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!
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-
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-