Zach Galifianakis / Jessie J
March 12, 2011


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

**** = Great

*** = Average

** = Meh

* = How'd this get past dress?


Cold Opening - Selection Sunday

• Two non-political cold openings in a row!

• An interesting sketch that took a fun, creative, and unexpected approach to parodying celebrities in the news. Why couldn’t the writers have been this inventive last week with the Charlie Sheen cold opening?

• Andy’s Dick Vitale made me laugh, although he’s got nothing on Jay Mohr’s superior impression.

• Bill’s Charlie Sheen was even funnier this time. Loved his line “The pyramids were built by the Wayans Brothers”, followed by his creepy stare afterwards.

Stars: ***½


Monologue - Zach Galifianakis

• Zach’s first monologue from last season was absolutely classic and I was wondering if he could top that tonight... he managed to do so with flying colors. This monologue was an absolute fucking riot from beginning to end; by far, the funniest monologue of the season!

• Among the many highlights were the Axe/Ask Body Spray racist joke, Zach trying out several characters, and of course the entire lip-synched Annie bit with the various messages on the easel. And the way Zach kept licking his hand before tearing off each paper was a funny little touch that kept cracking me up.

• Great callback at the end to his last monologue with the “Hoobastank is here!” reference.

Stars: *****


Sketch - The Talk

• Was anybody even asking for a parody of this show? This sketch came off like an even more boring version of SNL’s View parodies, which is really saying something. This was very weak and dragged on and on with too many jokes bombing.

• The only laughs came from Vanessa as Sara Gilbert and Zach as The View fan in the audience.

• Abby looked EXACTLY like Leah Remini. Too bad I can’t say the same for her voice; it should’ve been much lower-pitched. She also stumbled really badly over one of her lines.

• Bill’s Steven Tyler impression was surprisingly weak. I would’ve cast Andy in that role instead since he has more of a resemblance to Steven Tyler.

Stars: *½


Commercial - The Original Kings of Catchphrase Comedy

• This was absolutely hilarious. An excellent parody of bad, gimmicky stand-up comedy specials. Bobby in particular killed me with his 90’s wigger comedian.

• Another highlight was Jason as White Bernie Mac. It was a quick bit, but Jason actually did a very accurate imitation of Bernie Mac’s voice.

• Seth in a sketch??!! Wow, that was very random. And was his character supposed to be based on himself, Boston Red Sox cap and all?

Stars: ****½


Sketch - Scared Straight

• I was hoping they had retired this sketch since it hadn’t appeared all season until now and it would be hard to top the last one with Betty White.

• Most of this sketch was the usual with nothing new, but the long hiatus probably did this some good as I was a bit more tolerable of this installment than usual. What saved this was definitely Zach’s Hannibal Lecter-esque character. I also liked the Oreo joke.

Stars: **½


Digital Short - Zach Looks for a New Assistant

• Strangely, this is the first Digital Short since January. I can’t remember the last time SNL had this long of a gap between shorts. Are they slowly trying to phase out the Digital Shorts?

• Obviously this was a follow-up to the “Zach Drops By the Set” film from last season, complete with a similar opening title sequence. While tonight’s short wasn’t anywhere near as funny, this was still pretty good and had its share of hilarious moments.

• Zach was excellent in his interaction with all the kids. My favorite was the crying scene at the end.

Stars: ***½


Weekend Update - Seth Meyers, featuring Julie Taymor, Liam the Teenager Who Just Woke Up

• Best jokes: none. After having one of his best Updates in years last week, Seth follows it up with one of his WORST. A majority of his jokes tonight were not only weak, but embarrassingly terrible and some barely got any laughs from the audience.

• The Julie Taymor commentary was pretty boring and forgettable. Kristen did the best she could with the material, but the dull writing just couldn’t be saved.

• Was it really necessary to bring back Andy’s Teenager Who Just Woke Up? It wasn’t even funny the first time, and was even more retarded and unfunny tonight. I think even Andy knew the bit was going nowhere judging by him breaking character and laughing towards the end. And I STILL think this character is a rip-off of Adam Sandler’s Sleepyhead bit.

Stars: *½


Sketch - Family Dog Announcement

• I really enjoyed this for the most part. It was nice to have an original, absurd, premise-driven sketch in a realistic setting (which we never get enough of these days), and the writing was clever with lots of funny bizarre lines.

• Loved the explanation of why Aunt Rita is in doggie heaven, as well as when it was finally announced that the dog died of autoerotic asphyxiation.

• The look Zach gave the dog porn magazine was a hilarious subtle touch. I also like how Kristen shot him an angry look after that.

• Unfortunately, the sketch ended on a very weak note with the dog talking and singing, especially when they screwed up the timing of the dog’s voice-over. Why do I get the feeling that the ending of this sketch was completely different at dress rehearsal and they wrote a new ending before the live show, which would explain the ending’s sloppiness?

Stars: ****


Sketch - Celebrity Scoop

• This was simply terrible. A very dull and uncreative snoozefest, and I can already tell that they’ll most likely end up making this recurring.

• Zach’s “ohhhhhhhhhh” character may have been stupid, but it provided the only thing closely resembling laughter in this otherwise awful sketch. For some reason, it also seemed like a character that Will Forte would’ve played.

Stars: *


Commercial - A Message from the Corn Syrup Producers

• Very funny commercial. Nasim gave an excellent performance in a role that we don’t usually see her in, and I loved her passive-aggressive rant to Kristen.

• Great ending, although it would’ve been even funnier had it been Zach in that role instead of Bobby.

Stars: ***½


Sketch - Titanic

• Not very good overall, but as usual Zach managed to get laughs out of a role that wouldn’t have worked with almost any other male host.

• Best parts were Zach hastily naming himself “Mrs. Boat”, and his Captain’s Log saying “Think I’ll blast through that iceberg... but first, tequila shots”.

• What the hell happened at the end? Did Zach just completely miss his cue when he was supposed to do the “Titanic!” freeze-frame pose?

Stars: **½




Episode Highlights:

• Monologue

• The Original Kings of Catchphrase Comedy

• Family Dog Announcement

• A Message from the Corn Syrup Producers


Episode Lowlights:

• Celebrity Scoop

• The Talk

• Weekend Update

• the botched endings of Family Dog Announcement and Titanic


Best Performer of the Night:

• Zach Galifianakis



ARMISEN: 3 sketches (Selection Sunday, Catchphrase Comedy, Celebrity Scoop)

ELLIOTT: 4 sketches (The Talk, Catchphrase Comedy, Family Dog, Titanic)

HADER: 6 sketches (Selection Sunday, The Talk, Scared Straight, Family Dog, Celebrity Scoop, Titanic)

MEYERS: 2 sketches (Catchphrase Comedy, Update)

MOYNIHAN: 5 sketches (Catchphrase Comedy, Scared Straight, Family Dog, Corn Syrup Producers, Titanic)

SAMBERG: 4 sketches (Selection Sunday, Catchphrase Comedy, Scared Straight, Update)

SUDEIKIS: 3 sketches (Selection Sunday, Catchphrase Comedy, Scared Straight)

THOMPSON: 4 sketches (Selection Sunday, The Talk, Catchphrase Comedy, Scared Straight)

WIIG: 7 sketches (Selection Sunday, The Talk, Update, Family Dog, Celebrity Scoop, Corn Syrup Producers, Titanic)


BAYER: 3 sketches (The Talk, Catchphrase Comedy, Titanic)

BRITTAIN: 1 sketch (Catchphrase Comedy)

KILLAM: 1 sketch (Catchphrase Comedy)

PEDRAD: 5 sketches (Selection Sunday, The Talk, Family Dog, Corn Syrup Producers, Titanic)

PHAROAH: 1 sketch (Catchphrase Comedy)


ZACH GALIFIANAKIS: 8 sketches (Monologue, The Talk, Catchphrase Comedy, Scared Straight, New Assistant, Family Dog, Celebrity Scoop, Titanic)