Saturday Night Live: Jeremy Renner/Maroon 5 (11/17/12)

Posted: November 19, 2012 by Brendan Wahl in SNL Reviews
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(Season 38, Episode 8 )

 

WHAT THEY’RE PROMOTING:

JEREMY RENNER: “The Bourne Legacy”

MAROON 5: “Overexposed” (album)

 

COLD OPENING: Booknotes (4:36)

–      Not the liveliest way to get the show cookin’ and steamin’ but there were still some funny parts here, namely the reaction from Armisen’s character at the end of the sketch with his big creepy smile. I do kinda like Jim Downey’s narration too whenever they do these C-SPAN sketches.

–      Cecily Strong continues to impress though; while she didn’t have a whole lot of funny things to say here, she is still quickly establishing herself as one of the more successful featured players right behind Kate McKinnon. Her delivery was one of the things that made the sketch watchable as she was reading these really filthy things out of the book with a very dry, deliberate tone of voice.

–      The ending was good too with Downey announcing that this was getting uncomfortable and decides to leave the program to show footage of Obama’s press conference.

RATING: ** ½

 

MONOLOGUE: Jeremy Renner (5:42)

–      For some reason, Renner’s voice sounded like James Franco to me at times.

–      Oof, this was as awkward as awkward can get. While Renner certainly appeared to be trying here, he came off as a mumbling host who could barely get a word out without appearing super-nervous.

–      I did like the line about someone dying if Renner laughs in one of his movies.

–      So… yeah, the piano gaffe was incredibly awkward as Renner started playing the piano and no sound emitted from it. He didn’t have too bad of a recovery from it though for a non-comedian.

–      The songs themselves were not even that funny except for maybe the line, “they’re always there! From the Hulk to Iron Man to Captain Amer!” I will say that Renner had a nice singing voice though.

RATING: * ½

 

COMMERCIAL: Your Hometown (2:05)

–      This was a pretty clever segment showing all the negative qualities about going home for the holidays in the frame of a vacation commercial.

–      I especially liked the bit with Hader fixing the light while wearing his underwear, Taran listening to a Carrie Underwood CD as the only one his mother owns, and the exotic locations for smoking weed (complete with an amusing brief appearance from Moynihan).

–      Taran, Aidy, and Bill were all quite funny here.

RATING: *** ½

 

SHOW: The Californians (6:08)

–      I’ve said this many times. I like this sketch. I know it’s not a popular sketch but I always have a fun time with it and apparently the cast does every time as well.

–      This is the most I’ve ever seen Fred crack up in a sketch. He just completely lost it during this whole thing and when he wasn’t laughing, he had a big smile on his face. Usually I’d be upset but it really adds to the silly nature of the sketch.

–      Tim Robinson made me laugh with his ridiculous attempt at an accent and his facial expressions throughout the sketch.

–      I think almost everyone has been in one of these sketches now.

–      Jeremy was alright here in his first sketch appearance. I liked his stilted way of walking and it looked like he was about to crack at one point as well.

–      The close-up of the baby’s face during all the close-ups was hilarious. I like how the baby looked differently every time.

–      The interaction between Bill and Taran was pretty funny here. I liked Bill’s extended “Wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwe thought you were dead!”

RATING: *** ½

 

SHOW: The Situation Room (3:51)

–      This was a very funny sketch. I enjoyed the satire of the Petraeus scandal AND CNN’s lack of footage at the same time. Cecily as Jill Kelley was an obvious choice.

–      I always enjoy Suds’ Wolf Blitzer impression so it was nice to see it back. I loved his line about his face being haunted by “the ghost of an old beard.”

–      Bobby as the never-used correspondent was funny (she hasn’t responded to any of the things that Bobby yelled at her house) and Renner as the mayor of Tampa was decent too but I can only imagine what a great host could’ve done with the role.

–      The best part was DEFINITELY Tim Robinson in drag as Jill Kelley in the CNN dramatization. His facial expressions made me laugh quite a bit.

RATING: ****

 

FILM: The Standoff (3:31)

–      The continuing streak of great short films continues this season. This had a very simple premise but Jeremy, Bobby, and Taran were all quite good. Much like other mediocre hosts, Jeremy was a lot better here because it was a filmed bit and he didn’t have to act on the live stage.

–      I enjoyed the different scenarios like Jeremy picking up his kid from dance class, the three of them in the shower trying not to look at each other’s junk, Bayer’s awkward dinner speech, the ice rink scene, the Adam Levine cameo (and I’m not a Maroon 5 fan at all), and the ending with Bobby getting shot over and over again in an excessive manner.

RATING: ****

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “One More Night” (3:36)

–      Ugh, Maroon 5. I will give them credit for not being as bad as they were last season and at least being better than fun, Frank Ocean, and Rihanna but they still weren’t all that great. This song got a bit annoying after a while.

 

WEEKEND UPDATE with Seth Meyers (10:43)

Guests: Katt Williams and Gov. Chris Christie

–      Best Jokes: FBI agent photo; Obama’s big gift; Victoria’s Secret; Kentucky/developed photos; lying competition

–      The Winners/Losers segment regarding the Petraeus scandal was quite funny. I particularly liked the comments regarding future biographers, John Allen, and Jill Kelley being referred to as a “Tampa socialite” (or prostitute).

–      Jay Pharoah did an impressive job as Katt Williams and he had a lot of funny lines regarding his recent meltdown. It seemed like Jay was about to crack at one point but this was a really good commentary overall.

–      Chris Christie showing up as himself was a huge surprise as I’m sure everyone expected Bobby Moynihan to roll out his impression. As far as politicians go, Christie did a good job and he had some funny lines like him not thanking other stupid mayors for ignoring his orders and using Seth’s name as a noun.

RATING: ****

 

SKETCH: The Avengers (4:07)

–      This sketch was a bit of a mess. I appreciated the effort that went into it but the premise that relied on Jeremy being out of arrows was kinda weak. There were enough other funny parts to almost make up for that but it was still a weak sketch overall.

–      I did like Jay’s Samuel L. Jackson impression even if it wasn’t perfect.

–      Kate looked REALLY good as Black Widow.

RATING: **

 

SKETCH: Dick Fuel (4:40)

–      Decent sketch.

–      I appreciated Sudeikis’ effort here in this sketch as he certainly tried his best to elevate the quality of the material.

–      Aidy was real good here as Suds’ assistant even though she had no lines. I just liked her frozen smile the whole time. I also liked Tim Robinson’s very brief appearances as the assistant cameraman, especially him saying “C’mon! It’s my one thing” when Jason tries to do his job for him.

RATING: ***

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Daylight” (3:44)

–      Much like the previous musical guest, the second performance was better than the first.

 

CARTOON: Midnight Snack – Cool Drones (3:09)

–      Interesting to see another attempt at a cartoon segment on SNL after the success of TV Funhouse. I like the concept and the name “Midnight Snack.”

–      Overall, this wasn’t too bad but I feel like the boy band jokes are more than a little passe. They didn’t do anything too original with this and it feels like something that should’ve been done in like 1998. The massacre scene at the end was funny though.

–      I did like hearing several castmembers’ voices in this thing though, especially Bill Hader as the general.

RATING: **

 

SKETCH: Identifying the Body (3:34)

–      My favourite sketch of the night. Renner was okay here but this sketch was all about Sudeikis. Hader provided some good work as well and Taran deserves credit for being able to stay still the entire time.

–      My favourite parts were Jeremy guessing the body was Yao Ming, asking if it’s two people, if the body can guess who he is first, Hader thinking it’s HIS brother, Taran sitting up and figuring out that HE is Yao Ming, and finally Hader’s response that Taran TOLD him he was dead.

–      Bill messing with Taran throughout the sketch and trying to get him to crack up made me laugh more than I have at a sketch in forever. That was just great.

RATING: **** ½

 

 

Goodnights

 

BEST PERFORMER(S) OF THE NIGHT:

–      Jason Sudeikis

 

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I thought I was going to really hate this show at first but despite a less-than-average host and the worst of the year so far in Jeremy Renner, I still thought this was a pretty solid episode. Despite it being the second-worst of the season, this year has been very strong so it still holds up pretty solidly.

TONIGHT’S RATING: *** ½ 

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