Saturday Night Live

Season 31 Episode 3

Catherine Zeta-Jones/Franz Ferdinand

0
Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Oct 22, 2005 on NBC
7.1
out of 10
User Rating
51 votes
6

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

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Live from New York, it's... Darrell Hammond! Sketches include "Bush's Spontaneous Chat," "Butt Cancer Treatment Center," "Newsnight with Aaron Brown," "Dancers Party," "The Italians," "Access Hollywood," "Creighton Boys School," "Glen and Gina's Wedding," "MorganStanley," and "The Scheinwalds." Franz Ferdinand performed "Do You Want To" and "Take Me Out."moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • “Well do ya, do ya, do ya wanna go where I never let you before?”

    5.0
    A Review by HelloStuart, the former “Heystu,” le critique d'amateur



    For those of you that may not have heard any entertainment news in the past week, sit down and listen to what I must tell you: Tina Fey is back. Yes, the most recognizable face in the show’s current ensemble (sorry, Darrell) has decided to return from maternity leave a bit earlier than expected. Apparently some people feel that Weekend Update, if not the show as whole, is a train wreck without her. Granted, Horatio Sanz’s abbreviated stint as WU’s first Hispanic anchorperson wasn’t anything special, but it wasn’t anywhere near the unfunny banality that tainted the stints of Brad Hall, Brian Doyle-Murray and the recently deceased Charlie Rocket. Heck, even Colin Quinn was better than this unholy early-80’s triumvirate.



    This week’s host is Catherine Zeta-Jones, an Academy Award-winning actress from Spain by way of Wales and the third member of her blended Hollywood family to host SNL. Tonight’s musical guest is Franz Ferdinand, an mod-rock sensation from Scotland that just released its second album.



    (Before I get going with the sketch analysis, I just wanted to mention that under TV.com’s new system for writing episode reviews, I cannot correct or clarify information without losing the feedback that comes from my readers. Given that, I just wanted to point out that Jon Heder played that one guy from the Black Eyed Peas, and not Fred Armisen. Sorry for misleading you.)



    Without further ado, the sketch-by-sketch analysis:



    COLD OPENING: Bush again? I’m sensing a trend here. Live from the right-leaning Fox News Channel, El Prez (WF) gabs with the troops in an allegedly spontaneous, off the cuff manner in response to a controversial and likeminded chit-chat from last week. One of the soldiers, the frustrated Sergeant Walker (FM) breaks from the script and gets replaced in a hilarious manner, but it felt like the only highlight in a sketch that seemingly jumped on the “Bush is doing a horrible job” bandwagon a bit too late.



    OPENING CREDITS: Chris Parnell’s name is nowhere to be found for the second show in a row, but whatever.



    MONOLOGUE: No matter how bad she does, they can’t take Cathy’s Oscar away, but dagnabbit, did she have to do a saucy song-and-dance number to prove it?



    “Butt Cancer Treatment Center”: A serious-looking couple (AP and JS) discuss curing your fartbox problem. Though it had an interesting albeit sophomoric premise, this ad spoof also felt like an unfinished idea.



    “Newsnight with Aaron Brown”: CNN’s most self-absorbed anchorman (DH) reports on the Pashwan Standoff in Afghanistan with a British correspondent (CZJ) that keeps getting more mussed and nonplussed as time wears on. For the first time in ages, SNL provides us with a sketch that finds the right balance of subtle pacing and comedic value.



    “Dancers Party”: A hockey-loving square (SM) and his main squeeze (CZJ) meet up with about a dozen or so Fosse-inspired partygoers in a New York studio apartment. The results are quirky, jazzy, and fairly predictable.



    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: Franz performs their current single, the brooding Gang of Four homage “Do You Want To?” Suffice to say, the Bay City Rollers they ain’t.



    WEEKEND UPDATE: It appears that Tina hasn’t lost her “pregnant pouch” just yet, but at least she’s back. We also learn that Maya had her baby last week, but that’s also a moot point. With everything back to full strength, this turned out to be far and away the strongest “Update” segment so far this season. Amongst the clever jabs at globalization and domestic affairs were two great commentaries, one involving an incompetent high school football coach (JS) and the other being a blind prop comic (FA) that bombs his performance for all the obvious reasons.



    “The Italians”: While bringing service to three American travelers (AP, JS, KT), four locals (CZJ, FA, BH, HS) use tired pop culture references at the front desk of a small hotel before alluding to bi-curious behavior and robbing them of their visas. Not unlike several sketches from earlier this season, it was a great concept marred by poor execution.



    “Access Hollywood”: Billy Bush (SM) self-aggrandizes before and during a fluffy chat with Sharon Stone (AP), who’s promoting a post-Katrina charity song called “Feed the Wet Ones.” Following the disjointed chat, we are presented with a star-studded performance of the tune, bringing an abrupt end to a tepid sketch.



    “Creighton Boys School”: This wannabe-feminist snooze-fest finds two private school foreign language professors (RD, AP) acting jealous towards the new French teacher (CZJ), mostly because of her demeanor towards men. One great line does not make a great sketch.



    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: Alex Kapranos and company perform their biggest hit to date, the 2004 anthem “Take Me Out.”



    “Glen and Gina’s Wedding”: A newly-wedded couple (CZJ, WF) perform musical vows that devolve into an appreciation for spanking. For once, a sketch that actually ran longer than it should have.



    “Morgan Stanley”: We’re only three episodes into the season, and they’re already repeating ad spoofs. Given how at least two sketches were seemingly ended halfway though, was there any point in airing this?



    “Scheinwalds at Solotsky’s”: What seems to be your favorite bickering grandfather-grandson tandem drops by for another appearance, only this time they’re in a Hollywood dive auditioning actresses for an Emily Dickinson biopic. The grandson (SM) wants a name actress, but Grandpa Abe (RD) wants a Latina bimbo (CMJ) for the role. In a way, this sketch was like an episode of “Curb Your Enthusiam,” only without the edge.



    Though this show had no truly stupid sketches, it was to say the least inconsistent. Like most of what we’ve seen recently, tonight’s broadcast had a strong start that led into a weak finish. Ms. Zeta-Jones proved to the strongest host of the season so far, and Franz Ferdinand was absolutely zesty as musical guest, but that still doesn’t hide the fact that this was an uneven show.



    Sketches and/or Segments That Will Probably Be Removed In Repeats: “The Italians,” “Creighton Boys School,” “Morgan Stanley,” and “The Scheinwalds.”



    Next Week: Champion cyclist Lance Armstrong is the latest athlete to host, with his main squeeze Sheryl Crow making her third go-around as musical guest.



    Contact “HelloStuart” at sma17kc@netscape.net.moreless
  • Stupid.

    2.0
    There wasn't a sketch in this episode that was funny. They were all painfully stupid. Maybe it's time for a massive cast change.                                                                             moreless
  • JAZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

    5.5
    This week was one of my favorite actresses, though I’ve never seen a single movie she was in, Catherine Zeta Jones, with musical guest Franz Ferdinand. Was there much to look forward to for this episode? Now, how can I talk about this episode. Not much to say here. It wasn’t that great of an episode, but it was watchable. Let’s begin, shall we?



    HOST: Mrs. Micheal Douglas, Catherine Zeta Jones, who was being made fun of not 4 or 5 years ago for marrying a man 15 years her senior. Her monologue, which is what the writers do when they don’t think of anything better, was a tap dance with CZJ wearing an outfit from a burlesque show circa Gypsy Rose Lee era, or the 1950’s, whichever works for you. She always played the hot woman in the sketch, but with a great beauty like her, I guess they didn’t want to ugly her up. She was a good host, though wasn’t in the low quality sketches. She did dance more than once. And I take that back. I saw her in Chicago, one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. (I was told that since I loved Moulin Rouge SO much, I’d like Chicago) But she was good in it. Back to the show. A-



    MUSICAL GUEST: This week was the Scottish band named after the archduke for whom WWI was started, Franz Ferdinand. There first song is clever, and I’ve heard there second song in spring. Their new song, “Do You Want To” isn’t that bad, like I said, and was competing in the Kiss Combat the day before this aired, and lost. Their second song, “Take Me Out,” which has the oddest video I have ever seen in my life is played, but still listenable. B



    SKETCHES:



    Bush’s Spontaneous Chat: It was okay, I think. I don’t really remember it, but I think I liked it. C



    Butt Cancer Treatment Centre: Really? Ya wanna do this? You think that this concept is a good idea? Whatever. D



    Newsnight with Aaron Brown: This was okay too, but I still don’t remember it Catherine kept getting uglier and uglier. And they wouldn’t give the poor girl a break. (This was the only moment she went from a dime to not even a penny.) C



    Dancers’ Party: Now I remember this. This was the BEST skit of the night. (Remided me of her role in Chicago. Same dress and flapper hair.) It was sooooooo funny. C’mon, ya gotta love Tostitossssssssssssss . . .Salsaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.. A++



    The Italians: Talk about your stereotypes. A couple visits a hotel in Italy, and the people there are stereotyped Italians. C-



    Access Hollywood: This made me think that Jimmy’s Pat O’ Brien was back. But it was Billy Bush this time. C-



    Creighton Boys’ School: Iffy. Like all the skits this week, C.



    Glen and Gina’s Wedding: A very Inappropiate song. You know they will pry have kids soon. But I did kinda like it. I laughed a lil bit. B



    Morgan Stanley: Second time this aired this season. I said before that I liked it, but I hope it doesn’t turn into the Huggey’s Thong or Doctor Porkenstien’s Boner Juice, I really don’t know the name. But this is very funny. A



    The Sceinwalds: Guess who played the hor Mexican girl who can act? Yes, CZJ. What, did ya think it was Amy? I never really liked this skit, and that cole slaw is making me sick. D





    BEST MOMENT: That dancers skit. Nothing topped that. That was just so hilarious. That line Jazzzzzzzzzzzzz. Brillant. Simply Brillant.



    WORST MOMENT: That Butt Treatment Centre. Baddddddd.



    MOST SURPRISING MOMENT: Once again, the Dancers skit. When it started, I thought that it would be dumb, and boy was I wrong.



    Score: 6/10 Sparkling Diamonds.

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  • Could it be?! SNL finally digging itself out of it's hole?!

    9.3
    It's one of those things you keep hoping will happen, that you know will happen eventually, but must it be so drawn out that it's almost embarassing to watch?... Think the Red Sox finally winning the series after 80+ years, the White Sox coming back this year, Susan Lucci finally getting her Emmy.



    Yes. Saturday Night Live is funny again.



    We don't know what made it happen, but it happened. Maybe Tina's maternity leave was especially refreshing? Maybe the players decided to "give a damn and make an effort," in the old Steve Martin fashion? Maybe having a host with real acting talent that can entertain was an upper? Who knows. All that matters is, it must continue.



    All in all, I have to say Ms. Zeta-Jones was fabulous. Hands down, best host of the season so far. Even if she didn't make me laugh, I was thoroughly entertained (as was the case with her monologue, though that "I still get to go home with Michael Douglas" line did get a chuckle).



    The high point for me was having Tina back on Weekend Update. I find myself liking Horatio less and less with each episode, and those Weekend Update fill-ins did him no good. I do, however, love Kenan more and more with each episode. From being the befuddled soldier stand-in in the first sketch, to doing his Aretha impression in the Sharon Stone skit, he just consistently brings it. It's nice to see him doing well after growing up with him on All That.



    I love Franz Ferdinand, and I loved their first performance ("Do You Want To?"), but I have to say, I wasn't really loving their second performance ("Take Me Out"). I love the song, but I don't think it had quite the oomph! that it needed to go well on that stage. And I can't quite comprehend why they played their older hit when they just put out a new record full of amazing songs. I would've loved to hear a live version of what may be their next single, rather than a song that I've heard countless times before on the radio and TV.



    Ah well. Can't have it all, I guess.moreless
  • A fabulous episode!

    9.6
    Yay Tina Fey is back!!!! Well this episode was definitley the strongest episode so far this season. The show had its usual and awesome energy that was lacking a little bit in the first two shows in my opinion. I am not a huge fan of Catherine Zeta Jones, but I liked the episode, and I really liked Franz Ferdinand, they are pretty great! A Highlight was definitley Weekend Update with Tina and Amy - those ladies are freaking awesome! In my opinion, this was a great great episode....looking forward to next week!!!moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Amy Poehler: A twelve-year-old Michigan boy is trying to break the Guinness Book of World Records for most continuous karate kicks in one hour. Least happy about this: the boy's little brother.

    • Donnie Freeman: We never punt the football. Punting is for quitters. Vince Lombardi said that. Actually, it might've been my dad. Doesn't matter.

    • Tina Fey: U2 lead singer Bono met with President Bush in the White House on Wednesday and urged the President to help the world's poor, while the President urged Bono to get back with Cher.

    • Catherine Zeta-Jones: (from the monologue) So, for the next hour and a half/I make a fool of myself without a single laugh/I dust myself off 'cos I must confess/I still go home with Michael Douglas!

    • Tina Fey: Spongebob Squarepants will finally be airing in China in December. Now the factory workers will know what the hell they're making.

  • NOTES (6)

    • Sketches/segments not shown in the 60 minute version: the tribute to Charles Rocket at the end of Weekend Update, the Coach Donnie Freeman segment on Weekend Update, "Italian Hotel," "Musical Vows," "Schatzki's Deli," "Morgan Stanley" (rerun 10/1/05), and Franz Ferdinand's performance of "Take Me Out."

    • In the NBC rerun on 5/27/06, the tribute to Charles Rocket is cut from the end of Weekend Update.

    • Chris Parnell is not listed in the opening credits, nor does he appear in this episode.

    • Tina Fey announces that Maya Rudolph gave birth to her daughter the previous week on "Weekend Update." Rudolph would remain on maturnity leave for several months afterward.

    • At the end of Weekend Update, a picture of Charles Rocket is shown with the caption "1949-2005." Rocket commited suicide the week before the episode aired.

    • Tina Fey returns for the show a mere six weeks after giving birth. Tina was quoted as saying "I had to get back to work... NBC has me under contract; the baby and I only have a verbal agreement."

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • The character of Hillary Decroix in the "Creighton Boys School" sketch is a homage to Seth Meyers' mom, a popular French professor at a private school in New Hampshire. It's also fairly obvious to say that Meyers also wrote this sketch.

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