I’ve mentioned it before, but I look forward to shows after long breaks because they usually are of better quality than those towards the end of a long stretch. Sadly, this week was not one of those shows. It was alright, but not much to write home about.
They started off strong with the cold open, of course anyone who has kept up with the news this past week knew exactly who was going to make an appearance. I loved Bobby Moynihan as Manti Te’o as he nailed Te’o's constant deer in the headlights look. I was also quite delighted to see Kate McKinnon again (she’s been absent for a while which is odd seeing how omnipresent she was at the beginning of the season) as Jodie Foster.
McKinnon does a fabulous Jodie Foster! Of course one does have to contemplate the stability of the cosmos when you have one SNL actor impersonating an actor, who was impersonating a character done by another SNL actor.
Jennifer Lawrence’s monologue was boring. No two ways about it. The smack talking of other Oscar nominees was amusing to a point but overall, blah. When the funniest part of your monologue is someone else (Bill Hader as Tommy Lee Jones), then something went wrong.
They did gain some ground with the fauxmercial for Starbuck’s home brewer, the Verismo. Besides being funny on its own, if not slightly racist, it made me realize that I like Vanessa Bayer a thousand times more when she is playing the straight man. Her reaction to the sass talking coffee maker and it’s even sassier manager was hysterical.
I really want to like the Girlfriends Talk Show sketch. I really really really do. Unfortunately I really really really don’t. It’s just boring. However, I will say that I am actively trying to find a way to make myself a “Davide R.I.P.” button because that was by far the funniest part of the sketch. That or the “slimming outer garment”. Other than those two parts (thank you Aidy Bryant) it just falls flat.
Much like when Jeremy Renner was hosting and they did the Avengers sketch, you knew there was going to be a Hunger Games sketch this week. Unfortunately just like the Avengers sketch, it left us a little wanting. There were some definite funny moments, Bill Hader’s beard for sure, and Bobby Moynihan not realizing everyone else was dead, and of course Taran Killam as Peeta, but overall it was just there.
However, the Hobbit as 32 movies bit? That was awesome. Between the titles of the movies and the “reviews”, I was dying. Thank the gods above that it was funny because the “Johnny TwoTones Diner” sketch? It was anything but. I liked the premise, and there were certain moments that were funny, but if there wasn’t a “Girlfriends Talk Show” this would have been the worst sketch of the night.
The Lumineers were refreshingly good. There was no trippy windows 98 screen saver or useless and extraneous dancers involved which was really nice. I’d forgotten what it was like to just watch people sing. Of course they went with the ubiquitous “Ho Hey” for their first offering. Is there anyone on the planet that hasn’t heard at least a snippet of this song by now? Because it seems like it is everywhere- commercials, TV promos, movie trailers. “I belong to you, you belong to me, you’re my sweetheart” is heard every time I turn on my television. Thankfully it’s not too annoying. Yet.
Weekend Update sadly only had one guest and it was the second-hand news guy, Anthony Crispino. I like him only because you can tell how much fun Seth Meyers and Bobby Moynihan have with him. Although I did literally laugh out loud when he said that Fargo, directed by the Aflac duck won a Golden Globe.
Something odd has happened with the last few episodes. For years, and perhaps decades, the sketches following Weekend Update are the ones where you start to wonder what on earth is wrong with the writers of SNL. Were they dropped on their heads too often as infants? Licked lead paint as small children? Smoked too much pot? The questions were endless. However, recently these have been my favorite sketches. I don’t know if it’s me or them, but I like it.
“Top Dog Chef” for example? There is no reason in the world as to why I found that to be so hysterical. Actually I should have thought it was stupid but much like “Maine Justice”, it was fabulous. Of all the random things on the show, I would not have guessed that a Yorkie costume would be the one to end up reused (Daniel Radcliffe was a Yorkie on Weekend Update January of last year). Jennifer Lawrence made a great Yorkie but I think we can all agree that Fred Armisen as the canine Mario Barktali complete with orange crocs was the crowning achievement in that sketch.
The best sketch of the night though? The Minnesota hip-hop morning show. I don’t know if it’s just the combination of Billy and Taran with Vanessa as the straight man, Then add in Jennifer Lawrence as the not so Lyrical Assassin, Busty Rhymes and it was just awesome. A great sketch!
If you haven’t had the pleasure, nay, the honor of seeing the incredible 1974 French soft porn classic, Emmanuelle then the Danielle sketch might have just seemed really odd and from left field. If you have seen Emmanuelle then you know how spot on this sketch was. It was sort of creepy in an incredibly brilliant kind of way.
Last sketch of the night was “Civil War Letters” and was a typical last sketch of the night. Little stupid, a lot ridiculous, and somewhat funny. It was nice to see Tim Robinson again as he’s been relegated to background extra for many weeks now. If the sketch did nothing else, it made us question whether or not Abraham Lincoln was a fan of the “tit pic”.
Like I said at the top, it was a little disappointing of an episode. It certainly wasn’t the worst I’ve seen but it was far from the best I’ve seen. Luckily we have next week to look forward to with the always funny and engaging Adam Levine.
Until next time!