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Jimmy Fallon, Justin Timberlake, Paul Rudd and more to guest on SNL this December

Let the Christmas angels rejoice! 

Saturday Night Live has announced a slew of fantastic hosts and musical guests for the month of December! 

On December 7, Paul Rudd will return to host SNL for the third time. Joining him will be musical guest One Direction (I don’t even with that—do not ask). 

December 14 will see John Goodman hosting at Studio 8H for the 13th time with musical guest Kings of Leon, who will be making their third appearance. 

And to finish out the year with what will hopefully be another brilliant Christmas SNL, Jimmy Fallon will continue the bromance to end all bromances as he hosts with his BFF Justin Timberlake as musical guest! 

December is looking up! (Except for that One Direction stuff, still not okay with that.) 

November 21, 2013 VIEW POST

SNL’s best sketch: A very Wes Anderson Halloween

The Edward Norton episode was at best, mediocre. There were a few solid moments, but the peak of the episode was without a doubt the perfectly executed Wes Anderson horror movie trailer. 

Watch below! Hysterical AND accurate. Love. 

October 27, 2013 VIEW POST

Ben Affleck manages to make it through a hilarious and sentimental SNL

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Before last night, I was trying to remember the last time Ben Affleck hosted SNL. And while specifics wouldn’t come to mind, the only thing that did stick out was his inability read cue cards smoothly. I vaguely remembered that he was just plain awful at reading them. Flash forward to his 5th time hosting (I know, I can’t believe it either), and the story is no different. While he gives it everything he’s got, he’s still just a stammering, flubbing host throughout many of his sketches. 

That’s not to say that he didn’t go a good job despite that flaw. Last night’s SNL was actually pretty darn good. It was riotously funny at times, and hilariously poignant at others. We said goodbye to some dear friends, and I can’t help but be curious about the future of SNL now that they’ve left. 

The show started off on a great foot with the cold open, something I can’t say is always the case. Kenan Thompson killed it as a defiantly stupid Al Sharpton, and the result was a hilarious, short but sweet opening to a great show. 

Ben’s monologue was mediocre, but it was boosted by a lovely visit from his darling wife Jennifer Garner. I had already forgotten about the “love is work” comment or whatever he said during his Oscar acceptance speech, but the joke still played all right. I do think it would have been amazing if they had gotten a few more specials guests for him, though. 

The predictable Argo-spoof sketch was first out of the gate, and it was not bad! The gag that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had to say “park the car in Harvard yard” before every line to find the Boston accent was hysterical. And I won’t ruin the best punchline of the entire evening for you, so watch the sketch and see for yourself. 1000+ points to Ben Affleck for that one. 

The only fauxmerical of the night was BRILLIANT. It was for Xanax for Gay Summer Weddings. And aside from being crazy accurate, it was just plain funny. The stress that you feel from attending a perfect wedding, knowing that you can’t compete? There’s Xanax for Gay Summer Weddings for that. 

The only sketch that seemed very ill-placed and subpar was a Depression-era sketch that was about…..bad people? Prostitutes? I’m still note really sure, because it was so strange. It seemed like the type of one-off weirdo sketch that would show up at the end of the night. You can skip this one unless you want to see Ben Affleck’s Jimmy Stewart impression. (Like I said, you can probably skip it.) 

One of the funnier sketches of the night was about a New Beginners camp gay teens—you know, the ‘let’s make you straight’ camps. Ben Affleck was great as the camp’s head counselor who was obviously still gay. Also, Bobby Moynihan’s killer flamboyance was to die for. But the MVP was once again my favorite person on the show, Taran Killam. I thought they were going to take it a little bit farther than they did (I would have really liked to have seen those two kiss), but it still worked for me for the most part. (This one isn’t online yet.) 

Weekend Update was the obvious highlight of the night. The amazing, incomparable, brilliantly talented Amy Poehler made her way back to the Update desk for a quick REALLY?!?! segment with Seth. And then to the delight of literally every good human being on the planet, she stuck around for the rest of Update and reprised her role as Seth’s co-anchor. It was beyond enjoyable. 

But the biggest moment from Update was of course, the final visit and farewell sendoff for our dear Stefon. This farewell was, in a word, amazing. The whole bit was perfect for Stefon, perfect for Bill Hader, and perfect for the show. I don’t really want to spoil it for you, but know that while it’s hysterically funny, it’s also pointedly sentimental, but in the best possible way. Please, do yourself a favor and watch it now. 

Ben Affleck then treated us to the Spanish accent he’s been waiting to try out in a mildly funny sketch about faking his own death. The funniest part was really just hearing Affleck talk with that accent, because the actual plot of the sketch was pretty forgettable. 

So it got to be the end of the night, and things go really good. In a strange but side-splitting sketch about cops trying to wish their daughter/niece/sister/friend a happy engagement, the standout MVP was once again Taran Killam. The joke that all these men can’t vocalize their emotions was nothing new, but the way in which they all committed to it was great. But seriously, if you don’t laugh at Killam, there’s something really wrong with you. (This sketch isn’t available online yet.)

But the real money shot was another installment of Vanessa Bayer and Cecily Strong selling luxury items (in the past it was Swarovski crystals and champagne). This time around it was Hermes handbags and MAN was it funny. I don’t think they will ever be able to top the original Swarovski crystals, but this one was pretty good. And Ben Affleck was actually pretty solid in this one too. 

The night ended with another poignant farewell. Fred Armisen, Jason Sudeikis, Bill Hader, and Taran Killam all joined in song as a Brit punk group to sing “It’s Gonna Be A Lovely Day Today.” It was at first strange, and then sad, and then lovely, and then surprise! guest stars!, and then sad again. Armisen has been on the show for 11 years! That’s kind of crazy when you think that there are only like, 3 other people who have stayed on SNL longer. His farewell song was nice, but not as emotional as it could have been. 

I don’t like Kanye West so I barely watched his performances. So there. 

That’s it for this season! SNL is now in a state of transition; Hader and Armisen are out after a decade of amazing recurring characters and memorable impressions. Sudeikis, I fear, is soon to follow, and Seth Meyers will be out of there in 2014 when he succeeds Jimmy Fallon on Late Night. I think this gives Taran Killam the room he needs to really soar (as if he hasn’t already), and for the ladies to really get more opportunities. We’ll see what happens next season. 

May 19, 2013 VIEW POST

Worst news of the day: Bill Hader leaving SNL

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Try to at least muffle the sounds of your weeping by crying into your faux-tattoo sleeve t-shirt. 

Bill Hader has officially announced his departure from Saturday Night Live,  with this weekend’s finale serving as his last episode. 

What’s that you say? I can’t hear you over my sobbing. 

Not that I am not surprised—I feel like Hader’s exit was inevtiable given his rising star quality and his ability to steal the show in minor supporting roles in comedy films. It’s just that I don’t waaanntttt him to leave! With Wiig out last season and Hader out this season, I only fear that Sudeikis and Armisen are on their way out as well, and then JESUS what will that mean for the show?? I mean for goodness sake they’ve been on SNL since 2003 and 2002, respectively. 

Sorry, what? I DON’T KNOW

I CAN’T

IT’S JUST ALL THE FEELS

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May 14, 2013 VIEW POST

Familiar faces abound for Kristen Wiig’s triumphant return to SNL

The anticipation has been high—nay, practically fever pitch—for the return of SNL darling and character MVP Kristen Wiig to the famous SNL stage. 

Very reminiscent of Tina Fey’s memorable return to host, Wiig’s return was high energy, high hijinks, and a whole lotta fun. It’s always a guessing game when old SNL players return to host—will they reprise their most famous roles? Will they only do one? Or will they ignore them all together, deciding instead to leave those memorable sketches back where they belong? If you watched it last night, you’ll know it was practically an SNL loyalist’s dream grab bag of the best Wiig characters, and I couldn’t have been more delighted! The episode was funny overall, and pretty good, even if only for the sheer novelty of seeing all of our favorite Wiig characters again. 

The cold open was forgettable and sloppy, so we’ll just quickly skip over that and get to the good stuff. 

Wiig’s monologue, like so many these days, was an elaborately choreographed and hilarious musical number. It reeks of the same notes that SNL has pulled out before (Will Ferrell, specifically), but I still liked it. Coming home for SNL is always a treat. 

Aside from the returning characters Wiig pulled out of her arsenal (which we’ll get to), last night was rife with delightful fauxmercials. The first one was a spot-on ad for 1-800-Flowers, just in time for Mother’s Day, of course. Kate McKinnon is brilliantly tacky as the mom everyone knows and loves. 

The second one was a hilarious take on the increasingly wacky premises for kid shows on channels like Disney and Nickelodeon. It hit every beat perfectly, and the premise—“Aw Nuts! Mom’s a Ghost!”— was hysterical. 

Triumphant return numbero uno came from another installment of our favorite SNL soap, The Californians. Wiig uncharacteristically broke character more than a few times, but it was the best! This was an especially ridiculous Californians, and with the addition of Maya Rudolph, it was practically perfect. 

And did you really think they’d bring Wiig back and NOT have her on The Lawrence Welk Show? OF COURSE NOT. So here’s that tasty little nugget of weird for you. 

Oh, and wait for it….wait for it….Target Lady! Yes, everyone’s favorite cashier graced us last night in what I think was probably the strangest one yet. It was like she had been gone for vacation only to come back to work at Target more wound up than ever. Fitting, I guess. 

Towards the end of the night (as usual), things got weird. Wiig and Cecily Strong were comically asinine cougars in a mildly funny sketch about taking two 12 year olds on a date. Money shot: Taran Killam’s 30 second laugh riot. 

Then Wiig, Strong, and one of my favorite new additions Aidy Bryant auto-tuned their asses off in a hilariously accurate sketch about real hosuewive-type broads who make songs about nothing. YOU’RE ON BLAST!

Acupuncture gone wrong was the premise of one of my favorite sketches of the night. Was it completely ridiculous? Yes. Was it cheap sight gag comedy? Of course. But I loved it because it was so reminiscent of old school SNL. Remember the polar bear sketch with Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, Tim Meadows, Jay Mohr, and Norm? It reminded me so much of that sketch that it warmed my heart based on that familiar feeling alone. (I mean just LOOK at that thumbnail!) 

Weekend Update was a little off for the most part, that was at least until Kat and Garth made an appearance! The Fred Armisen-Kristen Wiig duo that specializes in unrehearsed, created on the fly songs about holidays is always welcome, and last night was no exception. Toward the end of Wiig’s SNL tenure, the sketch seemed tired and overdone, but it was a good choice for her return. It wasn’t the funniest edition of the sketch, but it was funny nonetheless. Love. 

Vampire Weekend sounded so lovely! They are one of my favorite bands, and they always sound just so damn delightful and cheery and happy every time they perform. Solid performances all around. 

Overall, good return Wiig! Let’s hope this is only the beginning of her returns. 

Next week is the season finale, with host Ben Affleck (!!), and Kanye West (blech). 

And because I was busy last week I did not get the chance to recap the Zach Galifianakis episode. However, I wanted to share with you my favorite sketches from that night as a token of my apologies: 

May 12, 2013 VIEW POST

Melissa McCarthy’s second time hosting SNL wasn’t nearly as good as her first

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Dear dear dear. This is exactly why I try not to get my expectations up. 

I love Melissa McCarthy. I really do. She’s a great actress with impeccable comedic timing, and she’s never afraid to fall face first into some zany physical comedy either. So needless to say, I was stoked for her second appearance. But as I have lamented so many times in my SNL reviews, a wonderfully talented host rendered the writers clueless. 

The show was a pretty big dud in my opinion save for two—three if I’m being generous!—sketches. Everything else was just plain unfunny. Not to mention it just seemed like something was just off about the whole episode, right from Melissa McCarthy’s first steps onto the stage. 

The cold open was TERRIBLE. SNL had been on a pretty solid cold open streak as of late, but this edition was just atrocious. You’d think they’d be able to take the natural absurdity that is Kim Jung Un and do something actually funny with it, but instead it read like they heard he said some weird stuff and they needed a timely sketch, so here it is. The end. (Also, Dennis Rodman showed up and delivered “LIVE in (not from like it’s supposed to be) New York, it’s Saturday Night!” As a total perfectionist and SNL purist, it drives me nuts that he had ONE LINE to say, and he can’t even say it right. 

The monologue. Oh my. I’m still not really sure what exactly happened. At first I wasn’t sure if McCarthy’s wobbly walk was part of the sketch or not, but once I figured out that (unfortunately) it was, I was less than thrilled. I understand wanting to use McCarthy’s knack for physical comedy to their advantage, but this was a complete miss. It seemed forced and thrown together, and it wasn’t in the least bit funny. Which is crazy because this is MELISSA MCCARTHY we’re talking about! 

Fist sketch wasn’t great either. A play on the recent outrage over the Rutgers basketball coach’s violence against players, McCarthy was a like-minded asshole of a coach. It wasn’t original, it wasn’t funny. It literally was her screaming and throwing things, not at all unlike the actual source video. And then, when it transitioned from pretaped segment to live in studio, it seemed as if Bill Hader and her were missing cue cards, as there were several long pauses and flubbed lines.  (Not to even mention that the live part of the sketch was even less funny than the pretaped portion.) Fail. 

Some spoof of Wheel of Fortune….snooze. 

We did get a nice little parody of NBC’s own The Voice. McCarthy was great as the contestant, and Kate McKinnon was a spot-on Shakira. Spot on! Overall this one was one of the very few highlights of the night.

One of the absolute best sketches of the night revolved around McCarthy as a ham aficionado at a Honey Baked Ham cook-off. It involved remixed 90s tunes and righteous dance moves and two grown men dressed up in pig costumes. It was hilarious! This is the type of stuff we need to be seeing when we’ve McCarthy as host. (This one isn’t online due to music copyright.) 

The other absolutely delightful sketch of the night came much later, and it’s a shame because it was really funny. Reminiscent of her Hidden Valley Ranch character from her first go around, this sketch had her as Barb Kellner, “The PIzza Eater,” a woman on a mission for some cash. McCarthy fucking COMMITS, and it results in a really hysterical sketch. This was something I noted the first time she hosted; unlike many other hosts that come through SNL (save for the old legends and Justin Timberlake), McCarthy puts 150% of herself into her sketches. This was no exception. 

The fauxmercial for the Bathroom Bussinessman was actually pretty funny given it’s rather elementary subject matter. 

The last sketch of the night was what I think the writers feel like the ‘last sketch of the night’ is supposed to look like. Tips and tricks for picking up the opposite sex in the 90s is a perfect premise to really run with, and yet this sketch fell flatter than almost any other one of the night. 

Weekend Update was mostly a highlight last night. Visits from Vanessa Bayer’s funny Jacob the Bar Mitzvah boy and one of my favorite recurring characters, Bobby Moynihan’s Drunk Uncle, livened things up a bit. This installment of Drunk Uncle wasn’t his best, but it gets bonus points for throwing in Game of Thrones' Peter Dinklage, so it all evens out. Kenan's Charles Barkley also stopped by, so there's that. 

Phoenix sounded positively delightful! I am so excited for their new album, and they really sold me on their quasi-new sound tonight. 

Needless to say, this SNL wasn’t nearly as wonderful as her first time hosting, but I do expect to see much more of her, as even in the worst of scenarios, she’s still incredibly delightful. Next time: Vince Vaughn and Miguel! 

April 7, 2013 VIEW POST

Justin Timberlake’s SNL promos are the only promos you’ll ever need

OBVIOUSLY. 

March 6, 2013 VIEW POST

Kevin Hart’s SNL debut was about as bad as it can get

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I’m sorry, I just won’t. An in fact, I’m not even sorry. Why would I waste my time writing a recap of a show that so clearly sent home every writer and instead had the episode written by hungry raccoons? This installment of SNL was a disaster right from the get go—and I’m talking about as far back as when they announced Kevin Hart as host. 

Now, I don’t dislike Kevin Hart. Do I think he’s raelly all that funny? No, not really. But whatever. I am always open to being pleasantly surprised. The second he opened his mouth and started what I can only assume was a coke-infused monologue, I knew I was in for a bumpy ride. It’s like everyone at SNL just gave up because they knew they’d have to really bring out the big guns for next week’s visit from Justin Timberlake. I can tell you right now, if they’re going to try to avoid a straight up riot, they better get their shit in order STAT. 

So, no. I  am not going to recap the whole thing, because that would be an injustice to us all. If you are really that interested in seeing what they had to give us Saturday night, head over to the SNL web site. 

March 4, 2013 VIEW POST

It’s a bumpy night for SNL noob Justin Bieber

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I don’t think anyone really had the highest of hopes for JB’s first shot at hosting SNL. That being said, I think a lot of folks probably thought he could come out swinging and pull a Bruno Mars-style surprise and actually be mostly decent. 

In a night of overly-long sketches and copious amounts of winking, Justin Bieber did the best he could. I’ll give him that. I’d venture to say that about 30% of the night’s sketches were mostly funny, if not truly wacky and brilliantly bizarre. But the other 70% was a little rough. Looking back, it just felt like Bieber was hardly even used. And when he was, he was fumbling over his words or staring straight into the camera (whether the sketch called for it or not). I was surprised that there were hardly any Justin Bieber-as-Justin-Bieber sketches (as SNL is so wont to do when a musician is also hosting), and very few musical moments as well. Maybe they realized that he just couldn’t really cut it? I mean, sometimes watching his read off the cue cards was just plain painful. 

The cold open played to the hilarious and obviously ridiculous NFL commentators’ awful attempts at keeping the show going during the Super Bowl blackout. I thought this was pretty funny, but mostly because that’s exactly how I feel EVERY NFL game goes with those commentators. It did drag on a bit, but overall it was a good start to the night. 

Bieber’s monologue was surprisingly (mostly) non-musical. Running gag was Valentine’s Day + Black History Month + Justin’s own stupidity. It was a little dull, and several of the jokes just flat out didn’t land, but it wasn’t absolutely terrible either. 

We were treated to another installment of The Californians, one of my favorite recurring sketches of the past several years. This installment wasn’t nearly as funny overall as some of the previous ones, but the end with Bill Hader is flat out PRICELESS. So so good. 

There was a Grease-like sketch that I really thought had the potential to be a hit, but it instead ended up being one of those really weird sketches without the added bonus of also being insanely hilarious. The joke was he was really, really dumb, and really, really young. But that’s about it. 

One of the best sketches of the night was one that actually did use Bieber as himself. It featured pretty much the whole cast dressed up to act as body doubles for Justin. This sketch was flat out hilarious and featured the best throwaway joke of the night from Jason Sudeikis. BEST. (This sketch also saw the return of Kate McKinnon as Ellen, which both made me super happy and also bummed as I realized that she is being severely underused on SNL right now.) Unfortunately, this sketch is currently unavailable via NBC online. (Which is ridiculous because it’s hysterical.) BUT, here are some GIFs to give you a little taste. 

The Miley Cyrus Show made an appearance last night after a long absence, but instead of being a hysterical interaction between Vanessa Bayer’s Miley and Justin Bieber as himself, SNL gave JB the opportunity to not-so-vaguely comment on his real-life headlines (re: getting caught smoking pot). Sadly, I feel like this was a pretty big missed opportunity for some real laughs. 

One of my favorites from the night was a sketch that featured MVP Taran Killam as an overly-protective and idiotic brother. He was BEYOND in it to win it; Killam took what could have easily been a flat, one-joke sketch and turned it into a funny, one-joke sketch that had me flat out laughing out loud. Like many others last night, this sketch ran a little long, but with Killam I really didn’t mind. 

Jay Pharaoh’s Principal Frye sketch returned last night as well. I have never been a fan of this sketch, so the fact that it has been deemed good enough to be in the recurring sketch arsenal still baffles me. This installment was just as lame as pretty much every other one. 

Really taking advantage of the proximity to Valentine’s Day, we got a weird fauxmercial featuring Bieber as himself, cooing to the camera about what a sexy Valentine’s Day was in store for him and you. Insert Bobby Moynihan as a crazy infantile roommate and you’ve got a real WTF sketch. 

Lame fauxmercial about dumb Bravo shows featuring people who don’t even matter. That joke is old hat and I really expect better from SNL

Weekend Update was back in good form last night. Seth was particularly feisty and the guests were actually good ones. The ‘best friends of a dictator’ gag has gotten a little long in the tooth, and they’ve definitely had better visits from them, but it was mostly funny nonetheless. But the best part of WU was Kenan as ‘the one black guy from every commercial.’ This bit was original, hilarious, and fucking spot on. It’s accurate because he’s “cool but non-threatening.” BEST. 

I didn’t watch Bieber’s musical performances. So there’s that. 

Whew. Feels good to have gotten this Bieber shit over with. Upwards and onwards! 

I am REALLY looking forward to next week’s visit from Christoph Waltz and Alabama Shakes! 

February 10, 2013 VIEW POST

Christoph Waltz to host SNL on Feb. 16 with musical guest Alabama Shakes!

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Color me fucking excited! 

SNL announced today that the brilliant Christoph Waltz will be taking on hosting duties on Feb. 16! If there is anyone who can pull off the scariest Nazi this side of Schindler’s List AND be more charming than I know what to do with, it’s this guy. Musical duties for that night will fall to the excellent Alabama Shakes, whom I also love. 

What a great show this has the potential to be! 

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January 30, 2013 VIEW POST

Adam Levine’s SNL debut was about as lackluster as he is

I am not on the Adam Levine bandwagon. I was once, but I’m not a 17 year old girl anymore. And as he’s become increasingly present in everyday pop culture—The Voice, digital shorts, American Horror Story—I have discovered that he is, in fact, just not very likable. So you’ll understand if this review is a little biased; I didn’t expect much from him tonight, and I got exactly what I predicted. 

The opening sketch had potential: the ghost of MLK Jr. visits President Obama on the night of his inauguration. But instead of discussing important issues regarding the future of our country, MLK just wanted to discuss Beyonce. Not a terrible idea, but it basically had 3 silly punchlines amid Jay Pharaoh doing his best to try to keep me (and probably himself) from falling asleep). 

The monologue was a play on Levine’s role on The Voice, with spinning chairs revealing various (and random) celebrities dishing advice for how to be a good SNL host. First up: Andy Samberg, which was obviously a very welcome treat for myself. Then Cameron Diaz showed up in the next chair, and blech. And in the third chair was Jerry Seinfeld, and double blech. The whole monologue was relatively amusing (mostly Samberg’s lines), but it definitely set the tone for the whole show: Levine is dry, flat, and has zero stage presence. Even when he tries to make a joke—one that actually works—it comes off as kind of mean-spirited and condescending. That may just be his voice, but his delivery does nothing to help matters. He seems as if he’s over all of it, that he’s too cool for jokes. If you’re going to be on SNL, you’re going to have to have more energy. This demeanor lasted through the entire show, so you can see why I was more than disappointed. 

We got two funny fauxmercials last night. The first of which was a commercial for Rosetta Stone which paints the picture of uber-creeps using the software to learn Thai so they can go to Thailand for unmentionable things. Ew. But funny execution. 

The second was an advertisement for The Soprano Diaries, a play on the CW’s new show The Carrie Diaries. It was well done and funny, really nailing the personalties of the original characters while thrusting them into 80s situations. I particularly liked the argument between Tony and Carmela. 

The first real sketch of the night was called Circle Work. A gay talk show where the two hosts talk to straight people and give them gay solutions for their problems. Their solutions? Everyone is gay. This was the most personality Levine had in the entire night. There were a few mildly comical lines in this one, but overall it seemed kind of tired. 

My favorite sketch of the night was also one of the most bizarre: It’s a firehouse recruiting event and Bill Hader is a hysterical ex-boyfriend of a girl in attendance. The whole gag was his shrill screaming and over-the-top attitude, but in Hader’s hands it was pure magic. 

To no one’s surprise, the boys from The Lonely Island were back tonight with a new digital short! Called “Yolo,” the premise is similar to a sketch SNL has already done: yes, you only live once, so don’t do anything fun. ANYTHING. This was in no way as good as TLI/Levine’s first short “I Ran” which was just so fucking good. The lyrics weren’t quite up to par, the idea was a retread of something they had already touched on, and honestly, the idea of jumping on the YOLO bandwagon now just seems lazy. 

Weekend Update was hardcore weak last night. Both special guests, Nasim Pedrad’s Ariana Huffington and Kenan Thompson’s Ray Lewis were fine, not great. (Pedrad has definitely had funnier material for her Huffington before.) But Seth’s jokes just weren’t cutting it. They all seemed half-formed, lazy attempts at jokes. I think I only thought like 1 joke was genuinely hilarious. 

Jumping on the faux-beau bandwagon, one of the last sketches of the night was a parody of the new MTV show Catfish. I would say that besides the Circle Work sketch, this was the only other time that I thought Levine actually tried. He did a decent job as the narcissistic host of the show and Aidy Bryant as usual killed it. The first half of the sketch was really pretty solid, but it’s like the really didn’t know how to wrap it up and it ended pretty lamely. 

And two of the weirdest (dumbest?) sketches came at the very end of the show. The first was some weird sketch that had Adam Levine as himself (I’m honestly surprised they only employed that once), having been taken home by a woman after his show. Bobby Moynihan as a vulgar woman has potential, but the sketch was SO clearly kept in just to kill time, it barely even seemed like an idea.

And the Biden Bash sketch featured a party to be thrown by the VP, one in which there would be all matters of ridiculous things. Jason Sudeikis is always great with his Biden, but this wasn’t really up to snuff either.

Kendrick Lamar was Kendrick Lamar, I guess? I don’t even really remember his performances, but I feel like I remember them being boring.

Now we have a few weeks to brace ourselves for the Feb. 9th episode that will be Bieberpocalypse. God help us. 

January 27, 2013 VIEW POST

Jennifer Lawrence’s charm isn’t enough to save a mediocre SNL

I love Jennifer Lawrence. I really do. Even despite my hatred for all things Hunger Games, I love this chick. She’s charming, intelligent, normal, humble, down to earth, and funny as hell. So I was delighted when I first heard she would be making her SNL debut this month. And while one could hope that JLaw’s fierce charm would be enough to salvage a less-than-awesome Saturday Night Live, this simply wasn’t the case last night. 

Don’t get me wrong, the episode definitely had some laugh out loud moments for me. But overall, it was pretty sloppy. Bad jokes, lazy sketch concepts, underutilization of a great host—you know, the usual stuff. 

The night started off with a good Piers Morgan opening sketch that gave us some material on Lance Armstrong and Manti T’eo. Taran Killam’s Piers Morgan is always really top notch, and aside from a bumpy start, the majority of the sketch’s jokes landed pretty well. 

Departing from the predictable musical monologues that SNL is so very fond of, last night’s monologue featured Lawrence ripping apart her fellow Oscar nominees while trying to make a grumpy Bill Hader as Tommy Lee Jones try to laugh. It was…weird, to say the least. Not that I think anyone took her “insults” seriously, but I still felt like the nature of the monologue was in really poor taste. Not to mention, her “insults” weren’t even funny. If you’re going to do a mock-vicious monologue, at least do it right. This just came off as lame and mean, two things Jennifer Lawrence most definitely is not.

One of the first sketches of the night was the return of a sketch that I thought was truly funny the first time around, Girlfriend Talk Show. It wasn’t nearly as funny this time, but just like the first installment, the MVP of this sketch was Aidy Bryant, just straight up killing it. 

There was a quick fauxmercial for the Starbucks Verismo machine. And aside from it maybe reading a little bit racist, it was pretty hysterical. Simple enough premise, but it worked well enough. 

There was another fauxmercial, this one advertising the next 18 installments of The Hobbit. Again, pretty simple (if not lazy) premise for a sketch, but this one was kind of a dud. The only part I laughed at was when they started listing off all of the janky sequels, like Look Who’s Hobbit Now and The Hobbit: Back in the Hood. 

I really REALLY wanted to get out of this episode without a Hunger Games sketch. It’s so OBVIOUS. But alas, this was not meant to be. Of course there was a Hunger Games sketch, and as I could have predicted, it wasn’t very funny. The biggest laugh came from the very last seconds in which the butt of the joke was Peeta’s height. (Had they focused the whole bit around Peeta’s height, it could have been a bit more original and funny, in my opinion.) 

The B-108 morning show sketch wasn’t bad. This was pretty much the only time throughout the whole night in which Jennifer Lawrence anchored the funniest parts of the sketch. 

One of the only other sketches in which Lawrence had the most punchlines was one set in a 50’s diner in which the experience involved the waitstaff being “mean” to their customers (think Dick’s Last Resort, but not as mean-spirited). It dragged on for a bit before getting to the point, which was that Lawrence’s character wasn’t big on the jokey insults, but more into the actual hurtful insults. It played fine, but it was only mildly funny at best. 

There was a truly bizarre sketch toward the end of the night about a couple exchanging letters during the Civil War. It was, in a word, horrible. 

Not to be upstaged by true awfulness, though, was a short about a porn film called Danielle. At first, I thought it had promise, but it quickly fell apart into something more than absurd (and not in a good way).  

Weekend Update seemed dialed down for some reason this week. It was funny enough, but the usually hilarious visit from Bobby Moynihan’s Anthony Crispino character wasn’t really up to par either, making this week’s news installment merely mediocre. 

But one of my favorites of the night had to be Top Dog Chef. It was one of those beautiful SNL sketches that is a real rollercoaster of WTF? to hilarious to ROFLing to wait, what!? It had some really funny moments. And it was just SO WEIRD. 

The Lumineers were fantastic. I’d say they were probably one of the best musical guests SNL has had on in a long time. Both songs were a delight to watch, and they sounded amazing. More like that please! 

Next week is Adam Levine with musical guest Kendrick Lamar. I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t know who either of those people were. 

January 20, 2013 VIEW POST