Well I’m really glad that the last episode of SNL, hosted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, was good because this week it was just awful. I don’t know that awful is even strong enough a word for how bad this episode was. Usually I make two lists; one of good sketches, and another of bad sketches. This week there was not even an entire sketch in the good category, just one name. And it certainly wasn’t Daniel Craig’s.
Obviously, the cold open had to do with the debate. It was nice to see Chris Parnell back as the ineffective Jim Lehrer, but man alive this sketch was weak. Jay Pharaoh’s Obama impression is getting better but if the material and sketches don’t improve, I’d rather have Fred Armisen back as Commander-in-Chief. The monologue was just bad. Dear writers; if the phrase “I love this song but don’t know the name, can someone Shazaam it for me?” is what passes as a good joke these days, there is a problem. The catcalling construction workers wasn’t bad. It wasn’t good, but it wasn’t bad. It was just there and what seems to be a trend this season so far, it didn’t know when to quit. The “Bond Girls” fauxmercial was okay. I did enjoy Diane Keaton and Taran Killam in bed together. There was a moment where I was wondering how many people out there watching would remember Lea Salonga and then was really confused when they kept going back to her. I’m ashamed to admit I even wondered out loud, “has Lea Salonga even done anything on tv or been in a movie recently?” Well as a matter of fact the last tv/movie thing she did was the 25th Anniversary concert of Les Miserables in 2010. My confusion only increased.
All that said- I’m an idiot. For it wasn’t Lea Salonga they were talking about at all. Rather it was that chick from Glee, Lea Michele. Once I realized that, those parts of the sketch made a lot more sense. They weren’t any better, but they made sense at least. Another sketch about the debate in which Jason Sudeikis was hysterical as a sleep deprived Chris Matthews. Keenan Thompson is always fun as Al Sharpton but overall the sketch was a bore.
The happy Republican girl who said nothing but how happy she was this week was amusing in her simplicity. Next up was the pre-recorded “Long Island Medium” sketch and if there was a highlight of the night, this was probably it. That’s saying a lot. Kate McKinnon played the reality tv “star” who makes a living going up to random people and telling them about their loved ones who died. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen the show so I don’t know how spot on it was, but it was funny. Bobby Moynihan as the subject of one of the medium’s not-quite-so-accurate readings was the first time I laughed.
Unfortunately Bobby went from making me laugh to making me unintentionally impersonate my dog when he cocks his head to the side and gives me that “what the hell have you been smoking woman?” look. Seriously, what on earth was up with that space station sketch? It was just awkward and weird and I’m usually a fan of awkward and weird but it was not working for me. At all. It was interesting to hear an entire audience simultaneously let out an “awwww” when Fuzz Aldrin appeared. Thank god there was a cute cat because otherwise that sketch was a goner.
Musical Guest Time! It was Muse and they were good. During the first song though I could not get past the fact the dude was playing an ipad. Seriously.
I don’t know why I was surprised, hell you can damn near perform brain surgery nowadays after watching a few YouTube videos but this guitar/bass/iPad thing he had going was just fascinating to me. If I learned nothing else on Saturday Night it was this- America still loves Big Bird. I mean, who can blame us? Follow That Bird was one of the greatest movies of its time. Put Big Bird on Weekend Update? The tv watching nation will go nuts.
Did you know that Big Bird is on twitter? Well he sort of is, he just tweets through the general Sesame Street account though. Sharing is a big thing on Sesame Street. Did you also know that Grizzly Bomb is on twitter? Of course we are! After Weekend Update I’m pretty sure Lorne Michaels spontaneously burst into flames and the entire cast was too distracted by it to actually put forth the effort to make the rest of the show watchable.
“Sorry Lot We Are” was just horrendous. When you are making references to movies that have been dead and gone for quite some time (The Full Monty and the even more obscure, Waking Ned Divine) people are going to start to think you are phoning it in. Even more aggravating was this was the first time we got to see Aidy Bryant do more than one short line. I had started to wonder if she was even on the show anymore because we’ve seen plenty of Cecily Strong and Tim Robinson but unfortunately not much of Ms. Bryant. If “man in drag awkwardly rubbing themselves against other cast member” hadn’t been done in the last episode, it might have been better received this week. Then again, there is only so much of Fred Armisen’s crotchtal region that I want to see, so maybe not.
Apparently Fred’s crotch was the last straw because after another performance by Muse, it was a repeat of the “Undecided Voters” sketch from last week and that was all she wrote. Thank the angels and saints in heaven above. So all that was in my bad/not good column. The only thing in my good column? Kate McKinnon. She was all over this episode and even though it looked as if Vanessa McBrayer was being groomed as the next Kristin Wiig, Ms. McKinnon seems ready for that role. Despite the entire episode sucking as a whole, she had some bright moments. I’m looking forward to see her performances as the season goes on.
To sum up: episode was bad, Daniel Craig is pretty but should stay away from sketch comedy, Big Bird is a fan favorite, and I’m trying to forget this show happened and just look forward to October 13th when Christina Applegate hosts with musical guest Passion Pit.