***** = Excellent, a possible future classic
**** = Great
*** = Average
** = Meh
* = How'd this get past dress?
Cold Opening - A Message from Mayor Bloomberg
• This started out decently enough with the “bitches” comment and the line about New York being a trendsetter, but afterwards, the rest of this just quickly devolved into a drab, droning, unfunny speech on par with the weak Bloomberg cold opening from last season.
• Minor nitpick: At the beginning, Fred mentions the small New York earthquake that occurred “this July”, but didn’t it actually happen in late August?
Monologue - Anna Faris
• Bill’s creepy character was hilarious and stole this whole monologue, although it seemed like a role that Will Forte was born to play if he were still on the show.
• Even though I shouldn’t have been, I was actually a bit surprised by Abby doing her Anna Faris impression since I totally forgot that Abby does a great impression of her. It should’ve been obvious to me that they’d work it into tonight’s monologue. The end result was okay, but there are more creative/fun ways they could’ve pulled off having Abby do her Anna Faris impression in front of the real deal. Maybe something like Jimmy Fallon’s Mick Jagger mirror sketch, or when Dennis Miller would do a Point/Counterpoint with himself played by Dana Carvey.
Sketch - The Manuel Ortiz Show
• *Yawn* The usual unfunny crap in these sketches that I’ve never liked. They at least tried something slightly different with the hidden camera part and the fire alarm ending, but even those were still the same basic joke as the rest of the sketch and they didn’t work.
• Bill made me laugh with his facial expressions. That was it.
Sketch - What’s Wrong with Tanya?!
• Am I the only one who finds it strange that Bill Hader is the only one the writers use anymore to play gameshow hosts these days? I know he always does a fantastic job in these gameshow host roles, but still... there ARE other castmembers on the show, you know. Phil Hartman didn’t always play the host of every gameshow sketch from the late 80s/early 90s; they would shake it up every now and then by giving that role to Kevin Nealon or to whoever was hosting SNL that week.
• This sketch had a creative premise, but something about the execution didn’t work as well as it should have. The overall result was quite dull and forgettable.
Digital Short - Interviews with Drake
• At first, I almost thought this was going to end after the first interview got abruptly cut off after only a few seconds, but I can see why they went a different route because it would’ve been too similar to that very brief “Actor II Actor” sketch Andy did with Justin Timberlake.
• This short was very inane, but still gave me some good laughs; certainly a lot more laughs than I got from the last two Digital Shorts.
• I liked the escalating ridiculousness of each subsequent interview, especially the quick “racist” one.
Sketch - Marriott TV presents: Yet Another GOP Debate
• I don’t mind SNL’s frequent use of GOP Debates and this whole sketch had a nice silly, loose vibe that I enjoyed. The writers seem to have more fun with these GOP Debate sketches than they do with most other political sketches lately.
• Hmm... so Baldwin ISN’T going to cameo every time to play Rick Perry. Understandable, because it’s such a non-descript impression that anyone can easily take over.
• Vanessa actually gave a pretty bad performance as the moderator. Also, she screwed up THREE different lines in this sketch alone... AND remember last week, she also stumbled over the punchline of a joke during the Fox & Friends sketch. What’s going on with her lately? I sure hope this isn’t the beginning of a weekly habit of hers.
• Having Paul Brittain as Ron Paul do his entire portion of the debate from a parking garage was absolutely hilarious, especially the bit with him getting kidnapped in a van.
• Jason’s whole speech comparing himself to salad, etc. was great.
Weekend Update - Seth Meyers, featuring Anthony Crispino, Two Teenagers Dressed as Werewolves
• Best jokes: Kansas stabbing, Gag gift for Grandma
• Ugh, the secondhand news guy... I hate this weak one-joke character, and I noticed he was even worse than usual tonight. Nothing funny to see here, folks.
• The Werewolves segment with Drake and Jay Pharoah was interesting and I liked it. The song had some funny lyrics, and the overall segment was definitely different for SNL standards. It was also nice to see Jay Pharoah getting something big to do in the live portion of the show for once, and I noticed he didn’t come off awkward during this segment as he usually does in live sketches. I’m starting to think that he’s more confident in his live performances when he’s teamed up with someone. In that case, he should pair up with Taran Killam a lot because the few times last season Jay and Taran were paired together, they made a good team (i.e. the “Unstoppable” trailer, the Lil Wayne & Eminem commentary, etc.).
Sketch - Tell Him
• This sketch was fine. This clearly wasn’t supposed to be laugh-out-loud funny, and I can appreciate some low-key slice-of-life humor on SNL every now and then.
• Overall, while the sketch was nothing to really write home about, this was decent for what it was.
Sketch - J-Pop America Funtime Now!
• My opinion of this sketch is similar to what I said about the Lifetime Gameshow sketch earlier: this had an interesting concept and the performances were fine for the most part, but the overall result of this sketch was underwhelming and didn’t quite work. It felt like this should’ve had more to it.
• The frequent breaking out into song also started getting annoying after a while.
• What was with that one part where Vanessa and Taran were supposed to be talking directly to the camera but they accidentally faced the wrong camera momentarily? Was that intentional, or is this YET ANOTHER example of Vanessa screwing up during a sketch? Since Taran did the same thing, however, I’ll assume the camera people are the ones who screwed up.
• Jason as the teacher saved this whole sketch. I especially liked the part at the end with him refusing to take credit for the show.
Sketch - Lord Cecil Wyndemere
• Lorne must have been feeling extra generous this week... first Jay Pharoah gets a big role in the live portion of the show tonight, and now Paul Brittain, too? It’s a miracle!... or is it a sign of the apocalypse???
• This was a nice silly little sketch and it was good to see Paul actually starring in his own sketch. He did a good job in this role; I really can’t understand why SNL doesn’t use Paul more often. The few times he’s actually been given the lead role in a sketch, he seems fine. Too often, he’s wasted in minuscule bit parts and treated like a glorified extra and that unfortunately makes him come off to SNL viewers as useless.
• As fine as Paul’s performance was, the person who REALLY made this sketch was Jason, which makes this the second sketch in a row that he stole tonight. Dude is on fire this season. His performance in this sketch as the dad was hilarious, and I loved his random angry outbursts at Andy’s character.
Sketch - Ferrari Calendar
• An all-around terrible sketch. The writing was really lame, and not even Bill could save this. The running joke with him questioning the awkwardness of his own sentences fell completely flat, and the ending with him as the calendar model was just stupid and didn’t work for me.
• GOP Debate
• Lord Cecil Wyndemere
• the Two Teenagers Dressed as Werewolves commentary
• Ferrari Calendar
• The Manuel Ortiz Show
• the Anthony Crispino commentary
• A Message from Mayor Bloomberg
Best Performer of the Night:
• Jason Sudeikis
CASTMEMBER / HOST COUNT DOWN
ARMISEN: 3 sketches (Mayor Bloomberg, Manuel Ortiz, J-Pop)
ELLIOTT: 3 sketches (Monologue, What’s Wrong With Tanya, Tell Him)
HADER: 6 sketches (Monologue, Manuel Ortiz, What’s Wrong With Tanya, GOP Debate, Lord Wyndemere, Ferrari Calendar)
MEYERS: 1 sketch (Update)
MOYNIHAN: 3 sketches (Manuel Ortiz, GOP Debate, Update)
PEDRAD: 2 sketches (Monologue, Tell Him)
SAMBERG: 6 sketches (Monologue, What’s Wrong With Tanya, Digital Short, GOP Debate, Tell Him, Lord Wyndemere)
SUDEIKIS: 3 sketches (GOP Debate, J-Pop, Lord Wyndemere)
THOMPSON: 2 sketches (Manuel Ortiz, GOP Debate)
WIIG: 7 sketches (Manuel Ortiz, What’s Wrong With Tanya, Digital Short, GOP Debate, Tell Him, Lord Wyndemere, Ferrari Calendar)
BAYER: 5 sketches (Manuel Ortiz, What’s Wrong With Tanya, GOP Debate, Tell Him, J-Pop)
BRITTAIN: 3 sketches (Manuel Ortiz, GOP Debate, Lord Wyndemere)
KILLAM: 1 sketch (J-Pop)
PHAROAH: 1 sketch (Update)
ANNA FARIS: 7 sketches (Monologue, Manuel Ortiz, What’s Wrong With Tanya, Tell Him, J-Pop, Lord Wyndemere, Ferrari Calendar)