Confession time; I’m not a Jamie Foxx fan. I’ve never found the guy funny. I’ve never seen any of his comedies. I haven’t seen a single episode of his television show. He was my least favorite cast-member on In Living Color, and that’s including SW-1. He does nothing for me.
It just always seems like he’s trying to be funny as opposed to just being funny. It annoys me. And that’s why I was sort of dreading Saturday Night Live’s return from it’s brief hiatus.
So, what did I think of the episode?
But of course, we’ve got to start with our rating system, for those who might just be stumbling across the blog for the first time;
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
Fiscal Cliff Cold Open – I liked the premise of Boehner being the victim of bullying. And the scenarios were like textbook bullying pranks, from the days of when bullying as a fun fight of passage and not a horrible incident that, at best scars you for life and worst case, inspires suicide or homicide. Wow, what a weird tangent.
Anyway, it’s a funny concept. And Hader’s Boehner was really well done.
Rating: Tim Meadows
Monologue – Clearly Jamie Foxx (and his people) wrote this monologue. It was definitely cool to see a host at ease with the monologue material. But honestly it was an “eh” monologue. Personally I felt the whole “how black is that” bit dragged on a bit too long, with not enough variation, they were all pretty predictable. And of course it wouldn’t be a monologue this season without some musical element, though I will say that it was dope to see 2 Chainz come out.
Rating: Darrell Hammond
Bitch, What’s The Answer – Man, this sketch was bad and bordered on offensive. It was just brutal and Jamie messing up his lines didn’t help at all. Maybe it they’d gone the whole pimp route, it would have worked better (though they were clearly saving that bit for later in the show.) I will say that, in retrospect, this sketch plays better thanks to it’s opposite number later in the show, which bumps the score a bit.
Rating: Jim Breuer
J-Pop America Funtime Now – I’m really not a fan of this sketch at all. Apart from Fred Armisen and Jason Sudekis, this sketch is a chore to watch. And what’s really sad is that Jamie Foxx is the weakest part of a sketch that I hate. How bad does that have to be?
Rating: Robert Downey Jr
Tyler Perry’s Alex Cross 2 – First off, this is a really strong performance by Jamie Foxx. He’s genuinely acting and it shows. I’m impressed. And the premise is funny. I also appreciate that Jamie’s a big enough star that he’s not afraid to poke fun at Tyler Perry.
Rating: Phil Hartman
Ne-Yo Performance #1 – I really thought it was corny that Ne-Yo announced his back up dancers and when I saw how they got switched out for females in the second verse it seemed really wack. Like the fact that he had two different sets of dancers really seems to undermine how wack the song is. It’s like they’re a distraction.
Weekend Update – Aidy Bryant killed as Mrs. Claus. “Fast hands and a whole lot of toys.” What an awesome bit. I also liked Chicken Sandusky and honestly the reaction it got is the reaction I’m always striving for. White Trash Willy Wonka was dope too. Jamie Foxx did a decent job with a strong premise as Ding Dong . I’ve really got no complaints about Weekend Update.
Dylan McDermott or Dermot Mulroney – This is a funny bit and the fact that it’s the counterbalance to Bitch, What The Answer, makes the previous game better. And tweaking the whole racial “they all look alike” stereotype was pretty smart. Plus the real Dermot Mulroney was really the cherry on top. And Hader’s cocky host had me weak.
Rating: Phil Hartman
Marcus Banks Tree Pimp – This was great. The idea of a reformed pimp selling xmas trees and treating it the same way. I loved seeing him turn the sapling away. Jamie Foxx was excellent as the rival. And seeing Keenan fall back on old habits was amusing. Of course, no one plays creepy like Fred Armisen.
Rating: Norm MacDonald
Maine Justice – This was the sketch of the night. Hands down. It is utter brilliance. I don’t want to spoil it, but the theories for the absurdity were the best part. Katrina relocation. Exchange program. Space time portal. The cameo was dope. I wish I could think up something this brilliant.
Rating: Norm MacDonald
Ne-Yo Performance #2 – It was a stripped down ballad and it almost put me to sleep.
Swarovski Crystals – This was just ok for me. Honestly I expect more from my 5 to 1 sketch. The performances were strong and the premise was solid. But after the previous sketch, it just seemed safe.
Rating: Kristen Wiig
Final Thoughts: It was a rocky episode. But the back nine really pulled the episode together. Virtually everything post Update was a knockout. And the brilliance of Maine Justice can’t be understated.