***** = Excellent, a possible future classic
**** = Great
*** = Average
** = Meh
* = How'd this get past dress?
Cold Opening - The Lawrence Welk Show
• No, just... no.
• And I love how every time they do this sketch, the castmembers who play Wiig’s three sisters keep changing and NEVER stays the same, which goes to show you how much SNL’s female cast has drastically changed from season-to-season these last few years.
• Anyone else think Elton looked eerily like Al Franken as Stuart Smalley in that wig?
• I got a laugh from the quick shot of Fred dropping the product on the floor in surprise. That was it.
Monologue - Elton John
• A nice, genuine, REAL monologue that reminded me a little of the monologue with Betty White.
• Not all of the jokes were funny in themselves, but Elton’s delivery helped make most of them work. The bit about how the baby takes after him was particularly funny.
Sketch - ESPN Classic
• No applause of recognition AT ALL for Will Forte? Really, audience? What the fuck is wrong with you people?
• I can’t deny that Jason’s great delivery never fails to sell the punchlines in these ESPN Classic sketches, and his drawn-out pauses tonight after saying each slogan did give me some laughs.
• Carmelo Anthony? TOM FREAKIN HANKS???!!!! Wow, I’m amazed and impressed. And this helped breathe some life and excitement into this sketch.
Sketch - Fancy a Jar, Do You? / BBC News
• At first when this started with the cheesy jar sitcom, I thought this would be a variation of “A Spot of Tea”, but this instead took an interesting unexpected direction.
• Hmm... Paul Brittain playing a reporter from Britain - quite fitting, isn’t it?
• Some of the highlights were Tom Hanks’ Michael Caine impression, Taran as Gandalf, Bill’s Richard Branson using a jetpack and him having a clone of himself, and Elton’s hilarious Spider Man slam to Andy’s Bono.
Digital Short - Laser Cats the Musical
• Okay, clearly they should’ve just credited Tom Hanks as tonight’s co-host. He’s all over this episode so far. However, maybe this could be a sign that he’ll host next season??? He’d better!
• Even though these Laser Cats shorts only appear once a year, the concept is getting a bit tired. However, I have to give them credit for managing to make it different each time as well as throwing in some creative gags tonight like Andy jumping between Elton’s gapped teeth.
• I don’t understand why these always have to include the wraparound scenes in Lorne’s office. Those just aren’t funny anymore and we already know how those scenes are going to go.
Weekend Update - Seth Meyers, featuring Col. Moammar Ghadafy, Barry Lewis, Nicolas Cage and Jake Gyllenhaal
• Best jokes: Hitler house
• I’m really getting tired of Fred’s Ghadafy impression appearing every damn week, as well as Fred always playing middle-eastern dictators on Update every OTHER week. The only funny part of tonight’s commentary was the URL to his Swiss bank account.
• In response to a comment from jojo’s review where he mentioned that ever since Horatio Sanz, SNL always portrays foreign leaders as using dated American pop-culture references, SNL has actually been relying on that much earlier than the Sanz years. I remember an Update commentary from 1993 where Mike Myers played the Canadian prime minister and he kept making dated pop-culture references from the 70’s and 80’s, similar to the Ghadafy commentary tonight.
• Wow, Jake Gyllenhaal; yet another surprise cameo appearance tonight. The Cage/Gyllenhaal segment was decent overall; I especially liked the “white Samuel L. Jackson” comment and Cage’s reaction to that.
Sketch - The Royal Family
• I wasn’t thrilled by the fact that they just lazily repeated the same premise from the earlier installment with Anne Hathaway. Plus, this completely loses the element of surprise regarding Fred and Bill’s sudden cockney accents. However, this still got a decent amount of laughs with some funny one-liners, mostly from Elton.
• The musical ending at least took the sketch in a different direction and was pretty fun, even if it wasn’t supposed to be humorous.
Sketch - The Silver Screen
• Could this have BEEN a more obvious rip-off of In Living Color’s “Men on Film” sketches? (I was originally gonna take the David Spade “I liked this better the first time - when it was called ______” approach, but The Doc already beat me to it in his review, so I instead had to use the Chandler-from-Friends approach.)
• Taran and Elton both gave fine performances and played well off of each other, but I didn’t care for this sketch at all and they also completely wasted Nasim in a useless role.
Sketch - Unicorn Cowboy
• Really, SNL? Yet ANOTHER gay-themed sketch tonight? I probably should’ve expected this considering who the host is, but lately it seemed like SNL was finally starting to move away from their crutch of frequently doing gay-themed sketches where the punchline involves men kissing. The fact that they have an openly gay host tonight doesn’t make it any less tired; this shit is the definition of hacky and unfunny.
• At first when the unicorn appeared, I thought this would be a funny bizarre, absurd-humored sketch. However, it ended up just turning into a variation of the Jeff Bridges/western gift wrappers sketch, only with the gay stereotypes amped up to a full 11 this time.
• Only genuine laugh came from Elton’s great ad-lib after his hat accidentally fell off.
• Fancy a Jar, Do You? / BBC News
• the ending of Royal Family
• Unicorn Cowboy
• The Lawrence Welk Show
• most of Weekend Update
• The Silver Screen
Best Performer of the Night:
• Tom Hanks
CASTMEMBER / HOST COUNT DOWN
ARMISEN: 5 sketches (Lawrence Welk, BBC, Digital Short, Update, Royal Family)
ELLIOTT: 1 sketch (Lawrence Welk)
HADER: 4 sketches (BBC, Digital Short, Royal Family, Cowboy)
MEYERS: 1 sketch (Update)
MOYNIHAN: 2 sketches (BBC, Cowboy)
SAMBERG: 4 sketches (BBC, Digital Short, Update, Royal Family)
SUDEIKIS: 2 sketches (ESPN Classic, Cowboy)
THOMPSON: 2 sketches (BBC, Update)
WIIG: 4 sketches (Lawrence Welk, ESPN Classic, BBC, Cowboy)
BAYER: 1 sketch (Lawrence Welk)
BRITTAIN: 1 sketch (BBC)
KILLAM: 4 sketches (BBC, Royal Family, Silver Screen, Cowboy)
PEDRAD: 2 sketches (Lawrence Welk, Silver Screen)
PHAROAH: 0 sketches
ELTON JOHN: 6 sketches (Lawrence Welk, Monologue, BBC, Royal Family, Silver Screen, Cowboy)