Saturday Night Live

Season 34 Episode 3

Anna Faris/Duffy

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Sep 27, 2008 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
51 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Live from New York, it's... Tina Fey!

Sketches include "Sarah Palin Interview," "New Friends," "The First Presidential Debate," "Rowboat Date," "Scores," "Deep House Dish," "Googie Rene's Slightly Stained Wedding Dress Basement," and "Superior Ex-Boyfriend."

Duffy performed "Mercy" and "Stepping Stone."

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Double the blonde, double the fun

    A Review by "HelloStuart," Amateur Critic and House Bunny

    This week's host is Anna Faris, a seasoned comedic actress whose cinematic work ranges from the highbrow ("Lost in Translation," "Brokeback Mountain") to the lowbrow (the entire "Scary Movie" series). Whether Anna brings a sense of class and professionalism to the show or goes on her ditzy blonde, slapstick autopilot remains to be seen. The musical guest is Duffy, the equally blonde R&B singer behind the acclaimed album "Rockferry."

    And now, the sketch-by-sketch analysis:

    COLD OPENING: Tina Fey resurfaces again as Gov. Sarah Palin, who demonstrates hints of xenophobia while discussing foreign policy with Katie Couric (AP). When grilled about the $700 billion bailout, she gives an incoherent answer and begs for a lifeline a la "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire." Though Fey's Palin impression is still spot-on, the character's rhetoric grew more one-dimensional as the sketch went on. On the other hand, Amy's Couric was about as half-hearted as you can get; whoever produced this didn't even bother with make-up or getting Katie's mannerisms down pat.

    MONOLOGUE: Anna admits that her dumb blonde shtick isn't an act, stating that "(her) mind is a prison" while giving a series of short, confessional soliloquies. It's all for laughs, but this mixed first impression suggests that we'll be seeing more of her lowbrow side tonight…

    "New Friends": While driving home, a couple (Anna, JS) discuss their new companions (BM, CW) while revealing some of their own sociopathic quirks. It was a funny, throwaway sort of sketch, but describing it just doesn't give it justice.

    "The First Presidential Debate": First Tina, now Chris Parnell? Are they reuniting the 2004-05 cast tonight? I guess nobody on the current cast could do a Jim Lehrer impression quite like Parns. Either way, tonight's spoof of the previous evening's debate is a bipartisan jab at both candidates; the usual McCain (DH) stodginess is matched by some overdue jabs at Senator Obama (FA), who pledges to give even more money to the Chicago city council. When questioned for supporting 90% of President Bush's policies, the Arizona senator disowns Bush, declares that he can't be trusted, than suggests turning the debates into a "nude or seminude" town hall meeting. It's no lockbox, but it certainly made for one of the more memorable debate sketches in recent memory.

    "Rowboat Date": The ex-girlfriend (Anna) of a drug deal lawyer is oblivious to the fact that her date (KT) is a hired hitman. There's some singing involved, and everything ties up nicely in the end. Problem is, the wacky plot twist was given away too early, so the last four minutes of the sketch was like watching the smoke after an explosion.

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: "Mercy" has a somewhat quaint, Nina Simone-meets-Dusty Springfield sound that makes its chart success somewhat mystifying.

    WEEKEND UPDATE: The "Nothing Accomplished" banner was good for a chuckle, but tonight's Update belonged to the triumphant return of Darrell's Bill Clinton impression. When asked about Senator Obama, Slick Willie avoids endorsing him and ends up complimenting for fellow moderate-in-disguise John McCain. As for Palin… well, let's just say there was a clever retort. In spite of that refreshing commentary, Update also welcomed back jittery travel writer Judy Grimes (KW) who's just as much of a nervy motor-mouth as she was the first time around.

    "Scores": The managers (BH, KT) of the noted Manhattan gentlemen's club threaten to close the Champagne Room because of the economic slowdown. Two pole dancers (CW, KW) have an informed discussion on subprime mortgages before a third stripper (Anna) reads an epiphany right off the cue-card. Another botched execution on what seemed like a droll concept.

    "Deep House Dish": Boy, it's been awhile since we saw Handbag and T-Shane (KT, AS). Tonight on the dish, Kaylee Moore (KW) turns her ponytail into a double entendre; the middle-aged Aussies known as Bear Supply (BM, FA, WF) are nearly laughed off stage; and Natasha Slovanya (Anna) makes a few wry observations on American culture. In other words, the same-old same-old.

    "Googie Rene's": A self-made businessman (KT) sells "slightly stained" wedding dresses for dirt cheap, than makes suggestions for accessories that will cover the burger grease, puke, and so forth. Not even Anna's presence as a professional bridesmaid could save this forgettable piece of filler.

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: "Standing Stone" is a dainty, ethereal ballad and a fine song in its own right, but I wouldn't have minded hearing "Warwick Avenue" instead.

    "Beer Garden": While meeting her new boyfriend's pals, a somewhat-reformed wild child (Anna) won't stop bragging about her ex's sexual prowess. Typically flat for a ten-to-one sketch, it kind of bothered me that only one person in this piece had any form of character development; it was just Anna and three cast members reacting to Anna.

    It took three weeks, but we finally found our first good episode of the season. Granted, this didn't feel like a typical SNL affair; unless you count "Deep House Dish" there were no ensemble sketches and Anna was the only dominant presence in the show. On that note, Ms. Faris was a capable host, never quite letting go of her ditzy persona but willing to try out a variety of characters. I found it strange that the inevitable debate sketch aired after the first commercial break, but I guess the producers wanted the media to gobble up Fey as Palin at least one more time.

    Segments that won't appear in the 60-minute edit: everything after Update, except possibly "Deep House Dish."

    Next Week: Anna's "Brokeback Mountain" co-star Anne Hathaway hosts with musical guest The Killers.

    Questions or comments for HelloStuart? Send him a PM, or e-mail Stu at
  • This was the worst, most unfunny SNL I have seen in a very long time.

    I usually look forward to SNL because it makes me laugh at least a few times, and especially during the past couple seasons it has really improved and I have enjoyed most of the shows. While I like Anna Faris, I thought this episode had literally 1 funny joke in the entire show, and the rest was eye-rollingly terrible. I kept watching because I thought I might miss something funny and I was optimistic that of course they must have something better later on. Even though I kept feeling the urge to turn it off I didn't. There was one funny joke during Weekend Update, which is usually good for at least few laughs, but even in the good mood I was in while watching I found the rest of the show hard to watch. Particularly the nervous character Kristen Wiig played during Weekend was just hard to watch it was so unfunny. I hated this episode. Better luck next time SNL...I'll keep watching but if any more episodes are like this one, not for long.moreless
  • Thanks, Amy. Thanks, Seth. But, more especially, thanks, Duffy... just kidding...

    Week 3 out of 4. Will the cast look weary? We'll see tonight. Last week was a very big improvement over the season premiere. Can tonight stick up to it's bet? Luckily, Marci got a woman to host which was the right thing to do. If you did 4 men in a row, you'd get stale. Infact, the last time they did 4 shows, (February/March) they started out with 3 women in a row. By the last broadcast, you could tell they were in need of a man.

    This week's host is Anna Faris, the HouseBunny. Never saw the movie, but I was told it was girly. I know she's talented, though, and she shouldn't botch up her lines at all. Well, maybe once or twice, but everyone does that. It's live television!

    Musical guest has been anticipated from me since I found out she was going to be on, and even before. Duffy will perform tonight, giving us that smooth deep music with her oh-so unique voice. I am ecstatic!

    Palin/Couric Interview: One complaint is how Amy had to play Couric. She did capture somewhat of a Couric esence, yes, but she's pregnant. I know they want to keep that "Poehler/Fey" thing going on for as long as they can, but, Kristen could have so done Couric. Asides from that, this was a great opening.

    Monologue: Short, which is fine. Faris exaguated the "stupid" thing too much with her semi-drunken voice.

    New Friends?: Once two new friends leave, a husband and wife review how the night went. They both wonder if what they said, including very inappropiate things, was too harsh. They also get the vibe that the two friends didn't like them. After watching this a second time around, I enjoyed it very much so. The first time around was making me wonder if it were a taped commercial, or a sketch, due to the fact that I didn't notice the long intermission before it shot to Faris in the car. Yes, it was live. By the way, did we need to end the sketch that wierdly?

    First Presidential Debate: Parnell is back! Can't complain. Even though it was pointless for him coming back since he had a scarce amount of lines. But, this was great. Much better than the 2004 debate sketches Ive seen. Fred has somewhat improved his Obama, but we all know he'll never perfect it. Maybe we should get Keegan-Michael Key on or something.... maybe not.

    Boat Ride: A blonde discovers that her date is going to kill her after he sings about it out loud twice. This made me laugh a lot. Kenan actually didn't ruin this sketch! Proud of him! But, I laughed out loud a lot during this sketch. Kenan's line, "You were singing out loud" was great.

    Musical Performance: Duffy goes through her awesome single, "Mercy", which she just rocked.

    Weekend Update: Best Update of the season thus far. Jokes were great, while I enjoyed Judy Grimes much more than her first time around. Bill Clinton's commentary was really great! I laughed at basically everything he said.

    Strippers At Scores: Smart strippers... interesting. This sketch didn't really take off. I can probably name this weakest sketch of the night.

    Deep House Dish: I got nauseous. I've gotta say though, I thought this was some what better than the season 32 and 31 sketches of this. The Bears ruined it though, I gotta say that.

    Used Wedding Gounds: Part 4,012 of "The Attempt of TBO Kenan Thompson". The sketch was decent, and reminded me much of the used matress furniture store back in 96, with host Martin Short.

    Musical Performance: Duffy performs "Stepping Stone" which is kind of a yawner, if it weren't for Duffy's performance. To think I was waiting for "Warwick Avenue" until 10 of 1o'clock.

    My Old Boyfriend: This went into the direction that I wanted it to go into. It was a good last sketch of the night.

    Anna Faris showed to be an average host for the show. She would rank a 5 out of 10 on the host scale. Duffy on the other hand, was magnificant. I was sad she didn't perform Warwick Avenue, but I did like Stepping Stones. Mercy was also very, very enjoyable.

    It's obvious that SNL's state right now is shooting for somewhat above average. In the recent episodes, they played host to 2, 3, or 4 great, great sketches, while the rest was middling, fine, or maybe weak. Tonight's episode did not have any taped segments (that hasn't happened since Topher Grace/The Killers, year 30), and had a lower amount of sketches, due to the two 10-minute sketches. I actually kind of liked that, though. Tonight's episode also didn't show-case the cast as much as last week did, but still, tonight's episode was a good show.

    Next Week: Anne Hathaway hosts, with musical guest The Killers, for the 4th week. I have hope for the 4th week. I'm also excited for both guests.moreless
  • This episode started off strong and peaked with WU. After that, it was all downhill. Outside of the two political sketches and WU, there wasn't a lot to love here.

    Palin Interview - A funny and fairly accurate parody of the Palin/Couric interviews. As crazy as the response about job creation sounded, Palin's own response was just as bad. Both Tina and Amy did a great job and I especially loved Amy's belabored blinking through all of that pancake makeup. Grade: A

    Monologue - OK, I guess. I have no idea who this person is and she is not particularly funny. Grade: C

    New Friends - I kept thinking of Will Ferrell when Sudeikis was talking. This is the kind of sketch that he could have really sold. The twist here is that we think this couple is fairly normal to begin with, but it turns out that they are incredibly offensive. Once the premise is out, it's one-liner after one-liner. Not sure I understood the reverse crash/explosion. Grade: B-

    McCain/Obama Debate - Welcome back Parnell! Tina has done so much since departing SNL and Parnell has been living under a rock or something. I thought the writers did a good job of making fun of both candidates. The best part was when Obama said he would play the race card with North Korea. Too funny. A good start to the debate season. Grade: A-

    Murder Date - This is where the show takes a turn for the worse. A musical sketch featuring Kenan? Puhlease! The premise wasn't particularly good, the songs were horrible and the performances were leaden. A typical Kenan outing. Grade: D

    Weekend Update - A particularly good WU tonight. Several good jokes, especially "Nothing Accomplished". The two guests were great and I have to tip my hat to Hammond. The old man brought his A-game tonight with great performances as McCain and Clinton. Wiig was funny again as Judy Grimes, just kidding, no really. I can't believe how fast she can talk! I noticed that Seth is finally trying to tell his jokes using deadpan. It works so much better than cackling after every joke you tell! Keep working on this Seth. Grade: A+

    "Scores" Bailout - Kind of cute I guess. The strippers feel the need to do their part to help out the struggling investment bankers. Ironic, but not overtly funny. Made me smirk once or twice. Grade: C

    Deep House Dish - Why, oh why is this POS sketch back? Grade: F

    Bridal Store - Another Kenan vehicle, this time peddling stained wedding dresses. Not particularly good. In the old days Aykroyd would have killed during this sketch. As it went down, only Kristen was amusing. Grade: D

    Ex-Boyfriend - Man, Hader was virtually absent tonight and the show suffered because of it. Nothing particularly inventive or grabbing about this sketch. The ending was so predictable, I had to groan. Grade: Dmoreless
  • OK, but hope it gets better soon!

    Anna Faris may be a popular actress, but I don't find her funny at all. The whole time I was watching the show, I thought she sounded like Drew Barrymore and looked like Britney Spears. The sketches were ok. The better ones were the Palin-Couric interview, the first presidential debate, the used wedding dress commercial, and the MTV show. The stupid ones were the first one after the monologue, the strip club bailout, and the beer garden sketch. The rowboat sketch was ok, but it wasn't funny, just dorky. Also, I didn't find the monologue to be funny. So she's a "dumb blonde". So what?

    Overall, I liked the presidential debate the best. It was cool to see Chris Parnell again. I wish SNL would bring back some of the past cast members, like Rachel Dratch and Horatio Sanz.moreless
Anna Faris

Anna Faris


Guest Star




Guest Star

Chris Parnell

Chris Parnell

Jim Lehrer

Guest Star

Tina Fey

Tina Fey

Gov. Sarah Palin

Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Googie Rene's Slightly Stained Wedding Dress Basement was pictured located under "Hunan Fort Chinese Restaurant," a spoof of Hunan Fifth Chinese Restaurant, which recently went out of business because of back-rent and an alleged rat infestation.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Katie Couric: What lessons have you learned from Iraq, and how, specifically, would you spread democracy abroad?
      Gov. Sarah Palin: Specifically, we would make every effort possible to spread democracy abroad to those who want it!
      Katie Couric: Yes, but... specifically, what would you do?
      Gov. Sarah Palin: We're gonna promote freedom, usher in democratic values and ideals, and fight terror-loving terrorists.
      Katie Couric: But again and, not to belabor the point, one specific thing?
      Gov. Sarah Palin: (pauses) Katie, I'd like to use one of my lifelines.
      Katie Couric: I'm sorry?
      Gov. Sarah Palin: I want to phone a friend.

    • Amy Poehler: Scientists reported this week that a newly discovered chicken-sized dinosaur that lived in North America survived by eating termites. The scientists arrived at this conclusion using a technique they call "guessing."

    • Seth Meyers: Sunday's 60th Prime Time Emmy Awards were hosted by the five reality show host nominees, in an apparent attempt to make us hate television.

    • Jim Lehrer: Throughout the debate, I will urge you both to look at one another up to and beyond the point it becomes uncomfortable.

  • NOTES (4)

    • Sketches not shown in the 60 minute version: "My Ex-Boyfriend," "Googie Rene's Slightly Stained Wedding Dresses," "Deep House Dish," "Scores," and both performances by Duffy- "Mercy" and "Stepping Stone."

      The 60 minute version includes an odd rarity-- a commercial break in the middle of Weekend Update!

    • Anna Faris previously worked with Darrell Hammond in the 2003 movie Scary Movie 3.

    • International airdates:
      Latin America: February 21, 2009 on Sony Entertainment Television (aka Canal Sony)

    • Sketches cut after dress rehearsal: Clay Aiken (Will Forte) meets with disappointed fans; a spoof of Cash4Gold commercials where two women (Anna Faris, Kristin Wiig) want to trade their silver for cash; a digital short where the sun (Andy Samberg) tries to cheer everyone up; a couple (Will Forte, Kristin Wiig) hire a babysitter for their dragon baby; Heidi Klum (Anna Faris), Howie Mandel (Fred Armisen), Ryan Seacrest (Bill Hader), Tom Bergeron (Jason Sudiekis) and Jeff Probst (Andy Samberg) host a variety show; Katy Perry (Casey Wilson) of "I Kissed A Girl" fame sings about other stuff she did; and during Weekend Update, David Blaine (Andy Samberg) performs more publicity stunts.


    • Gov. Sarah Palin: Katie, I'd like to use one of my lifelines.
      Katie Couric: I'm sorry?
      Gov. Sarah Palin: I want to phone a friend.

      This is an allusion to the British-American game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?.