Saturday Night Live

Season 33 Episode 9

Jonah Hill/Mariah Carey

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Mar 15, 2008 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (9)

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  • Just Add Water

    A Review by "HelloStuart," Amateur Critic and Disgraced Governor of New York

    The media's short-attention span is sucking the nectar out of SNL's flower yet again. Following much-ballyhooed appearances by four presidential candidates (including one that was long out of the race), SNL has seemingly ascended again to the throne of cutting-edge topical satire. The acclaim has been deafening (or at least that's what MSNBC and Entertainment Weekly want you to think), and though I admire how the show has made up for lost time, it all still feels gimmicky to me. Perhaps this week's inevitable jabs at Eliot Spitzer will be a little more low-key…

    Well, Janet Jackson was supposed to be the musical guest this week, but due to illness she cancelled and was replaced by Mariah Carey, another R&B spring chicken but with a pinch more credibility. This is her fourth appearance on SNL, and her first since her widely publicized breakdown and subsequent "emancipation." On the bright side, we still have the scheduled host from last week, portly comedy up-and-comer Jonah Hill. The "Superbad" and "Accepted" star was also a victim of rescheduling; he was originally pegged to host four months ago.

    And now, the sketch-by-sketch analysis:

    COLD OPENING: Former Governor Spitzer (BH) announces his return to law, promising to specialize in undignified and lurid cases. If your mail-order German pornography gets embargoed or a hooker dies on your watch, he's your man to call. Kristen (as Silda) is hilarious simply by reacting or spacing act during her husband's speech, but Bill's deadpan delivery makes this final nail in the coffin connect.

    MONOLOGUE: In an attempt to not pigeonhole himself into his crass "Superbad" image, Jonah sings about being "fancy," though the lyrics prove otherwise. Cheeky, I guess.

    "MacGruber": Our resident '80s action hero (WF) is apparently sensitive to criticism, and lets his new sidekicks (KW, Hill) know it. The setting is increasingly preposterous (An abandoned bank… in midtown?), but that mostly enhances MacGruber's continuing delirium.

    "What's Your Situation": This façade of a game show is an excuse for the host (Hill) to hit on female contestants (AP, KW, CW). Usually flat, one-note sketches like this don't appear in the first half-hour of the show, so I have to wonder if this killed in rehearsal or something.

    "Benihana": The ultra-precocious Adam Grossman (Hill) embarrasses his depressed, recently divorced dad (BH) at the aforementioned Japanese restaurant. This sketch was about two minutes longer than it should've been.

    "MacGruber": Now stuck in an abandoned paint factory, MacGruber's bruised ego leads him to stop caring about the matter at hand (i.e. the time bomb) and give his two sidekicks a hard time. Uh… boom?

    "The Suze Orman Show": Judy Belushi's ex-college roommate (KW) fields investment questions and spews odd, penny-pinching investment advice. Her guest (Hill) is a Los Angeles flip-flopper who foolishly brought property on the San Andreas Fault. Kristen nailed the Orman impression right down to the gay-baiting and the clipped manner of speaking, but if this is going to be a recurring sketch, they have to make it a little less boring.

    DIGITAL SHORT: Andy learns the hard way that Jonah is romancing his 57-year-old father (the always affable James Downey). What seemed like a fluke turns into open-mouth kissing and, surprisingly, oral fixation. It seems out of character for the Lonely Island guys to go for outrageousness, but in this case they took a risk and it paid off. I wonder if Jim would be willing to be a featured player again…

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: "Touch My Body" is sweaty, grind-inducing, baby-makin' music. Anyone who liked her last album is probably expecting more of the same, which in that case Mariah delivers.

    WEEKEND UPDATE: "The whistleblower got his whistle blown." One clever zinger deserves another in one of the sharper Updates of the season. The latest edition of "Really!?!" shed the spotlight on Spitzer and actually provided some new insight on the scandal. Nonetheless, that expected barrage of sex jokes was a mere appetizer for Tracy Morgan, who did a funny riff on the role of race in the presidential primaries, then debunked Tina Fey's comments from three weeks ago by declaring "black is the new president, b****!"

    "Target Greatland": Your favorite disoriented cashier (KW) gives bad dating advice to a dimwitted stock boy (Hill), than thwarts an attempt by one customer (WF) to return black sweatpants. This sketch felt more like an obligation to the fans than anything that oozed creativity or spontaneity, but Jonah's increasingly absurd roadblocks worked well against a recurring character on cruise control.

    "NBC Special Report": Brian Williams (WF) accuses Sen. John McCain (DH) of being –get this- old! Gee, that's original! Another dead-on impression by Darrell is wasted on tired jokes about writing five-dollar checks, dinner at 4:30, and watching "Wheel of Fortune."

    "Clancy & Jackie": Two country singer-songwriters (WF, KW) with eerily similar writing styles collaborate to perform songs about Model Ts, toddlers, spaceships, and beer. While trying to play the promoter, Jonah cracked up straight through the sketch, but I'll abstain from judging him for breaking character. This sketch had the recipe for satire (that is to say, shedding light on the repetitiveness of country music) but it just didn't cook right.

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: The enigmatic, cane-waving MC known as T-Pain assists Mimi on her next single, "Migrate."

    "Internet Date": Two IM buddies (CW, Hill) meet at Tad's Broiled Steaks and learn the sad truth about each other. An atypical ten-to-one sketch in that the twist ending salvaged what could've been a tepid, predictable affair.

    The most uneven season of SNL in recent memory just got thrown for another loop. After two straight so-so shows, Jonah Hill comes out of nowhere to guide us through one of the funnier broadcasts of this abbreviated season. He was thrust into a situation where the cast and writers could've been completely burnt out and therefore unwatchable; instead, he carried the broadcast and gave everyone an unexpected second wind (or was it a catatonic buzz?). Jonah was jovial, versatile, and took risks like a champ; like Brian Williams before him, I hope he hosts again next year.

    Sketches/Segments That Will Probably Be Removed In Repeats: "What's Your Situation," "The Suze Orman Show," "Clancy & Jackie," and "Migrate."

    In Three Weeks: After an unnecessary five-year absence, legendary host Christopher Walken returns with musical guest Panic at the Disco. Seriously, what's the point of reviewing that show? It's like an awesome burger with extra awesome sauce.

    Contact "HelloStuart" at Don't worry; he still intends to write a review on April 5th.
  • Didn't expect this to be as good as it was.

    I haven't laughed at an SNL this much in a long time. The steakhouse bit was annoyingly funny. That Suze Orman bit was dead-on, if you've ever unfortunately watched one of her PBS programs multiple times. That Digital Short shocked me, maybe a bit too low-brow for my SNL tastes. And Weekend Update was surprisingly consistent, heavy on former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. And way to go, Tracy Morgan on Tina Fey! I love seeing Liberals fight! :D

    Looks like Kristen Wiig has taken over the show. She was in 7 total sketches while Casey only got 2 and the first was very short. The Country Music sketch was funny because country music is so redundant, but "What's Your Situation" is probably the worst SNL game show parody I have ever seen. And as for the Target sketch, if you've seen one, you've seen them all. But in general, this was one of the better, if not more perverted SNLs in a long time.
  • This episode was so much fun, I feel like I'm 8!

    Week 4 out of 4. This is what we've been waiting for. Since it's our first guy host of season 33 1/2, it's looking pretty hopeful that tonight's show won't totally suck.

    This week's host is Jonah Hill. Jonah was supposed to host in November, but due to the writers' strike, his episode was hung out to dry. Also, the musical guest this week is Mariah Carey, but originally was supposed to be Janet Jackson, but she dropped out due to the flu. Who gets the flu in March? At least I'm somewhat familiar with Mariah's album.

    Spitzer & Associates: Bill did great as Spitzer, and I was waiting this whole week to see what we were going to do with this. Kristen was hilarious as Mrs. Spitzer. I loved the pan in after Bill's LFNY.

    Monologue: Much funnier than last week's musical monologue. Amy's random "Grandma Nancy" was great.

    MacGruber (1): MacGruber!!! :) I've been waiting forever for this character to come back. Well, it's only been 5 original episodes spaced apart, but still, there was a strike. But, the insecurity in this part was great.

    What's Your Situation?: A pretty weak lead off sketch, which led me to believe this week's show would be weak. But, still, laughs did come with this, such as Jonah in the room with Kristen.

    6-Year old: This was so annoying, it was funny. Almost everything that happened in this sketch, I laughed at. This was a great sketch.

    MacGruber (II): Another great edition!! I laughed so hard at the end. I was sad to see if it blew up, though. I wish Jonah could have showed MacGruber up, and MacGruber would have a huge break down. That would have been hilarious.

    The Suze Orman Show: This was DEAD ON! It was great seeing Kristen pull out a new impression was great. This sketch was great.

    SNL Digital Short: Andy's Dad: Jim Downey is the man. This sketch was just awesome. Definately the best digital short thus far of the season.

    Musical Performances: Mariah goes through her hit, "Touch My Body" which is a nice groovy song, that gets stuck in your head, and embarrasses yourself when you start singing it out loud in public.

    Weekend Update: I don't know which was better. The Tina Fey Update or the Jonah Hill Update. I'm pretty much leaning forward to this one. Tracy was just a delight, and "Really?!?" was awesome.

    Target Lady: Jonah carried this sketch, since once you've seen this Kristen character once, you've seen it everytime.
    John McCain old: Firstly, Darrell Hammond hasn't portrayed John McCain before? That's weird. The McCain old jokes are already tired in the late night business, so, the sketch itself was pointless. But, the little details reminded me so much of Seinfeld, with eating at 4:30 and such. Nice sketch.

    The Country songs: This was great. Just awesome. I mean, Jonah couldn't keep it together, which wasn't all that entertaining, since it really doesn't go with this cast. But, Will and Kristen were great. This was just so spot on the stupidness of some of the country songs now a days.

    Musical Performance: Mariah performs "Migrate" with T-Pain, which is this cool sleek single.
    Internet Couple Meets: Yeah... a regular 5 to 1 sketch. Not too good. Not too bad.

    This episode was delightful. Even better than the Fey episode. Between the majority of the sketches, and the musical performances, tonight was just a fun episode, and the cast's stamina held up great.

    Jonah was a silly, good host, who looked like he had a LOT of fun on the show. Mariah's two singles were enjoyable, and helped this show too.

    We return live April 5: Christopher Walken/Panic At the Disco. I'm so excited for Chris Walken. You have no idea. Panic At The Disco, I can wait for.

    Repeats: Next week: Tina Fey/Carrie Underwood. Pretty good episode. Enjoy!

    Two Weeks From Now: Ellen Page/Wilco. You can spare the re-watching this one.
  • It was good to see a show with so many new sketches. They didn't rely on a lot of recurring sketches.

    Eliot Spitzer cold open - A clever take on the Spitzer scandal with Eliot acting as a sleazy late night attorney. Kristen was great as the PO'd wife. A nice impression by Hader and the whole sketch was refreshing after all of the Clinton-Obama sketches. Grade: B

    Monologue - Another singing and dancing monologue. This one was better than usual thanks to a jaunty tune and Jonah's charm. Nice to see the guys in tuxedos and top hats. They ought to do a sketch with these outfits. I also like how Jonah sings about how much class he has while wearing a suit jacket over a flannel shirt and jeans. Not to mention the crazy lyrics. Grade: B

    MacGruber 1 - MacGruber returns but not in one of the better episodes. MacGruber has been through a lot and is now showing a loss of confidence. He could use a some different scenarios to enliven the series. Grade: C

    What's Your Situation? - One of the better game shows in a while. Building a sketch around a stupid phrase seems like something Seinfeld would do and it worked well. It was a one joke sketch, but that's OK since they kept it short and it had a suitably creepy host. The set was great and the isolation chamber was a nice touch. Grade: B

    Six-year old - The whole sketch was really stand up style of piece. What made it work so well is that Jonah is great as a six-year old Jewish comedian ala Mel Brooks. Grade: B

    MacGruber 2 - Mac's stress level escalates and Forte does a great job with the emotional breakdown. I like how the lyrics get more descriptive of his situation with each successive episode. Grade: B-

    Suze Orman Show - Another TV show parody. I don't watch Suze, but I am aware of who she is so I realize that Kristen did a great job of portraying how annoying Suze is. Other than that, not too much to like here. Grade: C-

    Andy's Dad Digital Short - One of the most bizarre digital shorts yet. The makeout scene was insane! I wouldn't have changed a thing. Grade: A+

    Weekend Update - As expected, lots of Spitzer jokes. It was good to see the return of "The Really!" segment and the client number 9 joke sealed the deal. Seeing Tracy was refreshing compared to rolling out a Kenan in a dress yet again. It was nice to see Tracy's retort to Tina's Clinton plug: "Black is the new president, b1tch." The jokes were mostly good tonight and there weren't any bad cameos. Grade: A

    Target Lady - I've never liked this sketch and it still hasn't grown on me. Watching her smell the soap was funny, but not enough to save this turkey. Grade: D

    McCain Interview - Hammond was great as McCain and the whole premise of the sketch was very good. All of the jokes worked very well with the premise. I like what Forte does with his Williams impression too. Grade: A

    Country Songs - Awful lyrics, outrageous Forte hair, cheap patriotism and great performances make this a winning late night commercial parody. Grade: A

    Online Dating - A funny look at the wasteland of online dating where exaggeration is the order of the day and half-truths are to be expected. Well written and acted. Grade: B
  • painful to watch

    I thought this would be a good episode because of how popular jonah hill is. (by the way, is it me or does he and seth rogan look fairly similar?) anyway, i was wrong. his monologue was not funny at all. the only decent skits were the target lady and suze orman, both of which didn't involve the jonah in a big way. i didn't really care for the digital skit, which consisted jonah telling andy samberg that he's been having an affair with his dad and then just shows scenes of jonah making out with an old man. that's just tacky. my least favorite skit was the last one, where jonah and this lady are on a date and jonah tells her that he lied about almost everything on his online dating profile.
  • Above avergae for Saturday Night Live as of late.

    Having not seen Knocked Up or Superbad, I was not familiar with Jonah Hill. While he was not hysterical, he did better than some of the hosts have (i.e. reading directly from the cue cards, etc).

    By and large, the sketches were pretty funny and well written. The bit attacking John McCain on his age was well done and got funnier as it went on. Hammond's impersenation was right on.

    My favorite sketch of the night was Target Greatland. Kristen Wigg is a fantastic. She can slip into different characters very easily and never seems to disappoint. However, and this is not a slam, she was in most of the sketches of the night. Hopefully, the writers don't overuse her like they did Will Ferrell. When he left, there was a huge whole to fill. I fear the same thing might happen when she decides to leave.

    Weekend Update, after having been stale for the last two seasons, seems to be getting its' stride back. The jokes were quick hits and not drawn out like in the past. Tracy Morgan did a wonderful commentary.

    As I said, above average episode.
  • This episode makes up for Ellen Page and Jake Gyllenhaal.

    I really liked this episode. I'm not going to say loved because I, for the life of me, can't understand why people like Jonah Hill. He's just another fat kid trying to be funny, and the funny fat kid went out of style in '99. Aside from that, I thought most of the skits were really funny this week. I hated the opening skit, the monologue, and both MacGrubers, but everything else was good. The skit with Jonah playing a 6 year old was kinda stupid at first, but when I stopped looking at him and listened it got funny. The Suze Orman skit was hilarious and I'll never watch her without laughing again. This week's digital short was the best one since the Brian Williams episode. But the best thing of this episode had to Weekend Update. I've watched Really with Seth and Amy and Tracy Morgan 3 times since it came on. Overall, a really good episode despite Jonah Hll.
  • There were ONLY 2 funny skits: Kristin Wiig impersonating Suzy Orman & Tracy Morgan during "Weekend Update."

    Jonah Hill was NOT funny & I do not understand WHY the "SNL Digital Shorts" are aired - they are NOT funny. It's funny to see 2 men kissing? I don't get it. Why do they give airtime to these little movies when they aren't funny? Can't ANYONE do a better job? It's painful to watch & I had to change the channel several times.

    I only liked the Suzy Orman skit & Tracy Morgan. What is happening to SNL? It was funny during the last 3 episodes, except for the "SNL Digital Shorts," & now it's back at the bottom.
  • Just bad.

    Literally the worst episode I've ever seen. It was so bad I had to turn it off. How something so good (the original Saturday Night Live) became so bad is beyond me. The current SNL has no edge whatsoever; it's pure fluff. They need to get with the program and realize that America is changing. As a country, we're ready to think again, and this pathetic, sophmoric, American Pie type humor is on it's way out (along with Will Farrell's career). The music isn't consistently awful, but he hosts are a parade of vapid teleprompter monkies. The writers are just plain bad, but that's no excuse. Truly gifted performers wouldn't dain to spew the bile put before this cast of hacks whose only talent is a complete and total lack of internal censorship. Oh, and will someone PLEASE tell Jonah Hill to stop flailing his arms every time he talks?