Cold Opening – A Message from the President of the United States
There were several jokes that worked in this opening, even if it wasn’t clear how accurate the jibes were.  (Is Dale Humphries really trapped in a loveless marriage?   Perhaps, perhaps not.  Either way, I laughed).   But then it was so short.   It was as if everyone was so pleased that a positive percentage of the jokes worked that they didn’t want to ruin it by taking a chance on having any more jokes at all. B

Helen Mirren’s Monologue
This wasn’t exactly funny, but it did perfectly capture Dame Helen’s uncanny ability to remain classy while showing off her unbelievably-sexy-for-her-age side. B

Mort Mort Feingold: Accountant for the Stars
The impressions were nothing to write home about, and the jokes were second-rate versions of those from the first Mort Mort sketch. C+

Digital Short: Helen Mirren’s Magical Bosom
Helen Mirren does look great at 65.   And that’s all there is to say about this. B-

Fox and Friends
I’ve never watched this show, but the clips I have seen of it and its ilk make such shows look so pathetic that they are not even worth making fun of.  Perhaps my opinion of this sketch will change slightly once I review the list of corrections. B

Mary Shelley
References to Frankenstein these days generally have more to do with the adaptations than the original novel.   It seemed like this sketch was actually going in the direction of familiarity with the novel, but it ended up being a conflation of the novel and the adaptations.   Of course, we all know that “fire bad” comes from Phil Hartman’s portrayal of Frankenstein.   Fred’s vocal tics were obviously perfect, and I loved how none of the guests were freaked out by such a grotesque landlord. B

Foo Fighters perform “Rope”
We have here a great live band, and a great new single, so I feel that my standard for judging this performance may be unfairly high, so let’s just say this: a B+ for the Foo Fighters is probably as good as an A for any number of lesser acts. B+

Weekend Update
-The Jokes: The bluebird hairstylist and giving priests a slightly better name gags made this one a winner. B
-The Segments: -James Carville: Is there no end to Hader’s deranged observations, real and imagined, about Carville? B+
-Shelly Elaine: When I saw Kristen roll out with the shot-out hair and the oxygen mask, I thought, oh boy, here comes another notoriously annoying Kristen Wiig bit where a bludgeoningly obvious joke is driven into the ground before it is even delivered for a first time.   I am one of Kristen’s biggest apologists, but as this bit was about to begin, I thought, I can’t defend her anymore.   But, Shelly Elaine was quite the character.   I’m sorry I doubted you, Kristen. B+
-Jean K. Jean: It is important to keep in mind that when you compare this to an actual Def Comedy Jam, this is avant-garde. B-

The Best of Both Worlds
Keen observation.  Well, not really.  This is something everyone has noticed.   But good job turning that observation into a sketch.   Having Gerard Butler as a guest was nothing more than a repeat of the jokes aimed at Hugh, so things didn’t get cooking until Ice Cube showed up.   (Another accurate impression from Kenan!  What does that make, four?) B

Underunderground Records: Crunk-Ass Easter Festival
All right, Mrs. Potato Dick are still kicking it!   This felt like a bit too much of a retread, as it very closely followed the template of the Crunkmas Karnival bit.  How was Gross-Ass Crap for Orphans any different than Wack-Ass Junk for Immigrants?   But then the hits just kept on coming, and I thought, “Okay, this one can stand on its own.”   And the Ass Dan death bit was different, and clever, this time around. B+

The Roosevelts
This sketch could have been hacky and it could have coasted along on all the things the pundits have been saying about The Kennedys, but instead, it succeeded, thanks to Fred’s portrayal of Joel Surnow as a sleazy hotshot and its willingness to go the extra ridiculous mile. B

Perspectives Photo Studio
At first it seemed as though Nasim and Kristen were reprising their characters form the corn syrup commercial.   Is this, like, the tenth sketch this season about cell phone penis pictures? B

Foo Fighters perform “Walk”
This sounded like “She’s So High” by Tal Bachman.  A lot.  I initially thought this might be a cover of that song (which I wasn’t able to identify until later). B+

Bongo’s Clown Room
Was the point of this sketch the shock value of seeing Dame Helen get down on the pole?   If so, she should have been featured more prominently.   Not that that necessarily would have been a good idea. C-

After the Russell Brand disaster and the Elton John disappointment, I was worried that the writers would yet again think, “Hey, the host is British” and use that “joke” as the entirety of the night’s comedy.   Dame Helen did play a Brit in four sketches (one was herself), but in only one case – the Mary Shelley backstory – could the entire sketch have been considered British.   This episode instead followed the strange trend from last season in which capable hosts (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Blake Lively) were underutilized and mainly reserved for supporting roles.   Why, oh why, would a dame ever be given a back seat?