Eric McCormack is very funny on Will & Grace, so I expect him to be a good host. Don't expect to see Jay-Z in a sketch again after the "shit" incident in the Robert Goulet sketch. ________________________________________________________
(COLD OPENING) Giuliani's endorsements Highlights: - Some pretty funny parts, especially the "Heinrich Himmler is my hero" part, and the taped message at the end with the badly dubbed-in syllables. - Darrell's Giuiliani impression is always good. Lowlights: - Went on for too long. - Why say "Live from New York" on tape? Sort of defeats the purpose of even saying it. Additional Notes: - On "Extra" yesterday, they showed SNL backstage, and this sketch being was rehearsed, but Eric McCormack appeared to be playing Chris Parnell's part.
(MONOLOGUE) Eric McCormack dispels the gay rumors Highlights: - Eric made a great entrance and he seems comfortable as the host. Lowlights: - "Questions From the Audience" monologues are never funny. And this was basically just a rehash of Lucy Lawless' monologue. Additional Notes: - When I first saw Kattan's Mango outfit under his robe, I was like "Damn, they're doing a Mango sketch!" Thankfully, I was wrong.
(SKETCH) The Bachelor Highlights: - The "Last Chance Tuesday's" commercial was brilliant. They should've just done that as a regular commercial parody instead of using it in the middle of this skit. - The funny voice that Maya talked in. Lowlights: - I don't like this one-legged character. I've started to sour on Amy Poehler in general this season, and this character isn't making that any better. Additional Notes: - Eric looked a bit like Will Ferrell in that wig.
(NEXT WEEK) November 9, 2002 from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding": Nia Vardalos Strange that they actually had to say what movie she was in so people would know who she is. Has she been in anything else other than My Big Fat Greek Wedding?
(SKETCH) Taking games too seriously Highlights: - Hilarious performance from Rachel, and it was good to see her in the lead role in a sketch. Lowlights: - None. Additional Notes: - This actually brought back memories of something similar that I saw happen in real life: Years ago during gym class in school, we were playing soccer and our team lost. One of the guys on our team got so mad, he ran up to a wall that had drawings from other classes on there, and ripped down all the drawings, then punched a hole through the wall. We all just stood there completely shocked.
(COMMERCIAL) Campaign Ad #1: Call Ellen Frankel Highlights: - None. Lowlights: - Where were the laughs? I know this is making fun of all those campaign ads that have shown on TV lately, but if it's going to be a spoof, they have to make it FUNNY. Additional Notes: - None
(COMMERCIAL) Campaign Ad #2: Call Andy Talarico Highlights: - None. Lowlights: - Still not funny. Even the Boo Mason/Bat cave debate thing from the Ben Stiller episode is looking funny compared to this. - Studio audience was completely dead. Not even any applause at the end. Can't say I blame them, though. Additional Notes: - Did anyone notice the footage of Chris Kattan's character was from the Val Kilmer cold opening?
(SKETCH) American Morning with Paula Zahn Highlights: - Tina in a sketch! And she actually has a main role in it! Lowlights: - Too bad the actual sketch wasn't very funny. The 'Two News Anchors in Love' premise went nowhere. - Did Parnell really have to sing? I mean, he does have a good singing voice, but singing in sketches is one of my personal SNL pet peeves. This is part of the reason why I never liked the Kulps. I'm not a music person. Additional Notes: - None.
(COMMERCIAL) Campaign Ad #3: Call Ellen Frankel Highlights: - Okay, the "J.Lo wants Ben's babies" article was funny. Lowlights: - The rest. Additional Notes: - None.
(MUSICAL PERFORMANCE) No comment.
(WEEKEND UPDATE) Fallon & Fey, Gene Shalit, Baby K Highlights: - The Britney/Christina restaurant joke. - The David Gest joke. Lowlights: - Gene Shalit. I swear, they just put Horatio on Update so he and Jimmy can crack each other up. Save that for Jarret's Room, okay guys? - What in the world was with the Baby K bit? - The lame Phil Collins bit. - Overall, not a great Update tonight. In fact, Update has been pretty lackluster all season so far. What's happening? Fallon & Fey used to always deliver. Now, Jimmy seems to be trying to channel Norm MacDonald, and a lot of Tina's rants are becoming uninspired. Luckily, she didn't do any on tonight's Update. Additional Notes: - Man, David Gest looked freaky in that picture. - There were some glitches with the special effects during the Baby K bit. They'll probably fix that in the rebroadcast, or show the dress version.
(SKETCH) Put Away That Bullhorn! Highlights: - Nice to see Will Forte getting a lot of stuff to do lately. He seems to have a lot of potential. - Eric was funny with his facial expressions. Since he had no dialogue during this sketch, he had to sell his character with body language. Lowlights: - This got repetitive after a while, and that bullhorn was seriously starting to give me a headache. Additional Notes: - They're using that same courtroom set a lot lately. - I thought there was going to be some explanation at the end about how Eric's character couldn't speak and he could only communicate with others through bullhorn noise.
(COMMERCIAL) Campaign Ad #4: Call Andy Talarico Remember the Mack North/Fred Peete debates from the David Spade episode? THOSE were funny.
(SKETCH) Z-105 Highlights: - None. Lowlights: - Really bad. Not even Eric could save this. Jimmy changing the pitches of his voice brought back harsh memories of Kattan's Hollywood character, and that ain't good. Additional Notes: - Jimmy, please go back to doing celebrity impressions.
(COMMERCIAL) John Hancock Insurance Highlights: - A very funny, low-key parody. - Good to see Eric in this. The host is rarely in the pre-recorded commercials. Lowlights: - None. Additional Notes: - They're doing a LOT of commercial parodies this season.
(MUSICAL PERFORMANCE) No comment.
(SKETCH) Jackass the Musical Highlights: - The premise of having a musical for Jackass is hilarious in itself. And the fact that they had distinguished Shakespearean actors playing the roles of the Jackass castmembers made this even funnier. Lowlights: - Seeing Jeff "Wide-Shoulders" Richards shirtless. Additional Notes: - Did Jeff borrow those gold shorts from Mango? Either way, I did NOT need to see him in it. - I know I said earlier in the review that I don't like it when they sing in sketches, but this is an exception. - Seth and Eric were cracking up all throughout this. - I'm surprised they did the stunt where they tipped over the port-a-potty with Eric inside of it. The walls were probably heavily padded inside so he wouldn't get hurt, but that still looked painful.
(SKETCH) Subway Fred rehash #2 WHY does SNL keep pairing up Tracy and Maya up in these pointless, unfunny sketches with them talking to the camera? It didn't work the first time with Subway Fred, it didn't work with How He Treats His Woman, and it doesn't work with this. They gotta stop it with these. ________________________________________________________
(CONCLUSION) A really disappointing show overall. Maybe even worse than the SMG episode, though at least this had a livelier studio audience. There was far more bad material than good. I got my hopes up after the great John McCain episode and I thought that meant this season was ready to take off after a slow start, but now we're back to mediocrity again. Eric McCormack did his best with the material he had.
Overall Highlights of Tonight's Show: - Rachel Dratch in the "Taking games too seriously" sketch. - Tina Fey starring in a non-Update sketch. - John Hancock Insurance ad. - Will Forte and Eric McCormack's performances in the Bullhorn sketch. - Jackass the Musical.
Overall Lowlights of Tonight's Show: - The campaign ads. - Amy Poehler's one-legged slut character. - The Paula Zahn sketch devolving into the "Two News Anchors Falling in Love" premise. - Gene Shalit and Baby K on Weekend Update. - Station Z-105 sketch. - Subway Fred rehash #2. - Questions from the Audience monologue #24,368,352. - That damn bullhorn noise!
Funniest Single Moment: Rachel Dratch going psycho and tearing down the house in the "Taking games too seriously" sketch.
Best Lines: - Darrell Hammond as Rudy Giuliani: "The House of Representatives is a bitch!" - Tina Fey: "A tabloid reported this week that Britney Spears' New York restaurant Nyla is in trouble and may close after four months. In happier news, Christina Aguilera's Filthy Hot Dog Wagon is going strong." - Tina Fey: "VH1 has pulled the plug on "The Liza and David Show" after weeks of frustration of trying to deal with the control freak David Gest. Also there were fears that during shooting, the lights would melt his wax head." - Commercial voice-over: "John Hancock Insurance Frightening Your Family Since 1862." - Chris Parnell as voice-over: "Jackass the Musical: Like all your favorite musicals of the past, only with puking."
CAST MEMBER COUNT DOWN DRATCH: 8 sketches (The Bachelor; Taking games too seriously; Campaign Ad #1; Campaign Ad #2; American Morning with Paula Zahn; Campaign Ad #3; John Hancock Insurance; Jackass the Musical) FALLON: 2 sketches (Weekend Update; Z-105) FEY: 2 sketches (American Morning with Paula Zahn; Weekend Update) HAMMOND: 2 sketches (Giuliani's endorsements; Jackass the Musical) KATTAN: 6 sketches (Monologue; The Bachelor; Campaign Ad #1; Campaign Ad #2; Campaign Ad #3; Campaign Ad #4) MORGAN: 1 sketch (Subway Fred rehash) PARNELL: 5 sketches (Giuliani's endorsements; The Bachelor; American Morning with Paula Zahn; Put away that bullhorn; Jackass the Musical) POEHLER: 4 sketches (The Bachelor; Taking games too seriously; American Morning with Paula Zahn; Put away that bullhorn) RUDOLPH: 3 sketches (The Bachelor; Taking games too seriously; Subway Fred rehash) SANZ: 2 sketches (Weekend Update; Put away that bullhorn) ARMISEN: 0 sketches EDWARDS: 0 sketches FORTE: 3 sketches (Giuliani's endorsements; Taking games too seriously; Put away that bullhorn) MEYERS: 4 sketches (Giuliani's endorsements; Taking games too seriously; Put away that bullhorn; Jackass the Musical) RICHARDS: 2 sketches (Baby K; Jackass the Musical)
Rachel Dratch was all over the place, which I was, of course, very pleased to see. I'm not the biggest Dratch fan ever, but I do think she's very underrated and deserves to be used more than her usual 1-2 sketches per show. Fred Armisen had nothing all night, which was kinda surprising after the great debut he had in the first 3 episodes. But it was nice to see Will Forte show his stuff tonight. After the Tim Calhoun bit, I'm starting to become a fan of his. And Dean got the shaft AGAIN??? That's 2 shows in a row. What, has this guy been demoted to trimming Lorne's fingernails during the live show?