Posts Tagged ‘stefon’


(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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by Brendan Wahl

(Season 37, Episode 15)

 

The Show:

1. New York Sports Now (4:33)

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

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

2. Monologue (4:38)

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

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

3. Bronx Beat (8:08)

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

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

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

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

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

5. Baby Blue Ivy (6:51)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. Super Showcase (4:10)

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

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

10. The Obama Show (4:11)

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

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

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

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

12. How’s He Doing? (4:54)

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

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

13. Goodnights

 

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

BREAKDOWN:

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

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

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

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

EPISODE MVP: Jay Pharoah