***** - Future classic
**** - Almost perfect
*** - Average in every way
** - Eh
* - Is this 1994-95 again?
COLD OPENING: A Message from President Bush
- WTF??!!! Sudeikis?!!! Talk about a shocker. What the hell happened to Forte? His Bush wasn’t exactly the most accurate, but he still could be funny. The problem with the last few Bush sketches (the Brit Hume and high school sketches) lied with the writing, not with Will himself. I’m really shocked they abruptly yanked away the impression from him, since he played him for the longest since Will Ferrell. Although if you look back at the last two Bush sketches with Forte, it almost seemed like they were trying to give him a hint that they were phasing him out and going to replace him. Putting Bush in odd, out-of-place settings (i.e. a high school speech conference) and him barely uttering a word in the Brit Hume interview. I feel bad for Will, unless it was his own decision.
- I can’t really complain, though, because getting past the initial shock, Jason’s Bush was actually really good. He looked enough like Bush, remembered to squint his eyes (something Forte NEVER seemed to do and that always kinda bugged me), and got the voice and arm movements down pretty good. Probably the most accurate of all the post-Ferrell Bush impressions so far.
- Kinda sad that this is the THIRD time that a castmember got a Bush impression taken away from them while they were still on the show. First Parnell, then Hammond, now Forte. I can’t believe it’s so hard to find a permanent Bush impersonator. I wonder how long Sudeikis will last, since nothing seems certain anymore.
- The sketch itself was good with several good lines and much better than the last two Bush sketches this season. A nice way to introduce our new Bush.
MONOLOGUE: Chris “Ludacris” Bridges
- “Lu-DAY-cris”??? I thought Pardo pronouncing it like that was a joke at first and they would address it during the monologue, but they never did. I know Don’s an old, old man, but how the hell can you pronounce Ludacris that way??? It actually kinda made me laugh, since he made it sound like Sudeikis (and funny enough, when Sudeikis was just a writer on SNL before he was added as a featured player, I used to think his name was pronounced ‘Sood-a-kis’ like Ludacris).
- Ludacris explaining which name he uses in different situations was good.
- Kenan as “Rickdiculous” was okay, but kinda predictable. But not as annoying as I’ve been finding Kenan for most of this season. The giant cell phone joke was good.
SKETCH/COMMERCIAL: Young Douglas
- This was really good, especially the Dolly Parton duet and Ludacris’ interludes during James Blunt’s song.
- Kenan looked so stupid and ridiculous as Louie Armstrong that it was funny in itself, and it was so obvious he wasn’t playing that trumpet since he didn’t even put it to his lips.
SKETCH: The Bitchslap Method
- A so-so concept, but Ludacris’ performance really helped this sketch
- Bill’s awkwardness was good.
- The scene with Ludacris and Maya bitchslapping dummies back and forth was hilarious and my favorite part.
NEXT LIVE SHOW - December 2, 2006: Matthew Fox
- Blah, I don’t care for Lost at all, and I’d much rather have Tenacious D host. Oh, well, I’m sure Jack Black still might appear in a sketch or two. By the way, when’s the last time the show got a comedic musical guest like Tenacious D? And no, Ashlee Simpson doesn't count.
SKETCH: The O’Reilly Factor
- I was wondering if they’d do this sketch tonight with Ludacris hosting, although they threw us for a bit of a loop by having Ludacris play a different character instead of himself.
- Darrell’s O’Reilly impression really improved. He sounds exactly like him now, whereas before, he used to just sound like Darrell trying to imitate Bill O’Reilly. I don’t mind these sketches since it seems to be the only time these days Darrell’s actually given something funny to do instead of just playing the straightman politician.
- This sketch seemed really long, but it did get better as it went along. The first half with the interview with Kenan was too slow and didn’t have many laughs, but it picked up with the interview with Ludacris’ character and the mailbag segment at the end.
COMMERCIAL: Booty Bidness
- Didn’t this get cut from dress rehearsal before, only minus the Ludacris segments? I guess they saved the commercial for this week and revised it a little since they knew it would fit more with Ludacris.
- I enjoyed Maya’s “Nympho” and Kristen’s “Bi-Curious” shirts, but the rest of the labels weren’t that funny.
SKETCH: The Blizzard Man
- I didn’t think this would be all that funny at first, but Andy and his really-white rapping and lyrics was hilarious and much funnier than I expected. Ludacris’ reactions to his songs was a good touch, too.
- Kenan was actually a good straightman in this sketch.
- I liked Jason’s line about “now you’re talking my language”.
- I usually hate endings like this (where they have a lousy singer who surprisingly ends up getting a record deal and does successfully; see the Jon Bovi sketch), but they put a funny, unexpected twist on this one with him being number one on the LEAST bough albums.
- Some of the other songs on the list of least bought albums were also titles of Lonely Island songs and skits like Bing Bong Brothers. Did anyone notice that?
- This is unrelated, but speaking of Lonely Island, why have there barely been any Digital Shorts this season so far? I’ve been waiting for another one for a good while now.
WEEKEND UPDATE: Poehler & Meyers, with John Mark Karr, Anoosa Rosenfeld, and Bobby Knight
- After slightly improving the last few weeks, Amy fell back tonight as most of her jokes were weak and some flat out bombed with the audience. Seth continues to shine, though, and improves more on his sarcastic, deadpan delivery.
- Best jokes: Muslim/Terrorism, Google porn
- The John Mark Karr commentary was hilarious and Bill was awesome, although his voice reminded me too much of his character in the Joplin Alive sketch.
- The Annabelle/food commentary was a waste of time and Maya being her usual weak self.
- The Bobby Knight interlude was so random that it worked and was funny.
- The CW black show titles at the beginning with “No you didn’t”, etc. were just clichéd jokes.
- Okay, a Baywatch takeoff in the year 2006? WTF?
- Most of this went on way too long and we could’ve done without Maya screeching non-stop in her typical “old black lady” voice.
- Weird seeing Kenan in so many sketches, although this was expected with him being the only black guy in the cast and them having a black host.
- This only got funny at the end with Ludacris saying he can’t swim anyway and the tag scene with he and Kenan pushing the dead body back into the water.
- I can’t believe this was Fred’s first and only appearance tonight, appearing for 3 seconds as a lifeless body. Damn. That’s a role that’s too tiny even for a featured player, so why give it to an established and talented player like Armisen?
SKETCH: Hair Transplant Doctor
- Finally, there’s Forte who’s been almost invisible tonight, although at least he actually got something to do here unlike Armisen. With his Bush impression getting yanked away from him and his scarce appearances this season in general (he seems to only appear in 1-2 sketches in EVERY episode this year), I hope this isn’t a sign that Will’s on his way out or Lorne’s planning to fire him after the season.
- This was the usual good Bizarre Will Forte Sketch and an interesting piece/character to see Ludacris performing. Ludacris looked funny in that wig, too.
SKETCH: Lesbian Cruise Ship
- This was just really awkward and hard to figure out where it was trying to go. There were about one or two funny lines from Ludacris, though, and Amy was good.
- The ending didn’t work, plus you could clearly see Ludacris land on the floor mat before he “splashed in the water”.
SKETCH: Old Guys at a Café
- Wow, Darrell’s actually getting real stuff to do tonight.
- This came off too much as a Grumpy Old Man rip-off, but it was still okay and funny to see Ludacris doing this.
- Hammond started losing his moustache about halfway thought the sketch and it distracted the audience, yet Darrell was doing nothing about it and just letting it hang off his face. Then at the end, Ludacris completely saved it with his hilarious “I know your damn moustache is falling off, man” ad-lib and the audience lost it.
- After the ad-lib, they seemed to just end the sketch earlier than planned, probably because they knew they couldn’t top the moustache comment so why not end the show on a high note.
- Young Douglas
- John Mark Karr commentary
- The Blizzard Man
- The mailbag segment in The O’Reilly Factor
- The ad-libbed ending of Old Guys at a Café
- Lesbian Cruise Ship
- The Kenan interview in The O’Reilly Factor
- Maya’s Weekend Update commentary
An all-around average episode, with not too much horrible stuff, but not enough great stuff standing out either. And the quality of the show seemed to get a lot weaker after Weekend Update. Ludacris was even better than I expected, and his presence and performances actually enhanced some weaker material. He also showed some versatility with his roles in some sketches like the O’Reilly Factor and Old Guys at a Café instead of just playing himself, and was also up for doing bizarre stuff like the Hair Transplant sketch.
TONIGHT’S RATING: ***
CASTMEMBER/HOST COUNT DOWN:
ARMISEN: 1 sketch (Poolwatch)
FORTE: 1 sketch (Hair Transplant Doctor)
HADER: 2 sketches (The Bitchslap Method, Weekend Update)
HAMMOND: 2 sketches (The O’Reilly Factor, Old Guys at a Café)
MEYERS: 1 sketch (Weekend Update)
POEHLER: 5 sketches (Young Douglas, The Bitchslap Method, Booty Bidness, Weekend Update, Lesbian Cruise Ship)
RUDOLPH: 7 sketches (Young Douglas, The Bitchslap Method, Booty Bidness, The Blizzard Man, Weekend Update, Poolwatch, Lesbian Cruise Ship)
SAMBERG: 2 sketches (Young Douglas, The Blizzard Man)
SUDEIKIS: 7 sketches (A Message from President Bush, Young Douglas, The Bitchslap Method, Booty Bidness, The Blizzard Man, Weekend Update, Hair Transplant Doctor)
THOMPSON: 5 sketches (Monologue, Young Douglas, The O’Reilly Factor, The Blizzard Man, Poolwatch)
WIIG: 3 sketches (The Bitchslap Method, Booty Bidness, Lesbian Cruise Ship)
LUDACRIS: 10 sketches (Monologue, Young Douglas, The Bitchslap Method, The O’Reilly Factor, Booty Bidness, The Blizzard Man, Poolwatch, Hair Transplant Doctor, Lesbian Cruise Ship, Old Guys at a Café)