by Brendan Wahl
(Season 37, Episode 13)
1. Newt Gingrich: Moon President (4:08)
– Very creative way to open the show and a good way to try and make us forget that tremendously dull opening from last week.
– The highlights were Bill as the Reagatron 3000, Bobby’s line about how not all of America is as forward-thinking as South Carolina, Sudeikis showing up as a stowaway Mitt Romney in drag, Kenan as Herman Cain with his obvious sexual innuendos, and Bill asking Jason if he is his robot father.
– Did they use a farting sound effect when the earth fell apart? That was a pretty amusing moment.
– Why did Bobby’s Newt voice sound so much different?
Rating: **** 1/2
2. Monologue (3:29)
– Right off the bat, Channing seemed happy to be there and showed that he would at least be a competent host and not one of those stiff dramatic actor type hosts.
– Pretty funny monologue, especially with Kenan as the bodyguard, Taran and Vanessa as the couple, and Fred as the audience member who tries not to let it show that he enjoys Channing’s dancing.
– I also enjoyed the quick bit with Channing calling out Andy’s doctor character as a former customer.
3. It’s Getting Freaky with Cee Lo Green! (5:46)
Cee Lo (Thompson) tries once again to help a young couple with their sexual life, this time a lesbian duo (Pedrad & Bayer). He is not without assistance though as Matthew McConnaughey (Tatum) and the reliable Colonel Nasty (Hader) stop by as well to lend some advice.
– You had to know that THIS would become recurring. Still, I liked this edition of the sketch just as much as I enjoyed the first one.
– There was a lot of interaction with the Atlanta Horns band, which were some of my favourite parts actually.
– Channing pulled off a pretty damn good McConnaughey impression. He’s no Justin Long, but it was still real good.
– Was I the only one praying for a kiss between Nasim and Vanessa? Yes, I know. I’m a guy.
Rating: *** 1/2
4. Downton Abbey (2:04)
– This was pretty clever. Hard to explain why I liked it but I guess just the juxtaposition of the announcer’s typical annoying SPIKE voice combined with a show that obviously does not fit in with the network’s typical fare.
5. Superbowl Promo Shoot (3:03)
Several correspondents (Tatum, Hader, Sudeikis, Thompson, & Pharoah) get together to film the promos advertising the Superbowl but end up making it look a little strange and then begin to bring up some very odd conversation points.
– I wasn’t the biggest fan of this sketch at all. The looks they gave the camera were pretty amusing for the most part but it just seemed like they just ran the same joke into the ground. It actually kinda reminded me of that stupid Taylor Lautner sketch where he kept making weird faces at the camera.
– The weird comments meant well but not a lot of them were all that funny.
– The end with them drinking was pretty funny.
Rating: * 1/2
6. Secret Word (5:08)
– I’m honestly not tired of this sketch at all. I may be the only one who likes it as a recurring piece. Bill is great as the host, they always make a great opponent character for Kristen, and yes, I also like Kristen’s wacky performance every time.
– Tatum was a good addition to the sketch and I liked his attempt to give hints for the word “Probe” and just ended up having visions of space and being captured.
– I especially liked Kristen sliding the secret word over to her non-celebrity partner.
– Best line: “I’m on no pills and I miss them.”
Rating: *** 1/2
– So I had no clue who this band was before the show but I had definitely heard this song before. They are a very mellow-sounding band and I really enjoyed this. It was a breath of fresh air after the disastrous musical guest during the previous episode.
8. Weekend Update with Seth Meyers (9:54)
Guests: Guy Fieri and Lana Del Rey
– The first commentary is from Bobby as Guy Fieri, an impression we haven’t seen in a little while. I’ve always enjoyed this particular impression from Bobby and this was a good way to bring him back by having him comment on Superbowl snacks. I particularly liked Bobby “cooking” a hot dog over his “shirt flames,” the visual joke of an Ug boot filled with hot dogs, and the bucket of mussels representing the Madonna halftime show. The ridiculous dish at the end was also good for a chuckle.
– YES! YES! I was really hoping they would address the Lana Del Rey fiasco and Kristen Wiig did a perfect impression of her. I also love how they did the running joke with Seth starting a joke about tree frogs and getting interrupted. They also made some good points about no musicians changing their real name and how she didn’t live up to other “greats” on SNL like Bubba Sparxxx, the Baha Men, and Shaggy.
Rating: *** 1/2
9. Bat Mitzvah (3:57)
– This was all essentially one-joke and boiled down to the humour involved with the dancing and the reaction shots. It worked though thanks to the enjoyable performances by Channing and Nasim.
– Abby and Kristen were also good here with their respective reactions and lines throughout the dance.
– Kenan made me laugh as the Billy OCean impersonator.
10. Ruby Tuesday (3:49)
– It was interesting to see Bobby with a new character. He had a few funny lines but ultimately this didn’t really go anywhere. Still, it wasn’t awful.
– I loved the line about Bobby having ruined Katy Perry’s marriage.
– The dance at the end was kinda lame until Bobby did his tumble.
Rating: ** 1/2
11. Go-Techs Flex (1:57)
– Very absurd sketch with a number of healthy laughs mostly due to Kristen’s strange performance, although I did like Channing here as well.
– The part with the honeycomb was very, very odd.
– This tune sounded like it had a bit of a jazz-fusion influence and I enjoyed it just as much as the first performance.
13. Bongo’s Clown Room (6:18)
On his last night on the job (again?), Tommy (Sudeikis) emcees ladies’ night at Bongo’s with Keith Wide (Pharoah), Dumb Dick (Moynihan), Chief Pumps (Moynihan), and Nick Erswet (Tatum) briefly performing on-stage.
– Jason was great here much like he was the first time they did this sketch and it didn’t hurt that he was given some great lines.
– It wasn’t quite as great as the first one though just for the sole reason that the actual dancing was not as funny. It also lacked an ending like the one they did with Dave Grohl the first time.
– Channing has danced in almost every sketch. I will admit I found that a bit annoying.
Rating: *** 1/2
OVERALL: A relatively solid show with only two sketches that didn’t really work for me and a couple of standouts this week with the cold open and the SPIKE TV piece. Channing Tatum was a surprisingly good host even if his constant need to dance in every sketch eventually started to get grating. I’d probably put this one just above the Radcliffe episode.
HOST: CHANNING TATUM – 8 segments (Monologue; It’s Getting Freaky with Cee Lo Green!; Superbowl Promo Shoot; Secret Word; Bat Mitzvah; Ruby Tuesday; Go-Techs Flex; Bongo’s Clown Room)
FRED ARMISEN – 3 segments (Monologue; It’s Getting Freaky with Cee Lo Green!; Bat Mitzvah)
ABBY ELLIOTT – 1 segment (Bat Mitzvah)
BILL HADER – 4 segments (Newt Gingrich: Moon President; It’s Getting Freaky with Cee Lo Green!; Superbowl Promo Shoot; Secret Word)
SETH MEYERS – 1 segment (Weekend Update)
BOBBY MOYNIHAN – 6 segments (Newt Gingrich: Moon President; It’s Getting Freaky with Cee Lo Green!; Superbowl Promo Shoot; Weekend Update; Ruby Tuesday; Bongo’s Clown Room)
NASIM PEDRAD – 3 segments (It’s Getting Freaky with Cee Lo Green!; Secret Word; Bat Mitzvah)
ANDY SAMBERG – 3 segments (Monologue; Secret Word; Bat Mitzvah)
JASON SUDEIKIS – 3 segments (Newt Gingrich: Moon President; Superbowl Promo Shoot; Bongo’s Clown Room)
KENAN THOMPSON – 5 segments (Newt Gingrich: Moon President; Monologue; It’s Getting Freaky with Cee Lo Green!; Superbowl Promo Shoot; Bat Mitzvah)
KRISTEN WIIG – 6 segments (Newt Gingrich: Moon President; Monologue; Secret Word; Weekend Update; Bat Mitzvah; Go-Techs Flex)
VANESSA BAYER – 3 segments (Monologue; It’s Getting Freaky with Cee Lo Green!; Bat Mitzvah)
TARAN KILLAM – 4 segments (Newt Gingrich: Moon President; Monologue; Bat Mitzvah; Bongo’s Clown Room)
JAY PHAROAH – 5 segments (Newt Gingrich: Moon President; It’s Getting Freaky with Cee Lo Green!; Superbowl Promo Shoot; Ruby Tuesday; Bongo’s Clown Room)
EPISODE MVPs: Bobby Moynihan/Kristen Wiig