Saturday Night Live: Miley Cyrus/The Strokes (3/5/11)

Posted: March 7, 2011 by Brendan Wahl in SNL Reviews
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by Brendan Wahl

(Season 36, Episode 16)

Well, it has happened, ladies and gentlemen. I never thought I would see the day but Hannah Montana herself has finally been pegged to host the show that has so mercilessly mocked her with Vanessa Bayer’s hilarious impression and several jokes about her bong video. Okay, so maybe Saturday Night Live hasn’t been horrible towards Miley Cyrus but I mean, what do you have to run with besides her creepy/borderline obsessive father and her videotaped indiscrepancies.

Despite the public outcry, Miley will indeed put her acting chops to the test when she tries out comedy that is NOT Disney. Joining Cyrus is the Strokes, who seem to be on the brink of a comeback with their latest CD, Angles. I enjoy them so this is an aspect of the show that I am very much so looking forward to.

Gambling time!

The Show:

1. Duh! Winning! (6:05)
Cyrus, Armisen, Elliott, Hader, Killam

It was a foregone conclusion that SNL would take a swipe at Charlie Sheen. After weeks and weeks of his insane (and I do mean, BAT-SHIT insane) ramblings and interviews, Charlie (Hader) hosts a show in which he talks to fellow messed-up celebrities/third-rate famous people in order to compare notes. Included are his bandleader Christina Aguilera (Elliott), who has also had her problems with the National Anthem and then was arrested for public intoxication. Guests include Hitler sympathizer John Galliano (Killam), crazy dictator Muammer Kaddafi (Armisen), and troublesome partygoer Lindsay Lohan (Cyrus). This was not a home-run as might have been expected but it was still quite funny and Miley’s Lohan impression was pretty damn good too. Loved the e-mail from Gary Busey, too. B+

2. Monologue (2:22)
Cyrus, Moynihan, Wiig

Miley brings up her indiscretions in song (such as the insanely horrendous deed of smoking salvia) and then notes that there were many other celebrities who did far worse things than just show a little side boob or kiss their boyfriend in a picture. She makes a point and it’s a good little monologue with some fun accompaniment from Bobby and Kristen. B

3. Baby Spanx (1:03)
-Hader, Sudeikis, Thompson, Wiig, Bayer, Pedrad

Repeat from 10/23/10. However, they took out the “tabby spanx” part at the end, I noticed. PETA complaint? B+

4. Our Time! (5:47)
Cyrus, Elliott, Samberg, Thompson, Pharoah

Finally, the two members of the Black-Eyed Peas that no one really knows (Taboo and get the spotlight and host their own show. Of course, it isn’t long before (Pharoah) and Fergie (Cyrus) interrupt to hog the spotlight and see if they’re needed. If this is the start of a recurring sketch, I’m all for it. Samberg and Kenan’s chemistry together has been proven already with those banal Deep House Dish sketches and at least this time, they have better material to work with with these underappreciated background singers (let’s face it, that’s what they are) as they interview equally unimportant celebrities like Khloe Kardashian (Elliott). B+

5. The Essentials: The Sound of Music (5:02)
-Cyrus, Armisen, Elliott, Hader, Moynihan, Samberg, Sudeikis, Wiig, Bayer, Killam, Pedrad

Jason Sudeikis gets to put his great Robert Osborne impression to work again as the host of the series that features famous films with deleted scenes that just never made sense. This week, we get Mexican comedian Richie Inez Jr. (Armisen) making an awkward appearance in The Sound of Music as one of the Von Trapp children. If you must know, Miley appears as one of the children in love with a boy (Samberg). She didn’t do too much here as it was Armisen that ran away with this purposely stereotypical role. I particularly liked Samberg’s reaction to Richie’s comedy and the crowd of Nazis in one scene. It was nothing too outstanding, but it was a decent enough edition of the sketch. B-

6. The Disney Channel Acting School (2:19)
Cyrus, Elliott, Moynihan, Thompson, Brittain, Killam

Miley takes her reputation to task in this jokey commercial, advertising the art of acting on the eponymous family channel. Of course, it shows various aspects of shows like Hannah Montana and the art of speaking louder than the person who previously spoke, disrespect any authority figure, and spying in a doorway (my favourite). This was tremendous and proved that Miley was more than willing to poke fun at her image. A

7. The Miley Cyrus Show (4:50)
Cyrus, Sudeikis, Bayer, Killam

Here we go! This is what most people were looking forward to if they would have to endure Miley Cyrus hosting the episode. In this edition of the show, Miley (Bayer) does a “famous celebrity impression” of Charlie Sheen and then quickly introduces her guest, Justin Bieber (Cyrus). Miley does a pretty great impression of Bieber along with her swagger coach, Be-Bop (Killam) and the interaction between host and guest is “pretty cool” as well. Of course, Billy Ray (Sudeikis) chimes in with some great lines as well and the clip is good as per usual. It was awesome to see both Miley and “Miley” sing the theme too. A-

8. The Strokes sing “Under Cover of Darkness” (3:53)

Julian and co. sing the hit off their new album and… the verdict is… it’s great! The Strokes haven’t lost a step as they deliver a great new song and then some. A

9. Weekend Update with Seth Meyers (13:09)
-Also: Bobby Moynihan and Jason Sudeikis

After a brilliant start in which Seth chastises the Charlie Sheen story for coming up too early, Meyers settles in and delivers zinger after zinger with not a break to take a breath in sight. His highlights this week? Seth’s rant about the discovery of Legionnaire’s Disease at the Playboy Mansion is a gas, but his bit on the man losing weight by placing a robot in his stomach takes the cake this week (“No salad?” “Nah, robot.”) Seth’s Sheen jokes are pretty great too and it leads into another edition of Winners/Losers, which is also fantastic. The guest commentaries this week are equally great as the Devil (Sudeikis) stops by to comment on his recent evildoings and then announces how even he doesn’t agree with the Westboro Baptist Church, who are going straight to hell. Jason excels at this new character as his smarmy charm takes over and he delivers some top-notch work here once again. Anthony Crispino (Moynihan) is the other commentator and he never fails to entertain me with his second-hand news, particularly this week’s edition considering how he has no idea about the whole slew of Charlie Sheen news. Flawless edition of Update. A+

10. Les Jeunes de Paris (3:21)
Cyrus, Elliott, Moynihan, Samberg, Wiig, Brittain, Killam, Pedrad

Making its return after the Stone/KOL broadcast, Killam’s original Groundlings creation takes place again. Basically, a bunch of french people dance around with a perfectly choreographed dance number. This sketch is fantastic just for the amazing detail that goes into the choreography and the performances of all involved, specifically Taran Killam as the main dancer, Francois. A

11. Beastly (1:14)
Cyrus, Samberg, Brittain, Pedrad

Remember that trailer with Andy Samberg as the creepy roommate of Justin Bieber, who turns out murderous? Well, this is the same idea except that Declan takes the role of the main character in a mock-up of Beastly and has some pretty fun interaction with our host. Pretty funny stuff and it’s kept short. B+

12. Rock-A-Billy Lady Party Moisturizing Facial Cream (3:45)
Cyrus, Wiig

In the same vein of Spa Talk from the Eisenberg episode and A Spot of Tea from the Russell Brand one, we get another sketch to add to the “WTF” pile. In this commercial, two women (Cyrus & Wiig) with puffy 80s hair advertise their facial cream and rock-a-billy CDs, which will complement each other and help your life out. This was such a bizarre sketch but I liked it based on the strength of the performances from the two stars here plus the writing was absolutely absurd. I seem to be in the minority on these really weird bits. A-

13. The Strokes sing “Life Is Simple In The Moonlight” (4:06)

Another big number for the Strokes and another success. Casablancas’ vocals are no match for the instrumental section on this song, but it’s still an entertaining song by a great band. B+

14. Ginger Rangers (3:04)
Cyrus, Elliott, Moynihan, Thompson, Wiig, Bayer, Brittain, Killam

What starts out as a simple performance on a cruise line launches into something more crude, as the songstress Ginger Rangers (Miley) proceeds to sing about how disgusting she finds all of the older passengers (Elliott, Moynihan, Thompson, Wiig, Bayer, Killam) in the audience to be. Cyrus starting up “You people are gross to me” as a musical number was hilarious as was the interaction between Ginger and the “almost handsome” passenger, as played by the versatile Taran Killam. Mark my words. TK is going to be a big-time player. Paul’s line was pretty funny too. B

15. CBS: Gurney Month (1:07)
-Killam (voice)

Taking a well-deserved shot at all the “corpse” shows that CBS now has (CSI/NCIS/Mentalist), this quick commercial parody introduces the new upcoming shows in the same manner such as Two and a Half Dead Bodies. It’s a topical piece that packs a punch. A-

Miley thanks the Strokes and SNL for having her before waving goodbye and embracing everyone on-stage.

Miley surprised everyone and was a very capable host. The Strokes were great. There was a serious lack of unfunny material tonight. Taran Killam continues to come into his own. All is well. This episode continues the terrific roll that Season 36 continues to be on essentially since Poehler/Perry.

Sorry for the lack of closing comments, but I am very tired.

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

  1. Daniel Martin says:

    Hey. Big fan of your snl reviews. Anyway I have been a huge fan of Taran Killam since the start of the season. I totally agree that he is the future of SNL. Even thought last time I didnt like the French Dancing, this time I enjoyed it. I thought the cold open was brilliant. Great impressions all around. Hader nailed sheen, elliot reprised her great Christina, Fred did the same with his kaddafi, and Taran had a really good John Galliano. Miley Lindsay I wasnt crazy about. I thought her monologue was cute. The black eyed peas skit was a great concept that was delivered very poorly. Thompson and Samberg both had bad impressions and Mileys fergie should have been the worst impression of the night let alone the skit. But saving her from that is Jay Pharoah’s awful That takes honors as worst impression of the night. However, I still like Elliots Khloe. I enjoyed the TCM. Armisen was really into it and he did a good job. It was better then the one from the Jesse Eisenberg episode. The disney channel acting school was hilarious. Definatly an A but not quite A+. Kenan did a great Raven. I enjoyed the Miley Cyrus show (the skit) as much as ever. Infact more then the Jeff Bridges one. Miley did a great Justin Beiber. As always Sudeikis’ Billy Ray and Vanessa’s Miley were awesome. Killam’s apearence was funny too. The weekend update jokes were great. Winners looser was great. Sudeikis’ the devil is a brilliant character. Anthany Crispino constantly gets me. The Beastly skit was actually an improvement on the first in my opinion. Good job Andy. The Rock CD facial cream had potential and got a chuckle out of me but overall I was disappiointed. The cruise singer skit wasnt good. Although Wiig and her shirt, Killam, and Paul Brittains line (especially Brittains line) got laughs out of me. Wow long post. please respond 🙂

    • Brendan Wahl says:

      Thanks for reading! If Taran Killam doesn’t become a star from this show, something is wrong with this crazy thing we call life.

      • Daniel Martin says:

        agreed. Im predicting we will see his awesome eminem impression again before the end of the season. Id love to see his Michael Cera return too but I dont think it will. Not unless Cera does something news worthy soon but you never know.

  2. Daniel Martin says:

    Do you think that Paul Brittain and Jay Pharoah will be coming back next season?

  3. Brendan Wahl says:

    I think Jay might, but I’m starting to fear for Brittain’s chances.

    • Daniel Martin says:

      I think Jay has a better chance considering his Denzel and Eddie Murphy and his other impressions but Im not sure bout paul. of course id like to see him stay but he has no real characters. I liked his Johnny Depp but it didnt get big laughs. And while his James Franco was funny it had nothing to do with the impression.

  4. SNLrocks says:

    I thought Miley was a good sport for coming on a show that makes fun of her every other week. However, her opening monologue was kind of arrogrant, although it did start out with some promise with her acknowledging that the show ‘is going to be pretty cool’. That Disney acting school skit was probably the best of the night.

    • Brendan Wahl says:

      I just liked how it pointed out that people made a big deal out of her scandals when there are tons of other celebrities doing far worse things than smoking salvia.

  5. […] Miley Cyrus/The Strokes […]

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