Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sunday Morning Quarterback – Amy Schumer & The Weeknd

Amy Schumer is on top of the world.  She’s probably the biggest female star in comedy at the moment and coming off a win at the Emmys for her Comedy Central show.  She also starred in a movie this summer.  Naturally she’s going to host Saturday Night Live. 

Will Schumer live up to the hype?  Will The Weeknd have any surprise guests?  Will Sasheer Zamata show up before the final sketch of the night? 

As usual, our trusty 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 the host rating scale;

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

Fox & Friends – This felt so slapdash as a cold open.  It tried to address the topic of open Speaker of the House position, but didn’t really have anything to say about it.  The same with the whole Planned Parenthood controversy, but again with very little to say.  It’s disappointing that this is the best they could come up with.  I have no idea what Davison’s impression was supposed to be and McKinnon’s got over on her typical antic energy. 

Rating: David Spade

Monologue – I’m happy that Amy Schumer’s in the position that she is.  She definitely earned her spot in the pop culture consciousness.  And I’m glad she went with actual stand up as her monologue.  That said, I didn’t really laugh at it.  I appreciated it more than I enjoyed it. 

Rating: Tim Meadows

Cruising Altitude – I love the silliness of this sketch; how it defies physics.  I loved the build up to actual joke.  Granted, there wasn’t much to the premise or for the characters to do, particularly for Killam, but it tickled me.  Bayer’s trying to keep her composure and carry on was so perfectly done. 

Rating: Kristen Wiig

Hot for Teacher 8 – I loved this sketch.  I loved how Mooney and Schumer were clearly porn actors, but Bryant was also clearly a student.  I’d have been totally fine with zero explaination at all, but I wasn’t mad at Bayer as Bryant’s mom.  The fact that everyone was true to their reality just worked really well for me. 

Rating: Norm Macdonald

Guns – This was perfect.  What I loved most about it was that it was almost “too soon” which a) shows an edge SNL usually shies away from and b) is right in my wheelhouse.  It was a solid send up of Apple’s watch campaign, but the added content of firearms just felt like a great fit.  It was like a two-fer. 

Rating: Norm Macdonald

The Weeknd First Performance – Let’s be real; Nicki Minaj stole the show.  An actual convo I had during this performance. 

So yeah, the song was fine, but Nicki was fine.

Weekend Update – Things started off rocky, with Jost getting a smattering of applause for his Frankenspeaker joke, but things built nicely from there.  The riff on gun control was really well done.  Say what you will about the Che/Jost pairing, but tonight the looseness gave Update an air of fluidity that reminded me I was watching live television.  Glad to see Pharoah doing some characters work as opposed to just impressions, and his Solomon was pretty funny.  Mrs. Santini is always welcome.  And Jost calling back to Speaker of the House bit was a great touch. 

Ford’s Theater – This was just fine.  On the plus side it gave Schumer a character to play.  She wasn’t just an extra in the sketch.  But there wasn’t really all that much to this sketch.  It’s pretty one-note. 

Rating: Tim Meadows

Hands-Free Selfie-Stick – Here’s a sketch that just sort of lingered longer than it needed to.  The joke was established and then it just lay there.  Bryant initial discomfort was a pretty great moment, but beyond that it just sort of “eh.” 

Rating: Darrell Hammond

Bakersfield Citizen’s Forum – This felt like an attempt to create a reoccurring bit and to capitalize on some of Parks & Recreation’s funnier moments.  Some people would call it a blatant bite, but I think of it more as a homage.  I for one would love to see Mooney’s MC from Holland and Scary Gary Loomis again.  But beyond that, this sketch wasn’t all that memorable. 

Rating: Tim Meadows

The Weeknd Second Performance – What a great pop song.  I’m really glad he performed this one on SNL.  I do wish that he had more of a stage presence.  Great song, but boring performance.  And that’s not even comparing it to the one with Nicki. 

Baby Shower – This is an odd sketch, because apart from Strong and Schumer, everyone else in this sketch is pretty much just sitting there with nothing to do.  This is very apparent the couple of times they cut to Bayer, for no discernable reason.  But Strong nailed her sobbing recounting of the contents of her purse, which in turn made Schumer’s obnoxious yelling a degree funnier. 

Rating: Kristen Wiig

Final Thoughts – This week didn’t blow me away, which is odd considering how high Schumer is placed on the comedy pedestal.  I was expecting to have my socks knocked off, but instead I just found it to satisfyingly funny. 

More troubling is how few cast members showed up this week.  Bennett, Strong and Zamata were arguably underused.  It makes sense that Jones wouldn’t get much play, because nearly every character Schumer played was loud and obnoxious. 

But Schumer did a decent job.  She performed with the material she was given.  She didn’t really stretch, but she did fine. 

Host Rating: Josh Hutcherson

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