Saturday Night Live
January 31st, 2009
Host: Steve Martin
Musical Guest: Jason Mraz
First cold opening with Obama as the president. I think Fred Armisen keeps getting better with his Obama impression, and the whitening of his hair is a nice detail. It's going to be hard to follow up all the years of great George Bush openings, but considering Obama gives writers less to work with it, it turned out okay!
Steve Martin's 15th time! I think I prefer when he does a song or interacts behind the stage. His stand up ended up a bit awkward.
A new classic to add to the rich history of brilliant commercial parodies! Along the lines of the Jiffy Pop airbag.
Only one real commercial, and suddenly a McGruber sketch? And with the real McGuyver doing a surprise cameo? And wait, it WAS actually a commercial? I'm confused! I wonder if it will air on the Super Bowl tomorrow?
The return of Will Forte and Kristen Wiig characters I sort of remember them doing once before but find it hard to describe exactly how to describe them. Boring? Out of touch? I guess the passing of time is the extra angle, morphing the characters from timid to random. Subtle comedy to be sure.
Digital Short: Laser Cats 4.
I definitely want to like the laser cats. It doesn't make me laugh, but it evokes the kind of low-budget nonsense I usually enjoy.
I loved this sketch! Similar setup as the Will Forte-Kristen Wiig "Good Excuse" sketch from last week, except PERFECTLY executed! Great new character from Kenan, who can crack me up by just lowering his eyes (as seen with his Whoopi Goldberg on The View). But there were tons of great lines like "What can we glean from this?" "Can I squeeze one of them?" And I was glad there were lots of variations to the running gag rather than copping out to a single catch phrase. I'd certainly look forward to them bringing this bit back at least once more.
McGruber Commercial 2.
Maybe I've just been beat into submission but I really liked this one! Will Forte's reaction to "Are you sponsored by Pepsi?" was genuinely funny.
Good impersonation, but boring execution.
Casey Wilson and Steve Martin.
I love how Abraham Lincoln is always walking around in the background. At first I thought Casey Wilson singing the Carpenters was going to be a reference to the movie Parenthood. This ended up being a showcase of the current female cast members' singing abilities. I still don't have any strong opinions on any of the newer cast members.
McGruber Commercial 3.
I was convinced that this one was going to be lame but then I laughed at the end line.
This song sounded like Israel Kamakawiwo'ole cover of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" that they always play on New Years after the ball falls in Times Square. Not really my cup of tea, and yet it went down easy enough.
Not a great impersonation of Rod Blagojevich by Jason Sudeikis (the accent was totally off), but he was still kind of funny and you can't go wrong with Brushy.
Abby Elliott was surprisingly great as Angelina Jolie looking for babies. I guess I have more of an opinion about her now!
After all the controversy last time, I can’t believe they had the balls to bring back Fred Armisen as Governor Patterson again. It's pretty amazing how unafraid of being offensive they are! Feels almost like a throwback to the original years.
ASIDE: I wasn't sure how to spell "Blagojevich," so I clicked on CNN and there he was talking to Larry King.
Husband and Wife.
I give Kristen Wiig credit for trying out so many new characters, but between this and Gilly, she's been crashing and burning lately. Steve Martin seemed like he had no idea what to do, where to stand, or what cue cards to read.
I flipped the channels during the commercial and The Swell Season (with the rest of the Frames as back up!) were performing on Austin City Limits (PBS) so I watched that instead of the last part of SNL. Sorry, but they are one of my most favorite bands! As Glen Hansard would say, "Fookin' brilliant!"