Cold Opening – Mitt Romney Raw & Unleashed
Sudeikis is putting together a truly fascinating portrayal of a boring man. B

Jason Segel’ s Monologue
You know, while I can get excited about my expectations for how something should go, I generally believe that surprise is the best  option.  So, when I see something like Jason Segel’s monologue go exactly as I expected to go, it says a lot if it can be successful.  This monologue’s concept was in no way surprising – of course the Muppets were going to appear, and of course Jason Segel was going to be super excited about hosting SNL for the first time while simultaneously starring in a Muppet movie.  What wasn’t as obvious was just how many Muppets were going to appear or the development in which Jason had to gently break it to them that they were not, in fact, hosting along with him.  The execution was nearly as perfect as it could have possibly been. A

Red Flag Perfume
The freakiness is clear, almost too clear. Original Grade: B-

Live with Regis and Kelly Auditions
Some folks on the writing staff must know their SNL history, being as this was essentially the exact same as the audition for Kathie Lee’s replacement sketch from Season 25, a sketch that doesn’t seem to be that well-known.  Anyway, a parade of impressions is usually hit-or-miss, and the hits here were strong enough to carry the misses, which weren’t terrible misses.  Fred’s out-of-control George Lopez was the highlight.  We all know that Kenan’s Barkley, Jay’s Denzel, and Kristen’s Kathie Lee are gold, but they were all underused to varying degrees.  All the other impressions were good to great, though not quite perfect. B+

Kemper-Pedic Me Time Mattress
The visual gags were so clever that at first I – yes, even I! – did not realize what was going on right away.  Then I did, and it became doubly hilarious. B+

Recurring sketches that work in the long term generally work because they don’t go through the exact same routine each time.  What I am saying is, I want a sketch like the Vogelchecks to be different each time it appears.  And we hadn’t this family them lick gravy off a homeless guy’s beard before, so … there was that. B-

Florence + the Machine perform “Shake It Out”
In my experience of watching SNL, it is difficult for a singer to sing as powerfully as she possibly can on the SNL stage the way that Florence Welch did, or for a band to sound so acoustically right and complementary to its singer the way that The Machine did. A

Weekend Update
-The Jokes: The crowd was really into a bunch of jokes that were simply not that good. C-
-The Segments: – Jon Huntsman: Slick.  New Hampshire?  Ha! B
-Really!?! with Seth and Kermit: Kermit didn’t say anything particularly witty, but he was a welcome addition because of his lively expressions.  He seemed to be honored to be able to do a “Really!?!” segment with Seth. B

Retirement Party
I’m surprised that this sketch wasn’t built around Kristen’s character.  I think the fact that it wasn’t was for the best, because it was unexpected that she kept coming up to the mic to say nothing.  As for Jason’s character, and everyone else’s, there seemed to be a lot of details, with very little premise. B-

A New Jack Thanksgiving
Some of these acts sound like they might be performing at the next Underground Records festival.  The acts that we actually saw perform weren’t necessarily super-duper (except for Triangle Sally, of course), but the mere mention of “Toni Tone Tony Shalhoub” elevated this one to classic territory. A-

Digital Short: Seducing Women Through Chess
This had a very 80’s-era VHS quality to it that seems to be in vogue these days.  After last week’s disgrace of a short, it was a relief to see one that showed that the Lonely Island can still be relied upon for seemingly effortless quality.  And Olivia Wilde wins the award for cameo most lacking in explanation. B+

Andre the Giant Chooses an Ice Cream Flavor
That was a decent enough Andre the Giant impression.  And it served to underscore the fact that Jason Segel is a giant compared to most of the people he has worked with. B-

Florence + the Machine perform “No Light, No Light”
Did anybody notice the backup chorus?  And the fact that there were a lot of people in it?  I know, right, it’s hard to tell when Florence Welch is the main voice. B+

The Blue Jean Committee
This wasn’t quite Crisis of Conformity, or even A Taste of New York or The Fingerlings.  I’m not quite sure what it was, or if there were even any jokes.  But everyone looked to be having a nice time, so I’m going to give it a pass. B-

Has there ever been a host more excited to host than Jason Segel?  And I’m saying this in a season, and an era, in which just about every host mentions that it’s been a lifelong dream of theirs to host SNL.  That excitement extended to just about every area of this episode.  It felt like a party, with a mind-boggling number of cameos.  It is surely a good thing when an SNL episode feels like a party, as opposed to a routine.  There were a couple of sketches (Retirement Party, Blue Jean Committee) that stuck out, not because they broke up that party vibe, but because they were just plain odd.  Not odd funny, or odd off-putting, just plain odd.  Ultimately, what I have to say about them is that I have no idea what they were going for, and I mean that neither as criticism nor praise.