Ashton Kutcher / Gnarls Barkley
April 12, 2008
***** = Brilliant, a possible future classic
**** = Great, but not quite perfect
*** = Average
** = Meh, but not complete crap
* = How'd this get past dress?
Cold Opening - General David Petraeus' Testimony
• Strange seeing Samberg of all people playing chairman Levin. He actually did a good job in this role.
• Forte had several funny lines, like the stuff about the sunnis and shiites, and his comments slamming Hillary’s book, especially the My Sharona part. But this opening went on way too damn long; by the time they finally said LFNY, it was almost 11:40! This could’ve been cut down to about half its length.
• Best part of this was Hader as Robert Byrd. He was excellent.
• It’s been about a month since Armisen last appeared as Obama, yet he still hasn’t improved his Obama voice at all. He can’t even get the deep voice down.
Monologue - Ashton Kutcher
• This started out slow, but got much better once Ashton went backstage and interacted with the cast.
• Demi’s cameo fell completely flat.
• Ashton’s shoutout to The Falconer, and Forte desperately asking him to put in the good word to Lorne made me laugh a lot. They actually did a Falconer sketch with Ashton before, the first time he hosted. They haven’t done a new Falconer ever since that great time machine one with Kevin Spacey two years ago.
• Kenan’s part with Andy was surprisingly really funny; a clever way of referencing the incident with Kenan nearly getting arrested for marijuana. I was wondering before if they’d ever mention that on the show.
Sketch - The Cougar Den
• The opening graphics were great.
• This seems like this might end up being a recurring sketch for the ladies in the cast, which doesn’t sound too bad if they can continue to keep it funny like tonight’s. And it’s good to see Casey Wilson actually getting something funny to do - and so early in the episode - after getting nothing but straight roles for the last few shows. Her husky voice was great and it made me laugh the most out of all the three hosts’ voices.
• Kristen’s “blowjoy” line was classic, as was Amy’s “It’s not gonna be as gross as you think” part.
• Cameron Diaz was surprisingly very funny in this. Her accent was great and had me cracking up, and she looked really nice, too. How come she was never this funny any of times she hosted the show?
• Ashton didn’t really do much here, but his “all of the ex-husbands have been pretty cool so far” line was a clever self-reference.
• Kenan’s “mountain goats” insult got a great response.
Sketch - Bar Club Bouncer
• Considering Kenan got the main role in this, he actually wasn’t too bad here. What’s gotten into him tonight? This is the third consecutive sketch where he wasn’t as horrible as usual. And he had a really funny line at the end of this sketch.
• Fred looked like a young Jerry Lewis in that wig.
• I cracked up at Samberg in that ridiculous giant two-man coat.
• Forte’s walk-on as Lyle Kane was hilarious. I like how they use that character in different, random settings each time.
• Kenan’s name being “Dode” was so dumb that I had to laugh.
• Amy’s drunk scene was good.
Digital Short - Daiquiri Girl
• Uh...WTF was that????? That’s all I could say to myself after this ended. Otherwise, I was left pretty much speechless.
• Digital Shorts are usually always my favorite part of the show each week, but I don’t know what the hell this was. It seemed like this was intentionally supposed to be horrible, but it was not even in the “so bad, it’s funny” way (like the Laser Cats shorts are). The Lonely Island dudes clearly weren’t trying at all. The scrolling text explanation still didn’t save this from being lame and didn’t make this any funnier. It just made you wonder if it was really true what they said about the special guest cancelling out on them, because I can’t think of any other logical reason why they would film this mess. A huge disappointment; easily the worst digital short ever, so far.
• I hope the Lonely Island crew isn’t running out of ideas. Last week, they brought back Laser Cats again for no apparent reason, and then this week, we got this Daiquiri Girl debacle. Maybe they need to take a break from digital shorts for a few shows; they’ve done a new one each week since the writer’s strike ended. I thought they would do a short with Ashton in it tonight, since he seems like he would fit well in a good digital short.
Sketch - Jamie Lee Curtis for Activia Yogurt
• Kristen did a good JLC impression, but what was this? I thought this would be great once Kristen stepped out as JLC and I laughed at the first “yogurt that makes you crap” line, but then the entire thing just devolved to poop jokes for no good reason, and it wasn’t even pulled off all that well and didn’t go anywhere. And what was with the strange ending?
• Kinda disappointing to see Kristen resorting to this type of humor (for the second time, actually, since the Mirror Image sketch she did with Amy Adams had similar bathroom humor), but her bizarre upbeat delivery made this slightly better. But with better writing and an actual funny premise, this could’ve really gone somewhere.
Weekend Update - Poehler & Meyers, featuring Judy Grimes, Nicholas Fehn
• Best jokes: High School Musical 4, Obama/voters, Google image search, Miller beer
• Seth’s expression after Amy’s polish/fire joke was priceless.
• Kristen’s “just kidding” commentary was pointless and one-joke by itself, but Kristen’s delivery was amazing. I just had to chuckle at how she was rapidly saying all the “just kidding” stuff non-stop for a whole minute straight without messing up a single time. I wonder how she was able to memorize all that fast dialogue. But honestly, the rapid, nervous way of speaking reminded me of Penelope for some reason. I don’t like how Kristen’s characters are starting to blend together lately. Like last week in the Sue sketch, I pointed out that it seemed similar to Target Lady and the Publisher’s Clearing House sketch.
• Okay, Armisen’s Nicholas Fehn character has officially stopped being funny. I know some people hated this character from the start, but I loved this the first time, still liked it a lot the second time, but knew it would definitely get old if they did it once more. It’s the exact same thing every single time, and the joke has been run into the ground now. Plus, Fred just DID this character, like 3-4 episodes ago! He could at least change the character up a little.
Sketch - Song Memories
• Not this again. The first time they did this with Rainn Wilson, it was awesome and one of the best sketches from last season. But it should have stayed a one-shot sketch. None of the follow-ups have come anywhere close to being as good, and the disturbing stories from the guys are getting weaker and weaker each time.
• Forte’s pedophile/“that’s a pretty big word for a 10 year old” bit was the only really good story in this one. Even though I already heard that same joke somewhere else before, it was still hilarious and undoubtedly the best line of the sketch.
• Sudeikis’ coma story was okay, but his stories in the other sketches were far funnier. And Hader and Ashton’s stories were flat out lame, especially Ashton revealing he’s a woman. I mean, what was that?
• The “surprise” endings in these Memories sketches get more and more stupid. The YMCA thing was horrible.
Miscellaneous - Death by Chocolate #1
• After this first one ended, I thought it was the most random and unexpected thing I’d ever seen on SNL. I didn’t know what to make of it at first, but I wondered if they’d do a follow-up to it later in the show that would make more sense, and I turned out to be right. I didn’t really laugh much at this one, but this was really just the set-up for the following two funnier Death by Chocolates.
Sketch - The Mellow Show
• I remember Samberg’s impression of Jack Johnson before, in that lame JJ Casuals commercial back in ‘05 when he, Hader, Sudeikis, and Wiig were new featured players. In fact, that commercial was one of the very first lead roles Samberg ever had on the show. I remember a lot people really disliked him back then.
• Speaking of JJ Casuals, that commercial was actually referenced at the end of this sketch, which is strange. I wonder how many people even remember that commercial.
• This sketch was pretty lame, too. All the dead pets and “I also smoke weed” jokes were overkill and predictable, and there wasn’t much else to laugh at. I did get a laugh out of Samberg’s random “hackysack” line at the beginning, though.
• The only other part I liked was Hader’s impression of Dave Matthews. He showcased yet another dead-on impression, and he looked just like Matthews. And the sudden appearance of Kenan as Boyd playing the violin was hilarious. Kenan’s really having a rare “on” night; he made me laugh in all of his appearances so far tonight.
• The way Samberg looked in that short wig reminded me of Adam Sandler. He also sounded Sandler-esque towards the end when he sang the line “I for-got to feed hiiiiim”.
• Ashton didn’t really look anything like John Mayer until he made those faces when playing the guitar.
Miscellaneous - Death by Chocolate #2
• By this point, I started laughing at these Death by Chocolate bits a lot more and got the joke. Ashton in that giant bar costume shooting Sudeikis, planting the gun in the old lady’s hand, yanking out her life support tubes & wires, then running out of the room was just brilliant, dark, and priceless.
Sketch - Dusty the Paraplegic Stripper
• I heard before about this character of Casey’s, and that she had a clip of it in her online film reel, but that film reel video got taken down before I got to see it for myself. I’m actually now glad I missed the video, though, because I might not have found this sketch as funny if I had already seen it before.
• Anyway, I now got to see what the big deal about this character is. This was just hilarious and disturbing at the same time. I loved it. Ashton having to make Casey do all that, and Casey’s expressions and vocal sounds were so funny.
• Tonight, Casey finally gets her breakout episode, with this and the cougar ladies sketch. I couldn’t really form an opinion of her before with all her small straight roles, but judging from her work tonight, she seems very funny and promising and I hope she’ll bring other interesting, fresh characters and ideas to the table.
• Andy’s horrified expressions and reactions were the best out of all the guys.
Miscellaneous - Death by Chocolate #3
• My favorite one of the three. The freeze-frame with Ashton popping out of the dressing booth with the chainsaw pointed at Andy was an awesome unexpected ending.
• These Chocolate segments are still some of the strangest and darkest things SNL has ever done, but definitely in a good way. I wonder if these were filmed by the Lonely Island guys. This certainly fits their type of humor a lot more than that pathetic digital short from earlier tonight.
• Death by Chocolate
• The Cougar Den
• Dusty the Paraplegic Stripper
• The Seth/Amy parts of Weekend Update
• Hader’s Robert Byrd impression
• Forte’s pedophile story in Song Memories
• Daiquiri Girl (pains me to put this under here because the digital shorts are usually the biggest laugh of the episode, but hey, I guess even the Lonely Island guys are entitled to an off night)
• Armisen as Nicholas Fehn
• The Mellow Show
• Jamie Lee Curtis for Activia Yogurt
• Song Memories
Best Performer of the Night:
• Will Forte / Casey Wilson
A good episode, but was also inconsistent in places. The show began just fine, then there was a slump right around the middle (not including Update) from the digital short to the Mellow Show, but the show bounced back very nicely at the end with a great final sketch (Stripper) and the Death By Chocolate bits.
Ashton Kutcher mostly seemed to get straight man roles tonight, especially in the first half of the show. That may be a good thing, though, because he really annoys me when he gets too spastic and loud, which thankfully didn’t happen at all tonight. His shining role of the night was the Death by Chocolate segments, even though they were pre-taped and he had no dialogue in them. But his actions and facial expressions in them were perfect and brilliant. Overall, tonight’s show was certainly a lot better than Kutcher’s horrible 04-05 episode (although most of that season sucked in general).
CASTMEMBER/HOST COUNT DOWN:
ARMISEN: 4 sketches (Petraeus, Monologue, Bouncer, Update)
FORTE: 5 sketches (Petraeus, Monologue, Bouncer, Memories, Paraplegic Stripper)
HADER: 5 sketches (Petraeus, Bouncer, Activia, Memories, Mellow Show)
HAMMOND: 1 sketch (Petraeus)
MEYERS: 1 sketch (Update)
POEHLER: 6 sketches (Petraeus, Monologue, Cougar Den, Bouncer, Activia, Update)
SAMBERG: 7 sketches (Petraeus, Monologue, Bouncer, Digital Short, Mellow Show, Paraplegic Stripper, Chocolate #3)
SUDEIKIS: 5 sketches (Petraeus, Bouncer, Memories, Chocolate #2, Paraplegic Stripper)
THOMPSON: 5 sketches (Monologue, Cougar Den, Bouncer, Mellow Show, Paraplegic Stripper)
WIIG: 5 sketches (Petraeus, Cougar Den, Activia, Update, Paraplegic Stripper)
WILSON: 4 sketches (Petraeus, Cougar Den, Paraplegic Stripper, Chocolate #3)
ASHTON KUTCHER: 10 sketches (Monologue, Cougar Den, Bouncer, Activia, Memories, Chocolate #1, Mellow Show, Chocolate #2, Paraplegic Stripper, Chocolate #3)