It might have been the bottle of Pinot Grigio, but this week's episode of SNL was hilarious to me. I was giggling like a drunk schoolgirl. Host Emma Stone definitely deserves credit, because she is cute and a great comic actress who's willing to make herself look ridiculous. Actually, she kind of outshone some of the younger female cast members this week, but she’s a big movie star, so I guess she’s basically in the right profession. Don’t change what you’re doing, Emma! Things seem to be going all right for you. But there was also something just clicking in general. The show trotted out some of its weirder recurring sketches and each one felt fresh and funny. Let’s get right into it!
I’m going to gloss over the cold-open, which was a send-up of the Rick Perry memory-lapse gaffe. There are some things that are so implicitly ridiculous in their essence, trying to parody them just comes up short. This is definitely one of those instances. Instead, let’s slip into the monologue.
What they were doing here was poking fun at the rebooted nature of Emma’s upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man, by recreating Kirsten Dunst’s monologue from 2001. This one featured a cameo from Andrew Garfield, who had to endure a few lasagna jokes from Andy Samberg. Overall, a funny, breezy open. [Pinot Grigi-O-Meter: Half-glass. Sober, alert.]
“Secret Word” is one of those sketches that seems to rub people the wrong way, mainly for Kristen Wiig’s showy Broadway actress character, Mindy Grayson. The character has actually re-grown on me (after a few sketches I felt just didn't click). When she said, “Showbiz Magazine said, ‘How long is this?’” I just about lost it. Stone was funny too, as a mentally-off beauty queen. [Pinot Grigi-O-Meter: Full glass. Feeling good. Inhibitions down. Finding things very amusing.]
Similarly, the Herb Welch sketch was kind of sublime. Everyone loves Herb, the senile, grumpy TV reporter who should have retired 20 years ago. “Shouldn’t you be changing hotel linens somewhere?” he said to the female news anchor. How hilarious is that? But wait! It got funnier, ‘cause Wiig played a butch-ish witness who Herb refused to believe was a woman, and he started stabbing her in the crotch with his microphone. Both Bill Hader and Wiig broke during that part. [Pinot Grigi-O-Meter: Two glasses. Enjoying life immensely.]
The bachelorette party sketch really gave Stone a chance to stretch her inner-freak muscles, and involved a strange woman with a low voice presenting completely inappropriate gifts to a co-worker bride-to-be (e.g. anal lubricant, partially used). The best part of this sketch was Fred Armisen, who was hired to be the party’s “human toilet.” [Pinot Grigi-O-Meter: Holding steady at two glasses. Finding human toilets hilarious.]
The digital short was Andy Samberg playing a goofy, long-haired Michael Bolton-type singer shooting a video and singing a song in which the lyrics relay the fact that he expected rain, but the rain never comes. This was most definitely weird, but I wasn’t feeling it. I got distracted. Did anything funny end up happening? [Pinot Grigi-O-Meter: Hey, who finished the wine? Let’s open the Malbec, I guess.]
Next, I have some sad news for you, but since the “Les Jeunes de Paris” used a song by french dance artist Yelle, the sketch is nowhere to be found online. But it was a reprise of one done the last time Emma hosted, and was just gleeful and weird and involved tons of French stereotypes (best one this time: the Tour de France cycling by). [Malbec-O-Meter: First glass. Dancing along to Yelle. Must be drunk.]
I don’t usually include a musical performance in this story, but since Coldplay was on my musical guest wish list this year, I am going to give them a little love. I understand why people can’t stand Coldplay—they don’t ever push the limits with their sound. They basically write the same song over and over and it’s always catchy and never abrasive and would work in just about any movie scene in which two people in love are running toward each other in slow motion. That said, I thought they did a nice job. But no, won’t be downloading any of it from iTunes, sorry Coldplay. [Malbec-O-Meter: Still first glass. Holding up my iPhone and waving it back and forth in the air.]
Okay, Garth and Kat are probably the most divisive recurring sketch in SNL history. I am Team Garth and Kat are Funny. Obviously, I can't really argue with you if you are not. I actually spent some time trying to figure out why I find them funny, and I think I finally figured it out: They are totally burning through NBC’s expensive broadcast minutes with sheer, improvised stupidity. I love them for that. (And yet they are still funnier than Whitney. Suck it, NBC.) [Malbec-O-Meter: Glass-and-a-half. I’m laughing at the dumbest thing ever.]
Do we have time for one more? Yeah, why not. “Technology Hump” was basically a puppet show in which gadgets had sex with each other. Ever want to see an XBox controller make love to an iPad call-girl? Now is your chance! Seriously, this was so weird, and so creative, and so dumb, and so funny. I can’t believe Lorne Michaels gave it the go-ahead. [Malbec-O-Meter: Wasted. Eying my iPhone amorously.]
What did you think of SNL this week?