Archive for February, 2013


(Season 38, Episode 14)

Bumper

 

WHAT THEY’RE PROMOTING:

 

CHRISTOPH WALTZ: “Django Unchained” (nominated for Oscars)

ALABAMA SHAKES: “Boys & Girls” (album)

 

 

COLD OPENING: Carnival Cruise Ship (6:01)
Carnival Cruise Ship

–      Great topical cold open with superb performances from everyone involved as the mood on the disastrous cruise line gets increasingly more dire.

–      Sudeikis is always good at these types of roles but Cecily Strong was also pretty great at that kind of smarmy cruise-line entertainer performance.

–      Jay’s part made me laugh, especially how he did the hacky impressions thing intentionally bad and did the embarrassing “uh…what else?” thing that a lot of bad amateurs end up doing.

–      The newspaper headlines were hilarious, especially when Jason decides not to read about the once-inspirational Oscar Pistorius.

–      Hader’s bit was great too, especially how Tim Robinson begs him to turn him back into a chicken and Kenan’s off-screen outburst about how they all want to be turned into chickens.

–      Bobby crying out about someone eating his monkey was hilarious as he excels at these types of roles. I also like how he mentioned that they still have food.

–      Armisen’s insane bit as the captain was good too.

RATING: **** ½

 

 

MONOLOGUE: Christoph Waltz (3:17)
Monologue

–      Waltz immediately seemed like he was going to be a lot of fun and clearly enjoyed himself on-stage during this whole thing.

–      The part with Bobby and Kate was funny but the best part was definitely Taran Killam as Casual Hitler (his delivery of “heil!” was great). I also really liked how Taran proudly told everyone it took him three days to come up with it.

–      The song at the end was kinda pointless and didn’t really have jokes but it was short enough.

RATING: ***

 

 

GAMESHOW: What Have You Become? (5:19)
What Have You Become

–      This was a fun little gameshow sketch with Christoph doing a good job as the host despite some technical glitches at the beginning.

–      The three contestants were good too. I thought Aidy was probably the funniest, especially during her breakdown and yelling about how her daughter is a bitch.

–      Jay’s look as Kenan’s grandfather made me laugh just from his overall look alone.

–      Christoph’s breakdown and dancing at the end was quite a funny way to end it as well (“Mama, let me dance!” “No, boy, you’ve got to go to game show school!”).

RATING: *** ½

 

 

COMMERCIAL: Papal Securities (1:23)
Papal Securities

–      This was a funny way to tackle the Pope’s retirement and Waltz did a great job in the mostly-silent title role as the Pope himself. Sudeikis was dependable as always too.

–      The other great parts in this were no one besides the Pope being available for a testimonial, Sudeikis being a bit disgusted after kissing the Pope’s hand, and the final tagline about the company helping popes retire “since the last time it happened… in 1415.”

RATING: *** ½

 

 

SKETCH: Tippy (3:35)
Tippy

–      Much like some others have been saying, I do understand the fact that Nasim’s character Tippy resembles Cheri Oteri’s character Roberta but I think she was definitely different enough to be funny on her own. I also didn’t think she was an “adult Bedilia” like some have said as well. All that being said, this was funny and featured a good performance from Pedrad.

–      Some of Nasim’s little comments were funny. I think my favourite was her asking Kenan if his joke was “a black thing.”

–      I also liked the reveal that Nasim was everyone’s dog walker.

RATING: ***

 

 

COMMERCIAL: Djesus Uncrossed (2:03)
Djesus Uncrossed

–      Brilliant. This was absolutely hilarious with Christoph doing a great job playing Jesus as a vengeful warrior with some terrific references to both Django Unchained and Inglourious Basterds.

–      My favourite parts were “The H is silent,” Taran as Brad Pitt, Kenan as Ving Rhames saying he was gonna “go Old Testament on his ass,” and the reviews (“a less violent version of The Passion of the Christ” and “I never knew how much Jesus used the n-word”).

RATING: *****

 

 

COMMERCIAL: The Jamarcus Brothers (3:14)
The Jamarcus Brothers

–      Another terrific sketch.

–      At the beginning was anyone else reminded of that sketch from the Jason Bateman episode in Season 30 where Kenan and Maya sing these awful songs on a CD that ends up not even being real? I liked that sketch too.

–      I sound like a broken record but Christoph Waltz really added a lot to this with his hilarious performance especially since he was juxtaposed with some down and dirty sex music from Kenan and Jay.

–      Taran and Cecily were great as the couple too, especially as Taran would act confused and Cecily never changed her delivery.

–      The names of some of the songs were also hilarious, especially the ones that Christoph’s character clearly had written (“Where Does My Penis Go? Point to Where”).

–      Kenan cracked a bit at Christoph’s delivery of “I like that!”

RATING: **** ½

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Hold On” (4:04)
Alabama Shakes1

–      Wow. One of the best musical performances in quite a while and yeah, the best one of the season thus far for sure. This definitely makes up for that Bieber shit we had to put up with last week.

 

 

WEEKEND UPDATE with Seth Meyers (12:53)

Guests: Sen. Marco Rubio, Olya Povlatsky, and Stephen A. Smith
update1 update2 update3 update4 update5 update6

–      Best Jokes: cruise ship returns; McCain/Graham as Muppets; workplace dating; feminist protest; cheetahs paired with puppies

–      The commentary with Marco Rubio was hilarious. I’m really starting to see the Will Ferrell comparisons with Taran Killam. This commentary is definitely something I could’ve seen Will doing on the show had the incident occurred around the time he was in the cast. The way in which Taran was speaking when his mouth was dry was great as well as his awkward reaching for water and placing it back down way too far from his reach.

–      Kate McKinnon as the Russian victim of the meteorite was just as good as the previous commentary. She always does a great job with accents and this time was no exception. I especially loved details like Kate’s “milkshakes bringing all the boys to the haunted mine,” a dog biting Kate and dying afterwards, and her using wolf heads instead of glass in her windows. I also really liked the “bear with me” pun.

–      It was also nice to see Jay back as Stephen A. Smith again. It had a very similar approach to the last one he did but it was still very funny. I love the hyperbole he uses and the whole double-conversation thing at the end with Seth telling everyone Jay was talking to an imaginary person was tremendous.

RATING: ****

 

 

SKETCH: Louis’ New Girlfriend (4:41)
Louis' New Girlfriend

–      For some reason, the end of Tim’s story at the beginning of the sketch really made me laugh.

–      This was much better than the first time they did this sketch. I don’t think it had anything to do with replacing Craig with Waltz but rather that they did more with the jokes revolving around Fred’s character being a hipster rather than the looks he kept making towards the camera.

–      Bill cracking up by the end of the sketch was a bit expected but I really didn’t think Bayer was gonna lose it as well since she seems like one of the most capable cast member to be able to compose herself on the show. Aidy and Tim seemed to break a bit as well.

–      My favourite parts were Christoph saying that Fred looks the same without makeup, Fred saying he would prefer they talk about social politics, Taran telling Fred not to smoke and Fred responding “but I have been though,” Fred telling Taran that if he could’ve got him something, he would have, and finally Fred saying he wants to stay and the night is going to be long.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

SHOW: Fox & Friends (5:27)
Fox & Friends

–      Another great installment of Fox & Friends.

–      Surprisingly, this didn’t involve Waltz at all. I’m wondering if it was originally going to be the cold open. Still, it seems like he would’ve played the role that Fred ended up playing in this sketch.

–      Once again, Bobby’s performance was terrific here.

–      I liked the State of the Union backwards part and the hosts quickly realizing it was a prank.

–      Hader was great as Ted Nugent and I liked him telling Gretchen she was perfect, which is his “second favourite P-word.”

–      The list of corrections was great once again.

RATING: ****

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Always Alright” (4:07)
Alabama Shakes2

–      Another fantastic performance by this band. The lead singer reminds me of Janis Joplin.

 

 

SKETCH: Psychotic Love Letter (4:09)
Psychotic Love Letter

–      Great closing sketch.

–      Another sketch anchored by a strong lead performance from Christoph Waltz. I loved how he played the creepy security guard to a tee. The other castmembers in the sketch were also pretty good at their supporting roles.

–      The actual broken-english letter made me laugh a whole lot as well.

RATING: ****

 

Goodnights
goodnights

 

 

BEST PERFORMER(S) OF THE NIGHT:

–      Christoph Waltz/Taran Killam

 

 

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Excellent episode; I’d rank it as the second-best show of the season right behind Martin Short’s classic Christmas episode. I wasn’t completely sure how Christoph would turn out as a host but he was everything a host should be: fun, not taking himself seriously, and committed to everything he appeared in throughout the night. This automatically makes him one of the top-tier guests of the season. Alabama Shakes was also quite outstanding and easily the best musical guest thus far.

TONIGHT’S RATING: **** ½


(Season 38, Episode 13)

Bumper

 

WHAT THEY’RE PROMOTING:

JUSTIN BIEBER: “Believe Acoustic” (album)

 

 

COLD OPENING: Super Bowl XLVII (5:37)
Super Bowl

–      It was obvious that they would tackle the power outage at the Super Bowl in some form and while this sketch was not a classic, it was well-written. The best parts included Kenan’s constant plugging for 2 Broke Girls, Taran as the reporter on the field, and Jay’s whole bit about the team trying to decide who they should eat first after the power went out.

–      There was also a pretty great shocking moment here with Jay saying that Ray Lewis knows who killed those people “because it was him.” Also, Kenan finally confessing that he’s never seen 2 Broke Girls was a great way to end that running joke.

–      The quick commercial bit with Bill Hader was hilarious.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

MONOLOGUE: Justin Bieber (3:15)
Monologue

–      Justin seemed pretty nervous but he accounted himself fairly well despite all that.

–      It was a good idea to stick Kenan out there with Bieber and he was quite funny with his encouragement every time Justin would say something factually incorrect about Black History Month.

–      Whoopi Goldberg’s cameo was kinda strange. She didn’t really do anything either except being wooed on the stage by our host. Okay then.

–      I will say it once so I don’t repeat myself over and over again. The screaming girls in the audience are annoying and they were loud throughout the WHOLE night.

–      Mike O’Brien’s brief appearance in the audience was great.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

SHOW: The Californians (5:47)
The Californians

–      Yes, I still like this sketch. This one, though, was probably the weakest of the bunch thus far though but I still enjoyed it.

–      Bieber was okay as the kid. His “Californian” accent actually wasn’t too bad.

–      Taran was hilarious as the gay Californian but it was Kate McKinnon’s accent that probably made me laugh the most.

–      Cecily Strong looked really good in this sketch.

–      The multiple close-ups of Hader (instead of the rest of the cast) was the best part.

RATING: ***

 

 

SKETCH: Bieber Decoys (5:15)
Bieber Decoys

–      This sketch was great and that had NOTHING to do with JB. I mostly enjoyed it because of the slams and insults they made towards him right in his face. My favourite was Sudeikis telling him that no one is buying him trying to act black.

–      Kate McKinnon returning as Ellen DeGeneres was a great little bit too. I was hoping she’d bring back her Ellen impression because of Justin Bieber hosting. I also liked the fact that Justin said that he looked like her the most.

–      Moynihan’s dance-off was amusing too, especially when after Justin showed his abs, Bobby deadpans, “Alright, good luck you guys!” and walks off.

–      Sudeikis was excellent in this sketch, especially when he was lamenting and grieving over his former client, Saddam Hussein (“Oh Saddam, you flew too close to the sun, didn’t you?”).

RATING: ****

 

 

COMMERCIAL: Bravo Spin-Offs (2:26)
Bravo Spin-Offs

–      This was one of those pieces that just builds and builds and has enough rapid-fire segments that if one doesn’t work, the next one is bound to get a laugh or two.

–      I’d say my favourites were the Taran’s dentist show, Bobby’s limo driver show (“I drive men… crazy… and also to the airport”), A Coppola Coconuts (“…but we’re sluts”), and the Austrian dudes (Bieber, Hader, Sudeikis).

RATING: ***

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “As Long As You Love Me” (3:57)
Justin Bieber1

–      Blah blah blah. This was whatever. I’ll say that he was better than Maroon 5, Rihanna, and fun but that’s it.

–      His voice sounded like it was cracking at times.

 

 

WEEKEND UPDATE with Seth Meyers (9:10)

Guests: King Richard III’s Best Friends From Growing Up and Corey the Only Black Guy in Every Commercial
update1 update2 update3 update4 update5

–      Best Jokes: Obama memo/just cause; background checks; Star Wars spin-offs; Boy Scouts/homosexual ban; Honey Boo Boo; Seagal training session; photo app

–      Armisen and Bayer bring back their Two Best Friends bit once again, this time for King Richard III. I thought it was kinda amusing that they picked someone who has been dead for quite some time but I am really starting to tire of this recurring commentary. Even Seth’s bit at the end wasn’t as funny as it usually is since it just involved him talking about his girlfriend rather than Tina Fey or the new castmembers.

–      Kenan as the one black guy in every commercial was great. The detail of Kenan needing to high-five every 12 seconds was funny as well as him appearing to be friendly and non-threatening. Seth obviously got a kick out of this one and Kenan cracked up a bit, which is pretty rare for him.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

SKETCH: 50s Romance (4:12)
50s Romance

–      This was another one of my favourites of the night, due mostly to the performances by Cecily and Aidy in particular.

–      I liked the premise here that Bieber’s character was stupid and immature. The best examples of this were him not knowing how doors work, how he thought there would be actual puppies in her blouse, and the bit about him putting his pants on backwards and saying, “look at me; my butt’s in front.”

–      The ending was also great too with Bieber telling Cecily that he’s only eleven with Cecily responding that she’s good with that.

RATING: ****

 

 

SHOW: The Miley Cyrus Show (4:30)
The Miley Cyrus Show

–      This was an interesting way to bring back the Miley Cyrus Show. I always like Bayer’s impression and Sudeikis is terrific as Billy Ray.

–      Moynihan’s drummer character finally has a name: Dale.

–      Bieber as the fan club president was pretty decent. I did like how he took a few shots at himself and the semi-apology was funny as well but mostly because of Bayer’s response about how she’s sorry too regarding her own drug experience.

–      I also liked the ending with the wedding clip and Billy Ray saying he can’t believe he’s just finding out about this.

RATING: ***

 

 

SKETCH: Protective Brother (5:42)
Protective Brother

–      Much like the firehouse sketch from the previous episode, I don’t think many other castmembers could have made this very simple premise work like Taran did here.

–      I will say that Bieber and Pedrad made a pretty cute couple and it makes sense that the writers used them in another sketch later on.

–      Taran was really good here like I said. His overall look and demeanour made me laugh a whole lot.

–      The first time the word “glice” came up I actually thought it was a real slip-up from Bieber which is something of a credit to his performance.

–      Taran actually had JB cracking up, which was also very funny.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS: A Sexy Valentine’s Day Message (1:41)
A Sexy Valentine's Day Message

–      This was somewhat amusing. I mostly liked it for Moynihan’s strange Taco character and the sexy dice that spelled out “fondle butt.”

RATING: ** ½

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Nothing Like Us” (3:14)
Justin Bieber2

–      Sudeikis drew the short straw and had to introduce him, I guess.

–      Another whatever performance. Nothing to see here.

 

 

SKETCH: Valentine’s Dance (4:29)
Valentine's Dance

–      Another sketch with Pharoah playing the very strange Principal Frye, Bayer as the emcee, and Kenan as the angry gym teacher. This was a pretty decent one and it’s funny how these sketches always get pushed to the back end of the show.

–      Again, Nasim and Justin played a couple here and they had some great chemistry. Nasim was especially funny here with her orgasmic reaction to having her shoulder touched and her answering in the affirmative was funny.

–      What was up with the microphone bit with Pharoah suddenly grabbing a working mic out of his jacket?

–      Kenan was great again here too; he’s been having a really good night in general.

RATING: ***

 

 

Goodnights
goodnights

 

 

BEST PERFORMER(S) OF THE NIGHT:

–      Kenan Thompson

 

 

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Now that wasn’t so bad, was it? On the contrary, I found this episode to be quite funny with a mostly-decent performance from Justin Bieber as the host (although he didn’t reall improve or hinder any sketches) and some great work by the cast this week, of which it will be hard to pick one stand-out. Nothing was really bad this week either; solid stuff.

 

TONIGHT’S RATING: *** ½