Adam Levine is no stranger to SNL. Actually I think he is the first person to appear as a musical guest (on the Jeremy Renner episode with Maroon 5) and host in the same season. As is often the case with hosts who are familiar to the show, the writers step up their game and the guest stars come out of the wood work and it makes for a great episode. This week was no different.
I have to wonder if one of the writers was looking at a calendar, saw that the inauguration and Martin Luther King Day lined up and a big ol’ light bulb went off. That cold open was fantastic! Keenan Thompson as the ghost of MLK who just wants to talk about the deliciousness of Beyoncé and other the lack of a black member of One Direction. I love when the show starts off strong and man did that sketch deliver.
Given the proclivity this season of musical monologues, I was fairly certain that Adam Levine would be singing. Not that it would be a bad thing but I think we can all agree that perhaps this was the better direction for him.
Even though Adam seemed a little stilted when the monologue started, once Andy Sandberg, Cameron Diaz, and Jerry Seinfeld showed up he settled into the fun quite well. I had feared a sketch of “The Voice” so I was extremely pleased to see it worked into the monologue and of course those three actors make anything better.
The fauxmercial for Rosetta Stone: Thai was entertaining but not one of their best.
When “Circle Work” started I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to like it. The talk show sketches in general aren’t my favorite and they tend to over stay their welcome but this one was funny. For some reason Kennan Thompson announcing that he had to poop and that he’d be back in 45 minutes really amused me.
“The Soprano Diaries” has the grand distinction of making me laugh so hard with one line that coffee went out my nostrils. My sinuses have never been so clean all thanks to “Call me Ishmael, you son of a bitch!”. There is no chance in hell I would watch The Carrie Diaries, but The Soprano Diaries? All day long. Especially with Kate McKinnon as Carmela.
The Fire Department fundraiser sketch had everything going against it. It was extremely random, it was composed mainly of yelling, it went long past it’s time, and yet? Was one of the funniest sketches of the night. I don’t know how but it was. Probably a credit to how entertaining Bill Hader is no matter what he is doing, even if it’s just screaming. Also his reaction to Don’t Trust the B- in Apt. 23 was spot on. That show was so great- smart and funny, always the first to get canceled. Damn you network TV! It was also nice to see Nasim Pedrad in yet another sketch as she’s been quite MIA here of late.
When Andy Samberg showed up in the monologue, everyone in the entire universe immediately started thinking back to 2007 when he teamed up with Adam Levine for perhaps the best fake song ever, “Iran So Far“. When the logo for “SNL Digital Short” came up I think you could hear SNL fans the world over scream in delight. While I think the show is doing just fine in the post-Samberg era, “YOLO” was a great flashback to previous years.
Kendrick Lamar’s performances were good but I’ll admit I enjoyed hearing him singing about responsible financial planning than “drank”, but that could be because I loathe the word drank. I hear it and my skin crawls. Blech.
Weekend Update brought back one of my favorite recurring characters, Arianna Huffington! Nasim Pedrad just does such a good job with that impersonation it’s a joy to watch. Especially when she’s calling Seth Meyers what every fangirl calls him, Sex Meyers.
Of course there was no way that we wouldn’t be seeing Keenan Thompson as a crying, screaming, and dancing Ray Lewis. Ray Lewis probably cried watching Thompson cry.
The Maroon 5 vs. Train rumble was entertaining mainly thanks to Jason Sudekis as Jason Mraz and Bill Hader again as John Mayer. Well seeing Taran Killam as Pat Monahan motorboat Adam Levine was also a highlight, but that’s a given.
I have seen one episode of MTV’s Catfish and that was enough for me to know that the SNL sketch was about as perfect as you could imagine, especially Adam Levine as the annoying Nev. Of course if you take to the internet regarding this episode, you’ll find a lot of complaining about Levine reading off the cue cards too much. The fact they were visible in the Catfish sketch didn’t help but come on, the guy sings the same songs over and over each night, he’s not an actor, and frankly the cast members themselves have been really bad about reading cue cards so perhaps the internet is being a bit too harsh. Either way, Catfish was actually really funny. Frighteningly accurate, but really funny at the same time.
“Janet’s Apartment” was equally hysterical and disturbing. On one hand, a Murphy bed with Danny Glover’s face on it sounds fantastic but when Bobby Moynihan in drag is the one pulling it down, things get really creepy.
Nothing creepy with the “Biden Bash”- I’d attend that shindig any day of the year. If this truly is Jason Sudekis’ last year on SNL, he’s going about it the right way and ending with some high notes.
Overall? It might be my favorite episode of the season. There were quite a few “wtf” moments but all together it was very entertaining. Thankfully because after next week’s rerun (Jeremy Renner), the Feb. 9th episode will be Justin Bieber. I will watch the episode with an open mind, but I’ll admit I’m not really looking forward to it.
Until then SNL fans!