Saturday Night Live

Season 31 Episode 15

Antonio Banderas/Mary J. Blige

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Apr 08, 2006 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

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  • Satire on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

    A Review by “HelloStuart,” Amateur Critic and Masked Vigilante

    I honestly can’t believe that in the last ten weeks, I’ve only written two episode reviews. So it goes in a season where up is down, black is white, and the comedy runs hot and cold like a broken faucet. After the cancellation of the March 18th live broadcast, the SNL faithful had to undergo their third four-week hiatus of the season; the fact that this was previously unscheduled has been hard to bear for quite a few. The fact that there hasn’t been a memorable show since Steve Martin’s comeback two months ago has only salted the wounds even more.

    This week’s host is Antonio Banderas, the Latin heartthrob that was so memorably spoofed by Chris Kattan in a raunchy talk show parody nearly ten years ago. This week’s musical guest is R&B singer Mary J. Blige, who continues a recent pattern of bringing back acts that haven’t appeared on the show in at least a decade. Though I have nothing against her music or her presence on the show, this is slowing making me fear that this trend will eventually get out of hand; I’m almost afraid to wonder if the musical guests for the three live broadcasts in May will be Ellen Shipley, Gary Tigerman, and Fishbone.

    And now, the sketch-by-sketch analysis:

    COLD OPENING: Tonight on “Anderson Cooper 360,” Rep. Tom Tancredo (JS) continues to defend his anti-immigrant stance with red herrings, while Mexican President Vicente Fox (Tony) defends his countrymen’s thirst for exposed breasts in Tijuana. Afterwards, Rep. Cynthia McKinney (KT) defends her cop-slapping incident while just barely avoiding the race card. Sure, some of the political satire felt obvious, but it could've been excuted much, much worse.

    MONOLOGUE: Out of fear of being deported after the show, Antonio admits that’s he really a very homely woman named Guadalupe. At least he has no qualms about wearing a red cocktail dress…

    “Basic Instinct 2: Return of the Beaver”: A promo for the dead-in-the-water sequel promises more “hair pie” as well as additional tension between Sharon Stone (AP) and the beleaguered cop (WF) that cross-examines her.

    “Deal or No Deal”: Fred Armisen does another bad impression of an 80’s TV star (Howie Mandel, to be specific) in this inevitable spoof the hit NBC game show. Tonight’s contestant is unclear of the rules, which slowly frustrates host the former Dr. Fiscus. The fact that the briefcase bimbos are trying to help the poor schlub doesn’t help matters, which only enhances the absurdity in this bull’s eye of a parody.

    “Computerized Voiceover Lady”: The automaton sound-alike from Heder/Simpson (RD) is back and as flirty as ever. This time, she puts the charms on a “caller” (Tony) at a dinner party. Fred portrays the Spanish operator-surrogate in the most random moment of the show, which is more than enough to make this a decent sketch.

    “Besos Y Legrinas”: Remember that telenovela sketch from Aguilera/Maroon 5 in Year 29 where everybody was crying over somebody else? You don’t, but sadly I do. Tonight, everyone in a small yet tight upper-class neighborhood has their fingers wrapped around a hunky gardener named Paolo (Tony). If you do remember, it’s just more of the same; in other words, this was a one-joke skit taking advantage of the fact that the host just so happens to speak Spanish.

    “The 13th Annual Women’s Basketball Coaches Fashion Awards”: The stances and tactics of our nation’s finest lady hoopsters are honored in an awards show sketch that turns into a mess of cheesy musical numbers and lesbian stereotypes that misses more baskets than it hits.

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: Mary opens up about her man issues (like she hasn’t had enough of them over the years) with her hit “Be Without You.”

    WEEKEND UPDATE: Speaking of Kattan, it appears that Chris took the night off from cleaning grease traps at White Castle to drop by the Update desk and prove that he might have some dignity left in his defeated, underemployed body. Otherwise, when the show goes on autopilot, so does Update; Dan Rather’s (DH) commentary on Katie Couric was not bitter but unequivocally sarcastic, and it proved to be the one shining beacon of the segment.

    “Zorro’s Body Double”: Antonio thinks Catherine Zeta-Jones (AP) has bird flu, so an unkempt stand-in (HS) tries to sneak in a smooch during the filming of yet another movie starring the Gay (as in happy) Blade, a cute idea undermined by the fact that the sketch had no real ending.

    “Rascals’ Karaoke Night”: Is there any reason why Amy has been in nearly every sketch tonight, and might this have any connection to Maya’s absence thus far in the show? But I digress- a shy singlet (RD) sings an old Aretha Franklin tune as her date (Tony) gets freaky with the emcee (AP). This sketch, much like the one before it, suffers from awkward ending syndrome; apparently, somebody forgot that belting “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” is often a bona fide comedy killer.

    “Backstage”: Amy and Parnell argue against illegal aliens (seriously, is this tonight’s theme or something?) while Jason supports their search for the American dream. This somehow segues into a public service announcement for all Latinos to adhere to their secret plan of rising up and taking the gringos’ jobs.

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: Mary guides us through a tale of a woman scorned in her current single “Enough Crying.”

    “Wine Snobs”: Three oenologists (AP, CP, Tony) critique several spirits that remind them of several odd scents, each of which are indirectly connected to past moments of drunken depravity. It started off in an interesting manner, but not even oversized wine glasses could keep this from being dull and flavorless.

    Alas, the “Spring slump” continues. After another long wait, tonight’s show proved to be a bit of a letdown. Banderas was given little to work with, and the cast appeared to be frustrated by a lack of fresh ideas as the writers misfired without a drop of penitence. Tonight’s broadcast narrowly avoids being the worst episode of the season, however, on the weight on Mary J. Blige’s soulful performance, a flower of straight-up angst and redemption that blossomed in a big clump of mud. Maya Rudolph’s nonattendance in this episode is only a stronger omen that she’s walking away at the end of the year; Bill Hader’s absence, on the other hand, is just a continuation of a pattern that started earlier in the year.

    Sketches/Segments That Will Probably Be Removed In Repeats: at least half of Weekend Update, “Zorro’s Body Double,” “Karaoke Bar,” and “Wine Snobs.”

    Next Week: Despite the uproar of the show’s internet fan community, Lindsay Lohan makes her third hosting stint, while Pearl Jam continues the aforementioned pattern with their first appearance in twelve years. Maybe it’ll be funny, who knows?

    Questions or comments? Feel free to leave HelloStuart a PM or an email at
  • Great host - but lame writing ---or vise versa???

    You make your own conclusion. I was very confused by this episode. But this season has been a roller coaster of good & bad. Julie, the voice of automation was good. Deal or No Deal with Fred Armisen was funny, the impression of Howie Mandel was so-so. Mary J. Blige\'s performances were good, but she is getting too old to wear outfits like that. Sorry, but having been a Blige fan since \"Real Love\", I have to say it. The 15th Annual Women\'s Basketball Fashion Awards??? The name alone shouts out \"Crummy sketch!\" This episode gets a well-deserved D.

  • I have stopped caring.

    Okay I have seen some bad SNL episodes and this was pretty damn bad. The Monolouge featuring Antionio cross dressing was more disturbing than funny. I only enjoyed "Basic Instinct 2; Return of the beaver" and "Deal or no Deal". But I only enjoyed the "Deal" one because it made fun of how confusing it is. Please get better SNL I know youre getting better but please do.
  • Horrible Host Wonderful Musical Guest Horrible Writing Wonderful Diction

    I am about to make a bold comment. This episode had one of the only opening skits that I actually enjoyed. Past ones have been political type ones. I don't really enjoy those; I'm only 14!!! Kenan's performance in this skit was awesome. He nailed this one.The monologue was decent not hilarious but I did think Antonie or should I say "Lupita" looked like a trannie.
    Deal or No Deal skit had to be the 2nd best skit of the night. Fred was doing a great job as host.I don't understand how people don't get that game. Its pretty simple but oh well.
    Mary perfomed 2 songs. The 1st one I enjoyed. The 2nd was a good performace but I didn't like the song.
    Weekend Update was average(when I say average I mean very dumb). What the hell was Kris doing there? I expected Chevy dressed up as the shark to be there.

    Next Week
    Lindsay Lohan/ Pearl Jam

    God Please Spare me!!!:(
  • Chris Kattan cameos but nothing above the ordinary in this episode...mainly because of the painful news I recieved while watching it. and where were Maya, Bill, and Andy?

    Actor Antonio Banderas, starring in Take the Lead host the show this evening with musical guest Mary J. Blige. After a night of reruns, this should be a nice late night.

    Cold Open: Anderson Cooper 360 with Seth Meyers. Immigration issue discussed with Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo (Jason Sudeikis). He talks about Jobs. Vincente Fox (Antonio Banderas) appears and talks about the borders and American spring breaks. Cynthia McKinney (Kenan Thompson) appears to talk about the incident this past week. Live from New York, it's Seth Meyers.

    Monologue: He thanks people in English and Spanish. Deportated? The truth is that Antonio Banderas is a woman and you can call him Lupita.

    Basic Instinct 2 - The Return of the Beaver: Amy Poehler as Sharon Stone and Will Forte as a detective. One of the taglines is "more hair pie." There is some sort of story. I think Parnell is the narrator of the trailer.

    Deal or No Deal: FA as Howie Mandel. I've been wondering when this sketch would be on. Antonio Banderas is Robert Lopez. He picks 50 but that's not a brief case. He then picks briefcase number 4 and starts to open it before Fred Armisen closes it. Amy Poehler speaks up. Kristen Wiig does too. Both play the girls holding the cases. Horatio Sanz, Rachel Dratch, and Finesse Mitchell play his friends. Fred gets confused and says "Stay tuned for No Deal or Deal."

    RD and AB are in some sort of sketch dealing with food. Rachel Dratch plays Julie, a voice recorder for airlines. Antonio Banderas is a CPA named Alberto. Fred Armisen is Juan, a translator.

    Besos Y Lagrimas: Antonio Banderas, Fred Armisen, and Kristen Wiig are in some sort of Telemundo show. HS and RD in the sketch too. CP unveils the picture of AB.

    Next week, Lindsay Lohan with musical guest Pearl Jam despite the fact that there are quite a few Jewish writers and two Jewish cast members, there is still a new show next Saturday night. Does Lindsay have anything coming out to merit her hosting again? Okay, after checking, she is in Just My Luck due out in May but I will never see another LL film as long as I live. You wonder why? You really want to know? Because of a film that should not be made and is a DISGRACE to the late Beatle John Lennon!

    13th Annual Women's Basketball Coaches Fashion Awards: Hosted by Adrian Sanchez (Antonio Banderas). He presents the awards. Jan Franks of the St. Louis LadyHawks (RD) wins a best skirt-above-knee squat. Antonio Banderas sings a lot of songs in this sketch. Keeping an argument: Tina Fey and Kristen Wiig. Vanguard for Courage and Style: Amy Poehler (Mac Genovese).

    Musical Guest

    WU: Immigration is debated. Tom Delay resigns. Let's look back at his career in Congress. Bush threw first pitch at GAB and 18 Iraqis killed. McClellan may leave? Katie Couric moving to NBC. Dan Rather (Darrell Hammond) comments on it. He laughed for ten whole minutes. Young intercourse? Hog dogging outlawed? Meredith Vieira will be paid $40 million to host Today on NBC. McKinney. Finesse comments on it. Tom Cruise. I've had enough of Tom Cruise. Barbara Walters denies claim. Lisby Canyons? Paula Abdul altercation at a party? Chad Michael Murray engaged and talks about his love life. That's actually Will Forte. Pesach. There's a joke about the killing of the first-born. Coca Cola Blak. The missing link of reptiles and fish. Migrating tree frogs. Chris Kattan makes a cameo appearance. Chris forgot about Mango and said that Antonio was his most famous character.

    Zorro: Antonio Banderas as Zorro. Amy Poehler as Catherine Zeta-Jones. Seth is a director named Gary. They are filming a scene. Antonio Banderas is concerned about the avian bird flu and herpes. Horatio Sanz is the stand-in.

    Rascals: Karaoke with Will Forte (Frank) singing American Pie. Amy Poehler (MJ Reynolds) hosting. Antonio Banderas and Rachel Dratch are a couple. Rachel Dratch is Pam. Antonio Banderas is Paul. Pam sings Aretha Franklin's "Natural Woman." Amy Poehler decides to sing with her and starts seducing Antonio Banderas. Who is that old guy in there? AB starts singing. RD wants to go again. Amy Poehler and Antonio Banderas start making out. Chris Parnell is MaryAnn's husband and says "screw you." Apparently, they made up with each other by singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."

    Immigration Debate: Chris Parnell, Amy Poehler, Jason Sudeikis, and Antonio Banderas are in a sketch where they argue over Mexicans taking away our jobs. Jason argues that Antonio is not Mexican and that they are racist. They walk away as Horatio Sanz and Fred Armisen show up to talk about the plan.

    Musical Guest

    Wine scene: CP, AP, AB drinking wine. Good thing that they saved this to the end in the case that is actual wine and that they are getting drunk. Now, that's a giant drink.

    Maya Rudolph did not appear in this episode. The same goes for Bill and Andy
  • Honestly, I can't think of a summary. The episode didn't give me enough to say, and that is rare. Shows just how good it was. Not very.

    So, after waiting 3 weeks to see this episode, I was really hoping it would be, well, worth waiting for. This show does appear to be able to have aired between now, and say 1995. Not much more to be said. The show wasn’t much to rave about. The skits got a few laughs here and there, but aren’t what I’d call hilarious. Yet again, another average show. So, we might as well jump right into the review.

    This week’s host is Antonio Banderas, a Spanish actor probably best known as playing Zorro. (And his Zorro co-star hosted earlier this season) Due to his heritage, and the threat of immigration, he made many jokes about it. In his monologue, he revealed something. He is not in fact Antonio, a Latin-lover type actor, but really Guadalupe, aka Lupita. And good Lord! That is a woman who should wax her chest, or not wear such a low cut dress. His monologue wasn’t really funny. And he was a so-so host. I don’t see him coming back. He wasn’t that great. C+

    This week’s musical guest was Mary J. Blige, an extremely talented R&B singer, who apparently has a rap persona also. Sadly, I forgot that name. Mary really brought it as musical guest. She was incredible. She performed “Be Without You” a huge hit at the moment and great song, and as her rapper self “I’m Not Crying,” a song with a great beat. She is a truly talented performer, and my third favorite musical guest of this season. A++


    Cold Opening: Anderson Cooper 360 – The rugged, but sensitive, host of his name 360 interviewed the Mexican President, who said that the Mexican people are only coming into our country because of the spring breakers taking off their tops in the hotspots. Also was Suds, who played a racist against the Mexicans coming, but made a great cheap labor reference to them. The best part was Kenan, who played the lady who slapped a cop who did not recognize her. Kenan looked just like the woman. A pretty good skit. B-

    Basic Instinct 2: Return of the Beaver – Amy did the exact same thing when she was on Conan. Opened her legs very widely. This was a kinda clever skit. After all, this is all we know the movie for, the famous scene. I have no idea what the rest is. I think she killed someone, Sharon Stone’s character. B-

    Deal or No Deal – Now this was the most true to life skit. I watched the game show once when NP/Fob was on just to see the promo that Thursday, and had no idea what the game was. It is very confusing. Antonio was the contestant who was trying to figure out. And even the models couldn’t describe it. This was the funniest skit of the night, but it seemed to be a little short. A+

    Automated-Phone Lady – Last time she appeared on Jon Heder/Ashlee Simpson, and now is back. She is at a party and meets Antonio, a CPA who doesn’t speak totally great English, but sure fooled me. The funniest part was her friend played by Army, the Spanish speaking voice. This was maybe the same as the first time. Okay-funny. B-

    Besos y Lagrimas - Muy dramático. Yo tengo el llanto. La escena satírica era tan tan. El carácter de Antonio era bastante chistoso. Nosotros no hemos visto este desde que el episodio de Christina Aguilera. Quizás volverá. Veremos. (Translation: Very dramatic. I liked the crying. The skit was so-so. Antonio’s character was pretty funny. We haven’t seen this skit since Christina Aguilera’s episode. Perhaps it will return. We’ll see.) B+

    13th Annual Women's Basketball Coaches Fashion Awards – Was this skit even necessary? They award the female coaches of the WNBA. If you can call that fashion. Antonio played the host, and like the women, cept Maya, played the coaches. I sat through it, but won’t again. C-

    Zorro’s Body Double – There was one good thing about this skit: it was the ONLY skit Andy was in, and he only got 1 line. But I got to see him. I was mad that was all I got to see Andy in. With like 30 minutes left, I hoped not. But it was all he was in. But in the skit, Antonio will not kiss Miss Zeta Jones, played by Amy, for he had a fear of catching bird flu or HIV. So he got a double to do the kissing scenes, a disgusting “cousin” who he found passed out in his hot tub, played by Horatio. Meaning in the love scenes, Zorro would gain about 200 pounds. I liked it cause Andy was in it, looking like a cute dork. C+

    Rascals’ Karaoke – I actually enjoyed this skit. A couple, Rachel and Antonio, are at a Karaoke bar. Rachel starts singing a song, which the host, Amy takes over, and gets WAY too into it, and climbs onto Antonio. Rachel tries to spice it up by singing “Sexual Healing,” “Milkshake,” and that song with “Me So Horny” in it, though no luck. At the end, Antonio sings the song they first made love to, “Take Me Out To the Ball Game,” having done it in the bathroom during a Mets’ game. And we also see Amy’s husband, played by Chris Parnell. And he was great. Funny skit. A-

    Immigrants Backstage – Amy, Suds, and Kenan (I think) are talking about how the immigrants will take their jobs and then Horatio comes. So the others leave. And Horatio is joined by Antonio and Fred, who talk of plans about how they will take over. They will sell drugs, stab men, and impregnate the women of America. And we can’t do anything about it because it’s been planned for a long time. Fred’s mom would tell him about it. So, since I am like 8% Mexican, do I get to be included. But, I won’t work for less, so never mind. It was clever, but was this even needed? Time filler probably. B+

    Wine Snobs – Three wine tasters, Amy, Horatio, and Chris, taste wine and mostly sense some of the strangest things that could be. Finally, Amy brings out a birthday present for Antonio, a humongous bottle of wine and these very large glasses. The wine poured like chocolate sauce, and I am sure it was. So much alcohol in this skit. (You think I would have liked it) ; ) C-

    BEST MOMENT: Mary J.’s performances must have been the most enjoyable moments of the show. She was so very entertaining. I also liked Finesse in Update. He told what happens if you piss off a black woman, and what they will do. How true, how true. I’ve seen this happen before. Deal or No Deal was a good skit cause it was also true.

    WORST MOMENT: Okay, where the hell was Andy? He was in 1 puny little part. And then at the end. He was behind Mary. And I kept thinking, “Mary please move a little.” And Bill wasn’t in it either. Where’s the fairness in that? And was Maya even there cause I didn’t see her in the credits. One of the worst things was finding out the next week’s host.

    SURPRISING MOMENT: During Update, they talked about how Chad Michael Murray was marrying another co-star on “One Tree Hill.” So I thought Chad would be played by Andy. Nope. Will was Chad. Also, didn’t expect to see Chris Kattan. And, Antonio is a woman? Well, that’s scary.

    Skit Average – 2.6, B-

    Show Average – 6/10 Sparkling Diamonds

    Next week is Tina Fey’s niece Lindsay Lohan is hosting for a third time, something she does not deserve cause she ain’t worth it. And the musical guest is Pearl Jam, and I don’t listen to them. So, it’s a show where it’s not that I don’t know someone or the band, it’s a show where I don’t like either, and am not looking forward to it. I’ll watch, but if I don’t see Andy, I will be very mad. And that means that my review won’t be cheerful. Now, there have been shows where I didn’t care for the host, but could still stand them. I can’t stand Lohan, meaning she better have a good monologue, and be good in every skit. They should have gotten someone better. Musical guest I’m indifferent about. So till next week, good bye.