Let the record show, I was not looking forward to this episode. At all. But I told myself I’d go into with an open mind. Sadly, my hater attitude won out in the end and I was just not that impressed with Justin Bieber’s turn at SNL host. Thankfully there were a few moments that shone through the dark veil of screaming teenage girls.
The cold open? It was not one of those shining moments. It was actually rather awkward and too long and actually, pretty on target because that’s precisely how it felt during the actual Super Bowl “black out”. The highlight of the entire sketch was when Jay Pharoah as Shannon Sharpe said that “Ray Lewis knows who killed those people because it was him.” You could hear everyone in the audience collectively take in a sharp breath and look around nervously.
The monologue set the mood for the rest of the night: Justin Bieber gazing at the camera like I do at pie, teenager girls squealing, and Justin Bieber singing. Hey, did you know that Justin Bieber is a singer? Well he was not going to let you forget because that is pretty much all he did in almost every sketch. Almost all can be forgiven though because Whoopi Goldberg was there for some reason. Admittedly, I’m not up on my Justin Bieber news so there could be a good reason for her to be there, but really I don’t care what it was because I like seeing her. Would love to have had her show up in a sketch later in the episode, sadly ’twas not to be.
That’s all I have to say about that.
When you have a polarizing figure such as Justin Bieber, it is best to appeal to both sides. “Body Doubles” was clearly the sketch intended for those who rolled their eyes when they heard he would be the host. I will say, even though I am far from a Bieber fan, I do have more respect for him after this sketch because he basically just let the writers have at it.
For me, this was the best sketch of the night and not just because it called out Bieber on his more ridiculous quirks. Main reason? It was the entire cast! I don’t know why but I love sketches that have the entire cast in them. Little did I know this would only be one of two in the episode but I think we can all agree, this was the better one. Jason Sudeikis as Bieber’s security guy was great. We really felt his pain when he discovered that Saddam Hussein had died. Another reason it was the best of the night?
I really wish the recurring characters in the SNL universe would work their way into sketches where they aren’t the subject. It doesn’t happen that often, so when it does I take delight. Kate McKinnon’s Ellen is great anyway so to take her out of an “Ellen” sketch and have her just backstage at a Justin Bieber concert hanging out with all the other body doubles was a great move.
Surprisingly, there were a few of those Bravo shows I would watch. The gay/daddy/bear/limo driver Bobby Moynihan? All day long. Of course I have a feeling that Houseplants of Beverly Hills would be some riveting television.
Justin Bieber sang a few times, but since he sang seemingly the entire episode, I didn’t really pay attention. All of his music sounds the same and all revolve around some “girl”.
Weekend Update was great. Between Honey-BooBoo being lost in a custody battle and the Boy Scouts pondering whether or not to let gays in, I was rolling. Even though there was so no Stefon (a crime), we did get to catch up with King Richard III’s good friends who amazingly enough look a lot like many other douchebag leader’s good friends. Small world. However it was “Corey, the one black guy in every commercial” that really was the highlight. Keenan Thompson is quickly becoming one of my favorite Weekend Update guests. He usually does such a good job with whatever character he comes up with. Corey was no different.
The “Tell Me More” and “Miley Cyrus Show” sketches were just boring. The only highlight of the Grease send up was the participation of the entire cast but the joke of Bieber being very young and having the older woman swoon over him was done much better by Tina Fey. As for the Miley Cyrus bit? I wouldn’t be surprised if it was solely written up as a vehicle for Justin Bierber to “apologize” for his pot smoking.
“Glice” was probably my second favorite sketch of the night. It’s no secret I am a huge fan of Taran Killam and he was hysterical as the obnoxious older brother who gets hung up on his sister’s boyfriend slip of the tongue. It was rather impressive how well he stuck with it. After two seconds of screaming and laughing about the made up word “glice” I’d be a mess. I wonder how often there have been successful sketches build entirely off one ridiculous word.
I have never been more thankful to see Bobby Moynihan than I was in the “Sexy Valentine’s message” pre-recorded bit. Outside of a few laughable moments, including a bird running into a window interrupting what I’m sure was an incredibly romantic and new way to gaze into a camera and talk to an unnamed girl, there wasn’t much going for the sketch. Except for Moynihan’s Taco. Second episode in a row in which we find Bobby in the guest’s bedroom being a little odd. This week involved footie pajamas and a saxophone.
The “School Dance” sketch is getting dangerously close to being overdone. I like it, mainly because for some reason I’m still laughing whenever Jay Pharaoh says “Attention teachers and students”, but if they go back to it again this season, it will have run it’s course. Please don’t turn it into “The Californians”, I beg of you. I literally laughed out loud when Principal Frye told the students that if they got shot by an arrow, it was not cupid but rather:
Overall? Not that great. Hopefully they’ve filled their “teen heartthrob” quota for the year and we can get to some hosts with actual acting ability. I am stupid excited for next week, Chrstoph Waltz with musical guest, Alabama Shakes.
Until then SNL fans!