***** = Excellent, a possible future classic
**** = Great
*** = Average
** = Meh
* = How'd this get past dress?
Cold Opening - A Message from Mayor Bloomberg
• Fred's Bloomberg voice still needs work, but that doesn't matter here because he wasn't really the comedic focus of this cold opening.
• Cecily was great in her spoof of Bloomberg's sign language translator; Cecily's gestures and facial expressions for each translation were very funny.
• Best part, however, was probably Bobby's great performance as Chris Christie. He always nails stereotypical New Jersey roles like this, and he had lots of funny lines here - I particularly liked the one about how he's gonna "haaaaate" voting for Romney.
• The Spanish part at the end was a pretty good parody of Bloomberg's infamously lousy attempts at Spanish.
Monologue - Louis C.K.
• Stand-up monologues are always a treat to see on SNL, especially nowadays, and Louis did not disappoint.
• While this may not have been Louis' best material ever, it was still very funny and kept me entertained the whole time. My favorite parts included 1) how nobody ever wants to be that person who has to help an old lady up from the floor, 2) the refugee comment, 3) his response to old ladies at supermarket's who complain about prices, and 4) his line about wanting an old lady that he "can spend the rest of HER life with".
Sketch - Fox & Friends
• I usually don't mind these sketches, but it felt like we just saw this a few episodes ago. Seems a tad too soon to bring it back.
• I also wasn't too thrilled to see Louis wasted in a small supporting role in the first sketch of the night. However, he managed to bring enough humor to his character and I enjoyed the voice he used.
• Bobby always kills in these Fox & Friends sketches with his dimwitted statements. He had a particularly hilarious one tonight about referring to piranhas with AIDS as "parades".
• I had to laugh out loud at the mere fact that Jason took over yet another Darrell Hammond impression. First Chris Matthews, now Donald Trump - if you also add in the fact that Bill Hader recently took over Darrell's Arnold Schwarzenegger impression, I think it's safe to assume that SNL has FINALLY stopped relying on unnecessary cameos from Darrell Hammond whenever they spoof a celebrity he used to do an impression of.
• Jason's impression of Trump was more funny than accurate, much like his Chris Matthews. I'm not complaining as long as it makes me laugh, which he certainly did here.
• Personally, however, I would've given the Trump role to Fred Armisen. I know that sounds very strange, but I said that because in a sketch from 2005 that had Darrell Hammond as Donald Trump introducing his three children who talk exactly like him (played by Fred, Seth Meyers, and Maya Rudolph), Fred did a decent impression of Trump's voice. Surprisingly, however, Seth was the one who did the best Trump voice in that sketch. Unsurprisingly, Maya did the worst (she basically just used her Donatella Versace voice in that sketch).
• The writers always seem to have fun with the "corrections list" that's scrolled at the end of these Fox & Friends sketches. Tonight's had some good ones as usual; I especially liked "Lance Armstrong did not trade a testicle for steroids". There's also an interesting bit where one of the first corrections listed is "Chef Boyardee is not the Prime Minister of Italy... he is the Vice President" then a little later, the list corrects itself by saying "Chef Boyardee is NOT the Vice President of Italy". That was interesting and a bit different from what they usually do in these corrections lists.
Miscellaneous - Lincoln
• YES!!! This was exactly the type of thing I was hoping SNL would do as soon as I heard Louis C.K. was hosting. This film was absolute brilliance.
• The opening scene with Lincoln talking to Kenan was already hilarious enough in itself, then I laughed my ass off when they cut to the opening credits sequence and revealed this is a parody of Louis' TV show. The recreation of the opening credits was 100% dead on, even down to having a passer-by give Louis the finger just like in the real show (notice SNL didn't blur it out?).
• The rest of the film did not disappoint, either. This whole thing was all-around great and captured the feel & humor of Louis' show perfectly. I especially liked the scene with Lincoln bickering with wife Mary Todd.
• If it's true that Seth Meyers wrote this, then he definitely deserves a lot of credit for doing a great job here. For all the complaints I have about him on Weekend Update nowadays, he certainly does seem to be a good writer behind-the-scenes. He's penned some truly strong pieces over the last couple of years.
Sketch - Australian Screen Legends
• This is an example of a sketch that's amusing in a more silly, mindless way rather than being genuinely funny. Stuff like that can be very hit-and-miss with me, but I kinda liked this sketch. There was nothing great at all about the writing here, but the sketch managed to work thanks to the delightfully-goofy endearing performances as well as bits like Kate's last word before her death simply being "kangaroo".
• What's with some of the board members assuming that reviewers will hate this sketch just because of Fred? Fred merely introduced the main parts of the sketch; it's not like he was the star of this. Bill, Kate, and Louis were the stars, obviously. Fred did decently in his role; it's not like he did anything annoying in this. If anyone didn't like this sketch (which I can understand even though I personally found the sketch okay), I'm sure it's because they simply didn't find it funny, not because of Fred's presence.
• Ironic how Kate was the only heterosexual character in the Brokeback Mountain-esque scene, considering she's the only one of the three performers in that scene who's gay in real life.
• While I didn't mind this sketch overall, they'd better not make it recurring (by showcasing different Australian movie stars in each installment), because the joke will get old FAST. Please keep this as a one-off, SNL.
Weekend Update - Seth Meyers, featuring Mitt Romney, Kourtney Barnes, The Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started A Conversation With At A Party
• Best jokes: New York subways, skeleton found
• When Seth was introducing the Mitt Romney commentary, I almost thought for one bizarre second that we were going to see the real Mitt Romney, but I should've known there was no way that'd happen this weekend, mere days before the election. On that note, does anyone find it strange that we've gone through this whole election year without having ANY political cameos at all? Well, okay, we did get a Jon Hunstman cameo last season, but that's it - whereas back in '07 and '08, SNL was able to get practically EVERY single presidential candidate to cameo. On a somewhat-related note, does anyone also find it strange that SNL's not doing a Presidential Bash special this year? I thought it was a tradition to do one every election year.
• Getting back on topic, Jason's Romney commentary was pretty good and it was a nice change of pace seeing it appear on Update. I got a good laugh from the bit at the end with him taking a picture of Seth & himself holding a can of soup, then immediately taking the can back because it's his "picture can".
• I was happy to see Aidy Bryant finally get a comedic lead role. After being invisible in the first few episodes, it's nice that she's finally being given chances to show her potential lately (oddly enough, Tim Robinson is the exact opposite: he started out getting several big roles in his first few episodes, then became invisible since then). Anyway, Aidy did fine here, but the commentary itself wasn't anything special. It wasn't terrible, either, but nothing in it stood out. I can't even think of anything to say about it, really.
• As for the return of Cecily's "girl at a party" character, I never got to review this character the first time she appeared (since it was in a Weekend Update Thursday special). In her first appearance, she reminded me of a cross between Nicolas Fehn and Jeff Richards' Drunk Girl character. Now after watching her again tonight, I feel she's actually more of a hybrid of Nicolas Fehn and Bobby Moynihan's Drunk Uncle character. Not sure why she keeps reminding me of drunk characters, but anyway...
• I liked Cecily's character the first time she appeared, but I knew if they made her recurring that her subsequent appearances would follow the same formulaic pattern and get old & lazy fairly fast, and that's what happened tonight. She still had a few okay comments, but too much of this came off as a pale rewrite of her first appearance, even down to having her call out a friend in the audience again. What else is there left for them to do with this character?
Sketch - Mountain Pass
• Okay, this HAS to be the sketch Louis said earlier this week that he was dreading. However, I'm not buying his excuse that the foolish-looking costume is the reason he was embarrassed about the sketch. I'm sure the real reason behind his embarrassment is because he knew the sketch was totally unfunny crap, but of course he's not going to say that, as it would offend the SNL writers. But sometimes you gotta call a spade a spade - this sketch was not funny, plain and simple.
• I kept expecting the sketch to finally get funny whenever a castmember entered the scene, but then nothing interesting at all would happen. And this would keep going on and on throughout the sketch. The only exception is Bill, who did get a few okay lines during his appearance (I got a chuckle from him exclaiming "Zesus Jeist!"). But not even he could save this borefest of a sketch.
• Other than that, the only remotely amusing moment was actually an unscripted one with Louis not even attempting to pronounce that one word and instead just calling it "something" and then cracking up a bit. Louis C.K. is really the only person who can make a fuck-up like that funny. I remember when Robert DeNiro had a similar mishap in a Santa Claus sketch, where he couldn't make out one of the words on the cue card, so he literally just said "whatever that is" and waved off the cue card.
Sketch - Hotel Fees
• This is the type of nice, simplistic, premise-driven original sketch that I usually enjoy seeing on the show. This particular sketch had some pretty funny lines regarding the absurd things that Bobby was being charged for, and there was also a funny bit with Fred passing by carrying the stolen stuffed bobcat and Bobby noticing that, but waving it off because he doesn't have time.
• However, something about the overall sketch came off underdeveloped. It felt like there weren't quite as many funny jokes as the sketch was supposed to have. The script needed to be more fleshed-out.
• Another thing hurting the sketch was Louis constantly stumbling over his lines.
• Bobby always cracks me up when he plays this type of calm, low-key, straight role. He adds a certain realism and relatable humor to his straight roles that I get a kick out of.
• Interesting little moment at the very end with Bobby and Louis laughing out loud to each other as if they thought they were off the air.
Sketch - Last Call
• A very funny final sketch to end the night. Louis and Kate as the disgusting drunks played off each other perfectly and they both had lots of great non-sequitur one-liners throughout; too many to highlight.
• It's impressive how fast a new performer like Kate is adapting to the show and how fast she's connecting with the audience.
• Speaking of Kate, I can already tell many people are gonna compare her performance in this to Kristen Wiig, but personally I'm STILL seeing bits of Amy Poehler in her. Even the way Kate looked in the wig she wore in this sketch... I swear I remember seeing Amy wear that exact same wig before, but I can't figure out which sketch I'm thinking of. Anyway, I can easily picture Amy playing Kate's role in this Last Call sketch because Amy has always been great at playing drunks.
• Even the ending of this was great, with Louis and Kate choosing right outside the bar's window to have sex, followed by Kenan spraypainting the window so he doesn't have to see that mess.
• Last Call
• Mountain Pass
• a few parts of Weekend Update
Best Performer of the Night:
• Bobby Moynihan / Louis C.K.
CASTMEMBER / HOST COUNT DOWN
ARMISEN: 4 sketches (Mayor Bloomberg, Australian, Mountain Pass, Hotel)
BAYER: 1 sketch (Fox & Friends)
HADER: 2 sketches (Australian, Mountain Pass)
KILLAM: 2 sketches (Fox & Friends, Mountain Pass)
MEYERS: 1 sketch (Update)
MOYNIHAN: 4 sketches (Mayor Bloomberg, Fox & Friends, Mountain Pass, Hotel)
PEDRAD: 1 sketch (Mayor Bloomberg)
PHAROAH: 1 sketch (Lincoln)
SUDEIKIS: 3 sketches (Fox & Friends, Update, Mountain Pass)
THOMPSON: 3 sketches (Lincoln, Mountain Pass, Last Call)
BRYANT: 2 sketches (Lincoln, Update)
MCKINNON: 3 sketches (Australian, Mountain Pass, Last Call)
ROBINSON: 0 sketches
STRONG: 2 sketches (Mayor Bloomberg, Update)
LOUIS C.K.: 7 sketches (Monologue, Fox & Friends, Lincoln, Australian, Mountain Pass, Hotel, Last Call)