A piano’s gonna fall on me or something?

Cold Opening – Carnival Cruise Ship
One of those throw-a-bunch-of-stuff-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks sketches.  And guess what: enough stuck!  I probably enjoyed more than most the voice of Kenan yelling out, “There is no god!”  Oscar PistROius? B

Christoph Waltz’s Monologue
I’m a sucker for a good pun, and “Who’s on wurst?” was far from the worst. B

What Have You Become?
Christoph Waltz as Mack Montgomery?  I don’t think so.  Anyway, this sketch was a nice enough change of pace from the normal trappings of most game show sketches, but it felt a little too bound by structure, until it broke out at the end, when Aidy’s character turned the tables on Mack, who then rued the day that he was forced to go to “game show school.” B+

Papal Securities
A little predictable, but pope-based humor is usually a recipe for at least some success, as demonstrated by the line that when it comes to retirement, no one is infallible. B

The classically annoying habit of jumping into the middle of a conversation and and asking for a recap of the highlights: how has it taken this long for that to be turned into a sketch?  Good call that all the other partygoers were really no more than mildly peeved by Tippy, because with all her wonderful non sequiturs about big old dildos, butt surgery, Hugh Laurie, and Chinese women, why wouldn’t they want to have her own around?  Needless to say, the detail about her being an amazing dogwalker was excellent. A-

Djesus Uncrossed
You got it, SNL, you got it.  Excellent impressions all around, and I would particularly like to point out Ving Rhames by Kenan, his best new impression in a while. A-

JaMarcus Brothers
I was a little wary of this sketch, because we’ve seen the very uncool guy stuck in cool world bit plenty of times before.  But Christoph played it so well.  On top of that, you had Cecily’s character seemingly unable to understand that anyone might turned off by Engelebert. B+

Alabama Shakes perform “Hold On”
Alabama Shakes are probably my new favorite group of the past year, and the video for “Hold On” is just the band performing the studio – which suggests that they would be good live, so my expectations were about as high as they could possibly be for this performance.  And those expectations were exceeded.  The only area of concern may have been Brittany Howard’s mouth looking crazy while she held some notes.  But if that’s what she’s gotta do to pull it off, then that’s what she’s gotta do.  Personally, I think singers look great when they give their faces over completely to the requirements of the song. A

Weekend Update
-The Jokes: This Week’s Story That Was Funnier the Punchline: the 46-year-old postcard.  But there were actually a few good jokes, particularly McCain and Graham needing to go back to their balcony seats on The Muppet Show.  Oh, I guess I’ll be nice and go with a B-.
-The Segments: -Marco Rubio: No surprises here.  But, as could be expected, that was quite a spirited performance from Taran. B+
-Olya Povlotsky: “Bear with me”?  Oh boy, SNL, you are on fire with the puns tonight! B+
-Stephen A. Smith: Jay’s first Stephen A. bit was utterly brilliant.  But subsequent iterations have been undone somewhat by sameness.  But he makes up for it by just going all out with his illusions (sharing a plate of spaghetti Lady and the Tramp-style) and commands (Pau Gasol should be blindfolded by a terrorist or a dominatrix). B+

The biggest problem with the Regine sketches is that most of the gags are telegraphed (Watch what happens when I touch her here…).  Still, I must say I am won over by the odd specificity of her snobbery (“What are we talking about, reproductive rights?” “Have you read THAT article?”). B-

Fox & Friends
Here’s your current best recurring SNL sketch, people.  Bobby Moynihan’s Brian Kilmeade is a national treasure.  My favorite correction this time: “Even black people love Raymond.” B+

Alabama Shakes perform “Always Alright”
Yay, it’s the song from Silver Linings Playbook‘s credits!  This is getting an A-, but that may only be because it pales ever so slightly to “Hold On.”  It may actually be worthy of an A. A-

Secret Admirer
The dichotomy of Cecily’s character bizarrely having no idea that Dmitri was the secret admirer and everyone else realizing that it was obvious but just letting it play out was strong in this one.  This was the second sketch of the night (along with JaMarcus Brothers) in which Cecily’s character was inexplicably unable to see something obvious.  Hearing the line, “Manifesto is perhaps a strong word” in an Austrian accent was appropriately creepy. B+

The best episode of the season: no duds (except maybe Regine, but I’ve got a soft spot for that one), at least two classics (Tippy, Djesus), and almost every other bit was not too far away from being a classic.  Christoph fit in perfectly; his European-ness and mellifluence served him and the show well.  Alabama Shakes were the best musical guest in a few years.

The best sketch of the night was really funny or something?

In addition to posting the best sketch, I’ve got to post a musical performance; Alabama Shakes were THAT good.