Tag Archives: Fred Armisen

SNL: 38.21 – Ben Affleck & Kanye West (Season Finale)

Another great season of SNL wrapped up this weekend with host Ben Affleck joining the Five Timers Club. Sadly Mr. Affleck did not get the fanfare of previous club initiates but in all honesty, this season finale was more about departing cast members than it was the host.

Someone who doesn’t appear to be going anywhere, despite being in his tenth year on SNL, is Kenan Thompson. There are quite a few who think he needs to move on but if he keeps up things like comparing his Al Sharpton hair to Fredrick Douglas, then he can stay as long as he desires. However, it was “Matthew McConnell” that really made me laugh. How could you not laugh at the idea of Wooderson in politics?

Ben Affleck

The monologue was cute but still rather meh at the same time. The backlash Affleck got for saying marriage is work was ridiculous to begin with. The fact that they couldn’t come up with anything a little bit more topical (the Oscars seems like they were months ago…) is even more ridiculous. That being said, I’m a huge fan of Jennifer Garner so anything that gets her on my TV, I’m okay with it.

Ben Affleck

The “Bengo F*** Yourself”? I can’t tell if I liked it because it brought back Fred Armisen’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or if I liked it because it was funny, or really if I even liked it at all. Ahmadinejad having to say “park the car in Harvard Yard” each time was amusing but the premise was a little blah. It just left me wanting to go watch “I Ran So Far” again.

Ben AffleckI know I’ve proclaimed something to be the “best so far” at least twice this season, but ‘Xanax for Gay Summer Weddings’ really was the best commercial of the season. Everything from the favors of cheez-its and mini bottles of water compared to two tickets to Italy and 40K and Bill Hader dancing was delightful. Bobby Moynihan not owning an iron? Aidy Bryant and Kate McKinnon as the couple getting married with their pack of dogs? Flawless. The tagline of “Not necessary for lesbian weddings” made me laugh more than anything in quite some time. Don’t know who wrote that bit but hats off to them because it was amazing.

Not amazing was Ben Affleck with his Jimmy Stewart impression and Bill Hader’s “holding out for management” sketch. Actually the only highlight of that was Kate McKinnon pronouncing that she was 40. How that sketch made it to the front half of the show is beyond me because it was awful.

Ben Affleck
Credit to: Joe Kelly’s Instagram

One of the best parts of living in the internet age, is the ability to have a look at our favorite shows that we’ve never had the chance to get before. If you wanted backstage photos back in the dark ages of my childhood, you had to either know someone or see them in a magazine. I know right? Oh the humanity! Now you pop on over to Instagram, or Twitter, or Facebook and you’ve got those things right at your fingertips. Thankfully Joe Kelly, an SNL writer, got a picture of that incredible shirt that Taran Killam was wearing in the ‘New Beginnings’ sketch because it truly needs to be seen as often as possible. Impressive bead work. The sketch was all right, but that shirt was clearly the highlight.

Ben Affleck
Credit to: John Mulaney’s Instagram

I have been watching SNL ever since I was going to sleepovers or found a way to sneakily watch TV after my parents went to bed so mid-80’s. Actually the first episode I remember seeing was Ron Reagan hosting with musical guest The Nelsons. Oh yea. In all those years, I don’t know that I’ve seen a better send off for a character than was given to Bill Hader’s Stefon.

Ben Affleck

Stefon came on as expected and things progressed as they usually do. Then, in a moment of horror vocalized clearly by the audience’s gasps, he storms off stage telling Seth that he’s found a new man and he’s getting married. The fabulous Amy Poehler saves the day by telling Seth Meyers to go after him and we are treated to a The Graduate send-up that would no doubt make Dustin Hoffman proud. I’m woman enough to admit that it made me cry to see all Stefon’s clubbing friends there at his wedding. ‘Menorah the Explorer’ and of course ‘DJ Baby Bok-Choy’ warmed the cold cockles of my heart. However, nothing compares to having the happy couple return to the Weekend Update set and take a final bow surrounded by other fantastic Weekend Update characters.

Ben Affleck

A remarkable end to an incredibly entertaining character and ongoing storyline.

Sadly, the rest of the sketches weren’t nearly as good or noteworthy. ‘Greg’s Funeral’ was entertaining to a point, and the ‘Engagement BBQ’ was mildly funny but only because it was nearing 1 am and I was tired. Really the only thing the second half had that was positive, sketch wise was the ‘not porn stars anymore’ and their Hermes handbags.

Ben Affleck

Three times in one season seems like a lot, but these two have managed to keep this sketch interesting despite over-playing it. One can hope they won’t continue to do it as often as the gag will easily be played out, but for now it worked.

Bill Hader had his moment and at the end of the night, it was time for Fred Armisen’s. He didn’t even attempt to go the funny route, instead just went straight for our hearts and ripped them out and stomped them for good measure.

Of course it would be difficult to assemble a cooler group of musicians and it seemed right that Ian Rubbish would have his moment that was that cool. If I hadn’t gotten teary with Stefon, then I certainly would have when I caught sight of Fred/Ian’s guitar strap proclaiming his love for Lorne Michaels.

Overall, this was a crappy episode with great moments. Ben Affleck wasn’t all that great in his sketches but it seemed right that he host this show and give even more closure to Stefon (he played his brother in the first episode Stefon appeared on Weekend Update). Really this finale was all about two men who have been shining beacons of the SNL cast for years.

Ben Affleck

There are still plenty of cast decisions up in the air – Jason Sudeikis, for one – but we know that even though at least two big names are leaving, there are plenty talented actors ready to step into their shoes as has happened for all 38 years the show as been on air. It’s survived big names leaving and it’ll survive these big names leaving. Now we just have all summer to obsess over who will be the new cast members and of course, who will take over Weekend Update!

It’s been a great season, I’ve really enjoyed this time we’ve spent together SNL fans. Just because the season is over doesn’t mean our relationship has to be. Stick around for there will be plenty of SNL news over the break and of course there will be plenty of things to discuss as we approach Season 39!!!

Ben Affleck to join SNL’s ‘Five Timers Club’

When the season finale of SNL gets underway this weekend, there will be another member of the SNL ‘Five Timers Club’. Justin Timberlake joined the club earlier this season but this time it’s all about Mr. Argo himself, Ben Affleck.

http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=n36897
http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=n36987

While Ben Affleck is a host to certainly look forward to, this show will indeed be bittersweet. In addition to the confirmed departure of Bill Hader, this weekend will also be Fred Armisen’s last show and it is very likely that Jason Sudeikis is leaving as well. Add in Seth Meyers’ new gig at Late Night next winter and SNL is going to look quite differently when it returns in the fall.

Some things however, will always remain constant. Kanye West using his mouth to find his way into the news isn’t likely to go away any time soon. This time he’s dragged SNL into his headline making ways. While performing at the Roseland Ballroom in NYC this week it made it very clear that he has no interest in doing any skits on this weekend’s show.

(if you have an issue with profanity, probably best to skip this one)

Well Kanye, some might say the feeling is mutual. There are quite a few people who are puzzled at Lorne Michael’s decision to have you perform on the show and this just adds fuel to that fire. Nothing like someone being happy to be invited, sheesh.

But who cares about Kanye West and whatever crawled up his ass and died? We’ve got a season finale to send off to great SNL performers to look forward to and nothing can stop us from enjoying that!

Remember to find your way back here on Sunday when we’ll have a recap and review of the show. Until then SNL fans!

Bill Hader is Leaving SNL – Is Anyone Else Joining Him?

Well the inevitable day is upon us. Bill Hader – talk show host, Vincent Price, James Carville, Al Pacino, and of course Stefon – is leaving SNL. He announced his departure with an interview with the New York Times.

[quote]It was a hard decision, but it has to happen at some point,” Mr. Hader said in an interview. “It got to a point where I said, ‘Maybe it’s just time to go.’  — NYT[/quote]

It’s foolish to think that SNL cast members will be around forever, even ones who have woven themselves so intrinsically into the fabric of the show as Hader has. For eight years SNL fans have tuned in on Saturday nights, sure that Bill Hader would be wearing some odd wig, dancing like a fool, hosting a game show, or breaking while Fred Armisen gyrated in his lap. Well this Saturday will be the last time to do so as it will be Hader’s farewell.

If there is a silver lining in this news, it’s almost a sure thing that we’ll have a Stefon sighting this weekend.

What does this mean for the show? Well obviously someone will need to step into the talk show hosts shoes but beyond that, a lot is still up in the air. Fred Armisen could be leaving. Jason Sudeikis is likely leaving. Kenan Thompson is wrapping up his tenth season so I wouldn’t be surprised if he left. Nasim Pedrad was in the non-picked up John Mulaney pilot so could she be looking to leave? Seth Meyers will be around for the first part of the season but then he’s off to take over for Jimmy Fallon at Late Night.

So much uncertainty but Hader himself assures the fans that the show is left in capable hands.

[quote]I found myself looking up and watching the new people do their sketches. I like watching Kate McKinnon do something — there’s a joy in seeing a new move from somebody and going, ‘Oh, she can do that.’ — NYT[/quote]

SNL survived Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg leaving last year. It’s survived beloved cast members leaving for decades now, it will survive Bill Hader’s leaving. Doesn’t mean it won’t suck, and he won’t be missed, but it will survive. And hey, we can always looks forward to Don Pardo announcing “your host, Bill Hader”.

Bill Hader

SNL: 38.20 – Kristen Wiig & Vampire Weekend

She’s back! After 11 months and 30 days, Kristen Wiig returned the SNL stage for a show full of old friends!

The cold open was one of those that the moment it started you knew people were going to be up in arms. Whenever I see internet commenters (seriously what did people do in years past when they didn’t have a comment section to vent their rage?) complain about SNL it is usually that it isn’t as good as it was in some various point in time, or that SNL needs to “get back to being funny and stop trying to be political” which makes me wonder what show those people have been watching because it’s always been political.

Kristen Wiig

Of course that being said, whoever wrote the cue cards and mixed up Ariel Castro and Charles Ramsey’s name probably feels like a heel today. I imagine they’ll double check from now on to make sure they don’t switch out the name of a kidnapper and rapist for that of the man who rescued the victims. Devil’s in the details.

The monologue was funny but nothing really all that earth-shattering. Actually it was very reminiscent of Jimmy Fallon’s monologue from 2011. I do have to say though, that dress was adorable and of course any time Maya Rudolph comes on screen I’m a happy woman (please note that I will take this back in just a moment).

Kristen Wiig
Credit to: kentsu13

1-800-Flowers was equally hysterical and disturbing. There’s just something about Bill Hader in a wig and a robe talking about Asian porno that is rather unsettling. On the other hand, Kate McKinnon as the “I wish I was a lesbian so I didn’t have to carry a purse” over-sharing mom was awesome. She and Kristen Wiig seem to work really well together and I enjoyed watching it.

You know what I hate watching? The Californians. No Maya Rudolph, even your adorable and fabulous self couldn’t make me like this sketch. Much like Roger Ebert’s review of North (which former SNL writer and author of North, Alan Zwiebel carries a copy of in his wallet to this day), I hate hate hate hate hate The Californians.

Kristen Wiig

What the hell is happening here? That is pretty much what everyone who happened to catch the dude in his underwear in the background of ‘Aw Nuts! Mom’s a Ghost!’ was asking. As far as I know, SNL has not even mentioned it. Outside of that creepiness, the sketch was spot on when it comes to Disney Channel shows. Not only that but it was written by Bobby Moynihan and Cecily Strong who have become quite the team this season.

In the biggest non-surprise of the night, The Lawrence Welk show sketch came back!

Kristen Wiig

No matter how many times they do this, I will still laugh each and every time. Licking the sand squirrel turds? I’m a 13 year old boy. Getting crabs? Dying. Creepy doll hands grabbing at Jason Sudeikis’ junk? Yep, still funny.

Weekend Update had a few great stories and I’m a big fan of Anthony Crispino and of course Garth and Kat made an appearance but let’s just revel in this shall we?

Late Night with Seth MeyersSo Seth Meyers will be leaving SNL as head writer and of course as the Weekend Update anchor likely after the first part of next season so he can take over Late Night with Seth Meyers in January 2014. Part of me is really excited for him because that’s a huge move and he’s been behind that desk for a long time so it’s probably about time. The other part of me really hates to see him go because I enjoy his WU self and of course the looming question – who takes over?

Taran Killam? It’s hard to say given that he’s such an anchor in the sketch part of the show. Vanessa Bayer? Really, I could see her taking over. I’m inclined to think she’s a bit too much of the straight guy to pull it off by herself but perhaps this is their opportunity to bring out another writer (John Mulaney now that his show wasn’t picked up?) to co-host, that worked out pretty well last time. People have been throwing around Aidy Bryant and Kate McKinnon’s names but I can’t see a rookie taking that over plus those two have shown to be great WU guest characters so I’d hate to lose that. All that being said, I’m sure there will be enough speculation in the coming months so we have plenty of time to discuss it, let’s move on!

Kristen Wiig
Credit to: Leslie-Lemon

I love the Target lady!!! It’s sort of funny that while the first part of the show was all Kristen Wiig recurring characters, the second half was just Target lady and new sketches. I feel like I’m going to end up with my head on a pike (don’t forget to check out our Game of Thrones reviews!) but I have to say it – I liked the second half of the show exponentially more than the first. I know, it’s weird, especially since the second half sketches are always the odd ones but this week it just worked. For me at least.

Kristen Wiig
From Aidy Bryant’s Instagram

Without a doubt, the best sketch of the night, and perhaps even the season, was the acupuncture one. Very reminiscent of Dan Aykroyd and Julia Child. Everything from Fred Armisen as the dr. jumping out the window to Aidy Bryant saying “It may sound like we’re going to Mexico, but we’re not.” was damn near perfect. Whoever was manning the rogue artery deserves a special shout out because I about soiled myself when “blood” was flying through the air with specific targets in mind.

Kristen Wiig

I want to find the person who thought to have Tim Robinson play an awkward sixth grader on an even more awkward double date with two grown women and shake their hand. I mean there was no doubt that Bobby Moynihan could pull that off but I thought Tim did a great job as the ‘out of his element and really how did he even end up there’ pre-teen who can’t swim yet.

As for the last sketch of the night, well let’s just say I’ve had “an apple a day keeps the haters away” stuck in my head all day and I feel as if I need to go find a copy of ‘Classy Sexy Elegance’ as soon as possible.

Overall? A great episode. There was a bit for everyone – old Kristen Wiig plus some new sketches and a great commercial and pre-recorded bit. Easily one of the best shows of the season. Next week’s season finale doesn’t look to be slowing down any with host Ben Affleck!

Ben Affleck and Kanye West

Until next time SNL fans!

Kristen Wiig is Back in Studio 8H and All is Well…

She’s back!!!! It really was only a matter of time before Ms. SNL 2000’s herself would return to the hallowed stage and this week is that time. As usual, the show’s promos have been released and it does nothing to quell the excitement.

http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=n36522

I’d be lying if I said I haven’t watched it multiple times. In the last hour.

Because Saturday seems so far away (although there is an Arrow episode tonight which is good), I figured it would be best to go out and find some of the best of Kristen Wiig to pass the time.

“Real Housewives of Disney” is perhaps one of my favorite pre-recorded sketches in recent years. It’s hard to beat a broke Jasmine, drunk Cinderella, and gay Prince Charming.

http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=n13429

As with all returning hosts/former cast members, I’m sure some of Wiig’s character will be making a return appearance as well. If that doesn’t include the Lawrence Welk Show, well I’m sure I won’t be alone in my disappointment.

http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=n13207

There were a lot of people out there (typical internet commenters who seem to hate everything) who really did not like the Target lady but I love that sketch. It is rare, even to this day, that I will check out and not say “Approved!” in my head when my card goes through.

http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=n12501

Of course no list of favorite Kristen Wiig characters would be complete without one of her many Weekend Update characters. I can easily see them bringing back Garth and Kat this week. No complaints here!

http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=n12831

That’s a few of my favorites but surely there are some I’ve forgotten. Let’s hear it – what Kristen Wiig characters do you want to see come Saturday night?

SNL: 38.19 – Zach Galifianakis & Of Monsters and Men

Season 38 is sadly in the home stretch so we have to savor each moment in hopes they will last us through the long, un-funny summer. :tear: Thankfully there was plenty to laugh at this week with former SNL writer, current The Hangover series star, Zach Galfianiakis!

The cold open was one of my favorite recurring sketches, ‘Fox and Friends’. I keep waiting for this bit to get old but somehow it doesn’t. Everytime I see the Fox logo, I’m giddy (only on Saturday night however – every other day of the week I cringe), I just can’t help myself. Of course a big part of the success of ‘Fox and Friends’ is the “corrections and I might have literally laughed out loud at “The California wildfires are not a professional soccer team”.

Zach Galifianakis
Credit to: gifsnl

I love when hosts come on SNL and just do their own thing when it comes to the monologue. Zach Galifianakis did just that. Thankfully for us, his “own thing” is dry and weird and hysterical. His monologue was a perfect example. I might have soiled myself at the idea of pulling up behind someone broken down on the highway just to try out jokes. Genius.

I think we can all agree that this was the greatest sketch of the night.

Zack Galifianakis

Even if the writing of ‘Game of Game of Thrones’ was shit, Galifianakis in that dragon costume (a child’s XL) would have made up for it tenfold. Thankfully the writing wasn’t shit and the sketch was just funny all the way around. If the costume wasn’t enough, referring to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as an “old pilgrim” made it even better. Of course when the picture of the old pilgrim is held by none other than Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) then the sketch reaches a level of damn near perfection.

Zach Galifianakis

(Speaking of Game of Thrones – make sure to check back to Grizzly Bomb on Mondays to read our recap and review of each new episode. Go ahead and check out episode 5, ‘Kissed By Fire’, right here.)

The match.com fauxmercial was good but really wasn’t that much to write home about. Something about picturing Martha Stewart getting her freak on just doesn’t sit well.

Zach Galifianakis
Credit to: bravoishere

“Let’s put Zach in a wig and Friends t-shirt and have him yell about Helen Keller” is how I imagine the Jennifer Aniston look-a-like sketch was born. I’d also completely forgotten about The Hangover making a third appearance so it never occurred to me that Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms (sidenote: how great was Andy’s goodbye on The Office this week?) would show up. I’m glad they did because there’s just something inherently funny about men in wigs, probably why I watch this show week after week.

Zach Galifianakis
Good ol’ Dionne Warwick

For the record: Vanessa Bayer has an incredible Jennifer Aniston impression.

Weekend Update seemed really long this week. Not that it’s a bad thing, because it is not, just seemed longer than usual. I don’t know that I listened to a word Bill Hader as James Carville was saying because I was too busy laughing at his hands. Dealing cards and DJ’ing were my favorites.

Zach Galifianakis

I’d say this has been Kate McKinnon’s year because she has been on fire with quite a few memorable sketches and characters, but this isn’t her first year and she’s almost perfect to be a Kristin Wiig (next week!!!!!) replacement. Instead, I’m giving this year to Cecily Strong. An impressive rookie season especially with her “girl at the party” character. Three times in one year? That’s good. That’s really good.

Fred Armisen’s “Randal Meeks – tech analyst” review of Google Glass is one that I imagine Google isn’t going to be all too pleased with but the rest of the world got a good laugh. However, I can’t imagine many people were laughing at the “Michael Jordan wedding jugglers” sketch. So random and not really in a good way.

The New Balance commercial was great and “Racist Jim” was meh, but the real winner of the second half of the show (and had the Game of Game of Thrones sketch not been so great, it would have certainly topped the night) was “Darrell’s House” on Knoxville Cable Access.

Zach Galifianakis

At first I thought this was just another end of the night sketches that they just let go on way too long that didn’t really seem to have much of a point. The joke had been made and then they kept going on and going on. Much like the “Z-shirt” sketch from the Kevin Hart episode they did a rare callback with the last bit of the night and every edit Darrell had suggested in the first bit we saw done, even the “wink”.

Zach Galifianakis

The comedy writing geek in me loves things like that!

Overall, I thought it was a really strong episode. There were a few sketches that weren’t as great as others, but I think Darrell’s House and Game of Game of Thrones made up for those. This was Galifianakis’ third time hosting so by now I think everyone is aware that his shows are just going to be a bit weird and awkward. Fortunately it was entertaining as well.

But hang on to your ass Fred because next week it’s none other than Kristen Wiig returning for her first hosting gig!

Zach Galifianakis

I’m so excited about this episode that I’ve preemptively forgiven them for the inevitable “The Californians” sketch.

Until next time SNL fans!

Kristen Wiig SNL

SNL: 38.13 – Christoph Waltz & Alabama Shakes

After the “let’s just get through this” host that was Justin Bieber, I was really looking forward to this week’s SNL with Christoph Waltz. There’s just something about real actors coming to do the show that makes it worth sitting through the teen idols. Waltz did not disappoint, at all.

Who ate Coco?
Credit to: bloggymoynihan

The cold open was quite strong. I thought they were going to stick with a political open but I was pleasantly surprised when instead the show opened with Jason Sudeikis and Cecily Strong as cruise directors for the ill-fated Carnival Triumph. Unlike last episode’s Super Bowl cold open, the cruise directors were well paced, the rest of the cruise staff was quick and funny, and the jokes were good; sad that this is out of the norm, but it was and it was good. However Ms. Strong, as a daughter of the great city of Mobile, Alabama, it is pronounced “mo-beal” not “mo-bile”. Come on, we are always a little sensitive this time of year, given how no one ever remembers that we were the ones that brought Mardi Gras to America but to not even know how to pronounce our fair city’s name? Well that’s just rude.

As for the monologue, that made me nervous. Here was a great cold open only to have a visibly nervous Christoph Waltz come out and sing. How many musical monologues does that bring us up to for the season? Way too many. I feared that his nervousness would make the rest of the show laborious but thankfully, it was short-lived. Actually you could tell Waltz was battling nerves in many of the sketches but he did a great job despite it.

Game show host Christoph Waltz
Credit to: waltzs

“What Have You Become” has the distinction of probably being my new favorite game show sketch. I would hope that it’d become a recurring sketch but it would be difficult to have the same payoff as the question being turned on the host so I’ll just have to re-watch this one numerous times. Christoph Waltz talking about his overbearing mother making him go to “game show school” was obviously the highlight but almost as good was Aidy Bryant having the chance to say anything about herself and choosing mediocre knitting. Well, mediocre knitting and her bitch of a daughter.

Christoph Waltz as retired pope SNL

In the first of two pre-recorded bits, Waltz played the retired Pope Benedict. I’m not a retiring pontiff but I was seconds away from setting up a meeting with my local “Papal Securities” office. Something about Jason Sudeikis in a pair of glasses makes me want fork over money.

While I enjoyed seeing Nasim Pedrard getting her own character, Tippy just didn’t do it for me. I respect that it’s difficult to get out of the shadow of a personality such as Kristin Wiig but it’s probably not wise to try to use a character that she would certainly excel at, as a vehicle. That being said, perhaps if it’s a recurring character Nasim can make it her own and work her way out of that shadow. Best of luck.
http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=n32896

The best part of the night was the second pre-recorded sketch, this time a movie trailer for the newest Quentin Tarantino film, Djesus Uncrossed. I am a huge SNL fan and usually laugh pretty heartily at various sketches, but I have not laughed as hard at something in quite some time that I did to this trailer. It was perfect. Anyone who has seen even half a Tarantino film recognized his style immediately, that style being very bloody, and often involving swords. Christoph Waltz was perfect as the freshly resurrected Djesus who sets out to take his revenge on the Romans. If there were any doubts about Taran Killam’s ability to impersonate Brad Pitt, they were put to rest as he did a great job and now I can’t even see the word “Roman” without pronouncing it as “R0-Mans”.

Credit to: wilderthanbilly
Credit to: wilderthanbilly

If the sketch itself wasn’t entertaining, the backlash certainly has been. Long story short, people are losing their shit. It has certainly kept my attention this morning and has been quite educational. Apparently if you thought the bit was funny you are either a god-less heathen, atheist, or a “libretard”. Oh and you are most certainly going to hell. I imagine the FCC is fielding their fair share of complaints this morning, and if this compilation of SNL complaints through the years is any indication, they probably make for fun reading. Good times.

Christoph Waltz

By the time the CD commercial came up for the JaMarcus Brothers, the show was on a roll unlike one I’ve seen all year. You could tell that everyone in the cast knew it as well. JaMarcus Brothers was probably one of the funniest “Time Life Music” bits they’ve had in a while, thanks to Waltz as the adopted white virgin. Hysterical.

I’m a huge fan of Alabama Shakes so no surprise that I really enjoyed their two pieces of the night. Brittany Howard is amazing, and I’ve decided that I would like her to follow me around and sing-narrate my life.

Mohawk and Bangs

Much in line with the rest of the night, Weekend Update was fantastic. No surprise to anyone, Marco Rubio (Taran Killam) made an appearance with his infamous thirst and dedication to maintaining eye contact with the camera. I wouldn’t have pictured Rubio as one to take on a YouTube meme such as the “cinnamon challenge” so you learn something new everyday. I’m waiting for his “Harlem Shake” video to hit the internet.

Credit to: stupidf***questions
Credit to: stupidf***questions

Kate McKinnon continues her campaign for full cast member status and this week, it came behind the Weekend Update desk. I don’t know if she’s writing these characters herself, or someone is writing for her, but whoever it is, they are hitting it out of the park.  Ann Romney and Cecilia Gimenez were both great but they pale in comparison to the Russian woman hoping the meteor was there to turn her into dust so she could be eaten by a goat and finally warm. So good.

Credit to: 3swallows
Credit to: 3swallows

If I had to choose to low point of the night? For me it’d be the return of Regine. The only plus to Fred Armisen’s crotch flashing drag sketch is watching the other cast members trying to keep it together. Of course when Bill Hader is involved, there’s not much chance of him keeping a straight face, and this week was no different.

Fox and Friends may seem tired, but it still makes me laugh, no doubt thanks to Bobby Moynihan and his absolutely ridiculous character. He certainly has a talent when it comes to making the dim bulb, Brian Kilmeade, very entertaining to watch. I think we can all agree that it’s about time they start crediting the fourth host of the Fox morning show, Vanessa Bayer’s rack. Woowee she had the girls out for a walk this week!

I probably shouldn’t have enjoyed the “Secret Valentine Admirer” sketch as much as I did. Awkward Christoph Waltz certainly is adorable and the payoff with Keenan Thompson’s reaction to a second “valentine” was great.

Overall? Easily the best episode of the season, if not the best of recent seasons. Even though there are plenty of people pissing and moaning that they are no longer watching the show due to the whole Djesus thing, there were enough of us who loved it that hopefully NBC won’t see any substantial blow-back. It was nice to see the writers taking a step back onto the unsafe and daring ledge, a refreshing change of pace from the somewhat predictable and pedantic.

Next week is a rerun, likely due to the Oscars on Sunday night, but they return on March 2nd with what looks to be a promising episode with host Kevin Hart and musical guest Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

Kevin Hart

Until then SNL fans!

SNL: 38.12 – Justin Bieber

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.

Continue reading SNL: 38.12 – Justin Bieber

SNL: 38.4 – Christina Applegate/Passion Pit

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.

Sincerely,
The Ironbunny.

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.

SNL: 38.3 – Daniel Craig/Muse

Well I’m really glad that the last episode of SNL, hosted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, was good because this week it was just awful. I don’t know that awful is even strong enough a word for how bad this episode was. Usually I make two lists; one of good sketches, and another of bad sketches. This week there was not even an entire sketch in the good category, just one name. And it certainly wasn’t Daniel Craig’s.

Obviously, the cold open had to do with the debate. It was nice to see Chris Parnell back as the ineffective Jim Lehrer, but man alive this sketch was weak. Jay Pharaoh’s Obama impression is getting better but if the material and sketches don’t improve, I’d rather have Fred Armisen back as Commander-in-Chief. The monologue was just bad. Dear writers; if the phrase “I love this song but don’t know the name, can someone Shazaam it for me?” is what passes as a good joke these days, there is a problem. The catcalling construction workers wasn’t bad. It wasn’t good, but it wasn’t bad. It was just there and what seems to be a trend this season so far, it didn’t know when to quit. The “Bond Girls” fauxmercial was okay. I did enjoy Diane Keaton and Taran Killam in bed together. There was a moment where I was  wondering how many people out there watching would remember Lea Salonga and then was really confused when they kept going back to her. I’m ashamed to admit I even wondered out loud, “has Lea Salonga even done anything on tv or been in a movie recently?” Well as a matter of fact the last tv/movie thing she did was the 25th Anniversary concert of Les Miserables in 2010. My confusion only increased.

All that said- I’m an idiot. For it wasn’t Lea Salonga they were talking about at all. Rather it was that chick from Glee, Lea Michele. Once I realized that, those parts of the sketch made a lot more sense. They weren’t any better, but they made sense at least. Another sketch about the debate in which Jason Sudeikis was hysterical as a sleep deprived Chris Matthews.  Keenan Thompson is always fun as Al Sharpton but overall the sketch was a bore.

The happy Republican girl who said nothing but how happy she was this week was amusing in her simplicity. Next up was the pre-recorded “Long Island Medium” sketch and if there was a highlight of the night, this was probably it. That’s saying a lot. Kate McKinnon played the reality tv “star” who makes a living going up to random people and telling them about their loved ones who died. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen the show so I don’t know how spot on it was, but it was funny. Bobby Moynihan as the subject of one of the medium’s not-quite-so-accurate readings was the first time I laughed.

Unfortunately Bobby went from making me laugh to making me unintentionally impersonate my dog when he cocks his head to the side and gives me that “what the hell have you been smoking woman?” look. Seriously, what on earth was up with that space station sketch? It was just awkward and weird and I’m usually a fan of awkward and weird but it was not working for me. At all. It was interesting to hear an entire audience simultaneously let out an “awwww” when Fuzz Aldrin appeared. Thank god there was a cute cat because otherwise that sketch was a goner.

Musical Guest Time! It was Muse and they were good. During the first song though I could not get past the fact the dude was playing an ipad. Seriously.

I don’t know why I was surprised, hell you can damn near perform brain surgery nowadays after watching a few YouTube videos but this guitar/bass/iPad thing he had going was just fascinating to me. If I learned nothing else on Saturday Night it was this- America still loves Big Bird. I mean, who can blame us? Follow That Bird was one of the greatest movies of its time. Put Big Bird on Weekend Update? The tv watching nation will go nuts.

Did you know that Big Bird is on twitter? Well he sort of is, he just tweets through the general Sesame Street account though. Sharing is a big thing on Sesame Street. Did you also know that Grizzly Bomb is on twitter? Of course we are After Weekend Update I’m pretty sure Lorne Michaels spontaneously burst into flames and the entire cast was too distracted by it to actually put forth the effort to make the rest of the show watchable.

“Sorry Lot We Are” was just horrendous. When you are making references to movies that have been dead and gone for quite some time (The Full Monty and the even more obscure, Waking Ned Divinepeople are going to start to think you are phoning it in. Even more aggravating was this was the first time we got to see Aidy Bryant do more than one short line. I had started to wonder if she was even on the show anymore because we’ve seen plenty of Cecily Strong and Tim Robinson but unfortunately not much of Ms. Bryant. If “man in drag awkwardly rubbing themselves against other cast member” hadn’t been done in the last episode, it might have been better received this week. Then again, there is only so much of Fred Armisen’s crotchtal region that I want to see, so maybe not.

Apparently Fred’s crotch was the last straw because after another performance by Muse, it was a repeat of the “Undecided Voters” sketch from last week and that was all she wrote. Thank the angels and saints in heaven above. So all that was in my bad/not good column. The only thing in my good column? Kate McKinnon. She was all over this episode and even though it looked as if Vanessa McBrayer was being groomed as the next Kristin Wiig, Ms. McKinnon seems ready for that role. Despite the entire episode sucking as a whole, she had some bright moments. I’m looking forward to see her performances as the season goes on.

To sum up: episode was bad, Daniel Craig is pretty but should stay away from sketch comedy, Big Bird is a fan favorite, and I’m trying to forget this show happened and just look forward to October 13th when Christina Applegate hosts with musical guest Passion Pit.