Since this season is now half-way over, it's time for a mid-season review.
1. Justin Timberlake
2. Alec Baldwin / Missy Elliott
3. Elijah Wood / Jet
1. Halle Berry / Britney Spears
2. Jennifer Aniston / Black Eyed Peas
3. Kelly Ripa / Outkast
1. Alec Baldwin
2. Jack Black
3. Justin Timberlake
1. Andy Roddick
2. Jessica Simpson
3. Nick Lachey
1. Hardball with Chris Matthews (both from 10.11.03 and 12.13.03)
2. Gary the Speedreader
3. The Barry Gibb Talk Show
4. Justin Timberlake sings with Kermit the Frog
5. A Message from Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey
1. Britney's wedding
2. Ashford and Simpson
3. Johnny Cash in Heaven
4. Raw Talk
5. Jock Talk
Best Cold Openings:
1. Hardball with Chris Matthews
2. A Message from Jeff Zucker
3. Kobe and Vanessa prepare for press conference
Worst Cold Openings:
1. A Message from President Bush (from 11.15.03)
2. A Message from President Bush (from 11.1.03)
1. Jack Black sings scat around the studio
2. Elijah Wood and Gollum's sitcom preview
3. The real Al Sharpton meets the Old Al Sharpton
1. Jessica Simpson & Nick Lachey's variety show
2. Andy Roddick tries to entertain the audience
2. Gary Busey for DirecTV
3. Tylenol Extreme
Best TV Funhouse Cartoon (well, there's not much to choose from since there's only been 2 this season):
1. Fun with Real Audio: President Bush
Worst TV Funhouse Cartoon:
1. Yankee Super-Heroes
Best Weekend Update Correspondents:
1. Tim Calhoun
2. Will Forte's Semi-Celebrity Sex Tape
3. (tie) Professors Patrick & Gunther Kelly / Billy Smith
Worst Weekend Update Correspondents:
1. Jimmy Buffett
2. Michael Jackson
3. Steve Irwin
Best Weekend Updates:
1. Fallon & Fey, nobody else (from 10.11.03)
2. Fallon & Fey, Will Forte, Christian Slater (from 11.15.03)
3. Fallon & Fey, John Mayer, Whitney Houston, Bobbi Kristina Brown and Bobby Brown (from 12.13.03)
Worst Weekend Updates:
1. Fallon & Fey, Michael Jackson, Donald Trump, Professors Patrick & Gunther Kelly (from 1.17.04)
2. Fallon & Fey, Billy Smith, Bart & Bob Swerski (from 10.18.03)
Rachel Dratch: Best Performance - as Abe Scheinwald in "Scheinwald Pictures"
Runner-up - as Barbara Walters in "20/20"
Worst Performance - as Elizabeth Taylor in "Michael Jackson on a Roller Coaster"
Jimmy Fallon: Best Performance - as Barry Gibb in "The Barry Gibb Talk Show"
Runner-up - as Jeff Zucker in "A Message from Jeff Zucker"
Worst Performance - as band member in Alec Baldwin's monologue
Tina Fey: Best Performance - Weekend Update (from 10.11.03)
Worst Performance - Weekend Update (from 1.17.04)
Will Forte: Best Performance - as Gary the Speedreader
Runner-up - as Tim Calhoun on Weekend Update
Worst Performance - as Larry in "Cow Fart Study"
Darrell Hammond: Best Performance - as Chris Matthews in "Hardball"
Runner-up - as Al Gore in "Howard Dean for America"
Worst Performance - as George W. Bush in "A Message from President Bush" (both from 11.1.03 and 11.15.03)
Seth Meyers: Best Performance - as Dave Klinger in "Zinger vs. Burns"
Runner-up - as John Kerry in "Democratic National Committee"
Worst Performance - as Joey Lawrence in "The Best of Klymaxx"
Chris Parnell: Best Performance - as Steve in "Gaystrogen"
Runner-up - as Joe Lieberman in "Hardball" and "Democratic National Committee"
Worst Performance - as mascot in "Benny's vs. Omeletville"
Amy Poehler: Best Performance - as Kelly Ripa in "Live with Regis & Kelly"
Runner-up - as Dennis Kucinich in "Democratic National Committee"
Worst Performance - as Elizabeth Taylor in "Michael Jackson on a Roller Coaster" and Weekend Update (from 1.17.04)
Jeff Richards: Best Performance - as Gary Busey in "DirecTV"
Runner-up - as Howard Dean in "Howard Dean calls county chairmen"
Worst Performance - as Blake Deternent in "Jock Talk"
Maya Rudolph: Best Performance - as Vanessa Laine in "Kobe and Vanessa prepare for press conference"
Runner-up - as Scott Joplin in "Tennis Talk"
Worst Performance - as LaToya Jackson in "The LaToya Jackson Show"
Horatio Sanz: Best Performance - as Vasquez in "Art of Italian Cooking"
Runner-up - as Rosie O'Donnell on Weekend Update and "Versace Eggnog"
Worst Performance - as Jimmy Buffett on Weekend Update
Fred Armisen: Best Performance - as Billie Jean King in "Battle of the Sexes II"
Runner-up - as Billy Smith on Weekend Update
Worst Performance - as customer in "The Best of Klymaxx"
Finesse Mitchell: Best Performance - as Kelis on "American Idol"
Worst Performance - as Starkeshia in "Girlfriends at the Japanese Steak House"
Kenan Thompson: Best Performance - as Bill Cosby on Weekend Update
Worst Performance - as Nick Ashford in "Ashford and Simpson"
(COLD OPENING) "Nightline"
-- Nice to see Darrell's Ted Koppel impression back.
-- Darrell's comments.
-- Seth got John Kerry's smile dead on.
-- A lot of Parnell/Lieberman's comments.
-- Don Pardo apparently still thinks Chris Kattan is in the cast. And where the hell was Jeff?!? I sure hope he wasn't fired (and if he was going to get fired, they could've at least had the decency to wait until the end of the season), but I doubt he was since I'm sure there would've been some online news on it in advance or at least a rumor. Maybe he was just busy with another project all week and couldn't make it to the show, but it was dumb of them to remove his picture.
(MONOLOGUE) Megan Mullally's other side
-- The Vermont/Massachusetts reference.
-- Megan confusing Clay Aiken for Ruben Studdard.
Misc. Comments & Observations:
-- Jimmy looked like he was playing his Jeffrey's character with his hair like that.
(SKETCH) "Celebrity Poker Showdown"
-- Darrell's Geraldo impression.
-- Some of Jimmy's voice impressions.
-- Seth's "two queens" joke.
-- Megan needed a lot more make-up than that to look like "raccoon-eyes" Tammy Faye Messner.
-- Jimmy's impression of Kevin Pollack himself was weak. I couldn't help but think that Jeff could have done it better if he were there, since he's also a good impressionist and he even kinda looks like Pollack.
(COMMERCIAL) "Huggies Thong"
(SKETCH) Childish boyfriend
-- A funny premise.
-- Megan's mean reactions to Amy's character.
-- The ending was weak.
(NEXT WEEK) February 14, 2004: Drew Barrymore
-- She's not bad, but hopefully this will be better than her last episode from 01-02, which was awful.
(SKETCH) "Golden Globe Awards"
-- Amy's Sharon Stone impression was hilarious.
-- The various stuff Megan was caught doing on camera.
-- Was this taped or live? How did Megan get changed so fast from the previous sketch?
(SKETCH) Black-friendly cab driver
-- Megan assuming Kenan's going to a trial.
-- Kenan played a good straight man and his reactions were funny.
-- Finesse following the two girls to the strip joint.
-- Megan wearing the chain necklace at the end.
-- No comment.
(WEEKEND UPDATE) Fallon & Fey, Billy Smith, Barbara Walters
-- Tina's Lieberman campaign joke.
-- Jimmy's Justin Timberlake joke.
-- Tina's gay marriage joke.
-- Great to see Fred's Billy Smith character back.
-- Jimmy's second Janet Jackson joke.
-- The American Idol tape with Jimmy.
-- Tina's Botox joke.
-- Rachel had some good lines.
-- Barbara Walters' camera filter.
-- Tina's first Bush joke.
-- Jimmy's first Janet Jackson joke.
-- Jimmy's James Brown joke.
-- I heard that same Pope John/Electric Boogaloo joke on some other talk show earlier this week; I can't remember which one.
-- The Barbara Walters segment ended weakly with the song.
(SKETCH) The Wizard of Oz
-- Fred's "awkward" line.
-- Kenan's comment.
-- The "There's no place like home" gimmick not working.
-- The bit with Darrell at the end was a hilarious twist.
-- Some weak parts.
(SKETCH) Zinger vs. Slam
-- At first, I wasn't too happy about this being brought back since it was really Alec Baldwin's character who made the first Zinger sketch funny, but Seth's insults and zing moves were a lot funnier this time and Megan was good, too,
-- The comment about Rachel's character looking like Velma.
-- Parnell yelling at Rachel.
Misc. Comments & Observations:
-- Was Megan supposed to screw up her line at the end about Seth loving his zingers more than her?
-- No comment.
(SKETCH) Famous singers' relatives backstage
-- Kenan's wig alone had me laughing.
-- Kenan's singing.
-- Parnell as the mean security guard.
-- I like that Clay Aiken didn't bring his crew to crowd up the whole stage like all musical guests do. We could actually see the whole cast this time.
Overall Episode Grade: B
-- Golden Globe Awards.
-- Oprah's Favorite Things: Birthday Edition.
-- Fred as Billy Smith.
-- The American Idol tape with Jimmy.
-- The ending of The Wizard of Oz
-- Jimmy's Kevin Pollack impression.
-- The ending of the Barbara Walters segment on Weekend Update.
Funniest Single Moment:
-- Jimmy's American Idol tape / the audience reactions in Oprah's Favorite Things
-- Announcer: "You're watching Bravo, the gay stuff and poker network."
-- Amy Poehler as Sharon Stone: "I have dined with kings. I have danced with angels. I have partied with stuntmen."
-- Tina Fey: "It was a disappointing primary season for [Joe] Lieberman, but on the plus sign, his campaign was long, quiet, and depressing enough to qualify as a Jewish holiday."
-- Jimmy Fallon: "Justin Timberlake is reportedly upset with Janet Jackson over the Superbowl halftime incident, saying that he was told her breast would never be in full view. But is it really so shocking that a member of the Jackson family member took advantage of a naïve young boy?"
-- Jimmy Fallon: "Monday was Groundhog Day. Janet Jackson's breast popped out of its hole, saw its shadow, and now we'll have six more weeks of overreaction."
-- Tina Fey: "In an interview with Dateline NBC, David Gest claimed Liza Minelli beat him, says he has received 80 shots of Botox in his head to deaden the pain. Okay, that explains him, but who's been beating up Meg Ryan?"
-- Rachel Dratch as Barbara Walters: "(to herself) Barbara, after only two decades, you're leaving 20/20. Now you'll be full-time over at The View, listening to Joy Behar scream about menopause, while you sit in one of Star Jones' fart clouds."
-- Rachel Dratch as Barbara Walters: "Barbara, if you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be? (answering herself) I guess a bonsai. Beautiful, delicate yet strong, pruned into perfect shape -- and 400 years old.
-- Chris Parnell as scientist: "The Mars Rover could be lost forever unless we find its solution in the next five minutes -- so I'm going to ask that you spend no more than four of those minutes working out your differences through a series of zings and slams."
-- Kenan Thompson as Leon Warwick: "As you can clearly see, I am Leon Warwick and this is Connie Raitt. But apparently, we're not on the list"
Chris Parnell as security guard: "Okay, I don't give a fat turd if you're Kirsten Timberlake."
CASTMEMBER COUNT DOWN
DRATCH: 5 sketches (1: Huggies Thong; 2: Oprah's Favorite Things: Birthday Edition; 3: Weekend Update; 4: The Wizard of Oz; 5: Zinger vs. Slam)
FALLON: 3 sketches (1: Megan Mullally's other side; 2: Celebrity Poker Showdown; 3: Weekend Update)