SNL: 38.14 – Kevin Hart & Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

After last week’s episode was so strong, I figured there would be a bit of a lag this week, and I was right. However, Kevin Hart still made the show entertaining with his earnest efforts and high energy. The show kicked off with a typical politically themed cold open, and it started so slow that I almost just quit watching for a moment. Thankfully I kept with it otherwise I might have missed the most fabulous thing I’ve seen on my television in a while.

YMCA SNL
Credit to: liz-lemonism

Yes, the sequestration is going to hit our country hard, especially the gay sailors, cops, construction workers, and Native American chiefs. Very sad. Very sad indeed. However, their loss is my gain because I could just watch that gif for hours.

Credit to: communified
Credit to: communified

While the monologue ran a little long, I loved it. It wasn’t some pointless musical number and Hart didn’t just stand there nervously fumbling his lines, rather he came out and did a stand up bit. The hobo palming some dude’s sandwich at Panera was awesome. Especially when he turned it into his fear of the hobo’s germs when he touched his lip. I was dying. The story of his audition at SNL was good, but not as good but it did what very few monologues I’ve ever seen on SNL do, it told a complete story! There was a beginning, a middle, and an end. Not only that but it had a flow to it and made sense. If I was a creative writing teacher I’d probably be giving him some good marks. I’m not, so I’ll just sit here being impressed.

The Steve Harvey Show sketch is not one that needs to be right after the monologue but this is not the first time this year they’ve done that. Much like the “Girlfriend’s Talk Show”, it just doesn’t have the energy in it to fill that slot. I did like Nasim with the stuffed horse though, no real reason behind it, I apparently am just a fan of watching Nasim Pedrad stand next to large stuffed animals.

You know the minute the camera comes up on Jason Sudeikis as Wolf Blitzer that it’s pretty much guaranteed to be funny. This time “The Situation Room” covered the papal election and I honestly did not see the punchline coming at all. Kevin Hart as Pope Quevenzhane Wallis was hysterical. Complete with her puppy purse and curly hair, perfect.

Pope Quvenzhané Wallis

Kevin Hart makes an adorable little girl turned Pope and his Latin is quite good. Of course having taken Latin in high school, it was like I finally had a little moment where it all paid off. Who needs Spanish when you can spend three years of your adolescent life in preparation for fifteen seconds of an SNL episode? Ego sum homo indeed.

The Verissimo commercial made another appearance as did Bobby Moynihan and Cecily Strong’s worst employees ever. Apparently after leaving their high-powered careers at McDonalds, they found jobs at Barnes and Noble but again find themselves potentially getting fired. I like this bit and these characters because Moynihan and Strong are on point when it comes to timing and delivery of their barbs, but perhaps there needs to be a bit more time in between their appearances. It seems like they did the same exactShirts at half mast thing just in different colored shirts.

Weekend Update was great! Most of the headline jokes were good with my favorites being college girls raising their shirts to half mast in memory of ‘Girls Gone Wild’ and of course the baby boom expected in result of the Hurricane Sandy blackouts. I heard a nasty rumor the other day that Seth Meyers was thinking of leaving SNL which got me thinking, who could take over the Weekend Update desk? I don’t think there’s anyone in the cast right now that could do it.

It certainly couldn’t be Bobby Moynihan because then we’d lose a good chunk of what he does so well and that is WU guests. This week he was there as North Korean leader Kim Jung Un with his new best friend Dennis Rodman.

Credit to: nbcsnl
Credit to: nbcsnl

What an odd news story that translated into a great WU bit. Of course Bobby wearing no pants and Jay Pharoah trying to carry him piggy back without accidentally grabbing something he shouldn’t was too funny.

Also funny was the “Really” segment with Kevin Hart. I know there’s been a bit of an outrage over calling all of us Southerners racists but a.) it’s a joke and b.) we don’t really have much of a leg to stand on when it comes to racism in history. I mean come on. Complaining about being the butt of that joke would be on par with complaining that having to avoid the Trail of Tears memorial trail adds ten minutes to your commute time.

Walking Dead SNL

I don’t even watch The Walking Dead  yet I can tell you that Nasim Pedrad does an awesome Carl. This sketch was funny, to an extent. It was basically the same joke repeated numerous times. Oh and I learned that if being called a racist solely on where you live got people riled up, go ahead and see what happens when you mention something spoilerish of their favorite show. Whoo boy, people are pissed. Of course I’m of the thought that if the show aired more than a couple of weeks ago, either watch it or shut up if you happen upon spoilers. It’s your own damn fault for not keeping up.

“Shark Tank” really had no hope of being funny. The only funny part was Tim Robinson and his “slest”. The sunglasses on a lamp part? Did not work.

Credit to: sucker4taeny
Credit to: sucker4taeny

If you watched television at all during the 90’s, then you saw exactly what “Z-Shirts” was about. Especially on Nickelodeon which I watched quite a bit of in the 80’s and 90’s (You Can’t Do That On Television and Double Dare mostly). These commercials were loud, obnoxious, colorful, and most often, stupid. Kevin Hart’s screaming “Ist it a F-Shirt?” was perfectly suited to his energy and delivery.

The pre-taped sketch was good on its own, my favorite of the night actually, but when it showed up two sketches later in a nice call back? Love. SNL is not known for those types of techniques so when they do use them it’s really a nice surprise. I’d love to see more of this, much like in the Justin Bieber episode where they had Ellen, a recurring character, be a part of a sketch not centered on her. It’s the little things in life.
http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=n33505

The Dove Chocolate recording session was funny, but it was actually the little “ehh?” Vanessa Bayer puts at the end of each section and then adds it in randomly that was the highlight. I don’t know why but seriously, that had me in stitches. She is one of those people that is really good at finding small things like that and working them in. They aren’t in your face but you can’t help but laugh.

Credit to: jonbutter
Credit to: jonbutter

The only thing funny about News 360 was the cameramen, especially Jay Pharoah in the rafters.

Oh, and I forgot about Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. I’m a fan so I enjoyed it but I wish they’d done “Same Love” instead of “Thrift Shop” (although I realize how ridiculous that is given that it’s “Thrift Shop” that got them on SNL in the first place) especially if they weren’t going to do it live.

I have a feeling the powers that be wouldn’t let them do it live for fear of them forgetting to do a radio edit version because they did come back and do “Can’t Hold Us” live. Recorded or live, there’s no one who can deny that those guys had a good time.

Overall? Wasn’t the best writing, wasn’t the best mix of sketches but it was fun despite it all. I have a feeling the writing will be taken up a notch for next week when Justin Timberlake pulls double duty. Until then SNL fans!

Justin Timberlake
News bit for all those who noticed Don Pardo’s absence, he apparently suffered a broken hip so he’s been out of commission. They did not say when (or god forbid, if) he would return but Darrell Hannah has taken over announcing duties for now.

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