Archive for May, 2013


(Season 38, Episode 21: Season Finale)
Bumper

 

 

WHAT THEY’RE PROMOTING:

BEN AFFLECK: “To the Wonder”

KANYE WEST: “Yeezus” (album)

COLD OPENING: Politics Nation (4:25)
Politics Nation

–      I’ve always kinda liked this sketch despite the jokes being the same type of thing every time. However, I like Kenan’s Al Sharpton impression and he does a pretty good job of carrying it.

–      Sudeikis made for yet another great straight man character.

–      Hader’s insane-looking Tea Party supporter was pretty funny. I like how despite him looking ridiculous, he still appeared to be the straight man to Sharpton’s lunacy.

–      Loved the clip of “Senator McConnell” on Jimmy Fallon’s show.

–      The bar graph bit was also pretty great especially how it compared white people in 20 years to black people yesterday.

RATING: *** ½

MONOLOGUE: Ben Affleck (4:11)
Monologue

–      Cute monologue. This wasn’t anything amazing but it was still pretty fun and Affleck, of course, had good chemistry with his wife, Mrs. Garner.

–      The best part of the monologue was Bobby Moynihan with the “5” shirt, telling Ben that all the celebrities were here for Timberlake’s show, and then asking Ben if he wants to hear the Five-Timers Club theme song before retracting because it doesn’t exist.

–      I always thought Garner made a good host. I hope she comes back to do it again some day.

RATING: *** ½

SHOW: HBO First Look – Bengo Fuck Yourself (3:23)
Bengo Fuck Yourself

–      Very clever way of doing an Argo-inspired sketch. At first I was surprised to see a simple address by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Armisen) but it evolved into a very funny piece.

–      The parts I really liked was Hader’s “Ha ha ha! I am a Hollywood executive,” Armisen’s constant “park the car in Harvard Yard” line to get the correct accent, Affleck saying that he took the role as the sound man so that he could do a worse film than Gigli, and the Oscar speech at the end in which Fred thanks the elders of Zion.

–      They also kept this whole thing fairly short, which made it pretty tight and concise.

RATING: ****

COMMERCIAL: Xanax for Gay Summer Weddings (1:53)
Xanax for Gay Summer Weddings

–      Very funny commercial piece. Reminded me of that Homocil commercial from years back.

–      The best parts were Hader trying to participate in a choreographed dance, Bayer sneaking her present onto the table, and Hader’s grandma calling Obama the n-word “in her toast.”

–      The lesbian summer weddings bit at the end was amusing.

RATING: ****

SKETCH: The Great Depression (3:01)
The Great Depression

–      Hader’s old-timey voice was tremendous and Affleck did a pretty good job as well. I also loved Kate McKinnon’s look as her character and the twist involving her being a 40-year old prostitute was also great.

–      The ending with Kate trying to give Hader a BJ was also a pretty funny subtle ending.

RATING: *** ½

SKETCH: Straight Camp (4:06)
Straight Camp

–      Pretty funny little sketch with a fine performance by Affleck at its center. He really held the whole thing together and I really liked the moment with he and Taran coming VERY close to each other.

–      Speaking of Taran, he was fantastic here. I liked his musical performance in the middle of the sketch.

–      Jay Pharoah’s silent role was also quite funny.

RATING: *** ½

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Black Skinhead” (3:25)
Kanye West1

–      I wasn’t a big fan of whatever Kanye was doing with his voice but the overall performance was hella intense and I really loved the backdrop with the barking dogs.

WEEKEND UPDATE with Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler (12:22)

Guests: Stefon (including: Anderson Cooper and Ben Affleck), the Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party, Arianna Huffington, Jean K. Jean, David Paterson, Ann Romney, Jacob, Drunk Uncle, and the Devil
update1 update2 update3 update4 update5 update6 update7 update8 update9 update10 update11 update12

–      Best Jokes: Biden/whoopie cushion; Disney redesigned; in Vitro meat; Bacon Bacon; Take-a-Wish Foundation; Beckham’s retirement; cicada sushi

–      Really!?! featuring Amy Poehler was a lot of fun as is any time they bring Amy back for a little cameo. She really needs to come back and host again. I liked the Entourage reference, Obama getting all his information from TV, and Amy’s “Weed 420” license plate.

–      Stefon’s commentary was pretty damn funny, especially Hader’s reaction to Amy Poehler (“… who’s this?”) and the weird descriptions he always goes into were terrific like usual.

–      What more can be said about Stefon’s wedding?! It was an awesome segment and it was terrific to see all the random one-off characters that Stefon describes that were in attendance for the wedding. Hader and Seth were perfect here and the flashbacks actually made me a bit emotional. Anderson’s Cooper cameo was also great! You could also tell that Seth and Bill were getting teary-eyed by the end of Update. Then just to top off the whole thing, the show busted out tons of recurring Update characters to send them off in a beautiful farewell.

RATING: *****

SKETCH: Greg’s Funeral (5:54)
Greg's Funeral

–      Another sketch where Affleck’s performance perfectly centered the whole thing and he held it all together very well. His Mexican accent was hilarious and I like how upset he got when some of the speakers talked about how much they disliked him.

–      At first I thought this was going to be another one of those speech interruption sketches but I quickly realized that this was going to be something else more original.

–      My favourite stories were Robinson’s bit about Affleck going around the neighbourhood taking down missing children posters, Cecily’s bit about Affleck stealing dog food (as well as Affleck’s defense of the situation), and Kate’s bit was the best part. I also gotta give props to Taran (THE MAN!) for his performance in this sketch.

RATING: ****

COMMERCIAL: Hermes Handbags (5:04)
Hermes Handbags

–      I still really like these characters from Vanessa and Cecily. They haven’t gotten old yet and I can’t put my finger on why they continue to be hilarious. It’s definitely mostly attributed to their performances.

–      Affleck has been my favourite of the three hosts to take part in these sketches. He had plenty of great material with his scene at the end and his delivery was excellent.

–      I loved Vanessa’s insult to Charo, the line about “spinning on a golden wiener,” “Christopher Cumbus,” and Cecily’s line about being banged through a glass ceiling and becoming a feminist.

RATING: **** ½

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “New Slaves” (2:40)
Kanye West2

–      I LOVED this performance! Kanye didn’t do that stupid voice thing this time and thus it made me like this one a lot more! Another gritty intense performance.

SKETCH: Cop Family (4:16)
Cop Family

–      Decent piece although it was basically the same joke over and over again. I enjoyed everyone’s cop performances though, especially Taran doing his funny crying/stammering thing. I also liked the fact that Sudeikis was in uniform.

–      Tim and Nasim were pretty good as the straight players in the sketch.

RATING: ***

MUSICAL SKETCH: It’s a Lovely Day (3:47)
It's a Lovely Day

–      Beautiful way to end the season and it also doubled as a fantastic send-off for Hader and especially Fred Armisen. It wasn’t played for laughs really at all but I can feel like I can still rate it.

–      Loved all the musical cameos too.

–      I am really going to miss Fred Armisen despite the harsh critics he gets these past couple seasons. Bill Hader, of course, will be GREATLY missed and I agree with most people regarding him being one of the best castmembers of all time.

–      “It’s been alright, I’ve had a lovely time with you!” What a great way to go out.

RATING: *****

Goodnights
goodnights

 

BEST PERFORMER(S) OF THE NIGHT:

–      Bill Hader/Ben Affleck/Fred Armisen

 

 

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Terrific episode and a great way to top off the season. Affleck was an awesome host as per usual while Kanye West was once again a great musical guest. As far as the farewells go, I don’t think they could’ve been any better here. Bill Hader received a wonderful exit as Stefon and Fred Armisen leaving with his Ian Rubbish character was a lovely way to leave as well. It’ll be interesting to see what the new cast looks like next season!

 

TONIGHT’S RATING: ****

 

I’ll be posting my year-end thoughts sometime over the summer as well.

But for now…

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(Season 38, Episode 20)
Bumper

 

 

WHAT THEY’RE PROMOTING:

 

KRISTEN WIIG: nothing

VAMPIRE WEEKEND: “Modern Vampires of the City” (album)

 

 

COLD OPENING: Benghazi Hearings (4:05)
Benghazi Hearings

–      I actually found that this was a pretty clever mash-up in pairing this with the Jodi Arias case and Nasim was pretty good in the role.

–      Hader using Jodi Arias as a ratings ploy for the Benghazi trials was a very funny way to play this and made for a more interesting than usual political opening. I also really liked Hader’s interaction with Nasim in asking about the accusations of her husband beating her and how it was all BS.

–      Bobby as Ariel Castro was a perfect ending.

–      So what was up with the nameplates here? Clearly, the names that were super-imposed on-screen were the correct ones. Must’ve been a last-minute mistake by the prop department. Hader also called Bobby by the wrong name at the end of the sketch. Whaaaat?

RATING: *** ½

 

 

MONOLOGUE: Kristen Wiig (4:18)
Monologue

–      I expected a musical type of monologue but I really enjoyed this with the whole backstage stuff. The best part of the musical monologue was Kristen getting some of the cast’s names wrong (“Will Ferrell” was the best one along with Bayer’s reaction), Kristen trying to open the fire exit, Kristen’s comment to Lincoln, and yes, the Gilly moment was amusing as well.

–      Kristen’s stuff before the music was pretty amusing too, especially the bit with the picture of her aka David Spade.

–      The random cameos from Jonah Hill and Maya Rudolph were funny, especially with them saying “it worked!” after figuring out that Maya was already pregnant.

–      The crowd was pretty electric throughout this whole thing.

RATING: ****

 

 

COMMERCIAL: 1-800-Flowers.com (1:51)
1-800-Flowersdotcom

–      Terrific commercial piece.

–      This was very interesting because Kristen was the daughter to McKinnon’s mother character. For those who said Kristen was hogging all the ‘funny’ roles, she was definitely the straight character in this one. It’s also funny because of all the Kristen comparisons that people made with McKinnon when she first started.

–      McKinnon was hilarious as the hapless mother. I really liked all her random embarrassing comments. The best one was after she lost her debit card (“my identity’s been thieved!”)

–      Hader also had a great bit at the end.

RATING: **** ½

 

 

SHOW: The Californians (6:54)
The Californians

–      Yep, still enjoy this sketch. The character-breaking only adds to the enjoyment for me. Now do I wish this would happen all the time? Of course not… but in this sketch, it’s excusable in my eyes. I also like how they exaggerate even more with their accents in order to MAKE the others crack up (“workin’ hard, Brad?!” was the best one).

–      Kristen’s “disguise” was pretty damn funny.

–      Taran’s gay Californian accent always makes me laugh but I think Maya actually made me laugh the most here (I know, right?) with her insane accent.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

COMMERCIAL: Aw Nuts! Mom’s a Ghost (2:10)
Aw Nuts! Mom's a Ghost!

–      Disney satire is always A-okay with me so I enjoyed this sketch with Kristen doing a great job as the Ring-like undead mom.

–      Bobby and Cecily were also perfect as the kids. They acted pretty much exactly like any of those terrible Disney overactors including talking in unison a lot and high-fiving after everything.

–      The naked guy in the background was a hilarious detail.

–      The Tim Robinson bit was hilarious as well.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

SHOW: The Lawrence Welk Show (5:03)
The Lawrence Welk Show

–      Yep, they brought this back… and it was pretty much exactly the same as every other time with Jason Sudeikis taking on the male singer role and doing a helluva job.

–      The sketch wasn’t too great but it had its good points like Fred’s line about the fingerlakes (“there’s supposed to be a lake in there…”) and the smelly bubbles, the sand sculpture, and Kristen getting smacked with coconuts.

–      Despite that, yes, the crowd reacted very strongly to the sketch and cheered upon Kristen’s appearance. Hardly anything close to non-reactions or indifference like some have suggested.

RATING: ** ½

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Diane Young” (2:36)
Vampire Weekend1

–      Really dug Vampire Weekend here. They haven’t had a bad appearance on SNL yet and this was yet another great performance with a fun horn section as well.

 

 

WEEKEND UPDATE with Seth Meyers (11:03)

Guests: Anthony Crispino and Garth & Kat
update1 update2 update3 update4 update5

–      Best Jokes: border security; NRA purses; boy suspended; stressful amount of children; Cops on Spike; best/worst place to be a mother

–      Seth sounded a little under the weather but he still had a real solid night.

–      Anthony Crispino was entertaining once again. I’ve always liked this character from Bobby and he brings these different little quirks with every performance that keeps it fresh every time. The high voice thing was silly but amusing.

–      Garth & Kat? It was fun. Not particularly hilarious or anything but they had fun and it was infectious because I had fun watching it. I liked the detail about Garth’s wife and Garth and Kat just being friends. Oh, and look at that… that “oh-so-quiet crowd” exploded into applause when they showed up.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

SKETCH: Target (5:20)
Target

–      It was not much of a surprise to see Kristen bring this character back either but at least this is one where the format is usually shaken up a bit or at least it is provided with some decent supporting performances/characters.

–      The beginning with Bobby as the cashier was very funny.

–      Aidy being a lesbian was amusing as was Jay Pharoah as the customer that refuses to accept service from Wiig. Kenan as the customer that just buys a bunch of cards for every occasion was funny just for the moment where Kenan accused Kristen of being a hoarder.

–      Target Lady got lots of recognition applause and the crowd heartily enjoyed the sketch. Darn that “quiet crowd” for enjoying the show so much!

RATING: ***

 

 

SKETCH: Acupuncture (5:01)
Acupuncture

–      Best sketch of the night. The blood gag was very well-done and the more disgusting it got, the more hilarious it was.

–      Jason Sudeikis played a great victim here. Of course, Kristen and Aidy were both really good too. It was nice to see Aidy in a big comedic lead role like this and she had great chemistry with Wiig. They must’ve gotten along really well during the production week.

–      So many great things about this sketch from Bobby doing the voice of the guy outside the window, them offering Jason the “medicine water” that was comprised of his own blood, Kristen doing her “Dr. Chang” impression after Armisen jumps out the window, and the big bubble of blood popping on Jason’s back.

–      I also liked the continuation of the gag into the introduction for Vampire Weekend, which was done by Kristen while Aidy stood beside her.

RATING: ****

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Unbelievers” (3:29)
Vampire Weekend2

–      Another solid performance. I really like their unique indy-rock sound. Please bring them back more, SNL.

 

 

SKETCH: Double Date (4:51)
Double Date

–      Wow, this was really great and I can’t put my finger on too many specifics, but a few included Bobby’s root beer comment, Taran’s insane laughing, and the ending with Bobby pulling out a change jar.

–      I just liked the whole idea of this not being played for perverse laughs or anything (it pretty much just so happened to be two young children on a date with two older women).

–      I wonder if SNL will get any heat for this sketch.

RATING: ****

 

 

COMMERCIAL: Classy Sexy Elegnace (3:25)
Classy Sexy Elegnace

–      This was a pretty good parody of the Kardashians and other reality stars doing albums. I love how pretty much anytime someone sang something it was auto-tuned.

–      Kenan  and Nasim were solid as the host/spokespersons (“Wow! I love that that song was a list and not a song!”).

–      Jay as the music producer hired by Craig T. Nelson was funny.

–      I also like the detail of the CD being spelled wrong because they named it in a hurry.

RATING: ***

 

 

Goodnights
goodnights

 

 

BEST PERFORMER(S) OF THE NIGHT:

–      Kristen Wiig/Bobby Moynihan

 

 

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Overall, I’d probably put this episode in the lower spectrum of the season but quite honestly, I have been thoroughly enjoying the 2012-2013 year and I hope we get the same quality going into the following seasons. It was nice to have Kristen back even if not ALL her characters were slam dunks; she has a fun presence. Good show.

 

TONIGHT’S RATING: *** ½


(Season 38, Episode 19)
Bumper

 

WHAT THEY’RE PROMOTING:

 

ZACH GALIFIANAKIS: “The Hangover Part III”

OF MONSTERS AND MEN: nothing

 

 

COLD OPENING: Fox & Friends (4:06)
Fox & Friends

–      I usually enjoy whenever SNL attacks FOX in any way, shape or form but this edition felt like it was lacking a bit. I did like Taran saying he prefers Asian ladies and sarcastically calling himself a hero, Bobby confusing the WNBA for being the Worse National Basketball Association, and Bobby having his sugar meltdown.

–      Armisen as Michael Bloomberg was a bit of a bore. His segment didn’t really add anything to the sketch. I did like the one line about how gun owners will certainly listen to a Jewish billionaire.

–      The comically-sized Big Gulp was amusing.

–      The “corrections” were funny as usual.

RATING: ***

 

 

MONOLOGUE: Zach Galifianakis (5:42)
Monologue

–      Absolutely hilarious monologue as per usual for Galifianakis on SNL. I especially liked his comment at the beginning for no one to get their hopes up. Also, when the audience was wildly applauding and Zach tells them that he hasn’t really done anything yet… great stuff.

–      My favourite bits were the charades/tofu joke and the Craigslist urination bit.

–      Zach’s piano segment was also very funny. I love whenever he gets musical. This time, he had some great bits on stumping Google (“how many Mexicans live in North Korea?”), “helping” people with car trouble, and the bit about the “funky beets.”

–      Loved his “character” too.

RATING: *****

 

 

GAMESHOW: Game of Game of Thrones (5:38)
Game of Game of Thrones

–      Loved the “you must be home with the flu” opener.

–      Funny sketch with lots of great details including Bill Hader as O.J. Sampson (“and yes, it’s been a long, hard life”).

–      Zach was the best part of this of course and his silly dragon costume was terrific. I loved his nerdy outbursts and his initial look of confusion when Hader asked him a real question rather than one about the show.

–      Taran and Aidy did some solid work as the other players as well.

–      The dude from Game of Thrones (I don’t feel like typing out his whole name) seemed a little nervous but he was fine and the cameo in itself was funny.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

COMMERCIAL: match.com (1:19)
matchdotcom

–      Not bad. I liked Kate’s Martha Stewart impression but there wasn’t a whole lot else to this commercial piece.

–      The other ladies did a solid job as did Taran as Martha’s suitor.

RATING: ***

 

 

SKETCH: Jennifer Aniston Look-Alike Contest (5:59)
Jennifer Aniston Look-Alike Contest

–      I laughed right away just from seeing what this sketch would be about. Zach was hilarious of course and a lot of the other castmembers did stand-out jobs at Jennifer Aniston impressions.

–      Zach making the same Helen Keller reference every time he was outraged just got more and more funny. I also liked him referring to Nasim as “Benebitch Arnold.”

–      Zach also being security was great.

–      And yeah, I dug the cameos by Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms as the co-winners even if Helms was a little awkward. It was cool just to see the Hangover crew reunited for this silly little sketch.

–      The ending was great with everyone singing the “Friends theme.”

RATING: *** ½

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Little Talks” (4:13)
Of Monsters and Men1

–      This reminded me a LOT of when fun. was on the show back in November but I enjoyed this performance a great deal more.

 

 

WEEKEND UPDATE with Seth Meyers (12:41)

Guests: James Carville, Randall Meeks, and the Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party
update1 update2 update3 update4 update5 update6 update7

–      Best Jokes: self-background checks; NRA/new president; 3 million dollar nickel; Clitoris Awareness Week; overqualified graduates; Rocky musical

–      It was cool to see Hader bring back his James Carville impression even if it was fairly similar to the other ones he’s done. Still, the bit where Hader was talking to his grandmother’s ghost was hilarious and I like how he’s constantly moving in odd formations.

–      I actually really liked Fred Armisen’s piece about the Google Glass… like a lot! Fred’s perfect for this sort of subtle physical humour and the ending with the porn video was funny as was Fred twirling his head around so he could reboot.

–      Cecily’s party girl character has really grown on me throughout her last few appearances and much like Drunk Uncle and Stefon, she entertains me every single time she appears on Update with almost all the lines she has.

RATING: ****

 

 

SKETCH: Racist Jim (4:59)
Racist Jim

–      This sketch was so not PC but SO very funny. Just seeing Zach in the M&M costume alone was enough to make me laugh and then as soon as he opened his mouth, I couldn’t stop laughing.

–      My favourite parts were Zach confusing Nasim for thinking that she is the wrong kind of indian (even though Nasim refers to herself as Pakistani), Zach saying that he often made fun of the gay guys through song, his constant little “no offense” asides to Nasim, and the “please don’t talk over me, this is not a movie theatre” line directed towards Black Joe.

–      Zach almost cracked up at the line about pointing to a brown M&M and saying, “Hey, it’s Black Joe!”

RATING: ****

 

 

SKETCH: Darrell’s House (3:39)
Darrell's House1

–      Written by Seth Meyers.

–      Brilliant sketch, especially when combined with the second part which would appear later in the show.

–      Zach was once again the best part of the sketch and led this with aplomb. My favourite moments were him throwing a glass at Bayer’s character in a fit of rage and when Zach makes his lame Mad Men joke.

–      All of Zach’s editing directions to the cameraman were hilarious.

RATING: **** ½

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Mountain Sound” (3:26)
Of Monsters and Men2

–      Another entertaining performance.

 

 

SKETCH: Michael Jordan’s Wedding (4:51)
Michael Jordan's Wedding

–      Zach and Jason were pretty entertaining as the coked-up wedding emcees and I enjoyed the other walk-ons from Kenan as Charles Barkley and Pharoah as that huge basketball player.

–      The best line was from Zach regarding dating a black woman and saying that he didn’t want to be stereotypical but “she had the biggest penis I’ve ever seen.”

–      In fact, I wonder what effect they used to make Jay so tall. Was it just stilts?

–      I noticed as well that Zach was even wigging out a bit at the beginning of the show before they started wearing the cocaine powder on their noses. That’s a good character detail.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

COMMERCIAL: New Balance (1:11)
New Balance

–      Pretty funny little commercial piece. Zach, Tim, and Bobby all did a solid job here.

–      I liked the ending with Zach grabbing someone’s pretzel. The swimsuits were also pretty funny.

RATING: ***

 

 

SHOW: Darrell’s House (1:41)
Darrell's House2

–      Brilliant and an awesome way to end the show. Paying off the first sketch with all of Zach’s ridiculous editing directions resulting in an actual cut-together show was a great way to pay off the sketch.

–      Jon Hamm’s cameo was expected but still very funny and I like how Zach was in the background of one of the shots while Jon was talking but then quickly left when he realized he was on-camera.

–      The winking “effect” was great too as was the stock footage of the Apollo crowd cheering.

RATING: *****

 

 

Goodnights
goodnights

 

BEST PERFORMER(S) OF THE NIGHT:

–      Zach Galifianakis

 

 

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Terrific episode and definitely Zach’s best show out of the three he’s hosted thus far. He was a powerhouse, appearing in almost every segment and delivering every time in terms of his performances. He should be invited back time and time again because he always makes the most of these gigs. The cast all did a solid job this week too and the writing was top-notch.

 

TONIGHT’S RATING: ****