I can’t say that I really had any expectations for this episode. I’m not a huge Christina Applegate fan and Passion Pit are barely on my radar, though I can’t name a song of theirs.
Still, the cast is strong enough that I think they support any episode on their own. There are definitely cast members that I look forward to seeing what they’re going to do on a weekly basis, despite my lack of interested in a host or musical guest.
Ok, I was basically dreading this episode.
Let’s start with the rating scale, shall we?
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
VP Debate – As Jay1 pointed out to me, clearly Jason Sudekis has job security no matter who wins the election. What’s funny about this sketch is that the actual debate was so entertaining and over the top that it’s hard to parody it. Killam’s Paul Ryan was ok. But Biden was already over the top to Sudekis really had nowhere to go (though his “old man strong” bit was funny.) Usain Bolt felt very extra.
Rating: Darrell Hammond
Monologue – Unlike Christina, I don’t dig this time of year. I’m not a “Fall” person, mainly because we don’t have Fall in Arizona. The song was funny enough. The Fruppets had me weak and the Dane Cook totally slayed me. It was a fun concept. I did find it funny that Killam and Pharoah didn’t quite have the steps and lyrics down.
Rating: Chris Farley
Gillette Ad – A nice quick hit. Funny and topical.
Rating: Norm MacDonald
The Californians – I like this sketch. I really liked the addition of Todd, as his accent adds a new twist. But you could really see the writers straining with this one. The P.I. didn’t really add anything and Usain Bolt felt extremely forced and literally caused me to groan.
Rating: David Spade
Tech Talk – This sketch was brilliant. It would have been funny enough to just have tech geeks talking about the flaws of the iPhone 5, especially with Keenan’s voice, which tickled me. But then to throw in the other side of the equation with the Chinese workers, I was done. The sarcasm did me in. “Lice are the best bug I get.” The traditional sarcastic dance. And I’ve totally seen one of those instruments being played while I waited for the train. “What does America make? Does diabetes count as a product.” This sketch fired on all cylinders. Absolutely brilliant.
Rating: Phil Hartman
Give Us All Our Daughters Back – It’s a funny premise with the CIA daycare center. The line about threatening phone calls was funny. Everyone played their role.
Rating: Tim Meadows
Passion Pit Performance #1: I had no impression of these guys before this. For some reason the lead singer reminds me of John Mayer. Maybe it’s his limited range. Maybe it’s his casual phrasing. Or maybe it’s just the general douche-ness in his vibe. I didn’t hate the song. But by the same token, I’m not frantically trying to buy their album.
Weekend Update – Arianna Huffington killed. Nice NYCC shoutout. Jean K Jean is quietly one of Keenan’s best characters. He’s mad funny.
Sirens – Yet another dope sketch. The 90’s songs were hilarious as they were all entirely inescapable at their peak. And almost none of these acts made it out of the 90’s alive. And the critique on the music was hilarious.
Rating: Phil Hartman
Hell-O-Ween Ball – This was funny. As usual Jay Pharoah’s the star. Keenan’s gym teacher was also pretty funny, but everything else was just ok. And what was up with the ending?
Rating: Kristen Wiig
Passion Pit Performance #2 – Eh, this song is just a bit too peppy for me. I don’t really dig it.
Julian Chizz – I like the eccentric dance instructor. Christina Applegate was doing her best Kristin Wiig with a pinch of Molly Shannon for good measure. It felt kind of drawn out and Keenan’s line annoyed me for some reason.
Rating: Jim Breuer
Final Thoughts: This is pretty much two consecutive episodes that have disappointed me. I will say that this week’s episode did have two sketches that killed. Tech Talk and Sirens were both like getting “A’s” in Chemistry and Geometry. They put the work in. But overall the episode was disappointing.