It combines time travel with screaming.

Cold Opening – The Lawrence Welk Show
Lawrence Welk Show sketches are generally successful according to how funkily outrageous Dooneese’s confessions are, and this time, unfortunately, she flailed around a bit.  The guest can add an important element, as Will Ferrell and Betty White did particularly, but Elton did not have much to offer other than his piano skills.  But let’s not forget Lawrence himself.  With everyone else disappointing, this sketch served to emphasize that Fred is quite valuable as Mr. Welk, with his bit about seasons pulling it off this time. B-

Elton John’s Monologue
Elton talks about being a new father, and we are happy to have him show off his personality by way of his home life, and we are confident that he understands that he is responsible for putting on a show. B

ESPN Classic: Ladies’ Shot Put
“…or if she’s at a movie, behind someone wearing an Abraham Lincoln hat.”  Gotta love those Greg Stink-isms.  Anyway, Elton John is not the sort of host who I would have expected to be absent from a leadoff sketch to make room for other guests.  Honestly, I thought that Hanks was – must have been – Elton.  I said to myself, “Wow, Elton really looks like Tom Hanks in that getup.”  Then I realized what was going on. B+

BBC News Special Report: Dragon Attack
With all the guest appearances in this episode, I wondered why Darrell didn’t return as Sir Connery.  Funny that Ringo, the only non-knight, was the only good impression.  I suppose that Michael Caine talks slowly, but not as slowly as Hanks had him go.  That impression was, shall we say, indulgent. Andy’s Bono was purposely amateurish, and Taran’s Ian McKellen was inexcusable. B-

Digital Short – Laser Cats: The Musical
I would think that the purposeful cheapness of Laser Cats would get old, but they keep on coming up with clever and plainly unique gags.  It seems that they refashioned Dr. Oz as “Droz” just because they felt like it. B+

Elton John and Leon Russell perform “Hey Ahab”
This is one of those songs in which you cannot help but be taken by the music.  The filled-to-capacity stage illustrated that idea.  I just wish that Leon Russell’s voice hadn’t been drowned out by everyone else. B+

Weekend Update
-The Jokes: That Celebrity Apprentice contestants/Republican presidential candidates comparison was memorable enough. B
-The Segments: -Moammar Gadhafi: There was plenty worth saying, and the one who said it made it a joke. B
-Bronx Zoo Trainer Barry Lewis: That was so Kenan. B+
-Get in the Cage: Andy’s Cage is not exactly technically accurate, but it does cut to Cage’s current essence, never more so than in this bit. B+

Elton’s Meeting with the Royal Family
Fred plays a drummer for the second time tonight. Again, this is not Queen Elizabeth. This is not Prince Philip. This is just Fred and Bill goofing around. It appeared that they were actually playing, which was nice, except that the acoustics were rather garbled. C+

The Silver Screen
I understood that the point of this sketch was more about the relationship between the hosts as opposed to the ostensible point of the cinema. But I think that they should have focused more on that ostensible point. It would have given them more material to make fun of. C+

Someone New in the Old West
Did Elton decide that this should be the Logo version of SNL? I found myself in agreement with Jason’s character: what?  Not as in, what is homosexuality, but rather, what is the point of this sketch? C

Elton John and Leon Russell perform “Monkey Suit”
Oh good, we can actually hear Leon this time.  Now tell me, how does it work having two lead singers – each with two (huge) pianos, four backup singers, a guitarist, a bassist, two drummers, and a keyboardist?!  There’s already two pianos!  How could a keyboard manage to add anything?  Anyway, this song was sillier than the first, and not silly in that great a way. B

Jeez, Tom Hanks, why don’t you just host again?  And you can host too, Will Forte.  Carmelo Anthony – maybe not.  A couple of cameos is probably all we want from you.  But thankfully none of you got in Elton’s way, as the Rocket Man was game for anything.  He was occasionally flamboyant – though not as colorful as he was in the seventies – but unfortunately sometimes that flamboyance tried – and failed – to take the place of comedy.