Steve Martin / Prince
February 4, 2006

2005-2006 Mid-Season Review:


Best Episodes:

1. Jack Black / Neil Young

2. Alec Baldwin / Shakira

3. Dane Cook / James Blunt


Worst Episodes:

1. Peter Sarsgaard / The Strokes

2. Jason Lee / Foo Fighters

3. Scarlett Johansson / Death Cab for Cutie


Best Hosts:

1. Alec Baldwin

2. Jack Black

3. Dane Cook


Worst Hosts:

1. Peter Sarsgaard

2. Lance Armstrong

2. Jon Heder


Best Sketches:

1. Lazy Sunday

2. Spelling Bee

3. Vincent Price’s Thanksgiving Special 1958

4. Anderson Cooper 360: Post-Hurricane Katrina Reconstruction

5. Kanye West backstage

6. Glengarry Glen Elves

7. Two A-Holes Buying a Christmas Tree

8. (tie) Lettuce / Young Chuck Norris

9. Hubbard Systems

10. Duluth Live


Worst Sketches:

1. Carol

2. Cat Fancy magazine

3. Butt Pregnancy

4. Firmium

5. Kaitlin’s science project

6. Fight Back with Victor Ramos

7. Windy Pizzeria

8. Mr. Willoughby

9. Gays in Space

10. Access Hollywood: Sharon Stone


Best Cold Openings:

1. The Tree Re-Lighting

2. Santa Cheney

3. Saddam in Prison


Worst Cold Openings:

1. The 700 Gang

2. Bush’s Press Conference (from 11.19.05)

3. A Message from Dick Cheney


Best Monologues:

1. Jack Black

2. Alec Baldwin

3. Dane Cook


Worst Monologues:

1. Jason Lee

2. Catherine Zeta Jones

3. Scarlett Johansson


Best Commercials:

1. The Black Eyed Peas

2. Morgan Stanley

3. Taco Town


Worst Commercials:

1. Butt Cancer

2. Girls Gone Wild Katrina

3. JJ Casuals


Best TV Funhouse Cartoons:

1. Christmastime for the Jews

2. Celebrity Mugshot Poker


Worst TV Funhouse Cartoons:

1. Fun with Real Audio: John Roberts

2. Intelligevision Toons


Best Weekend Update Commentaries:

1. Hader & Samberg Impression-Off

2. Tim Calhoun

3. (tie) Pep Walters / Dratch in a Fat Suit


Worst Weekend Update Commentaries:

1. Jean Schmidt

2. Black Ventriloquist

3. Football Coach






Best Performance: Anton Regal (Drama Club School Announcements)

Runner-Up: Mike (Mike & Toni’s Chandelier Galaxy)

Worst Performance: Homeless Man (Windy Pizzeria)



Best Performance: Julie (Voice-Over Blind Date)

Runner-Up: Herself (Fat Suit commentary on Weekend Update)

Worst Performance: Jean Schmidt (Weekend Update)



Best Performance: Doctor (Face Transplants)

Worst Performance: Any Weekend Update



Best Performance: Daniel Strong (Spelling Bee)

Runner-Up: Wally Hamrlik (Duluth Live)

Worst Performance: Singer (Gays in Space)



Best Performance: Jesse Jackson (Anderson Cooper 360)

Runner-Up: Bill O’Reilly (The O’Reilly Factor)

Worst Performance: Brit Hume (various sketches)



Best Performance: Gary (Hubbard Systems)

Runner-Up: Nicolette Sheridan (Vanity Fair Photo Shoot)

Worst Performance: Jack (Cat Fancy magazine)



Best Performance: Himself (Kanye West backstage)

Runner-Up: Ray Nagin (Anderson Cooper 360)

Worst Performance: Stuart Scott (Weekend Update)



Best Performance: Himself (Lazy Sunday)

Runner-Up: Spencer Mason (Fire Alert 3000)

Worst Performance: Thad (Gays in Space)



Best Performance: Fergie (The Black Eyed Peas)

Runner-Up: Sally Needler (The Needlers)

Worst Performance: Any Weekend Update



N/A, obviously, since she's only appeared in the season premiere



Best Performance: Alfred Hitchcock (Vincent Price’s Thanksgiving Special 1958)

Runner-Up: Himself (Eva Longoria’s monologue)

Worst Performance: Carol



Best Performance: Wilma McNabb (Weekend Update)

Runner-Up: Mrs. Butterworth (Weekend Update)

Worst Performance: Black Ventriloquist (Weekend Update)



Best Performance: Al Pacino (Anderson Cooper 360: Post-Hurricane Katrina Reconstruction)

Runner-Up: Vincent Price (Vincent Price’s Thanksgiving Special 1958)

Worst Performance: Tor Helguson (Smorgasbord)



Best Performance: Himself (Lazy Sunday)

Runner-Up: Glirk (Hermaphrodite Alien)

Worst Performance: Dinkins the pirate (Pirate Convention)



Best Performance: Ed Mahoney (Once in a Lifetime Jewelers)

Runner-Up: A-Hole (Two A-Holes Buying a Christmas Tree)

Worst Performance: Doug Stanhope (Girls Gone Wild Katrina)



Best Performance: Judy Garland (Vincent Price’s Thanksgiving Special 1958)

Runner-Up: A-Hole (Two A-Holes Buying a Christmas Tree)

Worst Performance: Target Cashier (Target Cashiers)





***** = Excellent, flawless

**** = Great

*** = Average

** = Poor, with only a few highlights

* = Just plain terrible



[COLD OPENING] Steve tries to keep hosting record

-- The opening bit with Steve and Kelly Ripa was good.

-- BALDWIN!!!!

-- Loved the Viagra timer on the bottom of the screen.

-- Lorne trying to get Tom Hanks on the phone, then Steve punching him in the face out of nowhere had me on the floor.

-- Great ending with Steve tying up Alec in a rug and throwing him out the window.  

-- This whole thing was an excellent way to start off the show.

RATING: *****



[MONOLOGUE] Steve Martin

-- Steve constantly correcting himself over the Belushi/Aykroyd non-story was good.

-- Loved the “pictures” of Steve with the cast.

-- DAYUM.  Maya’s post-pregnancy rack is almost enough to make me forget how much I didn’t want her to return to the show.  Almost.  And her appearance did make a nice tie-in with Steve’s Viagra timer from the cold opening.

RATING: ****



[COMMERCIAL] A Teddy Bear Holding a Heart

-- Good buildup and a great punchline.

-- I liked the annouoncer’s line at the end.  Who was the announcer anyway?  Her voice didn’t sound familiar.  While I'm not too familiar with Wiig’s voice yet, I don’t think it was her as the announcer since she appeared in this commercial as a different character.

RATING: ****



[SKETCH] Oprah

-- Maya’s Oprah impression is still weak, but she had several funny lines here.

-- Steve was great.

-- Overall, this was better than I thought it would be, but shouldn’t have been the first sketch.




[SKETCH/COMMERCIAL] Don’t Buy Stuff You Cannot Afford

-- Steve sure got changed really fast from the last sketch.

-- Excellent, very clever, and the acting was perfect.  I don’t know why, but this reminded me of something they would do with the 70’s cast.

RATING: *****



[NEXT LIVE SHOW] March 4, 2006: Natalie Portman



[SKETCH] Steve Martin plays for Hamas

-- Steve’s phone call to Britney Spears at the beginning was funny.

-- Funny sketch, and Fred, Seth, and Bill were great as the Steve Martin fans.

-- Ending was too abrupt.

RATING: ***1/2



[DIGITAL SHORT] Close Friends

-- Steve and Will speaking so up-close in an almost-kiss postion was hilarious, and how their conversation took a nasty turn when Will became uncomfortable with Steve being so close.

RATING: ****



[SKETCH] Quick Zoom Theater

-- Nice idea for a quick little sketch, and was the perfect length.  

-- When the typical zoom-ins at the beginning started getting repetitive, I was wondering where this was going, but then it got hilarious with the messed-up zoom ins, and Steve having to run up to and away from the camera at the end was perfect.

RATING: ****1/2






[WEEKEND UPDATE] Fey & Poehler, uh…nobody else

-- The abortion bit and black museum joke were the only highlights tonight.

-- And…that’s it?  No guest commentaries tonight?  Wow.  At least they got this Update over with fast, but considering guest commentaries are usually the only highlights of the Fey/Poehler Updates, maybe one tonight wouldn’t have hurt after all.

RATING: *1/2



[SKETCH] Super Bowl Anthem Singers

-- Horatio’s Aaron Neville was semi-enjoyable until Horatio ruined it by being his usual jackass self and giggling.

-- Kenan as Aretha Franklin’s line about needing a stool to rest his “titties” on had me laughing so hard.

-- Jason was the funniest thing in this as Dr. John, especially his line about the teddy bear he “won and/or stole”.

-- While this had funny parts and everything, this sketch seemed kinda pointless by the end and should’ve went somewhere further.




[MISCELLANEOUS] Steve wants a raise

-- Great conversation at the beginning between Steve and Lorne over the pay raise.

-- BALDWIN AGAIN!!!  And Fallon!!  Where’d he come from?!  Wow, the cameos tonight are getting crazy.

-- I like how this was a continuation of the cold opening.

-- Jimmy taking Alec out for pie at the end was good.

RATING: *****



[SKETCH] Prince Show

-- The expected Prince Show sketch of the night.  Maybe the long absence of this was a good thing, since this sketch came back funnier than usual tonight.

-- Fred’s Prince impression was it’s usual dead-on self.

-- Steve was good as the chef, and I loved his accent.

-- Kristen’s Drew Barrymore was excellent.  So far, Kristen has done flawless impressions of Megan Mullally, Judy Garland, Felicity Huffman, and now Barrymore.  She’s like the female Bill Hader.  She should keep doing impressions and stuff like the A-Holes sketch, and less of that Target character crap.

-- It feels weird seeing Maya and Kristen in the same sketch together for the first time.

-- I just knew that Prince himself wouldn’t appear in this sketch (although the mirror part did seem like it would be a set-up), so I wasn’t surprised by him being a no-show.  This is like when they did a Prince Show sketch when Destiny’s Child was the musical guest last season and didn’t even put Beyonce herself in the sketch.

RATING: ***1/2



[SKETCH] State of the Galaxy

-- A very clever concept and a creative way to do a State of the Union parody. I loved this.

-- The Chris Matthews part was kinda a waste and was pointless.  Darrell might as well have just not shown up tonight at all.

-- The George Q. Bush speech was hilarious, as well as some of the stuff happening in the background, like Bill running away.

-- Good ending with Amy and Rachel as the two-headed "Hillary Clin-tron".

RATING: ****1/2




-- Wow, TWO Digital Shorts in one night?  I ain’t complaining, though.

-- Good to finally see this, after it being cut from the last two episodes.  This was even funnier than the first short tonight, and I loved the boatload of cameos in this, especially Conan.

-- Parnell’s angry movie exec character was good, especially his “Your movie ate (bleep) at the box office” line.

RATING: *****



[SKETCH] Over-the-Hill Surfer

-- Aaaaaand the show comes to a complete screeching halt with this sketch.

-- Terrible sketch, and seemed to drag on and on and on with Steve’s constant “Even you, (insert surfer name here)?” over and over again.  I can’t blame the audience for being completely dead here.  I don’t think I heard them laugh a single time during this whole sketch.

-- Something like this might’ve actually worked with Christopher Walken, but with Steve Martin, it just fell flat on it’s face.







[SKETCH] Naturally Crafting

-- Well, at least Rachel and Steve had funny wigs, because those were the only things anywhere close to getting any laughs in this pitiful sketch.

-- I really WANTED to like this and kept waiting for something really funny to occur, but it just never happened.  Not even Steve and Rachel making out at the end could get a response.  Like I said with Hammond, Dratch should’ve just not shown up at all tonight than to have this be the only real thing to have to do.  Supposedly, the reason Rachel barely appeared in anything tonight is because she was sick earlier in the week and still hasn't fully recovered.

-- A shame tonight’s mostly-great show has to end on a down note with two awful sketches.






-- Steve Martin, of course

-- Cold Opening

-- Don’t Buy Stuff You Cannot Afford

-- Steve Wants a Raise

-- Both Digital Shorts

-- Quick Zoom Theater

-- State of the Galaxy

-- A Teddy Bear Holding a Heart

-- Kristen’s Drew Barrymore impression

-- Jason Sudeikis as Dr. John

-- The numerous cameo appearanes



-- Naturally Crafting

-- Over-the-Hill Surfer

-- Weekend Update

-- Horatio acting like his jackass self in Super Bowl Anthem Singers

-- Maya’s Oprah impression



OVERALL THOUGHTS: Tonight’s show didn’t disappoint for the most part.  Steve Martin was his usual great self and didn’t seem out-of-practice with SNL, and was given a lot of good sketches.  Much better than his last episode from 1994.  The writing continues to be an improvement over last season, as the show took quite some chances tonight with different, creative concepts like the cold opening & backstage sketch, 2 digital shorts in one episode, and the State of the Galaxy sketch, and also a lot of sketches being shorter than usual.  If the last two sketches weren’t such duds, tonight’s show might’ve been almost damn near perfect.






ARMISEN: 5 sketches [Steve Martin plays for Hamas | Quick Zoom Theater | Prince Show | The Tangent | Over-the-Hill Surfer]

DRATCH: 2 sketches [State of the Galaxy | Naturally Crafting]

FEY: 1 sketch [Weekend Update]

FORTE: 5 sketches [Steve tries to keep hosting record | A Teddy Bear Holding a Heart | Close Friends | State of the Galaxy | Over-the-Hill Surfer]

HAMMOND: 1 sketch [State of the Galaxy]

MEYERS: 4 sketches [Steve Martin plays for Hamas | Super Bowl Anthem Singers | State of the Galaxy | Over-the-Hill Surfer]

MITCHELL: 0 sketches

PARNELL: 4 sketches [Don’t Buy Stuff You Cannot Afford | Quick Zoom Theater | Steve wants a raise | The Tangent]

POEHLER: 5 sketches [A Teddy Bear Holding a Heart | Don’t Buy Stuff You Cannot Afford | Weekend Update | Super Bowl Anthem Singers | State of the Galaxy]

RUDOLPH: 4 sketches [Monologue | Oprah | Quick Zoom Theater | Prince Show]

SANZ: 2 sketches [Super Bowl Anthem Singers | State of the Galaxy]

THOMPSON: 3 sketches [Steve tries to keep hosting record | Quick Zoom Theater | Super Bowl Anthem Singers]

HADER: 6 sketches [Steve tries to keep hosting record | Don’t Buy Stuff You Cannot Afford | Steve Martin plays for Hamas | State of the Galaxy | The Tangent | Over-the-Hill Surfer]

SAMBERG: 2 sketches [Steve tries to keep hosting record | Over-the-Hill Surfer]

SUDEIKIS: 2 sketches [Super Bowl Anthem Singers | Over-the-Hill Surfer]

WIIG: 5 sketches [A Teddy Bear Holding a Heart | Super Bowl Anthem Singers | Prince Show | The Tangent | Over-the-Hill Surfer]