Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday Night Live April 11th, 2009

Saturday Night Live
April 11, 2009
Host: Zac Effron
Musical Guest: Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Cold Open.
Joe Biden chews Obama's ear off for mild comic effect. I found it an almost-cute dramatization of the awkward conversations that Obama and Biden probably have. The vice president putting his family photos on the president's desk while he was away was a nice touch. I also liked Obama saying "Relax, Joe. You've already got the job."

"Hey, Tweens!" seems like a condescending way to address your fan base in an attempt to appeal to the older audience. Do tweens refer to themselves as such?

Kristen Wiig is (expectedly) perfect as the completely out of touch Kathy Lee Gifford. When she mentioned her son Cody, I had flashbacks to Dana Carvey and Jan Hooks as Regis and Kathy Lee. I haven't thought much about Cody since then. I guess he would be Zac Effron's age by now!
Mikhaela Watkins is a decent straight-woman co-host (even if I can't remember the name of who she's playing).

Science Fair: Gilly returns.
The first thing this sketch did was remind me how rarely Bobby Moynihan is on the show these days (not a great sign for a featured player). The second thing this sketch did is remind me that not everything Kristen Wiig does is enjoyable.
Gilly is easily the most disturbing of her characters. It makes me glad that the trend of SNL character-based movies is on a downturn so I don't have to know the fear that would be an hour and a half of Gilly on the big screen. Although in the right hands I guess it COULD be the next POPEYE.

Junk Mail Commercial.
A bit more of a straight up rant than the usual SNL satirical approach, but a noble attempt at relevancy compared to the inane sketch that preceded it.

Kids at the Bar.
Totally hilarious. It had a funny set up, and the images of the kids drinking at the bar is pretty classic.
I wonder if they made up the phrase "Gerbils are the opposite of cougars"?

Musical Guest: Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
I've always been indifferent to this band, despite their critical acclaim. The singer reminds me of a mild PJ Harvey without the passion. But I did like the overall shoegazing sound of the song they played.

Weekend Update.
I assume Devil's Due comics are stoked that their Barrack the Barbarian series got plugged.
Considering the overloading of stereotypes, Bill Hader and Fred Armisen as the Gay Couple from New Jersey are funnier than I would have expected.
I still don't get who exactly is being parodied by Mikhaela Watkins' Angie Tempura, the snarky blogger character. The nasal voice and way of stretching out her "snotty comments" and saying "bitch, please" in an out of breath manner, just makes me scratch my head in confusion. Reminds me of Molly Shannon's "Don't even get me started. Don't EVEN get me started."
As soon as Seth Meyers said the words "Jon Bovi" my heart shrank in my chest. I can't believe how much time they wasted with the opposite of humor. Bitch, pleeeaaase. Slurp.

High School Musical 4
I'm surprised they didn't do this as one of the beginning sketches for the kids.
Mostly cute and predictable exceptnfor Daryl Hammond as an unfrozen, racist Walt Disney. Seems like Daryl just does "surprise cameos" the way he casually walks in at the end of sketches.

Going off to war.
Totally random, but I enjoyed Casey Wilson running next to a moving train with a fish in her mouth.

Gino's Pizza Rolls.
Fred Armisen's performance hit a little too close for home for me. They dragged it out a bit, but still cracked me up. Not bad for the often worn out "let's do that scene over" format

Next week: Hey Rick! It's the Best of Amy Poehler.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
I liked the heavy guitar parts at the end of the song.

Brotherly foot rub.
A solid, well written, stand alone sketch. It evoked some of the best Kids in the Hall awkward sexual scenes. Just imagine Scott Thompson playing the role of Jason Sudeikis (who was really good in this). It seems to be one of SNL's worst traditions to push the original scenes for the end of the night and annoy us with reoccurring one-note characters like Gilly at the start of the show.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

The show following SNL called LX-First Look (which always reminds me of a Human Giant Sketch called Let's Go!) had profiles on Amy Poehler and the UCB Theater and other notable impov comedy clubs. It was nice to see Chat Carter (formerly of Respecto Montalban) get some screen time!

Saturday Night Live, April 4th 2009

Saturday Night Live
April 4, 2009
Host: Seth Rogen
Musical Guest: Phoenix

Cold Open.
Whenever I hear Obama speak now, I can't help but hear Fred Armisen's impression of him in my head. Which means Armisen must be doing something right. Does he even put the dot on his nose for this impersonation, or is that just a natural coincidence?!

Seth Rogen sure fluctuates weight a lot. Does he do that on purpose for his various film roles? I'm glad they're addressing the frequency of mall cop movies these days.

Commercial Parody.
Looks like a live-action yaoi manga adaptation.

Save the Funnies.
They finally wrote a sketch to put Cathy into besides Weekend Update, I guess? Farside was a random throw-away gag--is that strip even in syndication anymore?

La Riviste della Televisiona.
This sketch reminded me how often Seth Rogen and Bill Hader appear in movies together.

Digital Short.
Musically reminded me a lot of the Natalie Portman digital short. I thought it was the weakest of the Lonely Island raps so far, but it still had a couple of laughs.

Girlfriend voice.
Started out good, but they kind of dragged it out too long. Mogwai singing is always worthwhile, though.

Remember GE Smith? I haven't for a long time. But something made me think of the old days during this break.

Reminded me of a calmer version of the band Of Montreal.

Weekend Update.
I enjoyed Seth's jabs about the gift exchange with the Queen of England.
Madonna and Angelina Jolie's baby-off was good stuff. Especially Abby Eliott's exit.

Business Meeting.
Felt like the lamest sketch SNL has ever done. Nothing but people sitting around listening to a song from Grease. The "twist" ending was predictable in way that wouldn't have been surprising on a preschool show. It was more like, NBC had the rights to that song and wanted to use it AND waste TV time simultaneously, to save costs.

Milestone High.
ALMOST funny.

Bad country music commercial.
Three strikes. It's sad to see such talented people like Kristen Wiig and Seth Rogen stoop to Will Forte's level of non-comedy. Totally painful. The kind of sketch that makes it hard to justify SNL to your friends. Someone really needs to tell Will Forte that just singing random stuff in a "funny voice" isn't enough.

The singer looks like some random guy that walked off the street and a rock band let him join them on stage. But the song was pretty decent!

SNL really has had a thing about Muppet parodies over the years. Some of the costumes were pretty fun, but everything else was a bit too average. Seemed like a lot of trouble visually for so little amount of actual parody or humor.

Third song by a band that isn't Coldplay? Craziness.