Starting another consecutive hosting streak, eh Goodman? As we all know, last season ended John Goodman's long-lasting hosting streak, and I was hoping that meant that he would stop hosting, at least for a little while. Now, Goodman himself is always pretty good, but hosting season-after-season has gotten repetitive (frequent hosts Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, Steve Martin, and Christopher Walken may host a lot, too, but at least they don't do it EVERY season, thus appearing more fresh that way each time), and since 1997-98, the episodes he hosted have progressively gotten worse. The 1997-98 Goodman show was average, the 98-99 Goodman show was pretty bad, and the 1999-00 Goodman show was very bad. I don't blame it on John Goodman himself, it's just that the writers seem to be running clear out of ideas with him since he hosts so much. Hopefully, since he skipped out on last season, John Goodman will be a little fresher tonight.
WHAT I'M HOPING FOR: I'd like to see featured players Seth and Jeff get a chance to shine tonight, since Dean and Amy did in the first two shows. Also, please, SNL, bring back the Hardball with Chris Matthews sketches, and Ferrell's Idiot Doctor character. I'd love to see those again.
JOHN ASHCROFT PRESS CONFERENCE (4:27)
- Seth Meyer's brief part at the beginning as Brian Williams was pretty funny, but the audience took a while to laugh.
- Darrell Hammond continues to showcase another great impression.
- I remember one of the sketches at SNYou had Darrell playing Ashcroft, also. Hmm, I noticed lately that some SNL sketches have the same premise as the ones at SNYou. Probably just a coincidence. Probably...
- Ana was hilarious as that old lady.
- I kinda wish they'd let someone other than just the same old people open the show. Is any else noticing that the only cast members nowadays who open the show are Will Ferrell, Darrell Hammond, and occasionally Ana Gasteyer? I think the last cast member other than them to say the opening line was Tracy Morgan in last season's Jennifer Lopez episode, which was a LONG, LONG time ago. I'd like to see Jimmy Fallon or Maya Rudolph say the opening line.
- RATING: ****1/2 A-
OPENING MONTAGE AND THEME (2:08)
- I just realized that when Rachel Dratch's picture comes up, you can see Chris Parnell sitting in the background, looking at her. What next, are they going to enlarge that shot so we can't see him?
- The camera panned down from the "on-air" sign to the SNL stage a little bit differently than usual tonight.
JOHN GOODMAN'S MONOLOGUE (2:46)
- I expected this to be a train wreck since Goodman's monologues lately have been half-assed, but this was pretty good and different.
- Why'd he say this was his 13th time hosting? This is his 12th time, not 13. Oh well, he hosted so many times, it's easy to lose count anyway. Danny DeVito goofed too last time he hosted when he said that was his 5th time hosting, but it was really his 6th.
- RATING: **** B-
HERBAL ESSENCE FOR MEN (:55)
- Hilarious commercial. I've seen the real commercial this is spoofing where the woman sounds like she's having an orgasm due to the shampoo, and it's so ridiculous.
- This must've been filmed for the season premiere, since Ferrell's hair looked like it did over the summer. His hair is shorter now.
- RATING: ****1/2 A-
HUDSON VALLEY COMMUNITY CIRCUIT (4:42)
- Dan Aykroyd??? This was surprising, but he always seems to cameo whenever Goodman hosts (like in the 97-98 and 94-95 Goodman episodes). I wonder why he just doesn't host himself. He'd be great.
- Pretty funny sketch, how all the guests' names had someway to do with the Taliban.
- Jimmy and Dean were funny as the hash dealers.
- Quite possibly the first time Darrell's made me laugh in a non-impression role.
- The ending was hysterical!
- RATING: ****3/8 B+
WILFORD BRIMLEY (3:13)
- I always never have much to say about these one-man sketches (like the Bank sketch with Ferrell in the last episode). I'll just say that this pretty boring, but Goodman gave a good performance.
- RATING: ***7/8 C
Gwyneth Paltrow hosts. She was pretty good the first time she hosted, so it'll be good to see her again. This will mark the third episode in a row in which the host has already been on the show before both hosting and a cameo appearance [remember, Drew Barrymore camoed in the Tom Green episode, Gwyneth cameoed in the same episode as well as the Ben Affleck Episode, and John Goodman has TONS of cameos under his x-tra large belt].
THE GIRL WITH NO 'GAY'DAR (3:56)
- Hysterical! One of the best sketches of the season so far. Rachel Dratch shined in this one.
- This reminded me of Passive Aggressive Pam, but this was way funnier than that.
- RATING: ****3/4 A
PREGNANCY TEST (1:27)
- Wow, another commercial?
- This was funny. I liked that Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler are getting a lot of good roles.
- Reminded me a little of some commercial from 94-95 with Janeane Garafalo and Kevin Nealon.
- RATING: ****1/4 B
CBS ANTRAX UPDATE WITH DAN RATHER (6:54)
- Happy to see Darrell's Dan Rather impression back. The last sketch did with this impression last season was a classic
- This was a classic as well. Ran a little too long at the end, though.
- This guy in the audience had an annoying, outstanding laugh you could hear throughout the whole sketch. Darrell didn't seem distracted by it, though.
- RATING: ****1/2 A-
Did anybody notice that when they showed the stage being set for the musical guest during the commercials, the camera accidentally bumped into a man carrying a bottle, and the bottle spilled all over the place (including the camera)?!? HA! I love live TV!
WEEKEND UPDATE (10:24)
- Favorite Update items: Tina's "High Alert" commentary; Antrax jokes; Will Smith joke.
- Seth Meyers' commentary was pretty funny.
- Are Michael Jackson jokes a regular thing now on Update?
- I don't really care for the Blues Brothers, but I like the way they took away the Update set for them to sing on the SNL stage, and how Jimmy and Tina ended Update differently. Update's been having a lot of special attractions lately.
- This is the THIRD cameo on Update from a former Update anchor in a row! They are on a roll! And don't forget, Kevin Nealon also cameoed on the Update from last season's finale.
And the string of great Updates continues
RATING: ****1/2 A-
AMERICA UNDERCOVER BEHIND THE BRUISES (5:22)
- I guess this is a real show, but I don't have HBO so I never heard of this.
- At first, this reminded me of that Cops sketch they did with John Goodman in 1993-94, that had Bill and Hilary Clinton getting into a fight. I get reminded of earlier sketches a lot, don't I?
- For once this season, Kattan's actually getting a lot of airtime tonight. He and Amy were hilarious together.
- Goodman's a lucky bastard for getting to carry Amy in that posture with her legs spread apart like that. However, I feel sorry for Dean having to carry Kattan that exact same way. Ugh!
- RATING: ****1/4 B
BAD CONCEPTUAL THEATER (5:23)
- Aykroyd in another sketch? Good!
- Bizarre, but pretty funny, especially the end when they brought out the monkey.
- RATING: ****1/4 B
AMATEUR SLEUTHS (4:27)
- I can't believe it! Seth Meyers in yet ANOTHER sketch tonight? This is great!
- The close-up of Horatio's face with the sandwich in his mouth was hilarious.
- Okay for the last sketch. This has been a great show all around.
- RATING: **** B-
OVERALL - Excellent episode! I can proudly say that the Goodman-slump is finally over. Tied with the Seann William Scott show as my favorite episode of the season so far. I really like the way this season is going. Keep up the good work, SNL. A-
BEST SKETCH OF THE EPISODE: The Girl with No Gaydar; Dan Rathers
WORST SKETCH OF THE EPISODE: Wilford Brimley
MOST BIZARRE SKETCH: Bad Conceptual Theater
HIGH POINTS: Goodman was his usual good self; Dan Aykroyd cameoed again; Seth got a lot of airtime tonight, which I was hoping to see.
LOW POINTS: Not really anything, but there were no Chris Matthews or Crazy Dr. Beaman sketches tonight. Aw, maybe next week
CAST MEMBER COUNT DOWN:
RACHEL DRATCH: 3 sketches (Herbal Essence, Hudson Valley, Gaydar)
JIMMY FALLON: 3 sketches (Hudson Valley, Gaydar, Update)
WILL FERRELL: 3 sketches (Herbal Essence, Hudson Valley, Gaydar)
TINA FEY: Yeah, you know
ANA GASTEYER: 4 sketches (Ashcroft, Herbal Essence, Hudson Valley, Gaydar)
DARRELL HAMMOND: 3 sketches (Ashcroft, Hudson Valley, Dan Rather)
CHRIS KATTAN: 5 sketches (Ashcroft, Monologue, Gaydar, America Undercover, Theater)
TRACY MORGAN: 1 sketch (Gaydar)
MAYA RUDOLPH: 2 sketches (Ashcroft, Theater)
HORATIO SANZ: 3 skecthes (Herbal Essence, Hudson Valley, Sleuths)
DEAN EDWARDS: 4 sketches (Ashcroft, Herbal Essence, Hudson Valley, America Undercover)
SETH MEYERS: 6 sketches (Ashcroft, Gaydar, Pregnancy, Update, Theater; Sleuths)
AMY POEHLER: 6 sketches (Ashcroft, Herbal Essence, Pregnancy, America Undercover, Theater; Sleuths)
JEFF RICHARDS: 2 sketches (Herbal Essence, Theater)
Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler ruled the whole night, which was great to see! All these new featured players seem like they have a lot of potential (even Jeff, but they need to give him more airtime he's a killer impressionist). But strangely, Ferrell didn't have much to do for the whole night, which is VERY rare. I remember the last time Goodman hosted, Ferrell only had two sketches (the monologue and that Gillette Razor commercial). I guess he isn't used much whenever Goodman hosts.
What got cut from dress: Judging from the dress-rehearsal ad showed, they didn't show a sketch that had Amy Poehler wearing a bald cap and moustache, a news sketch with Ana and Ferrell, and a sketch that showed Seth Meyers yelling some crazy stuff (a clip from the same sketch also had Chris Kattan saying "vamoose" or something like that).
I just realized something - Steve Martin is no longer the person who hosted the most, since Goodman is now tied with him. Kinda hard to believe. Oh, yeah, please get Steve Martin to host soon, SNL!
Thanks for reading my review. I'm outta heah...