Posts Tagged ‘classic’


(Season 38, Episode 16)
Bumper

 

WHAT THEY’RE PROMOTING:

 

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE: “The 20/20 Experience” (album)

 

 

COLD OPENING: Hugo Chavez Memorial (3:54)
Hugo Chavez Memorial

–      I enjoyed the fact that someone finally did a bit on Hugo’s death and didn’t present him as a 100% pure great guy… because let’s face it, he was not.

–      Armisen’s opening bit was pretty amusing and I liked Cecily’s voice as the translator. Fred later holding a glass of milk was also funny.

–      Justin’s Elton John impression was pretty funny too and his singing voice was pretty close to the real thing. I especially liked the lines about Hugo being just like a candle in the wind “if a candle could pull out two guns at a press conference,” his parrot wearing the same red beret, and the whole bit about capitalism killing a former civilization that lived on Mars.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

That was definitely still Darrell Hammond doing the introductions rather than Don Pardo.

 

 

MONOLOGUE: Justin Timberlake (7:57)
Monologue

–      This was chock-full with cameos and yes… I loved it. All the cameos were great and there weren’t really any that stood out from any others.

–      Dan Aykroyd being the bartender was hilarious and reminded me of Jon Lovitz having to serve the other five-timers during Tom Hanks’ 1990 monologue.

–      Chevy Chase’s appearance also really surprised me because I expected his portrait and there he was on the phone ordering a Rolls Royce on Steve Martin’s bill. I also liked Chevy telling Steve that they never see each other anymore and “it’s on purpose.”

–      Martin Short’s appearance was great too seeing as how he hosted earlier in the season. He also kinda played the same type of role he did back in the Alec Baldwin show in Season 32.

–      Candice Bergen’s appearance was legitimately the most surprising appearance out of all the cameos. She also cracked up a bit at Martin Short’s line, “I go in the sink.”

–      The Django Unchained reference with Bobby and Taran doing mandingo fighting was great, especially Bobby yelling out, “I KILLED MY FRIEND!”, Hanks saying he loves Drunk Uncle, and Bobby quickly thanking him and walking off.

RATING: *****

 

 

GAMESHOW: It’s a Date (7:58)
It's a Date

–      Awesome sketch.

–      Loved the opening announcer bit: “the only dating gameshow still on TV.”

–      I agree with Stooge that this was the perfect way to utilize Samberg’s cameo and his and Timberlake’s singing characters rather than doing a brand-new digital short with them singing about some other type of their anatomy.

–      Aykroyd and Martin appearing as the Festrunk Brothers was COMPLETELY unexpected and awesome as well. You could tell that the audience knew exactly what was going to happen as soon as Hader mentioned that they were brothers from Czechoslovakia. Them saying they’ve been in America for 37 years was also a great meta-reference.

–      Bobby was an excellent straight man here too like always and I loved his reactions to all the insanity going on around him.

–      Vanessa Bayer was also pretty solid here and I liked her not enjoying Bobby’s decidedly normal answers but rather wanting to go on the date with the singers AND Festrunks.

–      Steve telling the singers he can’t believe they’re not black was also quite funny.

RATING: **** ½

 

 

SKETCH: Veganville (5:35)
Veganville

–      You had to expect this character of Timberlake’s to come back because it’s probably the easiest thing for them to write for him and he has enough charisma and dance moves to carry the whole thing. The Dancing with Myself parody was the best.

–      Moynihan’s appearance here was another great one. He is so good at playing straight roles or slightly-offbeat characters.

–      The Harlem Shake thing at the end was the only real downside but I guess they were going to parody the stupid fad at some point. Hopefully they just leave it alone now to all the shitty internet videos.

RATING: ***

 

 

COMMERCIAL: NuvaBling (1:23)
NuvaBling

–      This reminded me of a commercial parody they would’ve done back in the late 90s with most of the female cast.

–      I really liked the idea of reusing the NuvaBling as earrings as it provided for an amusing visual and Aidy and Cecily’s exchange (“Did you get those earrings Tiffany’s?” “Close, I got them from my vagina!”)

–      I wonder why Taran played that role that any male extra could’ve taken over.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Suit & Tie” (5:06)
Justin Timberlake1

–      Love the fact that JT introduced his own performance and merely said, “Make some noise! LET’S GO!”

–      This was a really good performance; Jay-Z coming out and adding to the performance was also unexpected and another fun cameo as well. The man was actually smiling!

 

 

WEEKEND UPDATE with Seth Meyers (7:31)

Guest: Stefon
update1 update2 update3 update4 update5

–      Best Jokes: Chavez funeral; Dennis Rodman/fake bishop; TSA restrictions; Hebrew Playboy jokes; Hooters; Daylight Savings Time

–      Stefon was awesome. This may have been the best edition thus far. The ovation for this character went on for quite a while as he has easily become one of the most popular ones in a long time. I actually noticed Hader making confused looks at the cue cards from time to time at the lines that were clearly written after he was given the final script. I especially loved the Sweet Willie Walker bit, the burned-down Red Lobster, Donald Duck having a Vietnam nightmare, a club being based on the novel Push by Sapphire, and of course… the human fanny pack. I also liked Stefon asking if Seth was taking his girlfriend to Mexico to kill her and then inviting him to join HIS five-timers club.

RATING: ****

 

 

SKETCH: The Tales of Sober Caligula (3:49)
The Tales of Sober Caligula

–      I know most people have been writing this off as the requisite bad sketch of the night but I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. At first, I thought it was gonna be a rehash of that sketch where they would make references to things that Caligula did that sounded a lot like things that Timberlake did but I was quite happy when it was not that.

–      Taran was pretty funny here in his brief role; I liked his little moment where he felt up Justin’s golden armour. It also seemed to make Justin come very close to cracking up afterwards.

–      Bobby, once again, was also tremendous here. Tim Robinson also deserves credit though for the moment with his little sex pig.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

SHOW: Maine Justice (5:40)
Maine Justice

–      I never ever expected this to come back and while it definitely couldn’t live up to the original sketch, it was still entertaining. Sudeikis was hilarious as usual and Timberlake was also great in the role replacing Jamie Foxx.

–      I loved Kate McKinnon’s New Orleans accent.

–      Andy Samberg was a good straight man as expected. He would always do these roles really well back in the days when he was a castmember as well.

–      The conversation that Sudeikis had with the big fake alligator was insane and just amped the sketch up in terms of ridiculous-ness. It was definitely my favourite part.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Mirrors” (4:57)
Justin Timberlake2

–      Loved the Three Amigos introduction.

–      Another great performance. Timberlake is so great.

 

 

COMMERCIAL: She’s Got a Dick (1:44)
She's Got a Dick

–      This meant well and it seemed to be a good parody of the type of romantic comedy that Timberlake would star in but I believe this was kinda the stinker of the night.

–      I did like Fred as Eugene Levy and Kenan’s lines.

–      I don’t agree with all those stupid GLAAD people believing the sketch is “transphobic” or whatever though. First of all, it’s not. Secondly, change the channel if you don’t like it.

RATING: **

 

 

COMMERCIAL: Moet & Chandon (3:49)
Moet & Chandon

–      Did NOT expect Vanessa and Cecily to bring back these characters but I really enjoyed this just as much as I did the first time back in the Jamie Foxx episode. Timberlake was also a great addition here. I have a feeling this will come back again multiple times.

–      So many great lines here like Bayer talking about her middle parts being just plastic bags, jerking off a horse (“now who’s the horse!”), Cecily being covered in blood that wasn’t hers (“I was like ‘hello!’”), and the final bit with Cecily saying “oral.”

RATING: *****

 

 

Goodnights
goodnights

 

BEST PERFORMER(S) OF THE NIGHT:

–      Justin Timberlake/Bobby Moynihan/Vanessa Bayer

 

 

FINAL THOUGHTS:

What else can I really say? This was an awesome episode chock-full of great performances, another superb job by Justin Timberlake, and some great music as well. All of the cameos were delightful! Only one middling sketch! This was the second-best episode of the season thus far, coming awfully close to the Christmas episode.

 

TONIGHT’S RATING: **** ½ 

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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


(Season 38, Episode 10)

Bumper

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: *****


by Brendan Wahl

(Season 37, Episode 5)

The Show:

1. Cold Opening: The Ghost of Kaddafi (3:12)

Muammer Kaddafi (Armisen) comments on what it’s like being dead and discusses the ups and downs of burning in hell for the rest of eternity.

– Funny cold open and in fact, probably one of the better Kaddafi appearances that the show has utilized.
– I loved the opening remark: “I got murdered pretty bad last week.” There were lots of other good stuff here though like Fred remarking about the elevator in The Shining and saying you can not reason with a mob.
– Very energetic LFNY from Fred.
Rating: *** 1/2

2. Monologue (4:20)

Charlie talks about growing up in New York and then decides to relax tonight, but Danny DeVito interrupts and tells him that he’s gotta go way over-the-top because it’s his first time hosting. Therefore, he does a “mediocre piano” number and gets everything off to an energetic start.

– I don’t remember the last time a host has been this energetic and thrilled to be in 8H. Maybe Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Charlie’s enthusiasm was very infectious and his jokes about being a child in the city were hilarious.
– As if that wasn’t good enough, Danny DeVito only adds to the monologue with his “surprise” cameo appearance .
– Charlie’s piano performance was also quite hilarious and the energy put into it was great.
Rating: ****

3. Kim’s Fairytale Divorce (2:45)

A special focusing on Kim Kardashian’s (Pedrad) divorce from her husband Kris Humphries (Samberg) 72 days after the wedding.

– Much like the opening, this was probably the best utilization of these impressions of the Kardashian sisters.
– The highlights here were Kristen Wiig as Kris Jenner, Taran as Bruce Jenner, and Samberg playing Humphries as a complete moron. Charlie Day was also pretty amusing here as the divorce lawyer.
– The ending was hilarious with Kim saying that things are looking up for her because she’s single and there’s an NBA lockout going on.
Rating: ****

4. The Dr. Oz Show (3:40)

Dr. Oz (Hader) welcomes on a guest (Day) to talk about his bowel problems but proceeds to humiliate him by making obvious statements and then making his guest participate in a particularly embarrassing demonstration.

– This was a funny piece. It may have seemed a bit juvenile at first but the acting by Charlie and Bill elevated it quite a bit. Charlie blowing into the replica of a rectum was amusing as was him going through the tunnel.
– Charlie’s combover look made me laugh quite a bit for some reason.
Rating: ***

5. Greek Gods (6:26)

In a discussion of the current Greek economic crisis, Zeus (Sudeikis) finds it difficult to locate a workable solution with various gods and goddesses including Dionysus (Day), Artemis (Bayer), Poseidon (Samberg), Ares (Killam), and many more.

– Terrific ensemble sketch. This reminded me of the Save Broadway and Save the Funnies sketches but it still held up very well on its own and didn’t recycle any jokes.
– My favourite parts here were Jay Pharoah’s bit as Apollo, Samberg’s long line as Poseidon (“Here’s the plan. I turn into a dolphin, hear me out. I have sex with a human woman, hear me out. It’s not consensual, hear me out. She’s my daughter.”), Kristen’s line about needing to get rid of her actual crabs, and Charlie Day’s whole scene (“Sorry, I’m late. Orgy stuff!”) and him finding out he had sex with an actual goat.
– Adam Levine’s quick bit as Yanni was amusing.
Rating: **** 1/2

6. It’s Getting Freaky with Cee Lo Green! (5:50)

Cee Lo (Thompson) hosts a talk show with the help of the Freakasaurus (Day) and Colonel Nasty (Hader) and tries to help a couple (Elliott & Samberg) put some freakiness back into their marriage.

– Pretty funny sketch. Much better than I expected when this started.
– Kenan didn’t even really even try for an accurate impression here but he was still funny and his overall look was quite amusing as well.
– The overall look of the sketch was fantastic from the crazy set to the dancers (Moynihan, Brittain, & Pharoah) decked out in the red jumpsuits.
– Charlie as Freakasaurus had to be a reference to his Green Man character from Always Sunny. I loved the fact that they referenced that because it’s something I DEFINITELY was not expecting to see.
– Bill Hader doing Colonel Nasty was terrific. It combined his great physical appearance as a Colonel Sanders-type character along with that great laugh he did in the Blackenstein sketch from Jesse Eisenberg/Nicki Minaj. I think he even made Samberg crack up a bit or he at least came perilously close to losing it.
– Great visual gag with the pile of ladies in Cee Lo’s dressing room, especially when Charlie jumped in again.
Rating: *** 1/2

7. The Original Kings of Catchphrase Comedy Volume 2 (3:05)

A sequel to the first compilation DVD with some of the original comics along with new ones like Dirk “Jack-Knife” Cane (Day), Bonnie “My Vagina” Carolina (Pedrad), Black Stewie Griffin (Pharoah), Rick “Watch It Or I’ll Suck Your Cock” Tipenski (Hader), and many more.

– This was just as hilarious as the first one, maybe even moreso. Way too many highlights to list all of them but I’ll point out some of them like Charlie’s homage to Dane Cook, Jason’s passive racist character, Nasim as Bonnie, Hader’s role, and Taran as the twins finishing each other’s “sentences… meatballs.”
– I find it hilarious that SNL SOMEHOW managed to work in a way to use Jay’s Stewie Griffin impression.
– Again, Adam Levine makes another amusing cameo here.
Rating: **** 1/2

8. Maroon 5 performs “Moves Like Jagger” (3:22)

– I. Hate. This. Song.
– Actually, to be quite honest, even with my bias this performance was still awful. This song does NOT sound good in a live setting (or any other setting, quite frankly) and ended up being terrible.
– No Christina Aguilera either, which might have boosted the song a bit.

9. WEEKEND UPDATE with Seth Meyers (14:58)
Guests: Gov. Rick Perry and Judy Grimes

Best Jokes: Kim Kardashian divorce; Justin Bieber paternity suit; impotence treatment; Dubai/prostitute; anti-aging discovery; sleep study








– The first commentary by Bill Hader-as-Rick Perry was fantastic and he did a great recreation of the drunken speech he did some time ago. Bill’s mannerisms and slurred speech was perfect and I loved his insane story about being drugged by Herman Cain’s pizza and then Cain admitting his sexual harassment charges were true. I think Bill messed up too when he said “hola” instead of “aloha,” which Seth called him out on, causing Bill to chuckle a bit.
– I loved Seth’s “A Closer Look at Europe” segment. Every single part of it. I now know what a germance is.
– It was pretty fun to see Judy Grimes back again. It is essentially the same every time but I always enjoy her fantastic delivery with the rapid-fire dialogue. I loved her gasp at the beginning as well.
Rating: ****

10. Because of One Dolphin (4:33)

An actor (Day) has problems on the set when his scene with a dolphin faces distractions from the animal’s trainer (Killam) making annoying noises to get the animal to perform well.

– A good sketch due to Charlie’s straightman performance and Taran’s insane vocal tics and motions to the dolphin.
– Kenan constantly saying, “I do my job!” was also worth a couple of chuckles.
– The ending with Kenan switching places with Charlie was funny, especially with Charlie admitting he wasn’t recording audio that whole time.
Rating: ***

11. Maroon 5 (feat. Travie McCoy) performs “Stereo Heart” (3:29)

– This wasn’t anything special but compared to the first performance, this was LIGHT YEARS better. I don’t know if the addition of Travie McCoy helped but it couldn’t have hurt.

12. Crime Scene (3:49)

An aging detective (Day) and a police officer (Sudeikis) investigate the crime scene of a murder and through their discussion, it is evident that the detective has no knowledge of pop culture or even historical events like World War II. Although, when attempting to piece the case together, he does seem to inadvertently reference Seinfeld and baseball terms, much to the officer’s frustration.

– This was a classic ten-to-one sketch. It reminded me of the quality of the potato chip thief sketch or the one with Tracy Morgan talking about rocket dogs.
– Charlie and Jason had amazing chemistry together, which was to be expected considering the two movies they did together and Jason’s guest spot on Always Sunny.
– Charlie did a HILARIOUS impression of Kramer and it caused him AND Jason to lose it momentarily. Rare to see Suds crack up.
– The ending bit with Moynihan as a George Costanza look-alike was quite funny, but the CSI part was even better.
Rating: *****

13. Lil Poundcake (1:18)

Repeat from Melissa McCarthy/Lady Antebellum.

13. Goodnights

– I really hope Charlie comes back. Looks like he had a ball.

OVERALL: An excellent show, even better than the stellar season premiere. Charlie Day was an energetic host who brought some great performances to the show and fit in with the cast like a glove. Maroon 5 was an alright musical guest with at least one decent performance but they didn’t really detract too much away from this awesome show. Danny DeVito showing up was great too and as far as the cast goes, Bill Hader and Jason Sudeikis are the big standouts this week.

 

BREAKDOWN:

HOST: CHARLIE DAY – 8 segments (Monologue; Kim’s Fairytale Divorce; The Dr. Oz Show; Greek Gods; It’s Getting Freaky with Cee Lo Green!; The Original Kings of Catchphrase Comedy Volume 2; Because of One Dolphin; Crime Scene)
MUSICAL GUEST: MAROON 5 – (Greek Gods [Adam Levine]; The Original Kings of Catchphrase Comedy Volume 2 [Adam Levine])

CAMEO: DANNY DEVITO – 1 segment (Monologue)

FRED ARMISEN – 3 segments (The Ghost of Kaddafi; Greek Gods; The Original Kings of Catchphrase Comedy Volume 2)
ABBY ELLIOTT – 4 segments (Kim’s Fairytale Divorce; Greek Gods; It’s Getting Freaky with Cee Lo Green!; The Original Kings of Catchphrase Comedy Volume 2)
BILL HADER – 6 segments (The Dr. Oz Show; Greek Gods; It’s Getting Freaky with Cee Lo Green!; The Original Kings of Catchphrase Comedy Volume 2; Weekend Update; Crime Scene)
SETH MEYERS – 2 segments (Weekend Update; The Original Kings of Catchphrase Comedy Volume 2)
BOBBY MOYNIHAN – 4 segments (Greek Gods; It’s Getting Freaky with Cee Lo Green!; The Original Kings of Catchphrase Comedy Volume 2; Crime Scene)
NASIM PEDRAD – 3 segments (Kim’s Fairytale Divorce; Greek Gods; The Original Kings of Catchphrase Comedy Volume 2)
ANDY SAMBERG – 4 segments (Kim’s Fairytale Divorce; Greek Gods; It’s Getting Freaky with Cee Lo Green!; The Original Kings of Catchphrase Comedy Volume 2)
JASON SUDEIKIS – 3 segments (Greek Gods; The Original Kings of Catchphrase Comedy Volume 2; Crime Scene)
KENAN THOMPSON – 4 segments (Greek Gods; It’s Getting Freaky with Cee Lo Green!; The Original Kings of Catchphrase Comedy Volume 2; Because of One Dolphin)
KRISTEN WIIG – 6 segments (Kim’s Fairytale Divorce; Greek Gods; The Original Kings of Catchphrase Comedy Volume 2; Weekend Update; Because of One Dolphin; Lil Poundcake)

VANESSA BAYER – 4 segments (Kim’s Fairytale Divorce; Greek Gods; The Original Kings of Catchphrase Comedy Volume 2; Lil Poundcake)
PAUL BRITTAIN – 4 segments (Greek Gods; It’s Getting Freaky with Cee Lo Green!; The Original Kings of Catchphrase Comedy Volume 2; Because of One Dolphin)
TARAN KILLAM – 4 segments (Kim’s Fairytale Divorce; Greek Gods; The Original Kings of Catchphrase Comedy Volume 2; Because of One Dolphin)
JAY PHAROAH – 4 segments (Kim’s Fairytale Divorce; Greek Gods; It’s Getting Freaky with Cee Lo Green!; The Original Kings of Catchphrase Comedy Volume 2)

EPISODE MVPs: Bill Hader/Kristen Wiig


by Brendan Wahl

(Season 3, Episode 20)

Here it is, the season finale. It’s been quite an awesome ride with this season with only one small misfire (Kahn/Mahal) and a huge number of very strong episodes and near-classics. Even ones that were not great like Chevy Chase/Billy Joel or Jill Clayburgh/Eddie Money were still fairly good. It’s pretty telling of a season’s quality when some of the worst episodes average at probably about *** 1/2.

Of course, we close out the season as we always did from seasons 2-5: with lovable reliable ol’ Buck Henry, a very easy host to work with for the Not Ready For Primetime Players and one who was willing to go places with the sketches that many other hosts would’ve shied away from doing.

 

The Show:

“The Boy in the Plastic Pants Suit” will not be seen tonight.

1. Cold Opening: Nixon’s Book (2:59)

Former President Richard Nixon (Aykroyd) urges people to buy his book and says that even if you don’t believe him and you don’t want to read it, you can just buy it and then kick it around. That’ll show him!

– Great use of Danny’s Nixon impression and it was also pretty funny to see after Aykroyd’s blatant attack on Tricky Dick during the goodnights last week.
– Aykroyd’s solution to buy the book just to kick it around was hilarious and I liked him attributing it to his famous quote, “You don’t have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore.” His comment that Pat was already on her fourth copy was also pretty amusing.
– Garrett Morris gets a role here that any extra could’ve played.
Rating: *** 1/2

2. Monologue (3:29)

Buck professes his love for hosting the show and being a part of this great experience all the while some scrolling text proclaims Buck’s career to be over and that he is clinging onto his last shred of fame.

– Hilarious monologue. I loved the text that scrolled by during Buck’s serious speech about the dignity he has, his loving family, and the fact that NBC being in third place can’t really afford to be sentimental by thrusting a sad-sack like Buck onto the stage as the host of the season finale. The whole thing was just timed perfectly too.
Rating: **** 1/2

3. Nerd Prom (7:50)

Todd DiLaMuca (Murray) gets ready to escort Lisa Loopner (Radner) to the prom along with Todd’s dad Marshall (Henry), who drives them there. They eventually convince Mrs. Loopner (Curtin) to join them as well.

– Nice callback to the previous Nerds sketch with Lisa playing the same piano tune at the beginning.
– Another terrific sketch featuring the Nerds. Buck Henry was a great addition as Marshall DiLaMuca (still DiLaBounta at the time), but of course everyone worked really hard in making this great sketch work well again.
– My favourite parts were Gilda saying she knows the facts of life (she DID get an A in health), Buck’s lame John Travolta joke, pretty much all the interaction between Billy and Gilda, and the quick moment with Buck picking his nose.
– I like how with every sketch, the death of “the late Mr. Loopner” gets more gruesome and mysterious.
Rating: *****

4. Samurai T.V. Repairman (3:27)

Mr. Dantley (Henry) visits the electronic repair shop to have Samurai Futaba (Belushi) take a look and repair his television.

– Of course, nothing will ever top the classic Samurai Delicatessen sketch but I’ve never really disliked any of these sketches.
– I particularly liked the inspector tag on the TV from Japan being revealed to be the Samurai’s mother’s ID number.
– The ending with Belushi striking it with the sword and fixing it and then using his swords for antennas was also brilliant.
Rating: ****

5. Sodom Chamber of Commerce (4:17)

The ancient ciity of Sodom holds a council in which its members (Henry, Aykroyd, Belushi, Morris, & Murray) attempt to come up with a positive spin on their city that will do away with the whole imagery of sodomy and human sacrifice.

– Very funny and creative sketch. They could never get away with something like this today for the subject matter alone. I mean, an entire sketch about anal sex? The censors would pass out.
– Great performance from Buck here as the sturdy straightman. His deadpan delivery on some ridiculous and dark lines made them even more effective. He even had some fairly cheesy lines here but because of Buck’s wonderful performance, he made them work too.
– Murray was hilarious too, especially his delivery while reading their slogan: “You have to be crazy to live in Sodom. Crazy about sodomy.”
– The ending with Jane, Laraine, and Gilda was great.
Rating: **** 1/2

6. UPDATE TEASER w/Jane Curtin (:06)

Donny Osmond consummates his marriage while his wife, Debbie, watches.

7. WEEKEND UPDATE w/Dan Aykroyd & Jane Curtin (9:32)
Guest: Laraine Newman and Bill Murray

Best Jokes: hamburgers; fanfare expression; Charlie Chaplin’s body; Italy/abortions






– Yet ANOTHER great sponsor bit.
– The fanfare bit really worked due to Aykroyd’s terrific delivery.
– The first piece is Laraine Newman reporting from the Son of Sam trial via an artist’s rendering because there were no cameras allowed in the courthouse. Pretty funny stuff here, actually, with the crappy drawing and the reporting giving us absolutely no real information on the case.
– Bill Murray comes by to review The Greek Tycoon based on a quick clip he is shown at the last second. His best bit was accusing one of the actors for saying “excuse me” and stealing Steve Martin’s line in the process. His attempt at calling Jackie Onassis (to inform her that the movie ripped off her life) was also hilarious, especially him saying John Belushi’s name after his own name doesn’t get him anywhere. Terrific segment.
– Aykroyd’s commentary on Betty Ford’s alcoholism was pretty funny devolving into a reference to other first ladies’ problems with the juice. It died with the audience though.
– The Point/Counterpoint segment deals with Dan and Jane arguing in a courteous way about which side they will take, but then they soon devolve into a sharp-tongued debate about the merits of jogging. I like the minor changes they made to this and it made for another classic point/counterpoint.
– Perfect edition of Update this week.
Rating: *****

8. The Olympia Cafe (5:05)

Life continues at the Chicago-based restaurant where a representative (Henry) from Rent-a-Doberman comes in to talk with Pete (Belushi) about getting a guard dog in the restaurant to protect it from burglary.

– Very funny edition of this recurring sketch. I really liked Belushi haggling the price of the doberman rental and his consrant firing and rehiring of Murray’s character was a hoot as well. It really says something for Bill’s acting when I actually felt really bad for him everytime he got mistreated in this sketch.
– Belushi grabbing an axe to take care of “that lamb in the basement” was a great little moment.
Rating: ****

9. Mr. Mike’s Least-Loved Music (2:56)

Mr. Mike sings a tune called “Baby Ghouls” while a vampire (Newman) provides backup and eventually bites his neck.

– An example of Mr. Mike’s strange warped sense of humour. This wasn’t so much laugh-out-loud funny as much as it was an insane, strange, and dark conceptual piece with some great stuff from a singing Mr. Mike and Laraine.
– I loved Laraine’s sign-language bit at the beginning.
Rating: *** 1/2

10. More Insects to Worry About (4:41)

Joan Face (Curtin) interviews Dr. Russell Bedanza (Henry) about other various forms of insects that are making their way to the United States.

– The first time they did this sketch, I thought it was okay but I don’t really see the merit in repeating it again in the same season. This was actually quite a bit better than the first edition though and Buck and Jane had great chemistry together.
– The part that made me laugh the most is Jane quickly mentioning that part of Buck’s research included living with the insects as one of their kind. My favourite insect that Buck mentions is the one that enters through any opening on the body and brings in everday items to the brain like car keys, a paperback novel, and other such ridiculous items.
Rating: ****

11. Stunt Puppy (4:54)

Middle-aged actor Howard (Henry) is directed to inflict abuse on a puppy during a film shoot, but the director (Murray) makes sure to bring in a stunt puppy for the scenes.

– This was essentially a carbon-copy of Stunt Baby, but it was still hilarious nonetheless. Murray turns in another great smarmy performance as the director and Buck’s scene of violence against the puppy was almost as good as the one he had with the baby in his previous episode.
Rating: ****

12. Bad Conceptual Art (2:58)

Leonard Pinth-Garnell (Aykroyd) presents a piece on bad conceptual art named “Pavlov Video Chicken I” featuring three performers (Morris, Newman, & Radner).

– Yet ANOTHER recurring sketch tonight. And yet, with all of the recurring pieces tonight, it’s still looking like another excellent episode is in the books tonight.
– This was an okay edition of the sketch but overall it was not quite as good as most of these pieces were. It felt like they were just being weird and thought it would translate into great material but it didn’t really work as well as it was planned.
Rating: **

13. The Franken and Davis Show (4:20)

Al and Tom prepare to do their “famous” sumo wrestling piece but Davis can no longer take the pressure of hiding his secret. After Al reveals his “wife” and “son,” Tom yells out that they are in fact gay lovers and have been living a lie. This causes Al’s family to walk out on him.

– This was excellent and one of my favourite Franken and Davis pieces that these guys ever did. The audience jeering when Tom asks if they have respect for Al now was the cherry on the cake.
– I especially liked Al’s son’s outburst about how much he hates him now.
– The ending was so dark with Franken committing suicide but the two of them waving after the title card made it even funnier with Tom declaring that Al “didn’t really shoot himself.”
Rating: *****

14. Sun Ra performs “Space is the Place” and “Space-Loneliness” (6:03)

– Hands-down, one of the strangest performances in the history of the show. There’s been some odd acts on the show like the I’m The Slime performance by Frank Zappa, David Bowie singing Boys Keep Swinging with a super-imposed puppet body, and Devo in general, but this was one of the most oddly compelling ones that also doubled as one of the more creative performances I’ve seen in some time.
– I also find it very interesting that this was pushed to the very end of the show. Perhaps Lorne knew they would lose a lot of people at this point and didn’t want to take that risk. Or maybe it was the network’s suggestion not to take it. Either way, it was probably a wise business move because I’m sure a lot of SNL‘s audience was pretty weirded out by this segment.
– They keep playing long after the bumper has shown up.

15. Goodnights

– Buck mentions “they’ll all be back in the fall… or not.”

 

OVERALL: A very, very strong season finale with only one lowpoint (Bad Conceptual Art) and many classic sketches to choose from. It’s always nice to have a reliable host like Buck Henry close out the season and the show always benefitted from having him as the host. There was A LOT of recurring material tonight (the only things that weren’t recurring was the cold open, monologue, and the sodomy sketch. It didn’t really bug me though because 90% of it was great to begin with and warranted some additional follow-ups to the sketches.

I’ve said all I can say about the season in general so let’s just say that it ended on a high note to what was an INCREDIBLE string of episodes with VERY minor blips on the radar.

APPEARANCES:

HOST: BUCK HENRY – 7 segments (Monologue; Nerd Prom; Samurai T.V. Repairman; Sodom Chamber of Commerce; The Olympia Cafe; More Insects to Worry About; Stunt Puppy)

DAN AYKROYD – 5 segments (Nixon’s Book; Sodom Chamber of Commerce; Weekend Update; The Olympia Cafe; Bad Conceptual Art)
JOHN BELUSHI – 3 segments (Samurai T.V. Repairman; Sodom Chamber of Commerce; The Olympia Cafe)
JANE CURTIN – 6 segments (Nerd Prom; Sodom Chamber of Commerce; Weekend Update; The Olympia Cafe; More Insects to Worry About; Stunt Puppy)
GARRETT MORRIS – 5 segments (Nixon’s Book; Sodom Chamber of Commerce; The Olympia Cafe; Stunt Puppy; Bad Conceptual Art)
BILL MURRAY – 5 segments (Nerd Prom; Sodom Chamber of Commerce; Weekend Update; The Olympia Cafe; Stunt Puppy)
LARAINE NEWMAN – 5 segments (Sodom Chamber of Commerce; Weekend Update; The Olympia Cafe; Mr. Mike’s Least-Loved Music; Bad Conceptual Art)
GILDA RADNER – 5 segments (Nerd Prom; Sodom Chamber of Commerce; The Olympia Cafe; Stunt Puppy; Bad Conceptual Art)

TOM DAVIS – 1 segment (The Franken and Davis Show)
AL FRANKEN – 1 segment (The Franken and Davis Show)

 

AND NOW…

MY END-OF-THE-SEASON AWARDS:

Best Shows:

1. Steve Martin/Blues Brothers (4/22/78)
2. Robert Klein/Bonnie Raitt (1/28/78)
3. Buck Henry/Sun Ra (5/20/78)

Worst Shows:

1. Madeline Kahn/Taj Mahal (10/8/77)
2. Chevy Chase/Billy Joel (2/18/78)
3. Jill Clayburgh/Eddie Money (3/18/78)

Best Hosts:

1. Steve Martin
2. Buck Henry
3. Michael Palin

Worst Hosts:

1. Hugh Hefner
2. Michael Sarrazin
3. Art Garfunkel

Best Musical Guests:

1. Elvis Costello
2. Ray Charles
3. The Blues Brothers

Worst Musical Guests:

1. Keith Jarrett
2. Libby Titus
3. Ashford & Simpson

This was a really tough list to make and a lot of the ‘worst’ categories are just the weakest by default.


 

by Brendan Wahl

(Season 3, Episode 19)

We’re getting close, folks.

The Show:

1. Cold Opening: Paraquat Chase (2:36)

The journey of some paraquat-laced marijuana is followed from some field in Mexico all the way to New York City where a young actor (Murray) buys a joint from a member of the SNL Band.

– Creative opening, if not flat-out hilarious.
– I always like Gilda doing a foreign accent and John did a good job here as well.
– Despite Aykroyd’s voice-only role here, I think I’m going to include him at the end in the appearances section because he was such a major part of this opening.
Rating: ** 1/2

2. Monologue (4:40)

Richard talks about his Oscar win and then announces that a certain Not Ready For Primetime Player convinced him to put on an acting performance. He does a scene from Hamlet but is interrupted by John Belushi (who claims he was helping out a fellow actor). Dreyfuss’ insistence that John ruined his monologue segues into an angry rant from the future star of Animal House.

Pretty similar to Art Garfunkel’s monologue from earlier in the season, but Belushi was very funny as per usual and I always love his angry ranting. Richard was great foil here too as a straightman and he actually cracked up quite a bit during John’s rant. However, it was pretty natural and he made it seem like it was part of the monologue.
– I believe there was actual tension between Dreyfuss and Belushi during the week leading up to this episode, much like there was between Belushi and Gary Busey as well. What was it with John not getting along with Oscar nominees/winners?
Rating: *** 1/2

3. Cone Encounters of the Third Kind (7:11)

Roy Neary (Dreyfuss) continues to lose his mind with the visions of a strange cone-shaped object. After he becomes quite agitated, he witnesses an ad on TV for Beldar’s (Aykroyd) driving school and seeks out the Conehead family. Meanwhile, Merkon (Morris) and Kuldroth (Belushi) visit the family for a status report on their takeover of Earth.

– As Susan Saint James put it in her 1981 monologue, this is what would be known as the “host sketch,” a segment designed to revolve around a famous project that the host was involved in. In this case, it’s Dreyfuss’ role in Close Encounters of the Third Kind mixed with a typical Coneheads sketch. This was pretty good though.
– Dreyfuss was great here as the exasperated Roy Neary (though he did look like he was on the verge of giggles at times) and Dan, Jane, and Laraine were excellent as always as the pointy-headed family. Belushi and Garrett were good additions as fellow coneheads.
– Beldar’s driving instructor commercial was pretty amusing.
– Did anyone catch the quick Walter Cronkite appearance on the TV in the background?
– The special effects were so delightfully cheesy.
Rating: *** 1/2

4. Jimmy Buffet sings “Son of a Sailor” (3:10)

– The beginning with the Jaws music playing for a moment and Richard looking around nervously was the start of an amusing runner for this episode.
– Jimmy delivers a pretty good laid-back performance here.
– Does anyone know why Jimmy is in a cast here? He even references it in his song, which was pretty funny.

5. Sex Test (4:50)

Richard Dreyfuss tests viewers’ knowledge of sex-related topics with the help of various sex specialists (Morris, Murray, Newman, & Radner).

– This was a terrific piece with some good performances from the cast and Dreyfuss as the main moderator of the sketch. My favourite expert was probably Bill Murray as the sleazy Penthouse Magazine advisor. Garrett being credited as a “black sex therapist” was pretty ridiculous too.
– Some of the statements were ridiculous, especially Richard saying that couples should have sex the same amount of times every week equal to the years they’ve been married.
Rating: ****

6. UPDATE TEASER w/Jane Curtin (:06)

– Brooke Shields looks back.

7. WEEKEND UPDATE w/Dan Aykroyd & Jane Curtin (10:28)
Guests: Bill Murray (with Richard Dreyfuss & Marsha Mason) and Roseanne Roseannadanna

Best Jokes: car recall; Federal Reserve currency





– Loved the sponsor bit again but the audience didn’t seem to get it.
– Jane’s opening piece about the fan mail complaining that she reacts in an over-the-top way was hilarious, especially Dan’s comment and the culmination of it later when Roseanne makes her appearance.
– Bill Murray stops by to comment on the crappy job he did at predicting the Oscars and makes his case that Richard Burton should have won over Richard Dreyfuss. He shows a clip of Belushi-as-Dreyfuss and Gilda-as-Marsha Mason in a “clip” from The Goodbye Girl, which was hysterical. Gilda’s non-reactiun and Belushi’s impression made for a hilarious segment. Richard’s a pretty good sport for letting the show do this while he was the host because they ribbed him a bit with this segment.
– Roseanne Roseannadanna comments on two UFO sightings outside of Florida and responds to Mr. Richard Feder and his many questions. The usual great stuff from Gilda here as she seamlessly goes from the topic at hand to disgusting side topics. I especially liked her asking Jane if a rear end ever talked to her. Jane’s huge freakout was quite funny and even moreso than usual because of the spology bit she did at the beginning of Update. Plus, I got to see her bra again. Thank YOU, Jane Curtin.
– There were only like four actual jokes this week but they were all good, especially the two I highlighted.
Rating: **** 1/2

8. Nick Springs (6:49)

Nick the Lounge Singer (Murray) entertains a number of newlyweds at the Pocomount Honeymoon Lounge with the help of Paul Shaffer and an appearance from Jimmy Joe Red Sky (Aykroyd).

– These sketches are always a buttload of fun. One of Bill’s most popular characters takes center-stage here and does some great riffing on some classic songs, particularly the one he does at the beginning.
– Nick’s interaction with his audience is great as well and I especially liked him singing Poison Ivy to Belushi & Radner and then singing Havana Negila to a terrified Richard Dreyfuss playing a Jewish music-biz producer. This is like the third or fourth time I’ve noticed ol’ Dick cracking up too.
– Another reference to a Dreyfuss film… Close Encounters of the Third Kind again.
– This was definitely a classic. Maybe the best Nick the Lounge Singer sketch so far.
Rating: *****

9. Pet Peeves (7:31)

A pair of lovers (Dreyfuss & Newman) confess to each other what they hate most about each other’s personalities and the little things they do that drive each other crazy.

– A Marilyn Suzanne Miller classic if I ever saw one. She proved to be quite the prolific writer in the early years and her sketches (which are more like one-act plays) were usually the highlight or very close to the highlight of the episodes they appear in.
– The acting here was great and it was to be expected from Dreyfuss being an Oscar-noominated actor and all but Laraine definitely holds her own here as well.
Rating: *****

10. The David Susskind Show (4:51)

To commemorate Mother’s Day, David Susskind (Murray) welcomes Tom Snyder (Aykroyd), Henry Kissinger (Belushi), and Leon Spinks (Morris) along with each of their mothers.

– Funny sketch with a grounded performance from Bill Murray as David Susskind. I loved when he was using all the unnecessary big words at the beginning of the sketch.
– Jane, Laraine, and Gilda were funny as the mothers but I believe Jane was the best of the three as Emma Lou Snyder. She had Tom’s mannerisms down fairly well and was extremely funny to boot. Gilda’s look as Leon’s mother was also very funny.
– It’s been a while since Belushi busted out his Kissinger impression.
Rating: *** 1/2

11. Gary Tigerman sings “White Oaxacan Moon” (2:46)

– I expected to hate this strange slow-tempo song but the chorus actually hooked me quite a bit and Tigerman’s voice was pretty good as well.
– Pretty obscure guest, though.

12. Father Guido Sarducci (4:43)

Father Guido Sarducci (writer Don Novello)  takes center-stage and explains to everyone how you pay for your sins when you die. Some sins are not worth much, like masturbating, but it adds up.

– The debut of a majorly popular recurring character. This first edition was very, very funny and Don had lots of great lines and some brilliant comic timing. I loved his remarks about Jesus’ brother Billy Christ, how much of a fine each sin accounts for, as well as his quick comment about there being no free lunch. A near-classic.
– Don is on crutches because of his injury sustained during the Penalty Box sketch during the Michael Sarrazin dress rehearsal.
Rating: **** 1/2

13. Richard Dreyfuss sings “I Want To Be Seduced” (2:28)

– Yes, you read that right. Dreyfuss is singing a song. He actually does a half-decent job here and it’s a pretty charming little performance.
– One thing: if this was a song written by Gary Tigerman, why did Dreyfuss perform it instead of him?

14. Goodnights

– Land Shark finally gets to attack Dreyfuss after the hints at it earlier in the night. It’s not Chevy, but it was still a funny little capper.
– Dreyfuss and Belushi share a pretty big hug so maybe the tension was over-exaggerated or they did that because there was some respect between them regardless of Belushi thinking Richard Burton should’ve won the Oscar instead of the host.
– Dan Aykroyd shows off his anti-Nixon “Don’t Buy Books From Crooks” shirt.

OVERALL: Of course, it was an unenviable task to have to follow last week’s killer episode but this one never really faltered and more than held its own, bolstering a handful of little-known classic sketches. Richard was a charming host and even though he had trouble keeping a straight face at times, he was still entertaining and put a good effort in, particularly with Laraine in the Pet Peeves sketch. I’d like to imagine what the show would’ve been like had Richard Burton won the Oscar and hosted instead of Dreyfuss. I bet he would’ve been good with his theatre background and everything. Still, this was an excellent episode and its only small flaw was that the cold open wasn’t all that.

APPEARANCES:

HOST: RICHARD DREYFUSS – 6 segments (Monologue; Cone Encounters of the Third Kind; Sex Test; Nick Springs; Pet Peeves; “I Want To Be Seduced”)

DAN AYKROYD – 5 segments (Paraquat Chase; Cone Encounters of the Third Kind; Weekend Update; Nick Springs; The David Susskind Show)
JOHN BELUSHI – 6 segments (Paraquat Chase; Monologue; Cone Encounters of the Third Kind; Weekend Update; Nick Springs; The David Susskind Show)
JANE CURTIN – 3 segments (Cone Encounters of the Third Kind; Weekend Update; The David Susskind Show)
GARRETT MORRIS – 3 segments (Cone Encounters of the Third Kind; Sex Test; The David Susskind Show)
BILL MURRAY – 6 segments (Paraquat Chase; Cone Encounters of the Third Kind; Sex Test; Weekend Update; Nick Springs; The David Susskind Show)
LARAINE NEWMAN – 5 segments (Cone Encounters of the Third Kind; Sex Test; Nick Springs; Pet Peeves; The David Susskind Show)
GILDA RADNER – 5 segments (Paraquat Chase; Sex Test; Weekend Update [2 roles]; Nick Springs; The David Susskind Show)

TOM DAVIS – none
AL FRANKEN – none

EPISODE MVP: Bill Murray


by Brendan Wahl

(Season 3, Episode 18)

The Show:

1. Cold Opening: Rock Concert (3:32)

Don Kirshner (Paul Shaffer) presents another edition of Rock Concert with the two hottest blues musicians on tap right now, the Blues Brothers (Aykroyd & Belushi). The duo sing “Hey Bartender” before Don closes out the segment.

– Paul Shaffer is always fun with his impression of Don Kirshner. This sketch was no different but he was CLEARLY reading directly off the cue cards here. His hilariously stiff turning towards the stage made up for that though.
– Because most of this segment was a musical performance, I can not rate this in good conscience. I will say that I’ve always enjoyed the performances from Danny and John as the Blues Brothers as well. I always forget that Belushi was quite the talented musician on top of being a great comedic performer.

2. Monologue (5:56)

Steve does some stand-up and then shows off his magic skills by pickpocketing an unsuspecting audience member (Murray).

– Excellent monologue. Steve was his usual great charismatic self with some fantastic stand-up especially the stuff he does on going over an audience’s head with his material. I also really loved his story about the cathedral and the story he then read that said “Apply to infested area.”
– Bill did a great job here too as a clueless audience member and the whole part with Steve basically stripping him down was hilarious.
Rating: *****

3. Hey You! (1:28)
– Repeat from Mary Kay Place/Willie Nelson (12/10/77).
– Wait a second! I just realized now… is that Buck Henry in the really quick shot before they cut from the bar scene?
Rating: *****

4. Festrunk Brothers (7:58)

The swinging Czech brothers (Martin & Aykroyd) are back and this time, they await the arrival of two foxes along with their friend Cliff (Morris). Unfortunately for them, Cliff convinces them that they’ve been tricked and that the girls are not coming over.

– Wow, these characters are already getting a huge reaction just from their entrance onto the set.
– Another hilarious and classic edition of the Festrunk Brothers sketches. I particularly love the energy that they put into their performances and as far as specifics go, that huge vacuum cleaner thing was great and Cliff making fun of the brothers for their catchphrases was also pretty amusing.
– I guess I didn’t really get the joke about going to the Statue of Liberty for birth control devices. I feel stupid so can someone explain this to me?
– I think Garrett almost lost it at one point.
Rating: *****

5. Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber (6:33)

Theodoric (Martin) treats his patients with many prehistoric methods like curing one woman’s (Newman) blood loss with additional bloodletting, curing one man’s broken legs with, yes, additional bloodletting, and having his assistant Brungilda (Radner) helping out with the proceedings.

– Another classic sketch. They would follow this up with one about Theodoric as a judge, but it never quite lived up to this classic first installment.
– The best parts in this sketch was Bill Murray’s whole scene, Belushi as a hunchback saying that Theodoric previously worked on it, Steve’s dissection of even more medieval practices, the bit with the Caladrious bird (it seemed like a bit of a blooper), and the final speech as well which was very reminiscent of that great Mike McMack sketch from the season premiere.
– Everything about this worked though really and the performances were terrific from all involved. The highlights were most likely from Steve and Gilda. I got a kick out of Gilda’s strange mannerisms and groaning noises that she kept making.
Rating: *****

6. Dancing in the Dark (3:12)

Two strangers (Martin & Radner) spot each other from opposite sides of a bar and begin to dance throughout the studio while everyone else is frozen in motion.

– Yet another classic sketch. This is probably one of Gilda’s (and definitely Steve’s) best moments on the show and they really excelled at doing this flawless, yet goofy dancing seqquence for the entire duration of the segment.
– I’m running out of stars, guys.
Rating: *****

7. UPDATE TEASER w/Jane Curtin (:06)

– Pat Nixon has a gallstone removed.

8. WEEKEND UPDATE w/Dan Aykroyd & Jane Curtin (5:58)
Guest: Garrett Morris

Best Jokes: Jimmy Hoffa; nasal contraceptive; Garrett killed



– Garrett does the only commentary here to test out marijuana for paraquat and it was quite funny. I love how Aykroyd said that a survey shows 97% of SNL viewers smoke it daily. The later story about Garrett added to it and was pretty funny as well.
– For the third week in a row, we have a Point/Counterpoint segment, this time on abortions. This one was better than last week’s good edition and at least we got the “Jane, you ignorant slut” argument back again. I love how angry they get during their segment and then how they’re completely cordial afterwards.
Rating: ****

9. King Tut (3:01)

Steve talks about the commercialization of King Tut and the way he’s being exploited before launching into a giddy performance highlighting exactly what he just condemned.

– One classic after another. After a brief break with a great-but-not-perfect Update, we’re back to the classic sketches with another fantastic performance from Steve and a wonderful overall segment.
– If I’m not mistaken, there are members of the Dirt Band backing him up.
– I heard a segment on Opie and Anthony where they TRASHED this song. I have to say… are they retarded?! Just because not everything the man makes is gold means you need to trash his classic bits.
Rating: *****

10. Love Story (4:44)

A middle-aged couple (Belushi & Curtin) admit their extra-marital affairs to each other and it helps them get in the mood for one another in the bedroom.

– A great sketch with some terrific chemistry between John Belushi and Jane Curtin, which is funny considering they hated each other.
– The two actors really do some of their best work here and the way in which they describe their sexual encounters to each other was a hoot. The ending was very funny too with the revelation that they may be lying to each other just to get in the mood for sex. Jane yelling about rubber gloves made me fall off my chair laughing.
Rating: ****

11. Gary Weis Film: Swan Lake Ballet (1:53)

Various ballerinas perform to the tune of “Swan Lake” along with some hip hop performers, as choreographed by Toni Basil.

– Probably one of the better Gary Weis films. This wasn’t played for laughs at all but it was well-done and the choreography was quite good as expected. Also, this would be the last film by Gary Weis that appeared on Saturday Night Live.
– If anyone has more information on this film that’d be great. Like who the ballerinas/hip hop dancers were, etc.
Rating: ****

12. Troff ‘n’ Brew (2:55)

A number of business executives (Martin, Aykroyd, Belushi, Curtin, Morris, & Murray) stop by for lunch at the Troff ‘n’ Brew, a restaurant where you can eat like a pig… quite literally.

– Pretty funny and creative sketch that was probably a lot of fun to perform in. The juxtaposition of the businessmen dipping their faces into the chili trough while talking shop was funny stuff.
– I really liked the subtle bit with the pictures on the back wall, especially the one with the people’s faces covered with chili and it saying “This chili is so hot.”
– The hosedown was a funny sight gag at the end.
Rating: ***

13. Nerds Science Fair (5:24)

Lisa Loopner (Radner) and Todd DiLaMuca (Murray) are back again and this time they’re competing in a science fair against fellow nerds like the competitive Charles Knerlman (Martin) and their friend Grant Robinson Jr. (Morris).

– Wow, the Nerds are back already after only two episodes but that’s okay because Lisa and Todd are two of the most endearing characters that were on during the first five years. This was another great sketch with these characters.
– I especially liked Todd and Lisa’s project, Dialing for Toast, and Garrett coming up with a “project” that involves rubbing balloons on a sweater to make statis electricity.
– Steve was hilarious here as per the norm for the entire night and he really pulled off the snobbish nerd thing really well. I like how his project was a plutonium bomb.
Rating: **** 1/2

14. The Blues Brothers sing “I Don’t Know” (3:54)

– A second performance from these guys? I’m down. Much like the cold open, what we got here was another entertaining performance and some great vocals by Belushi.
– Belushi did some pretty crazy acrobats here for a bigger guy.

15. Nest Week in Review (4:53)

Three near-future psychics (Martin, Aykroyd, & Curtin) predict some upcoming events while host Maxine Universe (Newman) acts as the moderator.

– Fun concept here and I enjoyed the performances from all involved. Laraine served as a good straightman to all the craziness as well. Subdued craziness, but still.
– I enjoyed all the little predictions that they all came up with like the Pope’s cloning for isntance. The way Steve kept doing the thumb-removing trick while he was predicting stuff was a great quirk as well.
– The ending was funny too with the TIME Magazine cover that says “Send More Chuck Berry” and then the psychics predicting that Laraine will be fired from the show.
Rating: *** 1/2

16. Goodnights

– Steve does a pretty funny flub while thanking the cast.

OVERALL: One of the best episodes ever; not just during this season but in the entire history of Saturday Night Live. Steve had always been a fantastic host during his other four appearances but he really stepped up his game for this one and participated in classic after classic sketch. It was also fun to have Danny and John be the musical guests as well. Everything about this episode just falls into place. It’s a pretty good sign when the show is considering ‘slowed down’ during a batch of **** sketches. Awesome stuff.

APPEARANCES:

HOST: STEVE MARTIN – 8 segments (Monologue; Festrunk Brothers; Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber; Dancing in the Dark; King Tut; Troff ‘n’ Brew; Nerds Science Fair; Next Week in Review)

DAN AYKROYD – 7 segments (Rock Concert; Festrunk Brothers; Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber; Weekend Update; Troff ‘n’ Brew; “I Don’t Know”; Next Week in Review)
JOHN BELUSHI – 5 segments (Rock Concert; Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber; Love Story; Troff ‘n’ Brew; “I Don’t Know”)
JANE CURTIN – 6 segments (Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber; Weekend Update; Love Story; Troff ‘n’ Brew; Nerds Science Fair; Next Week in Review)
GARRETT MORRIS – 4 segments (Festrunk Brothers; Weekend Update; Troff ‘n’ Brew; Nerds Science Fair)
BILL MURRAY – 4 segments (Monologue; Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber; Troff ‘n’ Brew; Nerds Science Fair)
LARAINE NEWMAN – 4 segments (Festrunk Brothers; Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber; Troff ‘n’ Brew; Next Week in Review)
GILDA RADNER – 6 segments (Hey You!; Festrunk Brothers; Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber; Dancing in the Dark; Troff ‘n’ Brew; Nerds Science Fair)

TOM DAVIS – 3 segments (Hey You!; Dancing in the Dark; Troff ‘n’ Brew)
AL FRANKEN – 3 segments (Hey You!; Dancing in the Dark; Troff ‘n’ Brew)

EPISODE MVP: Gilda Radner