SNL Recap October 4, 2014: Sarah Silverman/Maroon 5

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SNL: Sarah Silverman, Maroon 5 (CREDIT: YouTube Screenshot)

This review was originally posted on Starpulse in October 2014.

It has been 20 years since Sarah Silverman was an “SNL” featured player for a single season.  In the past year, she had a stand-up special on HBO and guest starred on a few episodes of “Masters of Sex.”  This is all to say, she does not have any major projects at the moment, nor does she have that strong a connection to “SNL,” so there was no obvious reason for her to be hosting at this time.  The episode she hosted ended up having a similar vibe, insofar as most of the sketches did not have an immediate reason for existing.  That is not necessarily a bad thing, and it points to the show’s willingness so far in Season 40 to avoid relying on recurring material.  Ultimately, this episode was not cohesive enough to have any truly classic moments, but it was quietly encouraging, if you allow yourself to view the show with a generous spirit.  Let’s take a closer look at each of the sketches:

60 Minutes – There is a certain concept in improv and sketch comedy known as “game.”  It is the unusual thing about the scene that is built upon and explored as the scene progresses.  In this interview with the president courtesy of Steve Kroft, the game appeared to be ISIS members tweeting a series of tweets that inexplicably combined plans of jihad with more secular sentiments, such as an emoji of a ghost with an eyepatch or the hashtag #TheVoiceIsBack.  But that gag lasted only about a minute, while the rest of the sketch was a bunch of less fully-formed ideas. C+

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SNL Recap November 17, 2012: Jeremy Renner/Maroon 5

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My feelings about erotic asphyxiation have always been complicated.

Cold Opening – Booknotes
Reading sexually explicit exploits in a matter-of-fact, calm tone – that’s how you do it.  Also, thanks for the shit-faced grin on Fred Armisen’s face. B

Jeremy Renner’s Monologue
Wow.  Most awkward monologue ever?  Not bad considering. B-

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SNL Recap November 5, 2011: Charlie Day/Maroon 5

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Still phrazy after all these years!

Cold Opening – A Message from the Ghost of Muammar Gaddafi
This is one of those Fred-centric sketches in which the humor is generally derived from Fred’s goofy mannerisms and conversational tone of voice, juxtaposed with the fact  that he is playing an unsavory character.  There weren’t any particular funny lines, but it is amusing to think that the real (ghost of) Gaddafi would talk like that. B-

Charlie Day’s Monologue
I imagine that this monologue was more amusing for fans of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, who would actually recognize how similar this was to Charlie and Danny DeVito’s interactions on Always Sunny.  It would also have helped if one has been a fan of SNL long enough to know that DeVito has hosted himself six times and that it made sense that he would could serve as mentor to Charlie.  Since I met both of these requirements, this worked for me. B

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