***** = Excellent, a possible future classic
**** = Great
*** = Average
** = Meh
* = How'd this get past dress?
Cold Opening - FOX & Friends
• Nothing special. While I still enjoy the dynamic between Taran, Vanessa, and Bobby, these sketches have lost their spark lately.
• My main problem with these FOX & Friends sketches is the interview segments, which are never all that funny and are always pretty boring. The interview tonight with Bloomberg did nothing for me.
• As always, Bobby provided the biggest laughs here (the WNBA bit was great), and his hyperactive reaction from drinking all that soda provided a bit of a change of pace for his role and took it into a somewhat-new direction.
• The fact corrections list at the end was okay, but honestly, I'm getting tired of having to pause the screen over and over just to read the entire thing.
Monologue - Zach Galifianakis
• As expected, this was awesome. Anytime Zach hosts, you just KNOW even before watching the episode that he'll have the best monologue of the whole season.
• My favorite bits were the ones about playing charades with a deaf couple, Mexicans in North Korea, "Thanks for laying down those funky beets", and how "If You See Something, Say Something" will never be in braille.
• My only complaint? Where was Zach saying "We've got a great show, Hoobastank is here!" once again? I didn't expect them to drop that running gag already.
Sketch - Game of Game of Thrones
• Zach sold his role and got some pretty good laughs. Not much to say about this sketch other than that. My favorite moments from Zach were his referring to Ruth Bader Ginsburg as "some old pilgrim" and his fantarding over meeting Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.
• I'm surprised Bobby wasn't in this, because isn't he supposedly a big Game of Thrones fanatic? He could've played the gameshow host in this; that might've been interesting. Hey, SNL - some of us wouldn't mind seeing someone OTHER than Bill Hader play the host of a gameshow for once.
Commercial - Match.com
• Weak commercial. The premise of Martha Stewart talking about raunchy sex came off unoriginal and cliché, and the overall commercial didn't really make me laugh.
• Wasn't impressed by Kate's Martha Stewart impression. Ana Gasteyer still remains the unquestioned master of the Martha Stewart impression. Nobody else who played her on SNL came anywhere close.
• My only chuckle came from Taran enthusiastically mouthing the name "Martha Stewart!" to the camera. Taran's always good at mining laughs out of little throwaway bits like that.
Sketch - Jennifer Aniston Look-Alike Competition
• This is the perfect example of a questionable concept that only Zach Galifianakis can make funny. With total ease, he managed to wring lots of laughs out of something that could've easily fallen flat with anyone else in the role.
• During the part where the other contestants were talking in Jennifer Aniston's voice, Taran easily had the best impression, oddly enough. He was great! Vanessa's was pretty good, too.
• What was up with Jason's microphone? It sounds like it cut out at some point towards the end of the sketch.
• Zach seems to be stumbling over a lot of his lines tonight in general, which is unusual for him.
• Speaking of line-flubbing, I see Ed Helms is STILL as awkward on live TV as he was when he hosted two seasons ago. In this sketch, there seemed to be a long awkward pause before all of Helms' lines.
• That being said, it was still pretty nice to see Helms and Bradley Cooper "reunited" with their Hangover co-star.
Weekend Update - Seth Meyers, featuring James Carville, Randall Meeks, The Girl You Wish... etc.
• Best jokes: Clitoris Awareness Week
• What was up with the way Update was structured tonight? It seemed like after every 2-3 jokes, Seth would immediately introduce the next Update guest. Seth had about a grand total of only 9-10 jokes on tonight's Update. Strange. But hey, the less Seth, the better, I say. I'm praying that these are the final three episodes of his SNL tenure. I know some people don't want him taking over Late Night now that Jimmy Fallon's soon moving to The Tonight Show, but let's face the facts, guys - Seth taking over Late Night is probably the only way we're ever going to get rid of him on SNL.
• I'm tired of the James Carville commentaries; they're all the same and feel too "by-the-numbers". The writing in his commentary tonight came off lazier than ever and the script contained nothing noteworthy at all. However, I give props to Bill for getting laughs with his improvised goofy gestures during this; he cracked me up a little with his ad-libbing with the "ghost". Though I have to question how we're supposed to believe he can pay attention to all of the questions Seth asks him when he's too busy doing those goofy gestures at the camera/audience whenever Seth speaks to him. But then again, I can't blame ANYONE for wanting to block out Seth's voice.
• Is it just me, or does SNL use the last name "Meeks" for a lot of fictional characters?
• Fred's commentary was something I could kinda picture him doing as Steve Jobs a few years ago. Anyway, this one was okay. Nothing outrageously hilarious or anything, but it was fine and certainly better than most of Fred's Update commentaries these days. The porn part at the end was pretty funny, too.
• Cecily's Girl at a Party character... I don't really know what to say about her tonight. I feel like if you've seen one of her commentaries, you've seen them all. She did have some amusing lines tonight, but I want them to shake up the format with this character because I'm getting tired of the same one-note formula. Even with Drunk Uncle, they did something a bit different and unexpected in his last appearance by bringing out Peter "Drunklage" as his friend.
Sketch - M&M Store
• At first, I was worried this was going to be the return of those sketches I can't stand with Bobby & Cecily telling off their co-workers. But then I realized only a few castmembers were playing the employees in this one, whereas the Bobby & Cecily sketches always have the entire cast playing the employees.
• This sketch was great. Zach was absolutely PERFECT for a sketch like this, and he did an excellent job - the perfect combination of a good script and a strong host to execute it.
• All of Zach's offensive remarks had me cracking up a lot, especially the "How" bit with Nasim, and his movie theater comment to Kenan.
• The complete randomness of this happening at an M&M store of all places also made me laugh.
Sketch - Darrell's House
• This was very creative and interesting, and something that seemed tailor-made for Zach, much like the preceding M&M Store sketch.
• I was laughing out loud right from the start with the bizarre opening credits sequence & theme song featuring Zach's bouncing head.
• I was surprised some parts didn't get a bigger reaction from the audience, but I personally found this whole sketch hilarious, even before we saw Part 2 of this. Zach constantly stopping to tell the director all the strange edits he wants done was really funny to me (especially him randomly requesting a shot of the Showtime at the Apollo audience), and I loved his outburst at Vanessa at the beginning, then saying afterwards "no rage... no rage..."
Sketch - Michael Jordan's Wedding
• This was decent overall, although there's not much to talk about here. Zach and Jason were both very funny as the increasingly-coked up emcees.
• Kenan as Barkley had some funny lines, and Jay's Dikembe Mutombo made me laugh; I especially liked the detail of him having prosthetic long fingers.
Commercial - New Balance
• It was nice seeing Zach appear in a pre-taped fake ad, but this commercial was kinda boring and nothing special. I felt it could've been a lot funnier.
• Only part I really laughed at was Zach stealing half of the passerby's pretzel.
• Casting Tim Robinson as a fat guy is a bit of a stretch as he doesn't look all that big to me, but I guess they needed a third "heavyset" white guy for this.
Mini-Sketch - Darrell's House: The Finished Cut
• While watching the first Darrell's House sketch earlier, I was wondering if it was going to show what the finished edited version looked like, but then the sketch ended and I figured we unfortunately wouldn't be seeing the finished version. Glad to see I was wrong.
• A brilliant idea to have a continuation of the first sketch by showing the edited cut as a separate sketch later in the night. This segment had me laughing my ass off! The sloppy edits were funny as hell, especially Vanessa's voice being partially left in, Zach being seen in the background during one of Jon Hamm's shots, and how Al Jolson was the only singer they could get cleared.
• M&M Store
• Darrell's House
• parts of Weekend Update
Best Performer of the Night:
• Zach Galifianakis
CASTMEMBER / HOST COUNT DOWN
ARMISEN: 4 sketches (FOX & Friends, Update, M&M, Wedding)
BAYER: 5 sketches (FOX & Friends, Match.com, Aniston Look-Alike, M&M, Darrell's House #1)
HADER: 2 sketches (Game of Thrones, Update)
KILLAM: 5 sketches (FOX & Friends, Game of Thrones, Match.com, Aniston Look-Alike, New Balance)
MEYERS: 1 sketch (Update)
MOYNIHAN: 4 sketches (FOX & Friends, Aniston Look-Alike, M&M, New Balance)
PEDRAD: 3 sketches (Match.com, Aniston Look-Alike, M&M)
PHAROAH: 1 sketch (Wedding)
SUDEIKIS: 3 sketches (Aniston Look-Alike, M&M, Wedding)
THOMPSON: 5 sketches (Aniston Look-Alike, M&M, Darrell's House #1, Wedding, Darrell's House #2)
BRYANT: 3 sketches (Game of Thrones, Match.com, Wedding)
MCKINNON: 1 sketch (Match.com)
ROBINSON: 2 sketches (M&M, New Balance)
STRONG: 3 sketches (Match.com, Aniston Look-Alike, Update)
ZACH GALIFIANAKIS: 8 sketches (Monologue, Game of Thrones, Aniston Look-Alike, M&M, Darrell's House #1, Wedding, New Balance, Darrell's House #2)