Saturday Night Live

Season 33 Episode 8

Amy Adams/Vampire Weekend

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Mar 08, 2008 on NBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Live from New York, it's... Amy Poehler!

Sketches include "Clinton Attack Ad," "Mirror Image," "Green Card Couple Therapy," "A New Superhero" (Digital Short), "Fierce: The Hot Mess Makeover Show," "Penelope in Driving " "Dr. Uncle Jimmy's," "Roger Clemens Presents," "The Best of the Tookie Stiles Show," and "Dancing Galpals."

Vampire Weekend performed "A-Punk" and "M79."moreless

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  • Warning: May Contain Witty Show Tunes About Unadulterated Loathing

    A Review by HelloStuart, Amateur Critic and Art Garfunkel Apologist

    I guess some of you noticed that I didn't write a midseason recap with my review last week. Having watched the first several broadcasts of the show since returning from the strike, it's hard to tell if SNL has changed for the better or worse, but in some ways it's hard to cluster the four pre-strike shows with what we have now. The time difference was too much. It's been a weird year for all of us, but I also didn't see the point in recapping only six episodes.

    This week's host is Amy Adams, the Oscar-nominated TV/movie actress best known for her work in "Junebug" and "Enchanted." The musical guest is Vampire Weekend, an upstart rock group from New York City with a yen for 80s-era Paul Simon; their debut album is getting near-universal critical acclaim, much I guess merits a stint on SNL against a more established indie-rock group.

    And now, the sketch-by-sketch analysis:

    COLD OPENING: A rejuvenated Hillary Clinton (AP) airs a vicious, meandering attack ad depicting "President" Barack Obama (FA) calling her at 3 AM to cuss, smoke, and wonder about handling Iran. Her desperate tactic (yes, I'm aware that the polls say they're tied) inspires her new slogan for anyone willing to leap off the O-bandwagon: "Wait, we've changed our minds!" I still can't tell if SNL is endorsing her or not, as several writers are reported to be, but at least they've stopped bringing in the real candidates. MONOLOGUE: Amy and Kristen's facial similarities results in a number from the musical "Wicked," complete with forced stage combat. Unnecessary would be a good word to sum this up.

    "Mirror Image": Spoofing ABC Family, probably because they don't have any of the crossover hits that earn Disney and Nick their billions, two one-time identical twins (Adams, KW) fail to fool their new classmates. Amy and Kristen's look-alike features are milked out for another comedy bit, but it still added up to one long, painful fat joke.

    "Couples Therapy": Sociological domains clash when a Bulgarian farmer's daughter (AP) who snuck into the US via fishing boat attends therapy with her clueless, quickie-marriage husband (WF) and even more oblivious therapist (Adams). The premise was thin, but this sketch was a highlight of the show; Bargdona begs for her "soulmate" to sign her citizenship papers with deadpan desperation, but he's more concerned about her lack of sexual prowess.

    DIGITAL SHORT: A rich bachelor's (AS) attempt at becoming a Batman-type vigilante backfires big-time. I liked the musical buildup, though the beatdown as a bit much.

    "Fierce": The catchphrase-spewing, quasi-transsexual winner of "Project Runway 4" gets his/her own makeover show, with Tim Gunn (BH) and Heidi Klum (Adams) tagging along for good measure. Odds are by the time this episode ends up on E!, nobody will remember who Christian is, so that makes me even more doubtful that this sketch will make the hour-long cut.

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: "A-Punk" has a vague Afro-beat influence, but having heard the song several times now, it sounds more a cross between The Clash and The Feelies than anything off of "Graceland."

    WEEKEND UPDATE: No campaign stops here, either? Whew! A few light Hillary jabs imply that the writers want to stay non-partisan, though they're still not keen on McCain. An appearance by perennial third-party aspirant Tim Calhoun (WF) was delirious; however, the reliance on puns makes me wonder if this recurring character has run beyond its course. After seeing Kenan's latest half-assed potential recurring character (some of French Def Comedy Jam comic), I must wonder who he's paying off to keep making the final Update cut. Amy's singing of the "Ghostbusters" –er, I mean Brooklyn Ghost Investigators- theme song was passable, though.

    "Penelope": This time around, our marble-mouthed, hair-pulling antagonist (KW) is in a court-mandated driving class, where she brags about befriending Muppets and shrinking to two inches in height. Usually Kristen's delivery carries the sketch, but this time she was definitely going through the motions.

    "Dr. Uncle Jimmy's": It's a BBQ restaurant… and an outpatient surgical center! This bizarre juxtaposition has been pondered many times before in "New Yorker" cartoons, but it finally gets fleshed out on live television. With today's health care system, it almost feels like an HMO is just about ready to pop in some local eatery, if not somewhere else out of place. The intent topical wasn't satire, but it didn't stop me from chuckling once or twice. (For the record, I don't take Ellen Pompeo seriously as a doctor or an actress, so more points for Ms. Adams.)

    "Roger Clemens Presents": The Rocket's (JS) attempt at a morality play justifies steroids as a way of life, and going cold turkey will make you look like a Disney actress with fake facial hair. His attempts at pinning the blame on "stat geeks" feels thrown in, but that's only a minor nitpick compared to how this belated take on the Mitchell Report feels like too little, too late.

    "The Best of the Tookie Styles Show": An aging old-school hip-hop dancer (KT) plugs a DVD of his late 70s/early 80s talk show, which seemed to inadvertently welcome international political conflicts. Moments of zook-zook-zookin' are abruptly stopped by the assassination attempts of Israeli, Palestinian, and IRA figureheads. Like "Dr. Uncle Jimmy's," this combined two things with nothing in common but a time and place; unlike the smokehouse, it never really felt connected.

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: "M79" brings out the Rhymin' Simon influence, though I still don't know what inspired VW to hire such a crackerjack four-piece string quartet. Seems decorative to me…

    "Dancing Galpals": I'm starting to wonder how weak the cut sketches were in the final dress rehearsal. At a bar called Celebrations, four inauspicious women (Adams, AP, KW, CW) perform the same choreographed dance routine at various tempos, mostly to the sad, muted displeasure of the all-male barflies.

    Tonight was an example of solid talent pushed to its absolute limits; the cast looked a little weary, but they still made the best effort they could. Though this week's show was no better than last week's, Amy Adams was a capable host bogged down by a somewhat worn-down cast. Three straight weeks of shows are nothing new, but I'm going to assume that everyone was either saving their energy for next week or that an unplanned 3 ½ month sabbatical did wonders for the cast's stamina. On the other hand, it's encouraging to see SNL landing more daring, less commercial musical guests, though next week's selection has proven the trend will be short-lived.

    Sketches/Segments That Will Probably Be Removed In Repeats: "Fierce," "Roger Clemens Presents," "Tookie Styles," and "Dancing Galpals."

    Next Week: After being scratched four months ago, "Superbad" star Jonah Hill hosts with musical guest/wilting flower Janet Jackson.

    Contact "HelloStuart" at
  • Fierce Tranny Hotness!

    Amy Adams is hosting this week with musical guest Vampire Weekend. We're 2 episodes in, and it's already ranged greatly. Tonight's episode may set the tone for the rest of the season.

    Cold Opening: This opening was actually a really funny opening, which I wasn't expecting since we've been beating a dead horse with Obama and Hillary. But, it got me in the mood.

    Monologue: Not really funny, but entertaining. I love the song they sang, since I've heard it from Wicked before, but chuckles were scarce during the monologue.

    Mirror Image: This season has brought some clever slogans for the televison channels, but this really didn't get a laugh out of me. It was almost like they were trying to find a slogan too hard. Anyways, the sketch itself made me laugh a lot because of Kristen's talent.

    Marriage couple: Will's character loves his wife. His wife just wants to be able to get her Visa renewed and proove that she's settled down. How did this make it pass dress? It was funny at first, but nothing like this should be before Update. Then again, it wouldn't be the first time..

    SNL Digital Short: Hero: Once the delivery came, I laughed out loud for a while. The long execution was really funny, too. It just kept on having me laugh and laugh knowing it was still going on.

    Project Runway: Amy's Christian Siriano was really funny, while it was nice to see Casey iin a straightman role. This sketch was a really good one, too.

    Musical Performance: Vampire Weekend performs "A-Punk" which is a really good song.

    Weekend Update: Jokes, once again, were more miss than hit. Kenan's Jean K. Jean was just... no. Tim Calhoun was funny though. But the bad outweighed the good.

    Penelope: The gas is running out on this character. Both the Molly Shannon and Peyton Manning sketches were great, but you could tell by the LeBron one, that this was losing it's wheels.

    The BBQ Sauce: Will Forte! It feels like we haven't gotten ANY of him since the strike returned, let alone this season. The sketch carried itself in its own bizzarre way. It was a really good sketch, especially for it's time slot.

    Roger Clemens Presents: Jason's Clemens was great, but the sketch was realy rushed and done with.

    Tookie Styles Show: Another Kenan sketch. It was better than Jean K. Jean, and I actually laughed a bit. The joke got old after the first two, though.

    Musical Performance: Vampire Weekend performs "M79". Another great song from their great album.

    The Girls Dancing: Seemed like a Tina Fey idea. I bet this was some sketch that was writen, but didn't even get to dress. This was funny to some extent. A pretty good 5-to-1 sketch, though.

    This show was once again a mixed bag, but the good topped the bad. There was really no painful sketch to sit through tonight, which is always good. It's just that you can tell the writers and cast are kind of burning the lamp out for creativity. Still, this topped the Ellen Page show.

    Amy was a really versitale host, and I really want to see her host next year again. Vampire Weekend was another amazing band, making this season's musical guests 5/ 6 positive. (Or 5/7 counting Bon Jovi)

    Next week: The dreaded 4th week. Ugh. Jonah Hill/Janet Jackson. But, Jonah's our first guy host since we've been back, so more creativity could come with him. I didn't even know Janet had a new album out.moreless
  • A so-so episode that mixed a few good sketches with three pretty bad ones. Amy (Adams) and the cast did well with the decent sketches, but were unable to make some of the weak sketches anything other than forgettable.moreless

    3AM Cold Open - A clever take on the Hillary commercial with snappy dialogue. Went on a bit too long, but I loved the introduction "I approve this unfair and deceptive message." The absurd photos added a lot to the writing. Grade: B+

    Amy Monologue - I usually hate singing monologues, but this was a cute song that reminded me a bit of the Falling for Chevy song from many years ago. Grade: B-

    Mirror Image - A bit like the Doublemint Twins in a bad Disney movie. Fine concept that was executed well, but did not have enough joke escalation. Grade: B-

    Marriage Counseling - Ha, I have known more than a few suckers who have fallen for the "Green card" scam. A nice turn by Amy, completely opposite to her typically ultra-hyper characters. Grade: C+

    Super Loser Hero Digital Short - So much for the Dark Knight. A short that was going well with the song buildup until the ultra-violence ending. The punching went on far too long and pretty much ruined a good short. Andy's twitch at the end was a good touch. Grade: B- (would have been an A without the lame ending)

    Fierce The Hot Mess Makeover Show - I'm not familiar with the source material, so this pretty much reeked for me. Maybe it was a decent impression, but it wasn't funny out of context. Grade: D

    Weekend Update - Tim Calhoun is hilarious. His jokes are far better than the rest of the WU jokes and far better than the typical WU guest. As usual Kenan's appearance was weak and completely forgettable. Grade: B

    Penelope - Kristen has done a great job with this character. What started off as an unassuming sketch has blossomed into one of my favorite recurring sketches. I loved her surprising entrances into the frames. It added quite a bit to the sketch. My biggest complaint would be that they are still placing Penelope in the same type of settings: parties, meetings, classes. How about an elevator or a train where nobody can escape her craziness? Grade: A-

    Uncle Jimmy's Smokehouse and Outpatient Surgical Facility - I had high hopes for this when it started, but it didn't get outrageous enough for me. There should have been more mixups between the Op room and the kitchen. And I probably would have liked Forte more if had done an Aykroyd type approach. Not bad. Grade: C+

    Roger Clemens Presents - Sudeikis played Clemens kind of like his Dane Cook except much more PO'd. It doesn't matter since this sketch didn't really go anywhere and was more of a timefiller. Grade: D

    Tookie Styles Show - This was much funnier when it was Tracy and Horatio doing their Rip Rap Rippity Do. On the bright side, it wasn't nearly as annoying as Virginiaka or Deep House Dish. Grade: D

    Ladies Bar - Hilarious choreography makes this an enjoyable sketch. The ladies were believable and funny as desperate bar flies. Good chemistry all around. Grade: B+moreless
  • Shamefull and soooo not funny.

    Dayumn, this season of SNl is sooooo not funny. This episode was really shamefull to watch. I felt really bad for all the lousy sketches that gone on air.

    The script was bad. I couldn't laugh with any of the sketches, not even a single smile. I think that, in despite of the efforts of some of the cast (Amy and Kristen can get milk out of stones, really), this was the worst episode ever. The host is a fox, but, once again, funless. Even the weekend update was bad.

    Last of all, what was Vampire Weekend? Lousy band, full of clichées and musicians trying to look cool, but resembling that idiot savant kids, without the "savant" part.

    I'm really, really thinking about quit SNL after this week's show.moreless
  • A slight improvement from last week's episode.

    I think it's pretty obvious by now that the writers have returned to the show from their long strike...unfortunatly, their ability to write didnt. And we're all thinking...what the hell happened? I was afraid that this episode was going to be a repeat or a worse version of the train-wreck of last week's episode featuring Ellen Page (where the sketches were dull and you couldnt find the funny). Fortunatly this time around, Amy Adams was given better use of her acting skills. (I felt that Ellen Page was too "Juno-fied" in all the sketches she was in last week.)

    I found only a few bare improvements from this episode compared to last week's:

    The best sketch of the night was obviously the Penelope in Driving Class sketch because I just love these sketches and I'm pretty sure they got the biggest laugh in the entire episode.

    The SNL Digital Short was 10000x times better than last week's confusing funnyless nightmare sketch. It was funny to hear what a bad singer Andy Samberg was and superhero getting beaten up keeps you laughing.

    I enjoyed the galpals in the bar one too only cause it reminds me of how girls go to the bars together in real life. I wasnt paying much attention to the Green Card Couple Therapy sketch but the things I did hear sounded pretty funny.

    In conclusion, SNL please get new writers or go back on strike. Thank you.moreless

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • In "The Tookie Style Show" sketch the head of the Mossad appears in uniform. However, Mossad is a civilian branch of the Prime Minister's office. Not only that, his rank is Lieutenant General, the highest rank in the Israeli army which is reserved to the chief of staff. He has six war decorations, meaning he had to participate in every war since 1956 Suez Crisis. He's got decorations showing he completed a three-year pilots training and completed a parachute drop while in combat (the only one occurred during the 1956 war).

    • During Weekend Update, a map of the state of New Jersey appeared to include the borough of Staten Island, which is part of New York.

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Christian: This jean jacket is a hot mess, but these stirrup pants are fierce. This turtleneck is tranny fierceness. Tranny!
      Stephanie: I don't... know what that means.
      Christian: Fierce, tranny, you better work.

    • Theme song:
      They were two identical twins and they decided to pull a trick,
      They pretended to be the same person and only did half the work,
      Their plan was working perfectly, no one suspected a thing,
      But then they got to high school and one of them got fat!

  • NOTES (2)

    • Sketches not shown in the 60 minute version: the Tim Calhoun segment on Weekend Update, "Fierce: The Hot Mess Show," "Penelope at Traffic School," "Roger Clemens Presents," "Tookie Styles Show,"
      "Celebrations Bar," and Vampire Weekend's performance of "M79."

    • Sketches cut after dress rehearsal: two reporters (Kristin Wiig, Will Forte) are unable to inform an on-location anchor (Amy Adams) of ongoing occurrences; 'HD Ultrasound' (rerun from Seth Rogen/Spoon); in a PSA, Dr. Drew Pinsky (Fred Armisen) and Kineckie from 'Grease' (Jason Sudiekis) inform the public about Daylight Saving Time; a traveler (Jason Sudiekis) is informed of every small detail about his hotel room by his concierge (Amy Adams).


    • During Weekend Update, Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers sing the "Brooklyn Ghost Investigations" song to the tune of the theme song from the 1984 movie Ghostbusters.

    • Amy Adams & Kristen Wiig: "What Is This Feeling?"

      In the opening monologue, Adams and Wiig sing the song "What Is This Feeling?" from the musical, Wicked, which is one of Adams' favorite musicals.