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Saturday Night Live

Season 29 Episode 15

Ben Affleck/N.E.R.D.

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Mar 13, 2004 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
18 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Ben Affleck/N.E.R.D.
Live from New York, it's... Ben Affleck, Rachel Dratch, Jimmy Fallon, and Seth Meyers! Sketches Include "Donnie Bartalotti's Gay Wedding," "Z105," "Gigli Filming," "Only Bangkok" (three parts), "The Making of the Passion of the Dumpty/George W. Bush Campaign Commercials" (cartoon), "Appalachian Emergency Room," "Top O'The Morning," "Donnie G. and Sidecar," and "The Full Moon Killer." N.E.R.D performed "Maybe" and "She Wants To Move."moreless

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  • A Gigli Good Time

    Now In Amateur Critic-O-Vision!

    Tonight's episode puts us at the three-quarters point of the twenty-ninth season of SNL, and things are pretty much stagnating. It's been the same old rant all season: Hammond's been here too long; Sanz is getting annoying, yap yap yap. Despite all of this, I try to maintain some sort of optimism, like if the next episode may very well blow me away and mercilessly contradict all my incessant nitpicking thus far this season. In reality, SNL is becoming so inconsistent that we (me and a few people I've met that read my "column") have to watch just to see if we'll get a laugh, then off the telly, choke the chicken, and go to bed. Well, most of us, anyway.

    Tonight's host, appearing for the second time as host (and for the fourth time overall) is the onetime toast of Hollywood, the almost Ben Lopez-Affleck. Gee, it makes me wonder how many Gigli and J.Lo jokes they'll throw into tonight's show. Serving as musical guest is America's favorite Neptunes side project, N.E.R.D.

    Say it backwards: Analysis sketch-by-sketch a it's!

    COLD OPENING: After almost two straight years of topical first sketches, we're treated to another "Boston Teens" misadventure, with Sully (JF) and Zazoo (RD) hanging out at the wedding of their buddy Bartalotti (Affleck), who as it turns out is gay and apparently Jewish. Right after he and a guy named Smitty (SM) lock lips, the guys learn the true meaning of friendship. In improving upon this tired recurring sketch, I say, mazel tov!

    OPENING CREDITS: Don Pardo mangles not one but two names in the credits. I don't want to sound biased, but that's awfully impressive for a semi-retired 85 year old.

    MONOLOGUE: Ben leads it off by mentioning that he used to date J.Lo (prompting an excited audience reaction similar to the first sketch), then shows off a string of t-shirts with copyrighted nicknames for his upcoming pairings. "Ben-gay?" Go ask Seth Meyers.

    "Z105": The annoying morning show host welcomes his old co-host Dirty Dan the Garbage Man (B.Af), who replicates his ex-partner's goofy voices, which leads into a sloppy and less-than-worthwhile on-air showdown. Despite breaking the pattern established in his three previous appearances, it still doesn't work.

    "Gigli": It's like shooting a bass in a barrel. While filming the "go to the Baywatch" scene of the super-stinker, a mentally-challenged man named Frondi (FA) gives Affleck some unwanted but otherwise sound advice. I fear that they will make a recurring character out of that little rain man, but there were a few good lines thrown in.

    SMIGELTOON: Clips of the upcoming film "The Passion of the Dumpty" is interrupted by constantly re-edited pro-Bush attack ads. Two great, individual ideas that don't completely gel as a tandem.

    "Appalachian Emergency Room": I wasn't expecting to see this again, but in it's defense it wasn't half-bad last time ‘round. Once again, a backwoods receptionist (SM) tends to the dimwitted and trailer-trashy by sending all walk-ins directly into the exam rooms. One guy (Affleck) walks in with a ferret attached to his crotch, claiming he feeds it in the nude. I must nitpick, though: if he does do it naked, then why is he wearing shorts?

    "Only Bangkok 1": Wow, four skits in a row without an ad break. This spoof features an expatriate businessman (SM) who calls a friend to let him know that he woke up next to a dead hooker. Just be happy it wasn't "Gaystrogen" again.

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo, and a guy who keeps saying "She sexy!" stand rather woodenly and sing "She Wants to Move." Great song, but I prefer the music video.

    WEEKEND UPDATE: Two startling revelations from Jimmy Fallon: first of all, he seems to have gel in his hair, and secondly, he has VD. Also, Finesse Mitchell admits his cognizance towards bill collectors, Diana Ross (MR) makes another flighty remark about prison life, and for the second week in a row, Bill Clinton (DH) reports on the election. And they say the show's not getting repetitious.

    "Top O' The Morning": Watch out! It's the return of the long-absent recurring sketches! Making their first appearance since the Aykroyd/Beyonce episode from last season, William Fitzpatrick and Patrick Fitzwilliam (JF and SM, but don't ask me who's who) chat with their U2-loving buddy Ronald McDonald (Affleck). And for once, Fallon and Sanz do a sketch together where they don't break character; "Rono" does instead. Outside of the unnecessary ad-libbing, this was an okay effort.

    "Only Bangkok 2": In the second fake ad of the night, Affleck (as himself) sells his new wife (AP) to a couple of goons in order to settle some debts. Best honeymoon ever!

    "Donnie G. & Sidecar": Two 50's-era crimefighters (Affleck and FA) squabble over the alpha partner's driving skills, thus preventing any public disturbances from being resolved. Affleck reminded me a bit of Alec Baldwin in "The Environmentally Conscious One," but the sketch reminded me even more of that magical moment from Season 20 where a rookie cop keeps watching his colleagues vomit at the scene of a crime.

    "Only Bangkok 3": In the final chapter in what has been a helluva trilogy, the businessman from part one and Ben Affleck in drag run afoul of a hopped-up Kelly Ripa (herself) and a local wheeler-and-dealer (DH). Of course, you know incidents like this are so mundane that they happen nearly every day.

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: In their continuous promotion of their upcoming second album, N.E.R.D. does a rendition of "Maybe" that was, to say the least, iffy.

    "The Full Moon Killer": An office drone (Affleck) pretends not to gloat over his serial-killer tendencies after supposedly missing a full moon. A nuanced and well-written ten-to-one sketch.

    In conclusion, we stumbled across an episode that was somewhat funny despite its rough spots. N.E.R.D. was okay, but an experience like this only makes me wish that this will move Ben Affleck's career back in the right direction. Nobody in the cast looked like they were sleepwalking, and that's also a plus. One question, though: why didn't an episode of this "caliber" air during sweeps?

    Sketches That Will Probably Removed In Reruns, Even Though They Will Only Air in Canada and Maybe the UK: "Maybe," "Donnie G. and Sidecar," and hopefully "Joey Mack on Z105."

    Next Time: "The Donald," of "The Apprentice" fame, is "The Host," with "The Musical Guest" not yet determined.

    The writer of this review would like to remind you all that he does not tape episodes of SNL. If you feel somewhat betrayed by this startling revelation, or want to comment on what a selfish human being he is, send him a message at sma17kc@netscape.net.moreless
Kelly Ripa

Kelly Ripa

Herself (taped)

Guest Star




Guest Star

Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck


Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • In the Top O' the Mornin' sketch, Ben Affleck and Jimmy Fallon walk over to Will Forte in the "Bobbing for Whiskey" pot. When Will Forte says "We need more Whiskey," Ben Affleck can't stop laughing and wastes at least 2 whole minutes laughing.

    • During the opening credits, Don Pardo misprounces one cast member's name as "Amy Foler". In other words, The P sound came out as an F sound.

    • During Donnie and Smitty's second kiss in the cold opening, Seth Meyers hand is visible between his and Ben Affleck's lips.

    • In the first few seconds of the second "Only Bangkok" commercial (the one with Amy Poehler and Ben Affleck), the bagpipe music from the previous sketch (Top O'The Morning) can still be heard.

    • If Ben Affleck's character in "Appalachian Emergency Room" was feeding his ferrets in the nude when he was bitten in the nether regions, they why is wearing boxers?

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Jimmy Fallon: Here's a nice story from Holland. A cocker spaniel hunted down a rabbit, but instead of killing it, the spaniel has adopted the animal as his friend. Hey, that's kinda like how we met, Tina.
      Tina Fey: Yeah, but I still plan to kill you.

    • Jimmy Fallon: A 52-year-old man in Kenya said to have gone ten years without taking a bath was grabbed by villagers, tied up, and forcibly washed down. The question is, what was Mickey Rourke doing in Kenya in the first place?

    • Ben Affleck: Here's another thing, you may not know about me: at one time... I dated Jennifer Lopez. (audience cheers) I-it's true. You may not have been aware of that, because, maybe, you've been, say... trapped in a mine shaft for the last eighteen months. Or, maybe you just don't enjoy watching TV. Or... reading magazines. Listening to the radio. Or talking to people. Or walking down the street, say! Honestly, I was pretty shocked at, uh... all the attention we received. There was only one thing tht really bothered me, though. and that was, being referred to as - Bennifer. Thank you, sir. I mean - Bennifer. How hard is that? How hard is it to say two names, instead of one? Ben and Jennifer - Bennifer! You're not saving that much time! It was on the cover of every magazine in America, and they were selling a lot of magazines. But I did not see Dime One! That is why... I'm selling these babies right here. (pulls out a t-shirt that reads "Bennifer") I had the name trademarked, printed up about 50,000 units - all sizes, 100% Egyptian cotton - beefy T's. This is a quality product, folks. However, it turns out, that, when you make a product of this quality, you ned about eight months lead-time. So, uh... they all came in last week! All 50,000 of them! Yeah. Long story short - I'm pricing them to move! $10 a piece; $15, if I sign them; for $20, I'll sign them "Bennifer"! Okay? Now... my timing was a bit off, I'm not going to get caught in a buy like that again. I'm thinking ahead - I got my bases covered for the next time. You ready? (pulls out a second t-shirt that reads...) Benyonce! It could happen. I mean... nobody saw the J-Lo thing coming. Or... or... how about... (pulls out a third t-shirt that reads "Boprah.") What, be honest - she's looking very good these days! A very attractive woman. I guess this is, maybe, a kind of a long shot, but... (pulls out a fourth t-shirt that reads...) Mary-Kate and Ashfleck. Now, this one is for the off-chance that I get together with Marcia Gay Harden... (pulls out a fifth t-shirt that reads "Ben-Gay") Or... or... or, or... in the unlikely, but... wonderful event -hope, hope- that Matt finally comes around. (holds shirt back up) Alright! We've got a great show! We've got 2-for-1 t-shirts in the back!

  • NOTES (6)

    • This was the last episode to feature the Boston Teens.

    • In the "Gigli" sketch, Amy Poehler holds up the production board at the beginning with the name 'M. Brest' clearly seen. Brest was the actual writer, producer and director for 'Gigli.' He produced a short film titled "Hot Dog for Gauguin" that would air on Jamie Lee Curtis/James Brown episode from the 1980-81 season.

    • Sketches/segments not included in the syndicated version: The first two "Only Bangkok" commercials, "Full Moon Killer," "Donnie G. and Sidecar," "Top O' The Morning," and N.E.R.D's performance of "Maybe."

    • During the cold opening when Donnie Bartalotti (Ben Affleck) kisses Seth Meyers's character, Seth has his hand separating his and Affleck's lips during the second kiss. The NBC and E! reruns of this episode replace the live show cold opening with a dress rehearsal where Seth Meyers doesn't do this.

    • A "Merv the Perv" sketch featuring Chris Parnell was cut after dress rehearsal. The premise was Merv visiting a pregnant women's yoga class taught by Ben Affleck.

    • Jimmy Fallon told a fan after the show that he wished Ben Affleck could host the show every week.