***** = Excellent, a possible future classic
**** = Great
*** = Average
** = Meh
* = How'd this get past dress?
Cold Opening - The Republican Presidential Debate
• I still don’t mind SNL’s frequent use of GOP debate sketches, but this one felt a bit forced. The Rick Perry portion was a very funny parody of his disastrous performance at this week’s debate and Bill continues to do an excellent job in his portrayal of him, but the problem is that it ended up taking too much time in the sketch. If you’re gonna do a debate sketch, you have to give airtime to the OTHER candidates as well, SNL. Most of the performers playing the other candidates were completely wasted in this and there was almost no point to them being there; Taran didn’t even get to utter a single word at all.
• Anyway, in short, my point is that this would’ve been better if only the Rick Perry portions were used in its own cold opening, without the forced debate set-up.
• Other than Bill, the other main laughs in this came from Jason as Mitt Romney. Loved his line “I wanna be president, but... not like THIS”.
• I personally enjoyed the “Of Mice and Men” reference, simply because “Of Mice and Men” is my favorite book of all-time and I’m a sucker for any parodies of it.
Monologue - Emma Stone
• An okay monologue, but nothing special.
• SNL openly calling themselves out on ripping off the Kirsten Dunst 2002 monologue was clever, and Andy’s reaction to Spider Man’s new actor being British was funny. Other than those, there wasn’t really anything else of note.
• By the way, this monologue didn’t really remind me of the Kirsten Dunst one. Personally, I felt that if anything, this was similar to that Weekend Update commentary Andy himself did last season where he played Spider Man hanging upside-down and kept unsuccessfully trying to flip.
Sketch - Secret Word
• No. Just... no.
Stars: *½ (the “half” is for Emma Stone’s decent performance)
Sketch - WXPD News New York
• Okay, the first three installments were fine, but this sketch is finally starting to wear thin. The problem is that it’s basically the same thing every time, and it doesn’t even need to be! There’s actually a lot of different situations/scenarios they could be doing with Herb Welch, but instead, they opt to just reuse the same basic set-up and jokes in every installment. Don’t be afraid to explore new territory with Herb Welch, SNL.
• What salvaged tonight’s sketch was the extended bit with Bill “checking” to see if Kristen’s character is indeed a woman (I knew it was only a matter of time before Bill would crack up during that scene, but I have to give major props to Kristen for managing not to break), as well as Jason giving his apologies to the “unattractive communities”.
• In that wig, Emma strongly resembled another female celebrity. However, I can’t figure out who exactly it is. Anne Hathaway? Aubrey Plaza? I dunno, but Emma definitely reminded me of someone.
Digital Short - Wish It Would Rain
• Holy crap, this was awful. Now, I’m not one of those people who automatically dismisses all the newer Digital Shorts just because Jorma and/or Akiva are supposedly gone (I felt that the recent “Interviews with Drake” short was pretty inspired), but man, tonight’s short was absolutely dreadful. Samberg, WTF happened?
• This short was just sad, and Andy came off like an unfunny caricature of himself in this. By the time they threw in unrelated cartoonish/unfunny gags like Emma as the big-assed secretary and the stupid ending with Andy getting struck by lightning, you could just smell the desperation behind this whole short.
• Overall, this has gotta be one of the worst Digital Shorts of all-time, right down there with “The Best Look in the World”, “Rasta Boy”, and of course “Cherry Battle”.
Weekend Update - Seth Meyers, featuring The Devil, Garth & Kat
• Best jokes: Duggar Family/The Rum Diary
• Jason always does a great job in his laid-back portrayal of The Devil, and tonight’s commentary actually explored some new ground with him instead of just being a carbon copy of his previous appearances. Some of Jason’s appalled reactions to the scandal news absolutely killed me, especially him getting up and yelling at the Update map “Are you hearing this?!??!”, him questioning the audience gasping in horror after he made that Catholic church comment, and the ending with him just flat-out quitting his job. Thank you, Jason, for providing my only real laughs during this entire Weekend Update.
• Garth & Kat? No. Just... no. Screw that shit.
Sketch - Les Jeunes de Paris
• These sketches are usually always enjoyable in their experimental nature and creative physical performances, but tonight’s installment felt a little off. Several parts during the dancing sequence just dragged and weren’t that funny, and the ending with the bicyclists passing by and Andy’s random appearance weren’t necessary and seemed to be trying too hard. Was that their attempt to top Andy’s appearance as the mime in the last one?
• Another thing hurting this sketch is the fact that the French song played in this one wasn’t as funny/bizarre as the songs played in the first two installments.
• Despite those low points, I still got a few decent laughs and surprises from this, mostly from the part with Taran coming through the outside of the locked door, and the part with the midget under Emma’s wedding dress.
Sketch - Bridal Shower
• Interesting seeing Emma play a character like this. She did a good job and the overall sketch was okay, but the writers could’ve given Emma some funnier lines. Some of her dialogue was a little too sophomoric and obvious.
• Also, was there any particular reason why Emma’s character was given a man’s name (Wallace)? Just wondering.
• My favorite part was towards the end when Emma knocked out the two strippers after mistaking them for real cops and then revealing that she brought cocaine.
Sketch - Someone Like You
• Nasim really surprised me with how much she made me laugh in this. Up until this point, she had been having a disappointing season so far by being mostly invisible and giving forgettable, boring performances. But in this sketch, she was actually quite funny and her various crying facial expressions cracked me up, especially when she had ice cream running down the sides of her mouth. Easily Nasim’s best performance of the season so far.
• The other performers in this sketch were also fine, and this was overall an enjoyable and funny sketch. Cute ending, too.
• I liked a lot of the little gags scattered throughout this, like Kristen’s thought bubble of her two parakeets, the cutaway to Coldplay crying backstage, and Bill inexplicably having mascara running down his face while crying (although that gag was almost ruined by a badly-timed camera screw-up, which they’ll probably fix in reruns).
• This was the second of two sketches tonight where a crew member’s head is accidentally seen on camera briefly. At the very end of this sketch, you could see the stage manager’s head pop into frame preparing to rush Emma backstage for her costume change, and something similar happened at the beginning of the Les Jeunes de Paris sketch.
Sketch - We’re Going to Make Technology Hump
• Well, I guess it HAS been a while since SNL debuted a truly out-of-nowhere, “WTF???”-type sketch, hasn’t it? And this one certainly qualifies. Not quite sure what to make of this as a whole, though.
• Why were the segments with Emma and Andy pre-taped? There was no reason their portions of the sketch couldn’t have been performed live.
• I wonder who wrote this sketch.
• Someone Like You
• the Rick Perry portions of the cold opening
• The Devil’s commentary on Weekend Update
• Digital Short
• Secret Word
• the rest of Weekend Update
Best Performer of the Night:
• Bill Hader
CASTMEMBER / HOST COUNT DOWN
ARMISEN: 6 sketches (Republican Debate, Digital Short, Update, Les Jeunes de Paris, Bridal Shower, Someone Like You)
ELLIOTT: 2 sketches (Les Jeunes de Paris, Bridal Shower)
HADER: 4 sketches (Republican Debate, Secret Word, WXPD, Someone Like You)
MEYERS: 1 sketch (Update)
MOYNIHAN: 3 sketches (Republican Debate, Les Jeunes de Paris, Someone Like You)
PEDRAD: 5 sketches (Republican Debate, WXPD, Les Jeunes de Paris, Bridal Shower, Someone Like You)
SAMBERG: 7 sketches (Republican Debate, Monologue, Digital Short, Les Jeunes de Paris, Bridal Shower, Someone Like You, Technology Hump)
SUDEIKIS: 4 sketches (Republican Debate, WXPD, Digital Short, Update)
THOMPSON: 2 sketches (Republican Debate, Someone Like You)
WIIG: 6 sketches (Republican Debate, Secret Word, WXPD, Update, Bridal Shower, Someone Like You)
BAYER: 2 sketches (Digital Short, Bridal Shower)
BRITTAIN: 3 sketches (Republican Debate, Secret Word, Les Jeunes de Paris)
KILLAM: 4 sketches (Republican Debate, Secret Word, Les Jeunes de Paris, Bridal Shower)
PHAROAH: 0 sketches
EMMA STONE: 8 sketches (Monologue, Secret Word, WXPD, Digital Short, Les Jeunes de Paris, Bridal Shower, Someone Like You, Technology Hump)