CBS SPECIAL REPORT WITH DAN RATHER (3:30)
- Why does Darrell always pronounce Dan Rather as "Diane Rather"?
- The caption stuff at the bottom of the screen went on forever and got old fast. Probably the worst cold opening of the season so far.
- And the Ferrell/Hammond LFNY's continue...
- RATING: ***1/2 C-
ELLEN DEGENERES' MONOLOGUE (4:03)
- Ah, classic standup monologue. Always great.
- Actually, Gwyneth Paltrow didn't even say about how special it is for her to be in New York when she hosted last time.
- RATING: ****1/2 A-
THE KULPS AT A CHRISTMAS PAGEANT (6:06)
- I still don't like the Kulps, and I never will. I basically slept through this.
- The only thing I really enjoy in these sketches are the intros before the Kulps come out, but the audience was pretty silent during Ellen's bit.
- RATING: *** D-
KITTY SINGLETON - SPECIAL AGENT (3:42)
- If Ellen ever hosts again, I wonder if they'll bring this character back.
- Ferrell beating up Ellen, and Ellen's dives to the floor were funny.
- RATING: **** B-
TV FUNHOUSE SPONSOR AD (:09)
- What was this?
TV FUNHOUSE THE NARRATOR THAT RUINED CHRISTMAS (5:03)
- This was great. Great spoof of those Christmas special cartoons.
- What the? Chris Parnell made a voice appearance as Tom Brokaw! This was surprising. If he got fired from the show, how was he still able to voice for a Smigel cartoon? This cartoon couldn't have been made last season because Amy Poehler was one of the voices. Oh, well, it was great to at least hear Parnell again.
- RATING: ****3/8 B+
WEEKEND UPDATE (11:31)
- I was wondering what was up with Tina at the beginning, but it turned out to be part of the act.
- The "Please Stand By" sign showing up right in the middle of Tina's story about airport security was hilarious, as well as the funny drawings of Tina and Jimmy on the sign.
- Tracy's Update bit was funny as usual, and he slipped in yet another joke about him smoking weed.
- Jimmy's Lord of the Rings joke bombed.
- Mayor Guiliani's cameo was once again great, and Tina and Jimmy's tribute to him was fantastic. Tina can sing surprisingly well.
- I really like all the clever twists in tonight's Update.
- RATING: ****3/4 A
ELLEN LOVES MANGO (5:36)
- I should've guessed they would bring Mango back tonight with Ellen hosting.
- Again, what more can they do with this character? It already peaked in 1998, and Mango has grown more tired and overused since then.
- Mango, the Movie? Oh, no, don't give Lorne any ideas
- Jeff did a funny impression of Charlie Rose, as well as Horatio as Bruce Vilanch. Why not build a sketch around those impressions instead of another lousy Mango skit?
- RATING: ***1/4 D
FAMILY VACATION (3:20)
- A cute little silly sketch.
- Was that stock footage of the car falling off the cliff from Billy Madison? It reminded me of that.
- The clips were messed up a bit at the end when Ferrell said he left the oven on, they showed a shot of Jimmy's T-Rex toy by accident.
- RATING: **** B-
JACK HANDEY'S BIG THICK NOVEL (:24)
- I never really know how to rate these Jack Handey bits. This was okay, I guess. But if Jack Handey's trying to make another "Deep Thoughts" it's not working. Deep Thoughts ruled. His Deep Thoughts follow-ups never last for more than one season. Fuzzy Memories only lasted for the 1995-96 season. Lost Deep Thoughts only lasted for the 1997-98 season. If he brought back Deep Thoughts, it would be solid, but these Big Thick Novel bits are just... there. I don't really hate them or love them.
THE STEPMOM (4:29)
- This sketch had the same set used for the Perm sketch with Derek Jeter a few weeks ago.
- Seth and Amy are always great together. I think making them featured players wasn't a good move. They're both really funny and deserve more screen time than this. I guess Lorne doesn't let new people join right off the bat as official cast members any more without being a featured player first. And I heard that you now have to be a featured player for two seasons before being promoted (I guess Maya slipped by since she was on for a little portion of the 1999-2000 season). Dang. Jeff and Dean probably deserve another season as featured players only because they haven't really done much yet. But Seth and Amy are doing fine even with their limited screen time and they're getting pretty popular - I hope Lorne lets the "2 season featured player" thing slide by for Seth and Amy next season so we can see them as regular cast members. I can see them becoming the stars of the show (look at the John Goodman episode).
- RATING: ****1/4 B
DICK CHENEY/THE CHRISTMAS TIME IS HERE BAND (3:54)
- As soon as I saw the "Undisclosed location" sign at the beginning, I knew it had to be Dick Cheney.
- But the return of the Christmas Time is Here band got me by total surprise. I really didn't see this coming. And I'm really happy to see the band again.
- I like how Horatio came up with new lyrics this time.
- Tracy was actually smiling this time while dancing.
- It was funny when Kattan's hat accidentally fell off from him shaking his head so much, and Tracy ad-libbed and put the hat on top of the hat already on his head.
- I also like how they melded the two sketches together. That was creative and different.
RATING: ***** A+
Cool! They showed the cast skating at the Rockerfella Center rink. They haven't done this since the Helen Hunt episode. And the Mayor's sign-off at the end was great.
OVERALL A little lackluster and shaky in places, but overall, the episode was okay. The shaky first half of the episode really had me worrying, but it picked up in the second half and it was even better than the first, which is weird. If only the first half was as good, this would've been a classic episode. Ellen did a fine job as host. B-
BEST SKETCH OF THE EPISODE: Dick Cheney/Christmas Time is Here
WORST SKETCH OF THE EPISODE: The Kulps; Mango
MOST BIZARRE SKETCH: Family Vacation
BLOOPERS: Jimmy cracked up like usual while singing the Guiliani tribute during Update; some of the clips were mixed up in the Family Vacation sketch; Kattan's hat fell off in the Christmas Time is Here sketch, and he laughed his way through the rest of the sketch
SKETCHES THAT'LL PROBABLY BE CUT ON COMEDY CENTRAL: Dick Cheney/Christmas Time; Stepmom; Family Vacation
CAST MEMBER COUNT DOWN
RACHEL DRATCH: 1 sketch (Family Vacation)
JIMMY FALLON: 3 sketches (Update, Family Vacation, Christmas Time)
WILL FERRELL: 6 sketches (CBS News, Kulps, Kitty Singleton, Mango, Family Vacation, Stepmom)
TINA FEY: 1 sketch (Update)
ANA GASTEYER: 2 sketches (Kulps, Cheney)
DARRELL HAMMOND: 2 sketches (CBS News, Cheney)
CHRIS KATTAN: 2 sketches (Mango, Christmas Time)
TRACY MORGAN: 2 sketches (Update, Christmas Time)
MAYA RUDOLPH: 1 sketch (Kitty Singleton)
HORATIO SANZ: 4 sketches (CBS News, Kitty Singleton, Mango, Christmas Time)
DEAN EDWARDS: 1 sketch (Kitty Singleton)
SETH MEYERS: 2 sketch (CBS News, Stepmom)
AMY POEHLER: 1 sketch (Stepmom)
JEFF RICHARDS: 1 sketch (Mango)
Ferrell was the main man tonight again, but where was everybody else? Ferrell was the star tonight and he was in about every sketch, while the rest of the cast was only in 1 or 2 sketches. I'm a big Ferrell fan and everything, but let's see some of the other guys, too.
Well, that's the last episode for a while because of Christmas break. Until then, all of you have a happy Christmas and New Year. I'm outta heah...