After last Saturday’s horrific outing, I spent the week placing offerings at my shrine to the great Colin Quinn in the hopes that it would pay off with a better episode this week. I wasn’t even asking for it to be good, just that it didn’t suck donkey balls.
Man, my house smelling like a pothead’s van for a week really paid off.
Everyone knew that the cold open was going to be the VP debate. In my review of the premiere, I said that Taran Killam’s Paul Ryan impression needed work. Apparently he heard my concerns because this week it was spot on. It really was better than I could have imagined. Add in the ridiculous water drinking, with the hamster bottle being the highlight, and I was in heaven.
And if the already strong sketch needed any help… Usain Bolt. That was so unexpected but enjoyable. I had completely forgotten about Ryan’s inflated athletic abilities, such great material there.
The monologue was okay. Usually I don’t like when the hosts do a random musical number because it never really seems to fit in, but I always forget that Christina Applegate can sing. Of course it was also nice that she gave Matt Foley, Motivational Speaker a shout out.
The Gillette commercial with Jerry Sandusky was just odd. There’s a good chance I have missed a story concerning Jerry Sandusky and shaving and perhaps that’s where the idea came from, but yea, it was weird.
If I had to choose one recurring sketch that I dislike more than all others, it would probably be Fred Armisen as the annoying producer turned talk show host. If I had to choose a second recurring sketch that I dislike more than all others excluding the previously mentioned, it would be The Californians. The moment the SoapNet logo comes on I just want to fast forward. At least this time it had Taran Killam as the wedding planner.
Next up was the second best sketch of the night, “Tech Talk” aka “First World Problems”. This seems like one they’ve had on the blocks for a while now and decided to go with it this week. Fantastic execution. Describing the new iPhone as “three sheets of paper stapled together” had me rolling. Best parts were the “traditional sarcastic dance” and of course the complaints about American products.
The next sketch was a prerecorded movie trailer for “Give Us All Our Daughters Back”. So many great impressions in this one. Bill Hader as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Christina Applegate as Uma Thurman, Bobby Moynihan as Steven Seagal- they were all good. The best though was Jay Pharaoh with his Denzel Washington impression. “Are you a porpoise or a narwhal?”
The most disturbing part of the sketch was when I realized that not only would my husband watch that movie, he would love that movie. If Chuck Norris were added to that cast, he would probably have that movie showing on a continual loop.
I think it’s a mark of a good show when the musical guest comes up and you think “already?”. Passion Pit was on tap and they are good. One of those somewhat obscure bands that divides the internet between the “I LOVE PASSION PIT” and the “who the hell are these people? Come on SNL, why don’t you get some bands on that people have actually heard of or care about.” crowds.
Weekend Update had one of my least favorite guests and one of my favorite guests. Jean K Jean is sort of amusing but really I could do without him. More than anything he reminds me of Keenan Thompson’s character Pierre Escargot on Take That.
However, Nasim Pedrad’s Arianna Huffington? I could watch her all day long. I don’t know that I would even recognize the real Arianna Huffington if I came across her in a dark alley, but I get a little giddy when I see Nasim appear as her.
After Weekend Update the show moved into that mine field that makes me nervous each week. Which barrel scrapping sketches made the cut? This week I was extremely pleased to see that my favorite sketch of the night aired in this slot. There’s a good chance I loved the “Siren Song” sketch as much as I did because I’m a woman in my mid-30’s and therefore by default have fond memories of chick music from the 90’s, but there’s an equally good chance that this sketch was just perfect. I’m going with perfect. Jason Sudeikis was Odysseus, tied to the mast to avoid the song of the sirens, played by Cecily Strong, Christina Applegate and Kate McKinnon. They tried to lure Odysseus in with such hits like Lisa Loeb’s “Stay” and Shania Twain’s “That Don’t Impress Me Much”. And what mention of 90’s music would be complete without TLC’s “No Scrubs”?
There was a return to the high school with “Hell-o-Ween” which was mildly entertaining and then a “Dance Class” sketch that was a bit on the odd side. What it really made obvious though, is how much alike Christina Applegate and Kristin Wiig are. I don’t know if Applegate was trying to impersonate Wiig, impersonating a strange Fosse obsessed dance instructor but damn, it was a little eerie. The voice, the expressions, everything- odd.
Biggest things from this episode- hello Jason Sudeikis and Kate McKinnon! This is by far the most, and best, we’ve seen of Sudeikis so far this season and he was on top of it this episode. Kate McKinnon is literally living the dream right now. It’s only her second season right? And she has been the go to girl for almost every episode. I can’t imagine she won’t be bumped up to cast member either at some point in this season or definitely by next season.
She’s already gotten to announce the show so what else is there?
Which brings me to a question- where is Aidy Bryant? Has she just had a run of bad luck and all her sketches have been cut? That just doesn’t seem possible. Surely they can find some place for her. We’ve seen plenty of Cecily Strong and Tim Robinson (more Strong than Robinson) and only a few snippets of Aidy Bryant. She was the new cast member I was most looking forward to so her absence is strongly felt.
Dear Ms. Bryant,
If you want or need help writing some sketches that will make the final cut, just give me a call. I’m sure we can work something out that will blow their minds and force them to give you some airtime.
I’m really glad this episode was as great as it was because next week the host and musical guest is Bruno Mars. Unless your name is Justin Timberlake, you don’t really have any business pulling double duty. Here’s hoping for the best, while bracing for the worst.