by Brendan Wahl
(Season 37, Episode 12)
1. Romney: Believe in America (4:01)
Mitt Romney (Sudeikis) tries to save face about some recent comments he made regarding not being able to fire people and says those words were taken completely out of context. He then orders his food at Jim Bob’s Diner while the waitress (Elliott) has to suffer through his interminable dullness.
– This wasn’t as good as the “Raw and Unleashed” opening from Jason Segel/Florence + The Machine and it was actually really, really dull aside from a couple of funny lines like Romney’s “five human sons” and his quick comment that they have people to do their chores for them.
– Okay, how long are they going to relegate Abby to these nothing roles? Seriously, I can probably name all the memorable things she’s done since 2008 on one hand and I think I would even have fingers left over. It’s not her fault. I’d just really like to see her push a lot more and get better and bigger roles on the show.
Rating: * 1/2
2. Monologue (2:59)
Daniel talks about how he begged Lorne for no Harry Potter parodies tonight all the while various castmembers portray things like Harry Pothead (Brittain) and Jersey Shore: Hogwarts (Hader & Moynihan) before being dismissed as ridiculous and stupid ideas.
– Funny stuff and it showed Daniel was pretty calm, cool, and collected to start off the night on a good foot after that lousy cold opening. I especially liked Daniel mentioning some other film being the one that he will be most remembered for.
– My favourite background appearances were from Hader and Moynihan as The Situation and Snooki, respectively, but Paul was also pretty amusing as Harry Pothead for a quick visual joke.
Rating: *** 1/2
3. Ricky Gervais Promos (1:51)
– It’s good to see them utilizing Sudeikis’ Ricky Gervais impression a lot more these days after his one appearance three seasons ago. That being said, this was quite funny.
– My favourite part was the Kids Choice Awards and the “I Shihtzu not” line.
Rating: *** 1/2
4. Target (4:55)
– Wow, I never in a million years expected to see this sketch back again. I did quite enjoy this edition though because it was quite different from some of the past editions.
– Daniel was pretty good here but Bill Hader took the cake as the super-creepy manager who kept taking huge bites of his hot dog and slowly walking away.
– Loved the “brown racing stripe” line.
– What was up with Kenan’s facial expression joke? It didn’t really make much sense.
Rating: *** 1/2
5. You Can Do Anything! (4:26)
An independant filmmaker (Hader) and a photo-blogger (Bayer) host a show in which several Youtube celebrities are interviewed about their determination in life despite being horribly untalented at everything they do.
– This was my favourite sketch of the night despite a lot of other reviews calling this too “on-the-nose” but I loved this.
– Taran as the “juggler” was my favourite part, especially how he talked about his website and Bayer commenting that he was so self-promotional “and I love that.”
– Sudeikis was great here too with saying that he is “Twitter famous” (meaning not famous) and his song/poem was hilariously pathetic.
– I almost shit my pants laughing at Daniel Radcliffe dancing around while doing Chinese caligraphy. That was an awesome visual combined with the fact that Dan can actually dance.
Rating: **** 1/2
6. Film: Spin the Bottle (2:16)
A young man (Radcliffe) really wants to kiss a girl (Elliott) during a game of Spin the Bottle, but the bottle keeps landing on strange homeless men (Armisen, Hader, Moynihan, Thompson, & Pharoah), who he has to kiss instead.
– This was absurd but still funny and I’m really surprised this wasn’t a digital short unless they forgot to include the title card at the beginning.
– Bobby Moynihan was definitely the funniest hobo but I loved the bit with Fred applying deodorant to his tongue to “freshen up.”
7. Delaware Fellas (3:04)
Since “Jersey Boys” is usually sold out, why not check out Delaware Fellas (Radcliffe, Thompson, Wiig, & Killam) with their vaguely Italian accents and all the excitement of Delaware will be explored!
– I liked the concept and I probably liked the sketch a bit more than some but it definitely did drag on a little bit too long.
– Kenan’s Italian accent was the funniest part but I also really liked Jason Sudeikis coming back as Joe Biden.
8. Hogwarts Academy: 2020 (4:00)
– This was a very funny sketch but I will be the first to admit that I have not seen the Harry Potter films at all. Not a single one. That being said, some of the references were lost on me but there was enough material here to entertain and it still made for a great sketch.
– Radcliffe was great here obviously but I also really loved Bill Hader showing up as Severus Snape in the portrait. His Alan Rickman impression was really spot-on. Paul Brittain also had a very funny part here as Malfoy.
– Thought it was pretty creepy that Moynihan and Bayer’s characters were a couple but still funny nonetheless.
– I didn’t know why people were so adamant about how bad this performance was until I rewatched it just now. It starts out okay but after a couple of minutes into the song, it gets really, really bad. Her voice was all over the place and she couldn’t really find her note.
10. Weekend Update with Seth Meyers (9:24)
Guests: Kim Jong Un’s two best friends from growing up and Casey Anthony’s dog
– Fred and Vanessa reprise their “two best friends” characters but this time, they do them in regards to Kim Jong Un. This was old hat but I do still find both of them funny in these roles and some of the whispering parts do still make me laugh. I particularly liked Seth’s bit about Lorne at the end.
– Daniel Radcliffe was great as Casey Anthony’s dog and it’s awesome to see the host on Update, which rarely happens. I really get the feeling that Samberg was going to do this piece, fell sick, and Radcliffe took over for him. Either way, this was hilarious (I loved “Dogs can be sarcastic too. It’s not just for cats”) and I even liked the cheesy “rough/ruff” joke. Another thing I really liked about this segment is that it pushed the boundary of good taste to the max.
11. X27B Theater (3:47)
In the future, a number of patrons watch a play in which the actors (Radcliffe, Armisen, Hader, Pedrad, & Wiig) do a scenario set in 2012 with lots of obnoxious pop culture references that the future audience finds hilarious.
– This was the second-best piece of the night, in my opinion. It did a great job at satirizing the way movies set in the past are represented in a somewhat over-the-top manner at times.
– I’m pretty sure that in some of the laughing scenes, some of the audience members not laughing was definitely intentional. It just gave the sketch a weirder twist that only added to the absurd nature of the whole thing.
– My favourite bits were the edible Mt. Everest, the use of “Hey Ya!” by Outkast, Kristen’s line about Daniel looking at a certain naughty picture, and the bit about turning into a different race after midnight.
12. Glenda Okones for Mayor 2012 (:55)
– Wiig is on fire tonight. I liked the idea of her doing a self-attack ad and this was pretty damn amusing.
13. Glenda Okones for Mayor 2012 (1:06)
– Another funny piece but I would’ve placed this after the Jay Pharoah Show so that it separated them out a bit more. It felt weird to have them come back from commercial with one of these again.
– This one was even better than the first.
Rating: *** 1/2
14. The Jay Pharoah Show (2:43)
In his debut episode of the Jay Pharoah Show, Jay welcomes his guest Daniel Radcliffe but it turns out he doesn’t know anything about him and just finds excuses to utilize his many bang-on impressions much to Radcliffe’s confusion.
– This was okay but it felt a bit awkward at times with the periods of dead silence feeling a little uncomfortable at times.
– Much like everyone else has been saying, this is definitely a slam at Jay’s knack to do impressions but not really doing a lot of sketch work other than that.
– The concept was a good idea though with Jay not knowing what to do other than work his impressions into the interview and Radcliffe was fair game.
Rating: ** 1/2
15. Glenda Okones for Mayor 2012 (:35)
– Not bad, but not as good as the other two segments.
Rating: ** 1/2
– Another dreary performance. This one may have been worse than the first. I expected her to be a real treat and I am tremendously disappointed with her overall performance thus far.
17. Exit Poll (4:25)
– This was classic Wiig. I don’t think anyone else in the female cast could’ve pulled this one off.
– I don’t even know what my favourite parts were because I was laughing pretty much throughout the whole thing.
– Radcliffe was a great straight man.
18. Headz Up (1:07)
– Apparently this was filmed months ago and has been cut out of a number of dress rehearsals. This was also Andy’s only appearance of the whole night.
– Anyway, this was not that great. I did like Moynihan on the bull.
– Vanessa Bayer is wearing a shirt in tribute to Mike Enriquez. RIP.
OVERALL: A much better show than a lot of people are saying although it had more bad sketches than I’m usually accustomed to on the show this season. Daniel Radcliffe was a solid host who seemed a bit nervous but never let it get the better of him and he performed his ass off even during the sketches that failed to measure up. Lana Del Rey was a disastrous musical guest and her paired with the number of mediocre sketches will take the grade of this episode down a bit despite great pieces like You Can Do Anything!, Hogwarts Academy 2020, X27B Theater, and Exit Poll.
HOST: DANIEL RADCLIFFE – 10 segments (Monologue; Target; You Can Do Anything!; Spin the Bottle; Delaware Fellas; Hogwarts Academy: 2020; Weekend Update; X27B Theater; The Jay Pharoah Show; Exit Poll)
FRED ARMISEN – 3 segments (Spin the Bottle; Weekend Update; X27B Theater)
ABBY ELLIOTT – 4 segments (Romney: Believe in America; Spin the Bottle; Hogwarts Academy: 2020; X27B Theater)
BILL HADER – 6 segments (Monologue; Target; You Can Do Anything!; Spin the Bottle; Hogwarts Academy 2020; X27B Theater)
SETH MEYERS – 1 segment (Weekend Update)
BOBBY MOYNIHAN – 6 segments (Monologue; Spin the Bottle; Delaware Fellas; Hogwarts Academy: 2020; X27B Theater; Headz Up)
NASIM PEDRAD – 4 segments (Spin the Bottle; Hogwarts Academy: 2020; X27B Theater; Headz Up)
ANDY SAMBERG – 1 segment (Headz Up)
JASON SUDEIKIS – 4 segments (Romney: Believe in America; Ricky Gervais Promos; You Can Do Anything!; Delaware Fellas)
KENAN THOMPSON – 4 segments (Target; Spin the Bottle; Delaware Fellas; X27B Theater)
KRISTEN WIIG – 8 segments (Target; Delaware Fellas; Hogwarts Academy: 2020; X27B Theater; Glenda Okones for Mayor 2012 [all three segments]; Exit Poll)
VANESSA BAYER – 7 segments (Target; You Can Do Anything!; Spin the Bottle; Hogwarts Academy: 2020; Weekend Update; X27B Theater; Headz Up)
PAUL BRITTAIN – 4 segments (Monologue; Spin the Bottle; Hogwarts Academy: 2020; X27B Theater)
TARAN KILLAM – 8 segments (Monologue; Target; You Can Do Anything!; Spin the Bottle; Delaware Fellas; Hogwarts Academy: 2020; X27B Theater; Headz Up)
JAY PHAROAH – 3 segments (Spin the Bottle; X27B Theater; The Jay Pharoah Show)
EPISODE MVPs: Daniel Radcliffe/Bill Hader/Kristen Wiig