***** = Excellent, a possible future classic
**** = Great
*** = Average
** = Meh
* = How'd this get past dress?
Cold Opening - Fox Report w/ Shepard Smith
• Bill’s Shepard Smith impression is always good for laughs, and I love the voice he uses as him.
• The dead mother bit was an unexpected and very funny Psycho parody.
• The bit with Romney’s five robotic sons was good, especially Bill’s line after interviewing them: “My thanks to Stephen King for creating those boys”.
• Seth Meyers? Michael Patrick O’Brien? I guess SNL ran out of white male castmembers to use in this sketch, so they had to resort to using those two. Ha, I never thought I’d see the day when SNL would actually have a shortage of white male castmembers.
• Jason’s Romney had one funny line about how he’s so desperate, he’d even accept Casey Anthony as a supporter in his campaign.
Monologue - Lindsay Lohan
• You could tell where this was going, but it was still an overall decent monologue.
• “I’ve been stoned since Good Burger” just may be Kenan Thompson’s funniest line in his whole SNL tenure. I got a huge laugh from that line. Strangely, I believe that this is the first time Kenan has even referenced Good Burger on SNL.
• Hopefully, there was a security guard with a taser near that unseen audience member who yelled out “AHH!!!!! KRISTEN WIIG!!!!!” when Kristen appeared.
• Jimmy Fallon’s cameo wasn’t very surprising, given Lindsay’s appearance on his show a few days ago. Jon Hamm, however, was a very unexpected and pleasant surprise. Always nice to see him on SNL.
Commercial - The Real Housewives of Disney
• A very clever Real Housewives parody, and easily the funniest segment of the whole night.
• I’m noticing that SNL’s best reality show parodies lately are usually pre-taped ones, such as the Kardashian Divorce Special sketch from earlier this season.
• Vanessa as Snow White was easily her best performance in a long time. I particularly loved the “dwarf high-five” bit.
• Taran stole the sketch in his hilarious portrayal of Prince Charming, and he had some pretty funny insults towards the girls.
Sketch - 2012 Psychic Awards
• What seemed like a promising idea for the lead sketch of the night ended up being fairly underwhelming. It felt like this could’ve been executed a little better, and should’ve had less predictable jokes.
• Bill’s voice at first sounded kinda like John Malkovich with a foreign accent.
• This started to take off towards the end with the In Memoriam montage for psychics/magicians who will die in the coming year, although that sequence ended up being very hit-or-miss. Some parts of it were funny (Abby dying of bird flu after kissing the bird in her magic act; the diabetes bit with Bobby), while other parts were just stupid and fell flat (the hit-by-blimp part with Nasim; the part with the dog).
Sketch - Scared Straight
• I was hoping they had retired this, considering they rarely do this sketch anymore, but I knew they wouldn’t be able to resist doing one with Lindsay playing Lorenzo MacIntosh’s partner.
• At first, I was wondering why Jason only introduced Kenan’s character and didn’t mention Lindsay’s character name as well, but then a few seconds later, they revealed that Lindsay was playing herself. I admit to getting a chuckle from that revelation, but unfortunately, the laughs quickly ended there.
• Lindsay’s performance in this was absolutely painful. Any semblance of momentum this sketch had kept getting brought to a screeching halt whenever Lindsay spoke, thanks to her delayed awkward timing, robotic cue-card staring, and CONSTANT line-flubs. Just embarrassing. Thankfully, however, this ended up being her only truly bad performance of the night.
• This sketch itself was a complete waste of time. Nothing new was done with the usual formula at all, and everything just came off copy-and-paste and felt like the actors were all going through the motions. Even the usual prison rape jokes felt half-assed this time.
• Is it just me, or did Kenan’s Lorenzo MacIntosh voice sound a bit different than usual tonight? He can’t even do his own character’s voice anymore, it seems.
• Not even the cast cracking up at the end could get a reaction out of me. Plus, it always happens at the EXACT SAME PART of every Scared Straight sketch: after Kenan and the host leave, Jason “unexpectedly” hops up on the desk, asks the three boys a question while struggling to keep a straight face, then the camera cuts over to the three boys and you see them all cracking up (particularly Bill). It’s all been done a million times, folks. Beyond time to retire this sketch for good.
Weekend Update - Seth Meyers, featuring James Carville, Snooki
• Best jokes: Snooki’s fetus
• I wanted to like the Chuck Norris reference, but it just came off strange with Seth’s delivery. He’s not the right performer for that kind of gag.
• Bill’s James Carville impression is funny in itself, but the writing rarely gives him many funny things to say anymore. Tonight’s commentary had a few okay bits such as the imitation of his own penis. Nothing else particularly memorable stood out. This commentary also suffered from feeling very long, almost like they were intentionally just stalling, trying to fill extra time. This could’ve been shortened by at least 2-3 minutes.
• I knew SNL wouldn’t be able to resist using Bobby’s Snooki impression this week with the recent rumors about Snooki’s pregnancy. I (sarcastically) love how they apparently tried to fake us out by having Seth do a Snooki joke earlier in tonight’s Update and didn’t immediately follow it with a guest commentary from Bobby as Snooki, only to smack us with one a few minutes later.
• I didn’t care for most of tonight’s Snooki commentary, as I feel Bobby’s impression of her has gotten tired. The baby-naming bit was decent, though, particularly Bobby’s “God help us all” response when Seth asked “What if it’s a girl?” Also, Hamm Cameo #2 certainly helped; his emotional outburst gave me a good laugh.
Sketch - Delinquent Girl Teen Gang
• My, oh my. Friggin’ brutal, absolutely brutal. Easily a candidate for worst sketch of the season so far.
• For the entire duration of this, I literally stared at the screen stone-faced while shaking my head in disbelief over how unfunny and one-joke this crap was. This sketch also brought back bad memories of that similarly-awful Nascarettes sketch from the Jaime Pressly episode in 2006, which used the exact same stupid joke revolving around people getting hit by a car off-camera followed by a fake dummy of their body being thrown into the scene.
• Oh, and the less said about Fred in drag, the better. Lord knows I’ve said enough negative things about Fred Armisen this season.
Digital Short - Afros
• Three words: WHAT... THE... HAYYULL???
• I can certainly appreciate random humor, but they clearly forgot to add actual, you know, JOKES to this short. In case they didn’t get the memo, randomness for the sake of being random isn’t automatically funny in itself; you need good writing to back it up. This short clearly failed to provide that.
• Can it be any more obvious that the glory days of Digital Shots are officially long, long over and are never coming back? It’s just sad now. The Digital Shorts went from being a fresh change of pace that served as the main reason for many people to watch SNL every week to now being a beyond-tired segment that kills the momentum of the show and only continues to exist because Samberg and Company just feel like they’re forced to do these.
• On top of that, this one also may be the shortest Digital Short of all-time. They’re usually at least 2½ minutes long, but tonight’s short was only, like, 50 seconds. Samberg and Company aren’t even trying anymore with these. Just retire the shorts for good.
Sketch - B108 FM
• Well, this was kinda interesting. Not all that funny overall, but still watchable compared to most of tonight’s episode.
• Taran and Bobby both did a good job as the lead characters here, and they worked well together. Bobby’s odd-looking fake beard alone had me chuckling every time I looked at him.
• This has “future recurring sketch” written all over it, which I’m not exactly excited about. It’ll probably get old fast if they just repeat most of the same jokes in every installment, but maybe they’ll actually include variety in future installments. We’ll see. For now, the sketch is still tolerable.
Commercial - Chantix
Sketch - House Sitting
• After a veeeerrrrrry-slight upswing in quality with the B108 sketch, tonight’s episode is right back in the crapper with this dreadful, laughless sketch.
• I hate when the writers constantly waste Kristen Wiig’s talents by having her perform stupid, annoying, one-joke sketches like this one. It makes her come off bad, and it causes people to forget that she’s actually a talented comedian who’s honestly much better than some of the awful sketch material she’s given. This current crop of SNL writers just have no clue how to consistently play to Kristen’s true strengths. It’s no wonder she fares much better in movies than on SNL.
• The ending of this sketch was especially terrible. It feels like the writer wasn’t even trying to come up with an actual conclusion here, so they just repeated the same unfunny one joke from earlier in it.
• Between this, a particularly-lethargic installment of Scared Straight, the Delinquent Girl Teen Gang sketch, and the Digital Short, tonight’s episode is featuring some of the worst material in recent memory.
Commercial - Verizon
• ANOTHER rerun??? Man, what the heck is going on tonight?
Sketch - Rude Buddha!
• Not bad. While this was far from anything great, it was miles above most of the dreary material tonight. In a stronger episode, this sketch would be waved-off as a forgettable filler sketch. In a bad episode like tonight’s, this sketch stands out as one of the few highlights by default.
• I always get a kick out of watching Andy Samberg play smug, immature, wise-ass roles like this one. He’s good at making those types of characters funny.
• The “one hand clapping” ending with Bobby being slapped cracked me up.
Miscellaneous - A weird guy by a fire (Part 1)
• A funny random bit that was executed well, with an amusing punchline.
• The format of this somewhat-reminded me a little of the classic “An Insane Idiot and His Collection of Descending-Size Deer Heads” sketch, probably because both sketches didn’t reveal the title until the end.
Miscellaneous - That same guy burning his hand (Part 2)
• What the...? Now this was unnecessary. The first segment was absolutely fine; there was no need for this weak, unfunny follow-up.
• And why air both of these back-to-back with nothing in between? Awkward as hell. What is WITH the scheduling in tonight’s episode?
• Did anyone notice the brief technical error right before this segment showed up?
• The Real Housewives of Disney
• Fox Report w/ Shepard Smith
• Rude Buddha
• Delinquent Girl Teen Gang
• Digital Short
• House Sitting
• Scared Straight
• the second 70s Album ad
• two repeated commercials in one night
Best Performer of the Night:
• Bill Hader
CASTMEMBER / HOST COUNT DOWN
ARMISEN: 4 sketches (Shepard Smith, Psychic Awards, Teen Gang, Rude Buddha)
ELLIOTT: 3 sketches (Real Housewives, Psychic Awards, Teen Gang)
HADER: 6 sketches (Shepard Smith, Psychic Awards, Scared Straight, Update, Teen Gang, Rude Buddha)
MEYERS: 2 sketches (Shepard Smith, Update)
MOYNIHAN: 6 sketches (Shepard Smith, Psychic Awards, Scared Straight, Update, B108, Rude Buddha)
PEDRAD: 3 sketches (Real Housewives, Psychic Awards, Rude Buddha)
SAMBERG: 5 sketches (Shepard Smith, Psychic Awards, Teen Gang, Digital Short, Rude Buddha)
SUDEIKIS: 5 sketches (Shepard Smith, Psychic Awards, Scared Straight, 70s Album #1, 70s Album #2)
THOMPSON: 4 sketches (Monologue, Psychic Awards, Scared Straight, Digital Short)
WIIG: 7 sketches (Shepard Smith, Monologue, Real Housewives, Psychic Awards, Teen Gang, Digital Short, House Sitting)
BAYER: 4 sketches (Real Housewives, Psychic Awards, B108, Rude Buddha)
KILLAM: 4 sketches (Shepard Smith, Real Housewives, Psychic Awards, B108)
PHAROAH: 1 sketch (Psychic Awards)
LINDSAY LOHAN: 8 sketches (Monologue, Real Housewives, Psychic Awards, Scared Straight, Teen Gang, B108, House Sitting, Rude Buddha)