Well, that was Lindnevitable. Lindsay Lohan hosted arguably the worst Saturday Night Live of the season. A case could be made for Charles Barkley’s episode being worse, but there’s a natural absurdity to that guy that made his ineptitude funny. Lohan was just, well, what? What’s the word? I have no word, because I have no memory of anything she did on that stage. She’s like the girl in your new improv class who you’re like, “Kinda hot, but not funny. Can’t act. I hope I don’t get paired with her, but I'd be down for some beers later.”
And it wasn’t like you were the only one thinking this–the entire cast was thinking it too, as were the writers, who produced mostly phoned-in material. Psychic Awards? Rude Buddha? That thing with the radio guys that I couldn’t even make it 30 seconds into? Come on, guys! You were on such a hot streak! Thank god for Bill “James ‘King of the Snakes’ Carvill” Hader, or the night could have easily been a total wash.
Now let’s check out some of the highlights and lowlights from the show.
The cold open was actually pretty good. With Mitt Romney looking to be the inevitable Republican nominee, we’re going to have to start getting pretty used to Jason Sudeikis’ impression of him. It’s not a great president character in its own right, like Will Ferrell’s Bush or Dana Carvey’s Bush Sr., but it’s kind of amusing. And the introduction of the five creepy sons (anyone know who the fifth son is? I’m guessing a writer) was definitely a winner.
Now let’s talk Lindsay’s monologue. This was just kind of depressing to me. Has there ever been a host in SNL history whose whole monologue was predicated on the fact that their career is in the toilet and the industry is doubtful they can fulfill any obligation? Well, now one has, as Lindsay opens her monologue with, “I know, right?” Actually, I don’t know. You know that you shouldn’t be hosting SNL? Anyway, there’s ankle monitor jokes and pat down jokes and then Jimmy Fallon pops up and then Jon Hamm pops up! And suddenly it’s a party! But then it’s just Lindsay again, and you’re all, eh, whatever.
Okay, this was like, the gayest sketch in SNL history, and I mean that in the best way possible. Marrying the Real Housewives to the Disney Princesses?! Inspired. Another oasis of awesome in a sea of mediocrity this week.
As long as we're praising highlights, the other instance of comic bliss was Bill Hader’s James Carville on Weekend Update. Without overstating things, I think this sketch may have just elevated Hader to the status of American treasure. Of course, the moment it will be most remembered for is this line, followed by a cobra-like swivel of his bald head: “I know Romney looks like a president, but we don’t always get the job we look right for. If we did … I’d be King of the Snakes!” Check out this photo of the real Carville and tell me if that isn’t wholly accurate.
“Delinquent Girl Teen Gang” was probably one of Lohan’s stronger sketches, if only because she looked good in her outfit as the star of one of those bad-girl B-movies from the 1950s, a genre I can get totally behind. Of course, Lohan wasn’t given anything funny to do. That fell to Fred Armisen, who looked surprisingly good in drag. The joke: His character keeps getting hit by a car. Sound dumb? It was, but I found it kind of funny. I could have watched him get hit by a car a few more times at least.
The “Scared Straight” sketch, which I know has its fans (of which I am not one) was pretty laugh-free until the very last second, when Sudeikis hopped onto his desk, sending a cup onto the floor with a loud “pop,” which for some reason made everyone laugh, which in turn made me laugh.
Finally, here is a short, absurd clip parodying those CD-bundle TV ads hosted by some dude in a turtleneck stoking a fireplace. Except without the songs, it’s just some dude stoking a fireplace.
Overall, a not-so-hot effort from SNL. Hopefully we can expect better things from Skinny Jonah Hill next week. In the meantime, what did you think? Was I too hard on Lindsay? Did I leave out any sketches you happened to love or loathe? Let us know.