Sunday, January 15, 2012
Sunday Morning Quarterback - Daniel Radcliffe & Lana Del Ray
Welcome to my first post of the year and the first thing I've posted that wasn't just a youtube clip since March.
I've actually been dying to write one of these. Skip Serpico and I came up with this idea a long time ago but since he's generally taken responsibility for the blog over the last year and and a half, I haven't posted much of anything. The one time actually attempted to write this column he beat me too it.
Lucky for me he missed SNL last night.
Bear with me, I'm rusty.
I missed last week’s SNL with Charles Barkley so I was excited to catch this week’s episode. Even though I've never seen a Harry Potter Movie and I'm only vaguely familiar with Lana Del Ray.
I am aware that Radcliffe does theater so I was certain he'd be a good performer, my only real trepidation was that he would fuck around and do a musical monologue which are usually a real turn off if they’re not done right.
Let’s get it.
(Our rating system as always)
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?
Cold Open - Message from Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney being so insanely out of touch that when he discusses his life it sounds like an alien trying to blend in is a funny concept. It’s executed nicely and well performed by Sudeikis. I laughed when Romney talked about his “human children”.
A little over midway through the bit, the joke switched from Romney being out of touch with people to being obsessed with firing people, a reputation he earned as a businessman. I like disconnected Romney better.
Rating: Tim Meadows
Monologue – Like I said, I’ve never watched an entire Harry Potter film. I was glad that the monologue played with the idea that doing Harry Potter bits would be predictable and lame not only because it would be obvious and lazy but also because over the years they’ve done it already. Some of the Potter references were lost on me, but it seemed to go over well.
Rating: Jim Breuer, Tim Meadows
Ricky Gervais – A fake commercial where Ricky Gervais, or the fact that America is on his dick when it comes to the golden globes is the joke. I couldn't tell. It was ok.
The premise, "you loved him on the golden globes, well now watch as he hosts...." was easy enough if not a bit predictable.
especially when it ended with Gervais hosting the BET awards, talking shit about a rapper and then being shot at. It was a disappointing end to a well acted yet only mildly funny bit.
Rating: David Spade, Jim Breuer, Andy Samburg
Target – Here’s a re-occurring bit that I never really look forward too, I never understood how it became a re-occcurring bit and I don’t miss it when it’s gone. Yet every time it’s on, I stare at it without laughing even once and when it’s over I think to myself, “that’s a funny bit”.
Because it is. Because Kristen Wiig is brilliant and the jokes come from all over the place: The cashier has a weird accent, leaves to shop in the middle of transactions and has bizarre sayings. The customers are funny, there’s almost always a wacky co-worker and there’s a weird manager now too. It’s packed with silly, and it works for some reason. If I never see it again though I’ll be ok with that.
Rating: Tim Meadows
You Can Do Anything – Ho…Lee…Crap….This is an incredible bit.
Find it on youtube or hulu or Netflix or wherever. This is one of the smartest, best written sketches I’ve seen on the show in a minute. It’s a perfect summary of (and jab at) the psyche of a very specific generation. It’s what SNL is supposed to be.
Rating: Phil Hartman
Spin The Bottle – Clearly the “Digital Short” even though it wasn’t introduced as a “Digital Short”.
Maybe it wasn’t. Either way it felt like a good one. It was random, ridiculous and creepy and the ending was absurd. That’s how I like my digital shorts. Everyone in it was great.
Tim Meadows, Norm McDonald
Delaware Fellas – It’s an off Broadway play for people who want to see Jersey Boys but who can’t afford the ticket. Get it? That’s the whole joke, which in and of itself is funny, but not all that funny. Yawn.
Hogwarts 2020 – Here’s the obligatory Harry Potter Sketch that we all knew was coming. It’s done well enough so that people like me could appreciate the joke while Harry Potter nerds probably shit into their socks from laughing so hard.
The gist was that Harry was one of those losers who peaked in high school and then continues to hang around reliving the past. Great impressions and a decent premise.
Tim Meadows, Norm MacDonald
Lana Del Ray Performance #1 – I like her. I’m not that familiar, but I know of her because I’m on youtube all the time and I see her name pop up all the time.
I know she’s new but she seemed confident if a little nervous and she sounds good and is beautiful. Song was interesting enough to make me google her. Generally though, unless the musical guess is someone I’m a fan of, I use this time to talk on the phone or make an ill-advised sandwich or even worse, have a cigarette.
Weekend Update – As a SNL nerd, one of the first things that popped into my mind when I heard that Muammar Gaddafi was killed was that the Weekend Update bit where Fred Armisen and Vanessa Bayer play Gaddafi’s childhood friends.
I’m glad they brought them back as “childhood friends of Kim Jon Un.” It’s one of my favorite new bits. Casey Anthony’s dog was also a very funny guest.
X27B Theater Performance – This is another really smart, really well written bit and the 2nd funniest sketch of the show, right behind the “You Can Do Anything” sketch that was flat out brilliant. It’s takes place 100 years in the future where a crowd of people watch an educational recreation of what life was like in the year 2012.
Emailing, looking at internet porn, putting on a suit, sitting in traffic and a lack of domesticated wolverines are concepts the audience of the future find absurd and hilarious.
Glenda Okones Campaign ad – This is a sketch about a candidate who is running a smear campaign against herself that didn’t make me laugh at all. You mean to tell me that not 1 writer could come up with a better bit for one of the other women on the show?
I love Kristen Wiig but sometimes she’s in sketches for the sake of being in a sketch and It didn’t seem like anything was happening in the sketch that the other women couldn’t do. I say this because of a whole separate conversation that Skip Serpico and I had about Kristen Wiig a few weeks ago about how she’s brilliant but overexposed. Also I’m attracted to Abby Elliot (she’s cute) and Nasim Pedrad (she’s hot) and generally want to see them more. Also they showed this commercial 3 times.
The Jay Pharoah Show – This was funny. Basically poking fun at Jay Pharoah and everything about him. Here’s the whole bit: He’s there to interview Daniel but doesn’t know or care who he his, he just waits for him to stop talking long enough to do an impression of Denzel, Will Smith and Chris Rock.
And not even in any context, just like, “oh, well you know what Denzel would say right now…?” It was just him waiting to crowbar his impressions into the show. Just like his entire existence on the SNL so far. Smart, Meta, and Odd.
Norm MacDonald, Chris Elliot (almost), Tim Meadows
Lana Del Ray Performance #2 – Same as before.
GOP Survey – Kristen Wiig being Kristen Wiig in a good way. A minute into this and I had to check my watch to double check that it was actually 10 to 1 because that’s exactly what it felt like. And if you don't know what a 10 to 1 sketch is, you shouldn't even be reading this.
And it was. In a good way.
Headz Up – A boring social commentary about how people are always on their phones all the time now. That’s why you need this device, so it can tell you “you’re on a bull” or “you’re in traffic” because everyone is dumb from gadgets these days.
The other social commentaries in this episode were way better.
David Spade, Jim Breuer
Final Thoughts – for an episode that I went into with no expectations, I can say I was pleasantly surprised. Host was solid, some really funny, smart, strong bits. Jay Pharoah was in a potential reoccurring bit, “You Can Do Anything” was brilliant, "X27B" was really strong, Update was good, Digital Short was good and the bits that I didn’t like weren’t really all that bad.
It was altogether solid show with some great highlights.