Saturday Night Live

Season 30 Episode 15

Ashton Kutcher/Gwen Stefani

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Mar 19, 2005 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
27 votes

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Episode Summary

Live from New York, it's... Darrell Hammond! Sketches include "Hardball," "," "Oprah," "The Push-Up Contest," "Kevin Federline," "Gays In Space," "Guest Preacher," "Action News 13," and "Nebulzitol." Gwen Stefani (with Eve) performed "Rich Girl" and "Holla Back Girl."

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  • Somewhere, Topol cries

    A Review by the Former "Heystu," Amateur Critic and Rich Girl

    In the week prior to when I sat down to write this particular review, I received two e-mails from two different people that wanted to discuss the current state of SNL. Granted, this not an unusual occurrence; after all, I leave an e-mail address at the end of all my reviews, but the two messages I received were more than just comments on the show. They were surprisingly critical of the show, and I was hard-pressed to write a rebuttal to their comments, with one person going far as to say that even the much-scrutinized 1980-81 season was better than what we have now. Reading and responding to these messages made me realize that perhaps I have been too lenient in writing these reviews, as hard as it is to avoid repetition after dissecting nearly two years' worth of shows. The feedback, as fault-finding as it may be, was duly appreciated.

    Now don't get me wrong, there are plenty of things that bug me about the show right now, I simply downplay them because I don't want to say the exact same thing in all of my reviews. For one, the cast lacks a go-to guy in the vein of Phil Hartman and Will Ferrell. Secondly, while I have no problem with the fact that the women on the show are more versatile than the guys and hit the mark more often than not, they only make up less than one-third of the cast. Thirdly, the writing is becoming more and more inconsistent, especially when they use a story from last night's "Access Hollywood" as sketch fodder. And worst of all, the show is developing Strom Thurmond syndrome; cast members like Darrell Hammond and Horatio Sanz should've left for greener pastures at least a season ago, with other veterans like Chris Parnell hanging on just because they can.

    But I digress. On this week's broadcast we have rumored father-to-be Ashton Kutcher as host, making him he second actor from "That 70's Show" to appear on SNL this season. Okay, he was alright the first time he hosted, but my deepest concern for tonight's show pertains to Gwen Stefani, the aging lead singer of No Doubt and tonight's musical guest. She's an okay chanteuse and all, but I had this gut feeling that she was going to perform "Rich Girl," which has to be the most annoying song on the radio right now, especially since it rips off that one song from "Fiddler on the Roof."

    And now, the sketch-by-sketch analysis:

    COLD OPENING: Yep, it's "Hardball" again, with Chris Matthews (DH) berating baseball greats Jose Canseco (HS), Mark McGwire (RR), and Sammy Sosa (KT) before getting more red-faced commentary from Zell Miller (WF). Given the current controversy over Canseco's book, I guess it was an easy target for parody, but at least though nearly 20 appearances this recurring segment isn't running out of gas.

    MONOLOGUE: And now, the moment we've all been waiting to hear… that Ashton really loves his girlfriend Demi Moore. Apparently he loves her so much that he makes her participate in a lame skit that lampoons their age difference. It was certainly amusing to see the actress in old-age makeup, but everything else fell flat.

    "": An encore from last month's Bateman-Clarkson episode. It was an above-average ad spoof, so why should I complain?

    "Oprah": During another one of her typical sob-story segments, the Big O (MR) is distracted by Bobby Bittman-style guest appearances from John Travolta (DH) and a Blackberry-obsessed Julia Roberts (Ashton), which almost completely overshadows a woman whose house burned down (RD). I would probably pan this sketch if not for the fact that this is exactly what the daytime chatfest is reducing itself into.

    "The Push-Up Contest": A spastic, borderline mentally-challenged desk jockey (Ashton) somehow persuades his colleagues into a childish physical competition in order to prove his worth as a competent employee, only to watch it backfire. It's funny on a number of levels, but you never quite sympathize with Ashton's man-child alter ego.

    "Federline": The tattoo-clad, talent-impaired husband of Britney Spears (Ashton) promotes his line of tighty whities, which is more than enough to keep you awake for days on end.

    "Gays In Space": This became a recurring sketch? I am absolutely mystified that this bit (also from Bateman/Clarkson) would make the cut again. Either way, your favorite quartet of intergalactic stereotypes crash land on something called Alpha Humptori, which happens to be inhabited by closet-nudist lumberjacks. The first time around was pardonable, but this sketch was just plain appalling.

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: Yep, it's "Rich Girl." Oh well.

    WEEKEND UPDATE: Tina and Amy have a staged conversation with the recently acquitted Robert Blake, then sing backup on Chris Parnell's latest white-bread freestyle. All that, plus a consumer advocate (KT) pummels a Middle Eastern business owner that looks just like Michael Kelso! Another day in the life, I guess.

    "Guest Preacher": A Caucasian man of God (Ashton) gets the cold shoulder from the regulars of an all-black church, only to get coached by their regular minister (FM), which results in a violent epiphany. In other words, this so-so attempt at racial humor was bogged down by a moment of unnecessary MADtv-style physical humor.

    "Action 13 News": An entire news crew loses its composure as well as its sense of professionalism when the weatherman (SM) decides that he's mad as hell and can't it anymore. Granted, the live-newscast-run-amok premise has been done before, but for some reason this moment of tension dissolving into chaos also achieved flashes of spontaneous absurdity.

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: Gwen requires a drumline and a quartet of Harajuku girls for her next song you'll like at first but gradually can't seem to get away from, the groovy but bland "Hollaback Girl."

    "Nebulzitol": Another ad spoof, this time promoting potato chips that cure March Madness. I will even go as far as to explain how lame that idea is.

    Tonight's episode emphasized the four points I made near the beginning of this column. With no truly versatile cast member, the role of comic relief in each sketch was passed back and forth in a haphazard fashion, with the host having to pull the reins with the standing cast wasting their improv talent by portraying straight men. The four women in the cast (Rachel, Tina, Amy, and Maya) tried to buck the trend but laid low for most of the broadcast. Darrell Hammond did his two obligatory celebrity impressions per show, leading me to wonder if he'll be the first cast member to ever receive a retirement pension from the network. And most of all, the sketches were a bit more reliant on one-joke premises than usual. Overall, this was a fair but unspectacular show, with an okay host and a mild musical guest.

    Sketches That Will Probably Be Remove For Repeats: "," "Gays in Space," "Guest Preacher," and "Nebulzitol."

    In Three Weeks: Cameron Diaz joins the three-timers club, while Green Day makes their first appearance on SNL since the Laura Kightlinger era.

    As always, feel free to drop me a line at I respond to nearly every message.moreless
Demi Moore

Demi Moore


Guest Star

Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani


Guest Star

Eve (I)

Eve (I)


Guest Star

Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher


Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions