Monday, October 6, 2008

Saturday Night Live October 4th, 2008

SNL Season 34, Episode 4
Host: Anne Hathaway
Musical Guest: The Killers

A consistently enjoyable episode with some of the most memorable bits so far this season.

Opening: Vice Presidential Debate.
This wasn't just good…it was CATHARTIC. Queen Latifah was a delightful surprise as moderator, Gwen Ifill. I loved her shilling for her new book and her large-eyed silent reactions to Tina Fey as Sarah Palin. Jason Sudeikis' Joe Biden still isn't a great impersonation but I liked the running gag about how he'd take a bullet for John McCain. Both VP candidates closing remarks were enjoyable as well, as was almost everything about this sketch. It was exactly the kind of spot-on commentary that helps me stay sane in this crazy world.

Predictable yet unavoidable parody of Anne Hathaway's embarrassing relationship with a con artist.

Lawrence Welk Show.
Kristen Wiig filling Rachel Dratch's role of pushing the limits of how gross and unattractive they can portray themselves. The bit seemed mean-spirited, since there wasn't any point beyond laughing at people with birth defects--which never really leaves you feeling great.

Economic Bailout Sketch.
Perfect impersonations of Nancy Pelosi by Kristen Wiig, and Barney Frank by Fred Armisen. Is this the first time Jason Sudeikis has played George Bush instead of Will Forte? It was a good trade-off, as I liked Forte as the billionaire left in charge of the economy.

Weekend Update.
Nothing too memorable this week, but I always enjoy Amy Poehler laughing at her own jokes.

Digital Short.
Almost pointless and yet COMPLETELY enjoyable series of silly competitions in a Monty Python-meets-Wes Anderson style. Add 2 points if you are fan of Kristen Wiig and Awesometown--which, I am!

Mary Poppins.
It's fun to see Anne Hathaway parody the role made famous by her Princess Diaries co-star, Julie Andrews. And Bill Hader was a perfect Dick Van Dyke. The sketch wasn't all that clever but the great performances made it memorable.

Mark Wahlberg talks to Animals.
Despite the obvious overtones to Tracy Morgan as Brian Fellows, you can't help but laugh at Andy Samberg's take on the Mark Wahlberg persona. Say hello to your mom, indeed!
I imagine they'll do a variation of this bit in weeks to come--so hopefully Samberg can find a creative twist to build off of.

Gay Best Friend.
It's nice to see yet another tightly written, traditional-style sketch on SNL, following up last week's Beer Garden/Ex-Boyfriend scene.

The less Provocative Songs Of Katy Perry (I Kissed a Girl parody).
This was the funniest thing I've seen from featured player, Casey Wilson so far. I haven't even heard the original Katy Perry song, but all her variations on it were hilarious. My wife and friend who saw it with us have been singing, "I held a cat" and "I saw a boat" ever since. A masterstroke of randomness, closing out a very enjoyable episode. In fact, this week was the first time in a while where I've noticed people talking about sketches beyond the political parodies, so hats off the writers and cast for one of the most balanced episodes in a long time! I'm very much looking forward to Thursday's special episode.


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