***** - Future classic
**** - Almost perfect
*** - Average in every way
** - Eh
* - Is this 1994-95 again?
COLD OPENING: Happy Valentine’s Day from the Cheney Family
- Darrell’s Cheney impression is always pretty funny.
- The cards about Cheney’s daughter, Wolf Blitzer, and the Halliburton gift card were the best parts.
- Odd that the camera didn’t zoom in like usual when Darrell said LFNY.
MONOLOGUE: Forest Whitaker
- Man, the audience is really energetic tonight.
- Forest talking about doing the right movie just to reach his goal of hosting SNL was funny.
- That shirt made Maya look like she was pregnant again.
- I had a bad feeling this monologue was gonna die as soon as Maya stepped on stage. And I was right. Just what we needed, yet another goddamn musical monologue with no joke or humor added. When will this lazy trend of monologues end? This is SNL, not Broadway.
SKETCH: Bronx Beat with Betty and Jodi
- I knew they’d make this recurring. This was still good like the first one, and Amy and Maya’s little comments and observations throughout the sketch are always funny. Them talking about the relationship between Forest and Kristen was good, too, especially Kristen’s “What, we’re not?” line as she and Forest were walking off.
DIGITAL SHORT: Andy Popping Into Frame
- Very random, even by digital short/Lonely Island standards. And unfortunately, not very funny. I wanted this to be great, but it disappointed. The concept was mildly amusing in a weird way at first, then wore off fast, but it did briefly get funny again with the inclusion of Will followed by Andy pointing a gun at his head. And I did laugh when they had to show an arrow to point out where Andy was down the hallway. But then it ended with Andy just doing the same thing over and over. His goofy, Sandler-esque grin can only be funny for so long. I was expecting a really great punchline, but this just ended up being pointless.
- Another rare miss from the Lonely Island guys, after the recent Nurse Nancy short. Maybe they need to stop having films where Samberg’s the only castmember who appears in the whole short (or most of the short in this case). I wasn’t a big fan of the Andy Walking short from last season, either, and he was the only castmember in that, too.
- Andy having his name written on his shirt reminded me of the Awesometown opening sequence.
- This turned out to be Samberg’s only appearance of the whole night, by the way, meaning he wasn’t in any live sketches at all.
SKETCH: Singing Waiter
- At first, I thought the joke of the sketch was going to be about the restaurant’s name, Assagios. Or maybe it’s just my dirty, childish mind that found the name odd.
- It was funny seeing Forest in that wig, but I hate sketches where someone does something over and over again for an extended period of time and we have to watch other people’s exasperated facial reactions. The joke always gets old really fast.
- I did laugh at Hader explaining why Forest was singing in the silent pitch, Hader’s line about the bread plate, and at Armisen’s broken glasses (which, by the way, you could clearly catch him switching his normal glasses with right before the camera showed a close-up of him with the broken pair).
- Didn’t they just air this, like, two weeks ago?
SKETCH: Man Versus Beast
- That sounded like Chris Parnell doing the voice over at the beginning.
- I was expecting this to be really funny at first, but then they dragged on the introduction with Forest and Amy FAR too long. I was relieved when they finally got to the video portion and them censoring the slaughtering was pretty funny. The interview portion with a gruesomely torn up and bloodied Sudeikis was a visual that was good for a laugh, too. Sudeikis’ expressions during the interview is what really made it, as well as some of the lines like him literally having his ass handed to him.
- The Dukakis line at the end was good.
WEEKEND UPDATE: Poehler & Meyers, with Jesse Jackson & Al Sharpton, Cmdr. Bill Oefelein
- Best jokes: Al Gore, Jewish population, Manning/name change, Arab Disneyland, woman gives birth
- The Jackson/Sharpton commentary was as good as usual. Them using the blackness chart was hilarious. Darrell almost overdid it with the exaggerated mannerisms and shoulder shrugging, although I still laughed at him.
- Sudeikis as the astronaut was good with his sleazy comments to Amy, and Seth’s reaction at the end. Some people complain all the time about Sudeikis being too smug and I bet this Update bit will probably add more fuel to that complaint, but whatever, he still makes me laugh most of the time and on a comedy show like this, that's all that I ask for. Even if he really is smug, he at least has the talent to back it up.
SKETCH: Love Whitney: Whitney Houston’s Valentine’s Day Special
- I complained before about them always sticking Maya’s Whitney impression on Weekend Update and said they should give it its own sketch instead of dragging down Update (of course, a better suggestion would’ve been to stop using the Whitney impression altogether, but I knew that wasn’t gonna happen). Well, they finally did give the impression its own sketch and unfortunately it wasn’t any funnier. This was the usual lame Whitney Houston/Bobby jokes and the usual horrible singing/celebrity impression sketch that Maya always does. I thought Maya was getting slightly better this season than how she used to be, but tonight's show (minus the Bronx Beat sketch) and last week's return of Versace is ruining that.
- Kenan as Chaka Khan kinda made me laugh. He uses that same voice every time he plays a woman, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t still make me chuckle sometimes. He wasn’t given anything funny to do here, though.
- Forest talking like that was kinda funny, but they had to go and turn this into yet another damn musical showcase for Forest and Maya.
SKETCH: Am I A Crazy Street Person?
- I remember reading that this sketch was cut a few shows ago, I think with Jake Gyllenhaal.
- The usual good gameshow sketch. The crazy people and their answers to the contestant’s questions were really funny, Kristen was good in the straight man role, and Forest was great. I liked the revelation that Forest was an escapee from a mental institution. Sudeikis also played a great gameshow host.
- Strange technical error at the end. They faded to black way too early. I mean, Sudeikis wasn’t even finished speaking to the camera yet before they abruptly faded to the post-sketch “SNL” bumper.
MISCELLANEOUS: A Message from the Staten Island Zoo
- The sloths video was awesome and had me laughing my ass off the entire time. The song lyrics and all the graphics were hilarious. And Kristen’s "T-that was not entirely accurate" comment at the end sealed the thing perfectly.
- I get a strong feeling that that Lonely Island guys made this, especially since the graphics were kinda similar to the opening credits of Laser Cats (they even wrote “Sloths!!” in the same text style and multicolor that “Laser Cats!” was written in). If they did make this, then they should have just counted this as a digital short and spared us that lame Andy Popping video. This sloths video is more like the kind of great material that the LI guys are usually capable of putting out.
- A Message from the Staten Island Zoo
- Weekend Update
- Am I A Crazy Street Person?
- Bronx Beat
- Sudeikis’ performance in Man Versus Beast
- Whitney Houston’s Valentine’s Day Special
- Singing Waiter
- Andy Popping Into Frame
Yet another overall average show in a long string of them. Someone said recently that there’s been a trend of spellbindingly average shows for the last month or so, and I have to agree. Not that that’s a very bad thing because it’s still a big improvement over the 02-05 period and there also haven’t been any real bad shows lately, either, but I don’t think there’s been an overall really great show that stood out since Matthew Fox hosted (I would argue the Timberlake show since there were a few classic sketches there, but I thought there were too many lousy sketches after Update that brought that show down; Timberlake’s first episode was funnier anyway). There needs to be another really great show soon, almost perfect from beginning to end that will end this repetitive string. Anyway, Forest Whitaker was an okay host, better than I thought he'd be, but he overdid it on the singing.
TONIGHT’S RATING: ***
CASTMEMBER/HOST COUNT DOWN:
ARMISEN: 3 sketches (Bronx Beat with Betty and Jodi, Singing Waiter, Am I A Crazy Street Person?)
FORTE: 4 sketches (Andy Popping Into Frame, Singing Waiter, Am I A Crazy Street Person?, A Message from the Staten Island Zoo)
HADER: 1 sketch (Singing Waiter)
HAMMOND: 3 sketches (Happy Valentine’s Day from the Cheney Family, Urigro, Weekend Update)
MEYERS: 1 sketch (Weekend Update)
POEHLER: 4 sketches (Bronx Beat with Betty and Jodi, Singing Waiter, Man Versus Beast, Weekend Update)
RUDOLPH: 5 sketches (Monologue, Bronx Beat with Betty and Jodi, Singing Waiter, Man Versus Beast, Love Whitney: Whitney Houston’s Valentine’s Day Special)
SAMBERG: 1 sketch (Andy Popping Into Frame)
SUDEIKIS: 4 sketches (Urigro, Man Versus Beast, Weekend Update, Am I A Crazy Street Person?)
THOMPSON: 3 sketches (Weekend Update, Love Whitney: Whitney Houston’s Valentine’s Day Special, Am I A Crazy Street Person?)
WIIG: 5 sketches (Happy Valentine’s Day from the Cheney Family, Bronx Beat with Betty and Jodi, Urigro, Am I A Crazy Street Person?, A Message from the Staten Island Zoo)
FOREST WHITAKER: 6 sketches (Monologue, Bronx Beat with Betty and Jodi, Singing Waiter, Man Versus Beast, Love Whitney: Whitney Houston’s Valentine’s Day Special, Am I A Crazy Street Person?)