OPENING — Rachel Maddow Show — 6
Rachel Maddow (Abby Elliott) interviews Charles Rangel (Kenan Thompson), John Boehner (Bill Hader sadly, without orange makeup), and Nancy Pelosi (Kristen Wiig). Elliott nails Maddow’s speech patterns, humor tinged voice, and more. Hader is not so great with his Boehner. Wiig doesn’t even try to be Nancy, but fares better simply with attitude. Keenan’s funny as Rangel. Sadly, the sketch is underwritten, so the laughs come from individual lines, not the premise.
Best line (from Maddow): “Nancy Pelosi, someone who always looks like she’s just witnessed someone not using a coaster.”
“Hello, young man!” Rangel to Maddow.
Monologue — Anne Hathaway — 7
Hathaway discusses being nude in Love and Other Drugs by showing several magazine covers, including a hysterical one for Highlights for Children. As she discusses this, cast members interrupt her telling her that there are sketch changes requiring her to be naked. It ends with a funny line from Kristen Wiig.
Commercial — TSA — 9
What starts out like a late night phone chat / phone sex commercial turns out to be a commercial about the TSA being available to grope you 24/7. Funny.
Miley Cyrus Show — 8
Vanessa Bayer once again does her expert impersonation of Miley at ear bleeding volume. Anne Hathaway plays her first guest, Katie Holmes, with a scary good impersonation, capturing her facial tics and voice. They discuss Batman which Katie Holmes starred in and Miley says she starred in. She then shows a clip of her audition, which is hysterical. Kinda cruel, kind a funny.
A Penelope Thanksgiving — 7
Anne plays a charity worker at a homeless sheleter having to deal with Kristin Wiig’s Penelope, the character who always feels the need to one-up everyone. The sketch manages to find new and sillier ways for Penelope to outdo the woman, many of which are amusing, if not laugh out loud funny.
Kate and William meet the Royals — 8
Andy Samberg plays Prince William and Ann Hathaway plays Kate Middleton. Fred Armisen plays the Queen Elizabeth and Bill Hader plays Prince Phillip. When William steps away from the room, Queen Elizabeth immediately gets a punk attitude and tells Kate who is in charge and along with Phillip starts to threaten Kate. Armisen is funny for a change as the rough and tumble queen. Great sketch.
Florence and the Machine — Dog Days are Over — 6
I’m still waiting for a musical guest to bowl me over on SNL. Hasn’t happened in awhile and it’s not happening tonight.
Weekend Update — 7
Bobby Moynihan is special guest Guy Fieri, Jason Sudekis plays a creator of Four Loko, and Seth Meyers does a funny bit about Sarah Palin’s “refudiate” being word of the year in a segment called “Come on, dictionary!” and Jay Pharoah impersonates several rappers doing Thanksgiving songs in an uneven, but mostly satisfying update.
Funny lines (over a picture of a TSA screening) — “This year marks the first Thanksgiving in which travelers will get molested BEFORE they get to their uncle’s house. “
Turner Classic Movies — Deleted Scenes from Wizard of Oz — 6
Fred Armisen plays a deleted character, the Weather Vane, who just wants his own apartment and talks like a deranged Woody Allen. Funny premise but done in by lazy writing.
WXPD News New York — 8
Bill Hader plays an ancient broadcaster with a booming voice trying to report a robbery, but he’s unable to hold the microphone steady, ask pertinent questions, or hear the anchor asking him questions. Works because of Hader. Different and funny.
Black Friday at Mega Mart — 10
An awesome SNL ad in which a store does everything in its power to ensure that people die at its Black Friday sale. This one builds from the idea of having a 12 minute only sale and adds crazy detail after detail to create a winner. One of the best SNL ads ever.
Camel Tame — 2
And a great SNL commercial is followed by one that’s simply crude for a device to stop a woman’s “business” from showing through her clothes.
Florence and the Machine — You’ve Got The Love — 6
An interesting sound, an interesting voice, but not a great song.
Horse Play — 6
A trailer for an animated movie and its soundtrack with Randy Newman, the Cranberries, Alanis Morissette, The Cure’s Robert Smith, Adam Lambert, and Cee Lo. An excuse for cast members to do impersonations to varying degrees of success. (Samberg’s Robert Smith and Keenan’s Cee Lo are the winners.)
Overall – 7
Tonight felt like commercial night, and if it’s remembered for nothing else, it should be the Black Friday commercial, which is among the most amusing bits they’ve done in years. The rest was decent, but always well short of laugh out loud funny. Still, Anne Hathaway is a great host and should be brought back again.