Posts Tagged ‘dan aykroyd’

(Season 38, Episode 16)




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)

–      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)

–      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.




COMMERCIAL: NuvaBling (1:23)

–      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



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.




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: *****






–      Justin Timberlake/Bobby Moynihan/Vanessa Bayer




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.



(Season 1, Episode 24 (Season Finale))

As was made very evident by last week’s classic episode of Saturday Night Live, sometimes the quality of the host could have a major impact on how the show turns out as a whole. Because of Louise Lasser being one of the worst and most difficult hosts in history, the writers being a bit burned out and angered about having to return during the summer, and the general malaise of the cast at having to do the same, it turned out to be the worst episode of the show for quite some time.

This week, it would seem to be another possible train-wreck in the form of the host, country singer Kris Kristofferson. I will be the first to admit that I am not a fan of country music in the least. In fact, I think the only “country” I can really enjoy is some of Johnny Cash’s stuff. That being said, I’ve always liked Kris in small roles in a lot of the movies he’s been in but as for being the anchor on a late-night comedy show? Yeesh.

He brings along then-wife Rita Coolidge with him for the ride as the actual scheduled musical guest and yes, also a country singer. So this already has potential to be the darn tootin’est episode of Saturday Night Live at least.

Just for some extra tidbits for fans of the show here: Apparently, some minutes before the episode went on the air, Kris was found to be quite inebriated. With a sense of desperation, Lorne cried out for someone to fetch their host some black coffee and rush him on the air.

The Show:

1. “Help Me Make It Through The Night”

I put it in quotes because this episode essentially starts with a performance of this song by Kris Kristofferson, while wearing a trendy open shirt with a big gold chain dangling in the middle. But it wouldn’t be a first season cold open without Chevy Chase and so during the musical performance, he attempts to have an affair with Rita Coolidge, but can’t manage to get her undressed without fumbling all over himself. This opening felt a lot like the Paul Simon one but with a tad more plot. It was still a fairly underwhelming way to start the show. C+

2. Monologue

Oh boy, this would be where a drunk person shines. Talking about stuff that needs to make sense without playing a character. Thankfully Kris keeps it short by saying that he needs to give equal time, which segues into the next piece. C

3. I Was Not A Sucker For Saturday Night

One of Laraine Newman’s very few recurring characters, Sherry, makes an appearance here to talk about working as an intern for Saturday Night Live and the various disgusting quirks that the writers on the show have. O’Donoghue’s is the best (“He couldn’t finish writing the ‘Star Trek’ sketch until I told him ‘rocket ships are okay, but your missile is tremendous'”). B

4. Samurai General Practitioner

Ahh yes, it’s the fifth installment of John Belushi’s classic Samurai Futaba pieces. In this one, he plays the role of a general practitioner visited by Kris Kristofferson (in a huge acting stretch: playing himself), who comes to see him after some general problems while traveling on the road. The reason that these samurai sketches were always good is the different quirks that Belushi would throw in sometimes. For instance, in this one he does an ages-old comedy routine with a skeleton in his office like something out of a vaudeville act and then puts a picture of a naked chick on his x-ray display. A-

5. Rita Coolidge sings “Hula Hoop”

Mr. Kristofferson’s wife is out to do her part now! I mentioned earlier that I am no fan of country music, but this song is catchy enough I guess. Even Laraine Newman and Gilda Radner come out and join in on the fun. B-

6. Great White Athletes

Garrett Morris is on this show? Huh. This time, good ol’ GM plays the role of Olympian Jesse Owens, who offers a new product to the public in the form of some medallions commemorating the last of a dying breed, great white athletes. This was whatever. C+

7. Mississippi Delegate

More Gerald Ford goodness! For the most part, I always loved when Chevy would “impersonate” Gerald Ford (I put it in quotes because his impression was basically just being really clumsy and looking nothing like the then-president). This time, Ford welcomes an undecided delegate from Mississippi, Frank Wade (Kris), who gets one of the best lines of the whole night: “Mr. President, there’s a flower in my drink.” Ford goes for the usual goofiness including forgetting who he’s talking to or where Wade is from, embarrassing himself in front of Betty (Curtin), and various other hijinx. B+

8. Police State

Head writer Michael O’Donoghue continues to prove himself this season with this cop show parody Police State. In this piece, the entire city has turned into, yes, a police state. Brut (Aykroyd) and McCord (Chase) shoot first and ask questions later while encountering several “criminals” (one of which includes Kristofferson in a very brief role). Best sketch of the night. A

9. Weekend Update with Chevy Chase (Part I)

Chevy is on his A-game with jokes about how Olga Korbut will “mistakenly shoot” Nadia Comaneci as part of her Olympics strategy, Jimmy Hoffa being a “cornerstone in the organization”, and Reagan making the bold statement that “two Republican nominees could hurt the election in November.”

10. Talk Country

Kris plays himself and advertises his own book of catchy country phrases and ways to sound as dumb as a good ol’ boy like dropping the g’s off the end of words and getting into trouble with the law. Yee-haw! Stereotypes…C+

11. Weekend Update with Chevy Chase (Part II)

Correspondent Laraine Newman reports from beautiful Nassau instead of NASA in a cute bit, but that only serves as the appetizer for one of the best bits of the whole segment as Chevy quotes Spiro Agnew as saying “All of these allegations [of anti-semitism] are pure nonsense. Some of my best friends are Christ-killers.” A-

12. The Real Bobbi McGee

After singing a few bars of “Me and Bobbi McGee”, Kris brings out the real Bobbi McGee (Radner), who by now has gotten married to new husband Larry (Belushi) and is a stereotypical middle-class Jewish woman. This is a rather predictable bit as Kris starts singing the song and Larry keeps interrupting, getting more and more suspicious of the activity that occurred between the two in the past. Rita Coolidge joins in on the fun too, but this whole thing went a little too long. C+

13. Gynecologist Blind Date

It’s every woman’s dream! One young woman (Curtin) prepares to go on a blind date…with her gynecologist (Kris)! What one may expect to be a barrage of genitalia-related jokes actually turns out to be a quieter character piece filled with nice, subtle comedy. B+

14. Kris & Rita sing “Eddie the Eunuch”

This time, husband and wife perform together. It’s another country tune but for some reason, that didn’t bug me again and I found myself enjoying it quite a bit. B+

15. Praising Carter

It’s time for another sketch to be weakly written around Aykroyd’s Jimmy Carter impression! This time, Andrew Young (Morris) praises the future president in his church only for his mood to change quite a bit when Carter himself says that Young will not receive any position of power or buy-out for his continued support. The ending was a cop-out as well. C

16. Waiting For Pardo

In this obvious parody to something I just can’t put my finger on, two men (Kris & Chevy) wait for Don Pardo while philosophizing about his great traits. Pardo’s interruptions to shill several products are the only highlights in this rather dry piece. C-

17. Kris Kristofferson sings “I’ve Got A Life Of My Own”

It’s a great choice to close the show, in fact. Kris sings a lesser-known classic while thanking his band in the midst of the song and brings the house down. A

Kris delivers a pretty humble goodnight to one and all, thanks everyone for helping him make it through the week, and the credits roll.

Well, this was much better than last week’s.

It’s not a terrific episode by any stretch, but still a solid one that saw everyone put in quite a bit more effort than last week’s anyway. Kris, despite being tanked, put in a decent amount of effort but of course shined the most whenever he had to sing.

Host Rating: B-

Musical Guest Rating: B

Show Rating: C+

Hello one and all!

You are probably wondering right now why I am doing a review of Saturday Night Live from the first season and the answer is this: I used to do these on my own personal MSN blog but instead of that go-nowhere venture, I decided to occasionally post one on here as this seems to garner more traffic and comments.

Unfortunately, since I left off at a certain point in my reviews, I start off with this “gem” of an episode.  Louise Lasser was one of the more notorious hosts in the show’s history and ended up being the first one banned coincidentally. According to several sources inside the show at the time, she was currently going through a lot of personal problems and relied heavily on the crutch of narcotics and other various substances to help her make it through her daily schedule.

Not only did the drugs have an effect on how awkward and stumbling she was, she also was an apparent chore to work with and planned on not even doing the show at the last minute until the producers threatened that if she didn’t, they would do an entire show using Bill Murray (who was not a castmember, but rather a small-time comedian in the audience that night) to play her parts with a wig on. Finally, she relented but demanded she only be in sketches with Chevy and also that a short film that was deemed unwatchable by most be shown instead of a much better piece that was scheduled to run.

The reviews of Saturday Night Live (both past and present) will be slightly different than my usual ones. I will delve into each sketch one-by-one and talk about it a bit. That means there will be some semblance of structure. Huzzah! Also, I will be using letter grades instead of ratings out of ten because…I wanna!

1. John & Chevy’s Handshake

At this point, the show had just come back from a brief summer vacation and there had been rumors regarding a tumultuous work relationship that had developed between John Belushi and the obvious star of the show, Chevy Chase. John then confirmed this in public by actually stating that he was tired of Mr. Chase getting all the publicity. This cold open attempts to summarize all that in one swift motion. In the piece, the rest of the cast attempts to settle things between John and Chevy with a little reconciliation. It doesn’t go exactly as planned. C+

2. Monologue

Louise Lasser makes her first appearance in the episode for the traditional monologue and makes a wonderful first impression by looking absolutely coked out to the power of infinity. The idea here is that she acts all faux-nervous, but the actress’ real fatigue, depression, and anxiety shines through and makes the monologue really uncomfortable to witness. There’s also a backstage bit towards the end of the monologue in which Lasser is eventually goaded out of her dressing room by a few members of the cast (Aykroyd, Chase, and Radner), but the set-up was so painful that it fails to make an overall entertaining segment. D

3. Venereal Disease: Nothing to Clap About

Garrett Morris makes his only other appearance of the night (he was briefly in the cold open) and does his impression of General Idi Amin, the lovable dictator from Uganda. But don’t be fooled because this is not a politically-inclined sketch at all. Instead, Amin talks about getting syphilis and how it has only eaten away the weaker parts of his brain, leaving it to resemble a thin slice of Swiss cheese. This was pretty much an excuse to use several “hilarious” terms for genitalia. Although I did like his comment that “it’s too bad that venereal disease doesn’t just strike Jews.” C-

4. Sven & Inger

Oh, here are Louise’s terms coming into play. In this strange piece, a couple (Chevy & Louise) stare at each other while Death narrates in a foreign language. I didn’t really know what to make of this whole piece other than to say it was a half-assed attempt at some type of Ingmar Bergman homage, I suppose. The ending was pretty stupid too, so no salvaging here. C

5. Human Hair Potholders

Most people are probably too young to know who Squeaky Fromme (portrayed by Laraine here) and Sandra Goode (Curtin) are, but in short they were two followers of Charles Manson. Fromme was also known as a woman who tried to assassinate President Ford and failed miserably. Here, the two women speak from their jail cell and advertise human hair potholders. Curtin’s insistence at hurting herself for the slightest little error is the highlight in this bit that just continues the mediocrity. C

6. Woman & Dog

Now we get to the truly ridiculous and brutal material. This sketch involves Louise sitting at a table and talking to a Golden Retriever just as a jilted lover would talk to their spouse. It didn’t even seem that Louise was reading off cards, which leads me to wonder if she just decided to do this and talk to a dog for four minutes about whatever came across her mind. If so, that would explain this sloppy, unnecessary and poorly-written sketch. D-

7. Tribute to Television.

Finally, the first GOOD sketch of the night. Instead of going for broad ha-ha-type laughs, this bit relies in the fact that this musical tribute to television contains so many obscure technical references that “only eight people in the world” truly understand them. Dan is a little bit more mellow than usual as a TV spokesman, while Jane, Gilda, & Laraine lend their voices and fun performances to the sketch. B+

8. Weekend Update with Chevy Chase

“I’m Chevy Chase and boy are you glad to see me.” Truer words have never been spoken. While you could never count on every single sketch working in a given episode, Chevy was pretty reliable for getting yuk-yuks on his delivery of the news. This week, Chevy’s guests include John Belushi interviewing Olympic hopeful Olga Korbut (Radner) commenting on Nadia Comaneci in a not-so-friendly way. In a great anti-climactic ending, Chevy gets a phone call “live” from the Democratic Convention, but it’s already taken place so he just quickly asks for the results and closes out the segment. B

9. Boy Talk

Jane and Gilda (playing younger versions of themselves with the same names, I guess) sit around the living room while Gilda intently listens to Jane’s stories about her boyfriend and their various sexual escapades. This is another sketch that gets laughs (much like “Tribute to Television”) but rely on broad tactics and instead is presented as a well-written sketch. This is what SNL fans refer to as a “Miller piece.” That is in reference to one of the show’s then-writers Marilyn Suzanne Miller, who wrote more of the subtle and more nuanced sketches during her tenure. B+

10. Film: The Diner

Talk about taking a nose-dive. This has to be one of the most incoherent things to ever air on Saturday Night Live. In this film, Louise Lasser and her lover (I guess) sit in a diner as she tries to break off the relationship with him. The only problem is that she keeps “forgetting” her lines and needs to be reminded by fellow extras around the set. Lorne makes an appearance here and so does future host Michael Sarrazin. Simply awful. F

11. John Belushi’s Wardrobe

You would think that the perennial charm of John Belushi would be able to cover for weak writing, but not in this case. In this bit, JB offers to sell the very clothes that he wears day-to-day in order to cover his financial losses. C

12. Carter’s Campaign

Dan Aykroyd debuts his wonderful Jimmy Carter impression, but for some reason it’s not as good here as it would get in the next season. At least it seems like that to me. Again, the writing is the culprit here as we really only get a rundown of Jimmy’s mannerisms and then the sketch ends kind of abruptly. C+

13. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band performs “Panama”

I’m sorry, Van Halen fans. This is not the “Panama” song you think it is. In fact, it’s a jazz instrumental piece. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band has had a rich history and all, but I guess jazz just isn’t my type of music. I’ll be fair and go with a B-

14. Louise’s Year

Oh hoorah, more from our wonderful host! Louise offers her most incoherent performance of the night (okay, maybe aside from that filmed piece) and just rambles on and on…and ON about her life for the past year. She actually had a few moments during this where she looked completely lost and that made it only more painful to view. F

It is evident that the cast is maintaining their distance from Louise during the closing credits as she pets the dog from the earlier sketch and waves goodnight to one and all.

This had to be one of the worst episodes of Saturday Night Live during its entire run (well, except for most of the sixth season, but that’s an entirely different beast).

Host Rating: F

Musical Guest Rating: B-

Show Rating: D-

PS: If you’re interested at all in classic Saturday Night Live, don’t let this episode be a representative of the entire season. Do yourself a favour and pick it up at Amazon. It’s only $18.99 for the first season right now!