Posts Tagged ‘justin timberlake’


(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 


by Brendan Wahl

(Season 37, Episode 21)

The Show:

1. Biden’s Room (5:11)

Joe Biden (Sudeikis) is furious with President Obama (Armisen) and stays trapped in his own room where he complains that Barack is getting all the press for agreeing with gay marriage even though Joe said he did first. After having a hissy fit, Joe consults with his friend George W. Bush (Ferrell), who’s been trapped in his closet the entire time.

– Very creative way to open the show whilst still mentioning the whole Obama/gay marriage thing that’s been all over the news lately.
– Of course, it was awesome to see Ferrell do his George W. Bush impression but the highlight here was Jason Sudeikis’ portrayal of Joe Biden (which is always great anyways) as an angsty teenager rather than just his usual funny performance as the vice president.
– My favourite parts were Biden’s whole scene with Obama, Ferrell saying that they’re all “gut and balls,” Ferrell referring to Dick Cheney as “President Cheney,” and the bit with the literal/figurative fire.
Rating: *****

2. Monologue (3:55)

Will decides to go off-script and has Wally lower the cue cards so he can talk to his mother (the real deal!) on-stage with it being Mother’s Day in 30 minutes.

– Will seemed a little under the weather here as did he throughout the whole show.
– This was a funny start to the show and I liked Will’s stumbly-bumbly “unscripted” dialogue towards his mother. I can’t really explain more specifics than that but let’s just say that I really enjoyed this.
Rating: *** 1/2

3. One-A-Day Extra Strength Nasaflu (1:50)

A woman (Wiig) tries to advertise the new nasal congestion medication but her husband’s (Ferrell) incessant and obnoxious sneezing is too much for her to handle.

– This was a simple one-joke premise but it was fairly short and Will’s crazy sneeze yelling was enough to carry it and make for a funny segment.
– Kristen makes for a good victim.
Rating: ***

4. Alternative Prom (5:32)

Marty Culp (Ferrell) and Bobbi Mohan-Culp (Ana Gasteyer!) are back and this time are DJ’ing a prom to sing about LGBT rights to the tune of several current pop songs.

– I never thought I would see these characters back again but it was delightful to see Ana Gasteyer return to join Will Ferrell for these wonderful recurring characters that I’ve always enjoyed.
– The singing itself was fun of course (the LMFAO bit was great) but the dialogue beforehand was also very funny like usual.
– Ana has aged pretty gracefully.
Rating: ****

5. Stay Free Maxi Pads Ladies Long Drive Championship 1994 (6:20)

Pete Twinkle (Sudeikis) and the dim-witted Greg Stink (Will Forte!) provide commentary for a ladies golf competition while quipping some inappropriate taglines for Stay Free Maxi Pads. At the same time, the O.J. Simpson case is ongoing and on-the-scene reporter Randy Feather (Ferrell) is having some audio problems.

– I always liked these sketches and I enjoyed this one a whole lot thanks to the fun and inappropriate taglines (“when your uterine lining looks like the elevator from The Shining“) and especially the format-bending stuff with Will Ferrell as the reporter.
– It sure was nice to see Will Forte return… and actually get the recognition applause he deserved that he didn’t get with his previous cameo appearance. He got some great laughs like usual in these sketches and I especially liked his comments about his wife leaving him.
–  Ferrell’s comments while waiting for his feed to begin was quite funny as was Jason setting up the clip (“once again, it’s 1994”).
Rating: *** 1/2

6. Digital Short: The 100th Digital Short (3:26)

To commemorate the 100th short that they’ve made together, Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, and Justin Bieber welcome a number of former guests like Michael Bolton, Natalie Portman, and Julian Casablancas as well as characters like Sergio (Jon Hamm) and the other half of the “Dick in a Box” guys (Justin Timberlake). They proceed to suck their own dicks metaphorically and literally in praise of their own accomplishments.

– This was wonderful; it was a brilliant way to commemorate the 100th short and a perfect send-off if this is really to be Andy Samberg’s final season and the end of these digital shorts.
– Even though we’ve seen all these characters/impressions before, it was still hilarious to see all the references to past shorts while Samberg and co. admitted to pretty much pleasuring themselves with all the self-referential shit.
– I like the bit about all of them being written by Lorne Michaels and his random cameo.
Rating: **** 1/2

7. Usher sings “Scream” (3:52)

– Ferrell always has the best outfits as he introduces the musical guests.
– This performance was actually pretty good and Usher relied a bit more on the singing rather than dancing this time.

8. Weekend Update with Seth Meyers (9:55)
Guest: Get in the Cage with Liam Neeson

Best Jokes: Obama/gay marriage; Limbaugh/traditional marriage; turtle’s shell; snakes in Guam

– I gotta admire Seth’s devotion to the Michael Phelps joke.
– Seth’s “Really!?!” segment on the TIME Magazine cover was hilarious and him pointing out how creepy the photo is just had me laughing and nodding the whole time. My favourites were the Psycho bit and the part where he photoshops the chair out of the picture.
– Andy brings back his Get in the Cage segment with guest Liam Neeson. It was a decent segment but I really think they should’ve ended this recurring bit on the highest note it reached with the real Nicolas Cage. They repeated a lot of the jokes that they usually do in this segment but some of the stuff was still hilarious like Cage explaining the plot for his new film based on the game “Hungry, Hungry Hippos.” The testicles’ nicknames being Liam Neeson characters was great. I also loved the John Travolta line and it ended the segment on a hilarious note.
Rating: *** 1/2

9. The 2012 Funkytown Debate (5:24)

On C-SPAN, Michael “Monkey Sweat” James (Killam) emcees a debate in Funkytown between incumbent mayor Dr. Silky Delicious (Thompson), Captain Catfish (Ferrell), and straight-laced Janet Nichols (Pedrad).

– This was quite an odd sketch and I give them credit for at least trying to do something unique but that certainly didn’t result in it being funny whatsoever.
– I guess I lightly chuckled at Ferrell’s cabinet and Usher’s dance moves were put to good use here as Mr. Galactic Fantastic but that was about it.
– This may be the worst sketch of the season or at least in the top ten.
Rating: *

10. Broadway Sizzle (5:23)

A recently divorced couple (Hader & Wiig) host a program in which several performers (Ferrell, Moynihan, & Thompson) do some of their best Broadway performances on-stage in an effort to get some recognition.

– This was another head-scratcher. While it wasn’t as bad as the previous sketch, it was still lacking in humour somewhat. Ferrell’s part was okay but I didn’t really get what the main joke of his segment was supposed to be.
– Kenan’s part was strange. Was the song supposed to be funny on its own?
– Will constantly realizing that he’s singing women parts was somewhat amusing.
– Bobby Moynihan made me laugh with his brief bit.
Rating: **

11. Usher sings “Climax” (3:50)

– Another decent performance. At least Usher uses his real voice rather than auto-tune or something stupid like that.

12. Anniversary Toast (5:18)

An anniversary toast is interrupted by several uninvited party guests like a professional psychic (Ferrell), the rock & roll shorts guy (Armisen), Hamilton (Will Forte), Gail (Wiig), the very strange Reg (Killam), and of course microphone guy (Moynihan).

– I didn’t expect this sketch to make a comeback but it was fine anyway. There were some parts that didn’t work but a good portion of it did and it was a nice break after the previous two bad sketches.
– Wiig was funnier here than she was in the other sketches like this.
– Taran’s character was hilarious but for me, I was most happy with Will Forte bringing back Hamilton and his insane right-wing nuttery.
Rating: ***

13. Almost Pizza (1:19)

– Repeat from Sofia Vergara/One Direction (4/7/12).

14. Goodnights

OVERALL: Well, aside from two bad segments in the post-Update slot, this was a pretty good show but slightly disappointing for an episode hosted by Will Ferrell. There was no Jeopardy! sketch which I half-expected anyway but once the episode entered the second half, it seemed to lose a lot of the energy it had built up to that point and ended on a bit of a lower note. Still, it was solid all-in-all.

 

BREAKDOWN:

HOST: WILL FERRELL – 9 segments (Biden’s Room; Monologue; One-A-Day Extra Strength Nasaflu; Alternative Prom; Stay Free Maxi Pads Ladies Long Drive Championship 1994; The 100th Digital Short; The 2012 Funkytown Debate; Broadway Sizzle; Anniversary Toast)
MUSICAL GUEST: USHER – 2 segments (The 100th Digital Short; The 2012 Funkytown Debate)

CAMEOS: KAY FERRELL – 1 segment (Monologue)
WILL FORTE – 2 segments (Stay Free Maxi Pads Ladies Long Drive Championship 1994; Anniversary Toast)
ANA GASTEYER – 1 segment (Alternative Prom)
LIAM NEESON – 1 segment (Weekend Update)

FILMED CAMEOS: JUSTIN BIEBER – 1 segment (The 100th Digital Short)
MICHAEL BOLTON – 1 segment (The 100th Digital Short)
JULIAN CASABLANCAS – 1 segment (The 100th Digital Short)
JON HAMM – 1 segment (The 100th Digital Short)
NATALIE PORTMAN – 1 segment (The 100th Digital Short)
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE – 1 segment (The 100th Digital Short)

FRED ARMISEN – 4 segments (Biden’s Room; The 100th Digital Short; The 2012 Funkytown Debate; Anniversary Toast)
ABBY ELLIOTT – 2 segments (Stay Free Maxi Pads Ladies Long Drive Championship 1994; The 2012 Funkytown Debate)
BILL HADER – 3 segments (Broadway Sizzle; Anniversary Toast; Almost Pizza)
SETH MEYERS – 1 segment (Weekend Update)
BOBBY MOYNIHAN – 3 segments (The 2012 Funkytown Debate; Broadway Sizzle; Anniversary Toast)
NASIM PEDRAD – 2 segments (The 2012 Funkytown Debate; Almost Pizza)
ANDY SAMBERG – 3 segments (The 100th Digital Short [6 roles]; Weekend Update; The 2012 Funkytown Debate)
JASON SUDEIKIS – 3 segments (Biden’s Room; Stay Free Maxi Pads Ladies Long Drive Championship 1994; Anniversary Toast)
KENAN THOMPSON – 4 segments (Alternative Prom; The 100th Digital Short; The 2012 Funkytown Debate; Broadway Sizzle)
KRISTEN WIIG – 7 segments (One-A-Day Extra Strength Nasaflu; Stay Free Maxi Pads Ladies Long Drive Championship 1994; The 100th Digital Short; The 2012 Funkytown Debate; Broadway Sizzle; Anniversary Toast; Almost Pizza)

VANESSA BAYER – 3 segments (Stay Free Maxi Pads Ladies Long Drive Championship 1994; The 2012 Funkytown Debate; Anniversary Toast)
TARAN KILLAM – 3 segments (Biden’s Room; The 2012 Funkytown Debate; Anniversary Toast)
KATE MCKINNON – 2 segments (The 2012 Funkytown Debate; Anniversary Toast)
JAY PHAROAH – 1 segment (The 2012 Funkytown Debate)

EPISODE MVP: Jason Sudeikis


by Brendan Wahl

(Season 37, Episode 15)

 

The Show:

1. New York Sports Now (4:33)

A number of sportscasters (Hader, Thompson, Pharoah, & Killam) are caught up in the hysteria of basketball player Jeremy Lin and “Linsanity” that they keep resorting to making puns about how much they love the guy while one caster (Killam) goes a little too far with the racial epiphets.

– I’ll be honest: I don’t follow sports at all so I was a little confused when this sketch started. However, I soon realized what the joke was here and suffice to say, I was definitely along for the ride.
– Once again, Taran was the highlight here. His over-the-top racial comments were hilarious as were Kenan and Jay’s annoyed reactions. The real bite to these comments came from the fact that the Jeremy Lin comments were already borderline-racist, harmless as they may appear.
– The New York Post really said “Amasian”? Wow.
– The Jackie Robinson tribute video was hilarious too with the “Tolerant” line at the end and the gong hit by Pharoah following the segment.
– The absolute best part here though was definitely Bill Hader dubbing an interview with Jeremy Lin.
Rating: **** 1/2

2. Monologue (4:38)

Maya talks about all her lovin’ with the cast when she was on the show and then spends the rest of the monologue singing around the studio while finding all her former flings, including Lorne, Paul Simon (!!!), & Stefon (Hader).

– Much better monologue than I was expecting from Maya and you just KNEW she was going to sing.
– It looks like there was a technical glitch there where Maya was supposed to wink after seeing Stefon but the sound effect only came in just after she left. Still, it was great to see Lorne, Paul, and Stefon all standing together. What a funny visual!
– Having all the dancers on-stage at the beginning reminded me of the beginning of Melissa McCarthy’s monologue (before Kristen replaced the female dancers) earlier this season.
– The gong playing for Seth Meyers was so strange but funny nonetheless.
Rating: ****

3. Bronx Beat (8:08)

Betty (Amy Poehler!) and Jodi (Rudolph) host another edition of their catty talk show after a “15-month hiatus.” After making some chit-chat about Valentine’s Day and their personal lives, they welcome their guests, two members of the crew (Justin Timberlake! Samberg!), that resemble the hosts quite a bit.

– I usually don’t care for this sketch at all but it was nice to see it again after a long hiatus and it was a bit more creative than usual, especially when it came to the guests themselves.
– I actually really enjoyed the pre-guest banter between Maya and Amy this time with the highlights being the discussion about “Hoarders,” Jennifer Lopez dating a younger guy, and the fake-out with Maya explaining what romantic things her husband did for her.
– Looks like they both had a bit of a crack-up at one point.
– The appearance by Justin Timberlake was completely unexpected and it was pretty funny. Combining him with Samberg was a good idea.
Rating: *** 1/2

4. Maya Angelou: I Know Why the Caged Bird Laughs! (2:25)

Maya Angelou (Rudolph) hosts her own prank show much in the same style of Betty White’s new show in which she does “nasty” pranks on her friends like Morgan Freeman (Pharoah), Cornel West (Thompson), and Stephen King (Hader). Of course, after every one of these “harsh” pranks, Maya reveals herself and shares an emotional moment with her victims.

– This was pretty funny and I did enjoy Rudolph’s Maya Angelou impression, which was well-utilized here.
– Jay debuts another awesome impression here with Morgan Freeman.
– I thought for sure that Maya had done this impression on the show before but I was surprised to learn that she had not.
Rating: *** 1/2

5. Baby Blue Ivy (6:51)

Jay Z (Pharoah) and Beyonce (Rudolph) celebrate the birth of their new baby and receive visits from several celebrities including Prince (Armisen), Nicki Minaj (Pedrad), LL Cool J (Thompson), Taylor Swift (Wiig), Brad Pitt (Killam) & Angelina Jolie (Elliott), and Justin Vernon (Timberlake) of Bon Iver fame.

– I was not expecting this to evolve in a multi-impression sketch and as soon as Fred’s Prince impression showed up, I thought for sure that it would be framed much like the Prince Show sketches back a few years ago (they DID repeat the joke about Prince getting scared and hiding). Still, this was funny due to the performances involved.
– Andy as “white butler” was a funny joke.
– The Good: Rudolph/Beyonce; Pharoah/Jay Z; Armisen/Prince; Pedrad/Nicki Minaj; Killam/Brad Pitt; Elliott/Angelina Jolie; Timberlake/Justin Vernon
– The Average: Wiig/Taylor Swift
– The Bad: Kenan/LL Cool J
– So as you can see, I enjoyed most of the impressions. I’d say Pitt, Jolie, and Vernon were my ultimate favourites. This is the third time (I think) that the show has poked fun at a musical guest from the same season.
– The ending seemed miscued and awkward as Rudolph said “bye” twice.
Rating: *** 1/2

6. Sleigh Bells perform “Comeback Kid” (2:52)

– Unique is the best word I can use to describe this performance but I don’t mean it in a bad way. Not a bad little tune though. I liked it.

7. Weekend Update with Seth Meyers & Amy Poehler (6:51)

Best Jokes: Obama’s approval rating; CBS/Republican candidates; Shakira attacked; Valentine’s Day; Subway benches

– We get a Really!?! segment on the birth control hearing that did not have any women invited to the proceedings. The return of Amy was great and Seth & Amy had some pretty cutting remarks regarding the situation. The best one was the comment on Catholics.
– I like how Seth asked Amy to stick around and tell jokes.
– No guests this week? Surprising.
Rating: ****

8. What Up With That? (7:28)

Diondre Cole (Thompson) welcomes guests Bill O’Reilly, Kate Upton, and of course, Lindsey Buckingham (Hader), who gets cut off like usual.

– I didn’t expect this to come back after the one last season seemed like the swan song. I do enjoy this sketch but I really felt like the one last year should’ve been the finale as it was awesome, had great cameos, and told more about the characters involved on the show. This was good but certainly not one of the better ones.
– Crazy to see Bill O’Reilly there. I don’t like him at all but he did a good enough job by just plugging his book and looking annoyed at Kenan’s interruptions. I don’t think he stuck around for the goodnights though.
– Oops, a rare line flub for Taran at the beginning there!
– Maya’s character was pretty good and I did like her silly accent. Also, what the heck was Abby Elliott doing?
Rating: ***

9. Super Showcase (4:10)

A contestant (Bayer) gets the final question wrong and so the host (Hader) shows her what she would’ve won had she been right with the assistance of Shonda (Rudolph) and Vonda (Wiig).

– This was pretty terrible and reminded my of why I used to find Rudolph so damn grating back in the day. Combined with a hammy Wiig character, this died a slow death (and I like Wiig!).
– The only redeeming value of this sketch was Rudolph, Wiig, and Hader all cracking up throughout the sketch. Bayer came close as well.
Rating: * 1/2

10. The Obama Show (4:11)

In order to spread awareness of childhood obesity, Michelle Obama (Rudolph) presents a very Cosby-esque program revolving around the Obamas and the crazy misadventures they find themselves getting into.

– This was very silly but very funny and I especially liked the design of the opening credits with things like Joe Jamal-Biden dancing around. Much like the Beyonce/Jay Z sketch, they swerved me again though as I thought this was just going to be a Michelle Obama-addresses-the-nation opening rather than the full-fledged sketch we got here.
– Fred doing his Obama voice like Theo Huxtable was terrific and it breathed some life into the impression.
– Sudeikis as Joe Biden was the highlight here, especially when he showed up and took the blame for the hoagie in exchange for borrowing the car.
– Loved the “next week preview” with Amy returning as Hillary Clinton.
Rating: ****

11. Sleigh Bells perform “End of the Line” (3:41)

– The vocals seemed to be mixed pretty low for this performance but otherwise, it was just as good as the first.

12. How’s He Doing? (4:54)

The host (Thompson) of an African-American political discussion show fields questions to his two guests (Rudolph & Pharoah) about how Barack Obama is doing as the president and what it would take for them to not vote for him in the upcoming election.

– A fairly funny concept with a good performance from Pharoah in particular.
– The best part was the “what would it take?” segment with Maya and Jay consistently backing Barack Obama no matter what he did including a love affair with Ke$ha.
Rating: *** 1/2

13. Goodnights

 

OVERALL: Way better than any Maya Rudolph-hosted show had any right to be. She didn’t annoy me at all tonight except for maybe the gameshow sketch but the corpsing prevented that a bit anyway. There was some really good writing tonight and even Bronx Beat was good, which is definitely a great sign of an enjoyable episode! As for the cast, I have to give it up to Jay Pharoah for doing an awesome job tonight and he even managed to get some solid airtime with cameos out the ying-yang on top of that.

BREAKDOWN:

HOST: MAYA RUDOLPH – 8 segments (Monologue; Bronx Beat; Maya Angelou: I Know Why the Caged Bird Laughs!; Baby Blue Ivy; What Up With That?; Super Showcase; The Obama Show; How’s He Doing?)

CAMEOS: BILL O’REILLY – 1 segment (What Up With That?)
AMY POEHLER – 3 segments (Bronx Beat; Weekend Update; The Obama Show)
PAUL SIMON – 1 segment (Monologue)
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE – 2 segments (Bronx Beat; Baby Blue Ivy)
KATE UPTON – 1 segment (What Up With That?)

FRED ARMISEN – 4 segments (Monologue; Baby Blue Ivy; What Up With That?; The Obama Show)
ABBY ELLIOTT – 2 segments (Baby Blue Ivy; What Up With That?)
BILL HADER – 5 segments (New York Sports Now; Monologue; Maya Angelou: I Know Why the Caged Bird Laughs!; What Up With That?; Super Showcase)
SETH MEYERS – 2 segments (Monologue; Weekend Update)
BOBBY MOYNIHAN – 1 segment (What Up With That?)
NASIM PEDRAD – 2 segments (Baby Blue Ivy; What Up With That?)
ANDY SAMBERG – 4 segments (Monologue; Bronx Beat; Baby Blue Ivy; What Up With That?)
JASON SUDEIKIS – 3 segments (Monologue; What Up With That?; The Obama Show)
KENAN THOMPSON – 6 segments (New York Sports Now; Monologue; Maya Angelou: I Know Why the Caged Bird Laughs!; Baby Blue Ivy; What Up With That?; How’s He Doing?)
KRISTEN WIIG – 3 segments (Monologue; Baby Blue Ivy; Super Showcase)

VANESSA BAYER – 2 segments (What Up With That?; Super Showcase)
TARAN KILLAM – 4 segments (New York Sports Now; Baby Blue Ivy; What Up With That?; The Obama Show)
JAY PHAROAH – 5 segments (New York Sports Now; Maya Angelou: I Know Why the Caged Bird Laughs!; Baby Blue Ivy; What Up With That?; How’s He Doing?)

EPISODE MVP: Jay Pharoah