Posts Tagged ‘jodie foster’


(Season 38, Episode 11)

Bumper

 

WHAT THEY’RE PROMOTING:

JENNIFER LAWRENCE: “Silver Linings Playbook”

THE LUMINEERS: “The 55th Annual Grammy Awards” (nominated for Best New Artist and Best Americana Album)

 

 

COLD OPENING: Piers Morgan Tonight (5:48)
Piers Morgan Tonight

–      Nice to see this sketch again. I’ve always liked Taran’s hilarious impression of Piers Morgan and there were definitely enough scandals in the news this week for this sketch to cover.

–      Killam’s bit about Lance being the most vile person on Earth and how happy he is to have him was pretty accurate satire of the guy.

–      Sudeikis was hilarious as Lance Armstrong and I just knew he was going to have some sort of violent outburst at one point, which he did to terrific effect. I also liked his half-assed apology for the whole thing and his denial of ever calling anyone a fat bitch despite the fact that he just finished yelling about that very thing.

–      Bobby was also very funny as Manti Te’o with the dopey expression on his face the entire time. I loved how he just didn’t seem to understand the hoax involving his “dead girlfriend Lynette.”

–      Finally, Kate McKinnon makes her only real appearance of the night as Jodie Foster. This was another good segment and McKinnon’s impression is still very funny. I also liked the little meta-reference to Molly Shannon’s Sally O’Malley character from back in the day.

RATING: ****

 

 

MONOLOGUE: Jennifer Lawrence (3:15)
Monologue

–      Jen seemed a bit stiff throughout the monologue and overall it wasn’t really that great although I did dig a couple of the cut-a-ways to Hader’s pissed off Tommy Lee Jones.

–      The insults of the other Oscar nominees is where the monologue faltered a bit. I did like some of the gags like the girl from Beasts of the Southern Wild being told that “the alphabet called. They want their letters back…” and it was sort of amusing for Lawrence to then follow up these insults by saying how much she respected them all.

RATING: **

 

 

COMMERCIAL: Verismo (1:50)
Starbucks

–      This was a pretty cliché joke but I liked it anyway mainly because of Bayer’s performance and also how accurate the whole thing was as a representation of Starbucks workers.

–      Jay’s voice was also used to great effect here as the actual machine.

–      The accessories were funny as well.

RATING: ***

 

 

SHOW: Girlfriends Talk Show (4:26)
Girlfriends Talk Show

–      I expected them to bring this back at some point but I was a little worried that this would just end up being the same joke as the first one with Cecily liking the new girl more than Aidy, her best friend. And you know what? It was pretty much the same thing. I still liked it quite a bit though.

–      Jennifer did pretty good here as the goth girl.

–      Again, Bryant was the best part of this sketch but that’s not to slight the other two performers. I definitely enjoyed Cecily’s bizarre story about her boyfriend wanting to watch her put her face in an empty portrait and eat Caesar Salad for five hours.

–      I also liked Aidy’s shirt with the pin of her dead guinea pig on it.

–      Is anyone else disappointed that J-Law and Cecily didn’t make out when she hinted at it?

RATING: *** ½

 

 

SKETCH: Hunger Games Press Conference (4:51)
Hunger Games Press Conference

–      Pretty sure this was written by James Downey.

–      There seem to be a lot of differing opinions on this sketch and I think I’m in the camp of thinking that while it wasn’t a classic or anything it was certainly an enjoyable sketch. It kinda reminded me of the New York Times sketch that Downey wrote back in Season 34 where parts of it worked but the whole thing just stretched for a bit too long. The sketch made some good points about how weak Peta was as a character too.

–      Moynihan’s character made me laugh with his constant questions about food and how he could get some refreshments.

–      Killam also made me laugh as Peta even though he barely said anything and just looked shy and awkward. Still, he made it work very well.

–      Tim Robinson’s confusion over the other contestants dying was worth a chuckle as well.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

COMMERCIAL: The Hobbit (3:09)
The Hobbit

–      Very funny stuff poking fun at The Hobbit being separated into three movies. I liked the various fake Hobbit sequels and credit has to be given to the awesome production design and detail that went into this piece.

–      The critic reviews were pretty funny too especially when Ebert stated that they chased after Gandalf’s hat for two entire movies.

–      The technical glitch when the film momentarily stopped was really strange. Also, the announcer says “The Hobbit 8” when “The Hobbit 10” was really on the screen.

RATING: ****

 

 

SKETCH: Mean Waitress (3:40)
Mean Waitress

–      Not bad at all.

–      Lawrence’s best performance of the night was in this sketch as the cold and calculating waitress who isn’t “fun mean” like the rest of the staff but rather just a nasty and cold-blooded person.

–      My favourite part was “that water is from the toilet” and Jennifer laughing with another couple of customers and then flashing a knife when Bobby looks over.

–      The sketch needed a better ending though.

RATING: ***

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Ho Hey” (2:35)
The Lumineers1

–      I will admit that the constant yelling of “ho!” and “hey!” got on my nerves a bit but the performance was fine.

 

 

WEEKEND UPDATE with Seth Meyers (7:57)

Guest: Anthony Crispino
update1 update2 update3 update4 update5 update6

–      Best Jokes: Lance Armstrong/Manti Te’o; Manti Te’o/Samoan Mormon; Gun Appreciation Day; pilots/mobile devices; Ann Romney/DWTS; deaf man stabbed

–      Anthony Crispino stops by with the second-hand news and it’s the first time we’ve seen him in over a year. I enjoyed this though because it’s been quite a while since he’s been around and it seems absence makes the heart grow fonder. My favourite bit was the one about the “Depp Ceiling.” I also really liked how both he and Seth were using the high voices for a minute.

–      Pretty short Update this week compared to the usual 10-15 min. Updates we’ve been getting for a long while.

RATING: ****

 

 

SHOW: Top Dog Chef (4:31)
Top Dog Chef

–      This was an insane sketch but I really enjoyed it. The performances were solid from everyone, especially Bobby as the trashy dog. Bobby’s been having an awesome night thus far and here he kinda reminded me of a female Mark Payne.

–      I enjoyed the preview of upcoming shows at the beginning of the sketch.

–      It looked like Jason was about to crack up at one point.

–      The detail of Mario Barktali wearing crocs was pretty funny.

RATING: ****

 

 

SKETCH: B108 FM (5:15)
B108 FM

–      Unlike Girlfriends Talk Show, I NEVER expected this to come back. It wasn’t very good the first time but at least this time they had a much better host and the parts with Vanessa were the definite highlight.

–      Jennifer’s terrible freestyle rhymes were pretty funny. Just like in the monologue though, J-Law did seem a bit stiff in this sketch. Overall I’d say she did a pretty decent job throughout the night though.

–      I also really liked the bit where they quietly waited for a caller.

RATING: ***

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Stubborn Love” (4:52)
The Lumineers2

–      Better than the previous song (seems to be a theme this season).

 

 

FILM: Danielle (3:19)
Danielle

–      This was so fucking weird. I can’t even really do a lengthy review of it because I don’t really even know what to talk about. It wasn’t awful but it wasn’t really that funny either. I’m not really sure… it seems like they forgot to put jokes in this.

–      I guess Jennifer dancing in front of the children was funny.

RATING: ** ½

 

 

SKETCH: Civil War Love Letters (3:52)
Civil War Correspondence

–      Very entertaining sketch and my favourite of the night. I loved Tim’s performance here and it’s nice to see him get his own sketch, albeit in the ten-to-one slot. It was a nice surprise too because at first I thought it was gonna be a rehash of the ten-to-one sketch from the Zooey Deschanel episode from last season.

–      Tim’s repeated lines about sending him a “tit pic” had me laughing for quite a while.

–      I also like the ending twist with Tim announcing that he was “shot… for treason!”

RATING: **** ½

 

Goodnights
goodnights

 

 

BEST PERFORMER(S) OF THE NIGHT:

–      Bobby Moynihan

 

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Good show with plenty of highlights, a decent performance from our host, and the musical guests were alright as well. A lot of the sketches that I initially didn’t think too much of were given a serious re-thinking upon second glance and mostly improved in my eyes.

 

TONIGHT’S RATING: *** ½

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by Brendan Wahl

(Season 2, Episode 9)

How many firsts have we come across so far since these past two SNL seasons have begun? The first season saw the very first female host in Candice Bergen, the first time a host was banned (Louise Lasser), and the first ratings hit for the show (Pryor/Heron). Now here we have 14-year old Jodie Foster, fresh off her amazing performance in Taxi Driver as the youngest (at the time) host that SNL had ever had. Now at this time in history, having someone this young around these maniacs seems like perhaps not the wisest move, but it was one that Jodie and the cast were willing to take a risk on.

Joining Ms. Foster is a member of one of the greatest bands of all-time (in my opinion, anyway). Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys joins Jodie as the musical guest and having a huge name like that at this stage of infancy for the show must have been a true honour for all involved. Brian, unfortunately, was going through some really intense turmoil (mostly involving his introduction to cocaine which caused some mental instability and a huge change in his voice) at the time. Will that affect his performances? We’ll see.

Start!

The Show:

1. Phasing Gilda Out (1:58)

We start things off with the “oppressively adorable” (as Nathan Rabin likes to call her) Gilda Radner standing center-stage and explaining that she isn’t in much of the show tonight, but the producers told her she could do the opening. All the while during this, a screen crawl reveals that Gilda is actually being phased out of the show. The joke combined with Gilda’s infectious energy makes this a winning opener. B+

2. Monologue (1:39)

Jodie is a ball of nervous energy as she stumbles through her jokes regarding her age and her duties as a host before reading off a written note from her mother regarding the show starting late. Uncomfortable to watch. D

3. Pilson’s Feedbag Dinners (2:45)

The third cameo in a row from Chevy Chase, who is there to shill for a meal-in-a-bag that you can just strap to your face and dig in. It’s one-note, but slightly better than the Mobile Shrink piece. C+

4. Peter Pan Bees (4:53)

A strung-out young rocker (Foster) is interrupted in her bedroom by a pair of bees (Belushi & Newman), but of course the girl is a skeptic and doesn’t believe for one second that either one of them is a bee. Aside from the audience participation bit, the crowd is fairly dead for this one (especially Jodie’s lines) and yes, the sketch is pretty much DOA aside from Belushi’s charm. C

5. Brian Wilson sings “Back Home” (2:37)

Ah, moment of truth. Well, Brian’s voice is definitely very different here and a lot more gravelly. Does it hinder the song and his performance? Well, kind of. While disappointing, it’s still a decent little performance. B-

6. Puberty Helper (1:46)

Jodie advertises (with the help of a spokesperson (Aykroyd)) Puberty Helper, which is essentially a paper-bag like covering over the entire body. Dan completely sells this piece and makes it another one of his amusing commercial parodies. B+

7. Metal Detector (3:23)

What starts off seemingly like another Newman-playing-a-ditzy-character sketch turns into something much more original and amusing as one man (Aykroyd) keeps removing his metal objects to the point where it gets ridiculous in a hilarious pour-it-on sight gag. All the while, Brian Wilson stands uncomfortably in the background as a security guard. Another piece that Danny sells beautifully and it’s actually my favourite of the night. The ending was kind of stupid though. A-

8. Weekend Update with Jane Curtin (Part I) (total: 9:02)

After a cruel joke about Dwight D. Eisenhower, Curtin does a good job selling some decent material this week including an amusing joke about speed (that the audience didn’t really seem to dig, but screw ’em). In an amusing piece, Curtin calls President-Elect Carter himself (Aykroyd’s voice) and even though he answers a question incorrectly, she gives him a consolation prize. I love when they mock Carter’s down-home attitude. A mudfight between “Jackie Onassis” and “Tina Onassis” falls flat, but the aerosol cap-off to the story is pretty cute.

9. What Kinda Guy Watches Saturday Night (1:11)

Another appearance from Belushi’s non-recurring character, Steve Bushakis. As a typical SNL viewer, Steve announces that he’s had gonnorhea five times and that “the more promiscous a girl, the more I respect her.” B

10. Weekend Update with Jane Curtin (Part II)

Update peters out a bit here, but picks back up for another piece on Morris the Cat’s suicide suggestions and some really good ones from the viewing audience are read. B+

11. Brian Wilson sings “Love is a Woman” (2:56)

Eeep. His voice suffers a bit more here. I enjoyed the song, but man Brian is not ready to perform this song as his voice crackles several times and he struggles to get through it. C+

12. Little Known Talents Of The Not Ready For Prime-Time Players (2:29)

Gilda and Laraine stand center-stage and present some unique impressions courtesy of Ms. Newman herself. The devil chicken is my favourite, but she is pretty good at imitating a yelping dog too. However, this whole thing felt like some desperate filler material. C+

13. Don Pardo: The First 50 Years (8:28)

An announcer with a ridiculously-long name (Aykroyd) narrates a story that chronicles Don Pardo’s life from childhood to present time. There’s some intermittently funny stuff here including Dan Aykroyd’s ridiculously fake television laugh to Don being portrayed as an invisible entity with a voice (Don himself). Belushi gives a good performance in a number of roles (Don’s father, a radio exec, an actor) but the whole thing drags for a bit despite being mildly amusing. I did enjoy the audition where Don Pardo meets with Lorne Michaels himself. C+

14. Jodie’s Teacher (4:53)

Jodie spends a few moments at the end of her last day of school chatting it up with her favourite teacher, Mr. Davis (Aykroyd). Despite her teacher’s trepidation, Jodie is relentless in keeping him there and what follows is a funny second city-style sketch about the relationship between a student and teacher. B+

15. Film: Kids’ Dreams (2:08)

Gary Weis gets cutesy on us this week by showing footage of little kids revealing their dreams to their teachers and the camera. This material just does not fit in with the groove of the show at all, making it one of my least favourite Weis films. D

16. The King Kong Dirge (2:49)

Garrett Morris sings/narrates the tale of King Kong while images from the 1933 film are projected in the background. Yeah, I’m not really sure what the point of this was although I know that the remake had come out that year so maybe this was the cast’s way of honouring the original classic. B-

17. White Like Me (3:27)

A couple argue over the wife’s (Curtin) secret that she has trouble revealing to her husband (Morris). After finally revealing that she isn’t black, Garrett is extremely surprised and has trouble coming to terms with the truth. The twist at the end is the cherry on top. B+

18. Mr. Mike’s Least-Loved Bedtime Tales (2:13)

This time, Mr. Mike tells the story of The Little Engine That Could to Jodie Foster, who sits on his knee and listens intently. In Mike’s version of the story, the engine has a heart attack and a school bus full of children (9 and under) are brutally murdered. Plus, a frog gets butchered. A-

19. Brian Wilson sings “Good Vibrations” (2:21)

Wow. Just wow. Brian sings a tune that is definitely meant for all members of the Beach Boys and unfortunately he butchers the song to death. I feel bad for Brian and his troubled personal life, but there is no way in hell I can give this thing anything even close to a passing mark. D

Jodie thanks the cast and the audience before being joined by Brian Wilson, the cast, and Mr. Mike (who actually looks to be fairly kind to her). Brian Wilson dances with Gilda in a heartwarming moment.

A very inconsistent show. Jodie had a lot of energy but unfortunately it was the wrong kind of energy as she went from sketch to sketch like a nervous wreck, constantly jumbling up her lines and missing a couple of cues. She wasn’t the worst host or anything close to that, but she was definitely one of the more awkward ones of the first few years. Thankfully, the cast kept her in a limited amount of bits but even that didn’t stop the show from being painful at points (like the monologue, Brian’s last number, and that godawful Gary Weis film), despite the few high points strewn throughout the show.

Brian Wilson was a severe disappointment despite the knowledge that his performances could be iffy at best. What should’ve been a monumentous moment for SNL ended up resulting in the worst musical guest so far this season. With a not-so-great host/musical guest combination and the bad stuff being pretty damn bad, what we got here is an early candidate for the worst episode of the season.

Host Rating: C

Musical Guest Rating: C-

Show Rating: C