Cold Opening – A Message from Michael Bloomberg
The humor of snow bamboozlement is long overdue. There were several individual items in this sketch that were funny, but the list format rendered matters a little stale overall. This is a rare example of a sketch that was “too New York.” Fred’s Bloomberg impression may have been accurate, but I don’t really know. Bloomberg just isn’t as well-known outside of New York as, say, Giuliani was. B

Jim Carrey’s Monologue
This is exactly the sort of positive energy we could hope for when Jim Carrey hosts SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE! And Lisa Loeb’s sister sure is cute. Too bad she’s taken. B+

Bosley Hair Restoration
Here it goes, here it goes, here it goes again. Original Grade: B+

Black Swan
The premise was obvious, and it has been done plenty of times before. Luckily, Jim Carrey is someone who is able to wring a few laughs out of it. This is an example of a sketch that illustrates why another sketch is so much better, namely, the Jacuzzi Lifeguard sketch from Jim’s first appearance. A cursory examination of that earlier sketch may lead one to believe that it worked so well merely because Jim Carrey was given free rein to do what Jim Carrey does. But it was more than that. It was a clever, surprising, unique premise, and there were strong supporting performances from a bewildered Will Ferrell and Tim Meadows as a quick partner in the insanity. Last night’s sketch lacked that memorably classic premise, and the supporting players were reliable but pedestrain. B

Finding Your Power
I felt magnificent when Jim’s character declared that he felt … magnificent. Now let’s get the hell onto the rest of this sketch. Everyone played their roles spot on (Vanessa sounded like she was doing her Miley Cyrus impression while crying over dinner), and it was a generally funny idea, but it was one of those sketches in which you figure out the premise within ten seconds and you know exactly what is going to happen for the rest of the sketch. Apparently, some SNL writers are allergic to the element of surprise. But you can’t do that. You just can’t. B

Grady Wilson’s Tantric ‘n’ Tasty
The best part was Jim saying, “Namaste.” That has become such a funny word. Regardless of how well Grady Wilson has or has not held up, that one utterance made the whole sketch worth it. B

The Worst of Soul Train
This truly was the worst, so much so that some of the fake acts were not funny bad, but just plain bad. For as many times as I laughed, there were other times when I thought, “This isn’t Bobby’s thing,” or “They could’ve pulled that one off better.”  The triangle lady did hit the right note. B-

The Black Keys perform “Howlin’ for You”
I was bouncing along. I don’t think I was in the right state of mind to fully appreciate this performance, as I had a cold and it was almost bedtime. The Black Keys have some short songs. They could have performed another right after this one. B+

Weekend Update
-The Jokes: Wow. Some of those jokes were not only funny, but also clever. B
-The Segments: -Boehner and Pelosi: SNL, you have been blessed by the House of Representatives. The new Speaker appears to be the absolute joke that Bill portrayed him as. B+
-Secondhand News: This is a master at work. Everything was where it was supposed to be. Anthony Crispino is now deserving of being featured on American Masters or Great Performances. A-
-Cameron the Red-Winged Blackbird and Everett the Fish: Andy’s fetish for dressing up in a bird costume is intriguing, though only somewhat funny. It’s unclear if Taran has a corresponding fish costume fetish, or if he was just desperate for screen time. The southern accents were a nice touch, so there was that. C+

The Merryville Brothers Trolley Ride
That was absolutely wild, with Jim, Taran, and Bill freakishly pulling off the movements of animatronics. Kenan was the obvious strong choice to play freaked out. There were several memorable Kenanisms. Unfortunately, this was one of a trend of sketches that seems to get cut off prematurely. Is Lorne developing time management issues? The last joke was barely squeezed in before the outro applause began. I thought that the last animatronic was played by Jay, so it was necessary that Kenan yell out, “Hey that’s me!” in the nick of time. A-

Psychic Medium Celebrity Impressionist
I had been holding out a little bit of hope for a callback or two to Jim’s last (first) hosting appearance, and thus we have the return of Jimmy Stewart! Why do we not see Jim Carrey’s impressions more often? “Who does a Thicke?!” Indeed. When Sudeikis was freaking out, it was sublime. The lack of flushing and hand-washing was a welcome touch of gravy. A-

The Black Keys perform “Tighten Up”
I appreciated that Dan Auerbach included the opening whistle. Too bad it was drowned out a bit by the notoriously drowning-out SNL stage (but not completely). This was one of the best songs of 2010, so it only had to performed merely adequately to be a great performance. This is a short song. There was probably time for the Black Keys to have a third performance. B+

A Taste of New York
“We had pizza”? All right! (I want some real Brooklyn pizza!) Was Fred playing George Carlin or something? Obvious comparisons to Crisis of Conformity. I don’t think that the extras were supposed to be laughing, but that was a nice touch. Unlike the Bloomberg opening, this sketch was not too New York. It was just a taste. B+

Why hasn’t Jim Carrey hosted more often? Every line he delivered sounded a thousand times better than it must have sounded on paper.
Can the Black Keys be the musical guest a second time this season? If so, their total time on the stage will not be any longer than any guest who has had only one appearance.
Vanessa’s really starting to look cute.