Posts Tagged ‘oscars’


(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 37, Episode 17)

The Show:

1. The Rush Limbaugh Show (4:01)

After his remarks referring to a college girl as a slut, Rush (Killam) announces that a bunch of sponsors have left him but then introduces some newer, better sponsors.

– This was a pretty thin premise but Taran made it work with his delivery and many of the sponsor jokes were hilarious, particularly the Syria Tourism Board, Moist Books, Depends for Racists, and Schroeder’s Fake Rape Whistles.
– As far as the impression goes, Taran did a great job here but it was more funny than accurate.
– This was Taran’s first time saying LFNY in a solo fashion. Great delivery.
Rating: *** 1/2

2. Monologue (6:04)

Jonah talks about his Oscar win and then discusses how it really hasn’t changed him at all in terms of his personality. He shows a short film of him hanging out with the cast all week that seems to prove otherwise. Tom Hanks (!) then joins him on-stage to give him a few tips.

– This was a pretty original monologue and I liked how we got a film clip, which was definitely out of the ordinary for the past few seasons.
– The filmed parts were very funny with my favourite parts being Jonah immediately asking Andy for a Diet Coke, the discussion of the Black Captain Jack Sparrow sketch, the whole running joke with Jonah’s glasses and scarves, and I really liked the discussion he has with Kristen.
– The Moneyball line was pretty funny.
– The Tom Hanks cameo was also great and I liked how he kept hiding the Oscar away from Jonah.
Rating: ****

3. Six Year Old (4:45)

Precocious six-year old Adam Grossman (Hill) is back at Benihana’s where he taunts and gabs with his father (Hader), Sushin (Armisen) the cook, and several other patrons.

– I didn’t really think I’d see this sketch again but it was pretty funny much like the first time. Again, Jonah’s eyes were a bit glued to the cue cards but he still carried the sketch on his back and did a fine job.
– I like how they changed it up a bit by having more interaction with Jonah and Fred and the addition of Vanessa Bayer as Hader’s new girlfriend.
– Fred doing the rimshot with his knives was gold.
Rating: *** 1/2

4. Digital Short: Science Finders (3:19)

In order to find out what happens with the heartrate when a tennis ball approaches the genitals (without actually hitting them), a test subject (Hill) is the unfortunate victim of several accidental hits with the tennis balls.

– This was a major improvement over the last few digital shorts despite its obvious sophomoric premise. It was well-executed and I liked the multiple angles on Hill getting hit with the tennis balls.
– The John McEnroe cameo was hilarious.
– Taran as the ghost was another great part.
Rating: *** 1/2

5. J-Pop America Fun Time Now! (5:51)

This week, Jonathan Cavenaugh-san (Killam) and Rebecca Stern-Marcowitz-san (Bayer) welcome as their guest a Japanese warrior (Hill), who much like them, is clearly not Japanese. Their disapproving teacher (Sudeikis) and Jonathan’s Asian girlfriend (Armisen) look on.

– Another funny edition of this sketch with great performances from Taran and Vanessa as per usual. Of course, Sudeikis was great too and I really liked his mention of their tests being passed in as all stickers and one being a paper crane.
– The picture of Taran and Vanessa in reggae outfits was funny.
– I liked Jonah’s funny Japanese accent but his breaking character derailed the sketch a bit and made it fall apart a bit towards the end.
– The appearance of Fred as Taran’s girlfriend is not annoying or anything but the same joke with it has been done like three times.
Rating: ***

6. The Shins perform “Simple Song” (4:07)

– A really good performance. I was looking forward to the band returning to SNL and they did not disappoint.

7. Weekend Update with Seth Meyers (14:20)
Guests: Paula Deen, Andy Samberg, and Stefon

Best Jokes: Santorum/Kansas; Science…?; Taco Bell; Ohio University

– The Paula Deen commentary was pretty funny for the most part and I really liked Wiig’s impression of her. Other great details included Wiig using the butter and chicken in her hands as a hairbrush.
– Andy’s commentary as the faux-Sarah Palin was funny as soon as I realized he was not actually trying to do a real impression of her. I especially liked Andy using his catchphrase, “Da Bears!” and the one about President Clinton sleeping with Lewinsky.
– Stefon is back! It’s the usual great commentary from him and the kiss with Seth at the end was completely unexpected and hilarious. My favourite club name was “…Kevin?” managed by Blow-J Simpson.
Rating: *** 1/2

8. Primate Research Center (4:55)

At a science convention, one doctor (Hill) shows off his newest accomplishment in the monkey Brutus (Armisen), who is miraculously able to talk. Unfortunately, he talks about all the unnatural sexual goings-on that the doctor has been engaging in with him.

– This was a lot better than people are giving it credit for. Fred was outstanding as the monkey and it came across as one of the best performances of the night.
– Jonah was a good straight man here and his reactions were pretty funny.
– For some reason, Fred saying “Sorry?” made me laugh a whole lot.
Rating: ****

9. Liza Minnelli Tries to Turn Off a Lamp (3:39)

I think the title gives it away, but anyway, Liza (Wiig) acts all weird and flighty while attempting to turn off a lamp all the while her guest (Hill) tries to get her to hurry up so they can make it to Cats.

– Very similar to the Ann-Margret sketch that Wiig did last season but this one wasn’t nearly as good and in fact, it just dragged on for way too long.
– At one point, you could see a crewmember handing Kristen a cord for the lamp.
– The only part I liked was Jonah doing a cheesy dance at the end as well.
Rating: * 1/2

Looks like there was a SportsCenter sketch here that was cut at the last minute.

10. The Shins perform “It’s Only Life” (4:00)

– Another great performance. They should really get the Shins back on the show again soon.

11. Anniversary Song (4:35)

To celebrate their anniversary, a loving husband (Hill) surprises his wife (Wiig) with a full orchestra playing her favourite  tune, “Pachelbel’s Canon.” However, it soon transforms into a Coolio’s “I’ll C U When U Get There” with backup dancers and such.

– Here was a sketch in which I didn’t really see where it was going and once they morphed into the Coolio song, it really started to take off.
– The parts about Coolio being a visionary rapper because of him using the letter U instead of spelling you “in 1997” was hilarious.
– The whole cast (minus Seth of course) walking off the set and around the crowd, singing the Coolio tune was brilliant. I love when the show does things like that in regards to audience interaction stuff.
– The fake Coolio RIP thing caught me off-guard at first until I realized it said he dies in 3162.
Rating: ****

12. Goodnights

OVERALL: Another solid show. Jonah wasn’t an amazing host or anything but he was fine and it certainly looked like he was at least enjoying himself on the stage. The Shins were awesome, of course. As far as the cast, Taran Killam continues to rise in the ranks and keeps proving himself to be a fantastic castmember. Fred Armisen had a pretty good night as well, particularly in the hilarious monkey sketch.

BREAKDOWN:

HOST: JONAH HILL – 7 segments (Monologue; Six Year Old; Science Finders; J-Pop America Fun Time Now!; Primate Research Center; Liza Minnelli Tries to Turn Off a Lamp; Anniversary Song)

CAMEO: TOM HANKS – 1 segment (Monologue)

FILMED CAMEO: JOHN MCENROE – 1 segment (Science Finders)

FRED ARMISEN – 5 segments (Six Year Old; Science Finders; J-Pop America Fun Time Now!; Primate Research Center; Anniversary Song)
ABBY ELLIOTT – 3 segments (Six Year Old; Primate Research Center; Anniversary Song)
BILL HADER – 4 segments (Six Year Old; Weekend Update; Primate Research Center; Anniversary Song)
SETH MEYERS – 1 segment (Weekend Update)
BOBBY MOYNIHAN – 4 segments (Monologue; Science Finders; Primate Research Center; Anniversary Song)
NASIM PEDRAD – 3 segments (Monologue; Six Year Old; Anniversary Song)
ANDY SAMBERG – 4 segments (Monologue; Science Finders; Weekend Update; Anniversary Song)
JASON SUDEIKIS – 2 segments (J-Pop America Fun Time Now!; Anniversary Song)
KENAN THOMPSON – 3 segments (Six Year Old; Science Finders; Anniversary Song)
KRISTEN WIIG – 4 segments (Monologue; Weekend Update; Liza Minnelli Tries to Turn Off a Lamp; Anniversary Song)

VANESSA BAYER – 4 segments (Six Year Old; J-Pop America Fun Time Now!; Primate Research Center; Anniversary Song)
TARAN KILLAM – 5 segments (The Rush Limbaugh Show; Science Finders; J-Pop America Fun Time Now!; Anniversary Song)
JAY PHAROAH – 2 segments (Monologue; Anniversary Song)

EPISODE MVPs: Fred Armisen/Taran Killam