Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Morning Quarterback – Jimmy Fallon & Michael Buble

Jay1 and I thought long and hard about this episode last week. We debated it back and forth. We couldn’t quite figure out if we were excited that Jimmy Fallon was returning or disappointed he was coming back.

We agree that Fallon can be funny, but he was often most funny when he was breaking in a sketch. And he didn’t really have all that many characters that we couldn’t wait for him to revisit. Still, he was fearless and would go the distance for comedy. Basically; we had no idea what this episode would hold.

(As usual, here’s our rating system)

Phil Hartman – Comedic gold
Chris Farley – Definitely funny, but kinda messy
Norm MacDonald – 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

Sully & Denise Cold Open – Opening with a throwback character is a bold choice. And I’m not going to lie; I was genuinely curious what Patrick Sullivan had been up to in the past decade. Just as in the past, this sketch was well written. And seeing Amy Pohler and Rachael Dratch again was pretty dope. This sketch pretty much just coasted on nostalgia.

Rating: Tim Meadows

Monologue – This was a weird mixture of elements. On one hand it’s the “walking monologue” one of the monologues that’s entirely underused recently. On another it’s Fallon with a guitar, which is sort of like a returning character. The Hanukkah verse was dope and it was cool seeing Lorne, because I haven’t seen him in forever. It was a fun monologue, but not really funny.

Rating: Jim Breuer

Today Show – This was a weird sketch. It barely featured Fallon who a) is funny and b) is hosting. It almost felt like a throwaway sketch someone had in a draw that needed an ending so they tossed Regis in. Maybe Fallon was doing a favor for a struggling writer or maybe he was being selfless and ceded his screen time to Nasim Pedrad and Kristen Wiig. Either way, the sketch just seemed off. When Fallon shoved Pedrad it did look mad funny.

Rating: David Spade, Jim Breuer

Michael Buble’s Christmas Duets – Decent bit. But coming off the heels of last week’s two sketches that revolved around minor impressions, it felt a bit redundant. Fallon’s Justin Bieber must have been a revelation to anyone who hasn’t seen him do it weekly on his show. But his Russell Brand was spot on, Wiig’s Taylor Swift was funny and Fred Armisen’s Thom Yorke was solid. Also we out look at Jay Pharoah for the week.

Rating: Jim Breuer, Andy Samberg

Dressing Room Sketch – Initially I was excited about this, because I thought Fallon was resurrecting the forgotten “host in a dressing room” sketch. Instead we get Fallon poking fun at himself via Andy Samberg. Turns out “Jimmy Fallon” isn’t all that funny.

Rating: Andy Samberg, Jim Breuer

Christmas Dinner Party – This sketch looked as though it were another vehicle for Wiig to chew scenery, but it really wasn’t that bad. Fallon and Wiig were equally nutty and the deflating of expectations was perfect. Wrap it up with an absurd ending and you’ve got a sketch that’s solid. Also "Freggie" is an awesome name.

Rating: Norm MacDonald, Tim Meadows

Tommy Palmese – This sketch was brilliant. I loved the pull quotes. I loved the embracing of awkward humor. I loved that I felt like I could actually see that play somewhere off Broadway tomorrow if I wanted to. I also loved how empty the theater was. This was gold. I want to see “Half Jewish, Half Italian, Completely Neurotic.”

Rating: Phil Hartman, Norm MacDonald

Seasons Greeting: Cool little throwback. I remember how dope the first one of these was back in the day. It was so weird and unexpected. And then it became a tradition, so I’m glad to see it appropriately return tonight. It was dope seeing everyone play their parts again.

Michael Buble Performance #1 – I can’t front; I totally zone out on this one. I completely missed it. Maybe it was his crooning and how it soothed me into a lull like I’d never experienced, but I can’t recall anything about this performance. Not even what song he sang.

Weekend Update – This was oddly disappointing. I’m not the biggest fan of Get In The Cage, but I enjoyed the Paul Brittan cameo (he actually got to speak this week!.) And having Amy Pohler, Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon join Seth on Update was the moment everyone expected. On a side note; I think Tina Fey won. The hottest gift is the crumpled twenty dollar bill, and “Barbie and Barbie…and crabs” were the best joke to my ear.

Beethoven – This bit slayed me! First off, I liked how Beethoven’s “band” was playing “Tighten It Up.” That totally tickled me. Fallon totally sold his front man persona. The corny jokes that were period perfect, his dance move and his MC bravado were perfect. Even the individual solos were funny. And Horatio playing Mozart was funny. I saw no flaw with one.

Rating: Phil Hartman, Chris Farley

War Horse – This sketch became oddly meta for me. I was much like the couple watching Warm Horse; at first I found the sketch off-putting but by the end I was cheering along. Honestly things got much better after the intermission. It when we’re introduced to Taran Killam’s awesome German accent. It where we see Keenan’s puppetry and its’ when the horse talks. This was good business.

Rating: Tim Meadows, Norm MacDonald

Michael Buble Performance #2 – There’s something about Michael Buble that makes me thing he’s pulling a joke over on everyone. Like he knows something the rest of us don’t. It’s his smile that’s almost a smirk. Yes he’s got a soothing voice, but his smirk is distracting and damn near sinister.

Tim Tebow Meets Jesus – First off; Sudekis plays The Devil and Jesus? That’s dope. Secondly, Killam’s Tebow his hilarious in a one-dimensional sort of way. Sudekis can totally carry a sketch like this. And it’s really funny. But, why isn’t the host in the sketch? Did Fallon object to the ragging on Tebow’s religious beliefs? You heard the rumor here first.

Rating: Norm MacDonald, Tim Meadows

Final Thoughts – This was a decent episode considering the returning alumni host had very few reoccurring characters to revisit. Fallon did a good job of sharing with the current cast and bringing former cast members back. Of course given his history, there were expectations that weren’t quite reached, but all in all it wasn’t a disappointed episode. The highs were quite high and the lows were barely lows. That said, Fallon’s absence from the final sketch is quite curious.

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