Opening — Obama Addresses Harry Reid Rally — 1
New Saturday Night Live cast member Paul Brittain plays Harry Reid. Fred Armisen continues to do his terrible Obama. Reid tells Obama that he would like to distance himself, so they spend the time dissing Obama and telling the people of Nevada they aren’t friends. This is another opener that leaves me scratching my head as to why they even try political satire.
Monologue — Emma Stone — 5
Emma looks like what would happen if Jodie Foster and Lindsey Lohan had a kid. Stone talks about being in the next Spiderman and how comic book movies attract nerds. Nerds in the audience start asking her if she’ll make out with them. Taran Killam and Bobby Moynahan make a funny appearance as Jonah Hill and Michael Cera, but that’s it. Not a very funny monologue, but Emma looks confident.
Baby Spanx — 7
Got a fat baby? Get new Baby Spanx to slim them down. Funny commercial.
Dream Home Extreme — 7
Kristen Wiig plays variation 4,032 of her obnoxious lady character, hosting a giveaway on HGTV. Her overwhelming excitement fails to impress the winner of the contest, played by Emma Stone. Didn’t they do this sketch before? Perhaps with Brian Williams. The sketch does get funny as Wiig’s attempts to get Stone to react are met with disinterest.
WXPD 9 News — Soupin’ — 9
The local news leads off with a shocking story about teens “soupin”, eating expired soup to get high. A funny satire on the way local news likes to scare people with overhyped stories about nothing. The follow up story about “trampolining” is absolutely hysterical, especially when they explain how young girls are rewarded for sexual favors with special bracelets.
Digital Short — I Broke My Arm — 9
Emma Stone does a Britney Spears impersonation as a girl who slipped in grape jelly and broke her arm. And then she breaks her other arm. And it goes downhill from there. Like all great Digital Shorts, this one is catchy and silly. This one has a very funny ending to boot.
The View — 4
Emma Stone shows up to play Lindsey Lohan and does a fine job, but the sketch is simply not that funny. SNL keeps going to the View for laughs and finding few. Time to give it up, Lorne.
Brett Favre Wrangler Open Fly Jeans Commercial — 7
Jason Sudekis plays Brett Favre playing backyard football with the guys in his Wrangler Open Fly Jeans which allow him to hang out and take all the pictures he wants. The look of Bobby Moynahan in the commercial is priceless.
Kings of Leon — Radioactive — 6
Oh My God, it’s a U2 song with mumbled lyrics buried in the mix. Yawn.
Weekend Update — 8
Keenan Thompson appears costumed and made up to be Jimmy McMillan of the “Rent Is Too Damn High” party. His impersonation is dead on and had me crying with stories of houses costing $17 million dollars and the importance of “breakfastlunchanddinner”. John Mulaney does commentary about things he loves in a low key bit that is a lot like the commentaries in the 80’s version of SNL. Bill Hader returns to talk about the nightlife as “Stefan” with some outrageous commentary about what he sees in the clubs. Hader starts breaking up when he talks about a fat kid with knees that look like biscuits. It’s completely random and Hader keeps struggling to keep from breaking up. The jokes get a laugh, the guests are funny. This is one of the funnier WU’s of the young season.
Funny Line: “In case you’re wondering how much Republicans hate NPR, they’re siding with a black guy named Juan.”
Les Jeunes De Paris — 10
A sketch done entirely in French with three young men and three young women in a cafe who break into a dance routine. Some brilliantly silly physical comedy with Emma Stone and Taran Killam playing with dough, tremoving bras, and dancing. Not sure who came up with this one, but it’s so incredibly different for the show these days that I loved it.
My Brother Knows Everything — 3
Another tired tradition at SNL is the “little girl” sketch. This is a sketch where one of the female cast members acts like a hyper little girl. In this variation, Nasim Pedrad plays a preteen who loves her cool brother and devotes her own show to him. It’s grating and not funny.
Ed Vincent Sex Symposium — 2
I guess this is Lorne’s attempt to see if SNL’s censors are awake as Paul Brittain plays an amateur sex therapist doing some crude demonstrations and talking about sex at a hotel seminar. I love a good crude joke as much as the next guy, but there’s not a thing clever here.
Kings of Leon — Pyro — 7
I think I would like the song if the lyrics weren’t buried so far down in the mix. Not sure if this intentional or not, but the music sounds great and the vocals are just a muddled mess.
Googie Rene’s Partially Damaged Costume Barn — 4
Keenan Thompson plays the owner of a damaged costume store and Emma Stone is his assistant. Another typical end of night Keenan sketch in which he puts a lot of energy into something barely written. The premise actually sounded like it could be funny. Sadly, the sketch wasn’t.
Overall — 7
Emma Stone was confident and poised in her SNL debut, and she got to play a part in some very funny stuff. The Le Juenes De Paris was one of the most inventive sketches SNL has done in a long while, and was one of the first I’ve seen in a long while where the cast really seemed to be enjoying it. The new cast got a lot of play tonight, and most of it was promising. I just wish to hell that SNL would leave the political jokes to the Daily Show and focus on creating a funny opening for a change.