FIVE STAR RATINGS SYSTEM:
***** = Excellent, flawless
**** = Great
*** = Average
** = Poor, with only a few highlights
* = Just plain terrible
[COLD OPENING] The Situation Room
-- Aside from the look, Parnell’s Wolf Blitzer is just plain boring and isn’t enough to carry a sketch. SNL is still struggling to find a post-Hardball political cold opening show that has a funny host.
-- Kristen had several funny lines, and Jason was okay, too.
-- This got weaker starting with Lindsay’s press conference, but she did have one or two funny insults to the reporters.
-- Lindsay’s voice cracked really badly when saying LFNY.
[MONOLOGUE] Lindsay Lohan
-- I usually find Kenan pretty funny despite what some others think about him, but he kinda annoyed me here, especially his voice.
-- This just didn’t work, and the ironic satire of Lindsay making fun of the problems in her personal life fell flat.
[COMMERCIAL] Neutrogena Coin Slot Cream
-- This reminded me too much of all the cheap-gag low-brow commercials from last season. There didn’t seem to be any joke at all here besides just the constant references to “coin slots”. I still stand by what I said a few weeks ago about the commercials in the second half of this season being pretty weak.
-- Maybe it was just the lighting, but Kristen didn’t look very convincing as a teenager in this. She and Lindsay were supposed to be playing teen friends, yet Kristen looked almost old enough to be Lindsay’s MOM.
[SKETCH] Deep House Dish
-- Yeah, this sketch is officially old. It was barely funny the first time, but now it’s just really tired even though this is only the third edition of the sketch. Most of the musical performances are never funny, and the Kenan/Rachel interaction is the same every damn time and has just gotten annoying. How many times can Kenan saying “Oo-wee, Tiara” and berating her for being “boring” be funny? Man, between this and the monologue, Kenan’s really having a bad night tonight.
-- Fred and Bill were bright spots here with their hilarious Brokeback Mountain theme remix. Why weren’t they interviewed after their song like the other singers were?
[TV FUNHOUSE] Journey to the Disney Vault
-- This whole thing was hilarious, and Smigel’s Disney parodies are always winners. The “Song of the South” part was the funniest.
[SKETCH] The O’Reilly Factor
-- I still think Darrell’s O’Reilly impression can use a little more work in accuracy, but it’s still really funny.
-- This was the usual good O’Reilly Factor sketch and the interview with Gingrich was particularly good, especially Will’s final word, “You gotta read some books, man…”
-- I’m thinking that maybe this is the best suitable replacement for the Hardball sketches that SNL has right now, but they never use this as the cold opening. Still, it’s funnier than Seth’s bland Anderson Cooper sketches and Parnell’s Wolf Blitzer.
[NEXT LIVE SHOW] May 6, 2006: TOM HANKS!!!!
-- It’s awesome to finally see him back on the show. I can’t wait for this! SNL’s really been getting good hosts this season with Baldwin, Steve Martin, Tom Hanks, and possibly Kevin Spacey to host the finale (if the rumors are true).
[SKETCH] Chocolate Vesuvius
-- This kinda reminded me of a cross between that Hot Plates sketch from last season and your typical crazy Will Ferrell sketch. Only this wasn’t anywhere near as bad as Hot Plates, but also not anywhere near as great as a Will Ferrell sketch. This was just somewhere in between. Still, Jason and Fred cracked me up with all their insane reactions to how the cake tasted, and Rachel had some good ones, too.
-- Funniest part was Jason’s bouncing back up immediately after Lindsay threw the dummy of him to the ground. That was incredible timing.
[DIGITAL SHORT] Laser Cats!
-- A bit different from most digital shorts, but I still really enjoyed this, with all the cheesy and cheap effects and acting. And Lorne’s “Get out” at the end sold the whole thing.
[WEEKEND UPDATE] Fey & Poehler, Windbreaker, Hicks
-- Best joke was the teen pregnancy one at the end, which may be the funniest Update joke of the season (it certainly doesn’t have much competition). The rest of the jokes tonight was the usual dreck. Amy’s jokes were particularly horrible tonight and got almost no laughs from the audience.
-- Seth’s weathercast segment was a good change of pace for Update and had several funny parts.
His “Repent, bitches, repent!” at the end was unexpected and hilarious.
-- Jason was hilarious as Taylor Hicks, especially the hair comment at the end.
[SKETCH] Debbie Downer
-- No, no, no! Besides, I thought Lohan said in an interview a few days ago that they considered bringing back Debbie Downer this week, but decided to scrap it. Liar.
-- At least the last two Debbie Downers (with Steve Carell and Jack Black) tried something different by changing the format, even though they both still sucked. But now we’re back to the same old tired, sad format that never works. Everyone knows the only reason the very first Debbie Downer was funny was because of how badly everyone in the sketch (minus Fred) lost their shit. SNL was foolish to ever make the sketch recurring, thinking it was the MATERIAL that the audience liked.
-- LOL at Finesse’s only appearance of the night being a non-speaking bit role as one of the male strippers. His airtime has been pathetic this season.
[SKETCH] Co-Workers at a Bar
-- Very good. Started out as a nice, low-key funny sketch and then had a hilarious, very unexpected punchline at the end. SNL needs more sketches like this.
-- In this sketch, Will looked like an exact cross between his “Oh, no!” guy (had the same hairstyle, shirt, and purple vest) and when he played Kip from Napoleon Dynamite in the Jon Heder show (the quiet slow voice, glasses, and moustache)
[SKETCH] Atlantic City Fever
-- A good closing sketch. Fred’s Liberace had me dying with laugher, even with just his facial expression alone.
-- TV Funhouse
-- Laser Cats!
-- The O’Reilly Factor
-- Co-Workers at a Bar
-- Atlantic City Fever
-- The Taylor Hicks segment and teen pregnancy joke on Weekend Update
-- Jason and Fred’s performances in the Chocolate Vesuvius sketch
-- Debbie Downer
-- Neutrogena Coin Slot Cream
-- Deep House Dish
-- Most of the Fey/Poehler portions of Weekend Update
-- Parnell’s Wolf Blitzer impression
OVERALL THOUGHTS: A strange episode that started out very poorly in the first 20-25 minutes and had me really worried, but got much better starting with the TV Funhouse, and a lot of the rest of the episode since then ran pretty smoothly. Overall, this was a decent episode. Lindsay as the host was average at best, and she barely stood out over the castmembers in several sketches like Chocolate Vesuvius and Co-Workers at a Bar. I’m not saying she’s too bad of a host, but she’s certainly not good enough to be brought back every damn season. These last two episodes she hosted have barely had any memorable performances from her, or anything she’s done that other hosts couldn’t do. She needs to be funnier and stand out more.
OVERALL RATING: ***
CASTMEMBER COUNT DOWN:
ARMISEN: 6 sketches [The Situation Room | Deep House Dish | The O’Reilly Factor | Chocolate Vesuvius | Laser Cats! | Atlantic City Fever]
DRATCH: 6 sketches [The Situation Room | Deep House Dish | Chocolate Vesuvius | Laser Cats! | Debbie Downer | Co-Workers at a Bar]
FEY: 2 sketches [Weekend Update | Debbie Downer]
FORTE: 5 sketches [The O’Reilly Factor | Laser Cats! | Debbie Downer | Co-Workers at a Bar | Atlantic City Fever]
HAMMOND: 2 sketches [The O’Reilly Factor | Atlantic City Fever]
MEYERS: 2 sketches [Weekend Update | Debbie Downer]
MITCHELL: 1 sketch [Debbie Downer]
PARNELL: 3 sketches [The Situation Room | Journey to the Disney Vault | Co-Workers at a Bar]
POEHLER: 5 sketches [The Situation Room | Deep House Dish | Chocolate Vesuvius | Weekend Update | Debbie Downer]
RUDOLPH: 0 sketches
SANZ: 0 sketches
THOMPSON: 3 sketches [Monologue | Deep House Dish | Chocolate Vesuvius]
HADER: 4 sketches [Deep House Dish | Laser Cats! | Co-Workers at a Bar | Atlantic City Fever]
SAMBERG: 4 sketches [Laser Cats! | Debbie Downer | Co-Workers at a Bar | Atlantic City Fever]
SUDEIKIS: 4 sketches [The Situation Room | Chocolate Vesuvius | Weekend Update | Atlantic City Fever]
WIIG: 5 sketches [The Situation Room | Neutrogena Coin Slot Cream | Debbie Downer | Co-Workers at a Bar | Atlantic City Fever]