I like Vince Vaughn. He’s a funny actor who usually plays variations on the same character, but it’s enjoyable enough. I’m not saying I’ve had huge expectations for Saturday Night Live, but I had faith that he wouldn’t let me down.
I’m also glad that Miguel was getting his moment to shine. His performance on the Grammys was dope and certainly raised his profile. Hopefully he’ll get a boost from appearing on SNL.
Ok, so I do have expectations. Were they met?
But first, our 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
Gun ControL Press Conference – This is much more topical than it is funny. There’s really nothing new here; compromise is about everyone losing and no one being happy with the results. And compromise ruins politics. Everyone plays their part, but the writers do them no favors.
Rating: Robert Downey Jr.
Monologue – I’m a sucker for audience monologues and the fact that this one is real audience is way funny. I like that Vince seems to be frestyling things, it really plays up the “live” aspect of the show. He does a great job of playing that character that he’s known for. Things got a bit dicey with the third audience member; still this is a pretty impressive feat.
Rating: Norm MacDonald
Al Pacino Accused Murderer Biopic Series – This was funny, but the bit got old. It would have been funnier if they’d used HBO as the target and played up that they owed Pacino or something.
Rating: Darrell Hammond
Stormy Skies – This is a pretty brilliant bit. Mixing the soap opera setting with the cadence of a weather report. Wow. The execution is pretty solid too. They managed to keep everything pitch perfect. The sketch didn’t really need Hader’s amnesia suffering relative, but it worked really well.
Rating: Chris Farley
History of Punk – This is mad funny, if you get it. It’s got Fred Armisen’s fingerprints all over it. If you know anything about that era of music, you should find this funny. It’s spot on and the talk show appearance was a great recreation. This was dope. I will say that it feels more like it should have been placed after Update, but it still works.
Rating: Norm MacDonald
Short Term Memory Loss Theater – Any sketch that requires this much set up is pretty much doomed. And there’s very little meat this sketch. In fact the only comedy comes from Hader breaking. Vaughn keeps it together. And Pharoah totally bombs.
Rating: Janeane Garofalo
Miguel Performance #1 – This is brave because Adorn is easily the song that he’s most known for, but this arrangement sounds so foreign. Normally, live accompaniment is a plus, but in this case he might have been better served just to go out there with a keyboard or the original beat. I’m going to side with him and his bold performance, but just barely, because the album version is such a great song.
Weekend Update – Update felt brief this week. The Accidental Racist bit was decent, though LL’s lyrics were slightly covered up. I do love when McKinnon does this character, but the audience is not feeling it this time. That dead silence after she described the “monkey bath” was funny and chilling at the same time.
Junior High Prom – Yet another sketch with a crazy long set up. I like that the writers went “weird” with this sketch, but they didn’t really produce anything funny. Vaughn’s rich eccentric guy was nutty. I’m glad he wasn’t a vulgar gay stereotype.
Rating: Janeane Garofalo
John & Dave Tesh – First off, kudos to make up for making Sudekis up to look just like John Tesh. The idea of lyrics to the NBA on NBC theme was funny. And the performances were there. This was adequate.
Rating: Tim Meadows
Miguel Performance #2 – This was awesome. I actually liked this version better than the album version. I dug seeing Miguel rock out in the middle. I liked the juxtaposition between Miguel’s singing and his bands playing. Hopefully he won more fans that he lost. But real talk; this is one of my favorite performances this season on SNL, second only to Rihanna's "Diamonds."
Last Call – I’m ok with this sketch. This is another one of those sketches where part of the humor comes from the “they went there” grossness factor. It is well written and I like that Keenan’s bartender is a big part of the sketch. It’s funny, but I wasn’t blown away.
Rating: Kristen Wiig
Final Thoughts – This wasn’t a bad episode, so I’m grateful. But it was a bit uneven. There was only one returning sketch (though I’m sure we’ll see Stormy Skies again) which means the writers were trying this week. But the season will soon be ending and they are probably close to being burned out. We’ll see what May 4th has in store.