Saturday, September 20, 2008

SNL: September 20th, 2008

SNL Season 34, Episode 2
September 20th, 2009
Host: James Franco
Musical Guest: Kings of Leon

This episode certainly felt better than last week's. Not many laugh out loud moments, but nothing really made me cringe so that’s always a huge plus!

Opening.
A subtle satire on negative campaign ads. It mostly worked thanks to Bill Hader as the announcer with the most sarcastic voice. The examples of commercials didn't feel too far off from the truth but they were still funny!

Monologue.
James Franco was on Freaks and Geeks, therefore he is awesome forever. I'm easily amused by his stoner smile and delivery. Although, I never noticed how much he's got that squinty eye thing like French Stewart. Go K-Wo!

The Cougar Den.
Glad they didn't cut commercials. I can't remember how many times they've done these characters, or how many sketches there are of TV shows where Kenan plays the straight person off camera. Okay sketch, with a sort of random Cameron Diaz cameo. Mmm, shapewear. James Franco makes a good Chris Gaines and I liked his saggy boobies gesture.

Agent 420.
What if James Bond was replaced by a stoner? Wouldn't that be hilarious? If high school students conceived this sketch 20 years ago, I wouldn't be surprised. Somehow James Franco managed to come across unnatural as a stoner. How is that possible?

OJ Jury Selection.
A much better performance from James Franco in this one. Him screaming "Wait, am I…?" cracked me up. Kristen Wiig made me laugh from the moment she was on screen (not really a surprise). The rest kind of petered out, but it was an okay premise, and they didn't drag it out, thankfully.

Digital Short.
Pretty low-key short with not much content to discuss. But I appreciated the serious tone and it made me laugh at least once.
Not sure if I got the 'man voice' from the Gossip Girl.

The Looker.
I love that Fred Armisen didn't say anything till the end of the sketch. Just total deadpan Penny Marshall performed with subtle brilliance.

Musical Guest.
I don't think I've ever heard Kings of Leon before. I already can't remember what they sound like…but I think I liked their second song better.

Weekend Update.
Wearing a barrel--how old-timey! Rosie Perez as Dora was great--and ironic since she does a voice on the spinoff show, Go Diego Go. I've never seen him but my wife claims Fred Armisen's portrayal of the American Apparel owner is very accurate. It kind of reminded me of a funny Will Ferrell sketch.
I wonder who's going to replace Amy as anchor in November? I hope it's Kristen Wiig!

New York Times.
Not exactly an unfunny sketch, but it didn't make me laugh so I was disappointed. I'm sure the folks at Fox News will love to see the liberal media making fun of the liberal media. Polar bears don't seem to be as funny as regular bears.

Of Mice and Men.
I spent the first part of this sketch wondering how many variations/parodies of this book SNL has done and how they shouldn't try top the John Malkovich episode. I'm not sure I really understand what they were going for but by the end I was reflecting on the "do you smell the Peppa up in here?" bit from last week.

Yankee Stadium Stories.
Cute, throwaway video featuring the second Rosie Perez of the evening (more convincing when it's just a vocal impression). Fred Armisen does a good Scorsese. This ended up being a good showcase episode for him, overall.

Bill Hader vs. Andy Samberg, Round 2.
This sketch was super silly and I liked it a lot. Bill Hader is dead on as Willem Dafoe and I like when he makes fun of Andy Samberg (which was sort of a retread of their first Weekend Update appearance). Everything about the scene worked for me. A good note to end on. But I can't get used to the fact that Showtime at the Apollo doesn't follow SNL anymore!

1 comment:

thisfaith said...

what?!
you thought that this weeks episode was better than last weeks? Andy's Cathy impression made last week's episode difficult to live up to, in my opinion. The digital short this week was difficult to get into and at first, I wasn't even sure what they were making reference to. The distinct lack of Samburg this week led to a distinct lack of good comedy. =P