Episode Discussion Thread: Seth MacFarlane/Frank Ocean (9/15/12)

  • Avatar of algetrig91

    algetrig91

    [46]Sep 15, 2012
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    I actually really liked tonight's show, though I'm not sure how it would hold up in a rerun.
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    83optics

    [47]Sep 16, 2012
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    learned:


    * USC upset, and so my entire college football season is already over.


    * hammock gloryhole > hammock


    * Let My Puppets Come, google it.


    * Frank Ocean: video games, Lana Del Rey, i get it.


    * Eastwood: **** you


    Chair: best offer i've had all day. sit on me...please?


    * it's difficult to make fake stuttering believable.


    * clips of this show will end up in a future Family Guy episode, i can feel it...


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  • Avatar of Ruckhappy

    Ruckhappy

    [48]Sep 16, 2012
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    Er, did no one notice that Seth bombed on Update from start to finish? Arguably, every joke he did bombed. Inarguably, four out of five did. Bombed. Baaaaaahmbed. A total Schweinfurt. Thirty megatons of suck, bombed. And he knew it. The sad thing was, the first two jokes he tried to save, he just made it worse. And he knew that too.


    Stu, you're wrong, dude. Maybe they've changed writers so he's working from weaker material, but that just show's up his weakness as an Update anchor. He's the head writer, fer chrissake, he's got the authority to make sure that the writing for Update is up to par.

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    Woodstein

    [49]Sep 16, 2012
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    I thought Update was okay last night, but Seth should probably hand over the reins to someone else, as he's been at the desk longer than Tina Fey or Dennis Miller despite not being as good as they were.

    The best sketches were probably the political-themed ones (Jay's debut as Obama, the campaign ad, Eastwood and Chair), and given the departure of Kristen and Andy, the show managed to avoid filling the gap by just having the other cast members do their recurring characters (the only returning bit was Roger Brush, which I think is okay when they're not doing it every five episodes). Everything else was enjoyable even if there were no standout sketches, with the exception of that Lids sketch with the Korean rapper. That sketch was almost as bad as that time Rob Lowe took up pottery.
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  • Avatar of JustinRAn

    JustinRAn

    [50]Sep 16, 2012
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    ^ I thought the Puppet sketch with Bill Hader was pretty memorable.
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    furiousfunk

    [51]Sep 16, 2012
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    I expected more. I enjoyed the Clint Eastwood Chair skit but most else was less than I expected. With Seth I expected a Star Trek Sketch and maybe a real life Family Guy sketch but it was like he went over random sketches overlooked by previous hosts and just blindly chose subpar ones to fill out the show.
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    JustinRAn

    [52]Sep 16, 2012
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    furiousfunk wrote:
    I expected more. I enjoyed the Clint Eastwood Chair skit but most else was less than I expected. With Seth I expected a Star Trek Sketch and maybe a real life Family Guy sketch but it was like he went over random sketches overlooked by previous hosts and just blindly chose subpar ones to fill out the show.


    I'm glad they didn't do a real life Family Guy sketch. MADtv already did that sketch.
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  • Avatar of Ruckhappy

    Ruckhappy

    [54]Sep 16, 2012
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    Only one recurring sketch (Roger Brush) and it wasn't that bad. Shouldn't have been the first sketch but I guess that was Fred's payoff for letting the Obama impression go. They really did gamble on a lot of fresh sketch ideas considering that MacFarlane isn't known as an actor.


    The cameos felt a little cheesy. I suppose that Frank Ocean invited Mayer to sit in, so they didn't have much say in that. Pointless cameo, he's not that good of a guitarist. And Bobby and Taran were so funny in the Lids sketch that they didn't need the actual Psy guy there for a payoff.


    I wish they'd cut the Funny Voices Date sketch in favor of one showing off the new cast. MacFarlane had played enough funny-voices leads in sketches by that point, we didn't need another.

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    danharr

    [55]Sep 16, 2012
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    Ruckhappy wrote:


    Er, did no one notice that Seth bombed on Update from start to finish? Arguably, every joke he did bombed. Inarguably, four out of five did. Bombed. Baaaaaahmbed. A total Schweinfurt. Thirty megatons of suck, bombed. And he knew it. The sad thing was, the first two jokes he tried to save, he just made it worse. And he knew that too.


    Stu, you're wrong, dude. Maybe they've changed writers so he's working from weaker material, but that just show's up his weakness as an Update anchor. He's the head writer, fer chrissake, he's got the authority to make sure that the writing for Update is up to par.




    Yes I mentioned it in an earlier post first time in a long time WU is usually the shows saving grace.

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    malcovio

    [56]Sep 16, 2012
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    I actually really enjoyed the bizarre Steve Harvey make-over sketch despite the fact that Keenan couldn't be less funny. Not enough of Kate McKinnon though in the episode.
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  • Avatar of HelloStuart

    HelloStuart

    [57]Sep 16, 2012
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    malcovio wrote:
    I actually really enjoyed the bizarre Steve Harvey makeover sketch despite the fact that Kenan couldn't be less funny. Not enough of Kate McKinnon though in the episode.

    Would you believe that's a real weekly segment on a real daytime talk show?

    I agree about K-Mac. Aidy had exactly two lines in the "Blind Date" sketch and that was it. vBay did the heavy lifting for the ladies tonight.
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  • Avatar of HelloStuart

    HelloStuart

    [58]Sep 16, 2012
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    My thoughts:

    + The people demanded it, the people got it. After 4 1/2 years of vocal criticism about his staid Obama impression, a ceaseless harangue that grew louder when Jay Pharoah joined the cast two years ago, Fred passed the baton to his younger peer. The transition was figurative and literal; Fred played a Ohio plutocrat that introduced Jay as The Big O. The new blood seemed to wake up the writers, as the sketch was a well-overdue mockery of Obama, but especially damnening towards Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan. In general, the topical humor in tonight's show was more pointed than usual, but it clicked more than it missed.

    + A minor nitpick: as much as I enjoyed Seth's monologue song, the voices and shameless plugging of other projects didn't need to be called back throughout the show.

    + I know this forum has its share of Hader haters, and I doubt they were pleased by the number of sketches he carried tonight, but give him one thing: he commits to nearly every character he plays. The Clint Eastwood/chair bit was expected and satisfactory, but "Introduction to Puppetry" has sealed a spot on his Best-of DVD. Everything down to the little details (Grenada!) was pitch-perfect.

    + In the interim, the three remaining members of the Class of '10 were promoted to repertory, and three new featured players were picked up to fill the gaps left by Wiigy, Andy, and Abby. Of the veterans Vanessa was the most prominent, handling a Kristen-style workload in sketches even though she was largely a straight woman to weirder, wackier characters. Of the noobs, Tim had a breakout evening; he first appeared as a power bottom in "Sex After 50" and appeared prominently in "Stuttering Sargeant" and "WoodenSpoonWarehouse.com."

    + That Al Pacino/Joe Paterno joke in Weekend Update was as crass as it was clever. That doesn't sound like anything Seth would write, though.

    + The only weak sketch of the night was "Steve Harvey." It's one of Kenan's stronger impressions, and somebody in the writers' room is clearly bemused by the comedian/radio host/self-help guru. The premise of the sketch itself felt contrived; a suburban housewife (VB) thinks her husband (Seth) needs a makeover, so Steve mocks him up in his image.

    + As the first member of the Odd Future collective to appear on SNL, and riding the wave of a critically acclaimed debut album, there were high expectations for Frank Ocean tonight. He largely succeeded; alternating between singing and rhyming in a way that evoked Usher and Kanye West, Ocean was captivating with the ballads "Thinking 'bout You" and "Pyramids." Also, where the heck did John Mayer come from?

    + Did anyone notice how SNL has pared down the number of writers on staff? They went from 20+ at the end of last year to 16. Pell, Conrad, Gossman, and Mulaney are gone, but who else?

    + In short, Year 38 started off with a bang. I thought Seth would be relegated to the usual awkward straight-man roles, and while he didn't totally escape that, he was limber and versatile. Even though we might still be in an awkward transitional period, MacFarlane/Ocean set the bar pretty high for the season to come. In the nearly ten years (yeah, yeah I know) I've been analyzing SNL sketch by sketch this was probably the strongest season premiere of them all. After this 7.5 show, Officer John Blake has a touch act to follow.
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  • Avatar of Ruckhappy

    Ruckhappy

    [59]Sep 16, 2012
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    HelloStuart wrote:
    I know this forum has its share of Hader haters...


    Hating on Hader is like beating up bunnies on Easter.


    HelloStuart wrote:
    Did anyone notice how SNL has pared down the number of writers on staff? They went from 20+ at the end of last year to 16.


    And now they have four writing supervisors to boss 15 (I think Higgins' is a vanity credit) writers. What the hell?

    Edited on 09/16/2012 10:45pm
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  • Avatar of HelloStuart

    HelloStuart

    [60]Sep 17, 2012
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    Ruckhappy wrote:

    HelloStuart wrote:
    I know this forum has its share of Hader haters...


    Hating on Hader is like beating up bunnies on Easter.


    HelloStuart wrote:
    Did anyone notice how SNL has pared down the number of writers on staff? They went from 20+ at the end of last year to 16.


    And now they have four writing supervisors to boss 15 (I think Higgins' is a vanity credit) writers. What the hell?


    Higgins still splits his time between SNL and Fallon 50/50.
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    JustinRAn

    [61]Sep 17, 2012
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    I'm guessing he writes for SNL and Improv's at Late Night.

    He also probably gets ideas from there for SNL (Taylor Swift playing Kate Gossling for example.)
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  • Avatar of Ruckhappy

    Ruckhappy

    [62]Sep 17, 2012
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    HelloStuart wrote:


    Higgins still splits his time between SNL and Fallon 50/50.


    Splits his time, I suppose, but I don't see when he'd have the slack to do much writing for SNL, and I haven't seen many sketches credited to him since he started doing Late Night.

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  • Avatar of HelloStuart

    HelloStuart

    [63]Sep 17, 2012
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    Ruckhappy wrote:

    HelloStuart wrote:


    Higgins still splits his time between SNL and Fallon 50/50.


    Splits his time, I suppose, but I don't see when he'd have the slack to do much writing for SNL, and I haven't seen many sketches credited to him since he started doing Late Night.


    Higgins is the announcer and a part-time producer for Fallon. He does similar work on SNL. He's beyond a mere scribe.
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  • Avatar of Ruckhappy

    Ruckhappy

    [64]Sep 18, 2012
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    I know what Higgins does on both shows. That's my point. Just taping Jimmy's show must take 2-2.5 hours a day. Then there's all the production work for Late Night. Do you really think he has the time to come upstairs for the epically-long Wednesday table reads, for example? That's why I don't count him as a full-time writer for SNL right now, even though he's in the credits.

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  • Avatar of Pulch23

    Pulch23

    [65]Sep 19, 2012
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    Ruckhappy wrote:


    I know what Higgins does on both shows. That's my point. Just taping Jimmy's show must take 2-2.5 hours a day. Then there's all the production work for Late Night. Do you really think he has the time to come upstairs for the epically-long Wednesday table reads, for example? That's why I don't count him as a full-time writer for SNL right now, even though he's in the credits.


    Ruck it's like how Lorne is still credited as a writer even though he does not actually write any sketches. Higgins, as HelloStuart previously mentioned;
    HelloStuart wrote:


    He's beyond a mere scribe


    He has a large voice in the writing process and which sketches are picked to get in the show. Hell, he even goes out scouting for newbies. Listen to this podcast of Watkins describing her audition process. She mentions how after her showcase how she shared a cab with Higgins. In short, he finds the time.

    Edited on 09/19/2012 3:14pm
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  • Avatar of Ruckhappy

    Ruckhappy

    [66]Sep 19, 2012
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    Like I said, I have an idea of Higgins' production duties and involvement with both shows. I know that he's one of the casting scouts and probably has a big say in who gets hired for the cast and writing staff. I'm sure he's still one of the primary voices in how SNL is run. I just don't see where he'd have the time to do much primary sketch writing for SNL since he started working on Late Night.


    The only reason I'm making an issue of it is because I'm curious as to who among the writers is really in there pitching three sketches each week, especially new, non-recurring sketches. The impression I get sometimes is that of the 16-20 credited writers at any one time, maybe two-thirds of the younger/newer writers are doing the bulk of the original writing.


    I would be curious to know if he makes it upstairs for the Wednesday table reads, because how else would he have a say in which sketches get chosen for the show? Must be a busy guy on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when both shows are in production. Doubtless Shoemaker covers for him a lot on Late Night.

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