Archive for February, 2011

by Brendan Wahl

(Season 3, Episode 7)

Following last week’s slam-bang show, we take a little breather with a little bit more of a low-key host. Following in the footsteps of Louise Lasser, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman castmember Mary Kay Place makes her debut on the long-running comedy show. One can only hope she does better than Lasser, who had to have helmed one of the bottom ten worst episodes of all-time. Mary was not known for depression and drug problems much like Lasser was, so that should be a good sign right away. Plus, this is not a summer show. Man, that was a bad idea.

Joining Mary Kay is renowned country/folk/pot-smokin’ singer Willie Nelson, who was pretty popular already at the time and I can only imagine what went down during the week with Willie and the cast. Must’ve been a hell of an after-party too. Also joining this episode is Andy Kaufman as a special guest, making his seventh appearance on the show to do his unique and exciting brand of stand-up and song-and-dance routines.


The Show:

1. Pep Rally (4:31)
-Mary Kay, Aykroyd, Belushi, Curtin, Morris, Murray, Newman, Radner

Mary Kay tries to energize the lackadaisical cast (with everyone in cheerleader costumes), but her efforts are thwarted when the cast just doesn’t care too much and Belushi doesn’t even show up. The humour comes from the way that the cast take the word “pep” very seriously. Eventually, John shows up with cigarette in hand and complains about the idea of the opening sketch and thinks it’s a stupid idea. Everything is wrapped up in a tight little bow, but it’s still a cute way to start the show and gets it off to a rather energetic start. The marching band playing the opening theme song is a nice touch as well. B+

2. Monologue (3:32)

Mary Kay is still in her cheerleading outfit! No complaints here. I know, I know. Her monologue consists of our host reading from her diary, revealing the lingo she used back in the 60s and how she was a bit of an over-achiever. This segues into the tale of her unrequited love from junior high and Place’s dismissal of her once-crush and the admittance that she has let Dan Aykroyd sort of have his way with her this week. That bastard. B-

3. Hey You! (1:28)

It’s the perfume that is perfect for one-night stands. Gilda plays a young woman who successfully uses the product in question in an upscale bar. Of course, let’s not forget about the Walk of Shame she must do the day after. Classic. A+

4. More Insects To Worry About (4:08)
-Belushi, Curtin

Only hoping to increase folks’ paranoia regarding dangerous new insects, one scientist (Belushi) describes different types of insects to Joan Face (Curtin), including the Lens Beetle (a pregnant female can only hatch their eggs when between an eyeball and a contact lens) and Funny Ants (a bunch of jokesters who use practical jokes on humans including the flaming bag of dog feces prank). This was entertaining enough, but I didn’t really see what the joke was here. Still, the chemistry between John and Jane was good enough and that gives it just over a passing rating. B-

5. Total Womanhood Meeting (5:05)
-Mary Kay, Belushi, Curtin, Newman, Radner

A seemingly feminist group of women turns out to be not so as the ringleader (Mary Kay) of the meeting teaches her students how to always appear lovely to their husbands and to always be ready for anything their husband might want to do with them. It would seem that this would be a pretty big deal to get on the air in the 70s when women’s liberation was a pretty big deal. This was a pretty funny satirical look at feminism and all four ladies were more than willing to act their butts off for this one. B+

6. Willie Nelson sings “Whiskey River” & “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain” (5:34)

With a pretty nice lavish set composed for the background, Willie performs to the best of his abilities on two of his most popular songs. While I’m not a huge country fan, I can appreciate a good performance and here we got two of them! B+

7. Weekend Update with Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin (8:10)
-Also: Garrett Morris, Bill Murray, and Laraine Newman

This week, we get the debut of an Update teaser where Jane would hype up some big story right before the commercial break, I assume. After a good bit on Anwar Sadat addressing his critics, Jane announces that the JFK mystery is finally cleared up with some ridiculously fake results. Aykroyd adds that Amos ‘n Andy has been re-vamped because of attacks that it was racist. Garrett stops by in a strange quick bit where he calls out for himself and then walks off. Laraine Newman does a commentary as well as she discusses the art of lie detectors and then proves that it is “impossible” to detect a lie. Ehh. Aykroyd goes back to the Chevy Chase well with a Generalissimo Francisco Franco joke, albeit a weak one. Finally, retired CBS reporter Eric Sevareid (Murray) comments on the required retirement age of 65 over at the aforementioned network. Bill’s impression is pretty good although he seems to slip into Cronkite a few times throughout. It’s easily the best commentary this week though right at the peak of a rather weak edition of Update. C

8. Married in a Minute! (6:10)
-Mary Kay, Aykroyd, Belushi, Curtin, Morris, Murray, Newman, Radner

Spoofing those rags-to-riches stories where everyone manages to achieve one convenience after another leading to an ultra super-happy ending where everyone gets married. The sketch’s comic moments come from the great moments like Gilda finding a million dollars behind a plant, Mary Kay getting the lead in a Broadway play because of someone getting a wrong number, and Gilda getting a random love letter from the prince of France, who gives up his throne and the very certain overthrowing of his government. The zany performances from everyone involved help out especially the one from Bill Murray as the overzealous prince. Don’t blink or you’ll miss longtime writer Jim Downey emerging from a closet as a priest. A

9. Andy Kaufman (6:45)

This time, Kaufman jams on the bongos while singing jibberish in character as Foreign Man. Andy then spends the rest of the bit doing stand-up comedy in a made-up foreign language and manages to get huge laughs even though the audience obviously has no idea what he’s talking about. Andy then grabs a volunteer from the audience and does a really bizarre routine where no one but him has any idea what he’s trying to do. Afterwards, he goes back to the bongos and does some sort of sing-a-long with the studio audience. Another example of Kaufman’s absolute brilliance as a performer. A+

10. Bad Musical (5:33)
-Mary Kay, Aykroyd, Belushi, Morris, Murray, Radner

Our musical concerns the story of the microscope and is based on a play that “opened on very, very off-broadway and closed in 2 1/2 minutes.” While Leeuwenhoek (Belushi) attempts to invent the microscope, his wife (Mary Kay) sings about shrinking herself down so that her husband will pay attention to her. Soon enough though, another townsperson (Murray) makes a not-so-subtle musical offer of sex to the bored housewife. These sketches are usually dependent on how bad the source material is and this week, it’s a success because this play looks downright horrible. A-

11. Willie Nelson & Mary Kay Place sing “Something to Brag About” (1:55)

A cute song with our host and musical guest as they sing about their hard lives but the saving grace being each other’s love for one another. It’s a quick little harmless song and it’s a joy to hear. B

12. Farbers Chanukah (8:25)
-Mary Kay, Aykroyd, Belushi (x2), Morris, Murray, Radner

After a visit from their friends, the Nelsons (Mary Kay & Murray), Larry Farber (Belushi) tells their Christian friends the story of Chanukah. The amazing part of this story is that Belushi is also in the flashback so he has to run off and be a part of the second part of the sketch as well and very quickly. There was nothing really special about this sketch and it was rather long for a ten-to-one sketch. This is not the last appearance of Bobbi Farber, but for some reason this is the final time we would see her husband. C

Mary Kay thanks everyone in a very classy manner and waves goodnight to one and all before the cast, Willie Nelson, and eventually Andy Kaufman join her on-stage. It appears as though the cast adores Mary as well as they seem to crowd her and Gilda, especially, is all hugs.

A thoroughly entertaining, if somewhat average show. While this wasn’t a slam dunk like last week’s terrific Buck Henry episode, it was still a fairly good one with a number of funny sketches, an edition of Weekend Update that didn’t really click, and a funny guest performance from Andy Kaufman. Let’s not forget to mention the strength of the host, who disappeared into the different roles she portrayed throughout the show as well as proving that she was a heck of a little singer as well. This episode kind of formulated a 70s crush on Mary Kay Place, I think.

Obviously with a female host, the female castmembers usually get the most chance to shine and that’s just what happened. Jane, Laraine, and Gilda got many fun parts to play with throughout the night although the men were not to be outshined either. It was a pretty good night for everyone, overall. Willie Nelson was a lot of help too as he delivered three musical numbers (albeit one with the host’s help) that dazzled the studio audience and he even seemed to be in the right mindset for the entire broadcast.

Host Rating: A-
Musical Guest Rating: B+
Show Rating: B

Star Trek Voyager Reviews

Posted: February 13, 2011 by Matthew Casey in TV Reviews
Tags: , , ,

So in addition to being a weather fanatic, I also LOVE Star Trek. Every now and then I will be posting some reviews of Star Trek: Voyager episodes. They will sort of be like Brendan’s SNL Retro reviews. This is just a heads up for what’s coming! Because I know that I haven’t posted on here in quite some time!

Can’t wait to get my first review started!


by Brendan Wahl

(Season 36, Episode 15)

Have we ever been this far into a season without a truly bad episode? The last season I remember being this good was Year 26 (2000-2001) and the difference there is that the cast during that year was not nearly as strong and cohesive as the one that has been present on the show for the last few years. The year-end awards are going to be very difficult for this season as there are some real strong contenders for best host and best episode, specifically, that will be a chore to sift through and choose the strongest candidate.

This week we get British stand-up comedian/actor Russell Brand aka Mr. Katy Perry aka I’m Jealous. Brand exploded onto the acting scene in 2008 with Forgetting Sarah Marshall and his hilarious ex-junkie rock star character, Aldous Snow. Soon after, Russell became almost as popular in America than he is in England with starring roles in Get Him to the Greek and supporting roles in Bedtime Stories and The Tempest. Before that bit of success, he was eternally popular in England to the point of an actual rock star and he actually IS an ex-junkie.

Joining Brand is musician/Rihanna-beater Chris Brown. Talk about controversial choices. Not only has Chris Brown been convicted of beating his ex-girlfriend, Rihanna, but the aforementioned songstress is also good friends with Katy Perry, who is Russell’s wife of course. This would make for a pretty interesting dichotomy and whether to see if Brand would put up with having to share the stage with this loathsome personality.

Show show here we go!

The Show:

1. The O’Reilly Factor (5:09)
-Armisen, Sudeikis, Pedrad


Well, with Darrell Hammond no longer on the show, Jason Sudeikis takes over the impression of conservative pundit Bill O’Reilly, who highlights his pre-Superbowl interview with President Obama (Armisen). The satire is pretty close t the mark, as they mock O’Reilly’s obvious factual errors, his constant interrupting of the president’s answers, and his undermining of the whole segment. The sketch takes things a little further though as Bill turns the proceedings into a gameshow-like affair with Obama being forced to hold up letters to answer the various pop-culture questions. My favourite little aside was O’Reilly remarking that, combined with the Superbowl, his interview was viewed by a record TV audience. Overall, despite Jason’s impression that was lacking, this was a well-rounded satire of the big interview. A-

2. Monologue (7:46)

For the first time since Dane Cook (I might be wrong), the monologue consists of no goofiness with the cast or writers-as-audience-members, but rather just a good sampling of our host’s stand-up comedy material. Russell riffs on many different subjects from his English patriotism to his marriage to Katy Perry having lots of “ordinary moments.” It ran a little long in the tooth (much like Dane Cook a couple of years ago), but it was still good to see the host let loose and he clearly had a lot of fun with the crowd. B+

3. Gublin & Green (1:42)
-Armisen, Moynihan, Samberg, Bayer, Brittain, Killam, Pedrad, Pharoah

Due to the problems with one of the latest broadway productions, Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, a lawyer (Armisen) presents his firm that specializes first and foremost in re-imbursing various folks for their Spider-Man-related woes. The best bit comes from an actor who is “not Bono” (Samberg) talking about how his soundtrack was used for this play and in turn, it makes him depressed. B+

4. Ultimate Vacation Giveaway (5:00)
-Brand, Elliott, Moynihan, Thompson, Wiig, Killam

Kristen Wiig makes her third appearance as sweepstakes congratulator (I guess that would be a good job description) Cheryl Bryant, who proceeds to inform the latest winner (Brand) that he’s won a $50,000 cruise. Of course, like the other two sketches they’ve done with this premise, the winner is none too impressed and instead just remains stone-faced throughout the whole ordeal. These sketches really depend on two things: the host’s performance and the reactions of past winners (Elliott, Thompson, Killam in this case) that they always show. It succeeds mostly based on Brand’s portrayal of a redneck-type individual and his ability not to crack during Wiig’s crazed performance. B

5. Don’ You Go Rounin’ Roun To Re Ro (2:42)
-Brand, Armisen, Hader, Wiig, Pedrad

In a brilliant parody of those British gangster flicks that all seem to be the same now, ex-con Terry Donovan (Hader) is on the prowl for a big-time gangster (Armisen) in order to save his young daughter. The little details in this trailer are exquisite like the look of Russell’s dreadlocked villain and Armisen’s angry dog companion that every British gangster villain seems to have by his side. The performances by everyone are superb and it’s so well-done that if one told me this was a real film, I might believe them. A+

6. Royal Taster (4:31)
-Brand, Hader, Killam, Wiig (Voice)

King Reginald (Brand) employs his new royal taster (Killam), who couldn’t be more nervous due to the intense hatred between his Highness and his tortured chef (Hader). The majority of the sketch is Russell and Hader screaming at each other much to the utter horror of Taran, but it’s a sketch that relies heavily on Russell’s large amount of charisma. Bill was a delight as the chef though and Killam was game as the unfortunate soul in the middle of this scuffle. Aces. A-

7. Chris Brown sings “Yeah 3x” (2:43)

I’m surprised he didn’t get booed out of the building upon his appearance on the stage. With regards to the actual performance though, this wasn’t as bad as I thought it might end up being. It was actually pretty short too. B

8. Weekend Update with Seth Meyers (15:12)
-Also: Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, Taran Killam, and Jay Pharoah

The highlight of Update this week has to be Seth’s comments revolving around a recent senator’s retirement due to a Craigslist picture of him being leaked on the website, Gawker. After commenting on what could be the Egyptian President’s next job (replacing Regis), Hosni Mubarak himself (Armisen) stops by to comment on his recent resignation. Mubarak cracks some cheap jokes in between the discussion of his regime and his bit is well-written and very funny. Seth’s AOL bit is cute but a little cheap, but his joke regarding Al Gore’s new TV channel that no one but Al Gore knows about was exquisite. His bit on the superpower poll was delightfully nerdy and so it was great as well. Lil Wayne (Pharoah) and Eminem (Killam) stop by to present a Valentine’s Day song that they recently wrote and promise that the song contains no misogynistic lyrics. The two crooners censor themselves at the most opportune moments, but it still doesn’t hide the fact that the song is much like their other offensive songs. Despite Pharoah’s good impression of Lil Wayne, he is upstaged by Killam’s phenomenal wailing impression of Eminem, the best I’ve ever seen. Finally, the last guest to join Seth is city correspondent Stefon (Hader), who offers some terrible romantic hot spots (“Booooooooof… with 9 o’s.”) for New York couples. That is funny in itself but the interplay between Bill and Seth is terrific and the unwanted flirting is also a delight. And of course, Bill loses it again. One of the better Updates of the entire season. A+

9. Livin’ Single (5:08)
-Brand, Elliott, Wiig, Bayer, Killam

A strong independant woman (Bayer) hosts a show in which she boasts about the joys of the single life to her studio audience (including Elliott and Wiig) and her DJ (Killam), who harbours an unrequited love for her. Taran gets another one for the highlight reel here and Bayer is a delight as well. Bayer brings out a pastry chef (Brand), who gets her motor runnin’ in more ways than one, which also upsets the DJ as well of course. The side-story between Bayer and Killam was very well-written and it is the highlight of this amusing sketch. B+

10. A Spot of Tea (3:52)
-Brand, Hader, Samberg, Brittain

Three gossipy old coots (Brand, Hader, Samberg) host a British panel-discussion show from a low-rent house built directly on the fault line where earthquakes are a-plenty. The inclusion of a seismograph and the strange juxtaposition of the constant earthquakes with a dry show hosted by old ladies make this one of the more odd sketches in recent memory. It kind of reminds one of Monty Python and that’s definitely not a bad thing. The sponsor bit was definitely the best part of the sketch and Brittain’s walk-on at the end was also amusing. A-

11. Chris Brown sings “No Bullshit” (3:46)

The intro to this song was pretty funny, as Brand remembered at the last second to take off his earring from the previous sketch. Why does Brown decide to start his songs up before he’s even introduced? Nevertheless, Brown takes it down a notch for this song but it’s hard to buy this sentiment with the obvious nature of his character looming overhead. It’s also not as good as the first song. C

12. Time Machine (2:45)
-Brand, Hader, Sudeikis, Wiig, Killam

To finally settle the forefathers debate once and for all, a general (Sudeikis) unleashes a super-secret time machine much to the surprise of Nancy Pelosi (Wiig), House Speaker John Boehner (Hader), and Rand Paul (Killam). Out comes George Washington (Brand), but instead of educating everyone on what he truly thinks of today’s politics, he goes mad with the devices of today and attempts to murder the people before him. It’s a fast-paced sketch to close out the night’s festivities and it’s quite amusing. The ending was fittingly dark as well. B

Russell doesn’t look too enamoured by Chris Brown but thanks him nonetheless as well as the cast, crew, Lorne Michaels, and even lighting director Phil Hymes. Brand even shows everyone that he injured his finger during the proceedings.

Another show in the can, another positive episode. This is the season that WILL NOT DIE. Russell helmed a very funny episode and was a really fun host as well, participating in sketches where he didn’t always have to be the center of attention. Whereas Chris Brown was an alright musical guest, Brand was a burst of energy and looked to be having a ball during the night. I can only hope that he will be invited back at least once more to show more of what he can do in 90 minutes.

It should be noted again that this was another highlight show for Taran Killam, who continues to impress ever since his great showing in Carrey/Black Keys. So far, Bayer and Killam have been the two featured players who have impressed me the most while Brittain has had some isolated pockets of comedy and Pharoah has relied a bit too much on his impressions.

Host Rating: A-
Musical Guest Rating: C+
Show Rating: B+

by Brendan Wahl

(Season 36, Episode 14)

My reviews are gonna be a little more concise from now on. No opening paragraph necessary, really.

The Show:

1. Wayne’s World (5:59)
-Carvey, Mike Myers

Yes, that’s right! The hugely popular recurring cable access show makes its 19th appearance (and first in over seventeen years), reuniting your favourites, Wayne (Myers) and Garth (Carvey)! After discussing what they’ve been doing since their last appearance together, the rockin’ duo move onto their Oscar picks. They don’t get too far though without mentioning the aptly-named Winter’s Bone (“This film has not yet been rated.”). Lots of fun from the duo here as well as the cheap dick jokes that are thrown in. A+

2. Monologue (5:24)
-Carvey, Jon Lovitz, Hader, Samberg, Wiig

Dana uses this time to sing a little ditty about how his cast was the best of all-time before being interrupted by several current castmembers like Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, and finally Andy Samberg. Before the originator of digital shorts can get the better of him though, Jon Lovitz swoops in for the save and makes a cute allusion to his Master Thespian character. All in all, a pretty fun monologue. A-

3. iSleep Pro (1:10)
-Thompson, Pharoah (voice)

Repeat from Cranston/West. B

4. Church Chat (8:51)
-Carvey, Justin Bieber, Elliott, Hader, Moynihan, Sudeikis (voice), Bayer, Pedrad

YES! Another favourite of mine comes back! Enid Strict herself (Carvey) makes her first appearance in over 10 years and of course has a ball with all the new morally reprehensible shows on television (One and a Half Men and a Whoremonger was my favourite). The first guests are the “Holy Trinity of Sluts,” the Kardashians (Elliott, Bayer, & Pedrad), who actually get coaxed into sitting down for once. Secondly, the best guest comes in the form of Snooki (the always reliable Moynihan) and after an attempted exorcism goes horribly wrong, the Church Lady then gets hot and bothered at the sight of a walk-on from Justin Bieber, no doubt to plug that horrible-looking 3D documentary. Bieber’s appearance took it down a notch as it felt a little tacked-on, but this was still a whole lot of fun from another great Dana character. A

5. Celebrity Teen Crisis Center (3:04)
-Carvey, Armisen, Elliott, Hader, Thompson, Wiig, Brittain, Killam, Pedrad, Pharoah

Introducing a brand new show in which celebrities like Alan Alda (Hader) and Mickey Rooney (Carvey) attempt to give advice to teenagers in peril. Dana was great again, but the real highlight is Fred Armisen as Ice T acting like a complete moron with a brand of machismo in his voice. The impressions here are all spot-on though, as Abby shines as Anna Faris and Jay Pharoah tears the roof off as Eddie Murphy. I love whenever the cast gets to showcase their impressions and this continued the trend tonight: fun. B+

6. Film: The Roommate (:59)
-Justin Bieber, Samberg

A mock-trailer for The Roommate finds Andy Samberg as the creepy roommate of Justin Bieber’s. It’s a really quick bit and it kills based on its one-joke premise that it could not be any more obvious that this guy will turn out to be a crazy, obsessive murderer. I guess SNL is getting tired of these types of films too. A-

7. Linkin Park sings “Waiting For The End” (3:50)

Employing some cool background effects, LP takes a different direction with this song and for me, it worked out really well. I’ve heard some criticism of their performance on the show, but I think this was pretty good. B+

8. Weekend Update with Seth Meyers (10:35)
-Also: Kristen Wiig and Paul Brittain

The highlight of this week’s Update is definitely James Franco (Brittain) and his many jobs as he starts off by just being a correspondent, but follows that by trying to report a story, holding cue cards, and finally trying to wipe off the desk at the conclusion of tonight’s segment. Seth’s other guest is meteorologist/disco queen Angela Dixon (Wiig), who dispenses advice accompanied by disco dancing, of course. It’s not one of the more successful characters from Kristen and it gets a little grating. Seth’s stories are pretty decent for the most part, but the best part was the “Winners/Losers: Egypt” segment in which Seth details how Anderson Cooper is the biggest winner out of it all because he still looks so damn good. Good edition this week, though not on par with most Updates from this season. B

9. Live with Regis & Kelly (4:49)
-Carvey, Wiig, Killam, Pedrad

On the brink of the announcement that Regis (Carvey) is finally retiring, Kelly Ripa (Pedrad) brings up the discussion about some of the people who are rumoured to replace the male portion of the show. Taran Killam shines as well here as Gelman, Regis’ trusty producer. The fun continues when Kathie Lee (Wiig) interrupts the proceedings and after warming up her pipes with some hidden Chardonnay, she proceeds to sing a goodbye song to her former co-host. Dana comes perilously close to cracking up here and it’s not hard to see why. B+

10. Beauty Pageant (4:28)
-Carvey, Elliott, Samberg, Thompson, Wiig, Bayer, Pedrad

Two emcees (Carvey, Thompson) host a beauty pageant with a number of interesting characters like a cheese-loving girl who likes to wake up (Bayer), a girl with dreams of being a nurse or getting to know a nurse (Elliott), a Tennessee-born girl who likes to save seats (Wiig), a girl who likes to talk through toilet paper tubes (Pedrad), and finally a young man dressed as a cowboy (Samberg). It’s actually sad to see Andy’s character entered into the beauty pageant and you almost feel for the little tyke. Really good little piece, but it was hampered by the fact that it was so bizarre and didn’t seem to have a point to it. B+

11. Deidra Wurtz: Downsizing Expert (1:51)
-Jesse Eisenberg, Elliott, Moynihan, Wiig, Bayer, Killam, Brittain, Pedrad, Pharoah

A character for Abby Elliott?!? In one of the first big showcases for the younger Elliott, the talented actress plays a consultant who help people with their issues by basically telling them “ya know, it’s really sad and I apologize, but that’s just the way it is.” Abby shines here and puts forth a wonderful little performance in her first big stand-out. Notice that Jesse Eisenberg was here too, thus making it obvious that this was cut for time last week. A

12. Linkin Park sings “When They Come For Me” (5:08)

Performing the number entirely in black-and-white was a novel idea and it lends some enjoyability to this otherwise-lively ditty mixing rap with some decidedly grungy rock. It was a good end product. B+

13. Sports Bar (3:31)
-Carvey, Armisen, Hader, Moynihan, Sudeikis, Thompson, Brittain, Killam

As a favour to his wife, a bartender (Killam) allows his brother-in-law’s band to play before the SuperBowl begins to a group of barflys that are anything but willing to listen to the weird trendy David Bowie-type crooning that this band (Carvey, Armisen, Hader, Brittain) does. The sketch is probably my favourite of the night and the song is damn catchy as well. For the band to suggest that the song is SuperBowl-related is hilarious in itself and when the bartender gets in on it too, that is the icing on the cake. A+

Dana thanks everyone, declares this the best cast ever, and waves goodnight with everyone else. Mike Myers even gives some hugs out.

This episode can best be described with one word: FUN. Whether Dana was involved or not, most everything tonight had a sense of looseness and some fun was had much to the enjoyment of everything. Special mention should be made of Abby Elliott and Taran Killam as well, who were finally able to get some ample screentime. Paul Brittain was the MVP of the night on the strength of the James Franco bit alone as that was hysterical.

Host Rating: A-
Musical Guest Rating: B+
Show Rating: B+/A-