I had plans to wait until I got home from a weekend trip to New Orleans to watch this week’s SNL, but the power of the Timberlake would not let me and I am grateful, because it was fantastic. I’ll admit that there was a bit of reservation initially because my slightly inebriated state may have made the show funnier than it actually was. Any doubt was erased when watched by the harsh light of a sober morning. And if there was any doubt that the writers were taking an easy/lazy break last week to gear up for this episode, they are now erased because minus a few missteps, the writing was as good as it’s been all season to date.
It is really rare to see the host in the cold open, to the point that I can not think of the last time I’d seen it. Of course, this is Justin Timberlake and it is well known that he rises above normal conventions. So there he was, in all his Elton John glory, singing at the funeral of Hugo Chavez. Nothing like a reworked ‘Candle in the Wind’ to start the night off right.
To truly appreciate the greatness of Timberlake’s “Five-Timers Club” monologue, you’d have to watch Tom Hanks’ monologue from his fifth time hosting back in 1990.
You’ve got the very young SNL writer, Conan O’Brien greeting Hanks at the door vs. current SNL writer Mike O’Brien who happens to also be behind one of my favorite webseries, Seven Minutes in Heaven with Mike O’Brien. I’m of the belief that all celebrity interviews should be conducted in a closet and end in awkward kissing. Of course the similarities between the two monologues continue with Paul Simon and Steve Martin. I really enjoyed it, but oh boy does it put a bit of a spotlight on how much more often men are the host of SNL as opposed to women. Well at least, frequent hosts. Perhaps next episode’s host, Melissa McCarthy can bring up that number someday and join Candice Bergen and Drew Barrymore in the ‘Five-Timers Club’.
Even though the monologue ran a bit long, it was really fun to watch SNL living history all come together and watch Bobby Moynihan and Taran Killam fight to the death.
I’ll admit that when the dating show set was shown during the commercial break I groaned a bit. This has been the year of musical monologues and game shows, some have worked but there have been some that really did not. However when it became clear that this was just going to be a vehicle for the singing sleazebags known best for ‘Dick in a Box’, it became infinitely better. Of course I really wasn’t expecting the Festrunk brothers (as often cameos in the monologue stay in the monologue) so they were an awesome surprise. As much as I enjoyed both duos, Bobby Moynihan as the rejected bachelor was equally as funny. He usually plays the weird part of the joke so seeing him as the straight guy is always a refreshing change of pace.
It would not be a Justin Timberlake show without a costumed street singer promoting some random business. I have a feeling if it were anyone else, this sketch premise would have been old and tired by now. Luckily the writer’s have been able to keep the jokes and song parodies pretty fresh each time so it’s exciting to see Timberlake dressed as a big block of tofu as opposed to that “oh man, here we go again” feeling.
If you were wondering who on earth is still watching Harlem Shake videos and giving SNL the idea that it was still at all relevant and not beaten to death… it’s me. I love them in all their stupid glory and was downright giddy watching the cast do the “Vegan Shake”.
As great as Justin Timberlake is and how awesome his performances were, it was actually the “NuvaBling” fauxmercial that was the funniest to me. Probably because it was unexpected (unlike the rest of the episode, I mean we knew pretty much what sketches were going to be done) but it was hysterical. I mean come on, diamond encrusted birth control? Cool.
Diamond encrusted birth control that then becomes earrings? Perfect. Between that and the final line of “and yes, it does hurt”, easily my favorite commercial of the year. Birth control should all be “100% effective at getting dat swag on”.
So apparently there was some dust-up between Timberlake and Kanye West? I was unaware so I couldn’t have told you anything about the changed lyrics to “Suit and Tie”, but the internet quickly let me know of my ignorance. I guess we are all now just sitting and waiting to see what Kanye has to say in response.
Weekend Update was really short, likely due to the length of the monologue and the first few sketches, but it brought back Stefon who seems like he has been missing for quite a while (John Marbury who usually writes that character has been off working on his pilot for NBC). Bill Hader never fails to entertain as the ridiculous Stefon and this was no different. The club named “Your Mom and I are separating” located in a burnt out Red Lobster is sure to be the hotspot everyone is talking about.
“Sober Caligula” was the obvious low light of the episode. However, I do give them credit for trying a new sketch. If you’ve watched SNL with any regularity you know that when hosts make repeat appearances, they often will pull out the same characters that they know people like and have been successful (Veganville, Dick in a Box), so it was nice to see something new. Of course I wish it’d been a little bit more successful but A for effort and let’s not lie here, there’s nothing wrong with a sketch that features a half-naked Taran Killam.
I would never have thought that Maine Justice would be a recurring sketch. Ever. For good reason. It was great as a one time “this is really weird but oddly entertaining” kind of thing. Coming back? Eh, not so much. Unlike the later sketch with the “not porn stars anymore”, Maine Justice just needs to go ahead and call it a day.
You can sell all the albums in the world and you can star in as many movies as you want; hell, you can be a member of the SNL ‘Five-Timers Club’, but I think we can all agree, you haven’t really “made it” until the Three Amigos introduce you.
“She’s Got a D#*k” was all right. Not much to write home about but it was better than Maine Justice. I did like how Nasim didn’t have a name instead was billed as just an “adorable brunette”.
After a long day, I totally look forward to a glass of “Monica and Chandler” champagne and feel like it’s about time it got a chance to shine. Even though we have a general idea as to what the two idiot former porn stars are going to say, it still is funny as hell. I take that back because at no point did I ever think I’d hear someone tell a story of jerking off a horse on TV. That was a new one.
Overall? Great episode. I do wish they’d tried more original sketches but I understand they were trying to go for that typical cameo filled episode to try to drive up the ratings, and they were successful as more people watched this weekend than have since Charles Barkley hosted last January. I can see them getting close to those numbers with Melissa McCarthy hosting on April 6th because there might be people tuning in to see if Kristin Wiig or Maya Rudolph make cameos. Even if they don’t, McCarthy is a great sketch comedy actress so I’m very much looking forward to that episode.
Until then SNL fans!