Tag Archives: Stefon

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!!!

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: 38.15 – Justin Timberlake

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.

Justin Timberlake, SNL

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.

SNL, Justin Timberlake

SNL
Credit to: flyinseacrest

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.

SNL, Harlem Shake, Justin Timberlake
Credit to: metaphorphoses

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.

SNL, Justi Timberlake
Credit to: dirtypaws

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.

SNL, Justin Timberlake
Credit to: FabulouslyFlawless

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.

SNL, Justin Timberlake

“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.

SNL, Justin Timberlake

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.

SNL Justin Timberlake
Credit to: thepowerofthebabe

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”.

SNL Justin Timberlake
Credit to: piperme

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.

Melissa McCarthy SNL

Until then SNL fans!