***** = Brilliant, a possible future classic
**** = Great, but not quite perfect
*** = Average
** = Meh, but not complete crap
* = How'd this get past dress?
Cold Opening - CNN/Univision Democratic Debate
• Wow, so Armisen is SNL’s Obama. I was getting my hopes up that we would have a new black guy in the cast to play him, but I’m fine with the choice of Fred. I agreed earlier with the other people who said if they were going to choose within the current cast, Armisen’s the best choice. He looked surprisingly a lot like Obama here, even more than I expected him to. The voice clearly needs work, but it’ll improve over time the more Armisen plays him.
• I still think Kristen should take over the role of Hillary, since she’s generally better at impressions and this is likely to be Amy’s last season, anyway.
• Forte in that dark make-up cracked me up.
• Funniest parts were Hillary claiming it was her dream to lose in all those states and how white women over 80 are her main supporters, Forte talking about his stalking of Obama, and a lot of Kristen’s lines as the moderator - especially her Obamapology line.
• Armisen’s long speech at the end could’ve been funnier.
• Okay, first off, the Maya thing. I heard about the articles earlier this week stating that she wouldn’t appear tonight because she didn’t sign a full-season contract or something like that, which made me happy but it didn’t sound like confirmation that she’s officially no longer a castmember. However, the fact that she was completely removed from the credits tonight gives me a strong feeling that she's off the show for good. If so, all I have to say is - FINALLY!
• And we also finally have a new female castmember: Casey Wilson. I'm really excited about this, and anxious to see what she has to offer.
Monologue - Tina Fey
• The boom mike stuff at the beginning was good.
• Steve Martin! That was unexpected, especially since most people thought Baldwin would cameo tonight. Steve was his usual great self here giving Tina hosting advice, and Tina played off of him well.
• Tina’s different ways of saying “I can do it!” were fun, especially the drunken Chinese woman one.
Commercial - Annuale
• Hmm, a feminine product commercial starring Tina and the female cast? Gee, I wonder who wrote this…
• Sarcasm aside, this was in a similar tradition of previous Fey-penned commercial parodies like Mom Jeans and Woomba. That being said, this was still pretty clever.
• Decent debut for the new girl, too.
• Kristen making out with the dog stole the whole commercial and had me rolling.
• The scrolling text towards the end was also great, especially the firemonster baby part.
• The ending voice-over from Amy was a bit too much. This should’ve ended before then.
Sketch - Rock of Love 2
• Sudeikis’ Bret Michaels was awesome.
• This could’ve been a good sketch if it were a full-on Rock of Love parody, but they had to turn this into another Amber showcase and I never liked this character. I’m surprised the writers even remember her; I think the last Amber sketch was about 3 years ago in the America’s Next Top Model parody.
• Kristen was the funniest of the contestants and her voice was great.
• Armisen calling Bret Michaels by his full name each time he walked on made me chuckle.
Digital Short - DVDs My Wife Made
• This was a strange digital short and not as funny as the usual, but I still got some really good laughs from this. It almost got old towards the end, though. I can’t help but think this would’ve fit better as just a normal live sketch, because I expect more from a digital short.
• The Juno interpretation and the “That’s not your phone, grandpa” scene were the best parts. I, too, thought that was my phone ringing at first.
Sketch - What’s that Bitch Talkin’ About?
• Odd seeing Kenan as the host; a change from Sudeikis and Hader always playing the hosts in gameshow sketches. I have to admit, Kenan’s ways of saying “What’s that Bitch Talkin’ About” made me laugh.
• Was Hader’s last name “Dimwitty”?
• A funny concept and I usually love gameshow sketches, but I thought they could’ve done more with this, especially with Hader’s frustration.
• I’m starting to notice that Casey Wilson kind of looks like Laura Kightlinger. It’s probably just me who sees the resemblance, though.
• I was expecting some kind of twist explaining how Tina knew all the answers, but they just left it a mystery.
Weekend Update - Poehler & Meyers, featuring Gov. Mike Huckabee, Tina Fey
• Seth sure seemed excited to be back.
• Best jokes: Bush honored, found kitten, pet’s best friend, Matthew McConaughey
• Huckabee’s appearance was surprisingly very funny, the whole way through. His commentary had a lot of great parts, especially Seth explaining to him what “mathematically impossible” means, and Huckabee’s “uh-oh” response about the super delegates. He also performed well and seemed composed, unlike most politicians/non-actors who’ve appeared on Update and came off stiff and awkward.
• The women’s news segment was a good way to work in Tina’s inevitable Update appearance tonight. It still felt a little strange seeing her on Update again. Her commentary, while a little too heavy on her personal politics, had some very funny jokes. And the bitches rant at the end was great. Also, I’m surprised she refrained from making any predictable Britney jokes.
Sketch - The Celebrity Apprentice
• Hammond’s token one-and-done appearance of the whole night.
• I thought this would be a tired standard Apprentice parody, but this was actually really funny. All the different ridiculous celebrities thrown in were hilarious, especially Hader as John Mark Karr, Kenan as Charles Barkley (just because it reminded me of that great Bjork/Barkley sketch), Amy as the Six Flags guy, Forte as Judge Ito, and of course Armisen as Gene Simmons. This sketch was also a nice way to fit in the whole cast (minus Seth).
• Only halfway through her first episode, and Casey Wilson has already given us a nice eyeful of her cleavage in two different sketches. Yes, I’m a perv for pointing that out.
• Kenan/Charles Barkley firing himself cracked me up.
Sketch - Best Man Ed Mahoney
• This was the same character Sudeikis played two years ago in that jewelry store sketch the first time Scarlett Johansson hosted. I loved that character the first time and am surprised they took so long to bring him back. I like that they put him in a different scenario this time and didn’t just copy the same format of the first one like most recurring sketches do.
• This sketch wasn’t quite as good as the first one, as it felt way too short or like something was missing. Still, a lot of Sudeikis’ crude comments were funny, and his weird laugh in these sketches always kills me. The “I hope you two die” line at the end was the best part.
• Kristen’s drunken rambling at the beginning was also good.
Commercial - Virgania Horsen’s Hot Air Balloon Rides
• I read about this getting cut from dress earlier this season.
• I thought this sounded kinda lame when I first read the description, but the complete randomness of this and Kristen's deadpan performance helped make it work. This also captured the look and feel of cheap local late-night ads perfectly.
Sketch - I Drink Your Milkshake
• A very random way of parodying There Will Be Blood, but I really enjoyed this. Hader was just so dead-on as Daniel Day Lewis. Hader’s always brilliant when they let him do sketches/impressions like this. He had me laughing hard during the sketch, especially his “I FINIIIIIIISHED!” at the end.
• Amy’s second appearance in a row tonight playing a guy.
• I knew Armisen would parody Anton Chigurh sooner or later since he does look a lot like him.
• At first when Hader said that Juno would be his guest in the next installment, I thought that meant they really were going to continue this sketch next week when Ellen Page hosts, but then Tina showed up playing her.
Sketch/Commercial - Lady Business
• Yet another all-female cast showcase tonight. Yep, Tina definitely had a hand in the writing this week.
• Kristen again had the biggest laugh of the sketch, with her “bitch in the boardroom, bore in the bedroom, and bear on the toilet” line.
• Sketch seemed to end a bit awkwardly. I wonder if they had to cut something out of it at the last minute for time reasons. This would also explain why Casey Wilson had no lines here.
• I can’t believe how well Don Pardo looked for someone who just turned 90. Though I thought they were trying to give him a heart attack by having him blow out all those candles.
• I Drink Your Milkshake
• Weekend Update
• Steve Martin’s cameo
• The Celebrity Apprentice
• Kristen making out with the dog in Annuale
• Rock of Love 2
Best Performer of the Night:
• Kristen Wiig
A very good comeback for the show after the strike. The second half of the show was especially strong, and aside from Rock of Love, there wasn’t really anything too bad tonight. Tina Fey blended right back in with the cast; for most of the show, it actually felt like there was no host. Aside from the gameshow sketch, she played the same type of roles she used to get as a castmember outside of Update. And as expected, the women of the show dominated tonight. Even the new girl appeared in a lot of sketches, although they were all pretty much just small roles, so you can’t really judge her yet. And it felt refreshing having no Maya.
CASTMEMBER COUNT DOWN:
ARMISEN: 6 sketches (Democratic Debate, Annuale, Rock of Love, Apprentice, Milkshake, Lady Business)
FORTE: 4 sketches (Democratic Debate, Apprentice, Ed Mahoney, Milkshake)
HADER: 6 sketches (Annuale, Digital Short, What’s that Bitch Talkin’ About?, Apprentice, Milkshake, Lady Business)
HAMMOND: 1 sketch (Apprentice)
MEYERS: 1 sketch (Update)
POEHLER: 8 sketches (Democratic Debate, Annuale, Rock of Love, What’s that Bitch Talkin’ About?, Update, Apprentice, Milkshake, Lady Business)
SAMBERG: 4 sketches (Annuale, Digital Short, Apprentice, Lady Business)
SUDEIKIS: 5 sketches (Democratic Debate, Rock of Love, Apprentice, Ed Mahoney, Lady Business)
THOMPSON: 3 sketches (What’s that Bitch Talkin’ About?, Apprentice, Milkshake)
WIIG: 8 sketches (Democratic Debate, Annuale, Rock of Love, What’s that Bitch Talkin’ About?, Apprentice, Ed Mahoney, Hot Air Balloon Rides, Lady Business)
WILSON: 6 sketches (Annuale, Rock of Love, What’s that Bitch Talkin’ About?, Apprentice, Milkshake, Lady Business)
TINA FEY: 9 sketches (Monologue, Annuale, Rock of Love, What’s that Bitch Talkin’ About?, Update, Apprentice, Ed Mahoney, Milkshake, Lady Business)