FIVE STAR RATINGS SYSTEM:
***** = Excellent, flawless
**** = Great
*** = Average
** = Poor, with only a few highlights
* = Just plain terrible
[COLD OPENING] Spring Break Plans
-- Very nice to see a non-political cold opening for a change.
-- Seriously, is Paula Pell still writing part-time now or something, because she’s been making an awful lot of appearances this year.
-- A few funny lines and the girls were very good here. The Natalie Holloway reference was really clever.
-- Maya and Amy’s brief “tongue action” – all I gotta say about that is: Whoa!! That helped bring up the grade a bit.
-- The man and woman sitting in between the girls being revealed as the parents really made this.
[MONOLOGUE] Matt Dillon
-- Good to see Matt carry his own monologue, and his acceptance speech with all the racial jokes were really funny.
-- Eh, pretty weak and didn’t have much of a punchline. The commercials this season have been disappointing. There have only been a few really good ones, and those have all been rerun 100 times.
-- Finesse’s Stuart Scott still sucks. Just give it up, man.
-- Why does every Seth Meyers impression sound exactly like himself? As bad as Finesse’s impression was, at least he TRIED to change his voice, unlike Seth.
-- I guess what I said about Seth can also be said for Kenan’s impressions, but the difference is that Kenan’s delivery still makes me laugh and he was good here.
-- Matt was funny as Barry Bonds’ trainer.
-- The Lou the Seal part with Andy and Bill was hilarious.
[DIGITAL SHORT] Doppelganger
-- The digital shorts continue to kick ass. This was really funny, and got even better with the mix-up with Andy’s “look-a-like” and Will shooting the wrong one.
[SKETCH] 2 A-Holes at a Travel Agency
-- Good to finally see this back. Jason and Kristen’s characters are hilarious and there were many funny parts, especially the Hogwarts line and the airplane bit.
-- Matt was a great straight man.
[NEXT WEEK] April 8, 2006: Antonio Banderas
[SKETCH] How to Order Sushi Like a CEO
-- We rarely see a host nowadays have to carry a sketch mostly by themselves like this, but Matt did an excellent job and really sold this.
-- The completely random “mid-morning fellatio” line was classic.
-- Maya’s facial expressions were hilarious, as well as her calling Matt “Mr. Douche”.
[COMMERCIAL] J.J. Casuals
[SKETCH] Joplin: Alive! podcast
-- A really creative sketch, and the humor in this was a good change of pace for SNL.
-- This was kinda like Jarret’s Room, only less sophomoric and in-your-face and more down-to-earth and lower-key.
-- All of Bill’s little comments were funny, especially the one about eating his own hand if it were covered with that pineapple cream sauce.
-- I really liked how the featured players were the only performers in this whole sketch. This was a great showcase for them. Sketches like this show how strong the four of them are and the great chemistry they’re already starting to have with each other. This group of featured players is one of the main reasons why this season is an improvement over last season and feels so fresh. The future of SNL is looking to be in very good hands with this group.
[WEEKEND UPDATE] Fey & Poehler, Nasr, Forte
-- Wal-Mart joke was very good; the rest of the jokes were the usual dreck.
-- Nothing kills an already bad Fey/Poehler Update faster than putting Horatio Sanz out there. This was the usual laughless, pointless, and way-too-long Sanz commentary. And why does every single middle eastern character he plays ALWAYS have to speak in that same “bulljive, bro-bro” talk? C’mon, that was only funny in those Ferey Muhtar talk show sketches.
-- Thank god Will Forte came to save the day. Anytime he sings equals good laughs in my book, and his Sunni-Shia-Kurd song was very enjoyable.
[SKETCH] Vincent Price’s St. Patrick’s Day Special
-- The TV Land announcer’s line “You’re high, aren’t you” at the beginning was funny.
-- Good to see this back again. The first Vincent Price sketch was excellent, and this was very good, too. Bill is great in these.
-- Darrell’s Barney Fife was decent.
-- Kristen again did an excellent impression. Her rambling lines as Katherine Hepburn were hilarious, although I wish she was on a little longer.
-- Matt’s Rod Serling impression was dead-on, and I liked him and Bill going back and forth about Burgess Meredith.
-- Nice how this wasn’t a carbon copy of the first Vincent Price sketch. They did enough different stuff tonight to distinguish this from the first one.
[SKETCH] Inner Harmony
-- Where has Fred been tonight? I can’t believe this is his first appearance.
-- There are Bill and Kristen again. Wow, they’re all over the place tonight.
-- Fred’s faces when he was talking on the microphone were hilarious.
-- Matt’s loud tough guy character was good.
-- Matt’s sob stories as he was about to walk out dragged on too long.
[SKETCH] Appalachian Emergency Room
-- (*sigh*) Oh, great... After all the freshness and new well-done recurring sketches going on in this episode so far, we REALLY needed to see this tired sketch again...
-- This sketch has officially run its course. Last time in the Jack Black episode, it was a lot better than usual because they tried some different things with it and because of all the cameos. This one was just the same old, same old and it’s not working anymore.
-- Amy’s voice alone still gets laughs out of me in this sketch, as does Parnell’s character, but really, it’s time to retire this.
[SKETCH/COMMERCIAL] DeCicco Brothers Unicornery
-- There’s Bill yet again. This is really his night, isn’t it? After getting mostly poor roles in the last several episodes, this is really well-deserved.
-- A funny, creative idea and good for the last sketch.
-- Matt’s timing was a little slow before a few of his lines.
-- Bill’s voice and accent here reminded me of a character that Dan Aykroyd would've played back in the day. In fact, I’ve been noticing that Bill has several similarities to Aykroyd in general.
-- Digital Short
-- Vincent Price’s St. Patrick’s Day Special
-- How to Order Sushi Like a CEO
-- 2 A-Holes at a Travel Agency
-- Joplin: Alive! podcast
-- Will Forte on Weekend Update
-- The Lou the Seal part of SportsCenter
-- The rest of Weekend Update
-- Appalachian Emergency Room
-- The ending of Inner Harmony
-- Finesse and Seth’s impressions in SportsCenter
OVERALL THOUGHTS: A little better than last week’s show, which itself was pretty good. The first half tonight was very good and had a lot of great sketches; the show slowed down starting with Update, but the second half was still decent. Matt Dillon’s timing seemed a little off in a few places, but overall, he was funny in most of the sketches. I also liked how this episode focused heavily on the featured players, particularly Bill and Kristen, who both DOMINATED this episode. That helped give the show a fresh feeling.
OVERALL RATING: ***1/2
CASTMEMBER COUNT DOWN:
ARMISEN: 1 sketch [Inner Harmony]
DRATCH: 3 sketches [Spring Break Plans | Prisonmate.net | J.J. Casuals]
FEY: 1 sketch [Weekend Update]
FORTE: 3 sketches [Doppelganger | J.J. Casuals | Weekend Update]
HAMMOND: 2 sketches [Vincent Price’s St. Patrick’s Day Special | Appalachian Emergency Room]
MEYERS: 3 sketches [SportsCenter | Doppelganger | Appalachian Emergency Room]
MITCHELL: 4 sketches [Spring Break Plans | Prisonmate.net | SportsCenter | J.J. Casuals]
PARNELL: 3 sketches [Spring Break Plans | 2 A-Holes at a Travel Agency | Appalachian Emergency Room]
POEHLER: 6 sketches [Spring Break Plans | Prisonmate.net | J.J. Casuals | Weekend Update | Inner Harmony | Appalachian Emergency Room]
RUDOLPH: 3 sketches [Spring Break Plans | How to Order Sushi Like a CEO | Appalachian Emergency Room]
SANZ: 2 sketches [Doppelganger | Weekend Update]
THOMPSON: 2 sketches [SportsCenter | Appalachian Emergency Room]
HADER: 6 sketches [SportsCenter | J.J. Casuals | Joplin: Alive! podcast | Vincent Price’s St. Patrick’s Day Special | Inner Harmony | DeCicco Brothers Unicornery]
SAMBERG: 4 sketches [SportsCenter | Doppelganger | J.J. Casuals | Joplin: Alive! podcast]
SUDEIKIS: 3 sketches [2 A-Holes at a Travel Agency | J.J. Casuals | Joplin: Alive! podcast]
WIIG: 6 sketches [Spring Break Plans | Prisonmate.net | 2 A-Holes at a Travel Agency | Joplin: Alive! podcast | Vincent Price’s St. Patrick’s Day Special | Inner Harmony]