Saturday Night Live

Season 34 Episode 5

Josh Brolin/Adele

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Oct 18, 2008 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
44 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Live from New York, it's... Gov. Sarah Palin! Sketches include "Palin on Palin," "MacGruber" (three parts), "Sue and the Engagement," "The Suze Orman Show," "Mark and Andy Backstage," "I'm No Angel," "Fart Face," "Narc School," "," "New York Underground" (film), and "Fall Foliage." Adele performed "Chasing Pavements" and "Cold Shoulder."moreless

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  • Goonies never say die!

    A Review by "HelloStuart," Amateur Critic and Master of the Squib Kick

    Something about tonight's show suggests that this broadcast will be a guest star cluster****. The writing's on the wall if only because of how SNL has been wrapped around the entertainment world's finger these last few weeks; with Sarah Palin itching to turn the tables on Tina Fey and Mark Wahlberg swearing revenge on Andy Samberg for a mediocre sketch that barely anyone remembers, you know there's hints of a spectacle in the air going into tonight's broadcast.

    This week's host is Josh Brolin, the second-generation film/TV actor currently starring in the presidential biopic "W." You might he's promoting political agitprop, but I'd like to think he's promoting "The Goonies" 23 years after the fact. The musical guest is Adele, the zaftig British soul singer behind the acclaimed album "19."

    And now, the sketch-by-sketch analysis:

    COLD OPENING: This is exactly what I expected- an imaginary press conference by Governor Palin (Tina Fey) is critiqued by Lorne and the real Palin, than nearly quashed by Alec Baldwin. Meanwhile, Mark Wahlberg drops by to settle his rift with Samberg once and for all. The minor media blitz eradicated any form of surprise from this sketch, which in itself was clearly catered to the vice presidential candidate's rigid agenda.

    MONOLOGUE: Barbra Streisand's step-son compares himself to President Bush in an obvious statement of his political beliefs. He explains how he got his Dubya impression down pat, which is interrupted by Oliver Stone (yes, another celeb cameo) begging him to plug their movie. Besides, Frank Caliendo more or less does the same thing.

    "MacGruber": In an abandoned oil refinery, a free-spending MacGruber discovers that all his investments have gone flat. My only question is- did they have dial-up in 1987?

    "Japanese Restaurant": Excitable Sue (KW) can't suppress herself when her friend (Josh) announces that he wants to marry the birthday girl from last season (CW). It's a shameless rewrite of a sketch from last year's Christopher Walken broadcast, but that's neither here nor there when compared to Kristen's delightfully manic performance.

    "MacGruber": In an Italian mafia hideout, a desperate Mac smashes a glass bottle and demands his friends' jewelry to clear a few debts. I can't wait to see how bad the situation gets in the third segment…

    Wait a minute- did we just go through five sketches without a commercial break? Has that ever happened before?

    "The Suze Orman Show": Keeping in part with tonight's motif, The Suze (KW) dedicates her entire show to helping ordinary people survive the economic fallout. Tonight's guest (Josh) followed a MacGruber-esque path from riches to rags, but Suze seems oblivious to how dire his situation really is, than closes the interview with a gay sex joke. Good impressions can often withstand lazy writing, but in this case Kristen's Orman is bolstered only when she has something clever to say, and this sketch was… no… exception.

    "Backstage": Marky Mark finally catches up to Samberg, but Andy's apology is undercut by Wahlberg's repetitive banter with Amy, Josh, and (did you see this coming?) a farm animal. Though we finally have closure after two weeks of macho posturing, this whole wraparound felt like an obvious plug for "Max Payne." That's a shame, because a Wahlberg-Samberg beatdown would've made some good television.

    "I'm No Angel": A very expectant woman (AP) flirts with a good ol' boy (Josh) in a cowboy bar while the eponymous Gregg Allman tune blasts from the speakers. Was this supposed to be a cheap fat joke or a somewhat convoluted pregnant joke? Either way, it wasn't funny.

    "MacGruber": Trapped in a human traffic supply ship, our pathetic, drug-addicted hero pops a ping-pong ball out of his nether regions. I've always liked how Will goes to great lengths for a laugh and yet make it look effortless, not matter how grotesque the situation may be. MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: The big girl with the sultry voice belts out "Chasing Pavements." Her lack of stage presence kills an otherwise command performance.

    WEEKEND UPDATE: Even when the American political scene is more polarized than ever, you can always count on Write-In Party Candidate Tim Calhoun to appear on Update to assert his obtuse stance on the issues. Speaking of politicos with questioned credentials, Governor Palin pops up again for a guest commentary, but when she balks over the subject matter, AP performs an insipid rap about Eskimos, igloos, and moose hunting. Would this be considered burnout?

    "Fart Face": A classic example of a sparse idea stretched out well beyond its breaking point, three insecure corporate-types (WF, BH, Josh) argue over a childlike nickname for five godforsaken minutes.

    "Narc School": Vanderbilt High School is populated entirely by undercover police officers, as one befuddled math teacher (CW) learns. Where "Fart Face" dragged, "Narc School" was somewhat rushed; having over-the-hill cops struggle to play convincing teenagers was funny, but the sketch was cut off before the premise really bloomed.

    "": Victims of the bear market can sell their stocks, bonds, annuities, plasma, and first-born children to avoid the upcoming market meltdown. Though seeing a new ad spoof was refreshing, the joke was somewhat passé.

    "New York Underground": Somewhere on the lower east side, hip Briton Trevor Dix (BH) profiles piano balladeer Joshua Rainhorn (FA). It's a well-tuned jab at the indie-rock scene, bolstered mostly by Fred's strained, whiny crooning, that aims to prove that some artists never get discovered for a reason.

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: Adele is a little looser on "Cold Shoulder," but that moment of sheer magic has come and gone.

    "Fall Foliage": An eccentric executive (Josh) can't convince a roomful of suits to join him on a trip to the country to see the leaves change colors. I could sense that a flat sketch like this would have a twist ending that would justify the means, and to my surprise the turn went above and beyond whatever I expected.

    Despite the obvious and hype-fueled distraction of five celebrity cameos, tonight's show was only a small step backward from the strong Hathaway/Killers broadcast two weeks ago. With Amy approaching her due date, it seems that either this week's show or next week's broadcast will be her last; in spite of her pregnancy, she's made the most of her farewell lap around the SNL stage, as her presence on the show hasn't changed since she started showing near the end of last season. Josh Brolin was an adequate host though he never really played against type, though Adele was often too mousy for her powerhouse voice.

    Sketches/Segments That Will Probably Be Removed In Repeats: "I'm No Angel," "Fart Face," "," and "Cold Shoulder."

    Next Thursday: The final Weekend Update Thursday (for now, anyway).

    Next Saturday: Jon "Don Draper" Hamm hosts with musical guest Coldplay.

    "HelloStuart" resides in Downers Grove, Illinois. Send your comments and questions to
  • One of the better episodes of the season

    I liked this episode of Saturday Night. Maybe it did not rise to being as funny as the previous one but certainly was better that the first 3. When Sarah Palin shows the guts to come on the show you have to see it. Nice one from Wahlberg too. It was good to see a funny side of wahlberg ( his rap is hilarious). lets face it Saturday night live is not going to rise to the brilliance it showed during early to mid 90's and this may the best we will be seeing of it. Over all I thought it was pretty decent episode.moreless
  • Should I give up? Or should I just keep nagging writing?

    5.5 birthday is over...

    This week's host is Josh Brolin, who stars in the current hit movie, "W". Many people in the forum predicted that he'd be hosting around in October way back in May or maybe even April! Adele is our musical guest tonight, with her big hit "Chasing Pavements".

    Sarah Palin Press Conference: As when this skit began, you thought that it would be another sit-down C-Span sketch. But, what it turned out to be was while Palin (Fey) is doing the sketch, Lorne and Palin (real) are watching it. Lorne gets complaints from Palin, Alec Baldwin, and, hey, Mark Wahlberg, who had just recently said SNL wasn't funny. All in all, this sketch was exciting, and a good way to start off the show. As I will never support the McCain/Palin ticket, at least Sarah was good in this sketch.

    Monologue: Josh goes over the characteristics that made him a great George Bush. Still, I wish there was a skit for Brolin AS Dubya. But, what ever. The monologue, all in all, was entertaining, but not necessarily funny.

    MacGruber: Grubs finds out that his stocks have crashed... where'd the irony go?

    Excited Sue: Sue's back, and as I thought if this became recurring, this was a near-carbon copy of the last time they did this character. Right down to the ripping of the door, this sketch was way too predictable.

    MacGruber: We haven't even entered a commercial break yet?!? Part 2 of MacGruber. At least this one was funnier than the 1st edition.

    Suze Orman Show: The show finally hits a stride when Suze Orman comes back to give us her off-topic financial advice. Like just stated, this show finally hits a stride.

    Andy meets Mark: Mark Wahlberg runs into Samberg to tell him never to do the Wahlberg impression again. The stride keeps on going.

    Pregnant Attraction: ...and the stride keeps on going and going! But, visibly starts slowing down. Everybody is attracted to a pregnant woman just because of her perfume she's wearing. Points for making me chuckle here and there.

    MacGruber: The last Grubs of the series tonight shows MacGruber trying to fling a ball, or something, from his anal sphincter. This was much more creative than the last two, but still, it doesn't give me permission to say MacGruber was enjoyable tonight.

    Musical Performance: Adele performs "Chasing Pavements" which is a very amazing song, that I first heard this summer and loved. Great live act.

    Update: Jokes either hit or miss tonight. Tim Calhoun commentary was fine, while Jean K. Jean comes back (give it up, Kenan. Give it up.) But, this time, Jean's appearance was short an sweet. Then Sarah Palin makes Amy rap for her. All in all, average Update.

    Fart Face: 3 business men start bullying eachother by calling eachother fart face. The only part that made the audience even chuckle was "he just shot himself." All in all, this was a bad sketch."

    NARC Cops: A class in a school is all undercover cops trying to bust eachother, not knowing that the other ones are cops. Creative idea that made me laugh, but the execution went no where. After a few episoe absences of taped commercials, we come back with a poorly written one. I will say this: In only one episode, SNL just ran the economy subject in the ground.

    New York Underground: I'll say this: This sketch went absolutely nowhere. I'm sure they had better stuff at dress rehearsal than this.

    Musical Performance: Adele performs "Cold Shoulder" which is a nice percussion fast moving song.

    The Fall Foliage: A boss tells everyone to work on a fall foliage piece. Everyone disagrees, and the boss leaves. I looked that this sketch cringing, but Kenan's line "he raped me" and how he wasn't a real boss saved this sketch for me. But still, I can't say it was a good sketch.

    The writing burn-out has officially started. After the Hathaway show two weeks ago, we come to a speed bump. SNL is way to focused on the elections, and doesn't pay attention to the rest of the show, it seems like. We'll have 1, 2, or maybe 3 memorable sketches a night, while all the rest randomly fit somewhere else. I can understand that SNL is trying to conserve itself with all these episodes they're writing, but let's remember that the staff has like 25 writers on board, plus the cast.

    Still, the demand from NBC to take only a one week break off [and have a special on that break] was stupid. You can't do a one week break off after a 4 consecutive week showdown. You shouldn't do a one week break after a 3 consecutive week break, for goodness sakes! And, that goes without saying that you shouldn't have a special on that break week.

    I will say that Kristen Wiig's dominance on the show is starting to get annoying, but, I won't say that it's her ego, as much as it is the writer's ego FOR her. But, I won't dig deep into that. And also, Amy could give birth any day now, so I'm going to have to face that any time could be her last episode. Even this broadcast.

    Anyways, Josh Brolin did a decent job, but I wouldn't mind not seeing him host again. Adele's songs were enjoyable to listen to, and made this show a little brighter. Overall, I can't come to say this was a mediocre show, as much as it was an uneven, yet fair show.

    This Thursday: Our last edition of Weekend Update Thursday.

    This Saturday: Jon Hamm hosts with musical guest Coldplay. Also, a prime-time repeat of the Anne Hathaway show, and the 3 prime-time specials. Nice.moreless
  • This episode was kind of a let down. The Palin expectations were not met. Brolin disappointed (other than during I'm No Angel). It could have been that poor parts written for him though. But the MVP of the episode has to by Amy.moreless

    Palin Press Conference – The expectations were so high for this sketch that there was almost no way that it could do anything other than disappoint. The lack of interaction between Fey and Palin was truly disappointing and marked Palin as somebody afraid to play along with the cast and embrace self-parody. Remember Hillary and Amy or Dole and Norm or Reno and Ferrell? That's how it should be done. An awkward and hilarious confrontation. There was no confrontation here. Baldwin's cameo kind of made up for the lack of a Fey/Palin meeting, but it wasn't enough to elevate it to the expectations. And what's the deal with Marky Mark? Are we supposed to be scared of him? He's about as scary as was in those Calvin Klein underwear ads that he used to do. Grade: B+

    Brolin Monologue – A tentative impression of Bush and a cameo by Stone. Not really very funny, but I learned that he was in Goonies as a kid. Grade: C+

    MacGruber 1, 2 & 3 – I loved the progression of MacGruber from cocky to desperate to pathetic. How he fell from super bomb de-fuser to butt cannon is a mystery, but hilarious nonetheless. Forte is getting better with this role as time goes by. Grade: A

    Surprise Engagement – The return of Kristen's character who can't keep a secret is not particularly thrilling. Especially since there is nothing really added from the last time when they did the surprise birthday party. Admittedly, Kristen is great with these weird characters, but I would prefer to see some original material rather than rehashes of the script. The other cast members were so subdued that they added almost nothing to the sketch. Was this done for contrast? Grade: C

    Suze Orman Show – I'm not sure why they brought Suze back other than to have her comment on the financial crisis. Yes, Kristen does a convincing job, but that doesn't make it funny per se. A better choice for financial commentator would have been to have Hammond do Jim Cramer (I've seen him do it before and it's amazing). Especially in light of Cramer's moronic plea on the Today Show to sell your stocks when the market was almost at the bottom. NBC probably doesn't want to offend the touchy Cramer though. Brolin was amusing as the desperate homeless man and Kristen's suggestions were barely more stupid than what Suze herself would say, but still not that funny. Grade: C-

    Marky Mark Meets Samberg – Why let the self-appointed tough guy harass Andy? It would have been much funnier to see Samberg take a swing and flatten Marky. Such a scenario would not have catered to Mr. Underwear's ego though. Andy definitely needs to do another and more unflattering portrayal of Marky. Grade: C+

    I'm No Angel – Wow! Where did this come from? This sketch has the makings of a classic and certainly is reminiscent of the great Nealon/Heather Lockleer bar sketch. I love good physical comedy and Poehler and Brolin hit a home run with this one. Check out their expressions as they mouth:

    "Come over."


    "Yeah, you.."


    I love all of the little details like Amy's exaggerated double take and Bobby drumming on his stomach and later sliding his chair to make room for her to pass by. The wolf-like expressions from Hader, Monihayn, and Samberg were all perfect. Short and wonderful and perfect in every way. I would love to see more gems like this one (and I would have absolutely loved to have seen Rob Schneider as the bartender). Grade: A+

    Weekend Update – The jokes were less biting than usual. They must have emptied the guns during the Thursday show. Tim Calhoun was less amusing than usual, but had a few good lines. I could have done without the Jean K Jean bit, but KT needed some screen time I guess. The obvious highlight was the incredible gangsta rap by Amy complete with Fred and Andy dressed as Eskimos and Jason as the First Dude. Palin did nothing more than bob her head and "raise the roof". A lackluster appearance by Palin, but an incredible performance by Amy. Is this her last show? Grade: A (because of Amy's rap)

    Fart Face – What happens when you take a kid's infantile taunting and apply it to a business setting? Apparently this sketch attempts to answer that question. A very juvenile sketch, but the performances by all three saved it from the toilet. Look at Forte's commitment! Too bad there was nothing more to the script than name-calling and a weak ending. Grade: C+

    Narc School – Amusing short sketch with all of the narcs trying to catch the supposed drug users. Not much to it though other than the suspicious looks and Hammond's hilarious appearance at the end. Grade: C – Sell, sell, sell! Marginally funny commercial parody. It would have been better if Jason had said something like: "Our accounts are structured to help you maximize your losses. Our proprietary algorithms are programmed to sell at the worst time possible. You can even schedule your account to sell your stocks as they hit new 52-week lows." Grade: C-

    NY Underground – A great British accent from Hader and incredibly annoying songs from Armisen. Didn't really tickle my funny bones though. I would have preferred another live sketch with the host rather than this tepid filmed piece. Grade: D

    Fall Foliage – This sketch went nowhere even with the "surprise" ending. Pretty boring and an uninspiring way to end the episode. Grade: Dmoreless
  • There were some good parts like Sarah Palin being on the show and MacGruber and the weekend update but i didn't find anything else funny

    The episode was bad, sorry SNL fans. Sarah Palin and Tina Fey were just awesome. The MacGruber clips were funny and the weekend update is always funny but the other skits were just very poor in Humor. The show is going to go down the drain when Amy leaves (again I'm sorry just an opinion) The show needs better writers I thought SNL was funny when Tina Fey was a writer. It is not the cast that makes the show poor it's the writers because Andy Samberg, Seth Myers, Kennan Thompson, and of course Amy Pohler made me laugh before.I wish they could've kept Rachael Dratch, Tina Fey and Amy Pohler (who is still on the show).moreless
Josh Brolin

Josh Brolin


Guest Star




Guest Star

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin


Guest Star

Tina Fey

Tina Fey

Gov. Sarah Palin

Recurring Role

Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin


Recurring Role

Lorne Michaels

Lorne Michaels


Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Tim Calhoun: My opponents have been using my full name to scare people. Is it my fault that my middle name is "Boo?"

    • Jean K. Jean: People are broke up in France! Brothers be eatin' pain au chocolat without the chocolat! Just pain! You know, I saw a mime the other day. He didn't even have a roof on his imaginary house!

    • Amy Poehler: According to a new survey, black people in America save and invest less money than white people. A decision, I'm guessing, black people are feeling pretty good about right now.

    • Josh Brolin: Hey, Mark!
      Mark Wahlberg: Hey, Josh Brolin!
      Josh Brolin: What's going on?
      Mark Wahlberg: How are you doing?
      Josh Brolin: I'm good, good!
      Mark Wahlberg: You were in the "Goonies" movie, right? (Brolin nods) I produce "Entourage!"
      Josh Brolin: Yeah, I know...
      Mark Wahlberg: Say hi to your mother for me, alright?
      Josh Brolin: Okay. (walks away)
      Mark Wahlberg: And your stepmother.

  • NOTES (4)

    • Mark Wahlberg also worked with Alec Baldwin in the 2006 movie The Departed.

    • International airdates:
      Latin America: March 7, 2009 on Sony Entertainment Television.

    • Sketches cut after dress rehearsal: incoming prisoners (Fred Armisen, Josh Brolin) are told about life in jail; and a couple (Josh Brolin, Kristin Wiig) try to describe stolen sexual devices to policemen.

    • The media buzz in the preceding week surrounding Gov. Sarah Palin's appearance in this episode garnered the show its highest overall ratings since the Nancy Kerrigan/Aretha Franklin episode in March 1994.