Saturday Night Live

Season 36 Episode 18

Elton John/Leon Russell

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Apr 02, 2011 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
36 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Live from New York, it's... Fred Armisen!

Sketches include "The Lawrence Welk Show," "KY Jelly Ladies' Shotput Championship 1985," "Knights of the Realm," "Laser Cats 6: The Musical" (Digital Short), "The Royal Wedding," "The Silver Screen," and "Flamboyant Cowboy."

Elton John and Leon Russell performed "Hey Ahab" and "Monkey Suit."moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

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  • Elton John does well?

    When it was announced that Elton John would be hosting an edition of Saturday Night Live I was a tad surprised. But he actually did a solid enough job as host and delivered a surprisingly entertaining episode of television. Things really fell apart after Weekend Update when the sketches just seemed to be either mocking British or mocking gay people, and were not even funny.

    But the first half with Tom Hanks, who did a great job in all three sketches further reminding us that he needs to host again, the return of Laser Cats, a brief return of Will Forte, all good stuff here. It was almost like the writers finally worked this week (during the first half of the show) after being in a coma for most of the season.moreless
  • The inconsistency is back.

    We're nearing the end of our 2010/2011 season. It's been good thus far. We have 5 episodes left, including tonight, so we can only hope that it stays golden.

    Our host is Elton John, who is also our musical guest, with Leon Russell. I'm not expecting a dazzling show of any sorts. Like many have said, it's a matter of wondering how many sketches Elton will play himself in.

    The Lawrence Welk Show: I was not too happy with this being back. Doing it for the Betty White show last May was pretty good, just because of the Mothers Day theme and whatnot, but, I'm not a fan of this. There were some new gags that saved this from being a complete blah.

    Monologue: Most of the jokes were pretty good. It showed that Elton was not going to be a Donald Trump tonight, being stiff about everything. The Lady Gaga bit was hilarious, when he stared one of the audience members down.

    KY Jelly Shotput: I was really surprised to see Forte back so sudden. The audience must have cheered for him before they came back from commercial.. how do you not cheer for Will Forte? The sketch was still really funny, and Tom Hanks showing up out of no where was hilarious. Jason's pauses kill me every time. They never get old.

    Knights of the Realm: I thought this was a decent enough sketch. It was almost too structured at times, but it was still okay. The Bobby and Kristen intro was so bizarre it was funny. The Sting jokes were funny too.

    Laser Cats The Musical: Yeah, I think this is a 6th or 7th edition... I'm not even sure. Lohan, Gyllenhaal, Walken, Martin, Weaver, and this. So, that's 6. I really liked the 1st one, and I liked the 2nd one too. The Walken edition was when it started turning sour. This was slightly better than the past few installments, but, still, the "so-bad-its-good" gag has been old for a while, and Lorne's reactions stopped being funny after the 1st one.

    Musical Performance: Elton John and Leon Russell perform "Hey Ahab"... this didn't really do much for me.

    Weekend Update: It was a good Update. Fred's Kaddafi has never done anything for me, though. That was a negative part of Update. Also, Kenan's commentary was just okay. But, I'm not a fan of the Kaddafi impression, and I kind of wish SNL would stop with Fred playing a foreign leader every week... I guess it's another example of how Fred should definitely leave after this season ends. I was really surprised to see Gyllenhaal back... I tried to see if it were Paul or someone playing him at first.

    Royal Family: I wasn't too happy to see this sketch back. It was really good during the Anne Hathaway episode, but, this was just more or less the same thing. No element of surprise, other than Elton playing with the band.

    The Silver Screen: And, now, the gay stereotype sketch to fit Elton hosting. How original. The sketch itself wasn't too funny. Taran was funny in some parts, and Elton playing the grumpy-gone-happy boyfriend was funny, but, the sketch never really came together. And, Vanessa Anne Hudgens? That was very random of a celebrity impression to do, in my opinion.

    The Old West: Two consecutive gay stereotype sketches... almost like the 2008 Paul Rudd show or something. I knew they were going to do something with Elton's habit of dressing in over-the-top colorful clothing. It was okay, but, yeah.

    Musical Performance: Elton and Leon perform "Monkey Suit". Meh.

    It is now apparent that we have a leader in the weakest show of the season. The fact that we're in April, and our weakest show is a rate of 5.0 in my ratings, is impressive. Elton John had fun, and he wasn't a stiff by any means tonight, but it still was an uncreative, lackluster show. The musical performances were boring, and didn't do much for me. I was kind of hoping Elton would do some of his classics, but, I guess not.

    Next week, Helen Mirren will hopefully redeem this weaker episode with musical guest Foo Fighters.moreless
Elton John

Elton John


Guest Star

Will Forte

Will Forte


Guest Star

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony


Guest Star

Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks


Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (4)

    • For the fourth (fifth?) time in fifteen months, the record for the longest period of time between first and second appearances on SNL is broken. Elton John previous appeared as a musical guest in April 1982, 29 years to the month this broadcast first aired. This shattered Jeff Bridges' previous record of 27 years, 10 months. In turn, Leon Russell broke the SNL record for longest period of time between first and second appearances by a musical guest (35 years, one month).

    • Sketches cut after dress rehearsal: aacation ads (3 parts)- now genitrified areas are spotlighted; on a space voyage, crew is attacked by enemy (Elton John) because of woman's (Abby Elliott) anger at man's (Jason Sudeikis) lie; man (Jason Sudeikis) hawks service where actual photos of male gentalia help make mens' genitals appear bigger; a spoof of "Fox & Friends"; women (Elton John, Vanessa Bayer) try on various clothes in a Kohls' dressing room to the approval of boyfriends (Paul Brittain, Jason Sudeikis); and on Weekend Update, a teen (Vanessa Bayer) discusses abstinence.

    • After the live feed ceased following the goodnights, Elton John performed his 1974 hit "The B**** is Back" as an encore for the studio audience.

    • Jay Pharaoh did not appear in the live broadcast.