***** - Future classic
**** - Almost perfect
*** - Average in every way
** - Eh
* - Is this 1994-95 again?
COLD OPENING: Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton
- First time we've seen Darrell in the show in a while.
- This was pretty funny. Darrell and Kenan’s Jackson and Sharpton impressions are always good, and the pictures they showed of Imus were hilarious. I also liked the speech toward the end about blacks and whites coming together.
- I’m glad that Darrell toned down the mugging as Jesse Jackson. He got a little too crazy last time he played him.
- Kenan’s first time ever saying LFNY alone (he said it before with the rest of the cast in that Christmas Carols sketch last season).
MONOLOGUE: Shia Labeouf
- I knew he was going to say something about his lack of name recognition. The “mom and dad” joke at the beginning was nice.
- I usually always like when the host goes backstage in their monologue.
- Sudeikis in that cape was funny.
- Kenan’s part was hilarious with him secretly smoking weed as Shia was giving him a nod to his Nickelodeon days.
- I didn’t like Amy’s part that much.
- The good witch part with Kristen was great, although I saw the whole “the Wizard of Oz sketch is cut” thing coming as soon as Lorne stepped out. Kristen’s reaction was still good, though.
- WTF happened to the camera at the end? When Shia was saying “We got a great show for you tonight, Avril Lavigne is here”, the camera went black or panned over to the ceiling or something really fast for a few seconds before refocusing. Strange.
COMMERCIAL: Hathaway Moustache Rides
- Baldwin?!! WTF? That came out of nowhere. At first, I thought this was a cut commercial from when he hosted earlier this season, but apparently, this was recently filmed. Oh, well, he’s always welcome to appear on the show. Especially in low-brow but dry pieces like this that he can make funnier with his deadpan delivery.
- This went a little too long by the end, and a minute could’ve been shaved off (no pun intended) to keep it funny.
- The funniest part was Kristen staggering out of the room after being with Forte and his vibrating moustache.
- Seth in a sketch!!! Only the third time that’s happened so far this season.
- Kenan with the Rastafarian-type facial hair was hilarious.
SKETCH: Prince Show
- I thought this was pretty much extinct by now and the only reason for doing it last time was because Prince was the musical guest (and I'm STILL pissed that he didn't appear in that sketch). But I guess not.
- As usual, there was nothing really new in this sketch, but Armisen provided a few laughs, like his facial expression to the camera when he was checking his messages.
- Shia’s Tobey Maguire was an okay impression.
- Nancy Grace? Oh, no. Amy’s impression of her officially jumped the shark last time in that awful holiday message sketch. I admit, I did like Amy’s crazy dancing at the end of this sketch, though.
SKETCH: Underage Beer Purchase
- Andy’s lopsided moustache had me cracking up from the start, though I wondered at first if it was just a hastily-made costuming mistake from backstage.
- This started out very slow, but once Hader came in as the cop, it started taking off. Then it got really funny with the faux robbery by Forte.
- I thought the ending should’ve had a little more to it, though.
SKETCH: The Dakota Fanning Show
- No surprise that this is recurring. I hope they don’t overdo it too soon, because like most talk show sketches (coughbronxbeatcough), this will get old.
- Kenan’s facial expressions after Amy’s backhanded putdowns were actually funnier this time. I also howled at his comment about the cap at the end.
- Shia and Andy as the Sprouse twins were funny.
- Avril added absolutely nothing to the sketch.
- The Catherine/“call me mom” joke didn’t need to be repeated this time.
DIGITAL SHORT: Dear Sister
- This really had me confused the first minute or so when it was just Hader and Samberg getting shot while that weird song kept playing, and I was wondering where the hell this was going. But once Shia came in, I got the joke and laughed my ass off for the rest of the short. This was brilliant.
- The funniest parts were when Kristen kept getting shot repeatedly while they played the same “whatcha sayyyyyyyy” part of the song over and over, and the ending with the two cops shooting each other while two different parts of the song played at the same time.
SKETCH/COMMERCIAL: Sofa King
- Very low brow with the obvious pun, but the performances from Armisen and the three guys (Shia, Samberg, and Hader) elevated it a little. Hader especially cracked me up with his expressions and his bobbing up and down. Maya added nothing, though, and she always talks in that exact same Versace voice when playing a foreign character. I did laugh at when they displayed the graphic of the sofas over her face, and she had to peek over it to see the camera.
- This certainly was no Colonel Angus. It wasn’t even a Cork Soakers. Maybe more on the same level as Refurbishments, aka the Caulk sketch with Jason Lee last season, which wasn't all that funny.
- Why was Samberg the only one in the sketch without a unibrow?
WEEKEND UPDATE: Poehler & Meyers, with Maya K. Rudolph & Howard K. Stern, Gay Couple from Conneticut, and Don Imus
- Best jokes: Sex abuse, Hooters, woman town, 500 miles
- The Howard K. Stern interview was hilarious.
- I guess they realized the gay New Jersey couple wasn’t getting any laughs, so they changed it to a Conneticut couple. Unfortunately, it still wasn’t any funnier. Although Hader’s extended laughing was pretty funny.
- Darrell been on a lot tonight for his standards, especially after being a no-show for the last few weeks. His Don Imus impression was good and it was nice seeing him do someone new for a change, but the material wasn’t that funny and the commentary didn’t really go anyplace.
SKETCH: Knife Salesmen
- I was expecting this to be the usual great “Bizarre Will Forte Sketch” as soon as it started (I even liked Forte’s Robot Sex sketch from a few weeks ago, even though a lot of others didn’t), but the sketch ended up falling below his standards big time. Parts were funny like the back and forth childish argument between Kristen and Forte at the beginning and the bloody finger thing was kinda funny at first, but everything between that just dragged. And if the exaggerated blood spurting was supposed to get the main laughs, then it didn’t really work out the way it should’ve since that was pulled off much better in the past (most recently in that Man Versus Beast sketch with Sudeikis). The sketch as a whole never really payed off. And the “dog attack” ending was a little too strange and ended abruptly, although fake dummies used during sketches always gets a chuckle from me.
- Overall, a rare misfire from Will Forte.
MISCELLANEOUS: An Intimate Moment with John Mayer & Jessica Simpson
- A great random bit. Kristen was dead-on as Jessica Simpson, and Hader’s expressions when playing the guitar were hilarious. Good ending, too.
- Lots of Hader on tonight’s show so far, which is always a good thing.
SKETCH: Maya & Shia
- A rare funny bit from Maya. She was actually good here with her crazy flirting with Shia and all the stuff she was doing and saying to him. Shia was a good straightman, too.
- The Versace painting on the wall was a nice touch.
- Digital Short
- Maya and Shia
- Parts of Weekend Update
- An Intimate Moment with John Mayer & Jessica Simpson
- Hathaway Moustache Rides
- Knife Salesmen
- Prince Show
- Conneticut Couple & Don Imus commentary on Weekend Update
An average show, nothing too terrible but barely any excellent stuff. The only exceptionally great segment that stood out was the digital short. Most of everything else was just good but nothing more. Shia was actually a better host than I thought he’d be, considering I usually can't stand him. He didn’t annoy me on tonight's show like he usually does.
TONIGHT’S RATING: ***
CASTMEMBER/HOST COUNT DOWN:
ARMISEN: 5 sketches (Hathaway Moustache Rides, Prince Show, Dear Sister, Sofa King, Weekend Update)
FORTE: 3 sketches (Hathaway Moustache Rides, Underage Beer Purchase, Knife Salesmen)
HADER: 6 sketches (Hathaway Moustache Rides, Underage Beer Purchase, Dear Sister, Sofa King, Weekend Update, An Intimate Moment with John Mayer & Jessica Simpson)
HAMMOND: 4 sketches (Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, Monologue, Hathaway Moustache Rides, Weekend Update)
MEYERS: 2 sketches (Hathaway Moustache Rides, Weekend Update)
POEHLER: 5 sketches (Monologue, Hathaway Moustache Rides, Prince Show, The Dakota Fanning Show, Weekend Update)
RUDOLPH: 4 sketches (Prince Show, Sofa King, Weekend Update, Maya & Shia)
SAMBERG: 6 sketches (Hathaway Moustache Rides, Underage Beer Purchase, The Dakota Fanning Show, Dear Sister, Sofa King, Weekend Update)
SUDEIKIS: 3 sketches (Monologue, Hathaway Moustache Rides, Dear Sister)
THOMPSON: 5 sketches (Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, Monologue, Hathaway Moustache Rides, Underage Beer Purchase, The Dakota Fanning Show)
WIIG: 6 sketches (Monologue, Hathaway Moustache Rides, The Dakota Fanning Show, Dear Sister, Knife Salesmen, An Intimate Moment with John Mayer & Jessica Simpson)
SHIA LABEOUF: 8 sketches (Monologue, Prince Show, Underage Beer Purchase, The Dakota Fanning Show, Dear Sister, Sofa King, Knife Salesmen, Maya & Shia)