Saturday Night Live

Season 32 Episode 10

Jake Gyllenhaal/The Shins

0
Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Jan 13, 2007 on NBC
7.6
out of 10
User Rating
48 votes
12

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Episode Summary

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Live from New York, it's... Jason Sudeikis!

Sketches include "21,500 More Troops," "Deep House Dish," "Bronx Beat," "Trump's Press Junket," "Juliano's," "Laser Cats 2" (film), "Stock Footage Awards," "Law & Order Auditions," "Handicapped Matchup," and "Kaplan, Lebowitz, & Dolemite."

The Shins performed "Phantom Limb" and "New Slang."moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • “I wish I could to quit you.” Well, here’s your chance.

    3.0
    A Review by “HelloStuart,” Amateur Critic and Sexually Confused Cattle-Rustler



    Scroll down for a special bonus review!



    An internet sensation has been born… again. One year since “Lazy Sunday” became a secular praise chorus on college campuses nationwide, “D*** in a Box” repeats the feat. Granted, Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg’s white-boy groove may not have been as much of a cultural phenomenon or as widely imitated as its C.S. Lewis-obsessed predecessor, but it gets funnier with repeated viewings. As much as I now enjoy the clip and its various sendups, I still stand behind my 5.0 review from last month; one funny sketch doesn't make a whole show better.



    This week’s host is Jake Gyllenhaal, the Academy Award-nominated actor whose greatest imprint to American culture was playing the bi-curious cowboy Jack Twist in the movie “Brokeback Mountain.” His musical guest, The Shins, may not be a household name but a familiar presence in the indie-rock world nonetheless; though I’m not a big fan, I really enjoyed their 2003 CD “Chutes Too Narrow.”



    And now, the sketch-by-sketch analysis:



    COLD OPENING: After only four sketches, Suds finally has the Dubya impression down pat; problem is, why did it have to be in such a dull sketch? Tonight, his address to the nation is spoofed, calling for all our men in uniform (janitors, mailmen, and so forth) to help boost the 21,500 soldiers needed in his Hail Mary pass to solve the crisis in Iraq. Sadly, it’s not satire if you can actually imagine our President making such a desperate request.



    MONOLOGUE: Jake swears off the “Brokeback” jokes, then sings the “Dreamgirls” show-stopper “And I Tell You I’m Not Going” in full drag. Unlike most monologues, this segment worked because every little surprise made it funnier.



    “Deep House Dish”: SNL’s most popular recurring sketch (if only be default) finds Handbag and T’Shane (KT, AS) asking softball questions to some of house music’s biggest names. As usual, the musical guests take a backseat to Handbag’s simmering annoyance with T’Shane and his bad puns. Maybe it’s déjà vu, but if you see one DHD sketch, you’ve seen them all.



    “Bronx Beat”: Two obnoxious housewives from the New York borough (MR, AP) make cute with Frank O’Connor (Jake), the author of a guide to mountain biking. The conversation deviates from the book he’s promoting to discussing how cute he is. As much as I hate to say it, this won’t be the last time we’ll hear from Betty and Jodi.



    “Trump’s Press Junket”: The Donald’s attempts to promote his floundering reality show are thwarted by his apparent and narcissistic gloating over his feud with Rosie O’Donnell. Darrell Hammond drags out his Trump impression one more time for a topical sketch that went nowhere.



    “Juliano’s”: A yuppie couple (Jake, KW) high on mushrooms envision a spaghetti-and-meatballs dinner as being “cool,” and by that I mean living, breathing meatballs (FA, AS) dancing to jazz music and smoking cigarettes. I must apologize for ruining the ending for anyone that didn’t see the sketch, but I had to take this sad and pointless exercise out of its misery.



    DIGITAL SHORT: Bill and Andy show Lorne a follow-up to their infamous “Laser Cats” film, tentatively and quite creatively titled “Laser Cats 2.” This time around, our heroes take on arch-villain Dr. Scientist (Jake) in some incoherent plot that cures the galaxy’s felines of shooting lasers out of their mouths. LC2 was a valiant effort, but the original was much more charming.



    “Stock Footage Awards”: “Retired” TV journalists Dan Rather (DH) and Jane Pauley (KW) host an awards show for B-rolls from the six o’clock news. Once again, I felt nothing; for a broadcast that now seems to be running on autopilot, doesn’t a sketch about generic news footage seem weirdly ironic?



    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: The Shins’ trademark sad, Byrds-like jangle is put into great effect on their current single “Phantom Limb.” Not to deviate from the review, but the girl who shook the tambourine (I don’t think she’s an actual band member) was really pretty, but that’s the “man” in me talking.



    WEEKEND UPDATE: My first major nitpick: neither commentary was funny. Steven Jobs’ (FA) promotion of the iPhone paled in comparison to a throwaway comedy bit from Conan’s show earlier this week, and Whitney Houston’s (MR) liquidation of her assets was aimless and sluggish. My second major nitpick: the gag about underwear that can be worn for days on end (or as most men call it, plain ol’ underwear) sounds like a rehash of a joke involving unbreakable jeans from two years ago. I liked most of the other one-liners, though.



    “Law & Order Auditions”: A crusty, middle-aged acting coach (AP) trains potential “three-liners” (the actors that play bit roles which move the plot along in the first half-hour of the show) while living by the code of that “dun-dun” sound effect. This was incredibly silly, right down to Fred’s demented Sam Waterson impersonator and a reciting of the show’s trademark opening lines.



    “Handicapped Match-up”: An upscale couple (Jake, MR) deny that they set up their wheelchair-bound friend (JS) with another handicapped person (KW) because of their physical similarities. I actually didn’t mind this sketch, though a little fine-tuning wouldn’t have hurt; what could’ve been a sublime comedy of manners was hampered considerably by Jake and Maya’s pointless screeching.



    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: From the movie “Garden State,” it’s the life-changing ballad “New Slang.” Dig that crazy Theremin!



    “Kaplan, Lebowitz, & Dolemite”: The grandson of the black-exploitation legend (KT) joins a law firm. There’s not much else to be said here.



    I never thought it would come to this point, but the only salvageable aspect of tonight’s broadcast was the music; though I’m now very tempted to buy their new CD when it arrives in stores later this month, the fact that so little of tonight’s broadcast was even remotely amusing is incredibly saddening. Maggie’s brother was a little too over the top for my tastes, and nothing else connected. The creative comeback that I predicted earlier this season has clearly proven false.



    Sketches/segments that will probably be removed in repeats: “Bronx Beat,” “Juliano’s,” “Stock Footage Awards,” and “Kaplan, Lebowitz, & Dolemite.”



    Next week: Jeremy Piven of “Entourage” fame hosts with punk-revivalists AFI as musical guests.



    ----+---------------+ ----



    And now, a quick recap of the first half of Season 32:



    Most overrated cast member: Bill Hader. I never championed the guy, and outside of those two Vincent Price sketches he has yet to really impress me.

    Most underrated cast member: Oddly enough, Fred Armisen. He’s been very subdued this season, almost half-awake in disposition, but he brings a unique zeal to weak sketches when given the opportunity.

    Biggest breakthough: Kristen Wiig. Sorry Amy, but SNL has a new alpha female.



    Best host: Hugh Laurie was probably the most professional host we’ve had in quite a while.

    Worst host: Annette Bening, on the other hand, was probably the least professional.



    Best musical guest: Tenacious D

    Worst musical guest: Gwen Stefani



    Best episode thus far: Alec Baldwin/Christina Aguilera

    Second best: Hugh Laurie/Beck

    Worst episode thus far: This was a tough choice, given that only three episodes so far this season were more funny than unfunny, but for now I’d say Gyllenhaal/Shins. Like I said before, it wasn’t the musical guest’s fault.



    Contact “HelloStuart” at sma17kc@aim.com. Don’t be afraid to vent, he’s just as frustrated as you are.moreless
  • Cowboys all over the world rejoice...

    4.0
    It's January! That mean's its the worst part of Winter! Ew. Anyways, it's been a month since our last episode which was actually a memorable one. Jake Gyllenhaal is our host with musical guest The Shins. I'm pretty excited to be back at doing this.



    Message From GWB: Wow. Just wow. Ever since Suds took over the George Bush role, these sketches have been so poorly written. I actually like the new Sud's impression a lot botter than Forte's too.



    Monologue: A mildly entertaining monologue, but only because of Suds and Forte as the gay cow-boys. Jake can sing, though.



    Deep House Dish: This sketch again. This gets even more poorly written every time it airs. Can we stop with this sketch? I kind of laughed at Andy's new character when this aired for the first time this season, but that could only last for 1 minute of the whole sketch. On the other hand, Kristen was really smoking hot in this.



    Bronx Beat: I guess this was somewhat decent, but not because of Gyllenhaal. I really hope if this does become recurring, they start to pick up a point to the sketch.



    Donald Trump: This was actually pretty decent. But, it dragged on. "Jabba The Rosie" was the best sketch.



    Cool Restaurant: Wow. Talk about a poor excuse for a sketch. This was not funny at all, and if any funniness built into it, it was ruined when this turned into a huge drug joke.



    Laser Cats II: Eh. It was really only funny the first time with Lindsay Lohan. You can really do it only once, or else the "it's so bad, it's good" thing starts to fall off tracks.



    Stock Footage Awards: I had chuckles here or there, but I couldn't help but start feeling pain by how much this episode is going into the pits.



    Musical Performance: The Shins perform "Phantom Limb" which is a great song.



    Weekend Update: Most of the jokes were pretty funny, which kind of helped bring this episode out of being a total slump. But, Whitney Houston was not funny, and Armisen's Steve Jobs was funny last year during the iPod Nano segment, but this segment was just old. There was a LOT of energy from Amy tonight.



    Law & Order: This just turned out to be a really really silly sketch. I guess if this were plugged into a good episode, I'd laugh at it, and think nothing of it, but this was just contributing to the evening.



    Wheelchair Date: A one-premise sketch. Besides, the cast was on auto-pilot by now.



    Musical Performance: The Shins perform "New Slang" which is the song from Garden State. It's yet another amazing song.



    Attourney At Law: Was this a sketch? It was about 25 seconds long, and I really didn't find any attempt at a joke.



    I don't remember the last time I found a show this bad. I really didn't start watching religiously until this season, but, the episodes I had watched weren't as bad as this one.



    Jake wasn't really as good as a host as I was expecting. In fact, he was pretty bad. I'm not sure if he's the worst thus far, but yuck. The Shins were a really good musical guest. I really hope to see them on the SNL stage again sometime.moreless
  • An average show with a great dancing caveman.

    7.0
    Bush cold open - This failed to grab me. I still think they need to try something different with Bush. Grade: D



    Monologue - OK, but did not make me laugh. Song and dance numbers on SNL (with a few notable exceptions) are usually pretty bland. This is not one of the exceptions. Grade: C



    Deep House Dish - Why oh why does this sketch continue to live? Is it there to provide a showpiece for the costume designer? I have never enjoyed this sketch and it continues to disappoint. I'm surprised something this weak gets placed at the top of the show. Does anybody actually think this is funny? Grade: F



    Bronx Beat - Amy and Maya get to do the Nora Dunn and Jan Hooks style talk show. The main difference? Attitudes was friggin' hilarious! Some so-so Bronx accents are not enough to compensate for weak writing. Even Jay Mohr's "Good Morning, Brooklyn" was better than this. Definitely a weak start to the show. Grade: D



    Donald Trump - OK, things are finally starting to pick up. As predicted by several members on this board, SNL did cover the Rosie vs. Donald feud. We have seen Hammond do this role a zillion times, but it was pretty funny last night. Still not as funny as the real life feud though. You have to see it to believe it. Grade: B



    Cool Restaurant - This was kind of interesting because it was so different and unexpected. Not a lot of laugh out loud moments, but still kind of funny to see the dancing meatballs. Most certainly inspired by the California Raisins. Except who thinks of the Raisins anymore? That was 20 years ago! Grade: B+



    Laser Cats 2 - When I saw Hader and Samberg in Lorne's office I knew we were going to see the sequel to the hilarious Laser Cats. This installment did not live up to the first, but it was still fairly entertaining. The extremely low-budget home-movie feel definitely helps it and things like using a copier as a hand scanner. I liked it, but not nearly as much as the original. Grade: B



    Stock Footage Awards - The first true laughs of the night, from me anyway. Those types of images do get used over and over on news broadcasts. So this sketch poked fun at the re-used images and the absurd number and types of award shows out there. I thought it was well-written and performed by all. My second favorite sketch of the night. Grade: B+



    Weekend Update - Good jokes this time (Air Force underwear) and a great Steve Jobs bit made this one pretty funny last night. It could have been better without the Whitney bit. We have seen this SO many times before and there is really nothing new being done with it. Flush it. Grade: B+ (Could have been an "A" without Whitney dragging it down).



    Law & Order Acting Workshop - I don't watch Law & Order so I don't know how bit players act on the show. I suppose it would be funny to L&O fans. I thought it was OK, but lacked any punch. There was nothing to really make me laugh or even smirk. Grade: C



    Wheelchair Blind Date - My favorite sketch of the night. The writers dealt with a topic that is often considered taboo: disabilities. And it was handled in a way that was funny, yet true. Grade: A-



    Kaplan, Leibowitz & Dolemite - Not much to say here. A 1-minute parody of those horrible attorney commercials that air on local stations. Not bad, but not great. Grade: B-moreless
  • Jake Gyllenhaal was a superb host. But how does 'Deep House Dish' keep making it past dress?

    6.5
    Cold Open - I can't quite figure out what happened to Jason Sudeikis. I find his Dubya impression, to put it bluntly, awful. Well, maybe not awful as compared to anything I could attempt --- but he just doesn't seem to have the voice or the expressions down. He rushes through the punch lines, blatantly reads from the cue cards, refuses to change his facial expression (what happened to the famous Dubya smirk and eyebrow spasms?) But the killer is that the sketch just never seemed to end. The joke was delivered early but the sketch seemed to grind on long after it was time to move into the montage.



    Monologue - Wow, this monologue had me fooled. It somehow flirted with every monologue cliche in the SNL playbook, but delivered in troves. First I thought that it was going to be filled with lame (and unbelievably lazy) Brokeback Mountain jokes. Then it looked like it would be another "chat with the audience" snoozer. Then, as Jake broke out the cross-dressing, it looked like a repeat of the Antonio Banderas monologue from last season (wherein fine-looking men cross dressing apparently require no further efforts at humor). And then, finally, it looked like a lame song with the ball carried by the cast while the host just reads the cue cards. But Jake was great -- an awesome falsetto, an admirable willingness to look plain silly and, well... he seemed like he was having a blast up there.



    Deep House Dish - This sketch is awful and I don't know why it keeps being recycled. There's a difference between recurring sketches and recycled sketches, and this damn sketch never seems to change. Even Kenan's lines never vary -- the 27th time that he says "Ooo-wee T-Shane" is not as funny as the first. Although it wasn't funny the first time he said it either... How this consistently gets through dress is a mystery for the ages.



    Bronx Beat - Funny characters made this sketch work. No real plot to speak of, no 'big ideas', not even a lot of punchlines. But Amy and Maya must have had a ball rehearsing these characters, and that fun came through in the performance. I foresee a recurring sketch here. Let's just hope that there's somewhere else to take the joke.



    Donald Trump Press Conference - We've seen it. We've seen Darrell Hammond's Donald impression, we've seen this media non-issue replayed on the morning news, and I think the real thing is way funnier than this lame sketch. It's tough to satire something that's already absurd, but the writers should have had the good sense not to try.



    Cool Restaurant -- Weird. But still funny.



    'Laser Cats' 2 - Another recycled sketch. But in this case, I think the premise is hilarious enough to merit another edition. But I'm not asking for Laser Cats 3 -- quit while you're ahead, fellas.



    Stock Footage Awards -- An 'idea' sketch -- and a cute idea, I thought. Who films that stuff, anyway? Kristen Wiig's Jane Pauley impersonation was impressive -- Darrell Hammond needs to retire.



    Weekend Update --Seth Meyers is growing on me, but WU still just isn't clicking. I think that Amy Poehler's hammy approach is all wrong -- she hits each punchline like a whack-a-mole game (good jokes don't need detailed instructions on when to laugh). Seth's more deadpan style is OK, but he's just not a terribly funny performer. I can't see him doing stand-up, and I really believe that WU requires a solid stand-up performer. I hope they go back to the single-anchor format next season -- then we'd see if Seth can really pull WU back from the brink.



    Wheelchairs -- I liked this sketch. The premise wasn't so much amusing as discomforting (who hasn't tried setting up your two friends with harelips?), but Jake and Maya's over-the-topness was hilarious. I'll start reacting that way from now on. "What? No!"



    And... I don't really remember the last sketch. But the title was funny.



    Musical Guest -- The Shins are great; not flashy or bombastic; just superb musicians and performers. I think the musical guests on SNL have been much better this season than last. Better Shins and Corinne Bailey Rae than Ashley Simpson and Korn.moreless
  • Not very good.

    3.0
    Not very good. SNL has let us down with this episode, anyone agree? It had it's moments, such as "Cool Food" and "Laser Cats 2" which earned it a 3 instead of a 1. Jake Gyllenhaal was a great host. It wasn't his fault. In closing, I guess I'll say that SNL has had a great 32 years. It hasn't let us down. Ever. Yes, I said it has let us down earlier in this review, but I meant as a let down for the season. Not for the series. Anyways, SNL has had a great 32 years without giving us an all-bad season. This episode's funny skits earned it 2 extra points. I would watch this if I absolutely had to, but I'd rather pick the Ludacris episode, or the Jeremy Piven episode, or others. This probably isn't the worst episode, but it wasn't one of the best.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Rob: What exactly did you think the two of us would have in common?
      Jamie: Yeah, what specifically was it?
      Jeff: Oh, so many things...
      Anna: So many things.
      Jeff: For one, you got great personalities.
      Anna: Such great personalities...
      Jeff: Your noble spirits...
      Anna: So noble...
      Jamie: And?
      Jeff: And that's about it. Great personalities... noble spirits...
      Anna: Oh my god, are you two noble.
      Rob: You think, maybe, it might have something to do with the fact that we're both in wheelchairs?
      Anna: Whaaat?!?
      Jeff: No!
      Anna: Whaaat?!?
      Jeff: No!

    • Amy Poehler: David Beckham, the British soccer star, has signed a $250 million dollar deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy soccer team...which apparently exists.

    • Amy Poehler: New research shows that women think men with square jaws are good short-term partners, while men with softer, rounder faces are perceived as better long-term mates. In other words, you date Bert but you marry Ernie.

    • Amy Poehler: During his primetime address to the nation Wednesday, President Bush announced that he is sending 21,500 more troops to Iraq. Unfortunately, they're improv troupes. (Image of Amy and two guys goofing around)

    • Amy Poehler: The White House this week launched an aggressive effort to sell the American public on President Bush's new Iraq strategy, including Wednesday night's primetime address, a visit with troops at Fort Benning, Georgia on Thursday; and tomorrow night, (image of "Desperate Housewives" cast) guess who's moving in to Wisteria Lane!

  • NOTES (2)

    • During the telecast Jake Gyllenhaal wore a T-shirt with the name "Ramona" on it. Ramona is the name of his sister Maggie Gyllenhaal's daughter who was about three months old when this episode first aired.

    • Sketches cut after dress rehearsal include: a game show parody called "Am I A Crazy Street Person?" where contestants have to differentiate professionals from crazy street people (would later air in next month's Forest Whitaker/Keith Urban episode); a commercial about snow blowers that allow mountaintop resorts to stay open year-round; a sketch about Siamese Twins (Will Forte, Jake Gyllenhaal) who teach a class; a Digital Short) where an actor (Andy Samberg) plays various roles in a movie trailer; a sketch where a "Beetlejuice" DVD left at the workplace leads to questions of ownership among co-workers.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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