by Brendan Wahl
(Season 37, Episode 18)
1. Road to the White House (5:23)
Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney (Sudeikis) panders to all demographics by making speeches everywhere including in Pittsburgh, at a press conference for the ASPCA, and even for the opening of Saturday Night Live.
– This was some sharp satire making fun of Romney’s desire to pander to every single demographic and the sketch pushed it in the realms of ridiculousness by having him go to things like a rally for Roleplaying Games.
– Hey, look! It’s Kate McKinnon. She didn’t do anything but it was cool to see her anyway.
– My favourite part was probably Bayer and Thompson telling Sudeikis how horrible East St. Louis is, but the ending with Sudeikis appearing on SNL and thinking that the opening line is “Hey New York, let’s start the show!” was great.
2. Monologue (2:14)
– Funny monologue with Sofia doing a pretty good job. I particularly liked her making everything sound sexier than it should, especially “Rick Santorum.”
– Damn, her accent is thick and, as my girlfriend said, “Holy tits.”
Rating: *** 1/2
3. Just Friends Booty Shorts (1:29)
– I enjoyed this quite a bit and the chemistry between Andy and Jason was good. I feel like we don’t get to see them interact in sketches on the show that much.
– Taran had a very funny part here but my favourite part was at the end with Jason and Andy wearing “Not” and “Gay” shirts, respectively, before Sudeikis walks away and Andy is crowded by a number of hairy men.
4. Bein’ Quirky (5:35)
Zooey Deschanel (Elliott) and co-host Michael Cera (Killam) welcome guests Drew Barrymore (Wiig) and Fran Drescher (Vergara) while discussing all things quirky. We also get a pre-taped message from original quirkster, Mayim Bialik (Samberg) along with Joey Lawrence (Armisen).
– I didn’t expect this to return so soon especially with news of Abby possibly leaving the show at the end of the season, but I enjoyed this almost as much as the first sketch.
– Abby is cute as a button playing Zooey Deschanel and Taran was awesome once again as Michael Cera.
– I knew Wiig would be great as Barrymore but Sofia really impressed me here by doing a bang-on impression of The Nanny aka Fran Drescher. She actually managed to tone down her accent quite a bit as well.
– The pretaped message from Andy and Fred was okay but slowed the sketch down a bit.
Rating: *** 1/2
5. Almost Pizza (1:19)
– I loved this parody. Wiig was perfect and laid-back as the mom and Hader was great here too, as he kept questioning what the pizza was REALLY made out of.
Rating: **** 1/2
6. News Promo (3:49)
– This was way too repetitive to be that funny or anything but Armisen had a couple of funny moments despite the weak material. I liked him suggesting thought bubbles over his head but then not knowing what would be in it so he gives up on the idea.
– The music was the same that they used in that pointing reporters sketch from the Jack Black episode in Year 31.
– I also liked Fred giving Bill his wallet instead of turning, which was ridiculous.
7. Gilly (4:31)
Gilly (Wiig) is back, raising hell in her Sex Education class and torturing fellow students Liam (Moynihan), Sam (Thompson), and her teacher (Vergara). The teacher asks Gilly where her life is headed, causing Gilly to have a flash-forward and then apologize at the end for going too far with her insults.
– I was never the biggest fan of Gilly but I give them all the credit in the world for doing something completely different with this recurring sketch.
– Wiig’s dancing always amuses me.
– The flash-forward was quite funny with Wiig faking her death and then the ending of the sketch was great too with Wiig admitting that she went too far by calling Sofia a “bitch.”
– This was whatever. I don’t like boy bands. I thought that era was all over.
9. Weekend Update with Seth Meyers (8:27)
Guest: Drunk Uncle
– I was really glad to see Bobby come back as Drunk Uncle again. I really enjoy that character and he always makes me laugh with the various crazy drunk things he says. I can’t even pick out my favourite parts because I liked the whole thing. I will say that his rabbit ears were great though.
10. The Manuel Ortiz Show (4:15)
– I predicted that they would do this sketch with Sofia hosting but this is starting to wear thin on me. I did get a few laughs out of Taran and Bill’s characters and Wiig’s appearance as the mother was amusing, but otherwise, this was whatever.
– Kenan’s dancing always amuses me in these sketches because he merely just shakes his head.
– The appearance by One Direction was actually pretty funny and it was a clever way to insert them into the sketch.
11. Lil’ Poundcake (1:18)
– Repeat from Melissa McCarthy/Lady Antebellum (10/1/11).
12. Watch What Happens: Live (5:51)
– This was a funny sketch anchored by a great performance from Taran as the obnoxious Andy Cohen.
– Kate McKinnon makes her ‘speaking role’ debut here and she did a pretty good job as Tabatha Coffey in the quick little video clip.
– Kenan was very funny here as Desmond Tutu. It was such a strange role for him to play but I enjoyed how excited he got at various points of the sketch.
– My favourite part was Nasim thanking people for watching Real Housewives and then forgetting to turn the TV off when they take a shower.
– Second verse, same as the first. I can’t believe I heard someone on the news compare them to the Beatles. Are you KIDDING me, America?!
14. Pantene Commercial (4:46)
– Here we got Kate starring in her first sketch and I gotta say that she did quite a good job here with her impression of Cruz. The premise was okay but made funnier by the performances. Sudeikis was good as well as the director.
– For some reason, Bobby made me laugh every time he slated even though he didn’t say anything funny in particular.
– I like how Sofia wasn’t shy of poking fun at herself either in terms of her intelligence and familiarity with the English language.
– This was pretty much the same ending as the news report sketch from earlier.
15. 74th Annual Hunger Games (3:14)
As the announcers (Armisen & Hader) discuss the festivities, reporter Maria Gutierrez (Vergara) reports from the island where the Hunger Games are occurring and tries to interview several of the participants despite the fact that they are trying to hide from the others.
– If you haven’t seen the film, you may not have 100% understood the sketch, but for those who did it was pretty damn funny. Sofia carried this thing for the most part.
– Abby did a pretty good impression of Jennifer Lawrence’s role in the film.
Rating: *** 1/2
OVERALL: It was a good show with a surprisingly good host in Sofia Vergara (I didn’t expect her to be too versatile) and a whatever musical guest, but they didn’t detract too much from the final product anyway. The cold open, both new commercial parodies, Update, and Killam’s Andy Cohen segment were all great with some average material surrounding it but only two near-clunkers, which is nothing to sneeze at.
HOST: SOFIA VERGARA – 8 segments (Monologue; Bein’ Quirky; News Promo; Gilly; The Manuel Ortiz Show; Watch What Happens: Live; Pantene Commercial; 74th Annual Hunger Games)
MUSICAL GUEST: ONE DIRECTION – 1 segment (The Manuel Ortiz Show)
CAMEO: MANOLO GONZALEZ – 1 segment (Monologue)
FRED ARMISEN – 4 segments (Bein’ Quirky; News Promo; The Manuel Ortiz Show; 74th Annual Hunger Games)
ABBY ELLIOTT – 4 segments (Road to the White House; Bein’ Quirky; Gilly; 74th Annual Hunger Games)
BILL HADER – 4 segments (Almost Pizza; News Promo; The Manuel Ortiz Show; 74th Annual Hunger Games)
SETH MEYERS – 1 segment (Weekend Update)
BOBBY MOYNIHAN – 4 segments (Road to the White House; Gilly; Weekend Update; Pantene Commercial)
NASIM PEDRAD – 6 segments (Road to the White House; Just Friends Booty Shorts; Almost Pizza; Gilly; Watch What Happens: Live; 74th Annual Hunger Games)
ANDY SAMBERG – 5 segments (Just Friends Booty Shorts; Bein’ Quirky; Gilly; Watch What Happens: Live; 74th Annual Hunger Games)
JASON SUDEIKIS – 4 segments (Road to the White House; Just Friends Booty Shorts; News Promo; Pantene Commercial)
KENAN THOMPSON – 4 segments (Road to the White House; Gilly; The Manuel Ortiz Show; Watch What Happens: Live)
KRISTEN WIIG – 6 segments (Road to the White House; Bein’ Quirky; Almost Pizza; Gilly; The Manuel Ortiz Show; Lil’ Poundcake)
VANESSA BAYER – 3 segments (Road to the White House; Just Friends Booty Shorts; Lil’ Poundcake)
TARAN KILLAM – 6 segments (Road to the White House; Just Friends Booty Shorts; Bein’ Quirky; The Manuel Ortiz Show; Watch What Happens: Live; 74th Annual Hunger Games)
KATE MCKINNON – 3 segments (Road to the White House; Watch What Happens: Live; Pantene Commercial)
JAY PHAROAH – 1 segment (74th Annual Hunger Games)
EPISODE MVP: Taran Killam