Saturday Night Live

Season 34 Episode 3

Anna Faris/Duffy

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Sep 27, 2008 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: D
  • 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.
  • Well above average episode featuring an instantly classic Sarah Palin sketch and an exceptionally strong Weekend Update.

    9-27-2008 Season 34 Episode 3
    Host - Anna Faris
    Musical Guest - Duffy

    "Cold Opening - Katie Couric Interviews Sarah Palin" - Finally, SNL digs it's claws in! I'm writing my review late, so it's funny to see how much this has already been played on pretty much every news program in the country. This is certainly one of SNL's highest profile single sketches in recent memory. Guest appearance by former cast member TIna Fey, she looks and sounds so much like current Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin that it's truly amazing. With Amy Pohler as CBS anchor Katie Couric. Needless to say, it was a brilliant skewering, especially when Fey recounted Palin's words nearly verbatim. - 4

    "Monologue - Anna Faris" - While I'm always tempted to award even the worst monologues with an extra point if they avoid the tired "questions from the audience" angle, I still feel like I'm giving this one too much credit by scoring anything other than the bare minimum. Faris does some dumb blonde shtick, with asides that are even dumber. Yawn. - 2

    "The Drive Home" - Faris and Jason Sudekis are a couple driving home after dropping off some friends after a night out. Faris worries about her various inappropriate behavior during the dinner,while Sudekis reassures her repeatedly. Kind of flat sketch, and nothing really exceptional about it. - 2

    "McCain/Obama Debate" - Good to see former cast member Chris Parnell return as the moderator in the first debate between John McCain (Daryl Hammond) and Barack Obama (Fred Armisen.) Some more sharp political humor equally jabbing both candidates. Let's face it, as weak as we can sometimes (most times?) accuse SNL of being, their track record of political debate sketches over the years is very strong, and this one was no exception. - 4

    "Blind Date" - A semi musical sketch featuring Faris and her blind date (Keenan Thompson) canoeing in the middle of an isolated lake late at night. Faris suspects Thompson is not all that he seems. I really thought this sketch was great, another example of SNL going farther and being more original than the standard talk shows/game shows type sketches that they do too often. A funny concept, funny lines in the songs, and funny performances by Faris and Thompson. I love it when SNL does the unusual, and they totally hit the mark with this one. - 4

    "Musical Guest - Duffy" - The song had a nice, old school grove. I guess the success of Amy Winehouse has re-ignited interest in this type of music. While Duffy's pinched voice and limited range annoy me a little, I still dug the song and her retro vibe. "Weekend Update" - Hammond's guest spot as former president Bill Clinton was a grand slam home run,brilliantly lampooning Clinton's tepid enthusiasm for current Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. Hammond got one of the longest extended laughs from the studio audience that we've heard on "Update"in a very long time. Kristen Wiig returns as the very nervous Judy Grimes. While this character seems to be just one joke (she instantly retracts everything she says with "just kidding") the absurd extent her retractions go border on surreal, and Wiig's rapid fire delivery is very funny. She got a lot of laughs from the audience. With these two strong guest commentaries and a mostly strong set of news jokes bordering them, this was clearly an above average "Update" - 4

    "The Strippers At Scores" - Strippers and club owners at Scores discuss the economic bailout and how to handle the Champaign Room in difficult economic times. This was another fresh, original sketch. I love the smart, funny writing and good performances by Faris, Wigg, Casey Wilson, Thompson, and Bill Hader. Great stuff. - 4

    "Deep House Dish" - Thompson hosts a dance/talk show in this recurring sketch. Wigg and Andy Samberg were funny as well. Overall, there's not too much to dislike about it. - 3

    "Slightly Stained Wedding Dresses" - This sketch contained the third Facebook reference of the night! While it probably shouldn't have been back to back with the previous sketch featuring Thompson as a similar central character, I still thought it was a pretty funny concept and fairly funny sketch. - 3

    "Musical Guest - Duffy" - I'm not crazy about her vocal quiver, but once again the song was a winner, oozing coolness.

    "The Ex-Boyfriend" - Bill Hader joins two friends at a pub, and introduce them to his new girlfriend (Faris) who can't stop talking about her previous boyfriend. While I thought Sudekis' spit take into his beer was funny, this sketch didn't have a lot of anything else going for it. - 2

    It should also be noted that this episode contained no parody commercials or filmed segments of any kind (other than brief clips of Fey as Palin reluctantly shaking hands with world leaders at the United Nations.)

    Final thoughts: Well above average episode featuring an instantly classic Sarah Palin sketch and an exceptionally strong Weekend Update.

    Final score: 32 out of 40: 80% funny
  • Live From New York It's Saturday Night, with host Anna Faris! This week saw the big, blonde star of House Bunny take to the stage as host of SNL. She has been hailed as one of the best comic actresses of her generation, so how would she measure up on SNL?

    Cold Open: This was a parody of the Sarah Palin/Katie Couric interview. Tina Fey returned to reprise her highly publicised impression of Ms. Palin, and she didn't disappoint. This sketch was once again poking fun at Ms. Palin's lack of experience on foreign policy and general lack of knowledge. My favourite quote? :
    "Every mornings, Alaskans get up and you know, they look around for Russians. And if they see any hanging around, they say, you know, you have to get out of here. We keep an eye on them."
    While Poehler's impression of Katie Couric was really nothing like Katie Couric, her facial expressions were hilarious.

    Monologue: Pretty short monologue this week in comparison to the previous two weeks. It involved Anna (who pronounces her name like Onna) Faris poking fun at the blonde bimbo stereotype. It was actually quite funny. Faris was already better than Franco/Phelps here.

    New Friends: This sketch had an interesting premise. It involved a couple dropping off their friends and then wondering why they didn't like them. They explore questions like "Do you think I said the 'n' word too much?" and "What was up with that when I asked to take a picture of his penis Quite funny, and had a good ending.

    Presidential Debate: As you can imagine, this was a sketch pardoying the presidential debate with Armisen reprising his role as Obama, and Hammond doing McCain. And who is that? Is it.. it can't be.. it's Chris Parnell impersonating Jim Lehrer! This sketch was a little half-hearted and again, wasn't as hard-hitting as it could have been. Fred's impression of Obama started off as usual, but by the end Obama sounded as though he were in the Sopranos.

    Rowboat Date: This involved a girl going on a date with a mysterious stranger who turns out to be a drug dealer who intends on murdering her. There's singing, and I have to say Kenan has quite a nice voice. This was one of my favourite sketches of the night. It was a little offbeat, but consistent with the laughs. Duffy : Not the best performance I've seen of her. And is it just me, or did she look really old? Considering she's only twenty-four.

    Weekend Update : Best of the season so far, with Bill Clinton and Judy Grimes serving as the guest commentators. My god, that Bill Clinton part was probably the funniest bit of the season so far. Once again Hammond got it dead-on. Favourite quote:
    "Thank you Amy, thank you Seth. Most importantly, thank you Duffy."

    Scores: Weakest sketch of the show. Puzzled as to how it made it past dress rehearsal in the first place. It featured strippers who decide to adjust their prices to keep their high-end clientelle (affected by the financial market collapse) and thus, keep their club open. Pretty lame.

    Deep House Dish: Poorest edition of these so far. It featured Kaylee Moore, Bear Supply, and Natasha Slovanya. Bear Supply was the only thing good for a laugh here. Once again, T-Shane recounted DJ Dynasty Handbag's embarassing moments at various fast-food outlets. Slightly Stained Wedding Dresses: Another of the weaker sketches. A commercial featuring a shop that sells wedding dresses worn "once, twice,36 times". Only thing mildly amusing here was Anna Faris' bridesmaid and even that was pretty bad. Duffy : Skipped through this.

    Beer Garden: Fine. Anna Faris was decent in this. It featured a girl bragging about her ex-boyfriend while on a date. Usual standard for the final sketch.

    Everything before Weekend Update was good, and probably what you would call above average. However, after Update, everything was pretty lame. What was with the lack of cast members featured this week! Kenan was in most of the sketches, as was Faris. But where was Will Forte, or Andy Samberg or Jason Sudeikis? I do have to give props to Kenan this week. He varied it up a little, and was less OTT than usual. Anna Faris was the best host of the season so far, and certainly proved her comic chops. She wasn't bad in one sketch and kept her energy up for the whole show. Not an easy feat for the poor material she was given in the second half.
    7/10 (it would be six, but gets 7 for the brilliant WU).

    Next week : Anne Hathaway/The Killers
  • Anna Faris hosts.

    I wasn't sure what to expect from Anna Faris. The actress is best known for being in the Scary Movie series (which weren't funny because of her) and more recently the God-awful House Bunny film.

    Tina Fey was great in the opening sketch as Sarah Palin yet again, but Amy Poehler continues to be overrated. I won't be sad when she departs.

    Anna Faris' monologue was absolutely awful. The opening sketch was not very good either, even though Jason Sudeikis was great. Anna is already bringing the show down only 13 minutes in. And what was the point of that ending?

    Chris Parnell returns! The sketch itself was pretty boring, but it was great to see one of the most underrated cast members of all time come back. The line about the American people having the right to know what their candidates look like naked was great though.

    The canoe sketch decent but it was only good because Kenan Thompson was great in it. Duffy's music really is not of high quality. Seth Meyers was good as usual in the Weekend Update segment, as was "Bill Clinton". Kristen Wiig had to ruin things with her characters that are all absolutely the same. Except for Kenan again the stripper segment was terrible. I'm not Bill Hader's biggest fan, but he deserves to be in more sketches than he is right now.

    The return of Deep House Dish was great as it got Kenan and Andy Samberg on the screen together. Unfortunately we had to put up with Kristen Wiig in it, but we still got some good lines from the two male hosts. The following act was not much better either. The final sketch was decent, but Anna Faris failed to succeed in the role as she didn't play the part correctly.