Saturday Night Live: Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Mumford & Sons (9/22/12)

Posted: September 23, 2012 by Brendan Wahl in SNL Reviews
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(Season 38, Episode 2)



MUMFORD & SONS: “Babel” (album)


COLD OPENING: Live with Kelly and Michael (4:41)

–      Funny sketch to open the show (I hope this becomes recurring) and it was refreshing to have something non-political to open up the episode. Nasim’s Kelly Ripa impression is just fine but it was Pharoah’s take on Michael Strahan that had me laughing out loud. That man knows how to take an impression and make it his own.

–      Some great lines in this like Jay comparing the twosome to The Blind Side, Nasim saying that she never blinks and that when she did once she fell asleep for a year and a  half, and Nasim’s brief mention of the Emmys followed by Jay remarking how easy the job is.

–      The part with Hader as Robert Pattinson was fine but didn’t really add much to the sketch overall. Not a slam on Hader though; he did his usual fine job.

–      Jay gets to say LFNY for the second week in a row!

RATING: *** ½


MONOLOGUE: Joseph Gordon-Levitt (2:10)

–      Much like the first time he hosted, Joseph was full of energy and it resulted in another very entertaining monologue.

–      The Magic Mike-inspired dance sequence may have seemed like an excuse to show off Levitt’s body at first but it was so much fun and energetic that it just ended up being a lot of fun.

–      The Bruce Willis/Ashton Kutcher joke was amusing.

–      I liked a lot of the little details here too like Bobby having another vest underneath his vest, Taran’s stoic manner, and the three background dancers (Taran, Bobby, & Jay) each having their own subtle little moments as the segment faded out.

RATING: ****


COMMERCIAL: Undecided Voters of America (1:50)

–      This was excellent. I loved how it made the undecided voter look like a complete elitist moron.

–      Pretty much every comment/question made me laugh but I suppose I enjoyed Tim Robinson and Bill Hader’s parts the most.

–      Who was that random Asian guy? He looked really familiar. Is he trying out for the cast?

RATING: *****


COMMERCIAL: Tres Equis (1:14)

–      Another filmed piece? What is this, Season 10?

–      Seriously though, this was another funny sketch with Joseph doing an excellent job as “the son of the most interesting man in the world.”

–      Loved the part with making “a woman cringe just from entering the room,” the claim that he dated a model, and the last part where Levitt explains Tres Equis as being “two parts Dos Equis and one part none of your business.”

RATING: *** ½


SKETCH: Private Detective Sam Flint (2:32)

–      This seemed like a bit of a missed opportunity. I liked it but it ended very abruptly and I would’ve liked to have seen more interaction between Levitt and Hader with maybe even his wife and her lover walking in or something.

–      Still, I can’t fault this sketch for trying and I did enjoy it for the most part. It featured a reliable performance from our host and yet another good one from Hader.

–      The caricatures were funny; I think my favourite was Hader’s “Kevin” sign.

–      Hader charging Joseph for a drink in his office also gave me a laugh.



COMMERCIAL: Tres Equis (1:53)

–      This one was even better than the first segment.

–      My favourite parts were Joseph tipping a negative amount to get cashback and almost doing a 180 on his razor scooter but the ultimate BEST part of the entire sketch was Jason as his father having a screaming match with him at the end.

–      The ending was especially great with Joseph telling him that he’s going to find his mother and Jason replying, “Good luck finding out who the FUCK she is!”

RATING: **** ½


SKETCH: Hypnotist (4:50)

–      Excellent sketch. Joseph was quite good here but Taran was exquisite and showed his vast amount of ability to do physical schtick.

–      Taran’s intentionally-hammy acting had me laughing the entire time, especially since he was dressed like a dorky middle-aged guy in a flashy shirt. The stuff where he was addressing the audience silently was hilarious.

–      I loved all of this but my favourite part was Taran humping Kenan as a female dinosaur.

–      The ending was great too with Taran revealing that he’s been cheating on his wife with her sister but then he and Vanessa revealing that they weren’t hypnotized at all.

RATING: *****


COMMERCIAL: G.O.B. Tampons (1:07)

–      Good way to comment on the recent need for Republicans to comment on how females should care for their body and how their bodies work.

–      The last scene in the bathtub was quite amusing, especially Hader playing around with the tampon like a confused cat.

RATING: *** ½



–      Very good performance by a band I had never heard of but they definitely made me into a fan with this appearance.


WEEKEND UPDATE with Seth Meyers (16:17)

Guests: Bashar’s Two Best Friends From Growing Up, Ann Romney, and Stephen A. Smith



–      Best Jokes: Romney/47% as dependants; Paul Ryan speech; fouton; Monica Lewinsky tell-all book; Paris Hilton’s comments; Brad Pitt/Bollywood musical

–      Okay, I loved the “What Are You Doing?” rant. Meyers’ delivery was excellent and he made some really good/funny points throughout. I especially liked the bit about the queen of England having only said “eleven words since 1940” and the bit about supporters liking his Facebook page being the least AND the most they can do.

–      The “two best friends from growing up” bit was old hat but again, Bayer and Armisen’s performances were fine. Still, it was only okay and I really wish I could’ve heard what Meyers was saying when muttering about the new castmembers.

–      Kate McKinnon’s Ann Romney commentary was a definite highlight of this week’s show and easily the best thing that she’s done on the show thus far (not to discredit her work so far). Everything about it was perfect from her hilarious impression to her pronounciation of Beyonce to her complaints about only getting to shake Jon Voight’s leathery hand. Her creepy wave was also hilarious and I loved Bill’s brief appearance as Rick Perry.

–      Jay Pharoah’s Stephen A. Smith commentary makes the cut this time and while I don’t really follow sports so some parts were lost on me it still contained a few good laughs.

–      Wow, that was a LONG Update.

RATING: *** ½


SKETCH: Song Memories (4:33)

–      The return of this sketch was a nice surprise and I like how they changed it up a bit by having it take place in London and having Mumford & Sons playing a Beatles cover band performing the usual song in a live setting.

–      The usual stories from the guys were funny but my favourites were Jason’s vibrator tale and Hader confessing that he is Jerry Sandusky’s son.

–      The ending with everyone going out into the crowd was a lot of fun and another change of pace for this sketch.

–      There was a brief camera gaffe with a weird zoom-in on Sudeikis at one point.

RATING: *** ½


SHOW: The Finer Things (4:58)

–      I will say this right from the get-go. The performances in this sketch were committed and Jay and Kenan did a good job as the hosts of this show. I also had a feeling Joseph would end up playing a wigger and he was hilarious in that role as was Bobby Moynihan in his brief part.

–      Now despite all that, this sketch wasn’t all that great and it was a bit lacking in the laughs department. One great part was Kenan flipping out and jumping up and down. Something about the way he did that was hilarious. Jay posing with the purse was kinda funny too.



MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Below My Feet” (4:33)

–      Another terrific performance. I hope to see these guys back again as soon as they are available.


SKETCH: Evelyn’s Date (4:09)

–      Well this was decidedly strange. Joseph in drag was hilarious (why didn’t they do this to him during his first hosting stint?!) and gave another great performance as well with his dancing and “seduction” of Tim’s character.

–      The song was insane and goofy and combined with the ridiculous premise of the sketch I couldn’t help but laugh in spite of myself.

–      Robinson was a good straight man.



COMMERCIAL: Powers Realty (2:11)

–      This was a funny sketch to finish off the episode. Tim and Nasim had good chemistry and their delivery was quite funny.

–      Again, Tim Robinson gets to be the co-lead in the final sketch and again… it gets cut off because of time constraints. That’s the second episode in a row. Get your timing shit together, guys.

–      My favourite parts were Nasim talking about the “seed of man splattered on [her] face,” there being a picture of Tim crapping gold coins into Nasim’s mouth, and pretty much anything that Joseph Gordon-Levitt said at the end of the bit.

RATING: *** ½


(Very brief) Goodnights.



–      Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Taran Killam


It had more highlights than the premiere and a better overall host (not to knock Seth!) which resulted in a more well-rounded episode. Some of the placement of the sketches was a bit odd (two commercial parodies back-to-back after the monologue) and some sketches were way too short (the private detective sketch) but there were at least four excellent segments and one commentary from Kate McKinnon that just might be her breakout moment.


  1. Riley says:

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s opening skit was awesome. I think my favorite skit was Undecided Voter. It was witty and clever! I wasn’t able to catch the show the other night since I was working late at Dish. I set my Hopper a few weeks back to record the entire season to the two terabyte DVR automatically. I’m just glad that I won’t have to miss any of the shows! Hopefully Daniel Craig is good this weekend!

  2. Great job! 😀 loved this episode but I still do love the premiere 🙂

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