Posts Tagged ‘mitt romney’


(Season 38, Episode 7)

 

WHAT THEY’RE PROMOTING:

ANNE HATHAWAY: “Les Miserables”

RIHANNA: “Unapologetic” (album)

 

COLD OPENING: Mitt Romney at Home (4:35)

–      I was hoping for a Fox News parody but this worked out just fine and acted as a swan song (probably) to Sudeikis’ Mitt Romney impression. I enjoyed the fact that he was progressively getting “drunker” from chugging all that milk.

–      Nice to see Kate’s Ann Romney impression return as well although I doubt we’ll see it much more again.

–      The beer can sound effects being used every time Romney opened up a carton of milk was a nice touch.

–      Taran playing three of Mitt’s sons without changing his appearance or costume at all was a very funny detail and only added to the hilarity of the sketch.

–      Moynihan’s Karl Rove was funny, especially when he asked Romney to borrow 300 million dollars and Romney just threw him over the porch.

–      The moment at the end with Jason and Kate was actually a bit sweet.

RATING: ****

 

MONOLOGUE: Anne Hathaway (3:43)

–      It was quite expected that they would do a big musical number here because of Les Miserables but I did not expect the extremely funny subject matter regarding everyone being excited to do nothing on Sunday, their day off. This was excellent.

–      Sudeikis has a very nice singing voice (I loved him singing about tomorrow being “chill as hell”).

–      Also, the initial appearance of Taran and Cicely with headset microphones was hilarious.

–      Stefon has gotten to the heights of popularity that Anne can even reference him in the monologue and everyone knows what she’s talking about.

–      Kenan’s bit about waiting to vote the next day was awesome and I also really liked Tim & Aidy’s thing about barely being in the show along with Killam announcing that they will all have sex the next day (with Anne disgustedly backing off).

–      Also, did anyone notice as the camera faded away, Anne and Jason kept up the running joke of her having issues with him during the week as they started yelling at each other? That was clever.

RATING: **** ½

 

 

SHOW: Girlfriends Talk Show (4:31)

–      I had doubts about this as it started but it was really funny and a great lead-off sketch.

–      Another starring role for Aidy Bryant and another impressive performance. This girl has gone leaps and bounds since her appearance in that Daniel Craig sketch in which I thought she was way too broad compared to the rest of the cast.

–      Hathaway was pretty good here as well even though her role wasn’t the biggest of the sketch.

–      Cicely also made for a good host of the sketch but it’s ridiculous how good Aidy was compared to the other two ladies. This was really her time to shine.

–      I really liked Cicely’s story about her stalker/boyfriend watching her eat steak.

–      I also appreciated that the sketch didn’t go on longer than necessary.

RATING: *** ½

 

FILM: The Legend of Mokiki and the Sloppy Swish (2:21)

–      Wow, this was SUCH an odd short film but Taran was hilarious just with his facial expressions and strange dancing alone. Kenan was also funny in this as the singer/narrator.

–      Hathaway turning into a female version of Killam’s insane character was a riot and probably made me laugh the most here.

–      Did anyone else get a Lou Bega vibe from Kenan in this sketch?

RATING: ****

 

SHOW: Homeland (4:33)

–      I wish I had seen this sketch before because I probably would’ve appreciated it more but I still had a ball with most of this.

–      Hathaway turned in another great performance here as the emotionally unstable Carrie obsessed with Killam’s character Brody and corkboards. Taran was also quite good here as Brody, who could barely open his mouth when he spoke.

–      Hader and Thompson were good straight men here too, especially how Hader’s interpretation of Mandy Patinkin was so on-the-money.

RATING: *** ½

 

SKETCH: McDonald’s Lay-Offs (5:11)

–      Well, this wasn’t the strongest sketch but the performances from Moynihan and Strong were damn inspired. They carried the subpar material over-the-top.

–      My favourite parts were Cicely barking and referring to Bayer’s character as a bitch, Moynihan and Strong saying that Nasim should be at the end of sentences because she’s a big period, Killam’s vacant stare, Sudeikis telling Nasim that he’s already married, turning the McDonald’s jingle into a song about how Jay should kill himself, and the ending with Tim Robinson as the elderly employee.

–      Aidy looked like she was on the verge of cracking up here.

–      There seemed to be a camera gaffe here when they cut to Pharoah too early.

RATING: ***

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Diamonds” (3:50)

–      What an odd performance. It didn’t make the song any better because to be quite honest here, I was not a fan. Was it worse than fun? Hell no. Was it good? Eh.

 

WEEKEND UPDATE with Seth Meyers (14:40)

Guests: Barack Obama, Same-Sex Maine Couple, and Drunk Uncle

–      Best Jokes: Obama’s poll data; General Petraeus resignation; Medal of Honor; NFL on TV; heavy drinkers; man shoots horse

–      Jay brings back his Obama impression for a commentary on how he won the election. It was pretty funny with lots of good lines sprinkled throughout the segment and Pharoah just having a lot of fun with the impression this time out. I particularly liked his bit about a Hispanic gay woman being born every eight seconds, his Wesley Snipes “quote,” the comments about Republican congressmen talking about rape, and him saying that this is a “terrible job and I hate it.”

–      Hader and Armisen bring back their same-sex couple characters but this time from Maine with cartoonish accents and wearing dungarees. I liked that this commentary never went for an over-the-top moment and didn’t go the route of a silly male-on-male kiss. It was pretty decent overall.

–      I very much enjoyed the return of Moynihan’s Drunk Uncle character. I don’t care how many times he does this character; I still love it. I particularly enjoyed his comments on voting, groupon, confusing political races for skin colour, his state of denial, the little “Windows 8” comments, 1950’s Playboys and dignity, and his quick “jewspapers” comment.

RATING: ****

 

SHOW: Ellen (4:44)

–      This was a great sketch with Kate doing her fantastic Ellen DeGeneres impression and Kenan having some great lines as her DJ who is excited about having the same hours as a schoolteacher.

–      Very accurate stuff here too like Ellen making two little girls (played by Bayer and Pedrad) famous along with declaring it a half talk show/half weird daycare.

–      The visual of Ellen having a text conversation with Sofia Vergara was hilarious.

–      Hathaway brought back her great Katie Holmes impression and I loved her bit about going in disguise by slightly shifting over her mouth to look straight.

RATING: ****

 

SKETCH: American Gothic (5:29)

–      This was a very silly but highly entertaining sketch with some great chemistry between Hathaway and Sudeikis (no surprise there; they always work well together). I liked how both of them were so giddy about the painting and how they progressively got more and more deflated until the last comment about posing there for 10 hours resulted in their looks of utter sadness.

–      Kenan’s been in a lot of sketches tonight.

RATING: ****

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Stay” (3:54)

–      This was much better than the first song. Overall, Rihanna’s been decent. I’m getting kinda tired of seeing her on SNL though.

 

COMMERCIAL: Flaritin (1:28)

–      Good little commercial parody to end the night on with my favourite bit coming from Fred getting really mad at Moynihan for smoking in his face and doing his exaggerated coughing spell.

–      Hader made for a good spokesman of course.

RATING: *** ½

 

Goodnights

 

BEST PERFORMER(S) OF THE NIGHT:

–      Anne Hathaway/Taran Killam/Jason Sudeikis

 

FINAL THOUGHTS:

If last week’s show was the best of the season thus far then this was easily the second-best. Anne Hathaway was an awesome host and it’s seriously going to take me the rest of the season to contemplate if she or Levitt was host of the year thus far unless someone blows them both out of the water but I have my doubts about that happening. There was simply nothing bad this week. I loved a lot of sketches and highly regarded the rest for the most part. Awesome episode.

TONIGHT’S RATING: ****

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(Season 38, Episode 2)

WHAT THEY’RE PROMOTING:

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT: “Looper”

MUMFORD & SONS: “Babel” (album)

 

COLD OPENING: Live with Kelly and Michael (4:41)

–      Funny sketch to open the show (I hope this becomes recurring) and it was refreshing to have something non-political to open up the episode. Nasim’s Kelly Ripa impression is just fine but it was Pharoah’s take on Michael Strahan that had me laughing out loud. That man knows how to take an impression and make it his own.

–      Some great lines in this like Jay comparing the twosome to The Blind Side, Nasim saying that she never blinks and that when she did once she fell asleep for a year and a  half, and Nasim’s brief mention of the Emmys followed by Jay remarking how easy the job is.

–      The part with Hader as Robert Pattinson was fine but didn’t really add much to the sketch overall. Not a slam on Hader though; he did his usual fine job.

–      Jay gets to say LFNY for the second week in a row!

RATING: *** ½

 

MONOLOGUE: Joseph Gordon-Levitt (2:10)

–      Much like the first time he hosted, Joseph was full of energy and it resulted in another very entertaining monologue.

–      The Magic Mike-inspired dance sequence may have seemed like an excuse to show off Levitt’s body at first but it was so much fun and energetic that it just ended up being a lot of fun.

–      The Bruce Willis/Ashton Kutcher joke was amusing.

–      I liked a lot of the little details here too like Bobby having another vest underneath his vest, Taran’s stoic manner, and the three background dancers (Taran, Bobby, & Jay) each having their own subtle little moments as the segment faded out.

RATING: ****

 

COMMERCIAL: Undecided Voters of America (1:50)

–      This was excellent. I loved how it made the undecided voter look like a complete elitist moron.

–      Pretty much every comment/question made me laugh but I suppose I enjoyed Tim Robinson and Bill Hader’s parts the most.

–      Who was that random Asian guy? He looked really familiar. Is he trying out for the cast?

RATING: *****

 

COMMERCIAL: Tres Equis (1:14)

–      Another filmed piece? What is this, Season 10?

–      Seriously though, this was another funny sketch with Joseph doing an excellent job as “the son of the most interesting man in the world.”

–      Loved the part with making “a woman cringe just from entering the room,” the claim that he dated a model, and the last part where Levitt explains Tres Equis as being “two parts Dos Equis and one part none of your business.”

RATING: *** ½

 

SKETCH: Private Detective Sam Flint (2:32)

–      This seemed like a bit of a missed opportunity. I liked it but it ended very abruptly and I would’ve liked to have seen more interaction between Levitt and Hader with maybe even his wife and her lover walking in or something.

–      Still, I can’t fault this sketch for trying and I did enjoy it for the most part. It featured a reliable performance from our host and yet another good one from Hader.

–      The caricatures were funny; I think my favourite was Hader’s “Kevin” sign.

–      Hader charging Joseph for a drink in his office also gave me a laugh.

RATING: ***

 

COMMERCIAL: Tres Equis (1:53)

–      This one was even better than the first segment.

–      My favourite parts were Joseph tipping a negative amount to get cashback and almost doing a 180 on his razor scooter but the ultimate BEST part of the entire sketch was Jason as his father having a screaming match with him at the end.

–      The ending was especially great with Joseph telling him that he’s going to find his mother and Jason replying, “Good luck finding out who the FUCK she is!”

RATING: **** ½

 

SKETCH: Hypnotist (4:50)

–      Excellent sketch. Joseph was quite good here but Taran was exquisite and showed his vast amount of ability to do physical schtick.

–      Taran’s intentionally-hammy acting had me laughing the entire time, especially since he was dressed like a dorky middle-aged guy in a flashy shirt. The stuff where he was addressing the audience silently was hilarious.

–      I loved all of this but my favourite part was Taran humping Kenan as a female dinosaur.

–      The ending was great too with Taran revealing that he’s been cheating on his wife with her sister but then he and Vanessa revealing that they weren’t hypnotized at all.

RATING: *****

 

COMMERCIAL: G.O.B. Tampons (1:07)

–      Good way to comment on the recent need for Republicans to comment on how females should care for their body and how their bodies work.

–      The last scene in the bathtub was quite amusing, especially Hader playing around with the tampon like a confused cat.

RATING: *** ½

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “I Will Wait” (4:28)

–      Very good performance by a band I had never heard of but they definitely made me into a fan with this appearance.

 

WEEKEND UPDATE with Seth Meyers (16:17)

Guests: Bashar’s Two Best Friends From Growing Up, Ann Romney, and Stephen A. Smith

 

 

–      Best Jokes: Romney/47% as dependants; Paul Ryan speech; fouton; Monica Lewinsky tell-all book; Paris Hilton’s comments; Brad Pitt/Bollywood musical

–      Okay, I loved the “What Are You Doing?” rant. Meyers’ delivery was excellent and he made some really good/funny points throughout. I especially liked the bit about the queen of England having only said “eleven words since 1940” and the bit about supporters liking his Facebook page being the least AND the most they can do.

–      The “two best friends from growing up” bit was old hat but again, Bayer and Armisen’s performances were fine. Still, it was only okay and I really wish I could’ve heard what Meyers was saying when muttering about the new castmembers.

–      Kate McKinnon’s Ann Romney commentary was a definite highlight of this week’s show and easily the best thing that she’s done on the show thus far (not to discredit her work so far). Everything about it was perfect from her hilarious impression to her pronounciation of Beyonce to her complaints about only getting to shake Jon Voight’s leathery hand. Her creepy wave was also hilarious and I loved Bill’s brief appearance as Rick Perry.

–      Jay Pharoah’s Stephen A. Smith commentary makes the cut this time and while I don’t really follow sports so some parts were lost on me it still contained a few good laughs.

–      Wow, that was a LONG Update.

RATING: *** ½

 

SKETCH: Song Memories (4:33)

–      The return of this sketch was a nice surprise and I like how they changed it up a bit by having it take place in London and having Mumford & Sons playing a Beatles cover band performing the usual song in a live setting.

–      The usual stories from the guys were funny but my favourites were Jason’s vibrator tale and Hader confessing that he is Jerry Sandusky’s son.

–      The ending with everyone going out into the crowd was a lot of fun and another change of pace for this sketch.

–      There was a brief camera gaffe with a weird zoom-in on Sudeikis at one point.

RATING: *** ½

 

SHOW: The Finer Things (4:58)

–      I will say this right from the get-go. The performances in this sketch were committed and Jay and Kenan did a good job as the hosts of this show. I also had a feeling Joseph would end up playing a wigger and he was hilarious in that role as was Bobby Moynihan in his brief part.

–      Now despite all that, this sketch wasn’t all that great and it was a bit lacking in the laughs department. One great part was Kenan flipping out and jumping up and down. Something about the way he did that was hilarious. Jay posing with the purse was kinda funny too.

RATING: **

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Below My Feet” (4:33)

–      Another terrific performance. I hope to see these guys back again as soon as they are available.

 

SKETCH: Evelyn’s Date (4:09)

–      Well this was decidedly strange. Joseph in drag was hilarious (why didn’t they do this to him during his first hosting stint?!) and gave another great performance as well with his dancing and “seduction” of Tim’s character.

–      The song was insane and goofy and combined with the ridiculous premise of the sketch I couldn’t help but laugh in spite of myself.

–      Robinson was a good straight man.

RATING: ***

 

COMMERCIAL: Powers Realty (2:11)

–      This was a funny sketch to finish off the episode. Tim and Nasim had good chemistry and their delivery was quite funny.

–      Again, Tim Robinson gets to be the co-lead in the final sketch and again… it gets cut off because of time constraints. That’s the second episode in a row. Get your timing shit together, guys.

–      My favourite parts were Nasim talking about the “seed of man splattered on [her] face,” there being a picture of Tim crapping gold coins into Nasim’s mouth, and pretty much anything that Joseph Gordon-Levitt said at the end of the bit.

RATING: *** ½

 

(Very brief) Goodnights.

 

BEST PERFORMER(S) OF THE NIGHT:

–      Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Taran Killam

FINAL THOUGHTS:

It had more highlights than the premiere and a better overall host (not to knock Seth!) which resulted in a more well-rounded episode. Some of the placement of the sketches was a bit odd (two commercial parodies back-to-back after the monologue) and some sketches were way too short (the private detective sketch) but there were at least four excellent segments and one commentary from Kate McKinnon that just might be her breakout moment.

TONIGHT’S RATING: *** ½ 


by Brendan Wahl

(Season 37, Episode 19)

The Show:

1. Cold Open: Campaign Reminiscing (5:41)

Mitt Romney (Sudeikis) and Rick Santorum (Samberg) sit in a bar and reminisce about their battle in the GOP debates and are soon joined by other candidates Rick Perry (Hader), Michele Bachmann (Wiig), Herman Cain (Thompson), and Newt Gingrich (Moynihan) (who the other candidates try to avoid). Every now and then, they break into similar lyrics to the Green Day song, “Time of Your Life.”

– I really enjoyed this. It was a very clever way of using every Republican candidate in a sketch without making it too wordy thanks to the bar setting. I also liked the singing and it was very enjoyable.
– My favourite parts were Sudeikis tipping the waitress and telling her to take it home to her husband (“he’ll know best what to do with it”), Hader thinking the debates were some kind of gameshow, Wiig talking about breaking up boys nights at home when she comes back early and unannounced, Kenan’s line “999 problems and a bitch was all of ’em” and yelling “Hey! That’s my line…,” and everyone avoiding Moynihan when he shows up and steals bar nuts.
– The ending with Hader not knowing some of the lines of the song was hilarious because at first, I thought it was a blooper.
Rating: *****

2. Monologue (2:35)

Josh talks about his latest work and gives everyone a preview of Men in Black 3 with the help of Jay Pharoah’s portrayal of Will Smith.

– Josh looked very comfortable much like the first time he hosted and it made for a pretty decent monologue.
– I liked Josh’s line about being the official spokesman for the 90’s and the scene with him and Jay was very funny because of how brief it was and the fact that it gave nothing away at all.
Rating: ***

3. HBO First Look (2:04)

We take a closer look into the production of Game of Thrones where the creator George R. R. Martin (Moynihan) discusses the program along with Kit Harrington (Killam) and several others but it’s the 13-year old producer (Samberg) that’s responsible for all the sex and shots of breasts.

– Very funny take on Game of Thrones. I don’t watch the show at all but I still found it hilarious. My friend who DOES watch it found it even better.
– The constant “bathroom break” lines were very funny.
– Kate McKinnon looked really pretty in this sketch and I liked her line about her good side and then she just made a rectangle around her chest.
Rating: ****

4. The Californians (5:16)

On Soapnet, a show features a number of stereotypical Californians who communicate with each other on a basic primal level and have no real identities of their own.

– This was such a STRANGE sketch. That being said, I enjoyed it quite a bit and the acting by everyone involved was funny. Fred was so good that he seemed to crack Hader up quite a bit and it looked like Wiig was about to lose it as well.
– Josh Brolin fit into this sketch pretty well and I liked him doing his Californian accent in more of a surfer dude style. His voice actually kinda reminded me of Jeff Bridges.
– I was surprised to find out that this was NOT a parody of a real show.
Rating: ***

5. America’s Next Top Empire State of Mind Parody Artist (5:20)

Exactly what it sounds like. Weird Al (Samberg) hosts and the judges include the Chocolate Rain guy (Thompson), Ke$ha (Elliott), and Jay-Z (Pharoah), who loves every single song because he’s just overwhelmed by the notion of parodies.

– Okay, this one wasn’t amazing or anything but it was a lot better than I first thought when I watched it last night. Out of all the songs, the only one I really liked was the Fred Armisen song because he just kept listing his workout without any sort of rhyme or rhythm. However, I gotta give props to all the people playing the contestants because they each gave it their all.
– I did like a few parts of this like Ke$ha being mistaken as a parody song artist and Jay-Z giving top marks to every single pair of contestants.
– Samberg’s Weird Al impression was good.
– Kristen looked like Virgania Horsen from just the way she was standing at the beginning. Did anyone else get that?
Rating: *** 1/2

6. Digital Short: Laser Cats 7 (4:40)

This time, Andy and Bill convince Lorne to watch their next project, “Laser Cats 7,” directed by Steven Spielberg.

– It feels like this will be the finale for “Laser Cats” and if so, it was a very funny and fitting finale. Spielberg was one of the best and most random cameos I’ve seen on the show in years.
– I love how Spielberg kept mentioning his “Hitchcockian cameo.”
– The obvious Spielberg film references were ridiculous and funny, especially with Andy yelling out, “Catch me if you can, the Terminal!”
– This also had a great ending with Brolin’s Nazi character’s face melting off and Andy joining EAT in space, saying “fuck them” regarding his wife and kids.
Rating: ****

7. Gotye (ft. Kimbra) sings “Somebody That I Used to Know” (3:58)

– I have definitely heard this song before. Gotye performed it very well on-stage. Kimbra was good as well.

8. Weekend Update with Seth Meyers (9:51)
Guest: Garth & Kat

Best Jokes: Obama’s buffett rule; prom costs; German cow movie; show & tell; Pizza Hut; alarm clock

– I really enjoyed Seth’s “What Are You Doing?” segment in regards to North Korea’s failed rocket launch. He had some good lines regarding the situation and it was classic satirical Seth.
– Garth & Kat again? I guess they had to do it one more time before Wiig leaves but seriously, that’s enough with these characters. They still make me chuckle a bit but I’m getting really tired of them. Okay I admit, I liked this segment a bit more than normal.
Rating: *** 1/2

9. Piers Morgan Tonight (6:16)

Piers (Killam) does a show on the Trayvon Martin case and this time chats with the head of the Florida Tourism Board (Sudeikis), new couple Kim Kardashian (Pedrad) and Kanye West (Pharoah), Florida Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen (Brolin), Ice-T (Armisen), and the Superbowl tightrope guy (Samberg) once again.

– Another great Piers Morgan sketch with Killam doing another wonderful impression of the man himself.
– My favourite interview segment was Jason Sudeikis as the Florida Tourism Board guy and his examples of some of the crazy Florida laws were hilarious like “You Snooze You Lose” (where someone can legally kill a sleeping person).
– It was incredibly random to bring back Andy as the tightrope guy but I think that’s why I found his segment so funny. It was like when they had Wiig play Triangle Sally in that Mozart sketch. I think Andy may have stepped on Taran’s lines a bit.
– Brolin was good in this sketch and I liked the accent he used as well.
– I had no idea Kanye and Kardashian were a couple now.
Rating: ****

10. Slow-Motion Hallway (3:19)

The new girl (Bayer) at school is shown around by a teacher (Hader) and introduced to the slow-motion hallway where anyone who walks through it must do everything in slow-motion.

– This was pretty funny for the most part and I liked the songs they chose to use during the slow-motion scenes.
– Everyone in this sketch did a really good job. I don’t know how they were able to keep up the slow-motion acting throughout the whole sketch, especially Taran and Nasim as they did the best job.
– Brolin was also good here and throughout the night, he’s blended in very well as a sort of castmember for the night.
– The ending was funny with the witch slowly chasing them.
Rating: *** 1/2

11. Digital Short: Gotye’s Fans (2:02)

Andy and Taran profess their admiration for Gotye in his dressing room and then show how big of fans they truly are by painting themselves and hiding in his artwork just like the music video.

– Another funny digital short though not as great as the first one. However, Andy and Taran were very funny in this and it was cool to see Taran with a lead role in a digital short.
– The “Another” tag was from Another Stakeout. Thanks Jason…
– It got really creepy and funny by the time they were naked and wearing the black wigs. Especially when they said they didn’t paint their privates because they wanted Gotye to see them.
Rating: *** 1/2

12. Gotye sings “Eyes Wide Open” (3:09)

– Another real good performance. Gotye is someone to keep your eyes on, folks.

13. Prom Announcements (5:43)

During a prom at Booker T Washington High, Principal Frey (Pharoah) makes several announcements regarding the punch bowl being spiked, the coach (Thompson) wants everyone to shut up and pay attention, and a drunk teacher (Brolin) admits to having an affair with one of his students (Pedrad).

– This one was better than a similar sketch they did last season with Paul Rudd even though I liked that one too. Jay was terrific here as the principal character he did last time but I think Brolin may have stolen the sketch as the drunken teacher who reveals way too much.
– Jay actually cracked up a bit, which made me laugh a lot.
– Kenan’s brief angry role was also very funny. Just the way he said “everybody would’ve died” was hilarious.
Rating: ****

14. Goodnights

OVERALL: This was a fantastic show. After first viewing it last night, I wasn’t all that impressed overall but I appreciated it a lot more with a second viewing. Josh Brolin was a great host and fit in very well with the fabric of the cast. He was not usually the lead role tonight but he did some great supporting work and was hilarious in several of the sketches.

BREAKDOWN:

HOST: JOSH BROLIN – 7 segments (Monologue; The Californians; America’s Next Top Empire State of Mind Parody Artist; Laser Cats 7; Piers Morgan Tonight; Slow-Motion Hallway; Prom Announcements)
MUSICAL GUEST: GOTYE – 1 segment (Gotye’s Fans)

FILMED CAMEO: STEVEN SPIELBERG – 1 segment (Laser Cats 7)

FRED ARMISEN – 5 segments (The Californians; America’s Next Top Empire State of Mind Parody Artist; Laser Cats 7; Weekend Update; Piers Morgan Tonight)
ABBY ELLIOTT – 2 segments (America’s Next Top Empire State of Mind Parody Artist; Slow-Motion Hallway)
BILL HADER – 4 segments (Campaign Reminiscing; The Californians; Laser Cats 7; Slow-Motion Hallway)
SETH MEYERS – 1 segment (Weekend Update)
BOBBY MOYNIHAN – 5 segments (Campaign Reminiscing; HBO First Look; America’s Next Top Empire State of Mind Parody Artist; Laser Cats 7; Slow-Motion Hallway)
NASIM PEDRAD – 4 segments (Campaign Reminiscing; Piers Morgan Tonight; Slow-Motion Hallway; Prom Announcements)
ANDY SAMBERG – 7 segments (Campaign Reminiscing; HBO First Look; America’s Next Top Empire State of Mind Parody Artist; Laser Cats 7; Piers Morgan Tonight; Slow-Motion Hallway; Gotye’s Fans)
JASON SUDEIKIS – 2 segments (Campaign Reminiscing; Piers Morgan Tonight)
KENAN THOMPSON – 5 segments (Campaign Reminiscing; The Californians; America’s Next Top Empire State of Mind Parody Artist; Slow-Motion Hallway; Prom Announcements)
KRISTEN WIIG – 5 segments (Campaign Reminiscing; The Californians; America’s Next Top Empire State of Mind Parody Artist; Weekend Update; Slow-Motion Hallway)

VANESSA BAYER – 4 segments (The Californians; America’s Next Top Empire State of Mind Parody Artist; Slow-Motion Hallway; Prom Announcements)
TARAN KILLAM – 5 segments (HBO First Look; Laser Cats 7; Piers Morgan Tonight; Slow-Motion Hallway; Gotye’s Fans)
KATE MCKINNON – 2 segments (HBO First Look; The Californians)
JAY PHAROAH – 4 segments (Monologue; America’s Next Top Empire State of Mind Parody Artist; Piers Morgan Tonight; Prom Announcements)

EPISODE MVPs: Josh Brolin/Andy Samberg/Jay Pharoah


by Brendan Wahl

(Season 37, Episode 13)

The Show:

1. Newt Gingrich: Moon President (4:08)

It is the year 2014 and Newt Gingrich (Moynihan) reigns supreme as president of the moon along with his assistant, the Reagatron 3000 (Hader) and his Vice Admiral Herman Cain (Thompson).

– Very creative way to open the show and a good way to try and make us forget that tremendously dull opening from last week.
– The highlights were Bill as the Reagatron 3000, Bobby’s line about how not all of America is as forward-thinking as South Carolina, Sudeikis showing up as a stowaway Mitt Romney in drag, Kenan as Herman Cain with his obvious sexual innuendos, and Bill asking Jason if he is his robot father.
– Did they use a farting sound effect when the earth fell apart? That was a pretty amusing moment.
– Why did Bobby’s Newt voice sound so much different?
Rating: **** 1/2

2. Monologue (3:29)

Channing talks about his start in showbusiness as a male stripper and then begins to recognize several familiar faces in the crowd.

– Right off the bat, Channing seemed happy to be there and showed that he would at least be a competent host and not one of those stiff dramatic actor type hosts.
– Pretty funny monologue, especially with Kenan as the bodyguard, Taran and Vanessa as the couple, and Fred as the audience member who tries not to let it show that he enjoys Channing’s dancing.
– I also enjoyed the quick bit with Channing calling out Andy’s doctor character as a former customer.
Rating: ***

3. It’s Getting Freaky with Cee Lo Green! (5:46)

Cee Lo (Thompson) tries once again to help a young couple with their sexual life, this time a lesbian duo (Pedrad & Bayer). He is not without assistance though as Matthew McConnaughey (Tatum) and the reliable Colonel Nasty (Hader) stop by as well to lend some advice.

– You had to know that THIS would become recurring. Still, I liked this edition of the sketch just as much as I enjoyed the first one.
– There was a lot of interaction with the Atlanta Horns band, which were some of my favourite parts actually.
– Channing pulled off a pretty damn good McConnaughey impression. He’s no Justin Long, but it was still real good.
– Was I the only one praying for a kiss between Nasim and Vanessa? Yes, I know. I’m a guy.
Rating: *** 1/2

4. Downton Abbey (2:04)

Now coming to SPIKE TV, a new show about debonairs and olden times-style living with a promo done pretty much in the same style as if it were any other overblown show on SPIKE.

– This was pretty clever. Hard to explain why I liked it but I guess just the juxtaposition of the announcer’s typical annoying SPIKE voice combined with a show that obviously does not fit in with the network’s typical fare.
Rating: ****

5. Superbowl Promo Shoot (3:03)

Several correspondents (Tatum, Hader, Sudeikis, Thompson, & Pharoah) get together to film the promos advertising the Superbowl but end up making it look a little strange and then begin to bring up some very odd conversation points.

– I wasn’t the biggest fan of this sketch at all. The looks they gave the camera were pretty amusing for the most part but it just seemed like they just ran the same joke into the ground. It actually kinda reminded me of that stupid Taylor Lautner sketch where he kept making weird faces at the camera.
– The weird comments meant well but not a lot of them were all that funny.
– The end with them drinking was pretty funny.
Rating: * 1/2

6. Secret Word (5:08)

Mindy Gracin (Wiig) is back for another round of the 60s gameshow. This time, she goes up against former astronaut Buster Allright (Tatum), who seems to be anything but.

– I’m honestly not tired of this sketch at all. I may be the only one who likes it as a recurring piece. Bill is great as the host, they always make a great opponent character for Kristen, and yes, I also like Kristen’s wacky performance every time.
– Tatum was a good addition to the sketch and I liked his attempt to give hints for the word “Probe” and just ended up having visions of space and being captured.
– I especially liked Kristen sliding the secret word over to her non-celebrity partner.
– Best line: “I’m on no pills and I miss them.”
Rating: *** 1/2

7. Bon Iver performs “Holocene” (5:06)

– So I had no clue who this band was before the show but I had definitely heard this song before. They are a very mellow-sounding band and I really enjoyed this. It was a breath of fresh air after the disastrous musical guest during the previous episode.

8. Weekend Update with Seth Meyers (9:54)
Guests: Guy Fieri and Lana Del Rey

Best Jokes: Mitt Romney/47%; Indiana Creationism bill; phones/sex survey; Pfizer recall

– The first commentary is from Bobby as Guy Fieri, an impression we haven’t seen in a little while. I’ve always enjoyed this particular impression from Bobby and this was a good way to bring him back by having him comment on Superbowl snacks. I particularly liked Bobby “cooking” a hot dog over his “shirt flames,” the visual joke of an Ug boot filled with hot dogs, and the bucket of mussels representing the Madonna halftime show. The ridiculous dish at the end was also good for a chuckle.
–  YES! YES! I was really hoping they would address the Lana Del Rey fiasco and Kristen Wiig did a perfect impression of her. I also love how they did the running joke with Seth starting a joke about tree frogs and getting interrupted. They also made some good points about no musicians changing their real name and how she didn’t live up to other “greats” on SNL like Bubba Sparxxx, the Baha Men, and Shaggy.
Rating: *** 1/2

9. Bat Mitzvah (3:57)

At a young lady’s (Pedrad) bat mitzvah, she performs a dance routine with her friend (Tatum) as choreographed by her mother (Wiig) and less-than-moral sister (Elliott).

– This was all essentially one-joke and boiled down to the humour involved with the dancing and the reaction shots. It worked though thanks to the enjoyable performances by Channing and Nasim.
– Abby and Kristen were also good here with their respective reactions and lines throughout the dance.
– Kenan made me laugh as the Billy OCean impersonator.
Rating: ***

10. Ruby Tuesday (3:49)

Tom Brady (Tatum) sits at a bar stool and is approached by an older lady named Janet Peckinpaugh (Moynihan), who begins to aggressively hit on him and slowly starts to win him over.

– It was interesting to see Bobby with a new character. He had a few funny lines but ultimately this didn’t really go anywhere. Still, it wasn’t awful.
– I loved the line about Bobby having ruined Katy Perry’s marriage.
– The dance at the end was kinda lame until Bobby did his tumble.
Rating: ** 1/2

11. Go-Techs Flex (1:57)

The new exercise fad features a device that puts pulse readers on your thumbs and makes sure you don’t get overworked. It takes a little getting used to though.

– Very absurd sketch with a number of healthy laughs mostly due to Kristen’s strange performance, although I did like Channing here as well.
– The part with the honeycomb was very, very odd.
Rating: ***

12. Bon Iver performs “Beth/Rest” (4:57)

– This tune sounded like it had a bit of a jazz-fusion influence and I enjoyed it just as much as the first performance.

13. Bongo’s Clown Room (6:18)

On his last night on the job (again?), Tommy (Sudeikis) emcees ladies’ night at Bongo’s with Keith Wide (Pharoah), Dumb Dick (Moynihan), Chief Pumps (Moynihan), and Nick Erswet (Tatum) briefly performing on-stage.

– Jason was great here much like he was the first time they did this sketch and it didn’t hurt that he was given some great lines.
– It wasn’t quite as great as the first one though just for the sole reason that the actual dancing was not as funny. It also lacked an ending like the one they did with Dave Grohl the first time.
– Channing has danced in almost every sketch. I will admit I found that a bit annoying.
Rating: *** 1/2

14. Goodnights

OVERALL: A relatively solid show with only two sketches that didn’t really work for me and a couple of standouts this week with the cold open and the SPIKE TV piece. Channing Tatum was a surprisingly good host even if his constant need to dance in every sketch eventually started to get grating. I’d probably put this one just above the Radcliffe episode.

BREAKDOWN:

HOST: CHANNING TATUM – 8 segments (Monologue; It’s Getting Freaky with Cee Lo Green!; Superbowl Promo Shoot; Secret Word; Bat Mitzvah; Ruby Tuesday; Go-Techs Flex; Bongo’s Clown Room)

FRED ARMISEN – 3 segments (Monologue; It’s Getting Freaky with Cee Lo Green!; Bat Mitzvah)
ABBY ELLIOTT – 1 segment (Bat Mitzvah)
BILL HADER – 4 segments (Newt Gingrich: Moon President; It’s Getting Freaky with Cee Lo Green!; Superbowl Promo Shoot; Secret Word)
SETH MEYERS – 1 segment (Weekend Update)
BOBBY MOYNIHAN – 6 segments (Newt Gingrich: Moon President; It’s Getting Freaky with Cee Lo Green!; Superbowl Promo Shoot; Weekend Update; Ruby Tuesday; Bongo’s Clown Room)
NASIM PEDRAD – 3 segments (It’s Getting Freaky with Cee Lo Green!; Secret Word; Bat Mitzvah)
ANDY SAMBERG – 3 segments (Monologue; Secret Word; Bat Mitzvah)
JASON SUDEIKIS – 3 segments (Newt Gingrich: Moon President; Superbowl Promo Shoot; Bongo’s Clown Room)
KENAN THOMPSON – 5 segments (Newt Gingrich: Moon President; Monologue; It’s Getting Freaky with Cee Lo Green!; Superbowl Promo Shoot; Bat Mitzvah)
KRISTEN WIIG – 6 segments (Newt Gingrich: Moon President; Monologue; Secret Word; Weekend Update; Bat Mitzvah; Go-Techs Flex)

VANESSA BAYER – 3 segments (Monologue; It’s Getting Freaky with Cee Lo Green!; Bat Mitzvah)
TARAN KILLAM – 4 segments (Newt Gingrich: Moon President; Monologue; Bat Mitzvah; Bongo’s Clown Room)
JAY PHAROAH – 5 segments (Newt Gingrich: Moon President; It’s Getting Freaky with Cee Lo Green!; Superbowl Promo Shoot; Ruby Tuesday; Bongo’s Clown Room)

EPISODE MVPs: Bobby Moynihan/Kristen Wiig