Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Morning Quarterback – Josh Brolin & Gotye

Honestly, I had no idea what this episode was going to be going into it. I vaguely recall Josh Brolin’s first time hosting, but I don’t really know remember anything memorable happening.

I really didn’t have any clue what this episode would bring, other than Jay Pharoah would show up doing his Will Smith impression at some point in the night.

Are you familiar with 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

Republican Candidate Reunion – This is a pretty funny bit. It’s got a bit of the DNA from that sketch where Sudekis, Hader and Will Forte would tell anecdotes during a song and all chime in on the chorus and those bits were always funny. What’s really messed up is how this sketch was accurate more than anything else. But Mitt sending the bartender home with the tip in an envelope for her husband was pretty funny. Oh and Newt stealing nuts was pretty funny too.

Rating: Tim Meadows,

Monologue – This fell sort of flat. Like it fell flat enough to make me think that Josh Brolin wrote it himself. It’s like the jokes were almost there, but not quite. Like when brownies aren’t quite cooked enough and you end up with a batter-y mess. That’s how this monologue was. The spokesman for 90’s line was almost funny, but sounded like something a friend teased him about and he thought it was funny enough to say live in front of an audience. Oh, and we totally called the Will Smith in the monologue.

Rating: Chris Elliot

HBO First Look: Game of Thrones – Here’s another bit that probably started as a one-off line between friends (“it’s like this show is a joint production between a fantasy writer and a 13 year old boy”) that was barely fleshed out into a sketch. Even though I know “Sex” Ed Vincent probably doesn’t exist in that reality, Paul Brittan’s character could have pulled off the sketch better than Samberg’s character did.

Rating: David Spade, Jim Breuer

The Californians – Ok first and foremost the fact that Hader kept breaking was part of the joy of this sketch. The accents were all dumb funny and the poking of fun at L.A.’s driving culture was equally entertaining. I will say that I didn’t get what Kate McKinnon was doing in the sketch at all. Her part was lost on me.

Rating: Chris Farley, Tim Meadows

American’t Next Top Empire State of Mind Parody Artist – This sketch was dismal. Jay Pharoah isn’t seasoned enough to have sketches built around him, much less one of his shallow impressions. His Jay-Z isn’t really bad, but he’s more of a “One Note Hov.” Sadly, Pharoah was the best thing in this sketch. And in a weird twist of fate the parodies of the parodies were actually worse than the parodies they were parodying. I’m confused.

Rating: Chris Elliot

Laser Cats 7 – This was pretty awesome. Usually I appreciate Laser Cats because of it’s low budget awfulness, but this one was pretty solid. They did a great job of poorly writing homages to Spielberg flicks into it. And the cosign by Spielberg was also pretty dope. On an unrelated note, this certainly adds credence to the notion that Samberg is (finally) leaving the show.

Rating: Norm MacDonald

Gotye Performance #1 – I’m literally been listening to this song since November, so I’ve watched everyone jump on the Gotye bandwagon. I’m glad that dude is getting his due. The song is terribly catchy, which is why everyone loves it. It’s dope seeing it performed live. But Gotye doesn’t really have a stage presence. Also, I wish Kimbra’s entrance had been a bit more dynamic. I did enjoy how the song turned into an actual performance with her ignoring his pleas.

Weekend Update – It felt like a short Update this week. Only one guest appearance, but it was Garth and Kat, who always kill. The Rockbottom Supreme and the Philadelphia Museum of Bummers both had me weak. It just really felt so brief. And I’m honestly a little shocked that Seth couldn’t come up with any jokes about Zimmerman/Martin or Ozzie Guillen.

Piers Morgan Tonight – This sketch opened pretty strong with Sudekis as the head of tourism. Those other crazy Florida laws (Eye for an iPod, You Snooze You Lose, See Ya Later Alligator) were all very funny. Brolin’s Ozzie Guillen was adequate, but if I’m being honest he really sounded like he was doing a Mexican accent. Pharoah felt a bit wedged in here, but I can’t fault the guy for wanting to get some screen time.

Rating: Tim Meadows

Woodbridge High – This sketch was inspired. I want to say that out of everyone in this sketch, Taran Killam did it the best. And the reveal at the end was dope. (I’m not being too specific because I don’t want to ruin this bit in case you haven’t seen it.)

Rating: Phil Hartman

Digital Short #2 – Ok, so the first digital short was the one missing from last week? This was funny because 1) stalking is always funny and b) because I get the reference. This was solid.

Rating: Tim Meadows

Gotye Performance #2 – Again, this guy’s music is damn manic and kinetic, but his performance is way mellow. It’s quite the juxtoposition. I like the layers of this song. And while it’s not as catch as his first single, it’s entirely inoffensive. It’s actually a pretty cool song.

Booker T. Washington Prom – This sketch strikes a chord with me, because I’ve been in situations were I was chastised by teachers/principals/administrators who tried to shame up into doing right. Everyone one of Keenan’s lines were hilariously true. And Jay Pharoah’s Principal Frey is always pretty funny. I did enjoy seeing Pharoah break. Brolin was also in this sketch.

Rating: Tim Meadows

Final Thoughts – In hindsight the reason why I call this episode is because Brolin was an unknown quanity and the writers viewed him as such. This episode was refreshing in that it didn’t rely on established characters to carry the episode. But it was disappointing in that it equally didn’t rely on the host to do any heavy lifting. As weird as it sounds, Jay Pharoah was the backbone of this episode and that is a frightening thought. Still Pharoah performed well with the material he was given.

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