Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday Morning Quarterback – Charlie Day & Maroon 5

Ok, so I missed the Anna Faris episode. I was on vacation so not only did I not write about it, but I honestly haven’t even seen it. I’m guessing I’ll catch it on reruns, but then again considering how word on the street is that the episode was wack (like I said it would be) it might never get rerun.

Anyway, as a fan of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, I’m pumped that Charlie Day is getting his moment to shine. Going in I was actively rooting for this episode to be funny. Plus, the writers and cast had some time off, so hopefully they used it to their advantage.

Here’s our handy rating scale, so you at home can understand how we break things down.

Phil Hartman – Comedic gold
Chris Farley – Definitely funny, but kinda messy
Norm McDonald – Funny, but not for everyone
Tim Meadows – Solid Bit
Andy Samberg – Funny, but overstayed it’s welcome
Jim Breuer- Crowd pleaser, but a bit obvious
David Spade – Trying too hard
Chris Elliot – Didn’t click at all, how did it get on

Ghost of Gaddafi – First off it’s dope to see that SNL dusted this impression off one last time while it was still viable. It was well written, decently topical but more importantly it was scathing and biting. It was actually a bit that had some teeth, poking fun at U.S. foreign relations, the tolerance of dictators and the current bloodlust sweeping the nation. It also had the easily digestible jokes too, about hell and the “bro” bit, but they didn’t undercut the ruthlessness of the sketch. And it was incredibly brief too. It may have been the perfect cold open.

Rating: Phil Hartman

Monologue – I appreciated how it reminded me of an old school monologue, where the host doing their own thing and trying to be funny on their own. His bit about NYC from a two year old perspective wasn’t funny, but it was refreshing. Seeing Danny Devito come on, felt like a cheap cry for applause. He and Charlie have chemistry and it works, but to rely on it for the monologue was lazy. Also, when was the last time anyone saw Danny Devito and he didn’t seem like he was drunk?

Rating: Jim Breuer, Andy Samberg

Kim’s Fairytale Divorce – This sketch could have been crappy, but it was anchored by strong performances. Kristen Wiig’s Kris Kardashian was spot on. And Taran Killam’s Bruce Jenner slayed me. It’s an easy target, but he totally sold it. And it was funny on several levels. It worked as great as a parody of E! programming. But poking fun at Kris desperate for attention and Kim’s love for Black guys worked really well. Jay Pharoah and Charlie Day felt sort of wedged into the bit, but they didn’t ruin it. And the other shows plugged at the end were mad funny.

Rating: Tim Meadows

Dr. Oz Show – I’ve yet to see Bill Hader in a skit where he wasn’t funny, so using him as Dr. Oz was a sound decision. As someone who avoids daytime tv, I’m not overly familiar with Dr. Oz, but Hader seemed to do a good job. Scatological humor is a bit obvious for me, but the sketch wasn’t too bad.

Rating: Jim Breuer, Andy Samberg.

Greek Gods – This bit was funny! It was so hammy, which was part of it’s charm. The through line for the bit was a tad tenuous, with the Greek economic crisis, but the bit worked on it’s own. It had the room to breathe and it played perfectly. Props on allowing a sketch with a) that many cast members and b) giving the cast enough time to play things through. The obvious Apollo joke does show that the writers still don’t know what to do with Black castmembers though.

Rating: Tim Meadows, Chris Farley

Getting Freaky with Cee-Lo Green – First, I guess Cee-Lo was finally arrived. Secondly, it’s nice to see that writers realize they have two Black cast members. The shots at Cee-Lo were obvious, but the “Big & Short section” made me laugh. The horn section was cool, but Hader almost stole the bit. From Colonel Nasty’s dance moves, to the combo of his square voice and pimp laugh, the character struck a chord. Instantly memorable character.

Rating: Chris Farley, Tim Meadows

Kings of Catchphrase Comedy 2 – This parody made me wish I could record the show, because it’s crammed full of jokes and they come in a flurry. There was nothing in this commercial that wasn’t gold. All of those comedians were hilarious in their lameness. As much as I love the Kings of Catchphrase Comedy ads, I wonder if they go over on people who don’t love stand-up as much as I do. Also, I love the fact that I’m sure there are some real comedians who have hurt feelings over this bit, because there’s nothing more funny than a comedian with hurt feelings.

Rating: Phil Hartman

Maroon 5 First Performance – I’m trying to pinpoint why I hate Adam Levine. I thin it’s his cockiness. But it might also be his tattoos. Maybe it the fact that they things he’s so much cooler and more entertaining and frankly talented than he really is. As for the song, I can’t tell if it’s a new song or something from an old album, because all their crappy songs sound like garbage.

Weekend Update – Bill Hader’s drunk Rick Perry was solid. Actually it was really funny. A Closer Look at Europe was amazing. I love when Seth gets the chance to go on a rant. And the groans form the audience on the Polish Sully and Dubai littering stories killed me. Then again, there are few things I love more than a good “too soon.” Kristen Wiig’s Judy Grimes never disappoints. And for some reason the Real Housemice of Avenue A slayed me. I don’t know why, but it tickled me to bits.

Because of One Dolphin – I dug the absurdity of it. Wiig’s director was hilarious in her aloofness. I loved how she was game for anything. Killam’s dolphin handler was goofy fun too. And the “Terry!” ending was perfectly acceptable, because of the tone of the sketch.

Rating: Chris Farley, Norm Macdonald

Maroon 5 Second Performance – This was horrible. It’s like Adam Levine and Travis McCoy are trying so hard to be cool and it’s just not working. I honestly don’t get the allure of Travis McCoy or Adam Levine, but then again, I am a music lover.

Seinfeld Murder Scene – This sketch was mad funny. Day could have toned down his performance a bit, but it still worked. The detective who’s clueless about pop culture was a great conceit. And the ending was dope. Is CSI Miami ever not an awesome punchline?

Rating: Norm Macdonald

Lil’ Poundcake – Um, this is how the episode ends? Were they running long or short? What got cut? It seems odd to use a recycled commercial from just two episodes to close things out. Interesting choice.

Final Thoughts: The writers clearly played to Day’s strengths and it worked out well. Honestly it really felt like the writers were doing their best to make the episode watchable, despite the musical guest. Also, it seems like they took the bashing the got from the Anna Faris episode to heart and really stepped things up. This was a really strong episode both in terms of performance and writing.

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