Saturday Night Live: Ben Stiller/Foster The People (10/8/11)

Posted: October 15, 2011 by Brendan Wahl in SNL Reviews
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by Brendan Wahl

(Season 37, Episode 3)

Cold Opening: Mitt Romney Press Conference (5:05)

Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney (Sudeikis) takes questions from various fundraisers, who find him boring and keep getting to their main point: how can they get Chris Christie (Moynihan) to run? Chris himself shows up to whip the crowd into a frenzy and give Romney his support, but Mitt can still not contain their interest.

– After Sudeikis’ fun take on Mitt during the season premiere, I was hoping we’d get another appearance from him and this worked out to my liking.
– My favourite parts were Sudeikis resorting to his Mormon anger by using words like “oh heck it all to fudge!,” Nasim asking to push the deadline so the Republicans to find a viable candidate, and the whole bit with Moynihan as Chris Christie was a lot of fun.
– “What do you people like? Buttered bread?” “My voice sounds like a black comedian doing a white man voice.” Great lines from Suds.
– Kristen’s outburst was pretty funny as well.
Rating: *** 1/2

Monologue (3:29)

Stiller talks about being exhausted after fasting for Yom Kippur before a Jewish Willy Wonka (Samberg) whisks him away to a magical land of Jewish foods.

– Funny monologue, especially when Samberg announces that he is the Jewish Willy Wonka and Stiller replies, “So you’re Gene Wilder?”
– Paul Brittain and Bobby Moynihan had no lines but they were still pretty funny in the background as the foods.
– Best part was Stiller and Samberg complaining about the soup and then being excited that it was terrible.
Rating; ***

Lincoln Financial Group (1:10)

A man (Sudeikis) sees himself in the future in pretty good shape because he used Lincoln Financial to invest his money. Shortly thereafter, the future version of himself suggests they get it on.

– This was a pretty quick bit but I still enjoyed it quite a bit mostly due to Sudeikis’ dry performance(s).
Rating: *** 1/2

Fox & Friends (4:52)

The usual gang of idiots (Moynihan, Bayer, & Killam) discuss current news items and spew their uninformed drivel unto the world. They also interview Hank Williams Jr. (Sudeikis) along with his manager (Stiller) after Hank made an unflattering comparison between President Obama and a certain German leader from the 1940s.

– I loved this sketch the first time I saw it on Mirren/Foo Fighters and it was still very, very enjoyable. I love Taran and Vanessa, but Bobby is still my favourite performer in this sketch (“we imply it”).
– Vanessa’s line about anarchy being “no government while people play bongos” was hilarious. I don’t know why people are saying her brief slip-up messed up the whole joke.
– Fred’s brief role as the fact-checker was funny again.
– Suds was hilarious as Hank Williams Jr. and his manager played by Stiller was a decent addition to the sketch as well. Jason’s ridiculous things that he said were hilarious and his singing at the end sealed the proverbial deal. I loved how Taran said “apology accepted” at the end of it too.
– The crawl at the end was funny much like the first one.
Rating: **** 1/2

Lincoln Financial Group (1:03)

The second ad focuses on one man (Hader) finding his future self to be fat, poor, and suicidal. This time, his future self attempts to force himself on his past self.

– Another amusing ad, though not quite as good as the first. I did like Hader’s “fat voice” though.
Rating: ***

The Best of Both Worlds (6:05)

Hugh Jackman (Samberg) hosts a show in which actors who do two radically different types of film are invited. Mandy Patinkin (Stiller), a beleaguered Clint Eastwood (Hader), and Daniel Radcliffe (Hugh Jackman!) are all guests on the show and try to show their dual layers.

– Another sketch from Mirren/Foo Fighters. It’s another one that I enjoyed quite a bit though, especially the surprise cameo from Hugh Jackman at the end and the ensuing banter between him and Samberg.
–  Stiller was fine as Mandy Patinkin, but the highlight of the whole sketch was Bill’s crazy impression of Clint Eastwood with his pants exaggeratedly raised almost up to his chest. His singing of the song from Gran Torino had me in stitches, especially his long groan at the end of it.
– The killing of Moynihan as the assistant was the same as in the first sketch but I did like Hader muttering “git off my lawn!” before shooting him.
– Abby as Nancy Grace was a funny quick bit.
Rating: ****

Digital Short: V-Necks (2:02)

After shopping around, one man (Samberg) is jealous of another man’s (Stiller) ability to wear such a low-cut V-Neck and thus begins a game of one-upsmanship.

– Pretty funny digital short. It was better than last week’s Stomp piece and it had a funny performance from Stiller as well. I loved the look of his strange character.
– The best parts were Samberg and Stiller naming the different styles of V-Neck shirts with the helpful subtitles along with it.
– The ending with Stiller getting arrested was pretty funny.
Rating: *** 1/2

The bit here with Sudeikis-as-Hank Williams Jr. singing with the SNL Band was awesome and it’s been forever since we’ve had something cool and format-breaking like this on the show.

Foster The People sing “Pumped-Up Kicks” (3:45)

– A lot of people told me about this song but I have honestly never heard this one. It was a pretty enjoyable listen though and I liked the unique sound it had. Nice to have a band every once in a while that doesn’t sound like everyone else.
WEEKEND UPDATE with Seth Meyers (13:18)
Guests: Nan Washington and Stefon & Derek Zoolander

Best Jokes: Hermann Cain; Jose Reyes/Mets; Madonna/Superbowl; both pet costumes jokes




– I may be in the minority here but I though Kristen’s Nan Washington character was quite funny due to her very slow, dry delivery. It was definitely different from other characters she does and I really don’t get the Judy Grimes comparison people are making. Seth was clearly enjoying this as well.
– STEFON! It was so awesome to see him back and I loved his quick reference to the summer vacation he had with Seth (“how’s your back?”). Hader had many good lines here like usual and his club names are getting more and more insane. The addition of Ben Stiller as Derek Zoolander made the whole thing even funnier and I loved his “Derek Zoolander Foundation For Fat Kids Who Are Fat But Not Om A Cute Way Like That Fat Kid On Modern Family.”
Rating: ****

Halloween Party (7:08)

“Sexy” Shana (Wiig) is back again, this time seducing an upper-management type (Stiller) at a Halloween party with her usual disgusting quirks while a group of on-lookers (Elliott, Samberg, Thompson, Killam) are not impressed.

– This is the character’s fourth appearance and not the umpteenth like some reviewers are saying. Wiig always does a good job with this character but I will admit that despite her not having appeared a lot in the past, I hope this is one of her last appearances so she doesn’t get too repetitive.
– The best part was the fart joke at the end. I know that sounds lame but Stiller falling flat on his back was a hoot. I also liked Abby pointing out the obviously-fake spider by informing her that it’s wearing a hat. Oh, and Kristen’s insane screaming was good too.
– For some reason, Abby looked super cute in this sketch too. I guess she always does though.
– Where has Kenan been all night anyway?
Rating: *** 1/2

Lincoln Financial Group (:24)

The shortest of the three, this time one man (Stiller) finds a woman (Elliott) beside him, but then notices a female version of himself beside her.

– The fake-out with Abby was funny here and the fact that this just got right to the point was a hoot.
Rating: *** 1/2

Columbus Day Assblast (3:09)

DJ Super Soak (Sudeikis) and Lil Blaster (Pedrad) present another insane party with all kinds of random shit going on, including an appearance by Eckhart Tolle (Stiller) and MC George Castanza (Pharoah).

– I gotta give credit to Stooge for this observation, but this is the THIRD sketch to be repeated from the Helen Mirren episode. Unlike the others though, this one is REALLY starting to lose steam. Nothing will ever top the first one of these sketches.
– The random shit that they throw out there just isn’t as funny anymore but I did like the bit about giving Queen Isabella polyps and the different twist they put on the usual Ass Dan death scene.
– I kinda liked the Stiller segment.
Rating: ** 1/2

Bruce Springsteen: Just The Stories (1:57)

A compilation DVD featuring all of Springsteen’s (Stiller) little stories he tells before his songs is advertised with a special bonus of Little Stevie (Armisen) attempting a story of his own but just bombing.

– This was another sketch I wasn’t too fond of. It had nothing to do with Stiller and his mimicry of The Boss, but I just thought this could’ve been taken in a funnier direction.
– Armisen’s brief Little Stevie segment was amusing though.
Rating: **

Foster The People (feat. Kenny G) sing “Houdini” (3:57)

– Wow, how random was it for Kenny G to show up here? It took nothing away from my enjoyment of the song though as they did another good job here and it was a very entertaining performance.

Tinyballs (1:56)

A parody of Moneyball finds the coach (Killam) resorting to a shady gentleman (Stiller) to get their team into shape by way of using steroids and other male enhancement drugs.

– I enjoyed this quite a bit after those last two subpar sketches and it showed off the fact that Taran Killam does a really good and accurate Brad Pitt impression, while Bobby does a decent Jonah Hill.
– Jay Pharoah’s second appearance of the night and both times were pre-taped segments. So far this season, he has been in a live setting ONCE very briefly during the Office Flirt sketch last week.
– Stiller reminded me of that “Do it” character he did back on The Ben Stiller Show.
Rating: *** 1/2

Goodnights

OVERALL: Another very enjoyable show with only a couple of lowpoints and even the worst sketch (the Springsteen bit) wasn’t terrible or anything, just weak. This episode was about on par with last week’s Melissa McCarthy one, although we had a slightly better host then. Stiller certainly more than held his own but he definitely didn’t go all out like the previous host. He was funny throughout the night though and the highlight from him is definitely as Derek Zoolander on Update. And can we please have more segments like the one where Jason sang with the band before commercials? Stuff like that is awesome.

APPEARANCES:

HOST: BEN STILLER – 10 segments (Monologue; Fox & Friends; The Best of Both Worlds; V-Necks; Weekend Update; Halloween Party; Lincoln Financial Group 3; Columbus Day Assblast; Bruce Springsteen: Just The Stories; Tinyballs)

CAMEO: HUGH JACKMAN – 1 segment (The Best of Both Worlds)

FRED ARMISEN – 3 segments (Fox & Friends; Bruce Springsteen: Just The Stories; Tinyballs)
ABBY ELLIOTT – 3 segments (The Best of Both Worlds; Halloween Party; Lincoln Financial Group 3)
BILL HADER – 4 segments (Mitt Romney Press Conference; The Best of Both Worlds; Lincoln Financial Group 2; Weekend Update)
SETH MEYERS – 1 segment (Weekend Update)
BOBBY MOYNIHAN – 7 segments (Mitt Romney Press Conference; Monologue; Fox & Friends; The Best of Both Worlds; V-Necks; Columbus Day Assblast; Tinyballs)
NASIM PEDRAD – 3 segments (Mitt Romney Press Conference; V-Necks; Columbus Day Assblast)
ANDY SAMBERG – 4 segments (Monologue; The Best of Both Worlds; V-Necks; Halloween Party)
JASON SUDEIKIS – 5 segments (Mitt Romney Press Conference; Lincoln Financial Group 1; Fox & Friends; Hank Williams Jr./SNL Band segment; Columbus Day Assblast)
KENAN THOMPSON – 1 segment (Halloween Party)
KRISTEN WIIG – 3 segments (Mitt Romney Press Conference; Weekend Update; Halloween Party)

FEATURING:

VANESSA BAYER – 2 segments (Mitt Romney Press Conference; Fox & Friends)
PAUL BRITTAIN – 4 segments (Mitt Romney Press Conference; Monologue; V-Necks; Tinyballs)
TARAN KILLAM – 5 segments (Mitt Romney Press Conference; Fox & Friends; V-Necks; Halloween Party; Tinyballs)
JAY PHAROAH – 2 segments (Columbus Day Assblast; Tinyballs)

EPISODE MVPs: Bobby Moynihan/Jason Sudeikis

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  1. […] Ben Stiller/Foster The People […]

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