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SNL Reviews: January edition

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SNL Review- Neil Patrick Harris/Taylor Swift


Cold Opening

Cast- Kenan Thompson, Jason Sudeikis, Abby Elliot,

Thoughts- Props to Abby for getting a cold opening! She’s really moving up in the SNL word. Michaela….not so much. I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about Rachel Maddow, I just saw her on Conan once. Again, SNL owes Blagojevich for giving them material in between election day and inauguration day. The running joke in this skit was really funny, and I enjoyed Kenan in this one. Sudeikis’ Blagojevich is really funny, and the Chachi insult was great. Abby’s enthusiasm for saying LFNYISN was awesome, you could tell that was a huge moment for her, and I love it when it’s screamed. A great cold opening, hitting all cylinders. ****1/4



Cast- Neil Patrick Harris, Bill Hader, Andy Samberg, Fred Armisen, Bobby Moynihan,

Thoughts- Neil….suited up! for the monologue. That’s awesome. You gotta love that Neil isn’t afraid to bring up his child star past. He even put in a gay joke too, how can you not love Barney P. Stinson? Sadly, I’ve never seen the Fred Savage episode. This was a tale of two monologues. It was the best of times (the first half, with Doogie riffing on Fred Savage) and the worst of times (The HIMYM jokes) The first half was awesome enough that I’ll give this one a pass. ***


Today Show

Cast- Harris, Kristen Wiig, Michaela Watkins

Thoughts- Good to see SNL once again hitting the pulse of pop culture. Does anyone watch the fourth hour of Today? Does anyone watch the third hour of Today? And yes, it’s another skit that calls for Kristen to be wacky and make funny faces while I just stare at the TV. Not even Neil could save this one, though he sure tried. This one should’ve been lemon lawed. I did like Kathie Lee getting punched. *1/2


Reviving Broadway

Cast- Harris, Taylor Swift, Sudeikis, Darrell Hammond, Thompson, Armisen, Forte, Samberg, Watkins, Moynihan, Elliot, Wilson

Thoughts- Neil reviving his role from Rent, legend…wait for it….dary. Hader was awesome as the guy from the Music Man. The Colour Purple joke was amazing, seriously, that was the skit. Loved seeing Fred revive his Blue Man Group past, and who didn’t get a little turned on seeing Casey do Chicago? This was a lot of fun, and all the Broadway references were great. ***3/4



Cast- Liza Minelli, Harris, Forte, Wiig, Thompson, Wilson

Thoughts- Man, when did Kristin Wiig start to suck? She’s just been relying on crazy characters who have funny voices and it’s just a black hole of suck as almost none of them are funny. Penelope is probably her second worst offender, next to that girl who doesn’t like holding secrets. Liza Minelli wasted a cameo on this? ½*


SNL Digital Short

Cast- Harris, Sudeikis, Hammond, Hader, Forte, Thompson, Samberg, Armisen, Moynihan, Wilson, Watkins, Elliot,

Thoughts- Seriously, how can you not love Neil Patrick Harris? Had they done a sequel skit based on the HIMYM theme song, *****. But this was still awesome, and I loved his facial expressions in this. And everyone wearing the wigs? Come on! And everyone harmonised too. This digital short just rocked hard (nice to say that again) and the tear at the end just clinched it. ****1/2


Taylor Swift “Love Story”

Thoughts- How did this girl get popular? Did you see the spangled guitar? The Jonas Brother screwing her over is the best thing about her. *


Weekend Update

Cast- Seth Meyers, Thompson, Forte

Thoughts- Seth’s jokes weren’t the best this week, but he still had some great ones, and the Michael Jackson molesting line was him channelling his inner Norm. Kenan as Charles Barkley was hilarious, and I can’t believe you can say BJ on TV. Forte always seems to be an Update commentary MVP and I loved this song. A Robert Mugabe reference! Not the greatest way to start Seth solo Update take two, he had a lot help from the commentaries and he was still able to crank out a great Update. ****


Two First Names

Cast- Harris, Armisen, Sudeikis, Hader, Forte, Samberg, Thompson, Hammond, Wiig, Elliot, Watkins

Thoughts- Abby as Jamie Lynn Spears? I’d impregnate that. Jason’s Phillip Seymour Hoffman was hilarious, Wiig’s Jamie Lee Curtis continues to not be funny, Kenan’s Michael Clarke Duncan was alright, Darrell’s Tommy Lee Jones was awesome. Watkins’ JLD was solid and of course Hader does no wrong when it comes to impressions. There were several skits with the whole cast except for Seth it seems. The Billy Bob bit was decent, and this was a good way to follow Update. ***1/4


Southern Belles

Cast- Harris, Wiig, Forte

Thoughts- Well I’m glad Kristen and Neil Patrick Harris can do Southern accents but that’s all there was to this one it seemed. This just wouldn’t end. DUD


Frost/Other People

Cast- Harris, Hammond, Sudeikis, Hader, Armisen, Thomspon

Thoughts- Damn, Darrell was all over this show. I wonder when the last time he was in this many skits? And another skit allowing the cast to do impressions. Jason’s constant changing disguises was the best part of this skit. I really liked Bill and Fred in this one, though the Rerun stuff didn’t work for me. **3/4


Taylor Swift

Thoughts- Still not seeing it. Plus, she’s not even hot. At least this song was an improvement. **


Whopper Virgins

Cast- Harris, Armisen, Wiig, Watkins, Moynihan,

Thoughts- It’s a rare occasion when Bobby Moynihan makes me laugh, so that’s cause for celebration if nothing else. **1/4


The Bottom Line- Avg. skit was **.54 making this a thumbs up show. Everything on this show was either awesome or bad, as shows with three **** skits shouldn’t be just scraping by with a thumbs up. Neil Patrick Harris was a great host, and seemed to be having a lot of fun. He deserved to be helped out with some better music, but Rap Month had to end sometime. A fun show, though with a lot of peaks and valleys.


Thumbs Up


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SNL Review- Rosario Dawson/Fleet Foxes



Cold Opening

Cast- Kristen Wiig, Darrell Hammond

Thoughts- Wait, George W. Bush has one of the looniest press conferences in recent memory, that would be easily spoofable and we get this? Did Dick Cheney even do an exit interview with Diane Sawyer? Are they spoofing something here? Did anyone even hear from Dick Cheney in the last six months? Such a strange choice for a cold opening, though the thing about sea turtles was pretty funny, and the shooting your friend in the face thing was hilarious. **



Cast- Rosario Dawson, Fred Armisen

Thoughts- Ferecito is back! Yes, yes, yes! Fred hasn’t done this character in years. I wasn’t feeling Rosario solo, but Ferecito showing up was the best thing ever. Even better than the time I watched the Rundown, thinking that the main girl looked a lot like Rosario Dawson but wouldn’t think she’d be a third wheel to the Rock and Seann William Scott, but it turns out it was Rosario Dawson. Ferecito’s jokes were awesome, how have we gone years without it? ***1/2


And now for Ferecito’s Latino fans, I present Ferecito en Espanol-


¡Ferecito está detrás! ¡Sí, sí, sí! Fred no ha hecho este carácter en años. No sentía Rosario a solas, pero Ferecito que aparecía era la mejor cosa nunca. Incluso mejor que el tiempo miré la reducción, pensando que la muchacha principal parecida mucho Rosario Dawson pero no pensaría que ella sería una tercera rueda a la roca y al Seann Guillermo Scott, pero lo resulta era Rosario Dawson. ¿Las bromas de Ferecito éramos impresionantes, cómo hemos ido los años sin él? *** el 1/2



North American Savings

Cast- Bill Hader, Hammond, Jason Sudeikis, Kenan Thompson, Kristen Wiig, Will Forte, Abby Elliot, Casey Wilson, Bobby Moynihan, , Michaela Watkins

Thoughts- I guess this is a cousin to Federal Union. While I can’t buy people being too upset about getting a loan denied, I thought this was funny, especially the money being put under a mattress and the October 1987 reference. ***


Learning Train

Cast- Dawson, Thompson, Hader, Sudeikis, Armisen, Forte, Samberg, Elliot, Moynihan

Thoughts- Abby seems to be getting more airtime, which can’t be a bad thing. Bill did a good job of channelling his inner DJ Jonathan Feinstein. For the record, the answers to the first two problems were 19 and 13. Sudeikis’ Harry Connick, Jr. impression was decent, but I felt the impression was a little too exaggerated. He sounded like someone on The Andy Griffith Show. This started off good, but died off pretty quickly, despite Hader being awesome. **1/4


Guantanamo Bay

Cast- Dawson, Sudeikis

Thoughts- Why torture yourself with high prices was great, and I thought this was a really clever idea for a skit. As an aside, after this was when they announced Steve Martin for next week. Can you imagine winning tickets in the lottery for that show, and then finding out that Steve Martin was next week? That would suck. ***



Cast- Dawson, Sudeikis

Thoughts- Nice to see Rosario letting them hang out a little bit. This was hilarious, and Jason’s perfect at playing an asshole. I loved a lot of the lines in this, especially Jason saying he wishes he was dead, and the bit about the Genie being borderline racist. Could’ve done without the Aladdin screwing Genie line at the end, but this was gold most of the way through. ****1/4


SNL Digital Short

Cast- Samberg, Armisen, Forte

Thoughts- I guess we were only allowed one good digital short in a row, since this was just bad. I think the stress of doing the CD and digital shorts has probably caused some of the quality of these to dip. Not even Forte’s ass or the PSA at the end could help. DUD



Cast- Dawson, Thompson, Wiig, Forte, Wilson, Moynihan, Wilson,

Thoughts- Hey look! It’s Kristen playing someone wacky with a funny voice! Hilarity ensues! She even got a theme song for this one. No wonder I fast forwarded through this when I watched it for the first time. Amazingly the laughs in this skit were not even provided by Wiig, but by Kenan and Casey. *


Fleet Foxes

Thoughts- Ummmmmmmmmmm, what the heck was this? Did someone tell the Fleet Foxes that it’s not 1972 anymore? How did they even find this band, because I certainly had never heard of them. **


Weekend Update

Cast- Seth Meyers, Armisen, Wiig, Samberg,

Thoughts- Seth’s jokes were killing it, not having a clunker until the Arnold Schwarzenegger bit. . And actually, Madoff did a Ponzi Scheme, not a pyramid scheme, though the commentary is pretty decent. But crap on a stick, go away Kristen. I will always concede that this is really impressive to do vocally, but it’s just not funny. I felt Seth’s jokes fell a little off when the commentaries started, but I loved the shark joke. Samberg as Larry the Goose has no right to be as funny as it was. This was good, but I felt it didn’t sustain its earlier momentum, and two of the commentaries didn’t work too well. ***1/2


La Policia Mexicana

Cast- Dawson, Armisen, Hader

Thoughts- Who takes Spanish in fourth grade? I didn’t start espanol until 8th grade. It seems like every once in a while SNL does a skit in Spanish or some other language not English and it’s never funny. While there were a couple of funny lines, this one never got going past the initial concept, which wasn’t that funny to begin with. I liked Rosario Dawaon’s cleavage, so that counts for something. *


The View

Cast- Dawson, Thompson, Armisen, Wiig, Watkins

Thoughts- Bring back Tina to inject some life into these View skits. Fred’s Behar is funny as is Kenan’s Whoopi, but man, the Hasselbeck impression just doesn’t work. Also, Barbara Walters is one of the easiest impressions to do, and Watkins still messes it up. Swing and a miss on that hire. Sudekis’ Gervais was decent, and again, nice cleavage for Rosario. **


Fleet Foxes

Thoughts- It’s been two months since this show and I still have no idea who these guys are. Seriously, who are Fleet Foxes? **1/4


Good Excuse

Cast- Dawson, Forte, Wiig, Sudeikis Thompson

Thoughts- The cutaways to the audience were really funny, but this was a typical last show skit. Not much to say about that one, but I did like the ending with them making an excuse for getting out of there before Sudekis killed them. *3/4


The Bottom Line- Avg. skit was **.34 making this a thumbs in the middle show. With Steve Martin hosting the next episode, it was understandable that they’d phone it in. The show got off to an okay start but flatlined hard after Update, and aside from Aladdin, nothing really stood out. Dawson was a decent host, they didn’t write much for her aside from skits about her being Hispanic.


Thumbs In The Middle

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SNL Review- Steve Martin/Jason Mraz



Cold Opening

Cast- Fred Armisen, Jason Sudekis

Thoughts- Still not feeling Fred’s Obama, it just doesn’t feel right. This was funny, but the whole thing doesn’t work. Ferrell’s Bush and Hammond/Hartman’s Clinton this ain’t. Sudeikis’ Biden on the other hand is awesome. Speaking of which, whatever happened to Joe Biden? He sure went away fast. It’s a shame he’s not more in the public eye so we can’t get a weekly address from him. This was decent, but if they stick with Obama every week, the cold openings won’t be that great. **1/2



Cast- Steve Martin

Thoughts- So wait, Steve Martin hosts 13 times from 1977-1995 and then doesn’t host for 11 years and it’s to promote the Pink Panther, probably his worst movie. Then he doesn’t host for another three years, but comes back to host The Pink Panther 2, which ended up officially being his worst movie. Seriously. I understand him making Pink Panther 1, since he’s a paycheque whore and I’m sure getting to reinvent an iconic role seemed fun to him. But then the movie sucked. And he makes another one? Again, if he just makes the movie for the paycheque, I accept it. But he co-wrote this one too. Boggles the mind.


Anyway, I love Steve Martin and it was fun seeing him do some standup comedy, since he’s still got it. Loved the one-liners about what’s up his sleeve, the audience being gay and the audience being in his next movie. Pink Panther 2 may have sucked, but he can be hilarious when he wants to be. It’s always fun seeing an old fashioned monologue, especially when it’s funny! ****



Cast- Kristen Wiig, Jason Sudeikis

Thoughts- This one was pretty gross. I mean, really, ew. The corn chowder thing was gross funny at least. ½*


That’s America, It’s a Problem

Cast- Martin, Wiig, Forte, Bill Hader, Kenan Thompson, Abby Elliot

Thoughts- Goof right of the bat. I know they wanted to imply everyone was watching the Super Bowl, but there aren’t more than 5 Cardinal fans outside Arizona and even then it’s debatable if there were 5 Cardinals fans in Arizona pre-2008 season. I’ll like any skit that mentions the Bud Bowl and where someone says heaven to murgatroyd. This was the usually funny output from these guys, and Martin fit in well. ***1/4


SNL Digital Short

Cast- Lorne Michaels, Martin, Forte, Hader, Thompson, Andy Samberg

Thoughts- Laser Cats! While I do wish they could’ve done more with Steve Martin hosting, Laser Cats is always funny. Kenan was awesome as the villain, and I loved the twist with Martin and Hader and Samberg being brothers. Laser Cats is awesome. Do you get that it’s King Lear? ***1/2



Cast- Martin, Thompson, Wilson

Thoughts- Even with acne, Casey’s not that bad looking. Kenan had some great facials here, and was hilariously mean spirited. Also, it’s not a man bra, it’s a bro. Or mansierre. This was alright, but I feel it could’ve been a lot funnier than it was, and it also ended really abruptly. **1/2


Bernie Madoff

Cast- Armisen

Thoughts- You have Steve Martin hosting, this should’ve been used in the Rosario Dawson or Bradley Cooper episodes. Madoff calling Wiesel was wrong on many levels, but very funny, but the rest was just the same unfunny joke over and over. That said, I did read a really good profile on Madoff in Vanity Fair. *


Steve Martin= Pimp

Cast- Michaels, Martin, Wiig, Elliot, Watkins, Wilson

Thoughts- Where did the running gag of Abraham Lincoln in the background start? Every backstage skit has a guy walking around dressed as Lincoln and I’ve always wondered how that started. I think it first started in the Al Gore show, though that’s just a wild guess. Martin’s wife is 27 years younger than him, so it makes sense he’d like the young girls.


Casey’s a good singer, but Kristen reminded me of Tina in the Ellen DeGeneres update. The SAG award line killed me. I gotta say that Steve liking Michaela kills some of his coolness points. According to MS Word, coolness is a word, which is totally awesome. I also wonder when the last time Lorne did two skits was. This was amusing, and I always like Martin being an asshole. ***


Jason Mraz

Thoughts- Last time Steve Martin hosted, the mg was Prince. Before that, it was Eric Clapton. This time, it’s Jason Mraz. Did Jack Johnson change his name and just not tell anyone? Maybe Mraz can do the soundtrack for the Curious George sequel. I see he was wearing shoes, so he must not be Jack Jonhnson. **


Weekend Update

Cast- Meyers, Sudekis, Armisen, Elliot

Thoughts- Seth’s Steele joke was hilarious and I love Sudeikis’ Blajoveich impression. And how about the new Illinois governor being named Pat Quinn? That’s great, as was Sudeikis’ poem. Seth was feeling the jokes this week, except for his first one. I know everyone liked Abby’s Angelina but I wasn’t feeling it. I prefer her Kirsten Dunst impression, which sadly was taken down from youtube.


I know I harshly criticised the Paterson impression in the Laurie episode, but this was justified. See, in the Laurie episode, Paterson hadn’t exactly done anything to warrant criticism and this was just someone at SNL being a douchebag. This time, Paterson had gone through a month of dropping the ball with the senate seat fiasco and the state deficit. I still wonder which SNL writer/producer/cast member hates Paterson, even though this was really funny. Seriously, I am not a good governor? Does Lorne want Rudy or Bloomberg that badly? Is he that much against supermarkets selling wine?


This was a great Update, with excellent jokes and the one-two punch of the Blajoevich/Paterson commentaries. ****1/4


Crazy Wife

Cast- Martin, Wiig, Wilson

Thoughts- It’s that time again, it’s time for Kristen’s Quirky Character of the Week! Martin couldn’t pull off being a cosmetic salesman, but Kristen can certainly pull off quirky. Now funny is another matter. I didn’t really find this skit to be that funny, but in a way it was kind of poignant and sad. I mean, Martin is stuck in this marriage with this woman who is mentally ill and he’s resigned himself to his fate of his work constantly being interrupted. And then at the end where he goes: that’s the best I’ve ever seen her? That broke my heart. So I don’t know what the intention was for this, and I should probably write it off as another unfunny attempt by Kristen, but I’ll give SNL undeserved credit for going the sad route. **


Steve Martin “Late for School”

Thoughts- I guess when you’ve hosted SNL fifteen times you’re allowed to sing a song off your new bango CD. You know Alec Baldwin is hoping to host again so he can read excerpts from his book A Promise to Ourselves. I read it, it’s quite hilarious. This was a funny song and it was something different. The Saturday twist was lifted from the book Sideways Stories from Wayside School where Joy comes to school and finds out that the reason is no one is there is because it’s a Saturday. The song lost momentum once the twist was revealed, but it was solid. **3/4


ESPN Classic

Cast- Martin, Darrell Hammond, Forte, Sudekis, Hader, Samberg, Moynihan,

Thoughts- Someone saw The Last Boy Scout! This was hilarious, and I think it was a Lonely Isand effort, so kudos to all involved. The visuals in this skit were great, and I loved the line about the grandfather clause and Andy’s face when he realised he caught the gun. How was this buried so late in the show, it was hilarious! ****1/4


Jason Mraz w/ Colbie Callait “Lucky I’m in Love”

Thoughts- Colbie Callait AND Jason Mraz? I think the Sirius Coffee House channel just exploded. Was Colbie Callait really wearing something over her dress? And Jason Mraz’s hat? **


The Bottom Line- Avg. skit was **.7 making this a thumbs up show. There were three fantastic skits here bookended by a bunch of solid and unspectacular skits. As always, Steve Martin was a fantastic host, and I hope he would host more, rather than just to promote unfunny movies where he says the word hamburger in hilarious fashion. A fun show with a great host, not much to complain about here.


Thumbs Up


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The Steve Martin one was weird to me. I was sure Martin was going to phone it in, but then he really seemed like he was on his game, but then they didn't come up with any good material for that episode. The Kirsten Wiig 'Crazy Wife' sketch was the worst thing I've ever seen on SNL.

The Gun sketch was brilliant though.


Wiig has been a black hole of suck lately.

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