Posts Tagged ‘zach galifianakis’

(Season 38, Episode 19)








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.




MONOLOGUE: Zach Galifianakis (5:42)

–      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




–      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.




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.




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: *****






–      Zach Galifianakis




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.



by Brendan Wahl

(Season 36, Episode 17)

Can you believe there’s only five more episodes after this one until the end of the season? This has been one of the strongest seasons in quite some time (comparable to the 2000/2001 season) and unless the train falls completely off the tracks by season’s end, this will shape up to be one of the more memorable ones as well.

After last week’s gamble (but ultimately, success) with Miley Cyrus taking the realms of host, SNL relies on a returning host this time in Zach Galifianakis, who delivered a slew of fun performances in an above-average episode from last season. The biggest note about his last stint was the shaving of his beard merely so he could do the last sketch of the night as his alter-ego, Seth Galifianakis. However, Zach also proved himself to be a team player and was very clutch during that episode. Obviously, the cast enjoyed having him around and hence, he is back once again and this time he is promoting The Hangover 2 and also his new stand-up DVD.

Joining Galifianakis is a young lady making her American television debut, Jessie J. I really don’t know too much about this woman but something tells me I’ve heard at least one of her songs before. She is supremely popular in the United Kingdom, so hopefully we will see some examples of why she is so well-liked over there and it will translate over to the US.


The Show:

1. Selection Sunday (5:01)
-Hader, Samberg, Sudeikis, Thompson, Wiig, Pedrad

I will be the first one to admit that I do not watch sports on television. At all. So when this opener started with Greg Gumbel (Thompson) and Jim Nantz (Sudeikis) opening a sports-related sketch, I thought here is something that will go way over my head. However, I was pleasantly surprised to realize that this would in fact not be related to March Madness, but rather just Madness, the tournament to decide the craziest person in the world. The interviews with Kaddafi (Armisen) and the Melissa Leo (Wiig) bit were funny, but Charlie Sheen (Hader) popping up again, this time on Sheen’s Corner, was the highlight. I would like to add that Two and a Half Men performed with popsicle sticks would probably be a better show than the real thing. The acting would be better, anyway. Hi-yo! …oh yeah, the sketch. It gets a solid B.

2. Monologue (7:01)

For the second time this season, we get a sampling of the host’s stand-up material. Even though Brand’s monologue was funny, this one blows it right out of the water with multiple highlights found throughout. I personally enjoyed his “Worst Bragger” character (“So, I was french-kissin’ my brother last night”) and the guy who really likes cargo shorts. These segments then lead into Zach getting into a dress ala Annie and while “Tomorrow” starts playing, he does his bit where he rips sheets of paper off a big display. A top-notch monologue here; it was easily the best one so far this season. A+

3. The Talk (6:24)
-Galifianakis, Elliott, Hader, Thompson, Wiig, Bayer, Pedrad

As soon as this started, I thought it was just another way for SNL to take a stab at “The View” and I thought… why wouldn’t they just do another View sketch instead? Alas, this is an actual morning show that airs with Leah Remini (Elliott), Sara Gilbert (Bayer), Julie Chen (Wiig), and Sharon Osbourne (Pedrad) discussing banal topics that no one really cares to hear about from a group of third-rate actresses. I used to like Leah, but damn she has lowered herself with this show. Anyway, this sketch is not exactly first-sketch-of-the-night material, but is still a pretty funny condemning of the terrible program, particularly one The View-obsessed fan (Zach) who is disappointed at being taken to the wrong show on his birthday. Although Bayer shines as Gilbert, who just wants to hide in her sweater from the embarrassment and the Steven Tyler (Hader) segment goes nowhere. B

4. The Original Kings of Catchphrase Comedy (2:47)
-Armisen, Elliott, Hader, Meyers, Moynihan, Samberg, Sudeikis, Thompson, Bayer, Brittain, Killam, Pharoah

I’m not sure why not a lot of people understood what they were making fun of with this one. Stupid one-joke comedians like Larry the Cable Guy (who, for the love of God, should never host) and Jeff Dunham are skewered here as an this piece advertises a show with catchphrase comedians. There are way too many to list here, but suffice to say there are a few highlights like Pete “Airhorn” Schultz (Galifianakis), White Bernie Mac (Sudeikis), Barry the Plumbing Gentleman (Killam), and finally Boston Powers (SETH MEYERS!). Very clever parody. A

5. Scared Straight (5:48)
-Galifianakis, Hader, Moynihan, Samberg, Sudeikis, Thompson

Marking his first appearance since Betty White/Jay-Z from last year, Lorenzo McIntosh (Thompson) shows up again to teach a number of kids and send them on the straight and narrow. This time, he brings along a Hannibal Lecter-like criminal in Larry Bernstein (Galifianakis), a former accountant who now eats people. Zach’s insane criminal was the cherry on the sundae as he basically stood there and unleashed some truly great lines (“And also, Helena Bonham-Carter is there ’cause this is real!”). It should be noted that Hader didn’t crack up this time, which is truly an accomplishment for this sketch. Solid. B+

6. Digital Short: Zach Looks For An Assistant (2:59)

As a companion piece to last season’s piece where Zach showed up on various TV show sets, this time our host begins his search for an assistant, but he only interviews awkward children. What follows is some Between Two Ferns-like banter between Zach and some cute kids, which alone makes for a solid and humourous digital short. B+

7. Jessie J (feat. B.o.B.) sings “Price Tag” (3:56)

And the verdict is… Jessie J’s debut is a very successful one. This song sounded familiar and I’ve definitely heard it before, but just didn’t know who actually sang it. B.o.B. (who?) comes out at one point to rap with her, but that’s really the only downside to this otherwise electric number. A-

8. Weekend Update with Seth Meyers (9:12)
-Also: Andy Samberg and Kristen Wiig

There’s no possible way they could’ve followed up last week’s amazing edition of Update, but Seth did an admirable job this week. The bit about the NFL lockout was pretty good as well as the International Women’s Day/Mardi Gras piece. I also enjoyed the piece about men who cheat on their wives. Guests this week include Julie Taymor (Wiig), the director of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, who is in the midst of a certain kind of madness after being fired from the production. After constantly bringing up her other successes (i.e. The Lion King), Taymor keeps defending her Spider-Man knowledge and takes credit for writing “Hakuna Matata.” Her constant bits of advice were funny too, resulting in a great commentary from Kristen. The other guest this week is Liam (Samberg), the teenager who just woke up. Well, I didn’t think his first appearance was particularly amazing, but this time it fares a little better and Andy’s performance is a lot of fun even though he barely comments at all on the topic at hand. All in all, a pretty good edition of Update but not as outstanding as last week. Classy ending with the mention of Red Cross. B+

9. Noodles (4:48)
-Galifianakis, Elliott, Hader, Moynihan, Thompson (voice), Wiig, Pedrad

After an unfortunate event involving the family dog, a mother (Wiig) and father (Galifianakis) are forced to explain to the children what had happened without getting into any grisly details or leading them to believe that the dog has perished. What starts off as a sketch that looked like one of the kids (Pedrad) was just going to challenge the parents’ logic the whole time developed into something much more than that. The ending felt a little tacked-on but the dark territory that this sketch reached at times was pretty funny. A-

10. Celebrity Scoop (4:00)
-Galifianakis, Armisen, Hader, Wiig

Well, it’s been a long while since SNL has taken a swipe at their neighbour up north. I, myself, am Canadian so I felt a special attachment to this sketch, which would’ve been all the more special if this bit were funnier. To be fair, they hit all the Canadian stereotypes with pinpoint accuracy but it was run into the ground a bit too much and the sketch ran long. Zach’s bit as the guy who enunciated his words for far too long was pretty funny, but my favourite part was the moose as the producer. If they really wanted to go for broke though, it would have been a beaver. C

11. Jessie J sings “Mamma Knows Best” (3:15)

This time, Jessie gets to sing solo without the unnecessary B.o.B. in there ruining things. She really gets to showcase her voice with this one as she reaches levels that Christina Aguilera only wishes she could get to. She’s not too hard on the eyes, either. Yowsers. A

12. Corn Syrup Producers of America (1:25)
-Moynihan, Wiig, Pedrad

What starts as some vague criticism regarding the excessive use of corn syrup from a fellow housewife (Wiig), a woman (Pedrad) suddenly becomes quite scornful at these allegations and dresses down her friend. The ending packed the punch and I enjoyed the banter between the two ladies. B+

13. Titanic (2:35)
-Galifianakis, Elliott, Hader, Moynihan, Wiig, Bayer, Pedrad

Moments after the infamous ship sunk, one “woman” (Zach) sneaks “her” way aboard a lifeboat with the women and children, but they quickly discover that it is obviously a man. It feels like I’ve been saying this ad nauseum, but Zach was delightful here (“Mrs. … Boat”) and Hader showing up as an imposter baby was also amusing. B

And for the goodnights, Zach shaved his head to get a Mr. T look (“Unfortunately, we did not get to the Mr. T sketch”) and then thanks everyone before closing out the show.

And this would be known as the night of the B grades. There was nothing outstanding or amazing this week (aside from the monologue and the catchphrase comedians bit), but there was nothing truly terrible either. The “Canadian Scoop” sketch may not have been that good, but it certainly wasn’t awful and didn’t drag anything else down.

Zach was a willing host once again and it seemed like he got to do a lot more this time out. Despite being thrust in the background of a few sketches (albeit, very hilariously) Zach was one of the major highlights of a solid episode of SNL, thus continuing the awesomeness that is Season 36. Jessie J, as well, was outstanding and if not for B.o.B. interjecting himself, her first performance would have been near-perfect.

Good stuff this week, although I find it amusing that after praising Taran Killam last week and declaring him a big player, he was only in one sketch tonight.

Host Rating: A-
Musical Guest Rating: A
Show Rating: B+

One of my favourite breakthrough roles in the past five-ten years has to have been from Zach Galifianakis playing the mentally disturbed, but ultimately lovable character of Alan in The Hangover. The role garnered him all kinds of great press that he was not used to being a semi-famous stand-up comedian and all. So when I heard that Zach was slated for the next episode of Saturday Night Live, my hopes got really high.

But then I settled down.

Because let’s face it, he is a hilarious guy but this is the first time he is dipping his feet in the sketch comedy venture and it’s been proven before that funny people can falter on this show due to nervous jitters of being in front of a live and television audience.

That aside, the musical guest Vampire Weekend have been on before (in Year 32 with Amy Adams), so I was definitely looking forward to them as they delivered a powerhouse performance the last time.

On with it!

The Show:

1. Health Care Reform

After last week’s breath of fresh air and change of pace as a cold open, we revert back to the usual standard of starting off with a political sketch. This time, President Obama (Armisen) addresses the public with senators Pelosi (Wiig) and Reid (Forte) at his side. Of course, health care is the subject of concern, but Obama also makes mention of its vast unpopularity and of Senator Reid’s slight chances of being re-elected because of that and “lots of other problems he has.” This was actually a pretty underwhelming start as the laughs were sparse. C

2. Monologue

Zach makes sure to pat the bassist’s butt on the way to the stage and orders the audience to stop clapping before delving into one of the best monologues of the season. Basically using his stand-up material as his monologue, Zach soon moves over to the piano and gives everyone some words to live by. “Sometimes things happen and I say…’that wasn’t very Raven.'” Brilliant. A+

3. Affectionate Family

It’s the third appearance of the Vogelcheck family and their over-affection for each other through kissing and groping. This time, Bobby Moynihan plays the Vogelcheck brother bringing his girlfriend (Slate) to the funeral of their grandfather. Zach plays a priest in a small role and looked kinda nervous actually. Still, this was alright. B-

4. Bidet

A couple’s (Galifianakis & Wiig) fascination with a hotel bidet causes some frustration with the hotel bellman when all their questions pertain to the device in question. They range from average to just ridiculous questions and despite some criticism I’ve heard of the bit, I thought it was fairly funny. B

5. Zach Drops By The Set

In this filmed piece, our host drops by the set of some hit shows to mess with the cast and crew and just cause some general disruption. This isn’t just inserting Zach into the shows with a green-screen either, they actually interact with him on the sets of various programs. I think either Law and Order or 30 Rock was my favourite. A

6. Today

Well, we haven’t seen this one for a while. Kathie Lee (Wiig) creates more misery for her “pal” and co-host, Hoda Kotb (Slate), while continuing to somehow be invincible. This time out, we also get a glimpse of Sara Haines (Elliott) reading some chat room messages by various users, Kathie Lee drinking a box of wine like a juicebox, and Zach Galifianakis being invited inside the studio by Kathie Lee to creepily stalk Hoda. B+

7. Vampire Weekend sing “Cousins”

Love this band. They were fantastic the previous time they appeared as I mentioned earlier and this was no exception. It’s a very fast-paced energetic song that’s a lot of fun. Some great instrumental work too. A

8. Weekend Update with Seth Meyers

Boy, Update has been on quite a hot streak lately, huh? This time out, Seth delivers some goods again with my favourite being one about how some cops in Texas chased a goat for thirty seconds. Guests this week include Mo’Nique (Thompson) in an okay commentary about keeping her Oscar speech under 45 seconds. Will Forte then saves it for both guests by singing a hilarious song about Women’s History Month called “Women’s Herstory: Did You See What I Just Did There?” B+

9. what up with that?

I’ve always enjoyed this sketch and this week is no exception. This time, Diondre Cole (Thompson) has Paul Rudd, Frank Rich, and of course Lindsey Buckingham (Hader) as his guests. It follows the usual formula of the other two with way more singing and dancing than talking to the guests, but that’s where the charm lies. Jason Sudeikis is aces as a background dancer but Zach is equally as funny as an ambidextrous flute player. A

10. The Situation Room

Usually, a political sketch this late in the show is something of a bad sign but this one is pretty funny. Wolf Blitzer (Sudeikis) introduces several videos sent in from college students about important issues that of course just feature them (Zach included) dancing around. Bill Hader’s turn as Jack Cafferty is great as well. B+

11. Vampire Weekend sing “Giving Up The Gun”

Another great tune from Vampire Weekend, this one slower and more of a delight with the instrumental section however. A

12. Pageant Talk

Did Zach Galifianakis shave his beard for the last sketch of the night?! Well, it was worth it. Here, he plays a very effeminate man hosting a talk show on pageants of course. Kristen Wiig here reminded me of the character she played on that Biker Chick Chat sketch they did on the season premiere, but overall it was a pretty funny ten-to-one sketch that featured everyone breaking character. B

As Zach and the cast bid everyone a goodnight, it is plainly obvious that Zach attached a fake beard to his face. Or did he? I’m not sure, really.

Despite my initial trepidation, Zach was a wonderful addition to the cast tonight despite some first-sketch jitters. He excelled in the roles where he got to play himself (not too challenging, I know) but also especially in the last sketch of the night and his monologue was phenomenal.

Not much more to say about Vampire Weekend. They came, they saw, they rocked again.

Host Rating: A-

Musical Guest Rating: A

Show Rating: B+

Quirky. Offbeat. Irregular boners. Just three of the notes that were written down after watching the new Michael Cera film, “Youth in Revolt.”

Now let me start this little crank yanker out by saying that I am no fanboy of Michael Cera. You hear that?! I AM NO FANBOY OF MICHAEL CERA. Since some people will accuse me of that anyway, let me illustrate further.

Michael Cera. I. Do. Not. Want. Your. Babies.

That being said, I still think he can be a fine actor when he wants to be (case in point: Juno, Superbad) but there are times when it feels like he’s just phoning in the typical awkward performance (Year One).

So, the plot.

Basically, a socially awkward virginal teen (here we go) named Nick Twisp (Cera) travels with his mom (Jean Smart) and her boyfriend, Jerry (the great Zach Galifianakis) to a “nice log cabin” in order to escape some sailors who are slightly perturbed, shall we say, about buying a non-functional Chevy Nova from Jerry. While in the wilderness, he meets Sheeni Saunders (adorable newcomer Portia Doubleday), an intellectual and interesting girl who actually takes notice in him and together, they have a bit of a summer fling. After that, the film takes a left turn into oddsville and doesn’t look back.

Now I’m not saying the movie is hard to follow or anything. Far from it. But it does make some strange choices at times that you just kind of have to ask yourself, “What were these people smoking?” and “Where can I get some of it?”

The movie is a lot of fun though quite honestly and sports some good performances. Michael Cera as the lead, in particular, delivers one of his strongest performances in a dual role as himself and his evil self (particularly, anything “Francois” says made me spit my pop up). Portia Doubleday is very convincing and cute as a button as the girl of his dreams. Mary Kay Place and M. Emmet Walsh (Teenyboppers: Who are they?! Are they in ‘Twilight’?!?) are really entertaining as her strict parents, particularly in one scene where they act completely different. You’ll know which one it is. There’s also some great small performances from Zach Galifianakis, Justin Long, Ray Liotta, Steve Buscemi, and Fred Willard (don’t worry, I’m not spoiling anything; they’re all listed in the opening credits). Most of those people have extended cameos, but they are fun nonetheless.

The story is pretty good and when it took a turn to the nastiness in the second half of the movie, it was definitely the strongest section. Michael Cera groupies, listen up. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill Cera vehicle. This is like a slightly less intense version of what Observe and Report was to Seth Rogen. It’s got plenty of dark humour, sick jokes, and good writing. Any movie that has Justin Long doing mushrooms with Fred Willard and a scene in which someone promises to tickle a girl’s belly button “from the inside” is A-OK with me.

And yes, I know the flick was based on a book. So, shut up.

Since a rating is attributed to everything these days, I give it:




PS: Anyone who says Jesse Eisenberg is copying Michael Cera’s vocal patterns in his movies needs to be shot. Jesse has been doing that way before Cera was even in “Arrested Development”. That’s not a knock against Cera, just something I had to get off my chest.