***** - Future classic
**** - Almost perfect
*** - Average in every way
** - Eh
* - Is this 1994-95 again?
COLD OPENING: The Situation Room
- Wolf Blitzer - the generic boring news anchor impression from Hammond. His impression was accurate, but not really funny.
- The crawl/ticker at the bottom of the screen with all the Anna Nicole stuff was hilarious, as was the Darfur and Iraq comments. At first, I thought Darrell’s dialogue was going to get the main laughs and the crawl was just thrown in as an extra joke before I realized that the crawl WAS supposed to be the main joke.
- Can’t remember the last time the host appeared in the cold opening. Rainn Wilson was very good here as the reporter, although his dialogue dragged a little at times. It could’ve been shortened or had a few funnier bits added. The audience wasn’t really laughing much.
MONOLOGUE: Rainn Wilson
- An excellent dead-on parody of the Office. All the castmembers were perfect as the Office characters, especially Sudeikis as Jim. He looked EXACTLY like him. And the part with Lorne was awesome.
- They should’ve included Seth as Ryan, since he already looks a lot like him. And if Rashida Jones herself hadn’t made a cameo, you bet that Maya would’ve been Karen.
- A little strange seeing Rainn and Bill Hader sitting next to each other. They really do look alike, as some others pointed out. I noticed that Rainn also kinda resembles David Lander (Squiggy from Laverne and Shirley). That was especially noticeable during the Peeping Tom sketch.
- Really good sketch. All the disturbing stories were hilarious, especially Forte’s arsonist story and Sudeikis’ petting zoo one.
- The Pulp Fiction twist ending was really random, but I still laughed.
DIGITAL SHORT: Corporate Headquarters
- I had a feeling they’d do a digital short tonight including Rainn, since he seems like he would fit perfectly in one.
- Awesome digital short. All the increasingly bizarre characters they kept cutting to had me rolling and I was dying by the end, especially when they got to the talking sub and lion head part. I had to rewind this over and over again since I kept laughing so hard, I missed some of the characters.
- This short included the whole cast (minus Seth, of course).
SKETCH: The Nunis
- The last Nunis sketch kept getting cut after dress the last few times they tried it, but this one unfortunately makes it on the air.
- The usual crap in these sketches. Don’t they EVER shake it up with these characters? It’s always the exact same thing every time. The only laughs came from Samberg’s character with the cotton candy hair and the part towards the end when Kristen said that she didn’t get any pictures yet and Rainn says to her “Just draw something”.
SKETCH: Peeping Tom
- A very good sketch. Rainn was hilarious as this creepy character and all the stuff he made Sudeikis do.
- Bonus points for the completely random but pleasing ending with Amy and Maya making out.
WEEKEND UPDATE: Poehler & Meyers, Judge Larry Seidlin, Aunt Linda, and Prince Harry
- Best jokes: Tom Vilsack, Howard Stern, Desperate Housewives, Israel, Aflac
- Amy’s jokes weren’t as good this time around. She had an unusual amount of bombs, like that awful Snow Angels joke.
- The judge commentary dragged on for a little too long, but Armisen himself was excellent and his performance made the material better than it really was.
- As soon as Amy mentioned the Oscars, I knew we were in for an Aunt Linda commentary. Kristen was again great in this role, although I thought the last two Aunt Linda segments were funnier. This was still good, though.
- The Prince Harry vomiting bit was funny the first time…when Will Ferrell did it during his Ellen Degeneres commentary 10 years ago. Seriously, I’m usually down for a good fake vomiting scene on SNL, but this whole thing was already done before, and done better. I did like Seth’s ad-lib afterwards, though, about the vomit stains on his shoulders.
- A pretty long Update.
SKETCH: Introverted Co-Workers on the Job
- Nice to see these characters being used again. And even better, they keep them fresh by putting them in a completely different setting and situation tonight instead of just having them at a bar again. If only all recurring sketches these days could be like this.
- The sex change operation/murder/nude chat at the end was great.
SKETCH: White Possum Scream
- An okay idea for a sketch. Rainn was funny and Kenan’s mugging actually made me laugh for some reason, although it shouldn’t have.
- The other movie titles based on trailers they showed were good, too.
- When this started, I thought this was going to be like that relaxation tape recording sketch with Matt Dillon from last year. Kristen even looked the same in both sketches.
- Fred’s gestures while keyboard playing made me laugh as did Rainn’s mannerisms, but this never really went anywhere or had any big laughs. If they were going for another Cowbell sketch, they certainly failed miserably.
- Digital Short
- Introverted Co-Workers on the Job
- The ending of Peeping Tom
- Rainn Wilson’s overall performance tonight
- The Nunis
- Prince Harry commentary on Weekend Update
The first show in a while that was above average and really worth talking about. The sketches for the most part were good with only about two bombs, and Rainn Wilson was an awesome host as expected. Unlike some recent hosts like Jeremy Piven who were given mostly straightman roles, Rainn got lots of great characters to play and he stole almost every sketch. He was easily the best host in a while. I hope to see him back on the show in the future.
TONIGHT’S RATING: ***1/2
CASTMEMBER/HOST COUNT DOWN:
ARMISEN: 5 sketches (The Situation Room, Corporate Headquarters, The Nunis, Weekend Update, Riverbliss)
FORTE: 3 sketches (Memories, Corporate Headquarters, Introverted Co-Workers on the Job)
HADER: 2 sketches (Memories, Corporate Headquarters)
HAMMOND: 2 sketches (The Situation Room, Corporate Headquarters)
MEYERS: 1 sketches (Weekend Update)
POEHLER: 4 sketches (Monologue, Corporate Headquarters, Peeping Tom, Weekend Update)
RUDOLPH: 4 sketches (Corporate Headquarters, The Nunis, Peeping Tom, Riverbliss)
SAMBERG: 3 sketches (Corporate Headquarters, The Nunis, Weekend Update)
SUDEIKIS: 4 sketches (Monologue, Memories, Corporate Headquarters, Peeping Tom)
THOMPSON: 4 sketches (Monologue, Corporate Headquarters, White Possum Scream, Riverbliss)
WIIG: 6 sketches (Monologue, Corporate Headquarters, The Nunis, Weekend Update, Introverted Co-Workers on the Job, Riverbliss)
RAINN WILSON: 9 sketches (The Situation Room, Monologue, Memories, Corporate Headquarters, The Nunis, Peeping Tom, Introverted Co-Workers on the Job, White Possum Scream, Riverbliss)