***** - Future classic
**** - Almost perfect
*** - Average in every way
** - Eh
* - Is this 1994-95 again?
COLD OPENING: A Message from President Bush
- The writing for the Bush sketches has been mostly pretty subpar throughout this season, and this was no exception.
- The shots of Darrell as Cheney giving Bush the “okay” sign was very funny, as was when the camera cut to him and he wasn’t there, but all the actual Bush stuff was pretty boring and the audience didn’t respond much. And Maya as Condi Rice at the end added nothing and seemed pointless. But judging from Maya’s very energetic LFNY delivery, it seems likely that this will be her last show. I sure hope so. I guess we’ll see as tonight’s show goes on.
- I was hoping they’d end the season with a good opening, but I guess not.
MONOLOGUE: Zach Braff
- The shoutout to Toonces the cat at the beginning was nice.
- The stuff Braff was bragging about NJ at the beginning was funny, but I normally can’t stand singing monologues so the song after that didn’t really do anything for me. Andy, Maya, Amy, and Kenan coming out dressed as the NJ landmarks was pretty funny, though.
- I wonder if Andy as a sandwich was supposed to be a reference to his love of sandwiches from the Awesometown pilot. They also referenced that in the Doppleganger digital short.
DIGITAL SHORT: Dog Seduction
- A digital short right after the monologue? That felt odd. How long until digital shorts are down to being shown as the cold opening?
- When the dog started talking to Andy, I expected this to be really funny, but the result wasn’t as funny as I thought it would be. Parts of the seduction scene I laughed out loud at like the cigarette lighting and Samberg’s reaction when he realized he was being used. And the dog’s voice was just funny (who’s voice was that anyway?) But the whole thing just led up to the predictable and cliché man/dog make-out session, which has been done much better on SNL before (the classic Greenhilly sketch and the dog cologne commercial from the early 90s).
- Overall, not exactly the best digital short to end the season with (in fact, last year’s finale didn’t have a great digital short either with the so-so Andy Walking film; you’d figure that the Lonely Island guys would try to go all out for the season enders).
SKETCH: Prom Committee
- Maya and Amy were typical stuff, but the rest of the cast as the students were great.
- The funniest were Forte (before he even spoke, I was already laughing my ass off just at the way his hair looked), Hader & Wiig, and the two Pink Floyd stoners.
- Andy looked like Seth at first with his hair like that.
- As soon as Braff mentioned “a movie that defines our generation”, I knew he was going to say either Garden State or Napoleon Dynamite (because I thought Garden State might be too obvious for them to do at first). I was right about Garden State, but Amy or Maya mentioned Napoleon Dynamite later on in the sketch, so I was right about both.
- Hammond’s appearance as Connery (or rather as the principal who looked like Connery) at the end was completely random and unexpected. The two BJs line was great, though. Unlike other people, I’m not automatically taking this as a hint that this might be Darrell’s last show, though. I’ve already given up a few years ago on guessing when he’s going to leave. Plus, I would expect that someone who’s been on the show as long as him would get some kind of a notable send-off for his last show besides making a measly 15-second appearance in two sketches.
- This was yet another full-cast sketch (minus Seth), like last week’s debate sketch.
SKETCH: Deep House Dish
- Aw, come the fuck on, SNL. Wasn’t three times already more than enough for this sketch to be on this season? Now they have to make it four damn times. Who the hell thinks this sketch is popular enough to be on so much?
- The Kenan/Andy parts and Maya’s song was the usual standard crap, but Braff’s interview was okay with him talking about Dora the Explorer and the suburbs while trying to act like a gangster. And the Amy/Will brown-eye song was actually really funny, especially thanks to Forte.
- Amy sounded a lot like Rosie Perez during the interview.
- At least this sketch will hopefully be gone forever if Kenan gets let go over the summer (which I doubt will happen to him, to be honest; they’ll probably bring in a new black guy next season while keeping Kenan and giving him one last chance)
TV FUNHOUSE: Decision ’08 - Spring ’07 Cleaning
- A hilarious TV Funhouse, and a great rebound from Smigel’s awful cartoon last week. So many great lines in this, I had to watch this over and over again because I kept missing some of the lines from laughing so much.
- Why did they have to get Maya to do Oprah’s voice in this? She still sounds nothing like her. Smigel couldn’t find anyone better? After all, he’s never gotten Sudeikis/Forte to do Bush’s voice in his cartoons.
- The picture of Maya shown during the end credits of the cartoon further makes me think that this is her last show. If it’s true, I wish she would just announce it (like Fallon, Ferrell, Kattan, and Shannon did for their last shows) instead of just dropping small hints and making us wonder. Or maybe she prefers to go out quietly.
SKETCH: Song Memories
- The original version of this sketch with Rainn Wilson was one of my favorite sketches of the season, but I didn’t expect this to be brought back. This version was still very funny, but couldn’t match the original. I hope they don’t do this sketch too much in the future.
- The disturbing stories from the guys were good again, although Zach’s poop thing started out as questionable, but he saved it with the Rachel Ray line.
- At least they changed the ending. This one was even more random than the Pulp Fiction ending from the first installment.
WEEKEND UPDATE: Poehler & Meyers, with Aunt Linda, Sam Waterston, and Whitney Houston
- Best jokes: Police scooters, New bird species, Law and Order, race horses
- I think I’m one of the few people left who still like Aunt Linda, but they really should space her appearances out more. Four times in one year is a bit too much of her. I thought she was still funny tonight, though, especially her Rush Hour ratings. And I like that they kept her segment shorter this time.
- Armisen’s random appearance as Sam Waterston was hilarious, although they could’ve done a little more with him.
- Maya’s interlude as Whitney Houston (and right in the middle of the traditional “tree frog” joke that’s always interrupted) seemed to be more evidence that Maya’s leaving. Especially Seth and Amy kissing her and basically dry humping her at the end before they went to a commercial break (WTF was that all about?) Characters and impressions like this sure aren’t going to make me miss her. This was the usual annoying, stale Whitney stuff. Also, what was with the mistake with her calling Amy “Seth Meyers”? It looked like Maya started laughing a bit after that. Over the years, it has been kinda rare to see her to break character.
- Anyway, the Whitney segment was a poor way to end a good season of Weekend Update, plus they ended Update last year with Whitney also (but at least that had cameos from other characters like Frondi). How unoriginal.
SKETCH: La Rivista Della Televisione con Vinny Vedecci
- Good to see this back again. This sketch has been very funny both times, and Hader always does a great job in them.
¬- The ashtray on the table with, like, 15 cigarettes in them was good detail.
- Braff didn’t do much here (but the hosts never do much in this sketch, anyway), but some of his confused facial expressions were pretty funny.
- Some other great parts were the Scrubs clip, Hader working his Columbo impression into the sketch, and the vomiting puppet. And Armisen and Forte as the stereotypical producers always crack me up, too. It was funny when they all were crying after the Scrubs clip, including Forte who was still chomping down on spaghetti.
SKETCH: Bronx Beat
- I thought they would restrain themselves, but nope, they just had to do it. Four freakin’ Bronx Beat sketches in five months. Absolutely ridiculous. This officially stopped being funny by the second or third one, yet they still drag it out. I’m ashamed to even admit now that I liked the first one, because all of these subsequent ones have completely ruined it. And this is the third recurring sketch tonight that’s making its fourth appearance of the season. Aunt Linda’s okay, but this and Deep House Dish are totally unnecessary. If they can bring this back so damn much, then why can’t they do actual funny characters like the two A-Holes four times in a season? I guess we should be happy that they don’t overuse that and are still keeping it fresh. But there’s no excuse for what they’re doing to Bronx Beat, unless they’re only doing it tonight for Maya’s (possible) last show. I should just thank heavens they didn’t do Versace.
- Anyway, this was on the show so late and felt so short and rushed, that you could tell even the writers know they’re beating a dead horse. And the audience barely laughed during the whole thing. Braff added absolutely nothing here. What’s with him tonight, anyway? For a comedian, he sure hasn’t done too much funny stuff.
- I remember hearing about this sketch being cut before about a year ago. I can kinda see why it took so long to get on air, though. I thought it would be great when it started out, and Armisen did look hilarious (was it intentional to make him look like Ugly Betty?) and he made me laugh, but the sketch itself went nowhere, and the ending was clichéd shock humor and a cop out. That’s two unnecessary “make out” endings tonight. I wouldn’t have minded if this was a 10-to-1 sketch in any other episode, but this isn’t something you end the whole season with.
- This sketch doesn’t exactly help the slight step down that Armisen has taken. I mean, he hasn’t had his best year this season. He used to be my favorite current castmember (along with Forte) and I still do think he’s very funny and valuable to the cast, but he’s hasn’t been quite as good this season. His airtime was pretty scarce at times, and his hilarious and bizarre sketch work isn’t as consistent as it used to be. He used to be on the same level as Forte, but now Forte is the one still doing great work each week while Armisen seems to be struggling a bit. I certainly don’t think he’s should leave after this year like some people are suggesting, though. Hopefully, he’ll bounce back next season.
- TV Funhouse
- Prom Committee
- Vinny Vedecci
- Song Memories
- Amy and Will on Deep House Dish
- Bronx Beat
- Whitney Houston on Weekend Update
- Deep House Dish
- Cold Opening
An uneventful and disappointing end to the season. Zach Braff wasn’t as funny as I thought he’d be; for the whole second half of the show, he just played straightmen/himself, and even his funnier parts earlier in the show weren’t that great (like the prom sketch). Tonight also continued the recent trend of stuffing the whole show with recurring sketches. All the last three episodes of the season (Johansson, Shannon, and Braff) were almost entirely nothing but recurring characters. Not exactly the way I wanted the season so go out, especially when you remember that the first few episodes of this season didn’t even use any recurring characters at all.
TONIGHT’S RATING: **1/2
CASTMEMBER/HOST COUNT DOWN:
ARMISEN: 4 sketches (Prom Committee, Weekend Update, La Rivista Della Televisione con Vinny Vedecci, Melissa)
FORTE: 4 sketches (Prom Committee, Deep House Dish, Song Memories, La Rivista Della Televisione con Vinny Vedecci)
HADER: 4 sketches (Prom Committee, Song Memories, La Rivista Della Televisione con Vinny Vedecci, Melissa)
HAMMOND: 2 sketches (A Message from President Bush, Prom Committee)
MEYERS: 1 sketch (Weekend Update)
POEHLER: 5 sketches (Monologue, Prom Committee, Deep House Dish, Weekend Update, Bronx Beat)
RUDOLPH: 8 sketches (A Message from President Bush, Monologue, Prom Committee, TV Funhouse, Deep House Dish, Weekend Update, Bronx Beat, Melissa)
SAMBERG: 4 sketches (Monologue, Dog Seduction, Prom Committee, Deep House Dish)
SUDEIKIS: 3 sketches (A Message from President Bush, Prom Committee, Song Memories)
THOMPSON: 3 sketches (Monologue, Prom Committee, Deep House Dish)
WIIG: 2 sketches (Prom Committee, Weekend Update)
ZACH BRAFF: 8 sketches (Monologue, Dog Seduction, Prom Committee, Deep House Dish, Song Memories, La Rivista Della Televisione con Vinny Vedecci, Bronx Beat, Melissa)
2006-2007 Year-In Review:
1. Alec Baldwin/Christina Aguilera
2. Hugh Laurie/Beck
3. Rainn Wilson/Arcade Fire
4. Justin Timberlake
5. Matthew Fox/Tenacious D
1. John C. Reilly/My Chemical Romance
2. Jaime Pressly/ Corrine Bailey Rae
3. Scarlett Johansson/Bjork
4. Julia Louis Dreyfus/Snow Patrol
1. Alec Baldwin
2. Rainn Wilson
3. Justin Timberlake
1. Annette Bening
2. Zach Braff
1. Dick in a Box
2. Platinum Lounge Club
3. Carpool Conversation
4. Business Meeting digital short
5. The First Person in the History of the World to Dance
6. The Tony Bennett Show
7. Dancing Basketball Coach
8. Dear Sister
10. Song Memories (the first installment)
1. Big Wigs
2. Quato (the second installment)
3. Jennifer at the Mexican Restaurant
4. Deep House Dish
5. Cool Food
6. Love Whitney: Whitney Houston's Valentine's Day Special
7. A Holiday Message from Nancy Grace
8. Versace Super Bowl Party
9. Charli Coffee
10. Bronx Beat (the last two installments)
Best Cold Openings:
2. A Message from Nancy Pelosi
3. Road to the White House: Chris Rock
4. Santa’s My Boyfriend
5: American Idol: Mary Katherine Gallagher
Worst Cold Openings:
1. Richard Eckstrom for Comptroller
2. A Message from Dennis Hastert
3. American Idol: Animal Auditions
4. Special Report with Brit Hume
5. A Message from President Bush (from 5/19/07)
1. Rainn Wilson
2. Jeremy Piven
3. Hugh Laurie
1. Forest Whitaker
2. Scarlett Johansson
3. Drew Barrymore
2. United Way
3. Apocalypto trailer re-cut
2. E-Z Date
Best Weekend Update Commentaries:
1. Tim Calhoun
2. Peter O’Toole
3. Will Forte’s Earth Day song
4. Jesse Jackson & Al Sharpton: Blackness Scale
5. Aunt Linda
Worst Weekend Update Commentaries:
1. Flavor Flav
2. Whitney Houston
3. Same Sex New Jersey/Conneticut Couple
4. Anoosa Rosenfeld
5. Judge Larry Seidlin (the second time)
Best TV Funhouses:
2. Decision ’08 - Spring ’07 Cleaning
3. Year 2007 in Review
Worst TV Funhouses:
1. Tales from the Greatest Generation
2. Diddy Kiddies
3. Republican Attack Ads
Well, it’s been another good year, everybody. See ya again for 07-08.