Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday Morning Quarterback – Martin Freeman & Charli XCX

It's funny, but I don't think I've ever seen Martin Freeman in a comedic role.  I've yet to watch the original The Office.  I guess Sherlock is slightly comedic.  I'm very curious what he's going to bring to Saturday Night Live.  

Hopefully, SNL's writers are hopped up on holiday cheer and give us something worth watching this week.  

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

And introducing our new Host Rating Scale;

Drake – Outstanding
Edward Norton – Impressive
Josh Hutcherson – Fine Enough
Charlize Theron – Essentially an Extra
Seth Rogen – Expectation, Unmet
Jim Parsons - Awful

Charlie Rose Cold Open – Nice to see the show start with the torture report and the Cheesecake Factory jab was really well placed.  Having Moynihan and Mooney play the two clinical psychologists, who not only aren’t ashamed of their work, but also don’t want it to overshadow their previous efforts was a smart take.  They could have lingered on the actual torture a bit more, but I get why they moved off of it.  While the self-checkout run sounded like a stand up bit, it still worked.  And while it ran a bit long, it was still consistently funny. 

Rating: Kristen Wiig

Monologue – I liked this monologue.  I enjoyed the edge of sarcasm that it carried as well as it’s brevity.  The weakest part of the monologue was Killam’s  Alan Rickman.  But Mckinnon’s Maggie Smith was completely dope.  I also loved the self deprecation of Freeman trying to get a pop from his lesser known tv work and his hometown. 

Rating: Kristen Wiig

Sump’n Claus – This slayed me.  I dug the individual verses and loved the chorus.  Kenan killed it with the Morris Day-esque dance moves.  And the origin of Sump’n Claus was just dope.  I also dig that he gives out cash. 

Rating: Norm MacDonald

Wedding Objections – The premise of this sketch wasn’t a home run, but the escalation is what made it impressive.  He’s married.  She had ten kids.  His penis is like a late stage Jenga tower.  The objections forming a line and their rebuffing the objections were really well done.  And thankfully the sketch didn’t rely on Jones objectifying Freeman, Jost-style.  But McKinnon’s Evelyn, the weird stranger really put this sketch over the top for me. 

Rating: Norm MacDonald

The Office: Middle Earth - This was expertly done.  Melding two of Freeman’s most iconic characters and doing it well.   Moynihan’s Gandalf (First off; really computer, you recognize that as a word? And secondly, I only know how to spell that because of the cover of this week’s EW) channeling David Brent was spot on.  It was fun to watch.  But much like movies that feature Middle Earth, this thing ran long. 

Rating: Darrell Hammond

Right Side of the Bed – This is a funny sketch that’s all about the chemistry between Strong and Killam.  Yes, the awkward and lingering tosses to Louie were great, but the playful bickering between Strong and Killam was mesmerizing.  The best line: “I’m a red blooded American male, like everyone else on the planet.” 

Rating: Kristen Wiig

Christmas Mass Spectacular – I’m curious why this ran this week instead of next week?  Freeman’s not in it and it’s the third filmed bit this episode.  That said, it’s funny.  Mr. Drubbler’s sweaty hands were awesome. 

Rating: Norm MacDonald

Charli XCX First Performance – Right off the bat, I’m digging the all female backing band.  I like the uniform look.  Beyond that I’ve not nothing positive to say.  Charli’s voice sounds crazy sometimey.  She seems like one of those singers that you can get something out of them in the studio, but live is a different story.  She actually sounds decent on the chorus, but those verses need some help.  She’s like a modern day, female Nate Dogg.  Except Nate could actually give you “Regulate.”

Weekend Update – After nearly a year on the show, Zamata finally gets into the spotlight by appearing as herself on Update, something Pete Davidson and Leslie Jones have already done three times this season.  But you know what, her bit about emojis is actually not half bad.  Bar Mitzvah Boy Jacob is always welcome, but the star of Update was Strong’s One Dimensional Female Character from a Male Driven Comedy.  Her flat delivery and sticking to her pre-assigned plot points, pretty genius.  Jost and Che were also there and said jokes. 

Heinz Factory – This was the best bit of product placement all year.  With this rhythms it almost felt vaudevillian, like it was a reworked vaudeville bit.  Especially given how it’s virtually all dialogue.  But Freeman and Killam did a great job of performing this really well written sketch. 

Rating: Norm MacDonald

Pine River Lodge – I’m a sucker for anything with a lounge act, they’re my favorite kind of performers.  I really liked the hint of a back-story with Isaac and Roman.  But this sketch just seemed to missing something to really take it home.  I wanted to like it more than I actually did. 

Rating: Robert Downey Jr.

Charli XCX Second Performance – My god, could this song be loaded with any more clichéd lyrics?  I hope “Cliché” is the name of this song, but something tells me that Charli doesn’t possess that amount of self-awareness.  Charli really seems to be trying hard, like trying too hard.  Musically the song wasn’t all that bad.  But lyrically, oy vey. 

Waterbed Warehouse – I was not feeling this sketch.  I was prepared to end the night on a note of disappointment.  But then, on that third cut to Bryant, when she keeps drawing out and teasing the last line of the jingle, I found myself all in.  This sketch literally grew on me.  Plus the story was dope.  And waterbeds are never not funny.  And honestly I believe that their waterbeds are the best. 

Rating: Norm MacDonald

Final Thoughts: This seemed like a pretty well balanced episode, with most of the cast getting some screen time.  The writers seemed to set their sights a bit higher this week and achieved their goals.  This episode was actually funny. 

Martin Freeman did a really good job hosting.  No real serious mess ups and he was committed to every sketch.  He held is own and seemed game for anything. 

Host Rating: Edward Norton

Next Week: Amy Adams and One Direction.  I’ve got nothing to say.  Except I’m expecting guests since it’s the last SNL before the Christmas break. 

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...