Posts Tagged ‘SNL’


(Season 38, Episode 21: Season Finale)
Bumper

 

 

WHAT THEY’RE PROMOTING:

BEN AFFLECK: “To the Wonder”

KANYE WEST: “Yeezus” (album)

COLD OPENING: Politics Nation (4:25)
Politics Nation

–      I’ve always kinda liked this sketch despite the jokes being the same type of thing every time. However, I like Kenan’s Al Sharpton impression and he does a pretty good job of carrying it.

–      Sudeikis made for yet another great straight man character.

–      Hader’s insane-looking Tea Party supporter was pretty funny. I like how despite him looking ridiculous, he still appeared to be the straight man to Sharpton’s lunacy.

–      Loved the clip of “Senator McConnell” on Jimmy Fallon’s show.

–      The bar graph bit was also pretty great especially how it compared white people in 20 years to black people yesterday.

RATING: *** ½

MONOLOGUE: Ben Affleck (4:11)
Monologue

–      Cute monologue. This wasn’t anything amazing but it was still pretty fun and Affleck, of course, had good chemistry with his wife, Mrs. Garner.

–      The best part of the monologue was Bobby Moynihan with the “5” shirt, telling Ben that all the celebrities were here for Timberlake’s show, and then asking Ben if he wants to hear the Five-Timers Club theme song before retracting because it doesn’t exist.

–      I always thought Garner made a good host. I hope she comes back to do it again some day.

RATING: *** ½

SHOW: HBO First Look – Bengo Fuck Yourself (3:23)
Bengo Fuck Yourself

–      Very clever way of doing an Argo-inspired sketch. At first I was surprised to see a simple address by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Armisen) but it evolved into a very funny piece.

–      The parts I really liked was Hader’s “Ha ha ha! I am a Hollywood executive,” Armisen’s constant “park the car in Harvard Yard” line to get the correct accent, Affleck saying that he took the role as the sound man so that he could do a worse film than Gigli, and the Oscar speech at the end in which Fred thanks the elders of Zion.

–      They also kept this whole thing fairly short, which made it pretty tight and concise.

RATING: ****

COMMERCIAL: Xanax for Gay Summer Weddings (1:53)
Xanax for Gay Summer Weddings

–      Very funny commercial piece. Reminded me of that Homocil commercial from years back.

–      The best parts were Hader trying to participate in a choreographed dance, Bayer sneaking her present onto the table, and Hader’s grandma calling Obama the n-word “in her toast.”

–      The lesbian summer weddings bit at the end was amusing.

RATING: ****

SKETCH: The Great Depression (3:01)
The Great Depression

–      Hader’s old-timey voice was tremendous and Affleck did a pretty good job as well. I also loved Kate McKinnon’s look as her character and the twist involving her being a 40-year old prostitute was also great.

–      The ending with Kate trying to give Hader a BJ was also a pretty funny subtle ending.

RATING: *** ½

SKETCH: Straight Camp (4:06)
Straight Camp

–      Pretty funny little sketch with a fine performance by Affleck at its center. He really held the whole thing together and I really liked the moment with he and Taran coming VERY close to each other.

–      Speaking of Taran, he was fantastic here. I liked his musical performance in the middle of the sketch.

–      Jay Pharoah’s silent role was also quite funny.

RATING: *** ½

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Black Skinhead” (3:25)
Kanye West1

–      I wasn’t a big fan of whatever Kanye was doing with his voice but the overall performance was hella intense and I really loved the backdrop with the barking dogs.

WEEKEND UPDATE with Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler (12:22)

Guests: Stefon (including: Anderson Cooper and Ben Affleck), the Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party, Arianna Huffington, Jean K. Jean, David Paterson, Ann Romney, Jacob, Drunk Uncle, and the Devil
update1 update2 update3 update4 update5 update6 update7 update8 update9 update10 update11 update12

–      Best Jokes: Biden/whoopie cushion; Disney redesigned; in Vitro meat; Bacon Bacon; Take-a-Wish Foundation; Beckham’s retirement; cicada sushi

–      Really!?! featuring Amy Poehler was a lot of fun as is any time they bring Amy back for a little cameo. She really needs to come back and host again. I liked the Entourage reference, Obama getting all his information from TV, and Amy’s “Weed 420” license plate.

–      Stefon’s commentary was pretty damn funny, especially Hader’s reaction to Amy Poehler (“… who’s this?”) and the weird descriptions he always goes into were terrific like usual.

–      What more can be said about Stefon’s wedding?! It was an awesome segment and it was terrific to see all the random one-off characters that Stefon describes that were in attendance for the wedding. Hader and Seth were perfect here and the flashbacks actually made me a bit emotional. Anderson’s Cooper cameo was also great! You could also tell that Seth and Bill were getting teary-eyed by the end of Update. Then just to top off the whole thing, the show busted out tons of recurring Update characters to send them off in a beautiful farewell.

RATING: *****

SKETCH: Greg’s Funeral (5:54)
Greg's Funeral

–      Another sketch where Affleck’s performance perfectly centered the whole thing and he held it all together very well. His Mexican accent was hilarious and I like how upset he got when some of the speakers talked about how much they disliked him.

–      At first I thought this was going to be another one of those speech interruption sketches but I quickly realized that this was going to be something else more original.

–      My favourite stories were Robinson’s bit about Affleck going around the neighbourhood taking down missing children posters, Cecily’s bit about Affleck stealing dog food (as well as Affleck’s defense of the situation), and Kate’s bit was the best part. I also gotta give props to Taran (THE MAN!) for his performance in this sketch.

RATING: ****

COMMERCIAL: Hermes Handbags (5:04)
Hermes Handbags

–      I still really like these characters from Vanessa and Cecily. They haven’t gotten old yet and I can’t put my finger on why they continue to be hilarious. It’s definitely mostly attributed to their performances.

–      Affleck has been my favourite of the three hosts to take part in these sketches. He had plenty of great material with his scene at the end and his delivery was excellent.

–      I loved Vanessa’s insult to Charo, the line about “spinning on a golden wiener,” “Christopher Cumbus,” and Cecily’s line about being banged through a glass ceiling and becoming a feminist.

RATING: **** ½

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “New Slaves” (2:40)
Kanye West2

–      I LOVED this performance! Kanye didn’t do that stupid voice thing this time and thus it made me like this one a lot more! Another gritty intense performance.

SKETCH: Cop Family (4:16)
Cop Family

–      Decent piece although it was basically the same joke over and over again. I enjoyed everyone’s cop performances though, especially Taran doing his funny crying/stammering thing. I also liked the fact that Sudeikis was in uniform.

–      Tim and Nasim were pretty good as the straight players in the sketch.

RATING: ***

MUSICAL SKETCH: It’s a Lovely Day (3:47)
It's a Lovely Day

–      Beautiful way to end the season and it also doubled as a fantastic send-off for Hader and especially Fred Armisen. It wasn’t played for laughs really at all but I can feel like I can still rate it.

–      Loved all the musical cameos too.

–      I am really going to miss Fred Armisen despite the harsh critics he gets these past couple seasons. Bill Hader, of course, will be GREATLY missed and I agree with most people regarding him being one of the best castmembers of all time.

–      “It’s been alright, I’ve had a lovely time with you!” What a great way to go out.

RATING: *****

Goodnights
goodnights

 

BEST PERFORMER(S) OF THE NIGHT:

–      Bill Hader/Ben Affleck/Fred Armisen

 

 

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Terrific episode and a great way to top off the season. Affleck was an awesome host as per usual while Kanye West was once again a great musical guest. As far as the farewells go, I don’t think they could’ve been any better here. Bill Hader received a wonderful exit as Stefon and Fred Armisen leaving with his Ian Rubbish character was a lovely way to leave as well. It’ll be interesting to see what the new cast looks like next season!

 

TONIGHT’S RATING: ****

 

I’ll be posting my year-end thoughts sometime over the summer as well.

But for now…

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(Season 38, Episode 20)
Bumper

 

 

WHAT THEY’RE PROMOTING:

 

KRISTEN WIIG: nothing

VAMPIRE WEEKEND: “Modern Vampires of the City” (album)

 

 

COLD OPENING: Benghazi Hearings (4:05)
Benghazi Hearings

–      I actually found that this was a pretty clever mash-up in pairing this with the Jodi Arias case and Nasim was pretty good in the role.

–      Hader using Jodi Arias as a ratings ploy for the Benghazi trials was a very funny way to play this and made for a more interesting than usual political opening. I also really liked Hader’s interaction with Nasim in asking about the accusations of her husband beating her and how it was all BS.

–      Bobby as Ariel Castro was a perfect ending.

–      So what was up with the nameplates here? Clearly, the names that were super-imposed on-screen were the correct ones. Must’ve been a last-minute mistake by the prop department. Hader also called Bobby by the wrong name at the end of the sketch. Whaaaat?

RATING: *** ½

 

 

MONOLOGUE: Kristen Wiig (4:18)
Monologue

–      I expected a musical type of monologue but I really enjoyed this with the whole backstage stuff. The best part of the musical monologue was Kristen getting some of the cast’s names wrong (“Will Ferrell” was the best one along with Bayer’s reaction), Kristen trying to open the fire exit, Kristen’s comment to Lincoln, and yes, the Gilly moment was amusing as well.

–      Kristen’s stuff before the music was pretty amusing too, especially the bit with the picture of her aka David Spade.

–      The random cameos from Jonah Hill and Maya Rudolph were funny, especially with them saying “it worked!” after figuring out that Maya was already pregnant.

–      The crowd was pretty electric throughout this whole thing.

RATING: ****

 

 

COMMERCIAL: 1-800-Flowers.com (1:51)
1-800-Flowersdotcom

–      Terrific commercial piece.

–      This was very interesting because Kristen was the daughter to McKinnon’s mother character. For those who said Kristen was hogging all the ‘funny’ roles, she was definitely the straight character in this one. It’s also funny because of all the Kristen comparisons that people made with McKinnon when she first started.

–      McKinnon was hilarious as the hapless mother. I really liked all her random embarrassing comments. The best one was after she lost her debit card (“my identity’s been thieved!”)

–      Hader also had a great bit at the end.

RATING: **** ½

 

 

SHOW: The Californians (6:54)
The Californians

–      Yep, still enjoy this sketch. The character-breaking only adds to the enjoyment for me. Now do I wish this would happen all the time? Of course not… but in this sketch, it’s excusable in my eyes. I also like how they exaggerate even more with their accents in order to MAKE the others crack up (“workin’ hard, Brad?!” was the best one).

–      Kristen’s “disguise” was pretty damn funny.

–      Taran’s gay Californian accent always makes me laugh but I think Maya actually made me laugh the most here (I know, right?) with her insane accent.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

COMMERCIAL: Aw Nuts! Mom’s a Ghost (2:10)
Aw Nuts! Mom's a Ghost!

–      Disney satire is always A-okay with me so I enjoyed this sketch with Kristen doing a great job as the Ring-like undead mom.

–      Bobby and Cecily were also perfect as the kids. They acted pretty much exactly like any of those terrible Disney overactors including talking in unison a lot and high-fiving after everything.

–      The naked guy in the background was a hilarious detail.

–      The Tim Robinson bit was hilarious as well.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

SHOW: The Lawrence Welk Show (5:03)
The Lawrence Welk Show

–      Yep, they brought this back… and it was pretty much exactly the same as every other time with Jason Sudeikis taking on the male singer role and doing a helluva job.

–      The sketch wasn’t too great but it had its good points like Fred’s line about the fingerlakes (“there’s supposed to be a lake in there…”) and the smelly bubbles, the sand sculpture, and Kristen getting smacked with coconuts.

–      Despite that, yes, the crowd reacted very strongly to the sketch and cheered upon Kristen’s appearance. Hardly anything close to non-reactions or indifference like some have suggested.

RATING: ** ½

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Diane Young” (2:36)
Vampire Weekend1

–      Really dug Vampire Weekend here. They haven’t had a bad appearance on SNL yet and this was yet another great performance with a fun horn section as well.

 

 

WEEKEND UPDATE with Seth Meyers (11:03)

Guests: Anthony Crispino and Garth & Kat
update1 update2 update3 update4 update5

–      Best Jokes: border security; NRA purses; boy suspended; stressful amount of children; Cops on Spike; best/worst place to be a mother

–      Seth sounded a little under the weather but he still had a real solid night.

–      Anthony Crispino was entertaining once again. I’ve always liked this character from Bobby and he brings these different little quirks with every performance that keeps it fresh every time. The high voice thing was silly but amusing.

–      Garth & Kat? It was fun. Not particularly hilarious or anything but they had fun and it was infectious because I had fun watching it. I liked the detail about Garth’s wife and Garth and Kat just being friends. Oh, and look at that… that “oh-so-quiet crowd” exploded into applause when they showed up.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

SKETCH: Target (5:20)
Target

–      It was not much of a surprise to see Kristen bring this character back either but at least this is one where the format is usually shaken up a bit or at least it is provided with some decent supporting performances/characters.

–      The beginning with Bobby as the cashier was very funny.

–      Aidy being a lesbian was amusing as was Jay Pharoah as the customer that refuses to accept service from Wiig. Kenan as the customer that just buys a bunch of cards for every occasion was funny just for the moment where Kenan accused Kristen of being a hoarder.

–      Target Lady got lots of recognition applause and the crowd heartily enjoyed the sketch. Darn that “quiet crowd” for enjoying the show so much!

RATING: ***

 

 

SKETCH: Acupuncture (5:01)
Acupuncture

–      Best sketch of the night. The blood gag was very well-done and the more disgusting it got, the more hilarious it was.

–      Jason Sudeikis played a great victim here. Of course, Kristen and Aidy were both really good too. It was nice to see Aidy in a big comedic lead role like this and she had great chemistry with Wiig. They must’ve gotten along really well during the production week.

–      So many great things about this sketch from Bobby doing the voice of the guy outside the window, them offering Jason the “medicine water” that was comprised of his own blood, Kristen doing her “Dr. Chang” impression after Armisen jumps out the window, and the big bubble of blood popping on Jason’s back.

–      I also liked the continuation of the gag into the introduction for Vampire Weekend, which was done by Kristen while Aidy stood beside her.

RATING: ****

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Unbelievers” (3:29)
Vampire Weekend2

–      Another solid performance. I really like their unique indy-rock sound. Please bring them back more, SNL.

 

 

SKETCH: Double Date (4:51)
Double Date

–      Wow, this was really great and I can’t put my finger on too many specifics, but a few included Bobby’s root beer comment, Taran’s insane laughing, and the ending with Bobby pulling out a change jar.

–      I just liked the whole idea of this not being played for perverse laughs or anything (it pretty much just so happened to be two young children on a date with two older women).

–      I wonder if SNL will get any heat for this sketch.

RATING: ****

 

 

COMMERCIAL: Classy Sexy Elegnace (3:25)
Classy Sexy Elegnace

–      This was a pretty good parody of the Kardashians and other reality stars doing albums. I love how pretty much anytime someone sang something it was auto-tuned.

–      Kenan  and Nasim were solid as the host/spokespersons (“Wow! I love that that song was a list and not a song!”).

–      Jay as the music producer hired by Craig T. Nelson was funny.

–      I also like the detail of the CD being spelled wrong because they named it in a hurry.

RATING: ***

 

 

Goodnights
goodnights

 

 

BEST PERFORMER(S) OF THE NIGHT:

–      Kristen Wiig/Bobby Moynihan

 

 

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Overall, I’d probably put this episode in the lower spectrum of the season but quite honestly, I have been thoroughly enjoying the 2012-2013 year and I hope we get the same quality going into the following seasons. It was nice to have Kristen back even if not ALL her characters were slam dunks; she has a fun presence. Good show.

 

TONIGHT’S RATING: *** ½


(Season 38, Episode 19)
Bumper

 

WHAT THEY’RE PROMOTING:

 

ZACH GALIFIANAKIS: “The Hangover Part III”

OF MONSTERS AND MEN: nothing

 

 

COLD OPENING: Fox & Friends (4:06)
Fox & Friends

–      I usually enjoy whenever SNL attacks FOX in any way, shape or form but this edition felt like it was lacking a bit. I did like Taran saying he prefers Asian ladies and sarcastically calling himself a hero, Bobby confusing the WNBA for being the Worse National Basketball Association, and Bobby having his sugar meltdown.

–      Armisen as Michael Bloomberg was a bit of a bore. His segment didn’t really add anything to the sketch. I did like the one line about how gun owners will certainly listen to a Jewish billionaire.

–      The comically-sized Big Gulp was amusing.

–      The “corrections” were funny as usual.

RATING: ***

 

 

MONOLOGUE: Zach Galifianakis (5:42)
Monologue

–      Absolutely hilarious monologue as per usual for Galifianakis on SNL. I especially liked his comment at the beginning for no one to get their hopes up. Also, when the audience was wildly applauding and Zach tells them that he hasn’t really done anything yet… great stuff.

–      My favourite bits were the charades/tofu joke and the Craigslist urination bit.

–      Zach’s piano segment was also very funny. I love whenever he gets musical. This time, he had some great bits on stumping Google (“how many Mexicans live in North Korea?”), “helping” people with car trouble, and the bit about the “funky beets.”

–      Loved his “character” too.

RATING: *****

 

 

GAMESHOW: Game of Game of Thrones (5:38)
Game of Game of Thrones

–      Loved the “you must be home with the flu” opener.

–      Funny sketch with lots of great details including Bill Hader as O.J. Sampson (“and yes, it’s been a long, hard life”).

–      Zach was the best part of this of course and his silly dragon costume was terrific. I loved his nerdy outbursts and his initial look of confusion when Hader asked him a real question rather than one about the show.

–      Taran and Aidy did some solid work as the other players as well.

–      The dude from Game of Thrones (I don’t feel like typing out his whole name) seemed a little nervous but he was fine and the cameo in itself was funny.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

COMMERCIAL: match.com (1:19)
matchdotcom

–      Not bad. I liked Kate’s Martha Stewart impression but there wasn’t a whole lot else to this commercial piece.

–      The other ladies did a solid job as did Taran as Martha’s suitor.

RATING: ***

 

 

SKETCH: Jennifer Aniston Look-Alike Contest (5:59)
Jennifer Aniston Look-Alike Contest

–      I laughed right away just from seeing what this sketch would be about. Zach was hilarious of course and a lot of the other castmembers did stand-out jobs at Jennifer Aniston impressions.

–      Zach making the same Helen Keller reference every time he was outraged just got more and more funny. I also liked him referring to Nasim as “Benebitch Arnold.”

–      Zach also being security was great.

–      And yeah, I dug the cameos by Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms as the co-winners even if Helms was a little awkward. It was cool just to see the Hangover crew reunited for this silly little sketch.

–      The ending was great with everyone singing the “Friends theme.”

RATING: *** ½

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Little Talks” (4:13)
Of Monsters and Men1

–      This reminded me a LOT of when fun. was on the show back in November but I enjoyed this performance a great deal more.

 

 

WEEKEND UPDATE with Seth Meyers (12:41)

Guests: James Carville, Randall Meeks, and the Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party
update1 update2 update3 update4 update5 update6 update7

–      Best Jokes: self-background checks; NRA/new president; 3 million dollar nickel; Clitoris Awareness Week; overqualified graduates; Rocky musical

–      It was cool to see Hader bring back his James Carville impression even if it was fairly similar to the other ones he’s done. Still, the bit where Hader was talking to his grandmother’s ghost was hilarious and I like how he’s constantly moving in odd formations.

–      I actually really liked Fred Armisen’s piece about the Google Glass… like a lot! Fred’s perfect for this sort of subtle physical humour and the ending with the porn video was funny as was Fred twirling his head around so he could reboot.

–      Cecily’s party girl character has really grown on me throughout her last few appearances and much like Drunk Uncle and Stefon, she entertains me every single time she appears on Update with almost all the lines she has.

RATING: ****

 

 

SKETCH: Racist Jim (4:59)
Racist Jim

–      This sketch was so not PC but SO very funny. Just seeing Zach in the M&M costume alone was enough to make me laugh and then as soon as he opened his mouth, I couldn’t stop laughing.

–      My favourite parts were Zach confusing Nasim for thinking that she is the wrong kind of indian (even though Nasim refers to herself as Pakistani), Zach saying that he often made fun of the gay guys through song, his constant little “no offense” asides to Nasim, and the “please don’t talk over me, this is not a movie theatre” line directed towards Black Joe.

–      Zach almost cracked up at the line about pointing to a brown M&M and saying, “Hey, it’s Black Joe!”

RATING: ****

 

 

SKETCH: Darrell’s House (3:39)
Darrell's House1

–      Written by Seth Meyers.

–      Brilliant sketch, especially when combined with the second part which would appear later in the show.

–      Zach was once again the best part of the sketch and led this with aplomb. My favourite moments were him throwing a glass at Bayer’s character in a fit of rage and when Zach makes his lame Mad Men joke.

–      All of Zach’s editing directions to the cameraman were hilarious.

RATING: **** ½

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Mountain Sound” (3:26)
Of Monsters and Men2

–      Another entertaining performance.

 

 

SKETCH: Michael Jordan’s Wedding (4:51)
Michael Jordan's Wedding

–      Zach and Jason were pretty entertaining as the coked-up wedding emcees and I enjoyed the other walk-ons from Kenan as Charles Barkley and Pharoah as that huge basketball player.

–      The best line was from Zach regarding dating a black woman and saying that he didn’t want to be stereotypical but “she had the biggest penis I’ve ever seen.”

–      In fact, I wonder what effect they used to make Jay so tall. Was it just stilts?

–      I noticed as well that Zach was even wigging out a bit at the beginning of the show before they started wearing the cocaine powder on their noses. That’s a good character detail.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

COMMERCIAL: New Balance (1:11)
New Balance

–      Pretty funny little commercial piece. Zach, Tim, and Bobby all did a solid job here.

–      I liked the ending with Zach grabbing someone’s pretzel. The swimsuits were also pretty funny.

RATING: ***

 

 

SHOW: Darrell’s House (1:41)
Darrell's House2

–      Brilliant and an awesome way to end the show. Paying off the first sketch with all of Zach’s ridiculous editing directions resulting in an actual cut-together show was a great way to pay off the sketch.

–      Jon Hamm’s cameo was expected but still very funny and I like how Zach was in the background of one of the shots while Jon was talking but then quickly left when he realized he was on-camera.

–      The winking “effect” was great too as was the stock footage of the Apollo crowd cheering.

RATING: *****

 

 

Goodnights
goodnights

 

BEST PERFORMER(S) OF THE NIGHT:

–      Zach Galifianakis

 

 

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Terrific episode and definitely Zach’s best show out of the three he’s hosted thus far. He was a powerhouse, appearing in almost every segment and delivering every time in terms of his performances. He should be invited back time and time again because he always makes the most of these gigs. The cast all did a solid job this week too and the writing was top-notch.

 

TONIGHT’S RATING: ****


(Season 38, Episode 18)
Bumper

 

WHAT THEY’RE PROMOTING:

 

VINCE VAUGHN: “The Internship”

MIGUEL: “Kaleidoscope Dream” (album)

 

 

COLD OPENING: A Message from President Barack Obama (3:49)
A Message from President Barack Obama

–      Pretty decent cold open; Hader and Sudeikis did good work here.

–      Pharoah didn’t appear in a whole lot of this sketch but he did seem to stumble over his lines a bit. I still love his Obama impression.

–      Hader and Sudeikis’ best parts were the “are you a good person?” qualifier, Florida being exempt from all the laws, and the punishment for having three guns being that the government gives you a fourth gun.

–      I like how they were honest about the bill accomplishing nothing and their sarcastic ‘you’re welcome’ at the end.

RATING: ***

 

 

MONOLOGUE: Vince Vaughn (7:36)
Monologue

–      This was excellent and it showed that Vaughn would be MUCH more well-prepared for this hosting stint than he was back during his first attempt.

–      I liked his interaction with Paige in particular and how he kept kicking her and an old man out of the building (loved the line to an exiting Moynihan escorting him out: “give him a Drunk Uncle on your way out!”)

–      I think this also was one of the best jobs SNL has ever done at perfectly suiting a monologue tailored to the host’s talents.

–      Vaughn’s bit with the cell phone guy was also great but mainly because of the bit where Vince actually took the guy’s phone and then continued the gag later on during the goodnights.

–      Bobby was also quite funny here even though he had no lines; it was all about his facial expressions.

RATING: *****

 

 

COMMERCIAL: The Al Pacino Accused Murderer Biopic Series (1:52)
Al Pacino HBO

–      Hader’s Pacino impression is awesome and I enjoyed his various impressions of Pacino-as-murderers.

–      The best bit was Hader playing Dr. Conrad Murray and then asking the black judge if his portrayal was fair, followed by the fist-bump in response.

–      The bit at the end with the pigtails was a little lame.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

SHOW: Stormy Skies (3:57)
Stormy Skies

–      In contrast with everyone else, I actually found this to be a very entertaining, clever, and well-written sketch even if it was reminiscent of that sketch from the Tom Arnold episode back in ’96.

–      I got a kick out of Fred just being included in the opening credits and never actually showing up in the program.

–      The best comment was Vaughn talking about “sexual positions in the high-sixties… the highest sixty.”

–      McKinnon as the once-dead wife was hilarious because it reminded me of one of the stupidest soap opera cliches… that of people returning from the dead seemingly from nowhere.

–      I really thought the ending was going to result in Vaughn talking about how the last reaction from him was suicide. I was actually surprised that the sketch didn’t take that more dark route.

–      Hader’s bit was funny too mainly for Aidy’s distracting dance in the background.

–      Having Kenan as Al Roker was a funny little detail as well.

RATING: ****

 

 

SHOW: History of Punk (4:29)
History of Punk

–      Wonderful piece, well-written, great performances, and it had a very authentic overall look. It didn’t hurt that they were able to get an actual Sex Pistol to appear in this playing themselves.

–      This was also a great way to comment on the death of Margaret Thatcher without being overly controversial or cloying by merely paying tribute to her.

–      I will also note that this was one of Armisen’s best performance in a long time on the show. I’m not one of the people who despises everything he does now just because he’s “been on too long” but this definitely stuck out above his other roles lately.

–      Moynihan looked EXACTLY like a 70s British talk show host.

–      Hader and Killam did good supporting parts as well.

–      One of the best parts was the quick clips of Bayer-as-Thatcher getting a visit from Armisen’s character. Unfortunately, it was Vanessa’s only performance of the night but it was terrific.

RATING: **** ½

 

 

SKETCH: Short-Term Memory Loss Theatre (4:23)
Short-Term Memory Loss Theatre

–      Pretty weak premise overall but Hader and the rest of the cast held it together fairly well for the duration of the sketch.

–      I don’t know why but Armisen’s jacket made me laugh… a lot.

–      Bill cracking up at Armisen was actually pretty funny because they were clearly making faces at each other off-camera to induce laughter. It doesn’t happen THAT often with Hader and when he does laugh, it usually makes me laugh anyways.

–      Pharoah’s part at the end was amusing even though it was just the same joke as the rest of the sketch with the actors not being able to remember their lines.

RATING: ***

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Adorn” (4:07)
Miguel1

–      This was certainly one of a kind. I mean that in the most positive way as Miguel rocked the stage and delivered an energetic performance, which is exactly what I like to see with the type of performers I couldn’t really care less about anyways.

 

 

WEEKEND UPDATE with Seth Meyers (9:56)

Guests: Brad Paisley &  LL Cool J and Marina Chapman
update1 update2 update3 update4 update5

–      Best Jokes: Reebok/Rick Ross; elephant shot; Kid Rock concert; Charlie Brown stalker; Cookie Monster

–      I figured they would mention that Accidental Racist song at some point and having Paisley and Cool J comment on it was pretty funny mostly due to Suds’ and Thompson’s performances. I laughed a lot at them constantly saying that they “ended racism” and how they accused Seth of being racist because he didn’t want to hear the extra verse of the song. I also enjoyed LL Cool J answering the phone: “Hello? I’ll do it.”

–      I was not completely blown away by Kate’s piece as the monkey lady. It wasn’t particularly well-written even though Kate certainly gave it her all and her performance was solid.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

SKETCH: Junior Prom (4:35)
Junior Prom

–      This was something of an odd sketch. Vaughn did well leading this piece and it straddled the line between creepy and just pointless.

–      I did like Vaughn simply saying “pass!” when Tim Robinson asked if he’d dance with him.

–      Aidy also made me laugh at her interaction with Hader’s inept character.

RATING: ** ½

 

 

SKETCH: Roundball Rock (5:16)
Roundball Rock

–      My favourite sketch of the night. This reminded me of a weird Will Forte sketch and Tim Robinson fit the typical Forte role quite nicely. He also had excellent chemistry with Sudeikis much like Forte had back in the day.

–      I lost it when Tim was singing the lyrics to the NBA theme song

–      Vaughn was a good straight man here and had the best line of the night: “…then why did you bring little hammers and a can of gasoline?”

–      Kenan also had a great line here (“That’s right! Burn it down, Teshes!”)

–      The actual smashing up of the offices with the hammers was absolutely hilarious and the oddball look at Robinson’s face was tremendous.

–      What else was awesome about this sketch? How about the part with Robinson saying that blind people will be confused if their theme doesn’t have lyrics about basketball and it’s just being played over clips instead.

RATING: *****

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “How Many Drinks?” (4:03)
Miguel2

–      Another lively performance. I really dug this one as well.

 

 

SKETCH: Last Call (5:15)
Last Call

–      They’ve used that exterior shot of “Donnellys” a LOT.

–      It was cool to see them bring back Kate’s barfly character but I wish they had done something just a little different with her. She definitely had a lot more chemistry with Louis C.K. but Vaughn was okay here.

–      The tequilla spit was pretty impressive and accurate. The making out was pretty funny as well.

–      Kenan still makes me laugh as the straight man bartender here.

RATING: ***

 

 

Vaughn continues the bit from the monologue and hands Eric back his phone before thanking everyone and waving goodnight.
goodnights1 goodnights2

 

BEST PERFORMER(S) OF THE NIGHT:

–      Bill Hader

 

 

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Vince Vaughn wasn’t the best host this season. No, he was not even close; however, I do think he improved a great deal when compared to his first stint and I believe he intentionally tried to be more well-prepared this time. There were some really strong sketches that elevated this episode and along with an energetic musical guest, this made for one of the upper echelon episodes of the season.

 

TONIGHT’S RATING: ****


(Season 38, Episode 17)
Bumper

 

WHAT THEY’RE PROMOTING:

 

MELISSA MCCARTHY: “Mike & Molly” (Season 3)

PHOENIX: “Bankrupt!” (album)

 

 

COLD OPENING: Kim Jong-un Press Conference (4:46)
Kim Jong-un Press Conference

–      Love Bobby as Kim Jong-un. Reminds me of when Amy Poehler would play Kim Jong Il. That shit was pretty funny too.

–      The audience really seemed to like Bobby’s fake Korean dialogue.

–      The same-sex marriage thing was pretty funny but overall this opening didn’t have a whole lot of laughs. I’ll give it points for effort.

–      Dennis Rodman’s cameo was pretty amusing but man, did he ever butcher that LFNY delivery at the end of the sketch.

RATING: ** ½

 

 

MONOLOGUE: Melissa McCarthy (4:14)
Monologue

–      This was hilarious. I thought McCarthy’s monologue the first time was only okay but this was absolutely perfect and I like how the monologue stopped and restarted near the beginning and how Melissa got the band involved in it a bit.

–      Taran teasing the fact that they were going to do a song was great too and a nice little nod to the fact that there have been a lot of musical monologues lately.

–      The physical humour with Melissa’s heels and her slow falling on the stage was perfect. She is such a gifted comedic actress as well as being a tremendous physical comic as well.

–      Melissa’s comment about the floor smelling “like a lot of musicians” was a hilarious small moment. I also liked her attempts at lame observational humour like asking, “What’s up with North Korea?” and her great remarks about how she’s “primarily in a Croc.”

RATING: ****

 

 

SHOW: Outside the Lines (4:58)
Outside the Lines

–      Fantastic sketch with my favourite Melissa McCarthy performance of the night (and that’s saying a lot!). Pretty much anytime she showed up on-screen as the super-violent basketball coach she had me laughing my ass off.

–      Hader was a great straight man sportscaster.

–      During Jay’s interview, the look through the window was hilarious.

–      One of my favourite moments was Melissa tasing Moynihan’s teacher character over and over again. A close second was the scene with Melissa tossing a toaster at one of her players followed by the part with Melissa imitating Hader’s character.

RATING: **** ½

 

 

SHOW: The Voice (4:31)
The Voice

–      This was pretty funny with good performances from Bill, Jay, Kate, and Jason as the judges and solid work as usual from our host.

–      Taran staring creepily at the camera while playing Carson Daly was amusing.

–      Melissa’s actual singing performance was really funny too, especially her quickly saying, “I’m done” after she finished.

–      The best of all the impressions was definitely Jason as Blake Shelton and Kate as Shakira. Melissa’s incredulous facial reactions to Shakira’s broken english was perfect too and only added to how great those parts were in the sketch.

–      The ending was great with Kenan randomly showing up as Cee Lo Green.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

SKETCH: Honey-Baked Ham Bake-Off (3:28)
Honey-Baked Ham Bake-Off

–      Okay, this was all about the ridiculous musical number from Melissa, Taran and Bobby in which case it definitely delivered. I also liked Sudeikis as the dorky announcer.

–      I also got some huge laughs out of Melissa saying “ham” every so often.

RATING: ****

 

 

COMMERCIAL: Bathroom Businessman (1:43)
Bathroom Businessman

–      Kenan led this commercial piece very well. One of his better performances in a while. I really loved his goofy delivery of the line, “I’m flushing my career down the toilet!”

–      His facial reaction when he shit his pants was also hilarious.

–      The twist with the whole thing being an ad for decency was hilarious.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Entertainment” (3:40)
Phoenix1

–      I liked them just as much as I did when they first appeared back in Season 34, which is to say, I liked them quite a bit. Good tune.

 

 

WEEKEND UPDATE with Seth Meyers (14:44)

Guests: Jacob, Charles Barkley, and Drunk Uncle (with Peter Drunklage)
update1 update2 update3 update4 update5 update6 update7

 

–      Best Jokes: Florida’s 500th anniversary; six rings; smaller airplane bathroom; Walmart; Naked and Afraid; Target/offensive label

–      I was glad to see Bayer bring her Jacob character back even though it was essentially more of the same thing that she did during her previous commentary. I still like her stilted way of reading from the book as if she’s doing a rehearsed speech with all the cheap jokes thrown in as well.

–      It was good to see Kenan bring his Charles Barkley impression back and this was another funny commentary. I liked how he went over his gambling losses and how he is gonna be screwed cause he didn’t even think Wichita was a state and that he betted that there were witches in Wichita as well.

–      I love Drunk Uncle and his appearance was hilarious as usual. Peter Dinklage showing up and joining him as “Peter Drunklage” was classic as well and he even had one of the better comments, saying “you know what’s on my Tumblr? Regret…” The sudden breaking into song makes me laugh every time as well.

RATING: ****

 

 

GAMESHOW: Million Dollar Wheel (4:10)
Million Dollar Wheel

–      This was probably the weaker Melissa character piece of the night but I still thought it was decent thanks to her spirited performance. I liked when she got mad at Nasim as well for trying to help her.

–      Hader was also perfect here as the straight man gameshow host.

–      Poor Tim Robinson got no lines at all here.

–      Fred guessing the wrong answer was also pretty amusing.

RATING: ***

 

 

SKETCH: Bank Loan (5:59)
Bank Loan

–      This was a lot of fun. I loved Melissa’s performance in this (I sound like a broken record) and Sudeikis played off her perfectly as well. They made a great pair as did they during the last time she hosted as well.

–      The detail with Melissa repeatedly giving Sudeikis pens to sign her cheque was great, especially when Suds finally started flipping out and knocking the pens out of her hand.

–      There seemed to be a lot of ad-libbing here but it was quite funny. I liked Melissa saying “excuse me” and Suds noting that she didn’t have to excuse herself for a chair.

–      The ending was ridiculous but also funny.

RATING: ****

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Trying to Be Cool” & “Drakkar Noir” (4:03)
Phoenix2

–      Another entertaining performance, this one seemed to be a medley of two of their hits from the latest CD.

 

 

SHOW: The Art of the Encounter (3:54)
The Art of the Encounter

–      This HAD to have been written by Kevin McDonald. It felt exactly like a sketch from Kids in the Hall infused with a bit of SNL humour as well.

–      I love how the premise featured the idea of dating in the nineties without any rhyme or reason.

–      Melissa and Killam had excellent non-chemistry here and their scenes made me laugh every single time, especially how they ended it with Melissa asking if she could do the splits on his face.

–      The costume department should be praised here as well. They went all out with this one.

–      When they started making out with their dates at the end… hilarious as well. Great capper.

RATING: **** ½

 

 

Goodnights
goodnights

 

 

BEST PERFORMER(S) OF THE NIGHT:

–      Melissa McCarthy/Taran Killam/Jason Sudeikis

 

 

FINAL THOUGHTS:

This was a really great show. I’d probably name it 3rd best of the season thus far. Melissa McCarthy was an outstanding host of course just as we all expected and she pretty much led every single sketch even though she wasn’t usually the only one getting all the laughs. Taran and Jason stood out in the cast this week but if I had to name a runner-up, it would be tough because a lot of other castmembers did some really solid work this week.

 

TONIGHT’S RATING: ****


(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 


(Season 38, Episode 15)
Bumper

 

WHAT THEY’RE PROMOTING:

 

KEVIN HART: “Let Me Explain” (stand-up comedy tour)

MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS: “The Heist” (album)

 

 

COLD OPENING: Budget Cuts (4:24)
Budget Cuts

–      An Obama opening can sometimes be dicey but now that we have someone who is better at doing the impression combined with a number of other characters thrown into this made it quite the entertaining way to start the show.

–      My favourite bit was the Taco Bell & Ikea/horses reference but a lot of the actual budget cuts were pretty funny like air traffic controllers having to watch ads before they look at their radar and having people take a picture of their junk to hand in to security instead of full body scans.

–      Sudeikis’ bit was funny mostly because of his great delivery while Moynihan had a great bit during it as well, saying that there will be cutbacks on meat inspection.

–      The Village People/YMCA thing at the end was predictable but still very funny. Taran’s lingering stare at the camera as he walked off was also a great little detail.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

MONOLOGUE: Kevin Hart (6:58)
Monologue

–      As expected, this was all stand-up material from Hart but he did a great job anyway and was very energetic throughout the whole thing.

–      I do like how Kevin incorporated his audition for SNL into his set even though I’m sure that he wrote the joke before with a different premise. The DeNiro “impression” made me laugh the most but I also really liked his quick comment about how they didn’t laugh which was automatically racist.

RATING: ****

 

 

SHOW: Steve Harvey (4:59)
Steve Harvey

–      Wow, I gotta give the writers props for doing an ENTIRELY different kind of sketch than the last time they did Steve Harvey on the season premiere.

–      The “dogglegangers” thing was kinda lame but it at least seemed like something that Steve would probably do on his own show.

–      Kevin was pretty good as the guest on the show with a phobia of horses and the whole bit with the stuffed horse was pretty funny.

–      Kenan’s story about his wife being impregnated was hilarious.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

SHOW: The Situation Room (3:18)
The Situation Room

–      It was pretty funny to see Kevin Hart dressed up as Quvenzhané Wallis and then it got a bit disturbing with Sudeikis’ comment about the “horsey rides at the Vatican” going on and Killam’s creepy expression the entire time.

–      I also really liked Armisen trying to be cute with his pope impression.

RATING: ***

 

 

COMMERCIAL: Verismo (1:50)

–      Repeat from Anne Hathaway/Rihanna (11/10/12).

 

 

SKETCH: Barnes & Noble Lay-Offs (5:37)
Barnes & Noble Lay-Offs

–      I never expected these characters from Bobby and Cecily to come back but I didn’t mind this so much just as I didn’t mind watching this the first time in the McDonald’s setting.

–      The jokes mostly stemmed from the appearances of the various employees rather than the insults thrown at them from Bobby and Cecily.

–      I think my favourite employees were Sudeikis as a guy who is always wet, Armisen saying that you don’t talk during charades, Taran with the “glassy-eyed stare of a man with nothing to lose” with a “closet full of orphan bones,” Hader asking how far ahead they planned this tirade after seeing a modified dictionary prop, and Kate’s creepy delivery on how they share a pancreas.

–      I also loved the appearance by Tim at the end as the old man character from the last time they did this sketch. He even managed to crack Kevin Hart up something fierce during the last part of the sketch.

RATING: *** ½

 

 

MUSICAL  PERFORMANCE: “Thrift Shop” (3:42)
Macklemore1

–      I actually enjoyed this rap performance… not a sentence I use often. It was lively and energetic with a good beat.

 

 

WEEKEND UPDATE with Seth Meyers (8:56)

Guests: Dennis Rodman & Kim Jong-Un and Really!?! with Seth & Kevin
update1 update2 update3 update4 update5 update6

–      Best Jokes: Castel Gandolfo; 30% increase in births; Girls Gone Wild/bankruptcy; 911/cheeseburger; Downton Abbey/black castmember; fat kids; Disney’s City Girl

–      The bit with Jay and Bobby as Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong-Un made me laugh but also reminded me of that bit from a while back with Jay and Sudeikis as Kanye and Dubya. Still, that’s pretty much where the similarities ended. I enjoyed both performances and the best parts were the “North Korean High-Five,” Bobby stressing that he is the tallest, most handsome, and has the biggest penis in all of North Korea, the Winnie the Pooh bit, and the part at the end with the two walking off to do “jedi training.”

–      Kevin Hart joins in for an edition of “Really!?!” on the Voters Rights Act enacted to protect the rights of African-Americans in the south. Kevin was a good candidate for this type of segment and he had a lot of energy in this segment; he had some great lines too like how having one black friend in Clarence Thomas being more racist than having no black friends. His “God damn!” outburst was as a result of a line flub but he said it again in a later sketch so I’m sure he added that one in as well. I hope that doesn’t prevent him from being invited back again.

RATING: ****

 

 

SKETCH: The Walking Dead (3:48)
The Walking Dead

–      Frankly, I’m surprised it took them this long to tackle the show. This was a funny parody but didn’t really spend a whole lot of time parodying the actual show rather than just taking the ‘racist card’ angle.

–      Kevin led this sketch and did a solid job. I liked all his accusations of everyone else being racist, especially when he said his limp was just his swag and after he ate Maggie, he just said, “Oh what? Like I should’ve ate some fried chicken or some watermelon?”

–      Nasim made me laugh a whole lot as Carl Jr. I like how they made fun of the fact that the kid is somehow able to kill people and immediately feel fine about it afterwards.

–      There’s been an awful lot of Tim Robinson tonight, which is certainly a good thing.

RATING: ***

 

 

SHOW: Shark Tank (3:15)
Shark Tank

–      Strange parody of the reality show; I don’t think it was terrible but it was a bit underwhelming and I wasn’t sure what they were really going for here.

–      The bit at the beginning with Tim Robinson was pretty funny (“it’s called a slest!”)

–      The visual of the lamp with the sunglasses was pretty funny but did anyone else think that it was going to be called “Lampshades?” I mean, I thought that was a pretty obvious punchline.

–      Kevin’s final line at the end was strange.

RATING: **

 

 

COMMERCIAL: Z-Shirts (1:25)
Z-Shirts

–      INSANE commercial parody! This further proved the notion of Tim Robinson appearing a lot more this week as he had a lead role here alongside Hart. Combined with the later sketch that referenced this commercial, it reminded me a whole lot of the Closet Organizer bit from a few seasons ago.

–      The camera angles on Kevin every time he went through the alphabet and asked if it was a [insert letter here] shirt cracked me up to no end. He really sold the whole thing but Robinson as the straight man was great as well.

RATING: **** ½

 

 

SKETCH: Voiceover Auditions (4:29)
Voiceover Auditions

–      Very funny sketch with another highlight performance from Kevin in the lead role. He’s really been doing a solid hosting job tonight. Bayer made me laugh too with her weird little trail-offs at the end of a few of her sentences.

–      Hader and Armisen came perilously close to cracking up but this time it was from Kevin Hart rather than from each other.

–      I also liked how Kevin kept getting more and more over-the-top as the sketch progressed forward. I feel like he may have been pushing it even further just to try and get Fred and Bill to fully lose it.

–      The bit at the end combining Kevin’s narration with Nasim was hilarious.

RATING: ****

 

 

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “Can’t Hold Us” (3:47)
Macklemore2

–      Another entertaining performance. I enjoyed this guest. Yay, another good one this season! With Timberlake next week, it looks like the recent trend of decent musical guests will continue for now.

 

 

SKETCH: Z-Shirts Guy at a Funeral (:49)
Z-Shirts Guy at a Funeral

–      This was really short and just meant as a continuation to that crazy Z-Shirts thing but it made me laugh. This was a hilarious continuation of the commercial piece.

RATING: ****

 

 

SKETCH: 360 News (2:54)
360 News

–      Yet another sketch led by Kevin and yet another sketch where he does a great job handling the workload.

–      The idea of a news show having 8 cameras is ridiculous enough to begin with but having Hart start off the show with a neckbrace on was great and made the premise more interesting than it seemed to be right off the bat.

–      Hey, there’s Tim again! Kevin must’ve loved the guy or something.

–      The camera operators bit was pretty amusing too and I’m glad they didn’t go with all eight of them like they apparently did in dress rehearsal. Jay’s part was the best.

RATING: *** ½

 

Goodnights.

 

BEST PERFORMER(S) OF THE NIGHT:

–      Kevin Hart/Tim Robinson

 

 

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Highly enjoyable episode with a great host performance by Kevin and some fine work by the cast, Tim Robinson in particular, who got a whole lot more to do this week than usual (I’m not sure if it’s because he got along with the host so well or if he legitimately just got to do more this week). Good musical guests too, which was also nice.

 

TONIGHT’S RATING: *** ½