Saturday Night Live: Christoph Waltz/Alabama Shakes (2/16/13)

Posted: February 17, 2013 by Brendan Wahl in SNL Reviews
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(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

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