Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday Morning Quarterback – Emma Stone & Coldplay

You want to know the last book that I’ve read? It was Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller. If you dig SNL as much as I do, you should totally get your hands on a copy and devour all of the juicy tales about one of late night comedy’s longest lasting traditions.

Seriously, the book is good.

Anyway, I was moderately amped for this episode of SNL. I think Emma Stone’s got talent and she usually delivers. And I really enjoyed Coldplay’s first two albums and half of X&Y. I figured last night’s episode should have been decent. I was wrong. Sort of.

(Here's how we rate things around here)
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

Republican Debate - I was worried that this was going to run long like it did in the season premiere. Unfortunately it just felt like it ran ten minutes long. While I enjoyed Bill Hader’s very loose Rick Perry, most of the jokes felt like they were beating a dead horse. While the cutaways to the other candidate’s reactions of Perry’s floundering were funny, they weren’t enough to salvage the sketch. Neither was the homage to Of Mice and Men.

Rating: Jim Breuer

Monologue – This is really where the wheels begin to fall off the show. The closest thing the monologue came to being funny was with the “web” malfunction. The gist of the monologue was Andy Samberg tossing up zingers and cracking wise, for the entire monologue. Emma Stone appeared to be promoting a movie that’s six months away from hitting theaters. And poor Andrew Garfield, being pulled into an incredibly awkward monologue.

Rating: David Spade, Andy Samberg

Secret Word – On the low, this is one of the most excrutiatingly long reoccurring sketches on currently appearing on SNL. I feel really bad for Paul Brittain and Taran Killam because they’ve literally got nothing to do in this sketch. Oh and did everyone notice that two consecutive female hosts have made out with inanimate objects? Coincidence? I will say that Hader’s host’s line about Windex was funny. Sadly it was the funniest part of the entire sketch.

Rating: David Spade, Andy Samberg

Herb Welch: Falling Ice – I’ll admit to liking Hader’s Herb Welch. I think he’s a pretty funny character. I really dig how he’s gone from being just a “past his prime” reporter to being downright surly. When he muttered, “pick a name” under his breath, I almost cried. And when Wiig and Hader almost broke during the scene, it was pretty coolI really liked the nutty ending.

Rating: Chris Farley, Tim Meadows

SNL Digital Short – Yet another song parody. It had a completely predictable ending with the rain and then the lightning strike aimed for absurdity but just came off lame.

Rating: Jim Breuer, David Spade

Coldplay Peformance #1 – Wow, for two weeks in a row SNL has featured a band that has as many detractors as they have fans. Coldplay’s music has become so inoffensive and unimaginative that it’s actually come back around and borders on being offensive. I will say that I liked the stage set up. All that black light stuff was really cool. All that was really missing was the “Atronomical Ways” poster.

Weekend Update – Weekend Update hit it out of the park again this week. First off Jason Sudekis’ Devil is always pretty funny, but the way the whole Penn State played was really brilliant. They way that they phrased everything so that they never actually mentioned “molestation” was very clever. The audience was left to fill in the blanks with the information that they already knew. That bit was awesome.

I also loved Roderick the penguin. And of course Garth & Kat are always welcome. It’s always dope to see Fred Armisen tossing up curveballs and Kristen Wiig showing off her improv prowess. If MacGruber can get his own movie, I want a Garth & Kat Broadway show.

Les Jeunes de Paris – First off, I wonder if this is a sketch that they pitch to every host and hope that they’re game or if the host requests it? Either way, while I’m sure it’s an incredibly divisive sketch, I dig it. This was certainly the most humorous yet, but mostly because of the French stereotypes. It’s also the funniest skit of the night, which is bad since it’s entirely in French.

Rating: Norm McDonald, Tim Meadows

Bridal Shower Gifts – Another funny sketch (two in a row.) It was funny not only because of the inappropriate gifts, but also because it actually had consequences. Wallace actually realized she’d crossed the lines, which made the gifts that much funnier. I applaud the writers for not just making it a one note bit. And the ending was funny too.

Rating: Chris Farley, Tim Meadows

Coldplay Performance #2 – Yeah, seeing them perform has convinced me that I need to write up a column explaining why I’m kinda over Coldplay. I will say that seeing Chris Martin freak it with the dance moves at the end was quite the memorable moment. I’m glad he’s not self-conscious about it.

Adele Sing-Along – This was a funny bit. The cliché about females with the upped ante from Kristen Wiig’s boss followed by the exaggerated guys was funny enough, but the weepy night cleaners (especially Armisen’s janitor) slayed me. Equally slaying; the meta moment with Coldplay. The crying could have gotten old, but they pulled it off.

Rating: Chris Farley, Tim Meadows

Technology Hump – Jay Pharoah sighting! But in addition to Jay Pharoah, this sketch was a beast! It’s got a funny premise (a show devoted to technology humping) and it actually delivers. The dialogue, setting and “acting” of the tech was priceless. And the threesome bit was glorious. I want to see this sketch come back.

Rating: Phil Hartman, Norm McDonald

Final Thoughts: This episode was crazy lopsided. The bottom half was loaded with goodness, while the top half was a chore to sit through. But where the first half of the show was mostly a chore to sit though, the second half showed some really inspired bits with “Technology Hump” and the return of “Les Jeunes de Paris.” Next week should be interesting and is almost certainly going to feature puppets if not actual Muppets. I’m really sort of anxious to see what happens then.

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