Tag Archives: Jay Pharaoh

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.

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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.

SNL: 38.1 – “Seth MacFarlane/Frank Ocean” Review

There’s a crisp note in the air (actually here in south Georgia there is no such thing but I like to pretend) which means fall is back and so is Saturday Night Live! Saturday’s premiere was hosted by a man known more for his voice than his face, Seth MacFarlane. I feel the need to be honest here, I actually can not stand Seth MacFarlane. I know, I know… it’s incredibly hard to believe, but it’s true. There is a very good chance my hatred stems from the fact that my husband watches two categories of television:

Continue reading SNL: 38.1 – “Seth MacFarlane/Frank Ocean” Review