***** = Brilliant, a possible future classic
**** = Great, but not quite perfect
*** = Average
** = Meh, but not complete crap
* = How'd this get past dress?
Cold Opening - A Message from the Clinton Campaign
• Another mediocre, boring Hillary opening. The political writing really needs to get sharper on this show, especially if there’s going to be 30-minute specials next season filled with these.
• Hammond got in his usual laughs as Bill Clinton and the “psych” part towards the end was funny. That was it, though.
Monologue - Christopher Walken
• I’m actually happy that they departed from Walken’s traditional song-and-dance monologues, especially since there’s already been an overabundance of musical monologues lately.
• I kinda groaned at first when Walken said he’ll take questions from the audience, but then he said he actually wrote the questions himself. This was a brilliant idea and it was executed perfectly. Walken’s answers were hilarious, especially when talking about if he were an invisible bird.
• Jim Downey! Is he appearing every week now?
• The joke at the end about how difficult is it to read from cards was a good self-jab at Walken’s cue-card staring.
Commercial - Annuale
• Rerun. The audience seemed to laugh a lot more this time around, for some reason.
Sketch - Drama Teacher
• A strange choice for the first sketch of the night, but it wasn’t bad. Walken made the material funny just with his delivery. The way he kept saying “that is dirty” cracked me up.
• The cutaways to Amy’s frozen expression were funny.
• Some of the lyric replacements were good, especially changing Greased Lightning to Gene Rayburn.
Sketch - Office Farewell Party
• Walken playing a creepy office stalker guy was great. All of his lines to Sudeikis were hilarious, especially the line about Sudeikis being “like a moist towelette at the end of a delicious plate of ribs”, the sexual harassment part, and him deciding to choke Sudeikis at the end.
• Sudeikis was very good as the straight man and I’m surprised he didn’t break character, as I bet some other castmembers would have.
• This one guy in the audience had this really loud, distinctive laugh here. Actually, you could hear him throughout the whole show, but especially during this sketch.
Digital Short - Laser Cats 3
• They have Christopher Walken for the week, and the best digital short the Lonely Island guys could come up with was Laser Cats?!? Don't get me wrong, these Laser Cats shorts are usually funny, but why did we need one this week? I was hoping for a digital short that would feature Walken in a main role, but he just played a small part here and didn’t get to do anything funny (why couldn’t he have played the evil mayor instead of Kenan?). The opportunities are endless on what type of hilarious short they could’ve done starring Walken.
• Chris Dodd’s appearance was okay. At least it made it a little different from all the other usual Lorne scenes in the Laser Cats sketches.
• The cheesy “special effects” are always funny, such as the 3-D scene and Hader almost getting sucked inside the space door. The tiny dog fighting the cat towards the end was also a good touch.
Sketch - Party-Loving Sue
• Kristen’s character was like an amalgamation of Target Lady and her over-excited reporter in that publisher’s clearinghouse sketch with Brian Williams. Her over-the-top, hyper characters like this are usually very hit-or-miss, but I thought this was kind of in between. She made me laugh a lot at parts, but it did border on getting very annoying at other parts. Some of her actions towards the end of the sketch were great, though, such as her smashing a bottle over her own head to keep quiet, and her jumping through the window.
• I hope they don’t make this recurring, though, because it will definitely go the route of Penelope and get irritating after a while.
Weekend Update - Poehler & Meyers, featuring pregnant man Thomas Beatie
• Best jokes: Rocky/Hillary, Madonna, Man who eats homeless people, Larry King, Roger Clemens
• Seth seemed a lot gigglier than usual tonight.
• The appearance of Samberg as the pregnant man came very abruptly and the segment was really lame. I was glad, though, when Seth and Amy both called Andy out on overdoing the whole “profile” thing with his pregnant stomach. He did a similar thing in Ellen Page’s monologue when he kept holding the Oscar trophy up to the camera in different poses during the whole sketch. He needs to tone that stuff down because it’s really getting annoying.
Sketch - Walken Family Reunion
• This was very unexpected but was simply great. It was really fun watching the whole cast (minus Casey and Seth) each doing their Walken impression in front of the real thing, even if some of the voices weren’t too great.
• This reminded me a little of that Trump sketch when Paris Hilton hosted where all of Trump’s kids spoke exactly like him.
• Of all the impressions, Hader’s was probably the best and most accurate. I thought Samberg’s was surprisingly good, too. And Amy’s voice was hilarious and she stole the whole sketch. Kenan made me laugh just because you knew there was no way his Walken would be good.
• I expected Armisen to be a lot better. His Walken just sounded like he was talking with a stuffy nose or something.
• It would’ve been even better and made this a classic if they’d have gotten Jay Mohr or even Kevin Spacey to make a special appearance in this at the end.
Sketch - Indoor Gardening Tips from a Man Who’s Very Scared of Plants
• You have a sketch with just Christopher Walken being Christopher Walken, so of course this is going to turn out to be funny. This obviously would not have worked at all with any other host.
• Just about everything Walken did and said in this sketch had me laughing so hard, and he had a lot of great lines. Especially the “dirt eyes” line, and the “Eyes are the windows to your FACE” part at the end. And all the googly eyes were hilarious.
Sketch - Top Chef
• I’ve never watched the actual show, so I don’t know how good Kristen’s impression was. Also, was Fred supposed to be playing a real person?
• This was a weak premise, and the sketch would’ve fallen completely flat if it weren’t for Walken’s character. His panicked reactions and casual observations about how the show is run was the only good thing in this, along with the list of ingredients the chefs can use (especially the paper bag).
Sketch - Larry King Live
• Armisen’s Larry King always makes me laugh.
• This sketch didn’t really go anywhere and the whole thing was just one-note. We get it, nobody ever reads his books. Why were there no other jokes?
• I never realized until now that Hammond’s Jimmy Carter sounds quite a bit like his Clinton. I guess it was more noticeable tonight since he played both in the same episode.
• Walken Family Reunion
• Indoor Gardening Tips from a Man Who’s Very Scared of Plants
• Weekend Update, minus Samberg
• Office Farewell Party
• Samberg as the pregnant man
• Larry King Live
• Top Chef
• Cold Opening
Best Performer of the Night:
• Christopher Walken
Christopher Walken was his usual awesome self, even though the episode wasn’t quite up to usual Walken-show standards. Some of the sketches were perfectly suited for Walken (creepy office mate, guy afraid of plants) and might go down as classics, but some other ones they completely wasted him in (Laser Cats, Sue), and the show ended on a sour note with two poor closing sketches. I still really liked this show, though, and it was easily one of the best of the season so far. I’m surprised there were no show-stopping cameo appearances like his last show where Will Ferrell, Steve Martin, and Jim Carrey all appeared. I’m also disappointed there was no Continental sketch. I know Tom Davis couldn’t return this week to write another one, but couldn’t they have attempted one anyway?
CASTMEMBER/HOST COUNT DOWN:
ARMISEN: 4 sketches (Annuale, Walken Family Reunion, Top Chef, Larry King)
FORTE: 2 sketches (Sue, Walken Family Reunion)
HADER: 6 sketches (Annuale, Drama Teacher, Office Party, Laser Cats, Sue, Walken Family Reunion)
HAMMOND: 3 sketches (Clinton Campaign, Walken Family Reunion, Larry King)
MEYERS: 1 sketch (Update)
POEHLER: 7 sketches (Clinton Campaign, Annuale, Drama Teacher, Sue, Update, Walken Family Reunion, Top Chef)
SAMBERG: 6 sketches (Annuale, Drama Teacher, Laser Cats, Update, Walken Family Reunion, Top Chef)
SUDEIKIS: 3 sketches (Drama Teacher, Office Party, Walken Family Reunion)
THOMPSON: 4 sketches (Drama Teacher, Laser Cats, Walken Family Reunion, Top Chef)
WIIG: 5 sketches (Annuale, Office Party, Sue, Walken Family Reunion, Top Chef)
WILSON: 3 sketches (Annuale, Office Party, Sue)
CHRISTOPHER WALKEN: 8 sketches (Monologue, Drama Teacher, Office Party, Laser Cats, Sue, Walken Family Reunion, Gardening Tips, Top Chef)