Before I get started, I got the following e-mail from Felicia@zoominternet.net, who answered a question I had about the Tennis Talk sketch from the last episode:
Scott Joplin, long since dead, is the 'father'/inventor of 'ragtime' music and considered an American music pioneer.
That odd combo (of that and women's tennis) made it one of the best sketches of that night. Odd but funny.
Thanks for clearing that up. I re-watched that sketch recently and found it a lot funnier.
Robert DeNiro's hosting, and I think it's a given that he'll do a great job. Judging from the clips in the dress-rehearsal promo, this show looks pretty good. It looks like we're getting a Donatella Versace sketch with Horatio Sanz as Ozzy Osbourne, a press conference sketch, DeNiro as a car dealer slapping Seth Meyers across the face, and a founding fathers sketch.
(COLD OPENING) Homeland Security Briefing
- DeNiro! It was surprised to see him showing up here and opening the show. The last host to say the opening line was Dana Carvey back in 2000.
- The dirty names were obvious cheap laughs, but DeNiro's delivery of them had me rolling.
- Using dirty names for obvious cheap laughs.
(MONOLOGUE) Robert DeNiro
- A real monologue! This wasn't really hilarious, but it was a nice, short, and straightforward monologue which is how I like 'em. It's a shame these are so rare nowadays.
- DeNiro almost seems like he doesn't want to be there. What was with the walking off before the monologue was over?
I missed about half of this because I thought they had gone to a real commercial break after the monologue so I left the room. I arrived back only to catch the second half of this, but from what I've seen, this had a lot of hilarious lines. Reminiscent of the classic "Happy Fun Ball" ad.
(SKETCH) Thomas Jefferson's got jungle fever
- DeNiro and Maya had good chemistry.
- Jimmy and Parnell's comments.
- Tracy's part at the end was "hi-LARIOUS"!
(SKETCH) Peter Pan
- Seeing DeNiro in the Peter Pan outfit was hilarious in itself.
- Some of DeNiro's lines were funny.
- Predictable. Everyone knew DeNiro would do a "tough guy" sketch like this. I think they could've done something more with this.
(NEXT WEEK) December 14, 2002: Al Gore
This may follow the success that was the John McCain show, but I have my doubts. This is too coming too close after that episode, and Al Gore looks to have the comic abilities of a wooden plank. We'll see how this turns out.
(SKETCH) Santa and Elf argument
- Maya and DeNiro again had nice chemistry together.
- Very boring. This could've been a lot funnier.
- DeNiro's fake Santa beard was put on really sloppily; it kept falling off and you could see his real beard under it.
(SKETCH) U.N. Weapons Inspectors
- A short sketch that got the punchline over with quickly.
- The punchline wasn't really worth the few seconds this had and just made this sketch feel like a waste.
(SKETCH) Judge Horace
- Tracy was great. Even the opening had me laughing, with him pulling out his gun, and the picture of him dressed up as his mother.
- Horatio looked hilarious; I know this one girl at my school who looks exactly like that.
- Did anyone catch the Crank Yankers reference?
(WEEKEND UPDATE) Fallon & Fey, Whitney Houston & Bobby Brown, Sylvia & Marty Feinblatt
- The Bush Doll joke.
- The Strom Thurmond joke.
- Tracy as the sweating Bobby Brown. I wonder how they got his wig to do that.
- The Bush menorah joke.
- Jimmy's Sopranos joke sounded like one of Norm MacDonald's leftover failed jokes.
- The old couple segment was a waste. Rachel was basically playing her "Good Morning Bronx" character again, and Kattan was no help to this. And while fake puking in sketches is usually always good for a laugh, it just seemed tacked on here.
- Why didn't Jimmy throw the pencil at the end?
(SKETCH) A Very Versace Chanukah
- Horatio and Amy as the Osbournes.
- Harvey Keitel!
- Maya's Versace impression started out great, but after the Hugh Jackman one, it's been downhill since. She's not even trying anymore.
- I wish they'd do an actual parody of The Osbournes instead of wasting their appearances in this.
(SKETCH) Bossy Car Salesman
- The fake slaps were done perfectly, and Seth's reactions were funny.
- The whole sketch was based around the slapping, so it got a little repetitive.
- Did DeNiro even TRY to remember his lines?
(SKETCH) Leslie's Bedtime Story
- The bedtime story was hilarious.
- I rarely say anything nice about Kattan anymore these days, but I admit, he's always good at playing little kids.
- DeNiro's constant cue-card staring is REALLY getting annoying.
(SKETCH) Radioactive Bear
- The bear ripping the hunter's arm off.
- Typical weak last sketch.
- The hunter getting sodomized by the bear seemed like a rip-off from the Christmas Kangaroo sketch from a year ago.
- At first, I thought Darrell was playing "General Mills" again.
Got cut off extremely fast, but I got enough of it to see that it was Fred who played one of the bears in the last sketch; he still had the bear suit on. Why'd they waste Fred with that role, when they could've gotten an extra to play that part? I wonder who played the other bear.
Considering DeNiro was the host, I expected this to be much better. DeNiro was funny at times, but he seemed unprepared and relied WAY too heavily on cue-cards. And not in the funny Christopher Walken way, either. More like in the annoying Vince Vaughn way. DeNiro had his eyes glued to the damn things and it messed up his timing. I like that there were actually a lot of sketches based around real and original premises unlike the Brittany Murphy Recurring Character Fest, but they could have been written better.
Overall Highlights of Tonight's Show:
- No recurring characters.
- DeNiro getting to open the show.
- A real monologue.
- Thomas Jefferson sketch.
- Judge Horace.
- The bedtime story sketch.
- Harvey Keitel's appearance.
Overall Lowlights of Tonight's Show:
- DeNiro didn't live up to my expectations, and his starting at the cue-cards for the entire show was irritating.
- The sappy Santa and Elf argument sketch.
- The old couple on Weekend Update.
- Versace impression.
- Christmas Kangaroo rip-off.
Funniest Single Moment:
- Tracy Morgan as the sweat-induced Bobby Brown.
- Jim Downey as voice-over: "Scientific studies suggest that excessive consumption of food may cause weight gain. In other words, if you stuff your greasy pie hole nonstop, you're probably going to pork up."
- Jim Downey as voice-over: "The Big N' Tasty is not God."
- Jimmy Fallon as Jefferson's associate: "John Adams is way into Asian chicks."
Will Forte as associate: "Asians? Where does he meet them???"
Chris Parnell as associate: "Oh, he's never actually seen one, but the descriptions drive him crazy!"
- Robert DeNiro as Wesley Jamison: "I know better than to squeeze into some weird pair of tights that every queer from here to Flynt probably left his juices in."
- Robert DeNiro as Wesley Jamison: "I like my Tinkerbells, but to be life-sized & with a nice rack."
- Tina Fey: "One of the big toys this season is a talking doll of President Bush that says 17 of his patriotic phrases. Actually, it's just one phrase; it just takes him 17 tries to get it right."
- Jimmy Fallon: "As part of a celebration for Senator Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday, a Marilyn Monroe impersonator sang to him. And so he didn't feel so old, a boner impersonator climbed into his pants."
CAST MEMBER COUNT DOWN
DRATCH: 2 sketches (Santa and Elf argument; Weekend Update)
FALLON: 5 sketches (Homeland Security Briefing; Thomas Jefferson's got jungle fever; U.N. Weapons Inspectors; Weekend Update; Radioactive Bear)
FEY: 1 sketch (Weekend Update)
HAMMOND: 2 sketches (Homeland Security Briefing; Radioactive Bear)
KATTAN: 3 sketches (Peter Pan; Weekend Update; Leslie's Bedtime Story)
MORGAN: 3 sketches (Thomas Jefferson's got jungle fever; Judge Horace; Weekend Update)
PARNELL: 6 sketches (Homeland Security Briefing; McDonald's; Thomas Jefferson's got jungle fever; Santa and Elf argument; Judge Horace; Radioactive Bear)
POEHLER: 4 sketches (Thomas Jefferson's got jungle fever; Peter Pan; A Very Versace Chanukah; Bossy Car Dealer)
RUDOLPH: 5 sketches (Homeland Security Briefing; Thomas Jefferson's got jungle fever; Santa and Elf argument; Weekend Update; A Very Versace Chanukah)
SANZ: 3 sketches (Homeland Security Briefing; Judge Horace; A Very Versace Chanukah)
ARMISEN: 2 sketches (U.N. Weapons Inspectors; Radioactive Bear)
EDWARDS: 0 sketches
FORTE: 3 sketches (Thomas Jefferson's got jungle fever; Judge Horace; Radioactive Bear)
MEYERS: 3 sketches (Homeland Security Briefing; Peter Pan; Bossy Car Dealer)
RICHARDS: 2 sketches (Homeland Security Briefing; Peter Pan)
Maya was the star of the night. Half of Parnell's sketches were only voice-overs or still photos. Tracy was hilarious in all his appearances, especially Judge Horace. Amy got in several sketches, unlike the last few episodes where she was barely used. Kattan actually got some big roles tonight; rare for him this season. Forte had some pretty good stuff. After having a great first 3 episodes with Ferecito and the Be Safe Gang instructor, Fred unfortunately hasn't really gotten anything to do since. And does Dean have really bad luck with getting any airtime or what?
That is all for now. Thanks for reading. ADIOS.