Saturday Night Live

Season 34 Episode 15

Bradley Cooper/TV on the Radio

0
Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Feb 07, 2009 on NBC
7.2
out of 10
User Rating
35 votes
4

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Live from New York, it's... Kristen Wiig! Sketches include "Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi," "Today," "I'm Gonna Have Sex With Your Wife," "I'm on a Boat" (Digital Short), "To Be With You," "Fort Wayne Admirals," "Bad Guys, Good Conversation," "Intervention," and "No Bruce! Let Me Finish!" TV on the Radio performed "Golden Age" and "Dancing Choose."moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • "You gotta light white right"

    6.0
    A Review by "HelloStuart," Amateur Critic and World's Slowest Stenographer



    Was last week's MacGruber/Pepsi marketing crossover a sign of things to come? We SNL diehards can only hope it's not the case, but NBC programming head honcho Ben Silverman would say otherwise. In the wake of last week's controversial product placement, Silverman stated that is a new era for television programming and all bets are off in a tanking economy. Unfortunately, this might result in the A-Holes stumping for State Farm Insurance and the Target Lady promoting Vagisil. I doubt the original cast would've stood for any of this nonsense.



    This week's host is Bradley Cooper, a diligent character actor and the latest in a string of hosts that had recognizable faces but not necessarily familiar names. (For the uninitiated, Cooper starred on the TV series "Alias" and is now appearing in the movie "He's Just Not That Into You.") The critically acclaimed funk-soul-rock quintet TV on the Radio is tonight's musical guest.



    And now, the sketch-by-sketch analysis:



    COLD OPENING: Live on C-SPAN, Sen. Harry Reid (FA) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (KW) attempt to justify the huge economic stimulus package, but Reid's insistence of bipartisanship are quashed by an incredulous, smug Pelosi. With the conservative movement retreating, SNL takes a long-overdue jab at the left with their satiric rifles aimed on the Democratic Party's most polarizing member (Pelosi) and how one party's complete control of the White House and Congress can lead to massive hubris.



    MONOLOGUE: The bullying fiancée from "Wedding Crashers" describes the body language that goes into playing a petulant romantic rival: slowly getting up from a chair, flaring your nostrils, crack your neck, and something called a "huff n' puff." Brad's simplified breakdown earns the adulation of his former teacher James Lipton and quite possibly an entire legion of second-tier comedians who like to poke fun at movies.



    "Today": Hoda (MW) tries to play it straight while Kathie Lee (KW) is her usual belligerent self. A commentary on the Christian Bale rant somehow segues into a diatribe against reverse racism amongst TV gaffers and lighting professionals. Soon after, a fashion expert named Ms. B shows the ladies how to walk like a supermodel, resulting in anticipated pratfalls and the growing sense it's only a matter of time before Kotb and Gifford start clawing each others' eyes out.



    "I'm Gonna Have Sex With Your Wife": A game show spoof where the host (Bradley) keeps having off-stage quickies with the spouses of the contestants (WF, FA, BH). The returning champion is nothing short of horrified and embarrassed; a study in slow burn that fails to carry this threadbare and unfunny skit.



    DIGITAL SHORT: To further promote The Lonely Island's upcoming disc "Incredibad," Andy, Akiva, and T-Pain (but not Jorma) perform "I'm on a Boat," a hot dance track about… hanging out on a boat. Too claustrophobic in its focus to really work, it seems like they simply wanted to brag about cutting a song with T-Pain, than made a video that apparently sat on the shelf for about six months.



    "To Be With You": More icky memories from four friends (Bradley, BH, JS, WF), this time at an open-bar funeral with Mr. Big blasts from the speakers. Since this bit debuted two years ago, the wacky flashbacks have gone from clever and deliberately off-putting to cheap, scatological and remarkably predictable.



    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: "Golden Age" is a funky, bizarre cacophony, a four-minute blast that would confuse anyone accustomed to traditional chord movements and coherent singing but mesmerizing to TV's growing fan base of avart-garde groupies.



    WEEKEND UPDATE: During last weekend's nonstop Super Bowl coverage it was revealed that Seth is a diehard Steelers fan, so it really came as no surprise that there would be a commentary from almost-MVP James Harrison (KT), who's still out of breath from last week and serves no other purpose than to please Mr. Meyers. The 800-pound gorilla in the room, however was the tabloid photo of Michael Phelps smoking a bong; Olympic great Mark Spitz (AS) dropped by to comment but seemed more distracted by his sexual prowess from 35 years ago, while the first solo "Really!?!" tirade made Kellogg's appear to be hypocritical for dropping Phelps as a spokesman.



    "Fort Wayne Admirals": Shy man-child Keith (BM) is thrilled to meet two players (WF, JS) from his favorite minor league hockey team but not as interested in a third Admiral (Bradley). Bobby seems to corner the market on playing precocious little boys, but his ability to raise his voice higher and lower more times than the average Pixies song couldn't save this boring sketch.



    "Bad Guys, Good Conversation": Villains from beloved '80s movies (plus Buffalo Bill from "Silence of the Lambs," as played by BH) explain their motives for malevolence, what they're seeking in a significant other, and the worst thing they've ever done. I specifically mention Buffalo Bill because he steals the sketch; where baddies like Hans Gruber (AS) and Alex from "Fatal Attraction" are more grounded in reality, the sociopath is an over-the-top hoot.



    "Intervention": Pat Sajak's brother Matt (BH) and his attempts to stage an intercession for drunken young Mark (AS) are thwarted by the addict's aunt and uncle (Bradley, KW) and their need to make increasingly random and annoying sounds. We don't really know what's going to happen in the sketch until about 90 seconds in, and even then the big reveal is a strangely familiar letdown.



    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: "Dancing Choose" is a bit more straightforward than the first song, with the guy from "Rachel Getting Married" rapping his brains out while the rest of the band jams frenetically.



    "No Bruce! Let Me Finish!": A humbled Christian Bale (Bradley) plugs a DVD of other celebrities' off-screen meltdowns, all of which are directed by an unseen stagehand named Bruce. Abby's mimicry of Joan Cusack proved that she's a better celebrity impersonator that I once assumed –if only because she's been mostly stuck in ancillary roles since she joined the cast- but everything else felt flat.



    Following last week's disappointing Steve Martin affair, an unproven host and a wild card musical guest combined for a fairly tolerable but imperfect show. There seemed to be a recurring theme of safety in tonight's show; the best sketches (the Reid/Pelosi cold open and the "Today" sketch) played to SNL's recent yen for topical humor and shredding public figures, but skits like "Be With You" and "Intervention" were bordering on pedestrian. It was evident that Cooper had a lot of fun and reveled in being part of the cast for one night; he may not be a household name and unlikely to be invited back, but he made the most of his 90 minutes in Studio 8H. I'll probably get some flack for saying TV on the Radio was one of the best musical guests so far this season, but I'm cutting them slack for not pretending to be radio-friendly on a show that tries to balance style and substance. Segments That Will Probably Be Removed in Repeats: "I'm Gonna Have Sex with Your Wife," "Fort Wayne Admirals," "Intervention," and "No Bruce! Let Me Finish!"



    Next Week: On the heels of Steve Martin's record-breaking hosting stint, frequent flyer Alec Baldwin makes his 14th go-around with musical guest The Jonas Brothers. (No, I'm serious. The Jonas Brothers.)



    "HelloStuart" is available in original flavor, sour cream and onion, garlic cheddar, and new zesty ranch. Contact him at sma17kc@aim.com.moreless
  • What do you want to do next Hoda Hoe-Down?

    6.5
    SNL is a little bit more hit an miss in the year 2009 calendar than 2008. Granted it's only been 3 episodes and one of them were very good, but the other two were let downs. That being said, last week's show was supposed to be a 6.0, which JUST meets average on my book. I entered in the wrong score. 4th show is now, and will it be another letdown? Here we go....



    Host is Bradley Cooper, from his new co-starring role in He's Just Not That Into You. Musical guest is TV On The Radio. It should be a very interesting show.



    Pelosi/Reid Message: A funny premise, but Kristen's other characters that show bitter sides were shining off of this. Like, she almost eminded me of Aunt Linda with the hand gestures and voice patterns at times.



    Monologue: The only thing I really laughed at in this was Bradley blowing off James Lipton. The monologue was just a regular one.



    Today: I groaned when I saw this come up, but this was a vast improvement over the NPH sketch. I laughed at almost everything.



    I'm Gonna Have Sex With Your Wife: This could have been sooo much funnier. I laughed at Forte's declining happiness a lot, but the other two were so phoned in.



    I'm On A Boat: Wow. Remember when digital shorts were funny? Those were the days. Moving on...



    Song Memories: I always enjoy these sketches (except for the Ashton Kutcher one), and this one was just as good. But, what happened to thos single punchlines that they usually say a moment after they say the full story?



    Musical Performance: This is such a cool band. They sure sang "Golden Age" with groove. I also dig that baritone and her sun glasses.



    Weekend Update: This may be the first memorable Seth Update! I mean, he's been doing fine, but tonight was really good. Andy's commentary was alright, while Kenan's actually got a big number of chuckles out of me. I was really happy to see Kristen's Bjork back tonight. It was very funny. Amy never helped "Really?" It was all Seth.



    Locker Admiration: Bobby is there!!! I missed his absence last week. This was actually a really funny sketch. Bobby is so awesome.



    Bad Guys, Good Conversations: This was a pretty funny sketch. Jason was the best part. It reminded me so much of his Roger Clemens last year.



    Intervention: Why? Why must we go through every episode with at least one terrible Wiig sketch? Like, I know it wasn't all Wiig, but still. Once again, something in dress HAD to be better than this.



    Musical Performance: They slide right on through "Dancing Choices". Man, this band is good.



    No Bruce! Let Me Finish: This was actually a pretty funny 5 to 1 sketch. Kenan sucked at George Foreman, though. I did laugh at that part because it reminded me of The Office. Never mind, though.



    Not a vast impovement, but this show was an improvement over the last two. I just don't see why SNL chooses the sketches they do. Like, if the SNL dress audience liked the Intervention sketch, then I'll throw this computer out. Seriously. Are they just doing that for the cast members to be happy?



    We're starting to get out of that January 'whatever' feeling, hopefully on time for Alec Baldwin next week. Anyways, Bradley was an adequate host while TV On The Radio was an interesting band. It's just the main suspects: the writers!



    Next week Alec hosts with musical guest the Jonas Bros. I won't even touch base with how POed I am with the music decision. I just hope Alec brings it for a great show. I'm worried though. SNL kind of sucks at having returning hosts on this season. I'll be pleased if the show reaches a 7.0 on my scale. (Of course I'm hoping for higher)moreless
  • Another weak episode. SNL has gotten off to a very bad start in 2009.

    4.5
    Reid / Pelosi cold open - A sad attempt at a slam on the Democrats. OK, so we get it. The Democrats are going to ram the stimulus bill down the Republicans' throats despite the talk of bipartisanship. Not really very funny and a slow start to the evening. Grade: D



    Monolgue - Hey, it's Will Tippin for all of you Alias fans out there. Good joke about the uunavailability of the other stars from the movie. Also love the Actor's Studio clips and the Lipton cameo. Too bad Ferrell wasn't there for a Lipton showdown. Grade: B



    Today Show - I'm surpirsed this sketch is back. It was really awful the first time around with the only saving grace being NPH's hilarious dance moves. This time the tedious banter between Hoda and Kathie Lee was shorter but still seemed to drag on far too long. Bradley's appearance as a tranny was not enough to lift this sketch out of the gutter. This sketch is being thrown out as the replacement for the awful Bronx Beat sketch which didn't need to be replaced, just removed. Let's bury this turkey once and for all. Grade: D-



    I'm Gonna Have Sex With Your Wife - Really bad idea. Somebody thought the title was funny and made a "sketch" out of it. I can't imagine anything that remotely resembles sex can be accomplished in the 15-20 seconds that the two are offstage. The whole sketch revolves around the husbands' reactions. What is so clever about that? And if they truly wanted to sell the sketch, shouldn't they have kept the couples backstage longer and provided sound effects? Maybe that's just too dirty. Grade: D-



    I'm On a Boat - Hey Lonely Island dudes, take a break. Really, we need it. Your little films have become ego pieces without the funny. Yeah, the Hip Hop culture loves the big boats, but so what? Your "lampoon" is nothing more than a literal rendering of the "big deal" feeling most of us get when we see these rappers showing off their wealth. Grade: D



    Reception Song - The singing guys sketch is getting worse with each occurrence. All of the jokes now revolve around some strange sexual prediliction. All that says to me is that writers are out of jokes. These are the kind of easy jokes you pull out of your hat when you have nothing left. Maybe the only original part was the "twist" ending of a funeral reception rather than a wedding reception. It's too bad that the actors were not able to avert their eyes from the cue card at all. It made the sketch even more stiff than the writing would suggest. Grade: C-



    Weekend Update - WU has recently become the highlight of the show due to weakness of the sketches. Tonight was no different. Andy's Mark Spitz impression was great and I loved the suggestion that IOC take away two of Phelps' gold medals. Kenan was amusing as the huffing and puffing Steeler. The Really!! segment was enjoyable, especially the joke about the genie granting a wish at a Phish concert. Kristen's Bjork was just OK, probably the weakest segment during WU. Grade: B+



    Hockey Fan - Cute sketch. We need to see more of Moynihan. He brings a freshness to the show that the veteran cast members have lost long ago. I loved the reference to the old Coke commercial where Mean Joe Greene throws his jersey to the kid. A short and enjoyable sketch. Grade: B+



    Bad Guys, Good Conversation - Decent idea and some fine impressions. Michaela stole the scene with her great impression of Glenn Close and Hader was enjoyable as the creepy dude from Silence of the Lambs. If it returns. they need to put a little more meat on this sketch to fill it out. Grade: B



    Intervention - A one-joke sketch. The joke? Strange noises keep interrupting a serious intervention. I've never heard any squirt sounds even remotely as loud as those. And where did they all of the props keep coming from? I really don't like "cartoonish" humor all that much. For me it has to be remotely believable to be really funny. This was about as crappy as that time that steam came out of Steve Carrell's ears. Grade: D-



    Christian Bale Tirade DVD - The "story" of the week turns out to be the revelation that Christian Bale is a complete d-bag. This episode has already been lampooned on every comedy show currently in production. Sadly, this was the worst of the parodies I have come across. Even The Soup did a better job with a similar idea of an album of Christian Bale's best tirades. The perfect album to liven up any party. Foreman and Cusack stank it up. Hammond was good as resident CNBC assclown Jim Cramer with the joke being that he only goes below 120 decibels when he is angry. Pretty lame sketch though. Grade: Dmoreless
  • Good digital short, nothing else.

    5.5
    Bradley Cooper is your host tonight. Who you ask? Good question. He was "Sack" in Wedding Crashers, the arrogant fiance of Rachel McAdams' character and he appears in He's Just Not That Into You. I know, I was surprised that there are actual male cast members in that movie too.



    The show begins with a political sketch showing that even SNL can be unique in 2009. Kristen Wiig played Nancy Pelosi and Fred Armisen played some doucher. Luckily it did not last too long.



    Crowd is not into the monologue at all, and I can't blame them. SNL has been bringing in no-names lately, but this is ridiculous. I'm half-expecting Lorne Michaels to give me a call to host a show this season.



    Our next sketch is a parody of NBC's "Today" with Michaela Watkins and Kristen Wiig playing Kathie Lee Gifford. This was really bad.



    It didn't take long for the childish segments to be brought out. "I'm Going to Have Sex With Your Wife" is the name of a game show. Cutting-edge writing at it's finest, not.



    This hasn't been a strong episode thus far, but that was a damn good digital short. A combination of "Boats and Hoes" from Stepbrothers and a parody of T-Pain songs resulted in the very funny "I'm On A Boat". This should get a plethora of Youtube views tomorrow.



    The guys who confess things while singing skit was up next. Jason Sudeikis' part was funny, but this scene has pretty much played out. The Weekend Update segment is starting to resemble The Tonight Show monologues (not necessarily a compliment). Andy Samberg was mildly funny as Mark Spitz but he made the 10th penis joke of the night and it's only 12:16 A.M.



    Kenan Thompson was funny as a winded James Harrison (the man who set the Super Bowl record with a 100 yard interception for a returned touchdown). A funny "Really" segment followed, which is much better without the unfunny Amy Poehler. Kristen Wiig ruined things though with a Bjork impression. Not needed at all.



    Our next sketch involves a kid meeting his two favorite players, yet being unimpressed by the team's right wing. I was unimpressed with this skit. Next we have "Bad Guys, Good Conversation". Not bad in concept, but not funny. Yet another Kristen Wiig sketch follows with her constantly applying hand sanitizer during an intervention. We end the night with a mockery of Christian Bale's meltdown. Somehow they managed to make this unfunny.



    This was just a really weak episode with a terrible host. Outside of the digital short nothing even remotely good here.moreless
Akiva Schaffer

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James Lipton

James Lipton

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Drew Barrymore

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Jorma Taccone

Jorma Taccone

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

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  • NOTES (4)

    • Sketches not shown in the 60 minute version: the Mark Spitz segment on Weekend Update, "Today," "Intervention," "Bad Guys-Good Conversation," and TOTR's performance of "Dancing Choose."

    • Bradley Cooper previously worked with Fred Armisen and Jason Sudeikis in the 2008 movie The Rocker.

    • International airdates:
      Latin America: May 16, 2009 on Sony Entertainment Television (aka Canal Sony).

    • Sketches cut after dress rehearsal: the original cold open, in which President Obama's half-brother (Kenan Thompson) is in town for a visit; Gas-Rite (rerun from 12/6/08); a group thinking up ideas for a restaurant is interrupted by the ideas of one investor (Bill Hader); Edible Pampers (rerun from 1/31/09); a BBQ restaurant owner (Will Forte) and a law firm and fan shop proprietor (Bradley Cooper) make a bizarre combination.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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