SNL Season Finale Recap May 19, 2012: Mick Jagger

Leave a comment

Cold Opening – The Lawrence Welk Show
I will usually make note – if not outright criticize – a recurring sketch when we know exactly where it is going, but I will often concede that there may be audience members who are seeing this sketch for the first time and will find it perfectly amusing, having no idea about the repetition. But the Lawrence Welk Show sketches are so popular by now that I think most viewers knew what was coming. Luckily, Jon Hamm was fully committed to his unusual character, and Wiig went even further than she usually does, getting a little too close for comfort with Hamm and that statue fountain. And it actually ended with Dooneese hooking up with the male singer, so that was different. B

Mick Jagger’s Monologue
It looks like Mick Jagger. Let’s not kick him to the curb. Simply put, Mick seemed to just be himself for the monologue.  His answers to those FAQ’s weren’t hilarious, but they felt like a fun conversation. It’s nice to know that Mick’s cognitive faculties are still intact, as that has not always been clear during his performances the last few years. B+

More

SNL Recap May 12, 2012: Will Ferrell/Usher

Leave a comment

Cold Opening – Biden’s Room
Biden’s presence in political sketches the past few seasons has generally worked in SNL‘s favor, as he brings a silly energy that tends to mix up the staid formula that has set in for most recent political sketches.  Biden’s starring role – along with Will’s goofy-at-a-Hall-of-Fame-level Dubya – set the tone for an episode that was at its best when it was seriously silly. B+

Will Ferrell’s Monologue
The cue card gag was on a par with Steve Martin saying, “Line?” at the end of the Not Gonna Phone It In Tonight cold open.  Will Ferrell and Mom = Will Ferrell and emotions, which is always a formula for at least some success. B

One-a-Day Extra Strength Nasaflu
Well, one doesn’t really need any reason to listen to Will Ferrell scream-sneeze, but it would have been nice to have more of a sketch built around it. B

More

SNL Recap May 5, 2012: Eli Manning/Rihanna

1 Comment

Cold Opening – Fox and Friends
“Baseball is a land sport” was one of the corrections – I wonder what they claimed otherwise.  As usual, the corrections were the best part, and they can only work in an age when pausing is easy.  The bits with Bobby as Brian Kilmeade were also amusing, including the lines about pandas. B

Eli Manning’s Monologue
Monologues have gone to the well of “host claims to know New York, but gets it all wrong” plenty of times before, but they usually work, so that’s fine.  I thought I fully knew where this was going at first, but there were some surprises, and Eli was sufficient. B

More

SNL Recap April 14, 2012: Josh Brolin/Gotye

Leave a comment

We need beans, like, yesterday.

Republican Candidates at a Bar
It felt like this sketch could have been written months ago, and SNL was just waiting for everyone besides Romney to drop out before airing it.  Humorously keen observations were made about each candidate.  The digs at Rick Perry’s propensity for gaffes in this sketch were the best digs at him all season. B+

Josh Brolin’s Monologue
It was nice to see that Josh Brolin was comfortable enough to get through his monologue (mostly) by himself, despite not having much material.  I got that he only said one word as Tommy Lee Jones because Tommy Lee isn’t a big talker, but it would have been nice to hear more of that impression, because based on the MIB3 trailer, he has his cadence down well. B-

More

SNL Recap April 7, 2012: Sofia Vergara/One Direction

Leave a comment

eBay of Pigs!

Cold Opening – Road to the White House
The best part of all those cookie-cutter Mitt Romney sketches from this season has been Mitt attempting to sound like an actual human with actual human interests, so a compilation of those bits was an apt choice. B

Sofia Vergara’s Monologue
Rather lightweight, but the joke about how Hispanic people age fast initially and then stop aging completely was funny, despite being based on a very small portion of reality. B

More

SNL Recap March 10, 2012: Jonah Hill/The Shins

Leave a comment

Coolio: 1963-3162

Cold Opening – The Rush Limbaugh Show
The gag got old, but there was enough variety such that the laughs had no definitive endpoint.  Taran’s Rush was solid; at first, I figured that Bobby would be playing him, and then for about a minute or so, I thought it was Jason.  So what I’m saying is, Taran did a good job of playing what I imagine Jason Sudeikis playing Rush Limbaugh would be like. B

Jonah Hill’s Monologue
Jonah does a good job playing pompous.  Now that he’s lost weight, maybe he should get fewer lovable schlub roles and more entitled jerks. B

More

SNL Recap March 3, 2012: Lindsay Lohan/Jack White

Leave a comment

Kristen Wiig!

Cold Opening – Fox Report
After buttering us up for months with all this talk about Mitt Romney’s “human sons,” they finally get their day on screen!  In this season’s batch of cookie-cutter Mitt Romney cold opens, the references to his sons have consistently been one of the best moments, so they all shined brightly, whereas Mitt didn’t have much else to talk about otherwise.  There was some sort of joke waiting to happen with Kid Rock, but it never did.  I must have been too generous to those other Romney cold opens, because this one was better, and I’m giving it about the same grade. B-

Lindsay Lohan’s Monologue
It was quite alarming (pun not initially intended, but accepted) when Lindsay stepped off the stage, and the sirens went off.  I really did not know what that was at first.  I thought it might have been a fire or a security alarm.  Anyway, the references to Lindsay’s past were expected, but the ways in which they went down were surprising and witty.  Jimmy’s cameo was expected, Jon Hamm’s was not – thanks for the surprises, and for making them meaningful. A-

More

SNL Recap February 18, 2012: Maya Rudolph/Sleigh Bells

Leave a comment

As always, Worst in Show went to Ralph.

Cold Opening – New York Sports Now
If this was an accurate representation, then I didn’t realize how Lin-sane these puns have been.  Instead of introducing the racial insensitivity aspect, I think I would have preferred if they would have just continued with the punning, which, while not particularly unique, would have been steadily goofy.  Instead, it settled into a stale formula. B-

Maya Rudolph’s Monologue
Another singing monologue?  Ah, well, I guess it’s Maya. B-

More

SNL Recap February 11, 2011: Zooey Deschanel/Karmin

Leave a comment

All the dialogue is either whispered or screamed.

Cold Opening – Mitt Romney
I would have been happy if this sketch had only lasted a minute and thus only included Mitt talking about the Super Bowl. When Jason Sudeikis as Mitt Romney talks about football, it is a hoot. I was cracking up through that portion. Then he talked about other stuff. Then a dog kept barking. So, if this sketch had just been the first minute combined with the incessant dog barking, then we would have been good. B-

Zooey Deschanel’s Monologue
At first, I was surprised that recent divorcee Zooey Deschanel was singing a Valentine’s Day song, but then it was about the dark side of Valentine’s Day, and it all made sense. That moment when she twirled her hair was so Zooey. Was that improvised? B+

More

SNL Recap February 4, 2011: Channing Tatum/Bon Iver

Leave a comment

Cold Opening – Newt Gingrich: Moon President
It is always gratifying to see something a little unusual, particularly when it comes to political cold opens.  This was a clever idea as well, as it sprang from an actual Newt Gingrich idea.  As for the execution, the jokes were on target, but flatly delivered. B-

Channing Tatum’s Monologue
So often lately, when the hosts interact with “audience members” during the monologue, it can feel so forced.  But as Channing’s past customers, Kristen, Vanessa, Fred, and Andy all actually had something to build a performance around.  Fred’s line, “I’m not sure yet, but you should keep trying” was gold, and Andy’s Yikes-I-better-get-out-of-here reaction was also worth a quick laugh. B

It’s Getting Freaky with Cee-Lo Green
Not even Bill as Colonel Nasty could make this rendition of “It’s Getting Freaky” worthwhile, as he offered little more advice than, “Touch her in the right place.”  He didn’t even laugh enough!  Some of Cee-Lo’s aside comments – “searching for my neck” – were worth a chuckle. C

More

Older Entries