Posts Tagged ‘foo fighters’


by Brendan Wahl

(Season 37, Episode 22)

The Show:

1. Cold Opening: The Lawrence Welk Show (5:01)

It’s time once again for Lawrence Welk (Armisen) to introduce another musical number from the sisters hailing from the Fingerlakes (Elliott, Pedrad, & Bayer) and their deformed sibling Dooneese (Wiig) as they attempt to seduce an Italian lothario (Jon Hamm!).

– A good choice for a cold open on Kristen Wiig’s final SNL. Everything worked here from Fred’s dependable Lawrence Welk, Jon Hamm’s surprise cameo and hilarious Italian accent, Kate McKinnon’s quick role, and of course Kristen as the gross deformed sister.
– I really liked Fred’s fingering joke at the beginning.
– The ending was perfect with Wiig finally finding her true love in Hamm’s character. I laughed a whole lot at Hamm sucking on her strange, disgusting hands. I think it almost made Kristen crack up as well.
Rating: *** 1/2

2. Monologue (3:10)

Mick answers some questions that he frequently receives from people every day.

– Jagger proved right away that he would be a fun host with his laid-back demeanour and funny delivery. His charisma really helped carry this otherwise-alright monologue.
– My favourite question that he answered was regarding the “I can’t hear you!” line that rock singers typically yell out at concerts.
Rating: ***

3. Secret Word (4:57)

Another round of the popular 60’s gameshow sees returning player Mindy Gracin (Wiig) and her teammate (Bayer) go up against “macho” film star Chaz Bragman (Jagger) and his teammate (Killam).

– Pretty strong Secret Word sketch for Kristen to finish off her amazing tenure on the show. Kristen had lots of great moments here (I particularly loved the canal/anal mix-up) but I thought Mick Jagger’s performance was very strong as well. Loved the voice he chose for the character.
– Hader’s birth control line was hilarious.
–  The “soft” secret word part was predictable but hilarious because of Jagger’s performance and Killam’s reactions.
Rating: *** 1/2

4. Karaoke Night (5:00)

A number of bar patrons (Jagger, Armisen, Moynihan, Wiig, Bayer, & Killam) witness each other attempt their best Jagger impressions while performing some of his hits, while one of them (Jagger) doesn’t feel that the over-the-top characterizations are that accurate.

– Funny sketch with another very fun performance from Jagger and a really, really good Mick Jagger impression from Fred Armisen in particular. This was a very good example of a simple premise executed really well
– The patrons thinking that Bobby Moynihan sleeping on the microphone was part of the impression was hilarious.
– Moynihan actually singing “Sympathy for the Devil” as part of the lyrics was great as well.
– I liked the ending with Mick’s soft singing.
Rating: *** 1/2

5. Digital Short: Lazy Sunday 2 (2:06)

Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell are back, this time rapping about the new Sister Act: The Musical on Broadway.

– Much like last week, I was blown away by the digital short. It was so fucking awesome that they did a sequel to the original hit as a way to say goodbye to one of the most beloved features of SNL for the last seven years.
– The best part about this sequel is that they didn’t repeat the first one but rather brought a new spin to this thing and the bit with Andy and Chris doing the new rap segment was terrific.
– “On these New York streets, I honed my fake rap penmanship; that’s how it began and that’s how I’m-a finish it!” was an absolutely perfect way for the digital shorts to come to an end. Absolutely brilliant.
Rating: *****

6. Politics Nation (4:16)

Al Sharpton (Thompson) brings on J.P. Morgan representative Colin McKechnie (Jagger), New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg (Armisen), and Peter Panache (Sudeikis) to discuss a huge financial loss for J.P. Morgan and job availability in the US.

– I was in the minority of really enjoying the first one of these sketches back on the Katy Perry episode and I enjoyed this one as well just as much as the first one. It was one of the highlights of the night actually.
– Mick looked like he was on the verge of cracking up at the end of his segment.
– Armisen announcing the available jobs for New Yorkers was a funny bit.
– The “salmon canary” mix-up was hilarious.
Rating: ****

7. Mick Jagger & Arcade Fire perform “The Last Time” (4:09)

– This was an awesome performance. Simply fantastic. Mick and Arcade Fire were a really unexpectedly great combination.

8. Weekend Update with Seth Meyers (8:43)
Guest: Stefon

Best Jokes: Obama: first gay president; Bloomberg commencement speech; anti-Obama Super-PAC; man candles; unsafe fish treatment; text message study

– Not much to say about the fantastic segment of Update this week. Stefon was the only guest and he was great like usual. Of course, he cracked up at one point and recovered somewhat and then continued on with his insane commentary. The highlights this time were the D-Bag Chopra, build-a-bear, roaming draggers, and human R2D2 comments.
Rating: **** 1/2

9. So You Think You Can Dance at an Outdoor Music Festival (4:01)

Dave Matthews (Hader) hosts a series in which people attempt to dance to songs at an outdoor music festival while guest judges Carlos Santana (Armisen), Jewel (Elliott), and Steven Tyler (Jagger) look on.

– Funny sketch. I love the music and the dancing was fairly accurate but Moynihan was easily the highlight. Then again, Killam’s segment was quite funny as well.
– I love Hader’s Dave Matthews impression. I also really enjoyed the appearances by Abby as Jewel, Fred as Santana, and Mick as Steven Tyler.
– The crowd seemed to REALLY like this sketch.
Rating: ***

10. Mick Jagger and the Foo Fighters perform “19th Nervous Breakdown” & “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll” (5:56)

– Another fantastic musical performance, this time of a medley involving two great Stones songs.
– Jagger is clearly the best musical guest of the season and there has been a lot of good ones this year.

11. The Californians (5:49)

More melodrama, convoluted driving directions, and strange character twists from this stereotypical batch of Californian residents.

– Much like Politics Nation, I was happy to see this come back and I know barely anyone else felt the same way.
– My favourite moments in this sketch came from Mick’s strange and slow-paced Californian accent, Kristen nearly coming to laughs when questioning Fred having a father, and the great appearance by Steve Martin as an amnesiac.
– Steve Martin’s cameo was hilarious and totally unexpected. He got a great reaction upon his entrance as well.
Rating: ***

12. Mick Jagger and Jeff Beck perform “Tea Party” (3:07)

– A wicked original song written about the 2012 election. Something tells me that if Jagger could vote, he probably wouldn’t cast one for Mitt Romney.
– Jagger dropped an S-bomb.

13. She’s a Rainbow (4:20)

Mick introduces Kristen Wiig as a “graduating” castmember while “She’s a Rainbow” and “Ruby Tuesday” play to honour her legacy on the show. All the castmembers dance with Kristen as well as she waves to everyone in the audience and the goodnights immediately follow.

– This was one of the classiest send-offs that any castmember has ever received on the show and a hell of a way to end the season. Say what you want about Kristen but she left a legacy that will be hard to follow and she was one of the best female castmembers of all time.
– The Lorne Michaels dance almost made me cry. That was an extremely nice gesture on Lorne’s part and it was a sweet moment.
– Hader, Moynihan, and Sudeikis looked particularly upset at the departure of Kristen Wiig.
– It was awesome to have Martin, Parnell and Hamm come back and that Chris Kattan, Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler, and Will Forte came back to send off Kristen.
Rating: *****

 

OVERALL: What a season finale. Mick Jagger was a terrific host & musical guest and Arcade Fire and the Foo Fighters were excellent accompaniment as well. To say that I will miss Kristen Wiig is putting it lightly and I can’t state enough how much of a wonderful contribution she has made to the program over the last seven years. Excellent season-closer. I will have my year-end statistics posted tomorrow.

 

BREAKDOWN:

HOST: MICK JAGGER – 7 segments (Monologue; Secret Word; Karaoke Night; Politics Nation; So You Think You Can Dance at an Outdoor Music Festival; The Californians; She’s a Rainbow)

CAMEOS: RACHEL DRATCH – 1 segment (She’s a Rainbow)
WILL FORTE – 1 segment (She’s a Rainbow)
JON HAMM – 2 segments (The Lawrence Welk Show; She’s a Rainbow)
CHRIS KATTAN – 1 segment (She’s a Rainbow)
STEVE MARTIN – 2 segments (The Californians; She’s a Rainbow)
CHRIS PARNELL – 2 segments (Lazy Sunday 2; She’s a Rainbow)
AMY POEHLER – 1 segment (She’s a Rainbow)

FRED ARMISEN – 6 segments (The Lawrence Welk Show; Karaoke Night; Politics Nation; So You Think You Can Dance at an Outdoor Music Festival; The Californians; She’s a Rainbow)
ABBY ELLIOTT – 4 segments (The Lawrence Welk Show; So You Think You Can Dance at an Outdoor Music Festival; The Californians; She’s a Rainbow)
BILL HADER – 5 segments (Secret Word; Weekend Update; So You Think You Can Dance at an Outdoor Music Festival; The Californians; She’s a Rainbow)
SETH MEYERS – 2 segments (Weekend Update; She’s a Rainbow)
BOBBY MOYNIHAN – 3 segments (Karaoke Night; So You Think You Can Dance at an Outdoor Music Festival; She’s a Rainbow)
NASIM PEDRAD – 2 segments (The Lawrence Welk Show; She’s a Rainbow)
ANDY SAMBERG – 3 segments (Lazy Sunday 2; The Californians; She’s a Rainbow)
JASON SUDEIKIS – 2 segments (Politics Nation; She’s a Rainbow)
KENAN THOMPSON – 3 segments (Politics Nation; The Californians; She’s a Rainbow)
KRISTEN WIIG – 6 segments (The Lawrence Welk Show; Secret Word; Karaoke Night; So You Think You Can Dance at an Outdoor Music Festival; The Californians; She’s a Rainbow)

VANESSA BAYER – 5 segments (The Lawrence Welk Show; Secret Word; Karaoke Night; The Californians; She’s a Rainbow)
TARAN KILLAM – 4 segments (Secret Word; Karaoke Night; So You Think You Can Dance at an Outdoor Music Festival; She’s a Rainbow)
KATE MCKINNON – 2 segments (The Lawrence Welk Show; She’s a Rainbow)
JAY PHAROAH – 1 segments (She’s a Rainbow)

EPISODE MVPs: Mick Jagger/Kristen Wiig/Andy Samberg

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by Brendan Wahl

(Season 36, Episode 19)

I would like to apologize in advance if parts of this review come off as incoherent as I am very tired and in dire need of some shut-eye.

This week, we get our second British host in a row in the form of Helen Mirren but unlike our most recent royal host, Helen is an actress and will more than likely be a lot more at ease in sketches as well as refraining from playing herself in every single piece. Helen is probably best-known for her role as Queen Elizabeth and for being as far removed from that role as possible in reality. She was also a lot of fun in Red, which came out towards the end of last year. That role alone gives me hope that she has some comic ability to display for the world on New York’s stage of stages.

Joining Helen and making their sixth appearance is the Foo Fighters. I’ve got nothing but good words regarding this band and at least this time, they will get to perform their second song (damn you, Jon Bon Jovi! You egotistical rectal wart!). This also marks Dave Grohl’s tenth overall appearance as a musical guest, an honour that places him as the most frequent musical guest in the show’s history in an individual sense.

Beezel-pop, boo boo ca choo, cha fanny fanny ga zinga-blam!

(It was about here I realized I am way too tired for this and set a course for Snoozeland)

There we go. All refreshed.

Where am I?

By the way, I will be switching to a new rating system soon. I just haven’t figured out what yet…

The Show:

1. Presidential Address (2:59)
-Armisen

I know some people are tiring of Fred’s borderline-acceptable impression of El Presidente, but I, for one, am perfectly okay with it. Here, we get President Obama discussing the near-government shutdown before going into details regarding the budget and outlining how it has made virtually everyone unhappy. It’s been mentioned before but this seemed pretty hastily written, although I did like the jokes about Romney and McCain. C

2. Monologue (2:15)
-Mirren, Hader, Moynihan, Samberg, Thompson, Brittain, Killam

After making a cute joke about last week’s episode, Helen proves to the audience that she is the furthest thing removed from most of her acting roles. She is soon joined by some of the male castmembers in sailor outfits for one of your typical song-and-dance monologues. Despite a clever quick costume change by Mirren, this song wasn’t quite as enjoyable as the ones from Cranston/West or Cyrus/Strokes. I do like Andy getting chastised by the rest of the cast for ogling Mirren, though. B-

3. Mort Mort Feingold: Accountant For The Stars (3:39)
-Mirren, Armisen, Elliott, Hader, Samberg, Bayer, Brittain (x2), Killam, Pedrad, Pharoah

I never thought I’d see this again! Mort Mort (Samberg) welcomes more celebrity clients to discuss their income taxes, including James Franco (Brittain), the Kardashians (Elliott, Bayer, & Pedrad), and Tim Burton (Hader) & wife Helena (Mirren) among others. This was pretty straight-forward with Feingold going through the motions and making some funny one-liners with the various celebrities. I think my favourite impression was the return of James Franco, but I also really liked Taran’s take on Ricky Martin. B+

4. Digital Short: Helen Mirren’s Titties (2:16)
-Mirren, Dave Grohl, Moynihan, Samberg, Wiig, Pedrad

While Helen gets ready backstage, Nasim approaches her and, after grabbing a hold of her cans, is transported into a magical world where we are shown glimpses of ridiculous imagery like OJ, Brendan Fraser at an awards show, Bobby Moynihan in a bee costume, and others. Eventually she is transported to a heaven-like world with a gatekeeper (Samberg) and Dave Grohl. This was a really goofy short and one that could’ve been awful based on its simple premise, but it ended up being very enjoyable. B+

5. Fox and Friends (4:38)
-Mirren, Armisen, Moynihan, Bayer, Killam

In a very accurate take on those morons on FOX News, the three musketeers themselves (Moynihan, Bayer, & Killam) discuss the recent government shutdown and soon delve into their usual claptrap of insinuating that Obama is a communist and that Mexicans will be taking over everyone’s jobs. Mirren shows up as Sandy Blunt, a crazed right-wing nutjob who discusses the problem of anchor babies and reverse-anchor babies. The trio of actors playing the hosts really nail their cadences down to the fake style of acting and Moynihan shines as the dumbest of the three. A

6. Mary Shelley (3:54)
-Mirren, Armisen, Hader, Moynihan, Sudeikis, Wiig, Brittain

During a mini-celebration for Shelley’s (Mirren) success with Frankenstein, her landlord (Armisen) shows up that causes some to question where the inspiration for the novel came from. This was one of those sketches that depended on Armisen’s slightly-beleaguered attitude towards something, but this was one of the better ones. Certainly better than that sketch from Hathaway/F&TM where Fred played the Jewish weather vane. This one could’ve been so much worse but it was saved with good acting and a short running time. B

7. Foo Fighters perform “Rope” (4:40)

I haven’t heard anything new from the Foos in a long while, but this was definitely a worthwhile addition to their songbook. Grohl deserves his status of being a ten-timer on the show and he earns it again here with another great performance from the band. The swinging lights were a nice touch as well. A-

8. Weekend Update with Seth Meyers (13:20)
-Also: Bill Hader, Kenan Thompson, & Kristen Wiig

Seth had a good joke involving Glenn Beck this week as well as a cute bit on Kate Middleton’s hairstylists dependant on Seth’s knowledge of Disney movies. Some other good bits from Seth include a story on a priest in an incestual relationship, Flava Flav’s Fried Chicken and hookers taking credit cards (no connection between the two previous stories). The commentaries were winners for the most part tonight as James Carville (Hader) stops by to comment on the budget plan and eventually delves into weird discussions involving Mambo No. 5, being raised by eels, and Gopher Day (“the nudity is not necessary but I prefer it”). Carville is obviously a favourite of Bill’s but it is also a favourite of mine and apparently, a good deal of audience members. Kristen Wiig shows up as a flight attendant that survived a Boeing 747 that developed a huge hole while in mid-flight. At first, it seems like it’s going to be one of those bizarre-for-the-sake-of-being-bizarre characters from Wiig, but this one was funny due to Kristen’s southern drawl with her delivery and the writing of the piece itself was amusing. Lastly, Jean K. Jean (Thompson) makes his seventh appearance and nothing is better or worse. I guess you either like or hate this character and I’m at ease with it just as long as Virginiaca doesn’t come back. Overall, a fairly solid edition of Update. B+

9. The Best of Both Worlds (4:39)
-Mirren, Moynihan, Samberg, Thompson, Killam

Hugh Jackman (Samberg) hosts a show in which he interviews other celebrities who seem to have two sides to them in terms of their film work. His guests include Gerard Butler (Killam), who comes out in full Spartan gear complete with a “Phantom of the Opera” mask, Ice Cube (Thompson), and Julie Andrews (Mirren) in perhaps the funniest bit of the sketch where she unleashes HER other side on her assistant (Moynihan). This was something of a gem. It may have been a simple talk show sketch but Samberg’s Hugh Jackman was hilarious and to be quite honest, everyone in this sketch was a lot of fun. That’s all it was: FUN. A-

10. Crunk-Ass Easter Festival (2:38)
-Mirren, Moynihan, Sudeikis, Pedrad, Pharoah

Another appearance from DJ Supersoak (Sudeikis) and Lil Blaster (Pedrad)? Cool with me! This sketch basically depends on how ridiculous the festivities are and whether Ass Dan (Moynihan) shows up again. I loved so many of the bits here from sending the Chilean miners back into the mine, Elian Gonzalez in a dunk tank, methed-out coyotes, and a screening of Juwanna Man. Entertaining stuff here. B+

11. The Roosevelts (3:04)
-Mirren, Armisen, Elliott, Hader, Moynihan, Thompson, Brittain, Killam

Yeah, I'm a pervert. So sue me.

Spoofing the historical inaccuracies found within the mini-series The Kennedys, the next family to be unfairly skewered is the Roosevelts including things that make absolutely no sense like a romance between Eleanor Roosevelt (Mirren) and Marilyn Monroe (Elliott), who would’ve been five at the time. Armisen was also very entertaining as the douchebag producer who put the show together. The absolute best part though is Kenan Thompson showing up as Teddy Roosevelt and directly addressing the camera. This was a classic. A+

12. Perspectives Photo Studios (2:06)
-Hader, Meyers, Moynihan, Sudeikis, Wiig, Brittain, Killam, Pedrad

Finally, a photo studio that will help your appearance when texting a picture of your penis to different women. This sketch marks yet more appearances from Paul and Taran, making it a pretty good night for the featured players tonight. Despite that this felt a bit dated, it was still a clever parody and I really liked Seth Meyers’ appearance (along with the fact that he was credited as “America’s Comedian”). B+

13. Foo Fighters perform “Walk” (4:22)

Another great song from the Foos that I had never heard before this show. And unlike Elton, this song actually sounds much different from their first song. I mean, I respect Elton and all but c’mon. He basically did the same song twice last week, despite them both being acceptable. Anyway, this gets a A.

14. Bongo’s Clown Room (6:11)
-Mirren, Dave Grohl, Elliott, Sudeikis, Wiig, Pedrad

On his last night at a strip joint (because of winning $9,200 on a scratch ticket), a DJ (Sudeikis) introduces the final gang of strippers while making some cheap jokes. This was a great character study when at first glance it seemed like a sketch that just didn’t get any laughs. I really enjoyed this upon second viewing and it was a tour-de-force for Sudeikis. I will miss that guy when he leaves. Mirren also deserves some credit for her role as an aging stripper, Dave Grohl for his amusing cameo, and Wiig for her wacky dance moves. Best sketch of the night. A+

Helen thanks the Foos, the cast, the writers, the lighting crew, the grips, “Mighty” Lorne, and pretty much everyone in the world before embracing them all on stage and waving goodnight.

This was a solid show and definitely a fairly large improvement over last week’s with Elton John pulling double-duty. Mirren was a very game host who was willing to do pretty much anything (including making out with Abby Elliott… damn), but it was her take on Julie Andrews that made me laugh the hardest. The Foos were rockin’ too with a couple of great songs and featuring a couple of funny bit performances from Dave Grohl, himself.

It should be noted that tonight was an awesome showing from the featured players, particularly Brittain and Killam.

Host Rating: B+
Musical Guest Rating: A-
Show Rating: B+