SNL: Jason Segel/Florence + the Machine

I hope you are sitting down. Prepare yourself, audience, because, this SNL was comedy gold.

Because I believe in journalistic integrity, I feel it necessary to disclose that I was about two bottles deep in my new favorite wine (Tempranillo). This, I am sure, did not sway my opinion in any way.

I adore Jason Segel — from Freaks and Geeks to How I Met Your Mother to the Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Segel is a great choice for host; he sings, he writes, he dances, he is genuinely funny and he does impressions. Sold.

I think there is something about having a host who has been in TV for a long time — they have a way of devoting themselves to characters and having no shame that make them perfect for SNL. When you have to kiss a half dozen people, or mockingly masturbate or pretend to be the legendary Andre the Giant — that takes training and experience.

I really tried to hate this episode. I dissected every sketch and impression looking for flaws and problems. I thought that the Weekend Update, which is normally so awful, was entertaining. The commercials (though Red Flag was a repeat) were amazing and the impression of Zooey Deschanel was nothing short of enlightened.

I also give a show some credit for having random-ass guest stars popping up all over the place. Paul Rudd was there, and Olivia Wilde was in the Digital Short (which was so fucking funny and 80’s pitch perfect I almost pooped myself) and The Muppets appeared in a few sketches as well as Florence herself. You know it is a good episode when celebrities are not embarrassed to be a part of it.

This is as good a time as any to discuss the musical guest: Florence + the Machine. Tori Amos, anyone? Just kidding. Aside from not really knowing who the shit the Machine is, I have to say that Florence appeared ethereal and elated to be in the spotlight. Despite playing at least 1 less instrument than the actual host of the show, Florence is a Ginger Genius. With her forceful vibrato that makes her songs IMPOSSIBLE at Karaoke, she is pure whimsy. I love hating how much I love her. Rock on.

Please watch this episode. So far this season, it is hands-down the best. Hulu is even showing the full unedited episode with all the sketches, so treat yourself!! Watch this and remember that SNL is not always a ragged, last-minute suck-fest. It can, truly, be magical.

Okay, that last sentence I will blame on the wine.


2 thoughts on “SNL: Jason Segel/Florence + the Machine

  1. […] is about to get real. SNL is bipolar….manic-depressive…awful. After last week’s episode, I should have known that lightning could not strike twice. I prepared myself for the inevitable […]

  2. Jerch says:

    I must say I disagree that this is the best episode so far this season, although I refuse to do any research [on my own website] to prove my point, so I will have to concede this victory to you….which is fine because I loved your recap. Maybe I simply recall laughing harder for an earlier episode. This wasn’t really a hugely laugh-out-loud episode, at least to me. I think your most prescient thought (and I am loathe to admit I never cogently realized this) was that if the various musical guests/friends of the host are clearly willing to appear (and more than once, even) then by nature the episode is probably great because all involved have implicitly endorsed the writing/delivery/direction. Of course, there are exceptions; it seems like if Justin Timberlake appears randomly, more than likely they are trying to “save” the episode vs. peppering it with interesting guests. This was not such an episode. I agree that the “Red Flag” commercial was oddly placed and oddly reused. Are they not allowed to place the commercial parodies anywhere other than immediately after the monologue? It could have worked just fine as like the last or second-to-last skit. No, instead they hedged their bets on a skit we have already seen, right from the start. I feel like the formula for the last year has been: Fred Armisen-topical teaser + meta guest host monologue + effortless commercial parody -> commercial break.

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