Cold Open (State of the Union Address) - Sort of a let down. The constant audience cuts were distracting. It's hard to do another state of the union address sketch as funny as the one where the VP kept standing up at the wrong spots so many years ago. Grade: C
Monologue - Something different than the usual song and dance. It took a lot of running to get back in time and get the jacket and tie flipped around. Grade: B+ Lilliah - Yeah, we've all seen this character before. Maybe not literally, but virtually the same as all of the other Kristen characters. Hamm kept this being a complete bomb. Grade: C- Digital Short: The Curse - Somebody mentioned the Stephen King book "Thinner" and that's exactly what I thought. The sexy, sax player was weird but I actually preferred this greatly to yet another rap song. Grade: B+ New Senator - Mildly funny sketch about the hunky new senator. Not as good as the old Mango sketches but it was a little different than the usual political sketches. Grade: B Weekend Update - A very weak WU. For me the jokes fell flat and Nassim's Sotomayor was very poor. I lot of people like Snooki, but I can't stand her(him). It might be better with the sound off. Grade: C- Game Time w/ Randy & Greg [R] - Getting very old. The only improvement was the multiple Gregs. Other than that, this sketch is way past expiration. Grade: C- Hamm & Bublé - Mildly amusing commercial with Bublé as a hostage. Not particularly funny, but that's pretty much par for the course these days. Grade: C+ Closet Organizer - Good to see Forte do some physical humor. Not a lot to it, but OK for a short sketch. Grade: B Court Stenographer - Started off fine then got progressively worse. Annoying characters are not great without good writing. Grade: C- Guys at a Bar - Very unusual for SNL to a callback. Something more in line with Monty Python. Very welcome in my book. The sketch didn't do much, but the self reference was great! Grade: A CNBC American Enterprise - A place for the homeless to crap. Yawn... Grade: C- Overall - A passable episode, but not the KILLER episode that this season has yet to produce. The good news: only 1 recurring sketch! The bad news: the writing was still as bland as if it were chock full of recurring sketches. I think we'll have to wait for the 2010-11 season to see any significant changes. Grade: C+moreless
Cold Opening: As predicted, a mockery of the State of the Union Address. The segment relied a bit too heavily on cutaway clips to Democrats clapping and upset Republicans. Not funny at all.
Monologue: Jon Hamm had done a lot of guest arcs on shows prior to getting on Mad Men, such as What About Brian and The Unit, but SNL chose to create scenes from made-up shows like Saved by the Bell-esque Late for Class and a QVC ad. Kind of funny, glad to see Hamm not out there to just toot his horn. Don't Make Me Sing: A funny start, but these Kristen Wiig bizarre characters usually grow old after about 14 seconds. This was no exception. SNL Digital Short: A pompous businessman keeps getting interrupted by a man named Sergio after being cursed by an Indian man on the street. It could be worse I suppose. Scott Brown: A group of Republicans plot to take down Scott Brown, but then start imagining him when they see him. Forgettable. Weekend Update: The new judge and Snooki were your celebrities this week, if you can classify them as that. Pretty forgettable, outside of referring to Myspace as the internet's abandoned amusement park. Randy and Greg: They're still doing this sketch. Cripes. Hamm and Buble: Finally a funny segment. Michael Buble was one of the better musical guests to appear in a sketch this season and this was the first clever thing of the evening. Closet Organizer: Will Forte in a blue man suit as a guy who organizes your closet by accepting things being thrown at him. Um, sort of funny, but nothing to write home about. Courtroom: Another loud, obnoxious Fred Armisen character. He's really become the male Kristen Wiig on the show, minus the talent. Two Guys at a Bar: Jon Hamm and Will Forte are talking at a bar, and he recognizes him as the "Closet Organizer Guy". Well, that's something unique, lately these end of the show segments have been the highlight of the show. CNBC: A highlight on Barnes and Noble with Hader and Hamm as the two businessmen. The segment mocked the notion of people using the store for nothing other than to go to the bathroom, something I admit to using it for myself.moreless
Mad Men star Jon Hamm host for the second time, and Standards singer Michael Buble makes his debut as musical guest.
Cold Open- State of the Union 2010- Pres. Obama (Fred) gives his address to Congress and the nation, with insults about Massachusetts Democratic candidate Martha Coakley, about how filthy the White House was when he first entered, and new low paying job openings, all to an ever applauding Congress and Brendan Fraser. As a lover of the intercut footage of Congress state of the Union cold opens of 1978, 1979, and 1991, this worked for me. Jimmy Downey, your finger prints were all over this one. Monologue- Jon talks about his previous acting gigs, the Saved By The Bell-esqe "Late for Class", selling jewelry on QVC, and doing stand-up on Def Comedy Jam. Great. New York City, 1928- During a party, a socialite (Kristin) is curious to sing and dance, but doesn't when pushed to do so. Kristin is usually good, but I can't help but wonder if she is completely burned out at this point. The Curse (Digital Short) - a businessman (Andy) has a curse played on him where a Lost Boys-esqe shirtless saxaphone player (Jon) interrupts various activies from a board meeting to his wife (Kristin) going into labor. Delightly bizarre. The New Senator- During a meeting of various Democratic party officials, new Massachussetts Republican senator Scott Brown (Jon) continually enters the room by accident only to mentally seduce Nancy Pelosi (Kristin), Barbara Boxer (Nasim), Barney Frank (Fred Armisen). Good angle on the constant worrying Democrats are having about the Republicans possibly winning back control of Congress next year. Doing his best Neil Sedaka, Michael Buble performs a lifting "Haven't Met You Yet" backed by miniature orchestra. Weekend Update- Seth does an extended joke about the President Obama/GOP meeting; Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayer (Nasim) talks about the Samuel Alito incidence at the State of the Union; Snooki (Bobby) from "Jersey Shore" talks about life after the show. Solid Update. Game Time with Randy and Greg- Randy (Kenan) is still trying to insist his callers and viewers that Greg (Bill) is not an alien, nor is the Indianapolis Colts coach (Jon) he's eaten, or how he's not multiplying. I like this sketch, but I wish they would put Greg in a different environment. Hamm and Buble- Jon and his kidnapped business partner Michael hawk their restaurant specializing in ham and wine, all while Michael pleads for his escape. Nice working in the musical guest here. Fun little romp. Closet Organizer- A wet suit wearing man (Will) organizes closets by having items thrown at him as he tries and fails to redirect them. This is the Will Forte I missed doing great bizarre humor. Court Clerk- A court clerk (Fred) does her job poorly tto the befuddlement of the rest of the court. Outside of Kenan's comment about the entire court being lousy at their job, this gets a thumbs down for me. Michael gets soulful with help from Soul singer Sharon Jones on "You've Got With It Takes" Closet Organizer at the bar- Closet Organizer (Will) is having a drink, when he gets noticed by patron (Jon). Good call-back, and if not mistaken, this probably the first time SNL has done a running gag of this sort between sketches. American Enterprise- On the CNBC program, Barnes and Noble Booksellers is profiled on how the company was founded as a place for the homeless to go to the restroom, with profit from books paying for the cleaning costs. Clever. I assumed correct when I thought that Jon Hamm's appearance would shake the writers of their writer's block. Let's just hope the goodness continues.moreless