The Sound of Music – Live and Condensed
Okay, SNL, you got me.  I was not expecting Dooneese to show up, nor indeed would I have been expecting to like her to show up if I thought she might. B+

Paul Rudd’s Monologue
Interesting to see Paul acknowledge how much he was overshadowed by the previous MG’s.  I guess it really was that obvious.  Oh, and most importantly, David Koechner has finally returned to the SNL stage!  He’s one of the best – if not the best – one-season cast members of all time.  “Why don’t you beat it, Menudo” was fairly well-trod territory, but Will Ferrell delivered it with such conviction. B

Politics Nation
If you’re completely annoyed by this sketch, I’m not going to argue with you.  I don’t think Al Sharpton’s really that confused, and Kenan’s impression is basically just a ragged version of his Steve Harvey.  But it makes me laugh fairly consistently.  “200,000 short of a buttload” and the Knockout, knock-knock, “disastrophe” progression were highlights. B

Dan Charles – One Direction’s #1 Fan
The joke of the middle-aged man who inexplicably loves boy bands is as old as boy bands themselves, so this was nothing new, but Paul Rudd imbued Dan Charles with such humanity that it felt like something new. B

Divorce Meeting
This was a two-joke sketch (puns based on topics that come up during a divorce and the divorcing couple’s song inexplicably playing over and over), but those two jokes went together – or didn’t go together – in a delightfully dissonant way and they were just so strange to appear in a real-life situation that this sketch worked in a way that defies standard comprehension. B

One Direction perform “Story of My Life”
They definitely harmonized well together, I’ll give them that. B-

Weekend Update
-The Jokes: Cecily did show some signs of developing her own style, but she’s still laughing at too many of her own jokes.  This Week’s Story That Was Funnier Than the Punchline: towels being the big seller on Black Friday. B-
-The Segments: -Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy: Jacob keeps coming back, and he does the same thing each time, and it keeps getting better and better.  But it ain’t no XBox 360! B+
-Jebediah Atkinson: Jebediah got in a few cool digs, but it wasn’t as balls-out as his first appearance, though that was a tough act to follow. B

Michelangelo Unveils David
Yeah, I guess this was an obvious joke, but I’ve never seen an entire sketch built around it.  Actually hearing “it doesn’t even reach past the balls” verbalized went a long way. B-

White Christmas
You can call attention to race without being racist, and this sketch really wasn’t racist, but it also wasn’t very funny.  Most of the gags were obvious and pedestrian.  Paul Rudd playing multiple characters was kind of amusing, I guess.  And Bobby was having a great time in the gospel choir. B-

Slim Santa
Having just seen the Glengarry Glen Christmas sketch again on the Christmas special a few days ago, I was wondering if this was going to be a sequel to that, based on the opening shot.  Then I wondered if, with Will Ferrell there, Ed Asner was going to show up as Santa.  (Good thing he didn’t, honestly, because Elf is not a Christmas movie that should be toyed with.) Instead, we got this, which was disturbing, and not in a way I think they were going for. C

Boyfriend Ghosts
“Naked booby aloit” was certainly worth a chuckle. B-

One Direction perform “Through the Dark”
They just did not sound good.  They’re certainly not my cup of tea, but I hold no ill will against 1D.  But … this just did not sound good. C-

Tales of Bill Brasky
I was so excited when this sketch started, and I started spreading the word via text, FaceBook, and Twitter, so I didn’t quite catch every line.  Basically I was too amped to really know how well this was working.  In all honesty, I’ve got to say that Bill Brasky sketches often aren’t as funny as just reciting facts about Brasky.  I’m usually not one to say that the audience response matters as far as whether or not SNL is succeeding, but the rhythm of Brasky sketches really requires good punctuation by laughter.  And historically the audience has not known what to make of these Tales.  It certainly didn’t help that this episode’s crowd was filled with One Directioners this episode.  But seriously, how has it taken this long since Will Ferrell left the show to resurrect this sketch for one of his guest appearances?  Also, what is it about 90’s basketball players that makes references to them automatically hilarious? B+

Even though they trotted them out for the monologue, Paul wasn’t overshadowed by the MG this time.  But then there was a whole bunch of guest stars.  But they weren’t overused, so he wasn’t overshadowed by them either.  If he was going to be overshadowed, it would have been because of his own tendency to settle in with the cast without making a spectacle of himself.  But he did get a few showcase moments of his own.  And we already love him anyway.
This episode had more recurring sketches than normal for this season, partially due to all the guest stars.  Nothing really felt tired, though.  Nothing was really tremendous, either.  Most of the episode went down pretty easily, but there was nothing here that I’d be clamoring to see over and over again.  But I wouldn’t complain if they just happened to pop up.
One significant issue with this episode was that the new cast members really got overshadowed after having really come into their own.  Where was Kyle Mooney?  Oh well, it was just one episode.  There’s no reason to worry it’ll become a pattern.

Nothing’s really standing out for Best Sketch of the Episode, so the tiebreaker goes to Brasky: