in May that just might surprise everyone by being one of the better comedies released this summer. If you haven’t seen the trailer, you owe it to yourself to watch it (the red-band one, of course).

So why do I bring this up? Well, our host on this given episode is Ryan Phillippe. Clearly making the rounds on the MacGruber hype train, why not stop by Saturday Night Live to host a show where MacGruber is sure to get referenced billions of times and have a lot of fun performing at the same time. If it wasn’t for the film coming out though, I would kind of doubt Ryan’s abilities as a host. He is a decent actor but seems a little stiff for a late-night comedy show and that’s never usually a good sign (Robert Deniro, anyone?).

The musical guest is Ke$ha. Yes, you read that right. She has a dollar sign in her name, which is clearly a first for any guest of the long-running comedic institution. Those of you who may not recognize her by name may know of her if you’ve ever gone to a club in the past five years. Yes, it’s that fantastic music that you can’t get out of your head the next day despite the fact that you can not remember anything else. That damn Ke$ha song is just there forever!

Well before I have a hernia, let’s begin.

The Show:

1. Larry King Live

In the wake of Larry King’s eighth divorce, Larry (Armisen) himself briefly discusses the crazy notion that EIGHT different women have had sex with “this.” The topic at hand though turns to the volcanic eruption in Iceland and it gives Kristen an excuse to do her adorable impression of Bjork. Sir Richard Branson (Hader) joins in on the fun to show his utter sadness for Virgin Airlines having to close down. The highlight though is Bjork’s musical tribute to the aforementioned volcano. B

2. Monologue

Ryan plugs MacGruber of course before getting interrupted by several characters wanting movies of their own like the Target Lady (Wiig), the Dick-in-a-Box guy (Samberg), and Diondre Cole (Thompson). B+

3. Broadview Security

A repeat of a funny ad parody from Jude Law/Pearl Jam. B+

4. Today Sponge Women’s Weightlifting Championship 1986

Ahh yes, a repeat of those fantastic commentators, Pete Twinkle (Sudeikis) and Greg Stink (Forte). It’s the usual formula for this piece, as Greg has no idea what’s going on and Pete reads some dirty slogans for the sponsor. Also added here is Greg’s strange fascination for a very masculine woman competitor (Phillippe). Love Suds’ dramatic pausing too. A-

5. Hip Hop Kids

In a sketch that I never expected to make a return, the Hip Hop Kids find themselves trapped in a bear cave. Of course, instead of trying to run out of the cave when they see a bear, J Style (Phillippe) leads the crew (Samberg, Sudeikis, Thompson, Wiig, Elliott) into dancing instead. This wasn’t as funny as it was on the Justin Timberlake episode, but it’s still fairly amusing. B-

6. Digital Short: The Other Man

After returning to tell a girl how much he loves her, a young man (Phillippe) finds her with a new man (Samberg). After that, it gets increasingly more ridiculous as the guy shows up everywhere from his parents’ house to the confessional booth. Add on to that the absolute strangest ending ever. B+

7. Mort Mort Feingold: Accountant For The Stars

Andy Samberg stars as Mort Mort, an intense Jewish stereotypical accountant, who deals with various celebrities from John Edwards (Forte) to the Twilight douche bags (Phillippe & Slate) to the vastly untalented Tyler Perry (Thompson). Most of the mini-segments were pretty hilarious, making this one an easy pass. A-

8. The Shakeweight Commercial DVD

A spokesman (Hader) talks about the very suggestive Shakeweight commercial and offers the commercial in full on DVD. Having never seen this commercial, I still found this hilarious. A

9. Ke$ha sings “TiK ToK”

This was definitely…different. Channeling Lady GaGa, Ke$ha dances around with her astronaut back-up dancers and moves around with her All-American cape. I’ll give it points for the live performance aspect of it. B

10. Weekend Update with Seth Meyers

This time, Seth makes an amusing joke regarding the ridiculously-hard-to-pronounce Mt. Eyjafjallajokull and then the gloves are off regarding the recent priest scandal. James Carville (Hader) makes another appearance regarding Barack Obama’s comments at a Tea Party convention and pokes fun at his own Skeletor-like appearance. We also get a visit from Father Swimcoach Scoutmaster (Forte) in a disturbingly hilarious bit. Finally, a second-hand news correspondent (Moynihan) reports some quite-obviously-false news items. Great edition of Update this week. A

11. Song Memories

“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is the song of choice this time out as four dudes (Phillippe, Forte, Hader, Sudeikis) sit around in the backyard and share increasingly disturbing stories. I love the twist at the end and Phillippe’s story in particular was the best (“No, I’ll probably just get transferred to another parrish”). A-

12. Teen Talk

In a somewhat-repeat of the “Woman To Woman” bit from Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Dave Matthews Band, the host of this show is out sick and so the inconsiderate producer, Roger Brush (Armisen), takes over. Just like the first time, he tells people to repeat their embarrassing problems louder so he can understand them. I’m really starting to enjoy this character. B

13. Ke$ha sings “Your Love Is My Drug”

In an even more bizarre performance, Ke$ha and her band don some strange-looking day-glo outfits. In this one, she tries more and more to be like Lady GaGa and call me crazy but I actually enjoyed this for her stage presence. B+

14. I Got This!

A game show sketch this late into the program is not usually a good sign. In this one, the object is to keep interrupting fellow dinner guests in order to cover the bill for everyone else. It’s a fairly thin premise with a couple of funny moments throughout. C

15. Underground Rock Minute

DJ Supersoak (Sudeikis) and Lil Blaster (Pedrad) present a new music video by the Thrilla Killa Klownz (Phillippe & Moynihan), who present a song regarding the “mysteries” of the world. It’s a fairly late tribute to the Insane Clown Posse, but it’s still hilarious. A

Ryan, the cast, and Ke$ha bid a goodnight to the audience in TV world and live audience world.

Well, Ryan did much better than I expected. He was a willing host and didn’t once play himself which is sort of a refreshing change of pace from some hosts you expect to be awkward. In all honesty, he did appear to be a bit edgy at the beginning of the show but managed to bring it together for most of the show after the “Hip Hop Kids” sketch ended.

Ke$ha was much better than I expected and she actually had quite a bit of stage presence, which helped her performance way more than it could have hindered it. This odd combination of host and musical guest looked like it might spell disaster but instead it was a fairly entertaining episode.

Host Rating: B

Musical Guest Rating: B

Show Rating: B+

Wow!

Posted: April 22, 2010 by Brendan Wahl in Commentaries
Tags: , , , ,

Hey y’all!

Thanks a lot for the multitude of views! Wow, just opened the page today and saw over 700 for one article alone just today! Much gratitude to you folks for reading! I’ll get a Ryan Phillippe/Ke$ha review posted even though it’s almost a week late as I have a little free time for a while! Again, much thanks!


I think one of the only times in history where someone said they were going to actually play a particular role on an upcoming episode of Saturday Night Live was during the lead-up to last night’s show. Appearing on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Tina told her former Weekend Update co-anchor that, yes, she would be reprising her role as Sarah Palin in a sketch on Saturday Night Live. Joy rang through the streets and a lot of hype centered around where Fey’s Palin would fit into the night’s festivities.

Having Tina Fey back to host the show was an idea that caused some questioning back in 2008 when she hosted for the first time, but she went above and beyond to provide a number of fun performances in an above-average episode. Having her come back for a second time got my hopes up real high!

Unfortunately, Justin Bieber is also there to make an appearance as musical guest and according to several sources, he was prepared to appear in a few sketches as well with his ultimate goal to be in a digital short with Andy Samberg. But really, Bieber needs to stop singing and leave the planet, so that is that.

Let’s dive in!

The Show:

1. The Census

El Presidente (Armisen) makes an appearance to discuss the census for 2010 and informs the public in his very calming, soothing voice the many questions that are asked on the form. Included are inquiries as to the location of any health care opposers in the household, available weapons should there be any problems with those people, and other suspiciously right-wing sounding ideas. It’s actually one of the better political pieces they’ve done with just Obama. A-

2. Monologue

This is where I expected the strongest section of the night to be and sure enough, Tina brought the goods by talking about her hectic work schedule and then introducing several people like her tax lawyer Steve Martin (yes, that one!), Bieber, and Mark Sanchez playing the role of her husband. Will Forte and Kenan also had a couple of funny roles here as well. Aces. A

3. Brownie Husband

The ultimate lonely-woman treat, a life-sized husband made entirely out of Duncan Hines brownie mix. Tina here plays a Liz Lemon-like character, who does all sorts of things with this inanimate husband. The best part is the “liquid goo” center. B+

4. The Masters

Ahh, yes. Knew there had to be a Tiger Woods sketch in here somewhere around the first hour. Indeed, Tiger makes his return to the Masters and all that new golf announcer Ashlyn St. Cloud (Fey) can talk about is his scandal and after noticing what he actually looks like, realizes that yep, she’s slept with him. B+

5. Sarah Palin Network

Tina reprises her famous impression of Sarah Palin and advertises her new network featuring “subtle” criticisms of Obama’s death panels, husband Todd fighting crime on a snowmobile, a 30 Rock parody with Stephen Baldwin, and many more hilarious bits. This was easily the best sketch of the night with Fey’s Palin absolutely killing and many of the parodies being bang-on. A+

6. Lonely Teacher

Fey plays lonely Miss Delancey, who develops a crush on one of her students (Bieber) and has extended fantasies of them singing to each other seductively. It was a little bit creepy to have Bieber trying to seduce Tina Fey, but Tina’s performance here makes it work especially various little tidbits like how she put wine in her cereal. B

7. Justin Bieber sings “Baby”

Okay, so Bieber has a number of male backup dancers that have to all at least be 25. That’s a little weird. Plus, this song almost just features Bieber repeating the word “baby” about ten thousand times like a trendy pop band. D

8. Weekend Update with Seth Meyers

Another stellar edition of Update this week. This time, Seth welcomes the Devil (Sudeikis), who confirms that anytime a priest touches a child, it is NOT his work and in fact he is appalled by the act. Also joining Seth this week is Aunt Linda (Wiig) after almost a year-and-a-half absence to humourously rant on some of the newest releases. The best commentary, however, comes at the end with Fey presenting another edition of Women’s News, mostly focusing on the Sandra Bullock/Jesse James incident. Her description of Bombshell Mcgee as a “7th grader’s binder in metal shop class” is the icing on the cake. Seth also had some great stuff this week too, including dismissing the priest/children molestation cases as water cooler talk. A+

9. Ruff, Rugged and Roker

Everyone’s favourite weatherman Al Roker (Thompson) hosts an alternate show in the wee hours of the morning from a dingy nightclub and then quickly switches to ‘weather mode’ when they need him for Today. The split personality of Roker as straight-laced newsman and then party animal who’s trying to find some weed makes for a pretty funny sketch and Tina Fey’s Dina Lohan is amusing too. B+

10. School Dance

A young girl (Pedrad) is somewhat of a wreck at her school dance as all she wants to do is hang out with her mom (Fey) chaperoning. After making awkward small talk with several boys around the dance, she finally connects with one of them (Bieber). Some might disagree, but I think this one definitely played for laughs but at the same time, I think it went for sentiment as well and I definitely liked that section of the sketch too. A-

11. Justin Bieber sings “U Smile”

I think this is the one where Justin rapped. To be honest, I don’t really care. I’m sorry. C+

12. Tiny Hooker

After alluding to this sketch earlier on Update, Fey indeed plays a tiny hooker who stops in for a drink at the bar after some depression after not being able to make ends meet. I don’t really know how to further describe this one, but it’s pretty damn funny. A-

Tina thanks one and all for coming out and waves goodnight as the show comes to a close.

Well, that was another stellar performance from Fey in what turned out to be one of the most original broadcasts of this season as there was only one recurring character in the form of Aunt Linda and a handful of impressions. Tina proved tonight she is a comedy goddess and based on this and her other episode, she should be invited back frequently to host.

Justin Bieber, on the other hand, was not nearly as good. Let’s just never mention him again.

Host Rating: A-

Musical Guest Rating: D

Show Rating: A-

The Return!

Posted: April 5, 2010 by Brendan Wahl in Uncategorized

Hey all! This blog has been on a bit of an unannounced hiatus lately but fear not! It will be making a triumphant return this summer when both Matt and myself have more time to post. I’ll still be able to post my SNL review this upcoming weekend (hopefully) though…

Stay sweet.