Tag Archives: Taran Killam

Seth Meyers’ “The Awesomes” Set to Premiere in August on Hulu

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:

Continue reading Seth Meyers’ “The Awesomes” Set to Premiere in August on Hulu

Justin Bieber Almost Crushed By Wall in ‘Greatest Trainwreck Ever’

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’.

http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=n38291

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.
http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=n37823

Good to know that he hasn’t abandoned his music video recreation career!

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: 38.7- Jeremy Renner & Maroon 5

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.

Jeremy Renner

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.

http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=1424422

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?

Jeremy Renner
Tim has a nice rack.

“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.

Jeremy Renner

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.

Jeremy Renner

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.

Jeremy Renner
“Thug #2” seemed like a throwaway sketch. Not much point to it beyond, Jason Sudekis is an ass and his name is Dick Fuel. That’s about it. Boring.

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.

http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=1424415

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!

SNL: 38.6- Louis C.K./fun.

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.

http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=268364

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!

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.

SNL: 38.2 – Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Mumford & Sons

After last week’s strong premiere, I was looking forward to this week’s episode of Saturday Night Live, and thankfully it did not disappoint. This week’s host was a man having a very busy year- Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

The cold open featured Jay Pharoah again, but surprisingly, not as Obama, but rather Michael Strahan, Kelly Ripa’s new cohost. Can’t say it was good. I suppose it wasn’t bad, but it certainly wasn’t good. Bill Hader as a brooding Robert Pattinson was funny, just not funny enough to save the sketch. I will say though, as a fan, it is really fun to see when featured players become full cast members. You would think I had birthed some of them given how proud I get when they make that leap.

When the monologue first started, I’ll admit to getting a little nervous. It was very rushed and the jokes just fell flat.

And then this happened. Oh yes, apparently Mr. Gordon-Levitt’s favorite movie of the summer was none other than Magic Mike. The dance/strip scene came out of nowhere and was appreciated by womenfolk/some menfolk all across the country. Bobby Moynihan and his second vest literally made me laugh out loud.

With the first “commercial”, I began to wonder if we are ever going to see Aidy Bryant for more than a few seconds. The “Undecided Voters” featured both Cecily Strong and Tim Robinson. It wasn’t as funny as it was sad- we all know there are people out there who could fit perfectly in this sketch.

The real question everyone (okay maybe not everyone, but I certainly was) is who is Albert? Some random guy was in the sketch as Albert who wondered where his power cord was. Random guy is random.

Next up was the first of two, “Son of the Most Interesting Man in the World”. I so desperately wanted to like this and it had its moments but overall it just got old. The premise was strong, the execution was a little tired.

Bill Hader as a caricature drawing P.I. was all right, a little odd but then again, this is Bill Hader we are talking about.

Next up was my favorite sketch of the night- “The Hypnotist”. There are many times when I’m watching tv that I’ll look away/do something else and just continue with the show by listening. I am so glad I did not do that with this sketch because I would have completely missed it.  Set up was Joseph Gordon-Levitt was a two-bit hypnotist doing a show in some small hotel. It reminded me of Kevin Kline at the beginning of Soapdish.

The moment that Taran Killam lifted his head to tell the audience that he was not hypnotized, I was sold. And thankfully they found the right length of time to let that one go and it was just gold. Killam in his tighty whitey’s  as a hot lady dinosaur dry humping Keenan Thompson? Yes, please.

Another commercial this time for the GOB tampons featuring Vanessa McBrayer. Predictable, but amusing.

Musical guest this week was Mumford and Sons and thank you sweet jesus they were a thousand times better than Frank Ocean. This could be simply because I am a fan of Mumford and Sons and not Frank Ocean but I didn’t fall asleep this week, so who knows.

Weekend Update was on fire this week. The best friends of the “evil dictator of the week” were on and they are entertaining but featured player, Kate McKinnon stole the show with her Ann Romney impression. I think my new favorite line is “Apple Picking: It’s like Mormon Mardi Gras.”

Who would have thought that Ann Romney was such a big fan of Beyonce?

Mumford and Sons returned, this time as a Beatles cover band called “Hey Dudes”. This was one of those sketches where you fully expected Andy Samberg to jump in at any moment. Outside of a forced Jerry Sandusky joke, it was all right. The real fun of the sketch for me was just watching the actors enjoy it. The “walk out into the audience while singing” was a bit hokey, but I like hokey so I was all over it.

The last three sketches of the night were sadly not very good. Remember last week when I was so excited that the last sketch didn’t suck? The same can not be said of this week. “The Finer Things” was the winner of the bunch- mainly due to Bobby Moynihan as “Teddy Graham” and Jay Pharoah modeling with a Hermes purse. The singing parents sketch was only saved from complete failure by the fact that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a surprisingly good-looking woman. There was no saving “Powers Realty”. Flying wangs drawn on real estate ads is far from new, creative, or funny.

The goodbye’s were cut short, which is annoying, but it’s live tv so what can you do?

Overall? Even though there were some sketches that just did not work for me, I actually enjoyed this episode much more than the premiere. Why? I really like it when the host appears to just be another cast member. Seth MacFarlane was always reading cue cards and was obviously out of his element. Joseph Gordon-Levitt however, fit right into sketches like he does it every week. Perhaps he picked up some tips from the fabulous Jane Curtin while on 3rd Rock from the Sun.

Next week is a rerun of the season 37 finale (with Mick Jagger and Kristin Wiig’s farewell) but will return on October 6th with host Daniel Craig and musical guest Muse.

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

The SNL Cast Shuffle Report for Season 38

When the 38th season debuts this weekend, Saturday Night Live will once again have a new look.

Let’s take a moment here…
Are we going to miss Kristen Wiig’s fabulous characters (surely I’m not the only person who has to fight the urge to gleefully announce “APPROVED!” when their credit card goes through successfully at the grocery store) and Andy Samberg’s digital shorts? Of course we are. That’s not even up for debate; but they are not the be all to end all of the entire show.

There is no need to lament on how awful SNL is now and how it isn’t half as it good as it was “back in the day”. Before we can even have that argument we have to realize that “back in the day” has a direct correlation to the pastgazer’s age. Is pastgazer even a word? Can I declare it a word? I am.

Pastgazer (noun) – Someone who is incapable of being excited about the potential future of a television show because they are way too hung up on how it “used to be”.

If the pastgazer is in their 30’s, I assure you their “back in the day” involves Adam Sandler and Chris Farley. Someone in their 20’s (albeit probably their later 20’s) loves them some Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon. The 40 somethings are still plodding along singing the Chopping Broccoli song and answering everything, even when not at all appropriate, with “well isn’t that special?” You don’t even want to be in the room when they feel the need to break out their patented “SCHWING!” move. It’s just embarrassing. Then you’ve got the real badasses in their 50’s who scoff at the idea that SNL has been any good since Chevy Chase left… after the first season. They long for the days of random interludes involving bee costumes and Land of Gorch sketches with the Muppets; yes those Muppets, sort of.

I think we can all agree that everyone misses Will Ferrell. Surely missing the Spartan Cheerleaders is universal. I chose to live in a world (even if imaginary) where the vast majority of people grieve daily for the loss of those crazy kids.

Thing is, even with seemingly everyone in the universe screaming about how SNL is not as good as it used to be, it is still on the air. Which is more than can be said for many other shows (let’s have a moment of silence for Kings, a great show cut down in its prime. Damn you NBC.) so obviously they are doing something right and someone is watching. A lot of someones. Someones who still like the show. Someones who in 20 years are going to say, “SNL was way better when Nasim Pedrad and Taran Killam were on.” Trust me, it’s gonna happen. This little bit of casting news is for those someones.

After the departure of Kristin Wiig, Andy Samburg, and Abby Elliott, three new cast members have been added to the lineup.
While hailing from various parts of the country, all three recently were active in the Chicago theatre scene.

Aidy Bryant is originally from Phoenix, where she lived before she attending Columbia College, and then went on to make her mark with the Improv Olympic, Annoyance, and most recently, the e.t.c. stage of The Second City theatres.
During her time at The Second City, she had the chance to team up with the Lyric Opera. Who would have ever thought that Gretel was so well adjusted?

Tim Robinson is a Detroit native, starting his career with Second City Detroit before moving on to the Second City touring company and then The Second City mainstage in Chicago. He’s been a busy man – he recently put together a pilot for Comedy Central called My Mans that was unfortunately not picked up. However, in addition to joining the SNL cast, he also has been cast in a midseason sitcom on CBS called Friend Me.

Judging by this sketch with The Second City, we might see Tim right at home with SNL’s “commercials”.

The most recently announced addition is Cecily Strong. She is a Chicago native (well Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago) and also a Second City alumni. She was with the Second City touring company and also performed with the Improv Olympic.

Another commercial sketch, this one is right up SNL’s alley, no pun intended.

Lest the actors get all the attention, it was also announced that there have been two new writers hired for the new season. Neil Casey and Josh Patten both come to SNL by way of the Upright Citizen’s Brigade in New York City.

That’s the news; now all that’s left is to take bets on how many Family Guy voices Seth MacFarlane uses during the opening monologue. Oh and we should begin the countdown to when Jason Sudeikis takes his final bow. While he’s listed on the cast page, he’s made it no secret that he is perhaps tired with SNL, which is sad. Actually I think SNL will totally suck when Jason Sudeikis leaves and I will never watch again!!!! While it was just announced that Mr. Sudeikis is returning for his 8th season, it is unclear how long he will stay though- at least through the elections which we can all agree is a good thing.

I leave you with this – a man who I think we can all agree, will most certainly feel the absence of Kristin Wiig like no one else.

The 38th season premiere will air on Saturday, September 15th with Seth MacFarlane hosting along with musical guest Frank Ocean, and his guest, John Mayer.