SNL Makes Magic with Ed Helms and Paul Simon

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There was a certain something special hovering over the SNL proceedings this week. I’m going to give the credit at least partially to Paul Simon, who was the second person to host Saturday Night Live ever, and who just brings a certain, impish magic with him wherever he goes. And then there was host Ed Helms, a talented and likable presence who nevertheless went underused. (His baton twirling routine in the opening monologue was a highlight, but NBC hasn’t posted the video. Darn music-licensing rights!) So what could it have been? Might it have been the all-star, live-action return of The Ambiguously Gay Duo? Yes. I do believe that was it!

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, there was a trip back to the "What’s Up With That?" set, a sketch I’ve previously asked be put into cold storage—but which may have a little life in it yet! On the random celebrity panel was the delightful Chris Colfer, a.k.a. Kurt from Glee, who was clearly enjoying the requirement to sit completely mute, for once. There too was Paul Simon, just as adorable when he politely asked why Lindsay Buckingham (Bill Hader) was always on the show but never allowed to speak. Then Ed came out to play his sexy banjo, and then the real Lindsay Buckingham played an acoustic guitar solo. And the California Raisins! It was an embarrassment of WUWT riches! (Okay. Now we can retire it.)

Now we can talk about "The Ambiguously Gay Duo," a Robert Smigel classic that hasn’t been on the show for years. It felt like such a special occasion! Like when The Grateful Dead trotted out “Dark Star,” or something. I really don’t know what led to this amazing encore. I’m guessing the glut of superhero movies inspired Smigel to sell Lorne Michaels on the idea of a live-action version. The casting was mostly inspired—particularly Jon Hamm as Ace (voiced in the cartoons by Stephen Colbert) and Steve Carell as Bighead. I would have liked someone other than Jimmy Fallon as Gary, though. Think about how much funnier it would have been if the show had cast someone who could poke fun at the rumors of his own, ambiguous sexuality. (Cough cough Anderson Cooper cough cough.) But whatever, it was totally awesome. That eel! OMG.

Finally, I’d like to give a shout-out to my favorite, ill-prepared homenerds, Garth and Kat. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Garth and Kat are hilarious. Keep not rehearsing, guys!

Well, that’s it for this week. Next week is the big season finale, with Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga! Let’s make a party of it! I'm making a giant, papier-mache egg special for the occasion.

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