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Saturday 11:30 PM on NBCIn Season

Season Premiere EDT: Alec Baldwin/Radiohead (9/24/11)

  • Avatar of JM5000

    JM5000

    [43]Sep 25, 2011
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    Good episode! The host was great as always, and I actually found myself laughing at times tonight...While some of the sketches were KINDA dumb, they were, for the most part, original, and that definitely helps! Hell, the most predictable we got tonight was another Anniversary DVD sketch with the silly impression auditions and yet another gameshow...which was actually funny! It also may help that they have writers from College Humor and Funny or Die now. While it's not quite back to its funny roots yet, it seems to be slowly progressing. Season 35, to me, was its rock-bottom point (with some exceptions, like Jon Hamm and Betty White). With Season 36, it improved just a little bit. Hopefully the progress will continue this season...


    I grade this episode: A-


    I grade the host: A


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  • Avatar of Woodstein

    Woodstein

    [44]Sep 25, 2011
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    I'm not sure if it just ended up that way or if they were trying to do so, but I thought the most notable part of this episode was the complete absence of recurring characters. That doesn't automatically equal good, as there have been plenty of lousy episodes with mostly original ideas, but over-reliance on rehashed bits has been one of the defining pitfalls of the past couple seasons, and managing to avoid it makes me more optimistic for the season. Favorite sketch was probably the soap opera wrap party, least favorite was "Who's on Top?", which I probably would have enjoyed more if gay jokes weren't used as a crutch by the writers so often.

    Also, did anyone notice that Abby had prominent roles in the first two post-monologue live sketches, after barely appearing in the back half of last season? I don't think Jay appeared at all, though.
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  • Avatar of JustinRAn

    JustinRAn

    [45]Sep 25, 2011
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    Also, This Is the 1st season premier in awhile that didn't have a digital short.
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  • Avatar of 83optics

    83optics

    [46]Sep 25, 2011
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    learned:


    * has anyone tasted Schweddy Balls Ice Cream yet?


    * red flag: could have used that stuff in college. kristen was hot here!


    * i know it was fake, but that giant snake head was disturbing


    * i wish i could dance like thom yorke, but i think i'd need to wear those spiffy shoes of his


    * i wonder what stefon and seth did on their summer vacation?...

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    TheDiamondDog

    [48]Sep 25, 2011
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    I couldn't get into the show. I was doing other things, but the show didn't grab me. I zoned in and out.

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  • Avatar of BaronOne

    BaronOne

    [49]Sep 25, 2011
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    Fantastic premiere.

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  • Avatar of HelloStuart

    HelloStuart

    [50]Sep 25, 2011
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    These are my thoughts; as usual, if you'd like me to elaborate further totally let me know:


    + In a night that was heavy on sketches and segments that ran long, the Fox News cold open oddly benefitted from its lack of focus and brevity. So much has happened with the GOP presidential race that a lot of turf had to be covered for a debate sketch like this one. Sheperd Smith (BH) pointing out that the real race is between boring Mitt Romney (JS) and erratic Rick Perry (Alec) is not so much a comment on the increasingly non-objective media as it is the truth. Plus, the cavalcade of new impressions ranging from Samberg's jittery Santorum to Pauly B's uptight Ron Paul was a delight to watch.


    + Outside of Nasim being promoted to repertory, no changes to the current cast. Considering the show's history of constant turnover, this newfound stability is both bewildering and relieving. Alas, you have three cast members that have been on the show nine years or longer so of course this won't last, but we should savor this while we can.


    + The recurring motif of tonight's show seemed to be zany, physical fun. The "All My Children Wrap Party" and "WDHX 19 Buffalo" sketches both played big and fast, and even though "Child Psychologist" could fall into the same category it had a consistently dark undertone that was hard to look away from.



    + Another high point was the considerable lack of recurring characters; there were a few repeat impressions scattered here and there but that was all. A pretty tight Update segment was nearly derailed by an Alec-as-Tony Bennett commentary that just kept going and going. On the other hand, the "Top Gun Screen Tests" has proven to be a reliable go-to motif for mimicking irrelevent stars of years past.



    + Was it just me, or was the audience a bit louder than usual? I've heard of audio sweetening, but tonight was saccharine...


    + There's little denying that The King of Limbs is Radiohead's most challenging album; either you're transfixed or you hate it. "Lotus Flower" (the first song they played) is the closest thing to a radio single, and the other seven tracks mumble and stumble around with a haunting sameness. In a live context, however it's captivating. Too bad we SNL diehards had to wait 11 years to see Thom Yorke strut around the 8H stage again.



    + On a night that could've been a self-congratulatory, cameo-heavy drag the season premiere was actually pretty decent; a 7 in my book. Baldwin rebounded nicely from two uneven outings, demonstrating that even in his old age he's a pro first and foremost. The pleasant surprise of the evening was the heightened presence of Abby, Taran, and Pauly B; these three relatively underused actors (Abby especially) all had juicy parts in sketches within the first 35 minutes of the show. Vanessa had a decent outing too, though it doesn't seem like Jay's luck has changed yet. On to Mel-Mac and Lady A...

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  • Avatar of BaronOne

    BaronOne

    [51]Sep 26, 2011
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    My thoughts

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  • Avatar of bry456

    bry456

    [52]Sep 26, 2011
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    Anybody see the closing credits, looks like seven writers are gone:


    Doug Abeles, Heather Campbell,Matt Craig,Jonathan Krisel, Tom Flanigan, Simon Rich and Akiva Schaffer


    I wonder if they'll still do the Digital Shorts, or is that over withsince two-thirds of Lonely Island is gone?


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  • Avatar of thecomedianky

    thecomedianky

    [53]Sep 26, 2011
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    bry456 wrote:

    Anybody see the closing credits, looks like seven writers are gone:


    Doug Abeles, Heather Campbell,Matt Craig,Jonathan Krisel, Tom Flanigan, Simon Rich and Akiva Schaffer


    I wonder if they'll still do the Digital Shorts, or is that over withsince two-thirds of Lonely Island is gone?



    Tom and Matt were old news, unfortunately. Simon is writing a movie for Pixar.
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  • Avatar of BaronOne

    BaronOne

    [55]Sep 26, 2011
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    bry456 wrote:


    Anybody see the closing credits, looks like seven writers are gone:


    Doug Abeles, Heather Campbell,Matt Craig,Jonathan Krisel, Tom Flanigan, Simon Rich and Akiva Schaffer


    I wonder if they'll still do the Digital Shorts, or is that over withsince two-thirds of Lonely Island is gone?




    Not entirely a bad thing. There was a feeling of freshness to Saturday's episode like some new writers may have gotten some stuff onto the show already.

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  • Avatar of HelloStuart

    HelloStuart

    [56]Sep 26, 2011
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    thecomedianky wrote:
    bry456 wrote:

    Anybody see the closing credits, looks like seven writers are gone:


    Doug Abeles, Heather Campbell, Matt Craig,Jonathan Krisel, Tom Flanigan, Simon Rich and Akiva Schaffer


    I wonder if they'll still do the Digital Shorts, or is that over withsince two-thirds of Lonely Island is gone?



    Tom and Matt were old news, unfortunately. Simon is writing a movie for Pixar.


    Also, Abeles is developing a pilot for ABC.

    As for Akiva-- Jorma left after Year 35 and still co-wrote five shorts. I wouldn't be surprised if they both chip in the occasional sketch from the other coast.
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  • Avatar of bry456

    bry456

    [57]Sep 27, 2011
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    I take back but what I said about the Digital Shorts, they still have videos that haven't aired off from their album they released earlier this year.


    I'm sure we'll see thisat some point.

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  • Avatar of Big_Pecks

    Big_Pecks

    [58]Oct 1, 2011
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    Compared to the last season of SNL, this episode was gold. The only sketch that I really disliked was the Child Psychologist one. The debate, Who's on Top? and the Top Gun auditions were hilarious.

    I'm hoping SNL can keep it up.

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  • Avatar of Ruckhappy

    Ruckhappy

    [60]Oct 1, 2011
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    Lonely Island, as a group, has moved beyond SNL. They can get more promo push from airing their videos on other venues where they'd be featured instead of just being another sketch.
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  • Avatar of avmon

    avmon

    [61]Oct 1, 2011
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    I just watched this ep of "SNL". Really enjoyed it.
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