Saturday Night Live

Season 34 Episode 5

Josh Brolin/Adele

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Oct 18, 2008 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

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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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    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: D
  • 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).
  • Josh Brolin hosts.

    Jason Sudeikis started the show off in a good way, but of course Tina Fey's Sarah Palin impression topped it. She just plays the part perfectly and is sure to get an Emmy for it next year. We then had three great cameos from Mark Wahlberg (angry about the Andy Samberg sketch), Alec Baldwin (mistaking Sarah Palin for Tina Fey) and the actual Sarah Palin (who wanted to do a 30 Rock sketch, but Lorne Michaels rejected it citing nobody knows that show).

    Josh Brolin was the host tonight. I'm not too familiar with his past TV work, but most people know him from No Country For Old Men and as George Bush in the new movie W. Unfortunately his monologue was not very funny. That's not uncommon on SNL, but it shows that the show might not be headed in the right direction.

    We begin with a MacGruber sketch. Will Forte is funny in the right context, but they've got to stop with this. And the next sketch isn't much better as we get the most irritating woman on television Kristen Wiig portraying one of her uber-retarded "characters" that finds viewers wanting to blow their heads off. Honestly, who thinks that this is a good idea? And another MacGruber sketch? This one actually had some funny moments, but I think Mark Wahlberg said it best when he told an interviewer that the show just isn't funny anymore.

    And SNL just keeps rewarding us tonight as we get another Kristen Wiig-dominated sketch. Just awful. Finally we get something to laugh at. Mark Wahlberg says Andy Samberg's impression was way off but then proceeds to recite lines from the sketch. A clever scene, something we haven't seen in the entire first half hour. Well, the momentum is over as we get an awful segment with Amy Poehler embracing her pregnancy and trying to get men because of it. Joy, another MacGruber sketch, and this one was the worst one yet.

    The bizarre musical guests continue as we get a performance from Adele. Thank you SNL, because I actually when my ears start ringing in pain.

    I did like Seth Meyers comment about the sign sexual predators might have on their doors on Halloween, but Weekend Update has diminished immensely so much in the short time since Tina Fey has left the show. Will Forte had some funny lines as Tim Calhoun, but this gimmick is too played out. Meyers had another good crack about pets offering 80 million dollars to assinate the sterilization man. Kenan had some good lines and the segment got better with time but Weekend Update is just running too long. Save this for Thursday's primetime special. Once again the real Sarah Palin appears on the show, but it only leads to Amy Poehler rapping. I cannot wait for the day she departs from the show. It honestly can't come soon enough.

    The 13 year old scripted sketches continue as we have a scene about calling an executive (fartface). The Narc School segment wasn't much better. The was pretty funny, if only the rest of this show was. More rubbish as we now have Fred Armisen singing. It was probably better than the awful Adele's second performance though.

    The final sketch was pretty much what you expect from a final SNL sketch.

    This was a mixed bag episode. Some things were really funny, but unfortunately the bad outweighed the good here.
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