Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sunday Morning Quarterback – Sofia Vergara & One Direction

Welcome back to another Sunday Morning Quarterback. I was apprehensive about this episode of SNL for a couple reasons. First I was worried about the versatility of Sofia Vergara. I’ve never seen her stretch in a role; she’s always sexy and naïve. Also, I had zero interest in the musical guest. But both Jay1 and I were both intrigued about the arrival of Kate McKinnon.

(Before the show I predicted we’d see The Manuel Ortiz Show, Kalle, Shanna and Drunk Uncle. In my predictions, as in life, I was 50%.)

As usual here’s our rating scale.

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

Mitt Romney on CSPAN – This bit was funny. What’s really funny is how this is every politician behaves, but it’s also one of the identifying traits of Romney. The constant pandering was hilarious. I want to be known as the cat neutering President. The stuff with cockfighting, piercing and diabetes was gold. And that ending “Hey New York, let’s start the show.” Comedy.

Rating: Phil Hartman

Monologue – This was a solid monologue. She stood out there alone and held her own. That’s commendable. That she was greeted with “open arms and pulled down pants” was a funny line. It was funny.

Rating: Tim Meadows

Just Friends – This was “eh.” It was funnier before the product was actually revealed. Then it just became corny. And it kept going on. I feel like the writers went for the easy joke rather than reaching for the funny joke.

Rating: Jim Breuer

Bein’ Quirky with Zooey Deschanel – This sketch just kept getting better and better as it went on. Killan has a Michael Cera? Abby Elliot as Deschanel? It’s like comedy, for hipsters. And Wiig’s Drew Barrymore was golden. It should be noted that Vergara did a very acceptable Fran Dresher. The jokes were funny, the performances were perfect. Great sketch.

Rating: Phil Hartman

Almost Pizza – First off, what was up with the audio? It sounded like someone left a mic on in the studio. But this bit was way funny. I loved how evasive Wiig’s character was about it being almost pizza. And Hader’s growing paranoia had me dying. I also liked how we never found out what it was.

Rating: Phil Hartman

Channel Five Santa Barbara Action News Team – This was a funny bit. I dig Armisen’s goofballs. I liked how he was aloof and oblivious. I dug how everyone hated him. Again, it was all Armisen, which is a good thing in my book.

Rating: Tim Meadows

Gilly – I’ve got no words for this sketch. Part of me is pissed because the “annoying, yet in explicably popular Kristen Wiig character that will make an obligartory appearance” I picked for this episode was Shanna. But I’m also perplexed how anyone thought this was a good sketch to put on. Really, who is championing Gilly sketches?

Rating: Chris Elliot

One Direction Performance #1 – This performance makes me feel old, mainly because I’ve experienced way too many generations of “boy bands.” I must say that I dig how there’s a hint of edge within the characters in this group. There’s even one who looks mildly ethnic. I will say that the lack of choreography makes me think a) they’ve got to rhythm and b) they won’t crossover with Black audiences.

Weekend Update: Apart from the obvious Cee-Lo joke, this was golden. Some of the best lines; “Archery in public schools? What could possibly go right?” “Dr. Google von Turbotax. Oh and everything out of Drunk Uncle’s mouth was awesome as always. No joke, Jay1 and I were texting Drunk Uncle lines back and forth all night. “Netflix me.” “Is this wifi organic?” I would not be mad to see Drunk Uncle exploited into a quickie movie.

The Manuel Ortiz Show – I called this sketch two weeks ago, because yes, I feel SNL writers are that lazy/predictable. Killam looked awesome and his dance moves were good. I really could have done without the One Direction kids hamming it up. But their appearance here buttresses my theory that they lack rhythm.

Rating: Jim Breuer and Chris Farley

Lil Poundcake – Again with the audio problems? Also this is the third time this season they’ve used this ad. It makes me think something went wrong behind the scenes and they had to cut to something.

Rating: Tim Meadows

Watch What Happens Live – I’ve only every seen Andy Cohen on Fallon, so my point of reference for this sketch is a bit muted. I’m guessing Killam did a good job of doing Cohen. Desmond Tutu was funny as was the question from nobody. Ooh look, there’s a Kate McKinnon apperance. And for the record I’d totally watch Tutu Hot Tutu Handle.

Rating: Andy Samberg

One Direction Performance #2 – Yeah, I’m already over this band. It’s obvious that a) they can’t dance and b) there was some lip-synching going on. Back in my day a boy band had to be able to dance and they put on a show. Why one time I saw Menudo…

Pantene Commercial – Ok, so apparently Kate McKinnon does accents. The premise of this sketch was funny, but it went on way too long and with no turn at all. McKinnon’s accent was solid, but her performance was cringe worthy. Hopefully by next week she’ll have learned how to mask the fact that she’s reading off cards.

Rating: Andy Samberg

74th Annual Hunger Games – This was a pretty weak five to one sketch. I loved Jay Pharoah’s cameo, which bordered on being meta. And the Hunger Games Puppy Bowl was funny, but beyond that it was pretty blah.

Rating: Jim Breuer

Final Thoughts – This show had highs (Drunk Uncle, Bein’ Quirky, Almost Pizza) and lows (Gilly, a weak five to one sketch and no digital short.) But the highs were pretty strong. Jay Pharoah should probably be worried as new hire Kate McKinnon was worked into more sketches this week than he was, and it was her first episode. This was a very decent episode.

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