The Awesomes is a new comedic superhero cartoon from the brains of SNL‘s Seth Meyers and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon’s Mike Shoemaker, that will be debuting on Hulu in August. There’ll also be a screening at Comic-Con, but for now interested parties can watch a trailer below:
One of the best things about the internet age is the ability to get a behind the scenes look at our favorite shows that was not widely available before. One of my (obvious) favorite examples of this would be SNL. Not only do they occasionally post interviews with the cast and behind the scenes kind of stuff, but they also will post sketches that made it to rehearsal but not the final show.
Their most recent “web exclusive” is a look at a sketch that didn’t make the final cut that includes commentary from the Bill Hader and writers John Solomon and Rob Klein. It is rather fantastic even if it was ‘The Greatest Trainwreck Ever’.
Outside of the whole wall part and Justin Bieber saying “it’s not part of it”, the best part of that sketch is “I’m guessing most of you know it from ABC’s Private Practice“. Great line and a great look at something if it weren’t for the magical internet machines we’d never get to see.
Of course it would be a crime to talk about SNL’s web exclusives without including my favorite cast member, Taran Killam.
Good to know that he hasn’t abandoned his music video recreation career!
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.
I was looking forward to this episode mainly because in the back of my mind I’d hoped there would be a Cobie Smulders sighting with an Avengers sketch. Sadly there was no Cobie Smulders but there was an Avengers sketch. Unfortunately the episode wasn’t all that funny. There were some bright spots however, not as many as last week, but a few nonetheless.
One of those bright spots was the cold open. Everyone in the world knew that General Patraeus and his side projects would be the subject for at least one sketch, but SNL thought he was good enough for two sketches and a Weekend Update sketch. The cold open was Cecily Strong as Paula Broadwell reading from her new book All In. This was one of those sketches that I can’t believe they were able to keep a straight face. The second time I uttered “dirty girl” I would have been a goner. Strong got through it without even cracking a smile, that’s impressive. All I could think of though, was Allison Janney in 10 Things I Hate About You as the smut writing guidance counselor. She would have loved Broadstone’s book. Well the SNL version at least.
The monologue was just bad. Yes there are fangirls who are absolutely beside themselves with excitement that Jeremy Renner sang for his monologue but when you are doing a musical monologue the week after Anne Hathaway killed it with her Les Mis monologue? It isn’t going to go well. It’s not that he doesn’t have a good singing voice, it just wasn’t that funny. I will give him this though, he played off the technical difficulty quite well and even though he was visibly nervous, he did perform well, I just didn’t find it entertaining.
Another thing I had really looked forward to in my “dream SNL episode” was another short type of piece with Adam Levine because “Iran” remains one of my favorite sketches to date. I get that song stuck in my head all the time. However, as disappointed as I was that there wasn’t an Adam Levine short, I have a feeling that the “Tourism ad: Your Hometown” piece might be a new favorite. If for no other reason than I can relate to that completely. Granted my mom doesn’t send us home with leftovers but I can not tell you the number of times I’ve had to hear about my “crap in the basement”. I’m not one that would ever return to my old high school but just the image of Taran Killam sitting in the parking lot and then changing his mind about going in makes me chuckle. That was the highlight of the night for me.
My feelings on “The Californians” were addressed the last time this awful sketch was rolled out.
“The Situation Room” returned to General Patreaus and frankly, wasn’t that funny. The highlights were playing the one bit of footage they have of Jill Kelley over and over and when they then decided to go with a “CNN Dramatization” I woke up my “sleeps like the dead” husband because I laughed so hard. How could I not laugh at Tim Robinson dressed in a pretty pink dress as he happily pranced to his car?
“The Standoff” was actually a really good short. Much like the shorts have been this year, it wasn’t in your face funny but it definitely had its moments. When it was over I was left with more of a “you know I enjoyed that” feeling rather than “Oh that was hysterical!” one and even though I watch SNL to laugh, it’s hard to not appreciate when they put something together that is well done even if it’s not slapstick.
Bobby wearing suspenders in the shower though made my night.
Maroon 5 was good, there wasn’t really any doubt they would be. Thankfully they left their screensavers at home.
When Weekend Update has two guests, I usually love one and can’t stand the other. This week however, both guests were great. If you haven’t seen any video of Katt Williams then make your way over to YouTube immediately and watch some. You will then appreciate how spot on Jay Pharoah’s impression was. If he petted his hair one more time I was going to lose it.
When Seth Myers announced Chris Christie, I fully expected to see Bobby Moynihan again. Instead, we got the real thing. Whether you are a fan of Christie’s or not, I think we can all agree that he did a good job. He was quite the good sport and I appreciate that in people. Make fun of yourself a little bit and you’ll go far. Well done Gov. Christie, well done.
Not well done? The Avengers sketch. Lazy, lazy, lazy. The joke of Hawkeye not really doing anything was funny but the execution of the sketch just sucked. I was quite disappointed because I (like I’m sure many others) was looking forward to seeing what they would do. Thankfully Thor asked for a scrunchie otherwise the entire sketch would have been a loss.
I thought I’d been transported back to the 90’s with the animated “Cool Drones” piece. So much so that I actually went to the internets and looked up to see if Robert Smigel was involved. Smigel being the man behind “TV Funhouse”. He actually was not a part of “Midnight Snack” as it was done by Augenblick Studios. Whoever had the idea to turn drones into a boy band needs a big kiss on the mouth because that was awesome. Here’s hoping there are more episodes of “Midnight Snack” in the future.
If “Tourism ad: Your Hometown” was my favorite part of the night, the final sketch of the night was my second favorite part. It was a simple sketch but they did a good job with it. I am somewhat amazed that Taran Killam did not absolutely lose it as Bill Hader was beating about the head and chest. I don’t think he even cracked a smile and that is impressive.
As a whole, the episode was weak. It felt like they wrote sketches that they then put Jeremy Renner into instead of writing sketches for him. I personally am not a fan of episodes like that. Then when they did write an episode for Renner (I’m assuming “The Avengers” was written with him in mind) it was just lame. Very disappointing.
I really wish they had included this “Thanksgiving Dinner” sketch that was put up on NBC’s site from the dress rehearsal.
Here’s hoping that the show on December 8th (there is no new episode the next two weekends) with Jamie Foxx is much better.
Until then SNL fans, have a Happy Thanksgiving!
I don’t know if everyone has heard, but there was a huge storm that hit the northeast last week. I know, I know, sometimes it’s hard to get news these days, but trust me, there was a storm.
The storm and its resulting destruction was (still is) so bad that there was a momentary thought that there wouldn’t even be an episode this week. Various shows including The Daily Show and 30 Rock had to shut down production for a couple of days. There were cast members stranded in airports across the country (you best believe as a Taran Killam fan, this caught my attention!)
[pullquote_left]…when the episode started, I’ll admit I was a little nervous as to how successful it was going to be. Thankfully, I need not to have worried.[/pullquote_left]Thankfully, the staff at 30 Rockefeller found a way and the episode went ahead as scheduled. The host was Louis C.K., who actually has a rather long history with SNL and sketch comedy. He auditioned for SNL 19 years ago and (obviously) did not make the cast. He did, however, contribute to the popular “TV Funhouse” bits as a writer. C.K. was also part of the writing team for Late Night with Conan O’Brien (another member of the SNL family) and was the head writer for the brief The Dana Carvey Show. With all that, it’s not really surprising that he was asked to be a host. It is surprising, however, that he agreed. It’s no secret that Louis C.K. is not comfortable unless he is being Louis C.K.- a trait that is somewhat common amongst stand up comedians (Jerry Seinfeld made quite the career for himself being “Jerry Seinfeld”). So when the episode started, I’ll admit I was a little nervous as to how successful it was going to be. Thankfully, I need not to have worried.
Usually it’s really easy to guess what might be the cold open if you watch the news throughout the week. I just happened to turn to the Weather Channel (well, their YouTube channel) last week when they cut to Mayor Bloomberg’s press conference and as I was watching the sign language interpreter, I thought to myself, “SNL is so going to use this.”
Called it! Seriously, that cold open was fantastic. There are some saying it was “too soon” and perhaps they shouldn’t mock the interpreter as the hearing impaired rely on facial expressions when communicating but come on, that lady was way too entertaining to not use it. I don’t feel as if they were disrespectful at all. Sometimes you just have to laugh at things. I do have to wonder if that’s the first time “Live from New York, It’s Saturday Night” has been translated into ASL on the show. It would be a crime to not mention Bobby Moynihan and his Chris Christie impression. I damn near stood up and cheered that was so good. Then add in the recently missing Nasim Pedrad (seriously where has she been?) as his translator and I was dying. So perfect.
Not surprisingly, Louis C.K. chose to do a short stand up routine as his monologue. It was very reminiscent of George Carlin on the premiere episode of Saturday Night Live way back in 1975.
The stand up monologue was obviously good as Louis C.K. is a very good stand up comedian. No surprise there.
I’m so glad that Taran Killam was able to make it back to NYC because I love when they do the Fox and Friends sketch. Louis C.K. was entertaining as the FEMA agent but as usual, it was the “corrections” that make that sketch. My favorite this week was “Women’s vaginas are below their waists”. You learn something new everyday.
[pullquote_right]Lincoln as Louie? Perfect.[/pullquote_right]The digital short this week was pure genius. I loved the “Sad Mouse” short on Bruno Mars’ episode but this one probably edged that out as my favorite for the year so far. If you haven’t seen Louie then it probably didn’t think it was all that entertaining but seriously, Lincoln as Louie? Perfect. You can only imagine Abraham Lincoln doing a set about his certifiably crazy wife (another Aidy Bryant sighting!)- I’d watch that.
The Australian Screen Legends was mildly entertaining. It certainly wasn’t bad but it’s not a sketch that I thought “wow this is a good sketch”. I did laugh at the response to, “any last words?” when Kate McKinnon says, “uh, Kangaroo, I guess”. I hope my last words come even close to being that eloquent.
fun. was not all that great. They did “Some Nights” first and it was rough. I really do not understand the use of auto-tune when you are capable of singing on your own, quite well even. Luckily they redeemed themselves a bit with “Carry On” but I’m sure there were quite a few people that had wished they’d busted out their big summer hit “We Are Young”.
Weekend Update was fantastic. No two ways about, just spot on from beginning to end. While Cecily Strong was good as the returning “girl you wish you hadn’t started a conversation with at a party”, Aidy Bryant was stellar as the social media expert. The timing between she and Seth Myers was perfect. I think my next tattoo is totally going to be “The Internet is REAL!”
As usual, it got weird after Weekend Update. The Zord/ram’s horn/crystal sketch was so bizarre. When Louis C.K. was on Jimmy Fallon this last week, he mentioned that there was a sketch that was so bad that he begged the writers to keep it in the show. I can only guess that it was this one. Seriously, the entire time I was watching with a look on my face that resembled the one my dog gets when I fake throw the tennis ball and he can’t find it in the yard. Best part of the sketch was Bobby Moynihan in hooves. Another “WTF” moment but one that was at least amusing.
“Hotel 55” was the bright spot in the “after Weekend Update” lineup. It was a simple premise, but one that relied heavily on timing between C.K. and Bobby Moynihan and they did a good job with it. They kept the audience’s interest because the “charges” listed weren’t at all what you’d think. Unless you are a person that often removes stuffed bobcats from hotel rooms, then you might have been expecting that one.
The last sketch? Both bad and good. It was well acted and I suppose well written but because of those two reasons, it was equally as creepy. I’ve been one of the last people in a bar as it closed a few times in my life so I’ve seen that exact situation go down. Thankfully it didn’t involve as much tongue in real life. Otherwise my reaction would have been very close to Keenan Thompson’s.
Overall? A very good episode. It does make me wonder if they had the chance to have everyone on deck and not dealing with natural disasters, how much better this show might have been. The first part of the show was so strong that I can only imagine what a little extra time, or at least a normal schedule, would have benefited the second half.
In the end though, they pulled off a great show despite the situation. Louis C.K. sent out an email to fans before the show in which he talked about doing a show like this in the midst of destruction and heartache. It really does put things in perspective and at the same time shows how true the old adage “laughter is the best medicine” really is.
Hopefully things will be better by next week when the show is hosted by Anne Hathaway with musical guest Rihanna!
Until next time!