Alec Baldwin / Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
May 15, 2010


***** = Excellent, a possible future classic

**** = Great

*** = Average

** = Meh

* = How'd this get past dress?



Cold Opening - Oil Spill Press Conference

• The opening “And now, a message from the people who ruined our ocean” line was pretty funny.

• A decent cold opening. Some of their bad suggestions made me laugh, such as the “dolphins with mops” one.

• The bit with Fred saying “You may ask yourself, how can that possibly work?” then not following that up was kinda funny, but SNL already used that same joke before in a Joe Biden cold opening from earlier this season.

• I found Jason to be the funniest of the three performers, especially with his fist pump. Bill’s British accent was very good, too, and I enjoyed his LFNY delivery.

Stars: ***



Monologue - Alec Baldwin

• The bit with Steve Martin on the TV monitor was pretty funny, and I liked Steve’s Facebook joke. However, he should’ve been on longer.

• The rest of the monologue was pretty forgettable. The speech could’ve been much funnier and the Charlie Sheen punchline at the end didn’t work for me.

Stars: **½



Digital Short - Great Day

• I thought this would be stupid at first, but it turned out to make me laugh. My favorite parts were Andy swearing at the person who tapped his shoulder, Andy suddenly saying “Or was it?” with a demonic face and voice, and Alec's remark to Andy. Oh, and the Jorma cameo was nice.

• Did anyone else notice Andy looked kinda like Michael Cera at some points during this short, or was that just me?

• Also on a similar note, this sounds kinda strange but Nasim strongly resembled Casey Wilson to me in this short. Something about her facial expression.

Stars: ***½



Sketch - Arizona Evenings

• No comment. Instead, I’ll just copy and paste my review of the Don’t Make Me Sing sketch from the Jon Hamm episode, which sums up this sketch perfectly: “Oh boy, here it is... Kristen Wiig + hammy character + unfunny one-joke script + first sketch of the night = you know how it goes.”

Stars: *



Sketch - Hudson Valley High School Sports Awards

• This was decent, although it seemed almost like a cheap excuse to just have the whole cast appear in this sketch. I usually enjoy full-cast sketches, but not when most of them have no lines and only appear for two seconds like in this sketch.

• Alec’s performance and delivery was great, and helped make this material funny when it could’ve fell flat with most normal hosts. Some of his insults were pretty good.

• I also liked the exchange between Alec and Jason.

• Did you notice Jessi Klein in the background? I always like when she makes an on-screen appearance.

• Sadly, this was Will Forte’s ONLY appearance of the whole episode, and he only appeared at the beginning of this sketch and had no funny dialogue. If this DOES turn out to be his last show like many of us are speculating, then this is a sad, SAD way for a strong castmember like him to go out. But unfortunately, this has been the case for Will all season. They barely gave him anything to do this year.

Stars: ***



Sketch - Bedilia and Dad

• How DO you spell the name of Nasim’s character anyway? Also, am I crazy or did Alec accidentally call her “Belinda” at first when the sketch started?

• Anyway, I didn’t mind seeing this character return tonight, as her first appearance in the Tina Fey episode grew on me after a few viewings. And Nasim always does an excellent job performing this low-key role and she makes it enjoyable to watch. And at least this one didn’t have Justin Bieber to ruin it.

• However, I feel that the pattern/format of tonight’s sketch followed her first installment a little too closely, even down to having Jenny & Abby, and Andy & Bobby play the same roles (but then again, I guess those four along with Nasim are the only performers in this cast who can convincingly play teenagers), and having Nasim’s character fall for a boy with similar traits to her at the end. If this character continues to make future appearances, they need to add a little more variety to the scripts.

Stars: ***



Commercial - Prenivia

• Abby’s Sally Field voice was absolutely DEAD ON. She sounded EXACTLY like her. I actually almost forgot exactly how talented an impressionist Abby is, but it is easy to forget considering she has gotten practically no airtime these last few months, and the last noteworthy impression she did was way back in January when she played Meryl Streep.

• This commercial itself wasn’t that great, though, and I can see why it kept getting cut after dress so many times. I did laugh at Abby’s “I’m not f***ing around here” line at the end, though.

Stars: **



Sketch - Grady Wilson’s Intimate & International

• Aw, not this again. I've gotten so tired of this routine.

• I did kinda like Alec’s character, though, if only for his Greek accent. The accent cracked me up and it provided my only chuckles in this sketch.

• I know Alec has put on the pounds in recent years, but something about the way he looked in this sketch made him appear even fatter than usual. Must've been the tight shirt.

Stars: *½



Weekend Update - Seth Meyers, featuring Snooki, Stefon, Garth and Kat

• Best jokes: New York Knicks, suicide couple

• I usually enjoy Bobby’s Snooki appearances, but SNL’s using it a little too often and they clearly had no real material for him tonight. Tonight’s appearance was nothing more than an endless string of orange jokes. Bobby’s earlier Snooki appearances actually used to have more to it than that. Also, Seth’s little comments to her like “You’re breathtaking” and “Don’t ever change” are getting old. However, I did like Bobby’s Prison Break comparison; that was pretty clever.

• Stefon again? Wasn’t he on just two episodes ago? I know a lot of people loved Bill losing it in his last Stefon appearance, but Bill’s increasing difficulty in keeping a straight face is really becoming an issue with me. Let’s get real, Stefon is FAR from the only time Bill has broken character this season; is it REALLY that much of a surprise anymore? In fact, this appearance alone makes this the third episode in a row with Bill cracking up on the show. I hate to say he’s going down the Jimmy Fallon path like other people are saying because at one time, Bill actually used to be on the same level as Dan Aykroyd, Chris Parnell, and Phil Hartman when it came to being a pro at keeping a straight face, but if Bill keeps this up, it won’t be long until he actually does reach Fallon levels of unprofessionalism. I love Hader too much to want to see him end up that way. He needs to get his shit together.

• That being said, tonight’s Stefon commentary was still okay and I got some laughs from it. His best lines were the German Smurfs bit and his explanation of what a human bathmat is.

• As if there hasn’t been enough recycling of old characters on tonight’s Update, now they had to drag out fucking Garth and Kat again! I hate this routine; it’s just a lame excuse for Fred to ad-lib unfunny songs so he can crack up Kristen and himself, and hasn’t there ALREADY been enough unprofessionalism in tonight’s Update anyway with Bill cracking himself up as Stefon earlier?

• There was nothing noteworthy in tonight’s Garth and Kat installment, and this seemed to go on even longer than their usual appearances. THESE are the two characters Weekend Update ends the season with? Well, I guess it’s a fitting end considering how tired Update in general has been this season. Seth’s Updates are really becoming sad to watch; his delivery has become very bland, weak, and overly-smug, the jokes are uninspired and forgettable, and the guest commentaries lately have just been an excuse to trot out overdone recurring characters/impressions, most of whom only have a few months in between appearances (or in Stefon’s case, two mere WEEKS).

Stars: **



Sketch - Timecrowave

• I didn’t know where this was going at first, but once the joke was revealed, I laughed pretty consistently for the rest of the sketch. Although the writing seemed to get slightly TOO carried away at one or two points with throwing in overly-strange things (the ram horns were a little too cheesy for my likes). I still liked this sketch overall, though.

• My favorite part was the Nazi flags in the background; that was a hilarious subtle gag and takes a few seconds to notice at first.

Stars: ***½



Sketch - Turner Classic Movies presents: Whistle If You Can

• I chuckled at the beginning during Bill’s intro. He didn’t say anything funny, but just his demeanor and the look on his face amused me.

• This was a REALLY long, boring set-up just to get to a mere handjob joke. I mean, I did kinda laugh at first at Alec’s first mention of a handjob, but in the end, it wasn’t really worth such a lengthy set-up and nothing funny happened after the first handjob mention. And the sketch ended way too abruptly.

• I’ve pretty much soured on Jenny Slate these last two months, but I admit her performance in this sketch wasn’t too bad... for HER standards anyway. And speaking about my turning against Jenny, you have to remember that I actually used to support her from the start. In fact, go back and re-read my review of the Taylor Lautner episode; I defended the hell out of Jenny in that review. It’s just that I haven’t been happy with most of what I’ve seen from her these last few months and I’ve slowly started to understand exactly why a lot of people don’t like her. But the point is, I DID give her a chance with an open mind in the first half of this season. I get the feeling that a majority of Jenny’s haters disliked her from the get-go.

• Were we supposed to see Alec and Jenny drop character at the end and walk off-camera? That was kinda awkward. I get the feeling that was a mistiming on Alec’s part and he assumed the camera already faded to black.

Stars: **



Sketch - Take the Shot

• I liked this better the first time... when it was called Suel Forrester!

• As unoriginal and dumb as this was, I admit Alec’s repeated mumbling of “Tay the Shaw” did kinda make me chuckle the first two minutes, but only because of Alec’s funny delivery. But the writing in this sketch was terrible and as I mentioned above, this was basically the same joke from the Suel Forrester sketches, only this made even LESS sense since you could actually understand what Alec was trying to say and this revolved around only one phrase, whereas the Forrester sketches had him mumbling a variety of different words that you could never decipher.

• Also, the homoerotic stuff added in this sketch wasn’t necessary. Typical 09-10.

• I’m getting tired of there being so much of Kenan; it seemed like he was in almost every single sketch tonight. Meanwhile, Jason Sudeikis was in only three sketches. What’s wrong with this picture?

• And was this really appropriate as “final sketch of the season” material? I realize that not every season can end with a show-stopping, memorable, full-cast piece like last year’s Goodnight Saigon, the Grease parody from Jimmy Fallon’s last show, or So Long Farewell from 93-94, but this one-joke three-performer sketch felt like an empty, underwhelming way to end the year.

Stars: *½




Episode Highlights:

• Timecrowave

• Digital Short

• Alec’s performance in Hudson Valley High School Sports Awards

• Nasim’s performance as Bedilia


Episode Lowlights:

• Arizona Evenings

• Grady Wilson’s Intimate & International

• Take the Shot

• most of Weekend Update

• Whistle If You Can

• the second half of the Monologue


Best Performer of the Night:

• Alec Baldwin




The season ends with a show that was pretty much par for the course this year; an overall forgettable episode and nothing that stood out to me as classic or very memorable. This wasn’t a horrible episode, but it was a letdown for both an Alec Baldwin episode and the season finale (still, nothing beats Alec’s 93-94 episode with Kim Basinger as Alec’s all-time worst; that one was just terrible). I had hopes after last week’s very memorable Betty White show that this overall disappointing season would end on a strong note with TWO great episodes, but I guess that was asking for too much...


Alec however did a very good job hosting as always, and he was his usual funny self and helped make some of the weaker material slightly more tolerable. However, I couldn’t help but notice he seemed a bit under-rehearsed tonight with some of the mistakes he made, such as calling Nasim by the wrong name at the beginning of the Bedilia sketch, a few long silent pauses before speaking in the Grady Wilson sketch, facing the wrong camera at one point in the Timecrowave sketch, dropping character on-camera at the end of the TCM movie sketch, and a few screw-ups he had in “Take the Shot”. I hope this isn’t a sign that Alec is growing uninterested in SNL, because he’s usually much more professional than this.




ARMISEN: 4 sketches (Press Conference, Digital Short, Hudson Valley, Update)

FORTE: 1 sketch (Hudson Valley)

HADER: 6 sketches (Press Conference, Digital Short, Hudson Valley, Bedilia, Update, Whistle If You Can)

MEYERS: 1 sketch (Update)

SAMBERG: 4 sketches (Digital Short, Arizona Evenings, Hudson Valley, Bedilia)

SUDEIKIS: 3 sketches (Press Conference, Hudson Valley, Take the Shot)

THOMPSON: 5 sketches (Arizona Evenings, Hudson Valley, Grady Wilson, Timecrowave, Take the Shot)

WIIG: 4 sketches (Arizona Evenings, Hudson Valley, Update, Timecrowave)


ELLIOTT: 4 sketches (Arizona Evenings, Hudson Valley, Bedilia, Prenivia)

MOYNIHAN: 6 sketches (Digital Short, Arizona Evenings, Hudson Valley, Bedilia, Update, Timecrowave)

PEDRAD: 3 sketches (Digital Short, Hudson Valley, Bedilia)

SLATE: 3 sketches (Hudson Valley, Bedilia, Whistle If You Can)


ALEC BALDWIN: 9 sketches (Monologue, Digital Short, Arizona Evenings, Hudson Valley, Bedilia, Grady Wilson, Timecrowave, Whistle If You Can, Take the Shot)



2009-2010 YEAR IN REVIEW


To start, here’s my list of best/worst sketch, best performer, and overall rating for each episode:


Megan Fox/U2

BEST SKETCH: Live Lounge

WORST SKETCH: Biker Chick Chat




Ryan Reynolds/Lady Gaga

BEST SKETCH: On the Ground / So You Committed a Crime & You Think You Can Dance

WORST SKETCH: Deep House Dish




Drew Barrymore/Regina Spektor


WORST SKETCH: Larry King Live / Gilly / Brenda & Sean




Gerard Butler/Shakira

BEST SKETCH: Beauty and the Beast / What Up With That?

WORST SKETCH: Trina (a.k.a. the "Thomas!" lady)

BEST PERFORMER: Bill Hader / Jason Sudeikis



Taylor Swift

BEST SKETCH: Bunny Business


BEST PERFORMER: Jason Sudeikis / Bill Hader



January Jones/Black Eyed Peas

BEST SKETCH: A Lady’s Guide to Throwing a Party

WORST SKETCH: Gay Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde / Farting Grace Kelly / WIIX News / Today ... hell, almost the whole fucking episode!

BEST PERFORMER: Jason Sudeikis



Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Dave Matthews Band

BEST SKETCH: Two Worlds Collide / Say Anything

WORST SKETCH: Dysfunctional Thanksgiving Dinner

BEST PERFORMER: Joseph Gordon-Levitt



Blake Lively/Rihanna

BEST SKETCH: Potato Chip Thief / Kickspit Underground Rock Festival

WORST SKETCH: Virginiaca

BEST PERFORMER: Jason Sudeikis



Taylor Lautner/Bon Jovi


WORST SKETCH: Surprise Sue / Football Taping

BEST PERFORMER: Jason Sudeikis / Andy Samberg



James Franco/Muse

BEST SKETCH: Vincent Price's Christmas Special / The Tizzle Wizzle Show

WORST SKETCH: The Kissing Family




Charles Barkley/Alicia Keys






Sigourney Weaver/The Ting Tings

BEST SKETCH: Laser Cats 5

WORST SKETCH: Disco Booty Junction / Riley

BEST PERFORMER: Jason Sudeikis



Jon Hamm/Michael Buble

BEST SKETCH: Closet Organizer / Sergio / Tarkie Fenzington

WORST SKETCH: Don’t Make Me Sing / Stenographer




Ashton Kutcher/Them Crooked Vultures

BEST SKETCH: Punk Rock Wedding / An Even-Tempered Apology from Rahm Emanuel

WORST SKETCH: The View / Rome 160 A.D.




Jennifer Lopez

BEST SKETCH: Smashmouth in the Bedroom

WORST SKETCH: Hollywood Dish / Car Horns and More

BEST PERFORMER: Bill Hader / Bobby Moynihan



Zach Galifianakis/Vampire Weekend

BEST SKETCH: Monologue / Zach Drops By the Set

WORST SKETCH: President Obama on Health Care Reform / The Kissing Family

BEST PERFORMER: Zach Galifianakis



Jude Law/Pearl Jam

BEST SKETCH: Twilight Zone

WORST SKETCH: Stenographer / Monologue

BEST PERFORMER: Bill Hader / Bobby Moynihan / Nasim Pedrad



Tina Fey/Justin Bieber

BEST SKETCH: Sarah Palin Network

WORST SKETCH: Lonely Teacher / Al Roker’s Ruff, Rugged, and Roker

BEST PERFORMER: Jason Sudeikis / Tina Fey



Ryan Phillippe/Ke$ha

BEST SKETCH: Underground Rock Minute / The Shake Weight Commercial DVD

WORST SKETCH: The Other Man / Monologue / Hip Hop Kids / ESPN Classic / Song Memories / Larry King Live

BEST PERFORMER: Jason Sudeikis / Will Forte / Bobby Moynihan



Gabourey Sidibe/MGMT


WORST SKETCH: 2010 Public Employees of the Year Awards / A Message from President Obama / Alarm Clocks and More




Betty White/Jay-Z

BEST SKETCH: Monologue / MacGruber / Delicious Dish / CSI: Sarasota

WORST SKETCH: Manuel Ortiz / Lawrence Welk




Alec Baldwin/Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

BEST SKETCH: Timecrowave

WORST SKETCH: Arizona Evenings






Best Episodes

1. Jon Hamm/Michael Buble

2. Betty White/Jay-Z

3. Blake Lively/Rihanna

4. Ryan Reynolds/Lady Gaga

5. Gerard Butler/Shakira


Worst Episodes

1. January Jones/Black Eyed Peas

2. Drew Barrymore/Regina Spektor

3. Taylor Lautner/Bon Jovi

4. Sigourney Weaver/The Ting Tings

5. Ryan Phillippe/Ke$ha


Best Sketches

1. Potato Chip Thief

2. Zach Drops By the Set (I know this isn’t a “sketch”, but it wasn’t billed as a Digital Short either and I had to find somewhere to categorize this fantastic segment)

3. Beauty and the Beast

4. Sarah Palin Network

5. Punk Rock Wedding

6. Say Anything

7. Vincent Price's Christmas Special

8. Smashmouth in the Bedroom

9. Delicious Dish

10. Bunny Business


Worst Sketches

1. Gay Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

2. Farting Grace Kelly

3. Trina (a.k.a. the "Thomas!" lady)

4. Larry King Live (the “wieners” installment from the Drew Barrymore episode)

5. Gilly

6. Lonely Teacher

7. Surprise Sue

8. 2010 Public Employees of the Year Awards

9. Disco Booty Junction

10. Riley


Best Digital Shorts

1. Sergio

2. Two Worlds Collide

3. The Tizzle Wizzle Show


Worst Digital Shorts

1. The Other Man

2. Brenda & Sean

3. Boombox


Best Hosts

1. Jon Hamm

2. Betty White

3. Zach Galifianakis

4. Joseph Gordon-Levitt

5. Alec Baldwin


Worst Hosts

1. January Jones

2. Megan Fox

3. Ryan Phillippe

4. Jennifer Lopez

5. Gabourey Sidibe


Best Cold Openings

1. White House Crashers

2. Fox News (Taylor Swift episode)

3. The Rock Obama


Worst Cold Openings

1. President Obama on Health Care Reform

2. President Obama describes his Wall Street lunch

3. Mark Sanford, John Ensign, and John Edwards Press Conference


Best Monologues

1. Zach Galifianakis

2. Betty White

3. Joseph Gordon-Levitt


Worst Monologues

1. Jude Law

2. Ryan Phillippe

3. Jennifer Lopez


Best Commercials

1. Closet Organizer

2. Kickspit Underground Rock Festival

3. The Shake Weight Commercial DVD


Worst Commercials

1. Cialis for Threeways

2. Prenivia



And finally... my take on what needs to be done for the upcoming 2010-2011 season:

• FIRST AND FOREMOST - a major revamp of the writing staff. The writing this season has shown many signs of running very low on creativity while becoming very stale, uninspired, and weak. The over-reliance on so many lazily carbon-copied, rewritten, one-note recurring sketches as a crutch this season is just one of many evidence of that. Keep only some of the newer, younger, fresher writers like John Mulaney, Michael Patrick O’Brien, Hannibal Burress, and Jessi Klein, and get rid of all the dead weight who have been there for years and have nothing original to offer anymore (I’m looking in your direction, Paula Pell).


• Far, FAR less reliance on copy-and-paste recurring sketches. I’ve gone into this issue COUNTLESS times in my reviews this season (and took some heat for that from some board members after my Ryan Phillippe review), so I don’t feel like elaborating again here.


• Do something about Seth Meyers. Being the head writer, he’s responsible as one of the main reasons for this season’s writing taking such a decline, and his Weekend Updates have taken a depressing dive in quality as well and I’ve grown extremely tired of his style. I’d rather have Seth leave the show entirely because he’s clearly run his course, but I know there’s no way of that happening this summer. So next season, a realistic scenario can be SNL bringing in a new co-head writer to back Seth up (*crosses fingers for John Mulaney*), while slowly phasing Seth out over the course of the season. Do something similar for Weekend Update; give Seth a new co-anchor and groom that person to take over Update solo after Seth hopefully leaves at the end of the 10-11 season. If they want someone in the current writing staff to be Seth’s new co-anchor, then I suggest Jessi Klein as a candidate.


• Stop letting Jim Downey write the political cold openings. The political writing this season has been an absolute disappointment, coming off as uninspired, unfunny, and formulaic, and relying way too much on Fred’s absolutely bland Obama impression with no good material to back him up. When listing the top 3 best cold openings of the season earlier in this review, I was really hard-pressed to come up with even just three; that’s how lousy the cold openings have been all year.


• Less Wiig. I’m not going to repeat this throughout my list like I did in last year’s “Hopes for the upcoming 09-10 season” list, but this is still a very important point that needs to be stressed. Less Wiig. Less Wiig. Less Wiig.


• Let Fred Armisen and Will Forte leave this summer. It kinda hurts me to say that; Fred and Will have been two of my favorite castmembers for most of their SNL tenure (actually, Forte still is), and they really deserve a lot of credit for being the two biggest saving graces of SNL from 2002-2005 (a.k.a. the post-Ferrell slump years), before Hader, Sudeikis, Samberg, and Wiig came in. And the 09-10 season would be a disappointing end to both Fred and Will’s tenures and they each certainly deserve a big send-off. But truthfully, I still don’t find it necessary to give either of them a 9th season; staying on beyond 8 seasons is overkill for ANY performer, and Tim Meadows was the only castmember who was able to stay on that long without ever getting stale (and that was mostly because he was never used in his first 3 seasons so it didn’t feel like he was actually on for 9 years).


Will’s unfortunate lack of airtime this season has proven that the writers don’t seem to know what to do with him anymore and I don’t see things getting any better for him if he stays for the 2010-11 season. However, he has still given us a few classic moments of his usual brilliance this season like Potato Chip Thief, Closet Organizer, and of course MacGruber. So basically, when Will was actually used this season, he was still his usual awesome self, but the problem is his talent was largely wasted in a season that desperately could have benefited from more of his brand of humor. If Will stays on next season and if the writing quality gets even worse, then I picture Will being completely unused and out-of-place like Kevin Nealon was in his 9th season in 94-95.


And Fred has ESPECIALLY had a disappointing season. He’s actually gotten quite a lot of airtime, unlike Will, but the problem is that they’re using him in the wrong way. Fred had always excelled in character work in a similar vein to the original Woman-to-Woman sketch and Punk Rock Wedding, but aside from those two examples, we barely if ever saw stuff like that from Fred this season (and Woman-to-Woman was kinda ruined by them making it recurring for no reason and running the formula into the ground). More often than not, this season instead gave us Fred’s dull-as-hell Obama impression opening the show every two weeks, annoying one-note nonsense like Riley, Elinda the stenographer, and Garth & Kat, him being cast in every gay role the writers come up with, and too many bland, forgettable straightman roles. I have a feeling the quality of Fred’s roles will continue to drop even further if he does stays on next season, especially if the writing next season doesn’t improve.


• I would like Kenan Thompson to leave this summer as well, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he does, but I can also see him returning for one final season. If he does return, SNL needs to at least bring in a new black male featured player while phasing Kenan out next season. And preferably, the new black male featured player should be one who actually knows how to impersonate the president.


• I say this EVERY year, but it cannot be stressed enough - let Jason Sudeikis carry the show. Jason has proven over the years that he’s the closest this current cast will ever truly get to a Will Ferrell (and don’t give me that “Kristen Wiig is the new Ferrell” bullshit; that woman is NOTHING like Ferrell), but for some reason, SNL doesn’t give Jason enough opportunities to lead the show similar to how Ferrell did, even though Jason certainly has that potential to. However, in the 2009 half of this season, we finally got to see a lot more of Jason, he was giving a lot of impressive strong performances, and it seemed like SNL was finally realizing that he should be the main player of this cast. And you have to remember that Jason pretty much singlehandedly made the disastrous January Jones episode slightly watchable... and that was no easy task. But in the second half of the season, his airtime dwindled again and there were too many episodes with him not getting many chances to stand out. Seeing as how this was Jason’s 5th season (hell, 6th if you count his brief stint at the end of 04-05), maybe I just need to accept that SNL will probably never allow him to be the consistent undisputed star of the show. It just upsets me, though, because Lorne has no problem shoving a one-note performer like Kristen Wiig or Kenan Thompson down our throats and forcing those two as the stars of this current cast, but an actual alpha male-worthy, always-funny, and likeable performer like Sudeikis is kept on the sidelines way too often. I... I-I just don’t get it.


• Bill Hader has always had potential to be the star of the show as well, but lately he’s been worrying me a bit with his character breaks. I get the feeling he’s not taking SNL as seriously as he used to. But other than that, Bill is just fine. Once he gets his shit back together with staying in character, I’d like to see SNL give him the leadership treatment along with Sudeikis.


• Finally promote Bobby Moynihan to regular cast; the man has more than earned it.


• Keep Nasim Pedrad. She’s been by far the most impressive of the female featured players this season; some of the sketches she does are of a different, refreshing kind of humor and she has a likeable charm in many of her performances. In general, I just like Nasim a lot. Sometimes her mere presence is enough to brighten up a weak sketch for me, even if she doesn’t have anything funny to do in it (like the Other Man digital short), but I admit part of that is probably because I find her very attractive and very cute. But anyway, I see some good things coming in Nasim’s SNL future if she stays on. Don’t fuck up the same way you did with Michaela Watkins last year, Lorne.


• And finally... out of Abby Elliott and Jenny Slate, I get the feeling that one of them will be let go this summer. In last week’s review, I said I’m pretty sure it will turn out to be Abby, given her major lack of screentime in the second half of this season and the fact that she has no actual characters and has yet to star in a real sketch, even after being on the show for TWO YEARS. But her Sally Field commercial in the season finale served as a nice reminder of how strong of an impressionist she actually is. The problem is, impressions seems to be all Abby can do, but if Darrell Hammond was allowed to be SNL’s resident impressionist, why can’t she? She just needs better writing to back her impressions up and more opportunities to show off her talent for mimicry. I figured Jenny Slate might be safe simply because she’s only been on one year and she does have a recurring character that has appeared several times (the Doorbells lady)... but you know what, so did Michaela Watkins; Michaela wasn’t even on for a full season (she joined in November ’08 after the elections) and her Bitch Pleeze blogger character became quite popular online, yet she was STILL fired. So you never know what could happen with Jenny. And Michaela definitely proved to be 100 times the performer that Jenny ever was.


At least Abby has something unique with her impersonation skills. Is there really anything Jenny can do that Nasim not only can’t do, but can’t do better? And Nasim adds a little something to each of her performances (like I said, it's this certain charm and subtlety she has) and she never comes off awkward like Jenny tends to a lot of times. Imagine Nasim’s Bedilia character being played by Jenny; I just can’t see it coming off quite as well as it does with Nasim. And on the other side, imagine Nasim in Jenny’s role in the Alec Baldwin/Turner Classic Movies sketch. I thought Jenny actually wasn’t bad in that, but I can picture Nasim performing that role even better.


So I’d say out of the female featured players, Jenny’s the most expendable, but unfortunately it’ll probably be Abby instead who gets let go.


Before ending my already ridiculously-lengthy Year-In Review, I want to say something else about this season. Starting back in December in my review of the James Franco episode, I began making comparisons between this season and the 1993-1994 season. Here are some quotes: “93-94 is known by many SNL fans to be a somewhat-weak year overall; while that's true, 93-94 actually started out okay in the first half of the season. There was a noticeable step down in quality from 92-93 and some problems with the show were definitely becoming evident. And to quote SNL Transcripts: "1993 is also the onset of "SNL"'s habit to return characters that pulled out all the necessary stops during the first installment - ie. Tiny Elvis, Matt Foley, "The Denise Show", and the Herlihy Boy." But the show overall was still decent in the first half of the season.” ………… “The first half of this new 2009-10 season so far is just okay, but there's definitely a noticeable step down in quality from 08-09 and problems are really starting to become evident. And this season also has a particularly annoying habit of returning way too many characters that pulled out all the necessary stops during the first installment - i.e. What Up With That, Dysfunctional Holiday Dinner, ESPN Classic, etc.... All of this sound familiar?” ………… “If 09-10 continues to emulate/parallel 93-94, then the second half of this season will get even worse than the first half has been, like the second half of 93-94 did, and we'll REALLY see a downhill slide.” ………… “Now, I could be looking a little too much into things, but this is just how I see it, and don't be surprised if that's how the second half of this season ends up playing out. After all, history does repeat itself sometimes.”


So even as early as December, I could see that this season was following a very similar pattern as 93-94, and it looks like my prediction turned out to be accurate, because the second half of this season after the Jon Hamm episode DID get noticeably worse and it became rare to see a strong episode for the remainder of the season... just like how the second half of 93-94 got worse.


The February-April period of the 09-10 season was a long, endless string of disappointing episodes ranging from forgettable to downright mediocre, with the Tina Fey episode being the closest they came to a high point (and even that episode wasn’t that good overall, especially compared to Tina's excellent episode from '08) and the Ryan Phillippe and Gabourey Sidibe episodes being the true low point for me (yeah, I know, I know... some people here liked the Ryan Phillippe show, but I was bored out of my mind watching that episode and honestly, I barely laughed during the whole 90 minutes which is very rare for me... that’s just my opinion). This discouraging streak of subpar episodes finally ended in May with the successful Betty White episode, but it was unfortunately followed by an unremarkable and forgettable end to the season with the Alec Baldwin finale.


So looking back at this season overall, you can find a surprising amount of similarities to the 93-94 season. And when you think about it, last season in 08-09, there were a lot of similarities to the 1992-1993 season. I don’t feel like going into too much of an analysis on EVERY similarity, but the three main ones are that 92-93 and 08-09 were an election year featuring excellent, memorable political satire from SNL, both seasons were overall very strong, and both seasons experienced a beloved veteran departing mid-season (Dana Carvey, Amy Poehler).


So 08-09 = 92-93, 09-10 = 93-94, 10-11 = .... see where this pattern is going? I really have this bad feeling that next season is going to be the next 94-95. And like I pointed out in a previous review, the infamous worst seasons of SNL always seem to begin or end on an anniversary year for the show (1980, 1985, 1995, 2005). Well, 2010 happens to be an anniversary year as well...


I’m really worried that the upcoming 2010-11 season can potentially be the worst season since 94-95 if there aren’t enough changes made to the show this summer (mainly in the writing staff). I already noticed my enthusiasm/anticipation for new episodes dwindled towards the end of this season, and while I love writing these episode reviews, it will be really tough for me to be inspired to continue doing reviews for next season if the show indeed turns out to take the 94-95 path like I’m predicting (honestly, I’m amazed at how jojo is able to do retro-reviews for so many of those awful 94-95 episodes - I'd give up about midway through that season if that was me reviewing that year). The 2004-05 season was bad enough; I remember somewhere in the mid-point of that season, I couldn’t even bring myself to do full episode reviews anymore because of how unhappy I was with the shitty quality that season. Starting around February or March of 2005, my “reviews” for the remainder of that season weren’t even sketch-by-sketch reviews like usual; they consisted of me only listing what the best and worst sketches for each episode were and doing the Castmember Count Down stats. I actually might have to go back to doing just that if next season gets worse.


Anyway, that’s all from me this season. See you in the hopefully-improved 2010-11 season. Until then, for the next few months I’ll be posting retro-reviews of the 92-93 season, and possibly the 91-92 season afterwards (yep, I’m apparently going in backwards order by season). Have a great summer everyone.