SNL: Jonah Hill / The Shins

Fresh off his Oscar Nomination, Jonah Hill comes to 30 Rockefeller Center to host this week’s Saturday Night Live.  I think I am getting ahead of myself, let me start at the beginning.

The cold open this week was slightly less political…thank the Gods. Instead, SNL pokes fun at the human dirigible that is Rush Limbaugh. As anyone who watches the news would know, after Limbaugh attacked a young law student who spoke up in support of insurance paying for birth control, Rush lost dozens of sponsors. Don’t worry, there are plenty of other sponsors that can step in to support the Tea Party Hate Speach…like Musaki’s Dolphin Pellets and Schroder’s Fake Rape Whistles. I actually thought this was a great way to start the show and really enjoyed it. This was the perfect example of how talented the cast members of SNL really are. Close your eyes while watching and you will swear it is Rush Limbaugh speaking.

As the credits role over the intro, this week’s episode is brought to you by Jonah Hill and The Shins.

Oh, Honey, SNL brought their A-Game for the monologue. A pre-recorded expose with how Jonah Hill is handling the fame and prestige that comes with an Acadmey Award Nomination. Turns out, actors are kind of dicks about it. Check it out, and see if you don’t wish this was made into a movie. Tom Hanks shows up to give some advice about being an awesome actor. I miss Tom Hanks.

For some reason, the show seemed to fizzle as the night wore on. The exception for me was “Liza Minelli Tries to Turn off a Lamp” where…well, it is pretty self explanatory. Humor is subjective, so be prepared to hate this ridiculous sketch. For me, it was every reason I love SNL, the creativity, the attitude. And Fosse Neck. Nailed it.

So of the worst points were, as usual, the “Weekend Update.” This segment kills the pace of the show, and the interviews tonight were the worst. This was FOURTEEN minutes of my life I want to get back. There was a Paula Deen segment that bothered me because of the over-exaggerated Southern accent. Sarah Palin was played by Andy Samberg in a sketch that kind of fell flat. The only saving grace was Stefan, who laughed when he had to describe “Heprechauns…. Leprechauns with Hep C” and “Hoomba…the human Roomba.”

I feel all over the place in this review because the show was all over the place, but not in a bad way. Honestly, I enjoyed this episode, though the sketches are kind of random. The randomness kept the pace fresh and interesting, even as the episode drew to a close. The energy was high, monkey rape was mentioned more than once and the digital short included balls to the crotch. So  smartly random.

Remember “J-Pop America Fun Time Now?” The segment that pokes fun at anime and Hirajuku culture? Sure, watching this sketch makes me wish Vanessa Bayer would get Hentai Tentacle Raped, but whatever. For anyone who has ever watched Sailor Moon  or Full Metal Alchemist the songs they sing are spot on. So, Vanessa, I will give you this small victory.

As for the musical guests…It is so great to see that there is fame to be had after Garden State…someone send a memo to Zach Braff.  The Shins, who seemed to gain notoriety for their prominence on the soundtrack of the previously mentioned movie, kind of rocked it tonight. A friend once described The Shins as “kill yourself music” because of the slow, eerie pace.  This time around, The Shins have kicked things up a notch and are more upbeat. After watching them on SNL I did exactly what they wanted me to…I bought their album. There was nothing flamboyant or showy, just great music by great musicians. Indie or not, they performed their little hearts out. So check them out.

I don’t know what to say other than you should watch this episode. And this show in general. Saturday Night Live has been creative and enjoyable as of late and everyone reading should make it part of their weekly repertoire. One thing is certain, when SNL sucks, it really really sucks. But when SNL is good, holy shit, it makes you forget all about those times you were disappointing.

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2 thoughts on “SNL: Jonah Hill / The Shins

  1. Riley says:

    I’m not really a fan of Jonah Hill, and I didn’t find him very funny in this episode. I saw 21 Jump Street a few days ago, and thought it was pretty funny, so I watched Jonah Hill’s SNL episode. I think it’s safe to say that after watching 21 Jump Street, I was expecting more from Jonah Hill. I watched SNL while I was on lunch at work, and I wasn’t very amused. There were a few good laughs, but SNL needs to bring better hosts.

  2. Jerch says:

    Yah I mean, you sum it up really well at the end. When SNL’s good it’s like nothing else. When it’s bad it’s uncomfortable to watch. I particularly liked the Rush Limbaugh impersonation, but I think part of that appeal was that it wasn’t yet another boring Mitt Romney is a robot opening sketch. I don’t need more of “Liza Manelli Turns On a Lamp” literally, but I need more of those sorts of ideas.

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