Saturday Night Live: Seth MacFarlane/Frank Ocean (9/15/12)

Posted: September 17, 2012 by Brendan Wahl in SNL Reviews
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SETH MACFARLANE: “Ted”/“American Dad!” (Season 8)/“The Cleveland Show” (Season 4)

FRANK OCEAN: “Channel Orange” (album)


COLD OPENING: Democratic Rally (5:07)

–      Very classy move for Fred Armisen to introduce Jay Pharoah-as-Obama; a passing-of-the-torch moment as it were. I also liked his little “I wouldn’t want his job” comment.

–      Jay has really grown as a performer as evidenced by this sketch. He did a great job here and he did well with carrying the sketch pretty much all by himself. Of course, Sudeikis showed up as Romney but it was on a completely different stage.

–      Sudeikis actually had some very funny parts like him talking to the gay soldier and the man with no arms. I also liked Barack singing “Let’s Stay Together” followed by Romney groovin’ on “Old McDonald.”

–      We also got to see the debut of Taran Killam’s take on Paul Ryan as well, which was also quite funny.

RATING: ****


Awesome new opening montage.


MONOLOGUE: Seth MacFarlane (4:40)

–      This seemed like a monologue that was made to pander to the audience for the most part but at least MacFarlane did it solo and the voices were pretty damn impressive. I especially liked his Marty McFly (it was no David Spade though!).

–      The “Farrah Fawcett” comment was great and reminded me of a dark joke that Seth might make on one of his cartoons.

–      I liked his reaction to Family Guy getting a great reaction (“Still… really?!”)

–      The song was a good way to end it.

RATING: *** ½


COMMERCIAL: Anti-Romney Ad (2:39)

–      Good piece that went on a little too long especially with Kenan’s segment.

–      Having Jay Pharoah as Obama here was a nice reminder that THIS is our Obama impersonator now. God, it feels so fresh. No offense, Fred.

–      The various accusations against Mitt Romney were pretty funny with the comments about Mitt not covering his mouth when he coughed in front of Hader’s sick wife were very funny. Mitt Romney “probably gave Dan’s wife Herpes” was another great line.



SHOW: Sex After 50 (4:25)

–      I have to admit… I fell for it again. I really thought this was going to be Cecily’s debut.

–      Unlike a lot of other folks, I had no problem with them bringing this sketch back. Fred hasn’t done it in two years and I guess you could say absence makes the heart grow fonder. There were also some funnier moments in this one than the usual Roger Brush sketch. The stuff at the beginning with Fred describing the host’s bowel movements was hilarious (“two minutes of hot dog water”).

–      Bobby Moynihan’s facial expressions made me crack up quite a bit. Hader also did real good here and I like his exaggerated delivery as the interviewer.

–      Tim Robinson makes his debut here. I liked his little comment about how he’s a big fan despite Brush’s terrible advice.

–      Fred’s best line: “I should introduce [your breasts] to my balls.”

RATING: *** ½


COMMERCIAL: Eastwood and Chair (1:51)

–      Amazing and hilarious. This was my favourite sketch of the night with Hader’s bang-on Clint Eastwood impression combined with some funny writing.

–      My favourite parts were Clint eating a chicken while the chair did its own 45-minute set, Clint yelling at “Michael Bloomberg,” Clint’s duet with the chair, and the “appearance” of Jon Voight.

–      Once again, the comments from various theatregoers were all very funny, especially Jay’s “What the fuck was that?” and Taran’s “Whoomp, CHAIR it is!” comments.

RATING: **** ½


SKETCH: Lids (4:17)

–      What the fuck was this? I gotta give the show a bit of credit for trying something new and this was decent.

–      I was a little bit pissed that the actual Korean Youtuber (Psy, I think) made an appearance because I was enjoying the fact that the show started out by making fun of the guy. Bobby did a great job.

–      Taran once again does a lot with very little.

–      Sudeikis made me laugh with his approval at first of Seth about to take off his pants and then Jason only getting angry after Kenan reacted.



SKETCH: Puppetry Class (5:12)

–      This sketch proved why Bill Hader continues to be the top castmember based on his very strong performance here. My favourite moments mostly all came from Hader, particularly his attempt to use a different character for his puppet both times, the puppet smoking (the effect looked hilarious), Hader’s puppet killing off Kenan’s puppet, and finally… Hader making out with Vanessa’s puppet.

–      Seth played a straight character but this was a good way to utilize his ability to do many different voices.

–      Kenan constantly asking if he can change his puppet’s voice was funny. Vanessa was also good.

–      Whoever wrote this sketch needs to be the head writer NOW.

RATING: **** ½


MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Thinkin’ Bout You” (3:22)

–      I don’t know what I really thought about this performance. It seemed kinda like someone doing a parody of people who actually sing like this but really, it was pretty decent I guess. Having Mayer on guitar was an interesting addition.

–      Falsetto voices are really 50/50 for me.


WEEKEND UPDATE with Seth Meyers (12:31)

Guests: Alana Thompson & June Shannon, Ryan Lochte, and Mimi Morales & Joel

–      Best Jokes: Secretary of Explaining Stuff; Innocence of Muslims; Chris Brown’s neck tattoo; Al Pacino/Joe Paterno biopic; gay football player; new trikes

–      The appearance of Bayer and Moynihan as Honey Boo Boo and Mama was hilarious and the commentary itself was also very funny. My favourite part was Moynihan saying he always looks like “a video that’s been paused in a weird spot.” Bobby was great but Bayer was equally as funny and she had a lot of infectious energy. You could even hear Seth laughing at one point while he was off-screen.

–      It was unexpected to see Seth MacFarlane show up as Olympian Ryan Lochte but he did a great job. At first it just felt like he was promoting NBC programs but he also mentioned a CBS show and American Dad so it’s all good. He had some funny moments for sure.

–      For a second, you could see a stage manager just underneath the desk before Seth began his commentary.

–      The final commentary featured the debut of Cecily Strong as a fiery Latina who comments on the ongoing election. This wasn’t actually all that great but Cecily did a solid job and I also enjoyed Pharoah doing a silent role as her Dominican boyfriend. There WERE a couple of funny moments like Cecily mentioning that some of her uncles should NOT be allowed in the country.

RATING: *** ½


SKETCH: Stuttering Drill Instructor (3:36)

–      This is another sketch that seems to be getting some flack as well. I actually enjoyed this sketch and the premise quite a bit mostly because of the build-up and it didn’t really feel as one-note as it should have felt.

–      Seth did a solid job here.

–      Kenan’s delivery of “A little bit that time!” made me laugh a lot for some reason. Moynihan’s performance was also great as well.

RATING: *** ½


SHOW: Steve Harvey (4:45)

–      This was the only sketch all night that I found to be weak. It had a few good lines but not enough to carry an entire segment. The line I did enjoy was Kenan explaining the three-pointed pocket square (“three titties like that girl in Total Recall”).

–      Kenan still did a solid job as Steve Harvey even if the impression wasn’t really 100% accurate.

–      I must admit that Seth’s white Steve Harvey look was pretty hilarious.

–      The ending was kinda funny too with the grand prize being a trip to Senegal to see a Tyler Perry film complete with armed security.

–      Was Vanessa Bayer laughing off-camera? Maybe that was part of her character.



SKETCH: Blind Date (3:09)

–      Thoroughly enjoyable and surprising considering the sketch’s slow start and how it seemingly was going nowhere. I also really appreciated that the sketch knew exactly when to end.

–      My favourite parts were Nasim saying she’s a tiny bird, Seth aborting a stereotypical impression of Kenan, Aidy’s one line, Nasim’s way of saying her sister is dead, Bill Hader’s strange waiter character, and the ending with Nasim telling Seth not to do Family Guy references (“We’re 30”).

RATING: *** ½


MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Pyramids” (4:08)

–      This was a better performance than the first one. It also made me realize that I actually did like them both but I’ve just never seen anything quite like this guest before. Ocean did a solid job tonight.


COMMERCIAL: Wooden Spoon Warehouse (:57)

–      This HAD to have been written by MacFarlane. It felt like a Family Guy-esque throwaway gag but it worked because it wasn’t even a minute long and it was a very simple joke. I also liked the funny facial expression that Tim Robinson had the whole time.

–      My favourite letter translation was an S as “the river what took my son” followed by the brief pause.






–      Bill Hader/Vanessa Bayer/Jay Pharoah



Very solid way to open the season with only a couple of blips on the quality radar and a good host in Seth MacFarlane. This episode was also a good indicator that we will be seeing a lot more of Vanessa Bayer, Jay Pharoah, and Bobby Moynihan especially because those three appeared in an awful lot tonight. As far as the new castmembers go, Aidy Bryant didn’t really do that much at all, Tim Robinson got a lot of supporting roles, and Cecily had a weak commentary but still performed it quite well. If this episode is any indication, I think we should be in for a good season.


  1. Jo Ann Zinaman says:

    I thought it was A Pretty Good Show. I Liked the Puppets and the Resturant Sketches the Best. I Hated the Stuttering General and Roger Brush the Most. I Liked that Second Song Better because He Sang Low the Whole Time. The First Song he kept singing Low and then High and I didn’t like the High Parts. I had never seen that Korean Before and I wasn’t Thrilled with that Sketch. However, Later, I Happened to see the Real Video of that Korean with that Dance and I Enjoyed That. Of course, that Korean does the Dance Better than other People Especially when he Leans to the Side as he Kicks out and goes around in A Circle. I also Enjoyed The Secretary Of Explaning Stuff on Week End Update. I thought Seth did A Good Job with the Jokes. I Still Think Week End Update needs to be Shorter Though. The Host did A Good Job Playing Ryan Lochte. Jody

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