Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday Morning Quarterback – Kerry Washington & Eminem

I used to have a huge crush on Kerry Washington.  She totally reminds me of my ex, but in a very cute way.  Like, in the perfect way possible.  Ok, so I still have a crush on Kerry Washington.  Basically I’m excited to see her hosting SNL. 

It makes sense that she’s hosting for a couple reasons.  First, she’s on a pretty popular show that you may have heard of, Scandal.  Secondly, Saturday Night Live has gotten a ton of negative attention from their lack of diversity, specifically the lack of Black women on the cast for the past few years. 

Oh, also Eminem is there, so there’s that. 

Here’s our rating system

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

Meta Cold Open – Wow. Nicely played Lorne Michaels and SNL writers.  Way to attack the controversy head on.  And very ballsy.  They poked fun at everything they’ve been called out on.  Plus it was genuinely funny.  Having her play Michelle was a great start and then bringing Oprah in was great.  And having Al Sharpton show up was a very nice touch.  The writing was really well done with this one. 

Rating: Phil Hartman

Monologue – While I’m glad that Kerry Washington wasn’t forced into a musical monologue, this was pretty lame.  Ooh, look; the cast can’t differentiate the actress from the role she plays.  It didn’t really give her anything funny to do, which is sad.

Rating: Robert Downey Jr. 

Career Week – Two weeks in a row we’ve had the lead off sketch be an attempt to launch a Nasim Pedrad reoccurring character.  Last week’s was better.  Heshe Al Fahid (I’m guessing that’s the spelling) is probably a character that killed at the table read, but doesn’t work well in practice.  Maybe it would have worked better later in the show?  The best thing about this sketch was Kerry Washington in that outfit, because she wasn’t given much to do. 

Rating: David Spade

What Does My Girl Say – I dig how Kerry’s totally game.  I don’t get the whole fascination of the original, but the parody seems spot on.  Still, I respect Kerry’s commitment.  Unfortunately in their attempt to provide a balance of the female perspective, it dragged this on way too long. 

Rating: Darrell Hammond

How’s He Doing – This is a great premise.  I’m sure some people will say that this treading familiar ground with the whole “Black people/white people” bit, but I liked it. The talk about The Wire was so spot on.  Like so real.  Still, I recognize that this isn’t for everyone.  But it worked. 

Rating: Norm MacDonald

Miss Universe Moscow 2013 – I spoke with Jay1 about this one and we disagreed.  He really enjoyed it.  I felt it was just an excuse to trot out accents.  It wasn’t even thinly veiled.  Kerry had zero to do in this sketch.  On the plus side there were seven women in this sketch. 

Rating: Jim Breuer

Eminem Performance #1 – Let’s just start with the obvious; apparently you can rent out Rick Rubin to promote your album.  First Jay-Z did it for Magna Carta Holy Grail, and now Eminem does it for MMLP2.  There are two ways to think about this song.  First that it has the vintage Rick Rubin sound.  The second is that Rick Rubin, producer of the latest Los Hermanos Avett album, is milking a decades old sound and that Eminem is brazenly trying to conjure up memories of the Beastie Boys.  No sir, I don’t like it.

Weekend Update – McKinnon’s take on Angela Merkel was interesting.  I liked the idea of the character more than I found it funny.  Even though Pharoah needs to work on his Shaq voice, I still found Shaq and Barkley pretty enjoyable.  Beyond that Update was pretty lacking in the quotables, for a second week in a row. 

Cartoon Catchphrase – Man, that heartbreak was hilarious.  This sketch wasn’t perfect, but had a pretty good bunch of components; Diane’s horrible marriage, the cluelessness of the contestants and Melanie’s light snark.  Of course the real surprise was that the sketch had an actual ending.  Huzzah! 

Rating: Norm MacDonald

Fall Carnival – Unless I’m mistaken, this is the earliest this sketch has appeared in the show.  It’s usually in the five to one spot.  Principal Frye is always welcome.  Yeah, this sketch is as formulaic as they come, but I still enjoy it because while it’s a reoccurring sketch it’s not run into the ground.  And Kerry’s first year teacher was awesome.  Her Long Island accent is no joke. 

Rating: Chris Farley

Eminem Performance #2 – Speaking of “formulaic as they come” here’s Eminem standard “very aggressive” single.  Which brings up a point about mic levels.  Last week during her first performance I could barely hear Janelle Monae through her band.  This week, Eminem’s second performance levels were so low I couldn’t make out a word he said.  He’s a spitter, which means he needs the sound to be crisp so there’s clarity.  That was not the case. 

Date Or Diss – The best part of this sketch were the digs at MTV.  From Hatfish, which “started at a typo” and became a show, to the lack of budget for a second location, to Bitch Apartment.  Those were the laugh aloud moments.  Beyond that, I was wonder what Noel would have done if she were in this sketch.

Rating: Jim Breuer

Ice Cream – Again, for the second week in a row it’s a five to one that is perfect.  I’m not even 100% what was going on, other than I really liked it.  I loved how Killam popped into Mooney’s attempt to unravel the joke.  I really enjoyed this one. 

Rating: Norm MacDonald

Final Thoughts: I thought Kerry did a commendable job.  I'm sure she felt a ton of pressure, but she handled it very well.  Overall the episode was a solid outing.  Everyone's taking next week off, and given the last two episodes I think they've earned it.  I'm very curious how the Lady Gaga episode is going to play out.  It's safe to say that I can't wait.  

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