***** = Excellent, a possible future classic
**** = Great
*** = Average
** = Meh
* = How'd this get past dress?
Cold Opening - Mitt Romney Raw & Unleashed
• I appreciate how Sudeikis has an amazing ability to turn what could easily have been a boring generic impression into something funny and interesting to watch.
• A pretty funny cold opening, although the premise was a little similar to that cold opening right after the ‘08 elections where Sudeikis played Joe Biden promising America that he can be just as entertaining and unpredictable as Sarah Palin.
• Some funny little cheesy jokes from Sudeikis as Romney, such as the closet/graveyard bit, his monotone “I’m a real dog, bark-bark” line, and his fake embarrassing “flub”.
Monologue - Jason Segel
• The expected Muppets tie-in of the night.
• This was very enjoyable and a lot of fun to watch, especially when the Muppets got bitter and turned against Segel after he broke the news to them that they’re not hosting SNL with him.
• Great Statler & Waldorf cameo at the end.
Commercial - Red Flag Perfume
Sketch - Live with _____ and Kelly
• I don’t care how lazy these may come off to some people; I personally always get a kick out of impression-showcase sketches involving most of the cast.
• They basically did this sketch before, back in 2000 where Darrell Hammond as Regis sat with a whole bunch of celebrities auditioning to replace Kathie Lee Gifford. I remember that being one of my favorite sketches of the 1999-2000 season. That being said, tonight’s sketch was still fine in its own right.
• I almost had to do a double-take at the beginning when I saw Paul Brittain, because he looked quite a bit like Will Forte in that wig.
• Of the returning impressions that we’ve seen before, my favorites tonight were Sudeikis as Ricky Gervais, Kenan as Charles Barkley, and Jay as Denzel Washington.
• Of the all-new impressions, my favorites were Bill as Garrison Keillor, Abby as Zooey Deschanel, and Taran as Ashton Kutcher.
• Speaking of the Garrison Keillor impression, extra points goes to SNL for having the balls to even do an impression of someone that they HAD to realize most of their target audience wouldn’t be familiar with. I appreciate how Bill Hader is never afraid to impersonate some non-mainstream celebrities.
• As for Fred as George Lopez, I definitely see what he was going for with the mannerisms, but the voice was off.
Commercial - Kemper-Pedic Me Time Mattress
• A somewhat-juvenile premise that was surprisingly executed into a pretty funny commercial.
• They did a good job with this and Segel’s performance was excellent. I especially liked his fake-oblivious “Yeah, what WAS that sound???” response to Vanessa.
Sketch - Kissing Family
• No. Just... no. Not even a Paul Rudd cameo could make this crap bearable for me.
Weekend Update - Seth Meyers, featuring Gov. Jon Huntsman, Kermit
• Best jokes: Herman Cain/Libya, Saudi Arabia/tempting eyes, Man eats bobcat
• Jon Hunstman’s cameo reminded me of SNL back in 2008, when it seemed like every single presidential candidate back then had to make a cameo on the show. I wonder if we’re now returning to that trend. Anyway, as for Huntsman’s segment, he came off as a good sport but the overall New Hampshire jokes were too redundant and dull. I felt they could’ve done more with Hunstman’s appearance.
• “Really”, which used to be a reliably sharp and clever segment, seems to have lost all of its bite. Tonight’s “Really” was nothing special at all, not even with Kermit’s involvement. However, I did like Kermit’s quick remark about how he’s going to be in trouble later for the “sausage casings” joke he made. But then this ended on a bad note with the very lame exchange between Seth and Kermit about the difference between a puppet and a muppet; that wasn’t funny at all.
Sketch - Retirement Party
• At first, I thought this was going to be a follow-up to those “wedding/funeral speeches” sketches from the 08-09 season with Bobby as the “Whaaaaaat?” mic-dropping guy, Will Forte as the blonde Anti-Obama guy, etc.
• A very strange and aimless sketch that failed to go anywhere. I kept expecting this to get funny, but too much time was wasted with Kristen’s annoying “I don’t have anything to say!” rants. How the hell was that supposed to be funny? This sketch was way too drawn out for something that featured very little actual material.
• Clever subtle joke, however, with Segel having a completely different drink in his hand every time the camera cut to him.
• While Bobby’s tendency to always mug the camera can certainly get annoying, I have to admit that the quick cutaway to him here actually kinda made me laugh. I think it’s simply because he had an old-timey handlebar mustache, and it’s an unwritten comedy rule that handlebar mustaches make EVERYTHING funny.
• The ending was absolutely horrible and very abrupt.
Sketch - A New Jack Thanksgiving
• A lot of people seem to be ignoring the fact that this was a blatant copy of that “The Worst of Soul Train” sketch from last season’s Jim Carrey episode. That original sketch itself wasn’t all that funny, but at least it had Jim Carrey’s hilarious “one titty” song and Jason Sudeikis as a funny Billy Ocean knock-off. This New Jack sketch, on the other hand, had nothin’.
• Well, Kenan’s “booty” song was okay, but that was it. All of the other scenes fell completely flat with me, especially Florence Welch’s appearance. Overall, a terrible sketch.
• The camera took forever to cut to Segel’s performance.
• Continuing what I said earlier in this review about how I almost thought Paul Brittain was Will Forte at first in the Regis Auditions sketch, I had to do a double-take when I first saw Nasim during the BLT girl group scene because she looked EXACTLY like Maya Rudolph in that make-up. Seriously, the resemblance was eerie; for a few seconds, I mistakenly thought it really was Maya making a cameo.
Digital Short - Seducing Women Through Chess
• A much-needed vast improvement over last week’s disastrous Digital Short. Overall, this is probably the funniest short of the season so far.
• While I’m aware of the fact that the heyday of Digital Shorts is sadly behind us, they’re still capable of putting out an inspired and memorable one every once in a while, and this particular short proves that.
• I enjoyed how increasingly pathetic each subsequent seduction topic would get, especially the ridiculous “eating glass” one.
• Great ending as well, with Segel stabbing Andy and then randomly quickly checkmating him.
Mini-Sketch - Andre the Giant Chooses an Ice Cream Flavor
• Segel’s deep voice was funny and I usually like it when SNL does these types of very quick “get in, get the laugh, and get out” sketches (like the “Actor II Actor” one from last season with Andy and Justin Timberlake)... but this one left a little to be desired. It felt like this could’ve been executed in a much funnier way or should’ve had funnier jokes.
• It just seems like this sketch should’ve been a near-classic in a similar vein to other sketches starring a celebrity doing a random mundane task like “Al Pacino Checks His Bank Balance” or “Mark Wahlberg Talks To Animals”, but this merely just ended up being a chuckleworthy-at-best filler.
• A minor complaint, but I personally don’t like it when SNL comes back from a long commercial break just to do a quick 45-second segment and then immediately go BACK to another long commercial break.
Sketch - The Blue Jean Committee
• This did absolutely nothing for me. I already knew I wasn’t going to care for this as soon as I realized it was going to be yet another damn “Fred Armisen as the lead singer of a musical band” sketch - a concept that jumped the shark long ago. But when this started taking a strange direction with all the walk-ons during the band’s song, I thought it might be leading to somewhere interesting like the epic “Goodnight Saigon” sketch from ‘09. However, this ended up going NOWHERE. What was even the point to all the walk-ons? They did nothing but bop their heads to the music, and there were no real surprising and hilarious walk-on cameos like “Goodnight Saigon” had. I mean, how can you ever top a cameo from Artie freakin Lange?
• Overall, I have no idea what this sketch was going for. It only succeeded in boring the hell out of me.
• Digital Short
• Live with _____ and Kelly
• Kemper-Pedic Me Time Mattress
• Kissing Family
• The Blue Jean Committee
• Retirement Party
• A New Jack Thanksgiving
Best Performer of the Night:
• Jason Segel, I guess. Honestly, nobody really stood out in a positive way that much tonight. Hader and Sudeikis, the usual MVPs this season, both had a rare light night in this episode with minimal appearances each.
CASTMEMBER / HOST COUNT DOWN
ARMISEN: 4 sketches (Regis Auditions, Kissing Family, Retirement Party, Blue Jean Committee)
ELLIOTT: 4 sketches (Regis Auditions, New Jack, Digital Short, Blue Jean Committee)
HADER: 3 sketches (Regis Auditions, Kissing Family, Blue Jean Committee)
MEYERS: 1 sketch (Update)
MOYNIHAN: 4 sketches (Regis Auditions, Retirement Party, New Jack, Blue Jean Committee)
PEDRAD: 4 sketches (Regis Auditions, Retirement Party, New Jack, Digital Short)
SAMBERG: 4 sketches (Kissing Family, New Jack, Digital Short, Blue Jean Committee)
SUDEIKIS: 3 sketches (Mitt Romney, Regis Auditions, Blue Jean Committee)
THOMPSON: 4 sketches (Regis Auditions, Retirement Party, New Jack, Blue Jean Committee)
WIIG: 7 sketches (Mitt Romney, Regis Auditions, Kissing Family, Retirement Party, New Jack, Digital Short, Blue Jean Committee)
BAYER: 5 sketches (Me Time Mattress, Kissing Family, Retirement Party, New Jack, Blue Jean Committee)
BRITTAIN: 2 sketches (Regis Auditions, Retirement Party)
KILLAM: 4 sketches (Mitt Romney, Regis Auditions, Retirement Party, Blue Jean Committee)
PHAROAH: 5 sketches (Mitt Romney, Regis Auditions, Kissing Family, Retirement Party, New Jack)
JASON SEGEL: 9 sketches (Monologue, Regis Auditions, Me Time Mattress, Kissing Family, Retirement Party, New Jack, Digital Short, Andre the Giant, Blue Jean Committee)