Category Archives: Saturday Night Live

SNL Season 40 Premiere: Chris Pratt / Ariana Grande

SNL_Chris_Pratt_752x423Welcome back! This is Season 40 of Saturday Night Live!

Let’s get down to business.

Sure, rumor had it that Bill Murray was to host, but, fuck it, they went with Chris Pratt. You remember Chris…star of Guardians of the Galaxy and The Lego Movie. Since his image has been everywhere this summer, it makes sense he would be host. Also, he seems comfortable in his own skin, and a little self-deprecation is necessary to be a good SNL host.

Overall, I was kind of amazed at how good this episode was. There were some big changes: Continue reading

SNL Season Finale: Andy Samberg / St.Vincent

andy-2Well, we made it through another year. We stuck with it and finally, finally, we got rid of Seth Meyers! Congratulations, America!

Let’s move on.

For the season finale, as with the season premiere, SNL usually brings out the big guns — some famous or infamous movie star or huge talent — OR they bring back a former cast member. This year, it was the latter with Andy Samberg at the helm, fresh off a Golden Globe win for Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Samberg came to reprise his role as the strange adorkable guy best remembered for Digital Shorts.

There were not many sketches that hit me in the funny bone. Despite the plethora of “surprise” celebrity guests like Maya Rudolph, Fred Armisen, Bill Hadar, Seth Meyers, Kristen Wiig, Paul Rudd and (I assuming the real) Two Chains, many of the sketches fell flat. I have said it once, but I will say it again…bringing in old blood from glorious SNL seasons past only shows the lack of talent SNL has now.

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SNL: Jamie Foxx / Ne-Yo

SNLOkay. I am just going to say what we are all thinking. This episode os Saturday Night Live is kind of racist.

Since I am hiding behind a blog and a pseudonym, readers may not know that I am Caucasian. My race makes it harder to explore race and even harder to enjoy humor that plays on racial stereotypes.

With that said, Jamie Foxx seems to think the only way he can be funny is to poke fun at those same stereotypes. From the very beginning his monologue is built around the tagline, “how black is that?” And it is all black from here on.

Enough about my white guilt, onward, to the review! Continue reading

SNL: Jeremy Renner / Maroon 5

thumbOh, Saturday Night Live, here we go again.

Jeremy Renner has a face like an old leather sack. It is that grizzled look that makes him perfect for all those hard-worn, deeply-troubled action roles. Like in The Hurt Locker. And The Town. And The Bourne Legacy. And Mission Impossible. You get the idea — he is a badass.  Then why is he on the longest-running television comedy show? Because SNL is an amazing, magical place where dreams come true, and even leather sacks can be funny.

ONWARD — to the review of the show! Continue reading

SNL: Anne Hathaway / Rihanna

I cannot believe this is the 3rd time Anne Hathaway has hosted Saturday Night Live.  I am not sure from whence my confusion comes, but I think it starts with me being unable to think of a single memorable sketch that involved Anne Hathaway.  On that note, do you think this episode gives us some ground-breaking performances by the host Hathaway? And do you hope that the monologue is not some sad Les Miserables send-up?

Not to spoil the surprise, but the answer to both questions is no.

Read on to find out more!!! Continue reading

SNL: Louis CK / fun

Another week and another episode of Saturday Night Live. I have not been this excited about a host in a long time. I am a shameless fan of Louis CK. He is smart, honest and makes the audience uncomfortable. In this venue (live sketch comedy) I was curious to see how he would perform — he writes, directs, produces and acts for his own show, so anyone with that much knowledge and control could have a hard time excelling in this struggling show. I was very pleasantly surprised. Louis CK did a great job. Sure, part of my enjoyment came from that fact that his monologue was not a song.

Enough about how much I love Louis CK, let’s talk about the episode. Continue reading

SNL: Bruno Mars

It’s another Saturday night! Time to sit down with a bottle of wine and a check of Saturday Night Live hosted by Bruno Mars.

Who? Oh, Bruno Mars. I vaguely know him as the young soul-filled singer who is on the radio right before I switch it, so I was surprised to see him pulling double-duty this week as both host and musical guest. While not unheard of (see full list here), it is usually for super famous people (Sting, Dolly Parton, Justin Timberlake, Mick Jagger) — people who are up the challenge of double duty.

I am going to shut up now and just say that, holy shit, Bruno Mars was awesome. Not sure if this is because of my lowered expectations, or because he was truly exceptional. Who cares, at this point, I will take it.

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SNL: Christina Applegate/Passion Pit

Oh, holy, sweet baby zombie Jesus, this is what I am talking about. Forget about overworked political numbers, gone are the stupid voices of yesterday. Welcome the smart, provocative, and hilarious Saturday Night Live you remember from your childhood.

Of course, I am assuming that you just fast-forward through “Weekend Update” because, seriously, that is minutes of your life you will never get back.

Let’s do this. Continue reading

SNL: Daniel Craig/Muse

Oh no, it’s a British Invasion!! Actually, I would welcome some smart, elegant British humour on nights like tonight…you know, when the longest running comedy show in the history of America is so awful you want to smash your TV with a cat.

So here we are, another long episode of Saturday Night Live, this time featuring 007 Daniel Craig and prog-rock band Muse. Craig highlights the badassitutde of the characters he has portrayed by presenting an In Memoriam complete with fog. It was unpleasant. On that note, let’s just get right down to the best and worst of the show. Continue reading

SNL Weekend Update Thursday: Episode 2

Please tell me this is the last Weekend Update I will have to suffer through on an otherwise happy Thursday night! I mean, what the fuck, Seth Meyers, must you ruin everything you touch?

The show started with a political cold open —  a town hall meeting with Obama in Ohio. This was not funny because it was a little bit too true. Jokes about the unemployed, foreclosed homes, meth addiction and immigration were kind of depressing. Kudos to Jay Pharaoh, though. He is continuing to impress with his Obama impression. Continue reading

SNL: Joseph Gordon-Levitt / Mumford & Sons

After what I consider a strong start to the season last week, Saturday Night Live continued the long-standing tradition of being a hot mess.

The overall theme for tonight’s show is to make the host Joseph Gordon-Levitt “do voices.” regardless of his talent, looks or comic timing, the SNL writers seemed determined to make JGL sound like an idiot.

I noticed the voices around the 2nd sketch. After JGL put his clothes back on, he does the Spanish voice, then he does a 20’s Film Noir voice, an over the top teenage boy, and a white rapper guy. So many awful voices, it was hard to focus. Okay, so those are the notes that I have for the host.

On to the best and worst of the night!

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SNL: Weekend Update Thursday

Will someone explain to me why Lorne Michaels decided to take the WORST segment of Saturday Night Live and turn it into a prime-time special?

It is my own fault for not reading the title correctly. I assumed this would be as it was four years ago — a smart, celebrity-filled countdown to the Presidential Election. I wanted Tina Fey/Sarah Palin  and Will Ferrell/George W. Bush. I wanted more fake commercials.

Even if the show was not 100% focused on the election, what a great opportunity to include previous “Weekend Update” alums onto the stage? I would even take some Norm MacDonald! He is still alive, right?

Instead, I was subjected to 30 minutes of Seth Meyers awkwardly recycling jokes from the Daily Show. Continue reading

SNL: Season 38 Premiere – Seth MacFarlane / Frank Ocean

I can’t say that I missed the comedy of Saturday Night Live over the summer, but I did spend some time thinking how the show was going to survive with the loss of Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg. Oh, and also Abby Elliot.  Last season seemed to rest on the mighty shoulders of Wiig and sometimes the only well thought out segment would be the “Digital Short.” Who…whom…which comedians could possibly fill the void left in my heart?

It will be these three people, who I am not going to describe right now because they were practically non-existent in the premiere show. Instead, read about them here, at the Daily Beast. I will only state that I am looking forward to seeing some new characters, and the clips provided in this article do a lot to whet my appetite.

Okay, enough of that, let’s talk about the first show of the season. Continue reading

SNL: Season 37 Finale / Mick Jagger

Finally, the end of season 37 of Saturday Night Live. I say “finally” not because I disliked this season, but because I am looking forward to a new, fresh season in August. SNL, the TV series of seemingly infinite do-overs.

Let’s just get down to it. And I am choosing to start at the end.

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SNL: Will Ferrell/Usher

Hold on to your hats, audience, because Saturday Night Live took us through a time warp. With “vintage” sketches from alum Will Ferrell and musical guest Usher, it felt like 2001 again…and I am not convinced that is a good thing. If nothing else, this episode proved three very simple truths. Continue reading

SNL: Eli Manning / Rhianna

There are few things in this world that I truly enjoy, and one of them is when Saturday Night Live has a non-actor as a host. This can come in the form of a musician, or newscaster or, most commonly, an athlete.

These non-actors are often brilliant for 3 main reasons.

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SNL: Josh Brolin / Gotye

Please forgive me Josh Brolin, but I have no idea who you are. While I know about No Country for Old Men, The Goonies and True Grit, for some reason I never remember your name. So, Mr. Brolin hosted SNL again and actually did a pretty stand-up job. Though his performance within the sketches was solid, he did not stand out in a positive or negative way. When Brolin said he was hosting in support of his movie Men In Black III, I was 90% sure that the movie was released a few years ago. Sorry, MIB, but I don’t care about you. The highlight of the monologue was Josh Brolin as Tommy Lee Jones and Jay Pharoah as Will Smith. It makes me want to see more of Jay Pharoah. More please!! Continue reading

SNL: Sofia Vergara / One Direction

OH, Sofia Vergara. So beautiful. So unintelligible. I love Modern Family and think that Vergara is a excellent part of that ensemble. She has great comic timing and delivery, of course, that is when I can understand what the fuck she is saying. See, at first watch, I thought her accent on Modern Family was exaggerated and fake…but nope, that is just how she talks.

So, accent aside, I had high hopes for this week’s episode, and all in all, it was enjoyable. At several points throughout the episode, I laughed out loud and thought the best sketches were well dispersed — you know, how sometimes, after the Weekend Update the show can drag and you just beg for 1am? Well, that did not happen this time. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

SNL: Lindsay Lohan / Jack White

Oh, Saturday Night Live…after a few weeks of reruns, I was happy to see the word “NEW” on my DVR. Then, I read a little more and saw that the host of the the show is none other than America’s favorite problem child — Lindsay Lohan. With no movie/TV/radio/object to promote, I can only assume she was chosen as the host because she is out of rehab or something. By the looks of Lohan, it seems her purpose is to celebrate having some plastic surgery on her face…not that I can blame her, I mean, who wants to spend their whole life looking like Lindsay Lohan? Continue reading

SNL: Maya Rudolph / Sleigh Bells

Oh, Maya Rudolph. I have missed you. And I think I love you.

If you are not familiar with Maya Rudolph, then you have been living under a pile of dog crap. She was a cast member on “SNL for seven years, and most recently, she has gained fame for Bridesmaids and the TV show Up All Night. Ringing any bells? Good. Because she is funny and talented and beautiful, and I think she just might be the host to elevate this faltering show.

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SNL: Zooey Deschanel / Karmen

When I saw that Zooey Deschanel was hosting SNL I was trepidatious. I truly enjoy the show New Girl where she plays herself; You know a woman with the awkwardness of Tina Fey and the fashion sense of a 1960’s housewife. I can stomach the show because of the ensemble cast and that the show only lasts for 22 minutes. I was not sure I could stand 70 minutes of pure Zooey.

The show started with the typical political cold open. Making fun of Mitt Romney is easy. You know what is hard…training a dog. That is what makes this sketch the funniest of the night; Everyone loves a flub. Continue reading

SNL: Channing Tatum / Bon Iver

Tonight, Saturday Night Live invited superstar Channing Tatum to perform. You may remember him from such films as Unstoppable…wait no, that was Chris Pine. Ah, he was the Green Lantern…shit, that was Ryan Reynolds. Captain America? Chris Evans. The dude from Avatar? Sam Worthington.

Okay, well, I think maybe the reason I do not know more about this “Channing Tatum” is that he would rather be known as a stripper. Indeed, apparently the news and videos of his stripping have been recently publicized. Sure, for a female, a past as an exotic dancer would be a career-ender, or at the very least, the woman would be compared to a prostitute. But for Tatum, it is merely an anecdote that the bumbling SNL writers use to add crotch gyration in as many sketches as possible. And it is a good thing that Channing has dance moves to fall back on because his acting is definitely no better than the average stripper’s.

Okay, let’s get down to some specifics. Continue reading

SNL: Daniel Radcliffe / Lana Del Ray

We are going to do things a little differently tonight, peeps. It is a subject that is on my mind and cannot be held to the end of the review. Bear with me.

Forget sketches and updates, the thing that sunk this show tonight was Lana Del Rey. Holy Shit. Not since the recorded-voice-over, awkward-jig-dance fiasco of Ashlee Simpson has a musical guest caused this much of a kerfuffle. I love Del Rey. A friend of mine in LA gave me a few of her songs a few months ago and it included both “Video Games” and “Blue Jeans.”  I think she has an ethereal and sultry voice, in stark contrast to the belt-out divas you see today.  Del Rey reminds of a much less talented Fiona Apple.

I was unprepared for how horrible she would be in SNL. She started both songs with a deep, masculine growl; it was awful and reminded me of a drag king–you know, like, if a woman was trying to imitate a man’s voice. Her voice cracked and squeaked as she went from way too high to way too low registers. She seemed to rush the words and keep inaccurate time with the band. Oh, Lana Del Rey, you really botched the singing.

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SNL: Charles Barkley / Kelly Clarkson

Ding, dong, mother fucker, it is the new year and time for a new episode of Saturday Night Live. Did you get it? That was my attempt at ringing in the new year…oh, shut up.

Okay, so this Saturday, we saw host Sir Charles Barkley host SNL for the 3rd time. Everything I read, saw or heard about this episode mentioned Barkley’s legacy of hosting as if the promo was hinting that the 3rd time would indeed be the charm. Yeah, it wasn’t. During the opening segment, Barkley monotonically uttered simple jokes for the minimum required 2 minutes while proving he has a elementary grasp of the English language. Somewhere in the wings of the studio, Keenan Thompson and Jay Pharoh high-fived because having an African-American host means they will get more air-time in this episode than the rest of the season combined.

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SNL: Jimmy Fallon/Michael Buble

1 cup idling comedy show
1 cup sketch artist who laughs all the time
1 cup recycled sketches from seasons past
Bake for one episode (approx. 69minutes plus commercials)
You will have yourself one mediocre SNL- please enjoy at your discretion.

So it starts, Jimmy Fallon has gone from chronic sketch-ruiner to host. I cannot lie, as a young girl, I thought Jimmy Fallon was the bee’s knees. With his guitar playing, boyish charm and (though I hate to admit) ability to imitate almost any singer made me kind of fall in love with him. I watch every episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. I was actually super excited to see that JF would be joining the cast just in time for Christmas.

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SNL: Katy Perry/Robyn

Dear SNL. Why, in Christ’s name would you have Katy Perry host you?

I was annoyed that this fake plastic pop-star was chosen to host. I was simultaneously overjoyed that she was not the musician. I guess dancing around in a music video makes a wig-wearing auto-tuned Barbie appropriate for a late night performing gig. Oscar Winners (Hillary Swank, Christopher Walken, Ben Affleck, and Robert DeNiro just to name a few) have hosted this. It is a privilege and an honor. It is the stuff of Hollywood legend. So, fuck you Katy Perry. Having every song on Glee does not make you worthy.

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SNL: Steve Buscemi / The Black Keys

Prepare yourself, reader, because shit 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 vomitorium that was to begin this Saturday at 11:35pm.

Perhaps it was because I was not expecting much that I was pleasantly surprised. No, it was not great, and nope, it was not even good. But this episode was not bad.

So, here comes the breakdown.

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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.

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SNL: Emma Stone / Coldplay

I start with a simple question to America: When did Emma Stone become a thing? Although I thought the movie Easy A was brilliant, I am not sure that Emma Stone deserves to host SNL for a second time! I think that the producers also felt she was slightly unqualified, which is why they made her earn her place — mainly by making her perform a series of ridiculous voices (mannish, Southern, English, French).

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SNL: Charlie Day/Maroon 5

By the hammer of Thor!! There is a God, and he, while ignoring the plight of the innocents in the Arab Spring, has instead answered my prayer for more Charlie Day.

At this point, if you do not know who Charlie Day is, then we cannot be friends. The star of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and this summer’s Horrible Bosses hosted SNL for the first time. I always find that when the host knows a cast member (ex. Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig or in this case Day and Jason Sudeikis) the show is better. Similarly, when the host is also known for writing his own comedy TV show, the sketches are also better.

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SNL: Anna Faris/Drake

Oh, SNL, here we go again. First, I must say that I thought I loved Anna Faris — with her bat-shit crazy eyes and a demeanor that makes me think she is always high (which, being from Seattle, could very well be true). Sadly, I think that I am just remembering how much I liked her in Just Friends, because she was flat and unfunny tonight.

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SNL: Ben Stiller / Foster the People

At first I could not put my finger on it…what is it about Ben Stiller that caused him to be a mere bit player in every sketch this week? After last week, where Melissa McCarthy stole every scene and was featured prominently in everything except the digital short, where was Ben Stiller this week?

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SNL: Melissa McCarthy / Lady Antebellum

I have to say that I have loved Melissa McCarthy ever since she was on “Samantha Who” playing an awkward, inappropriate and sexy dog owner.

When I saw that she was hosting SNL, I knew exactly what they were up to. She would play two roles: 1) a sexy diva who is lewd and very comfortable in her own skin (Arlene) and 2) an awkward fat clumsy weirdo (Taste Test). Occasionally the writers on SNL would pat themselves on the back for melding the two personas together (Lulu Diamonds). And that, in a nut shell, is the second episode of SNL.

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SNL: Alec Baldwin / Radiohead

Here we go America — season 37 of Saturday Night Live. Yup. Thirty Seven. How, after all this time can Lorne Michaels and crew keep things feisty and fun?

Well, not with an 11 minute intro that bumbles around the Republican debates. After watching that, I wanted to stab myself in the eyes. Leave the political humour for Weekend Update…and please, add someone to the weekend desk with Seth Meyers; he works better with a partner. His sarcastic dickishness is more off-putting than ever. Sure, he is right about everything, but still.

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