by Brendan Wahl
(Season 37, Episode 21)
1. Biden’s Room (5:11)
Joe Biden (Sudeikis) is furious with President Obama (Armisen) and stays trapped in his own room where he complains that Barack is getting all the press for agreeing with gay marriage even though Joe said he did first. After having a hissy fit, Joe consults with his friend George W. Bush (Ferrell), who’s been trapped in his closet the entire time.
– Very creative way to open the show whilst still mentioning the whole Obama/gay marriage thing that’s been all over the news lately.
– Of course, it was awesome to see Ferrell do his George W. Bush impression but the highlight here was Jason Sudeikis’ portrayal of Joe Biden (which is always great anyways) as an angsty teenager rather than just his usual funny performance as the vice president.
– My favourite parts were Biden’s whole scene with Obama, Ferrell saying that they’re all “gut and balls,” Ferrell referring to Dick Cheney as “President Cheney,” and the bit with the literal/figurative fire.
2. Monologue (3:55)
– Will seemed a little under the weather here as did he throughout the whole show.
– This was a funny start to the show and I liked Will’s stumbly-bumbly “unscripted” dialogue towards his mother. I can’t really explain more specifics than that but let’s just say that I really enjoyed this.
Rating: *** 1/2
3. One-A-Day Extra Strength Nasaflu (1:50)
– This was a simple one-joke premise but it was fairly short and Will’s crazy sneeze yelling was enough to carry it and make for a funny segment.
– Kristen makes for a good victim.
4. Alternative Prom (5:32)
– I never thought I would see these characters back again but it was delightful to see Ana Gasteyer return to join Will Ferrell for these wonderful recurring characters that I’ve always enjoyed.
– The singing itself was fun of course (the LMFAO bit was great) but the dialogue beforehand was also very funny like usual.
– Ana has aged pretty gracefully.
5. Stay Free Maxi Pads Ladies Long Drive Championship 1994 (6:20)
Pete Twinkle (Sudeikis) and the dim-witted Greg Stink (Will Forte!) provide commentary for a ladies golf competition while quipping some inappropriate taglines for Stay Free Maxi Pads. At the same time, the O.J. Simpson case is ongoing and on-the-scene reporter Randy Feather (Ferrell) is having some audio problems.
– I always liked these sketches and I enjoyed this one a whole lot thanks to the fun and inappropriate taglines (“when your uterine lining looks like the elevator from The Shining“) and especially the format-bending stuff with Will Ferrell as the reporter.
– It sure was nice to see Will Forte return… and actually get the recognition applause he deserved that he didn’t get with his previous cameo appearance. He got some great laughs like usual in these sketches and I especially liked his comments about his wife leaving him.
– Ferrell’s comments while waiting for his feed to begin was quite funny as was Jason setting up the clip (“once again, it’s 1994”).
Rating: *** 1/2
6. Digital Short: The 100th Digital Short (3:26)
To commemorate the 100th short that they’ve made together, Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, and Justin Bieber welcome a number of former guests like Michael Bolton, Natalie Portman, and Julian Casablancas as well as characters like Sergio (Jon Hamm) and the other half of the “Dick in a Box” guys (Justin Timberlake). They proceed to suck their own dicks metaphorically and literally in praise of their own accomplishments.
– This was wonderful; it was a brilliant way to commemorate the 100th short and a perfect send-off if this is really to be Andy Samberg’s final season and the end of these digital shorts.
– Even though we’ve seen all these characters/impressions before, it was still hilarious to see all the references to past shorts while Samberg and co. admitted to pretty much pleasuring themselves with all the self-referential shit.
– I like the bit about all of them being written by Lorne Michaels and his random cameo.
Rating: **** 1/2
– Ferrell always has the best outfits as he introduces the musical guests.
– This performance was actually pretty good and Usher relied a bit more on the singing rather than dancing this time.
8. Weekend Update with Seth Meyers (9:55)
Guest: Get in the Cage with Liam Neeson
– I gotta admire Seth’s devotion to the Michael Phelps joke.
– Seth’s “Really!?!” segment on the TIME Magazine cover was hilarious and him pointing out how creepy the photo is just had me laughing and nodding the whole time. My favourites were the Psycho bit and the part where he photoshops the chair out of the picture.
– Andy brings back his Get in the Cage segment with guest Liam Neeson. It was a decent segment but I really think they should’ve ended this recurring bit on the highest note it reached with the real Nicolas Cage. They repeated a lot of the jokes that they usually do in this segment but some of the stuff was still hilarious like Cage explaining the plot for his new film based on the game “Hungry, Hungry Hippos.” The testicles’ nicknames being Liam Neeson characters was great. I also loved the John Travolta line and it ended the segment on a hilarious note.
Rating: *** 1/2
9. The 2012 Funkytown Debate (5:24)
On C-SPAN, Michael “Monkey Sweat” James (Killam) emcees a debate in Funkytown between incumbent mayor Dr. Silky Delicious (Thompson), Captain Catfish (Ferrell), and straight-laced Janet Nichols (Pedrad).
– This was quite an odd sketch and I give them credit for at least trying to do something unique but that certainly didn’t result in it being funny whatsoever.
– I guess I lightly chuckled at Ferrell’s cabinet and Usher’s dance moves were put to good use here as Mr. Galactic Fantastic but that was about it.
– This may be the worst sketch of the season or at least in the top ten.
10. Broadway Sizzle (5:23)
A recently divorced couple (Hader & Wiig) host a program in which several performers (Ferrell, Moynihan, & Thompson) do some of their best Broadway performances on-stage in an effort to get some recognition.
– This was another head-scratcher. While it wasn’t as bad as the previous sketch, it was still lacking in humour somewhat. Ferrell’s part was okay but I didn’t really get what the main joke of his segment was supposed to be.
– Kenan’s part was strange. Was the song supposed to be funny on its own?
– Will constantly realizing that he’s singing women parts was somewhat amusing.
– Bobby Moynihan made me laugh with his brief bit.
– Another decent performance. At least Usher uses his real voice rather than auto-tune or something stupid like that.
12. Anniversary Toast (5:18)
An anniversary toast is interrupted by several uninvited party guests like a professional psychic (Ferrell), the rock & roll shorts guy (Armisen), Hamilton (Will Forte), Gail (Wiig), the very strange Reg (Killam), and of course microphone guy (Moynihan).
– I didn’t expect this sketch to make a comeback but it was fine anyway. There were some parts that didn’t work but a good portion of it did and it was a nice break after the previous two bad sketches.
– Wiig was funnier here than she was in the other sketches like this.
– Taran’s character was hilarious but for me, I was most happy with Will Forte bringing back Hamilton and his insane right-wing nuttery.
13. Almost Pizza (1:19)
– Repeat from Sofia Vergara/One Direction (4/7/12).
OVERALL: Well, aside from two bad segments in the post-Update slot, this was a pretty good show but slightly disappointing for an episode hosted by Will Ferrell. There was no Jeopardy! sketch which I half-expected anyway but once the episode entered the second half, it seemed to lose a lot of the energy it had built up to that point and ended on a bit of a lower note. Still, it was solid all-in-all.
HOST: WILL FERRELL – 9 segments (Biden’s Room; Monologue; One-A-Day Extra Strength Nasaflu; Alternative Prom; Stay Free Maxi Pads Ladies Long Drive Championship 1994; The 100th Digital Short; The 2012 Funkytown Debate; Broadway Sizzle; Anniversary Toast)
MUSICAL GUEST: USHER – 2 segments (The 100th Digital Short; The 2012 Funkytown Debate)
CAMEOS: KAY FERRELL – 1 segment (Monologue)
WILL FORTE – 2 segments (Stay Free Maxi Pads Ladies Long Drive Championship 1994; Anniversary Toast)
ANA GASTEYER – 1 segment (Alternative Prom)
LIAM NEESON – 1 segment (Weekend Update)
FILMED CAMEOS: JUSTIN BIEBER – 1 segment (The 100th Digital Short)
MICHAEL BOLTON – 1 segment (The 100th Digital Short)
JULIAN CASABLANCAS – 1 segment (The 100th Digital Short)
JON HAMM – 1 segment (The 100th Digital Short)
NATALIE PORTMAN – 1 segment (The 100th Digital Short)
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE – 1 segment (The 100th Digital Short)
FRED ARMISEN – 4 segments (Biden’s Room; The 100th Digital Short; The 2012 Funkytown Debate; Anniversary Toast)
ABBY ELLIOTT – 2 segments (Stay Free Maxi Pads Ladies Long Drive Championship 1994; The 2012 Funkytown Debate)
BILL HADER – 3 segments (Broadway Sizzle; Anniversary Toast; Almost Pizza)
SETH MEYERS – 1 segment (Weekend Update)
BOBBY MOYNIHAN – 3 segments (The 2012 Funkytown Debate; Broadway Sizzle; Anniversary Toast)
NASIM PEDRAD – 2 segments (The 2012 Funkytown Debate; Almost Pizza)
ANDY SAMBERG – 3 segments (The 100th Digital Short [6 roles]; Weekend Update; The 2012 Funkytown Debate)
JASON SUDEIKIS – 3 segments (Biden’s Room; Stay Free Maxi Pads Ladies Long Drive Championship 1994; Anniversary Toast)
KENAN THOMPSON – 4 segments (Alternative Prom; The 100th Digital Short; The 2012 Funkytown Debate; Broadway Sizzle)
KRISTEN WIIG – 7 segments (One-A-Day Extra Strength Nasaflu; Stay Free Maxi Pads Ladies Long Drive Championship 1994; The 100th Digital Short; The 2012 Funkytown Debate; Broadway Sizzle; Anniversary Toast; Almost Pizza)
VANESSA BAYER – 3 segments (Stay Free Maxi Pads Ladies Long Drive Championship 1994; The 2012 Funkytown Debate; Anniversary Toast)
TARAN KILLAM – 3 segments (Biden’s Room; The 2012 Funkytown Debate; Anniversary Toast)
KATE MCKINNON – 2 segments (The 2012 Funkytown Debate; Anniversary Toast)
JAY PHAROAH – 1 segment (The 2012 Funkytown Debate)
EPISODE MVP: Jason Sudeikis