Archive for December, 2012


(Season 38, Episode 10)

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WHAT THEY’RE PROMOTING:

 

MARTIN SHORT: nothing really unless you count “Frankenweenie” back in October

PAUL MCCARTNEY: “Kisses on the Bottom” (album) – even though it came out way back in February

 

 

COLD OPENING: “Silent Night” (1:41)
Silent Night

–      Let me just take this moment to say that what happened in Newtown, Connecticut was a horrific tragedy. We’ve seen tons of school shootings all across the United States and for this one to happen at a fucking elementary school should tell the US government something about A) gun control laws and B) how they deal with mental health because clearly someone or two people or whatever who are able to go into an elementary school and start shooting at six-year olds has got something wrong in their head that has been ignored their whole life. I’m definitely not placing any sympathy on the shooter(s) so don’t think that but I just think that if they were treated at an earlier age, maybe shit like this wouldn’t happen. I also agree with Morgan Freeman’s statement that the media keeps sensationalizing the shooters instead of the victims for the most part which makes others want to one-up them and go out looking like a monster. It’s rather sickening on everyone’s part and I just hope the parents are able to recover this tragic loss. Sorry for getting on the soapbox a bit there but I just wanted to say that right off the top.

–      Anyway, this was a lovely tribute. They didn’t need to say anything. No one came out and talked specifically about what happened but this song by the New York Children’s Chorus encapsulated the whole thing and was a very classy and poignant way to open the show.

–      The kids did look pretty darn happy to get to say LFNY at the end.

 

 

MONOLOGUE: Martin Short (6:28)
Monologue

–      This was excellent. Martin was a ball of energy, the lyrics were hilarious, and the cameos were just the icing on the cake.

–      The stuff before the backstage/music portion of the monologue was very funny as well like Martin pretending to be humble and talking about his love of things in order of importance and ending with family. I also loved the brief return of Ed Grimley.

–      Paul Shaffer playing piano with Short was also great and I liked him mentioning that Letterman was “the cranky one.” Short sitting on the piano was funny and awkward when he mentioned that he didn’t know how to sit on one.

–      I liked Kristen Wiig’s cameo. Martin wanting to kiss her little deformed hand was very funny and it seemed to be ad-libbed when he got all hot and bothered by it.

–      I loved Martin going around kissing everyone because you could see Jimmy Fallon and Tom Hanks actually holding hands and jumping around excitedly in the background afterwards. Also, Sam Jackson backing up and his cold stare towards Short when he attempted to kiss him was hilarious too.

–      Martin kissing Lorne Michaels was also a hilarious shocker and it was nice to see Tina Fey there as well.

RATING: *****

 

 

SHOW: A Tony Bennett Christmas (5:13)
A Tony Bennett Christmas

–      ANOTHER CAMEO?!? Alec Baldwin returned and was fantastic! Having Martin play Tony Bennett’s brother Jerry was a hilarious bit of business as well.

–      Having Jay Pharoah show up as Kanye West (another great impression of his) made me realize that this was the first speaking role for a castmember tonight. Not that I’m saying it’s a bad or a good thing… just an observation.

–      The usual sponsor bit was also hilarious with Kanye awkwardly promoting a laxative suppository product. Baldwin’s “it sure is easy to get down in the dumps when you can’t take one” line was hilarious and Short had some great allusions to constipation as well.

–      Short hugging Baldwin over and over was also quite funny.

–      Is it just me or has Alec Baldwin lost a shitload of weight?

RATING: ****

 

 

SKETCH: Royal OB/GYN (5:27)
Royal OBGYN

–      Absolutely hilarious; I can see this as being a future classic. I don’t blame Bill for a second for coming so perilously close to cracking up in this sketch because Short’s character looked hilarious and WAS hilarious as well. It also seemed that after a while, Short was clearly trying to MAKE Hader crack up on purpose.

–      The first time Hader almost laughed was from Short’s ridiculous example of how he should respond when he sees her vagina. It caused me to lose it as well because Martin is just so damn good at being silly and over-the-top.

–      All the euphenisms that Short came up with for Kate’s vagina were hilarious. The “Downton Abbey” one got the biggest reaction but my favourite ones were “the King-Maker” and “Piccadilly Cervix.”

–      The guard bit worked but I wish we had not have seen Bobby sneaking by in the corner of the frame.

–      “Church of Taint Andrews” being the name for the Royal Butthole was hilarious as well.

–      Fred’s return as the Queen at the end was actually pretty damn funny because it was used so sparingly and I liked her saying she had to get her “Judi Dench” washed.

RATING: *****

 

 

COMMERCIAL: You’re a Rat Bastard, Charlie Brown (3:04)
You're a Rat Bastard, Charlie Brown

–      Oh my God, this was terrific. The impression showcase was hilarious enough but combined with the fact that it was a Charlie Brown special just made it all the more hilarious.

–      It was great to see Jason’s Philip Seymour Hoffman impression make a comeback.

–      The best new impressions were definitely Martin Short as Larry David (I actually thought it was really Larry for a second), Kate as Edie Falco, and Taran as Michael Keaton (his facial expressions were perfect).

–      The random shots of the audience reactions were hilarious.

–      The football scene was awesome with Bill and Kate just exchanging profanities and then Bill quickly saying that they would take a little intermission.

RATING: *****

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “My Valentine” (3:07)
Paul McCartney1

–      Joe Walsh?! Holy shit! I don’t think I have ever heard this song before this episode but this was a fantastic performance from McCartney et al. I may be a bit biased because I love the guy but I just really dug this.

 

 

WEEKEND UPDATE with Seth Meyers (10:39)
Guests: Jacob and The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party
update1 update2 update3 update4 update5 update6 update7

–      Best Jokes: North Korea rocket launch; Hillary Clinton/no hairdresser; HSBC; Jersey Shore Series Finale; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; Google/porn; deer/contraceptives; daughter born on 12/12/12

–      I was really surprised to see Vanessa Bayer playing this Jacob character because I remember her doing the same character from two years ago in a bar mitzvah sketch. I liked all of Bayer’s cheap “low-level roast jokes” followed by her mugging for the camera. This was very funny though in a great character-focused and dry kind of way.

–      The Girl You Wish… commentary was the best one that Cecily has done up to this point and she continues to impress me with her performances time after time. Too many highlights to list here because the whole thing was awesome but rest assured, I loved it all. Also, her quick racist comment is always great and the minstrel show thing was the best one yet.

RATING: **** ½

 

 

SHOW: What Up With That? (7:45)
What Up With That.

–      Yes, I like the fact that they brought this back. Samuel L. Jackson and Carrie Brownstein were great cameos as well along with Hader as Lindsey Buckingham of course.

–      Martin Short bringing back Jackie Rogers Jr. was absolutely hilarious even though they seemed to have forgotten to apply his pale white makeup or maybe didn’t have enough time. Either way, it was very awesome to see him back. Sam’s reaction during the whole thing was great too. They need to get Jackson to host again.

–      Jason’s dancing continues to entertain me.

–      Of course, everyone’s talking about Sam’s F-bomb. I believe Sam’s story that Kenan was supposed to interrupt him but they messed up the cue. Sam saying “bullshit” afterwards though was definitely intentional and Kenan had a terrific recovery line by telling him “That costs money.” Carrie making the zip-your-lip motion afterwards was funny too.

–      I also like how Kenan called Carrie “the funny one on Portlandia.”

–      Poor Tim Robinson; he made his only appearance of the night here as a dancing Santa.

RATING: ****

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Cut Me Some Slack” (4:39)
Paul McCartney2

–      This was not a song I expected from McCartney as it was more fast-paced and heavy but he did a great job nonetheless. Nirvana (well, most of them) were awesome in accompanying the legend as well.

 

 

SKETCH: Old Friends (3:42)
Old Friends

–      Silly little sketch with solid performances from both Short and Armisen as two old friends who share a lot of really strange details about their lives like Fred being a James Cameron impersonator (and apparently it’s going really bad) and Short being an actor for EMT training.

–      The odd detail with Martin and Fred asking Taran for the gramaphone and a captain’s telescope while adding that they would like to pay a lot for them was really funny.

–      Martin’s World War II book opens up with “It was the 1940s and everything was in black and white.”

–      The bit at the end with Martin saying he lives in a big field was also quite funny.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

SKETCH: Pageant Audition (4:08)
Pageant Audition

–      And one more highly-entertaining sketch to finish the night off… why not? Martin and Paul were a great duo and I liked how Paul kept asking if he could sing but Martin told him that he was not capable of singing.

–      The bit at the beginning with Kenan was hilarious.

–      Martin simply yelling at Paul doesn’t sound funny in theory but when it comes to the performances here, it really worked. I also liked how Paul just played the whole thing straight-faced and was clearly trying really hard not to laugh at Short’s antics.

–      Jason and Cecily were good straight characters too.

RATING: **** ½

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Wonderful Christmastime” (3:40)
Paul McCartney3

–      I absolutely LOVED how they segued from the previous sketch right into this musical performance.

–      Wonderful musical performance to finish off the night. Paul delivered and it was nice to see the New York Children’s Chorus again.

 

 

Goodnights
goodnights

 

BEST PERFORMER(S) OF THE NIGHT:

–      Martin Short

 

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Yep, I’m going the full monty for this. What we got here was a beautiful, lovely, awesome, wonderful, hilarious show. Martin Short was absolutely perfect as the host and Paul McCartney was stunning. The bevy of cameos was also terrific and along with the touching tribute at the top of the show, it just made this whole episode come to life. I thoroughly enjoyed this and I hope people recognize it as a classic in years to come.

TONIGHT’S RATING: *****


(Season 38, Episode 9)

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WHAT THEY’RE PROMOTING:

JAMIE FOXX: “Django Unchained”

NE-YO: “R.E.D.” (album)

 

 

COLD OPENING: Obama/Boehner Press Conference (4:35)
Obama-Boehner Press Conference

–      It’s always good to see Pharoah’s Obama impression and the return of Bill Hader as John Boehner was a welcome surprise as well even though this cold open was a little on the dull side.

–      The stuff about the Republican party picking on Boehner was pretty funny though and I like how all their little things they did to harrass him ended up being very similar to typical childish pranks and insults.

–      Hader’s performance sold this. His stern look the whole time was great and the ways in which he slowly spoke into the microphone made me laugh. He also brought back the over-the-top Boehner crying, which always makes me laugh.

–      Jay stumbled a bit but it wasn’t too distracting; he recovered nicely every time.

RATING: ***

 

 

MONOLOGUE: Jamie Foxx (5:04)
Monologue

–      This monologue was all about Jamie’s charisma, which definitely carried it for the most part and made for an entertaining segment.

–      I enjoyed all the “how black is that?” bits for the most part but when Foxx went over to the piano I found that it slowed the whole thing down a little bit. Jamie’s impression of Obama dancing was also very funny.

–      I have no idea who that 2 Chainz guy is but his cameo seemed kinda pointless.

–      The crowd was pretty rowdy here but really they were insane all throughout the night.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

 

GAMESHOW: Bitch, What’s the Answer? (4:05)
Bitch, What's the Answer

–      This seemed like a silly one-joke premise but you know what? I still enjoyed it very much and had a lot of fun with it.

–      Foxx was perfect as the host even though he again had a couple of flubs here and there. I just loved his delivery though and especially the ways in which he kept referring to the contestants as bitches.

–      My favourite response was from Foxx towards Nasim as he says “Bitch, no it ain’t!” when she tries to figure out the answer to “What’s the deal with carbon?”

–      Bobby’s look was hilarious and I loved his facial expressions throughout this whole thing, especially when he called Foxx a bitch and he gave him a cold look in response.

RATING: ****

 

 

SHOW: J-Pop America Fun Time Now! (5:35)
J-Pop America Fun Time Now!

–      Oof. This has officially gotten a little old. I applaud the writers for waiting so long to bring it back though and using Foxx in this sketch was inspired. The singing in particular has gotten somewhat annoying and repetitive.

–      I will admit that I greatly appreciated the sight gag of the tree with a ninja star on top.

–      Sudeikis is usually the best part of these sketches but he didn’t really get a whole lot of great lines here. I DID like him almost transforming into one of the faux-Japanese hosts though.

–      Fred Armisen is still Taran’s girlfriend? That’s one joke that has gotten extremely old.

–      Foxx was definitely the highlight here and I liked his stilted delivery of the fake Japanese way of talking. The way in which he challenged Sudeikis’ claim that Foxx “obviously” wasn’t Japanese was hilarious.

RATING: ** ½

 

 

 

COMMERCIAL: Alex Cross 2: Madea – Special Ops (2:55)
Alex Cross 2 Madea - Special Ops

–      This was something of a missed opportunity. Don’t get me wrong; Foxx was quite funny as Tyler Perry/Madea but they didn’t really go as far with this as they could have gone.

–      I liked Taran as the lead thug especially when he simply walked away while Foxx was choking himself.

–      The slow-motion shots of Jamie running were hilarious.

–      The soundtrack for this trailer was perfect.

RATING: ***

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself)” (3:45)
Ne-Yo1

–      After this performance I can safely say I probably won’t be buying any Ne-Yo albums anytime soon. He wasn’t terrible but rap/hip-hop acts on SNL aren’t always the strongest and the backup dancers were just silly-looking.

 

 

WEEKEND UPDATE with Seth Meyers (10:13)

Guests: Mrs. Claus and a ding-dong
update1 update2 update3 update4 update5 update6

–      Best Jokes: marijuana/gay marriage; Obama/Twitter supporters; Obama insults Israel; deli closed; 7 marathons

–      Aidy’s commentary as Mrs. Claus wasn’t too bad. She looked adorable as the character and despite the obvious sex and cholesterol jokes that were made about Santa, it was still carried by a pretty good performance. It’s good to see Aidy getting some airtime on the show as of late.

–      As soon as Seth introduced a commentary from a ding-dong I groaned a bit but then Jamie Foxx showing up was completely unexpected and like most host commentaries, this was pretty entertaining as silly as it was. The best parts were Jamie talking about twinkies as his “snack brother from another batter,” Foxx hating on snowballs, the “call me Dong”/“No” exchange, and the bit about Big Suge…gar. Jamie cracked up a bit here too which was expected because the whole thing was just so ridiculous.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

 

GAMESHOW: Dylan McDermott or Dermot Mulroney? (5:28)
Dylan McDermott or Dermot Mulroney

–      Another gameshow sketch?!

–      I think Marika Sawyer may have written this sketch as I saw her down on the set moments before it started.

–      Just the premise of this sketch alone was enough to make me laugh as I have often gotten both Dylan McDermott and Dermot Mulroney confused with each other. I like the fact that Foxx, Pharoah, and Thompson played the clueless contestants and Hader was hilarious too, especially when he kept looking back to his assistant as he kept getting his facts wrong.

–      Kenan getting it right for answering Rupert Everett because he is the gay version of Dermot Mulroney was hilarious.

–      Dermot Mulroney showing up at the end of the sketch was hilarious and completely unexpected (“I’ve been sleeping with another man’s wife!”). I’d love to see him host sometime based on his performance here.

RATING: ****

 

 

FILM: Marcus Banks – Tree Pimp (3:14)
Marcus Banks - Tree Pimp

–      Very funny filmed piece and well-written as well with one of the best performances Kenan has probably ever had on SNL. I liked how the whole film treated his job as a tree salesman just the same as if the trees were his prostitutes.

–      The part with Fred pushing the tree down towards his crotch was quite funny and the only instance of a really weird character.

–      My favourite parts were Kenan pretending not to sell trees when a cop walked by, him freaking out at Tim Robinson for wanting to cut the bottom of the tree, Kenan telling a family they “got 20 minutes now” with their new tree, Kenan slapping around his tree and threatening one with pliers, Foxx quickly mentioning Matt Lauer as one of his clients, the Rockefeller tree being Foxx’s biggest earner, and Kenan “slipping” and having sex with a tree.

RATING: **** ½

 

 

 

SHOW: Maine Justice (6:32)
Maine Justice

–      This was an absolutely ridiculous sketch that was a whole lot of fun to boot. This is going to be a future classic or at the very least it will always be a classic to me.

–      Sudeikis was basically playing his character from Potato Chip Thief from way back in Season 35 and he was absolutely hilarious here. Jason got so into this role here that his feet were up in the air at one point. Foxx was quite great too and I can’t say I blame him for cracking up because of Jason’s performance.

–      Bobby’s performance was excellent too; he always does really well with straight roles.

–      I loved the bit with Sudeikis sentencing Moynihan to eat a really hot bowl of jambalaya followed by his incredulous response.

–      Charlie Day’s cameo was hilarious and unexpected. His get-up as the “congressman” was absolutely hilarious.

–      The twist made sense to me because I was wondering why in the hell everyone was using Louisiana accents if the sketch was making fun of Maine.

RATING: *****

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “She Is” (3:25)
Ne-Yo1

–      This was much better than the last performance mostly because it more closely resembled a real song. That automatically bumped Ne-Yo up quite a few spots in terms of the year’s musical guests.

 

 

COMMERCIAL: Swarovski Crystals (4:09)
Swarovski Crystals

–      Oh. My. God. This was another sketch that absolutely killed and everything here had me laughing my ass off from Vanessa and Cecily’s great airhead delivery to Jamie Foxx’s constant “okay”’s as he walked off the set after screwing up his cue.

–      I can’t even mention all the great lines in this sketch but Vanessa and Cecily killed here. They were so damn good.

–      Foxx’s bit at the end was also excellent. I liked the bit about not wearing condoms (“I got integrity”), Foxx mispronouncing the name of the crystals, his death threat towards his former teacher, and the weird wink at the end.

–      Cecily saying “anal” instead of “crystals” at the end was hilarious.

–      Whoa! Were Vanessa and Cecily about to kiss at the end? Why the hell did they go to commercial RIGHT then?!

RATING: *****

 

 

Goodnights
goodnights

 

 

BEST PERFORMER(S) OF THE NIGHT:

–      Jamie Foxx

 

 

FINAL THOUGHTS:

A very strong show, but it got ESPECIALLY great during the second half. The first half was average with one big highlight and fun performances from Foxx but as soon as Update ended, the show went into one big hit sketch after another along with Ne-Yo’s second performance (which was great), making this a very entertaining episode. Jamie Foxx is also one of the best hosts of the year.

TONIGHT’S RATING: ****