Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday Morning Quarterback – Bruno Mars

I can’t front; I know very little about Bruno Mars.  In fact it’s safe to say that before tonight I’d never heard one of his songs.  Honestly the only think I know about the dude is that he got popped for possession of coke in Vegas a few years back. 

I had no idea he was talented enough to be the host and musical guest for Saturday Night Live.  Either he really impressed them when he was the musical guest or he’s got an agent that would put Ari Gold to shame.  Either way I was oblivious. 

Of course when you have a host/musical guest type situation for every Justin Timberlake, you have a Brittney Spears.  And occasionally you have a hyphenate who doesn’t really need to do musical sketches, like Mick Jagger. 

Sadly Bruno Mars isn’t Timberlake or Jagger. 

Let’s get to the ratings;

Phil Hartman – Comedic gold
Chris Farley – Definitely funny, but kinda messy
Norm MacDonald – Funny, but not for everyone
Kristen Wiig – So-so premise saved by performer.
Tim Meadows – Didn’t hate it, didn’t love it, dripping with adequatulence
Darrell Hammond – Funny, but overstayed it’s welcome
Jim Breuer- Crowd pleaser, but a bit obvious
Robert Downey Jr – Brilliant performer, not a lot to work with
David Spade – Trying too hard
Janeane Garofalo – Weird weird, not weird funny

Presidential Debate – I liked the NYC stereotypes in the audience.  Romney’s pleadings were funny and the appearance by Tag was a nice touch.  The jab about Long Island was greatly appreciated.  And Tom Hanks’ popping up as the businessman was flawless.  Every little bit of business that Hanks did was perfect.  The tension between Obama and Romney was portrayed very well, though it’d be difficult to exaggerate what really happened. 

Rating: Kristen Wiig

Monologue – Of course it would be too much to ask for a monologue that didn’t incorporate singing.  But a guy could dream, right?  I liked that Bruno addressed credibility issues right off the bat.  I also liked the way Keenan’s “advice” played out.  Still, I wasn’t a fan of this monologue.

Rating: Jim Breuer

Chanel no. 5 – It’s a good parody of something that people were talking about this week.  But it lacked some bit.  Also, I really wanted to hear Taran go off the rails.  His subdued Brad Pitt is cool, but his normal Brad Pitt cracks me up every time. 

Rating: Tim Meadows

Haters – Wow, this skit was not good.  While shows like this still exist, parodying them was played out in 1996.  It’s the first sketch of the night a) Bruno Mars is already in drag and b) it’s really a horrible sketch.  Like this is some “post Update” material, and they’re leading with this? 

Rating: David Spade

Taco Bell – This was genius.  I really liked how they worked in both “make a run for the border” and “think outside the bun” into the ad. 

Rating: Phil Hartman

Pandora Headquarters – I liked the premise of chaos at Pandora’s headquarters.  The disaster aspect of it was funny.  I had a problem with an entire skit being built around Bruno’s vocal mimicry; it seemed corny.  And the whole Michael Jackson’s greatest hits felt like stroking Bruno’s ego.  I will admit that when the techs really got into “Beat It” it made me smile.  Oh and Louie Armstrong was pretty funny too. 

Rating: Jim Breuer

Sad Mouse – This was intriguing.  I pass Times Square every day on my way to work and I always do my best to avoid those people in costumes, so that avoidance is 100% real.  This is a very NYC sketch and the humor was pretty dark.  I actually loved it. 

Rating: Norm MacDonald

Bruno Mars Performance #1 – Firstly let me say that I love how big his band is and how animated they are.  I dig the choreography.  I love every movement.  Also; the song is pretty dope too.  Like I said, I’ve never heard one of his songs before, but this one was a really strong offering. 

Weekend Update – The Do’s & Don’ts were actually kind of wack.  I kept waiting to laugh and was less than happy when those laughs never came.  Stefon is always entertaining.  Some of his best bits; “The Lower Upper side” “Nick Nolte Gabana: and “Bark Ruffalo.” 

Merryville Brothers – I always love this sketch.  I like how well produced it is and how creepy everyone is.  Jay Pharoah slayed me with this riff on “boyfriend.”  And when Tom Hanks popped up I again was slayed.  I will say that Bruno Mars is clearly following the “Timberlake formula.”  I wonder if Justin is bitter and angry that he’s stuck honeymooning with Jessica Biel while Bruno Mars steals his material on SNL. 

Rating: Kristen Wiig

Franklin’s Dog Condoms – For some reason, I didn’t see this one coming.  I found it brillians.  “He’s your best friend, so why not be his?”  That sounds like such a real line from an ad.  “Let him keep his balls.”  Hilarious. 

Rating: Phil Hartman

Yeti’s Point – This sketch is a mess.  Bruno can’t keep a straight face nor can he memorize his lines.  Also, I swore Hader was going to have a “Christopher Lloyd” voice based on his appearance, so his voice threw me for a loop.  But this sketch wasn’t really funny.  I think I get what they were trying to do, but it really didn’t click at all. 

Rating: Janeane Garofalo

Dr. Zizmor – Again, this is a pretty funny NYC bit.  It’s solid, but it didn’t crack me up. 

Rating: Darrell Hammond

Bruno Mars Performance #2 – This song just didn’t catch me like the first one did.  Maybe because it was slower?  I can’t call it, but the song did nothing for me. 

Donkey Punch the Ballot – I can never get enough of UnderUnderground Records.  It’s easily one of my favorite recurring bits on SNL.  First off, “Donkey Punch the Ballot” is funny enough.  But then you get a fist to the taint and I was done.  Ass Dan and Butt Dave?  I was weak.  And the homemade salami with the secret ingredient of Rafalca.  I’m done.  Finally we get a solid five-to-one sketch; also the episode ends on a high note. 

Rating: Phil Hartman

Final Thoughts:  Despite ending on a high note, I did not care for this episode.  Bruno Mars didn’t really have any major mess ups, but he also didn’t really bring much to the table either.  This episode wasn’t even really adequate.   In addition to losing Wiig, Andy Samberg and Abby Elliot, it feels like SNL lost some strong writers because the last few offerings have been rather weak.  Hopefully Louie CK’s episode will be better.  

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