Saturday Night Live

Season 31 Episode 4

Lance Armstrong/Sheryl Crow

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Oct 29, 2005 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
46 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Live from New York, it's... Darrell Hammond! Sketches include "The Libby Indictment," "Celebrity Ironman," "RAD 3000," "Indigo Girls Harmonies," "The O'Reilly Factor," "Sheryl's Song," "Days of Our Lives," "Carol!," and "Giddy Henchman." Sheryl Crow performed "Good is Good" and "Strong Enough."

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  • “Good is good and bad is bad…”

    A Review by “HelloStuart,” Amateur Critic and Last of the Blond Bombshells

    As my longtime readers know, I live in the Chicago suburbs, so I guess it would be almost inevitable for me to comment on the White Sox winning the World Series on Wednesday night. Through I certainly do not want to distract myself from what I’m really supposed to write about, I must admit that all of the hoopla has been bewildering. Being only 21 years of age, I have no recollection of any Chicago sports team (besides the Bulls, of course) being the World Champions in any sport. Heck, I was only seventeen months old when the Bears won it all back in ’86. Either way, though I’m not a Sox fan, I do offer my congratulations and I wish them the best in their future pursuits. The way I see it, if Boston won in ’04, and Chicago won in ’05, then the Kansas City Royals will go all the way in ’06. Come on, it’s gotta happen!

    Going back to SNL- this week’s host is Lance Armstrong, the seven-time winner of the Tour de France and SNL’s first and perhaps only cycling host. For those of you who don’t read People Weekly, it may also be worth pointing out that offstage he’s boinking tonight’s musical guest, laid-back Americana pop-rocker Sheryl Crow. Lovebird tandems are nothing new on the show, but at least unlike when Sissy Spacek hosted in 1977 the musical guest isn’t a clingy parasite desperate to jump start a career that never got off the ground. Of course, most of my regular readers weren’t alive yet twenty-eight years ago, so why should I be ranting about Richard Baskin?

    And now, the sketch-by-sketch analysis:

    COLD OPENING: Vice President Cheney (DH) addresses the Libby indictment despite being oblivious to a “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” situation outside of his office. Despite the clever metaphor, it was a bit low on the laughs.

    MONOLOGUE: As happy as I was to see JB Smoove again, how could anyone top last week’s monologue? Seriously, with Ms. Zeta-Jones’ song-and dance still fresh in my memory, this part of the show was almost a blur to me.

    “Celebrity Ironman”: Live on ESPN2, the sports world is shocked to discover that Lance is only capable of cycling, as evidenced by his lack of swimming and running abilities in the world’s most grueling sporting event. Though far from lousy, this sketch was pumped up a bit by some clever sight gags.

    “RAD 3000”: In the most ludicrous sketch of the night (and I mean that in a good way), a wacky announcer (CP) and a Fire Marshal (FA) present the perfect gift for Christmas- a smoke alarm that plays all your favorite 80’s hits.

    “Indigo Girls Harmonies”: Amy Ray and Emily Sellers (RD, AP) host a talk show in the woods, where they disguise their lack of passion for each other by singing off-key and becoming one with nature. Sheryl becomes exasperated by the lesbian twosome, and a cue-card reading forest ranger (Lance) tells them to keep it down, thus bringing an end to a very perculiar “concept” talk show sketch.

    “The O’Reilly Factor”: This “Hardball” surrogate finds the Fox News blowhard opining and criticizing the views of his guests in fashion that can’t be equaled anywhere else. Suffice to say, Darrell Hammond has found himself another great celebrity impression in Bigmouth Billy.

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: Sheryl plays the leadoff single from her new album, the catchy “Good is Good.”

    WEEKEND UPDATE: It appears that Tina is shedding some weight compared to her bloated appearance last week, but having a little less to love didn’t make her or Amy any less vicious. Amongst the highlights: Amy’s reference to Harriet Miers stepping down as a “second-term abortion”; Miers herself (RD) making a crank call to President Bush in the midst of a drunken stupor; a “Bitch-Fight News Quiz”; and a very disturbing message by Mrs. Butterworth (KT). A segment with White Sox outfield Scott Podsednik was amusing for its in-joke appreciation for the city of Chicago yet provided little else, and Finesse’s “sit-in” tribute to Rosa Parks simply fell flat.

    “Forever Lady”: Hoping to prove to his fiancée that he is multi-talented, Lance forms a band with his gardening staff (FA, BH) and performs a balled to Sheryl that may remind a few people of “The Kelly Song” from Cheers. As silly as it was, this sketch was not without that goofy charm that we seldom see on SNL nowadays.

    “Days of Our Lives”: Now breaking into full-fledged acting after all those commercials, The Donald (DH) turns out to be a handful while shooting a cameo for the Peacock serial. Despite what seemed like a typical Trump routine on Darrell’s part, this had to be the most pleasant surprise of the night.

    “Carol”: We can only pray that this does not become a recurring sketch. The heavyset blonde from last year’s “Key Party” sketch is set up with an Average Joe type (Lance) while irking her hosts and acting surprisingly boorish in a jarring, masculine way.

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: The soon-to-be Mrs. Armstrong performs the title cut of her new album, the ballad “Wildflower.”

    “The Giddy Henchman”: Long story short, a mobster’s right-hand man (WF) cannot stop laughing at his boss’ (HS) clever threats towards their hostage (Lance). Given how obvious it was that the sketch would end with the henchman being shot in the proverbial funny bone, why did we have to sit through nearly four minutes of comedic dentistry?

    Normally when athletes host, the results can be rather uneven, sometimes making the show a bit hard to watch. In this case, Lance Armstrong turned out to be a surprisingly flexible host, doing what past hosts like Nancy Kerrigan and Wayne Gretzky failed to do: make fun of everything you believe in, and milk it with gusto. This alone keeps Lance off the hook for noticeably reading off cue-cards in half of his sketches. Throwing his fiancee into the mix, not only as a musical guest but also in two sketches, was also a smart move.

    Segments That Will Probably Be Removed For Repeats: “Forever Lady,” “Carol,” “Wildflower,” and “The Giddy Henchman.”

    Next Week: Another clip show, this time honoring the best ad spoofs of the last three decades. Strangely, the chosen title for this special is “SNL Goes Commercial.” If only Lorne had seen the irony…

    In Two Weeks: “My Name is Earl” star and Kevin Smith crony Jason Lee is your host, with Foo Fighters making their fourth appearance as musical guest.moreless
  • Not too bad, could have been better.

    I really did like this episode. Pretty well written, pretty funny. The "Cathy" sketch was a little disturbing, and the last sketch was confusing. What happened towards the end? It just sort of died. It was great to see Scott Podsednik on update. Sheryl Crow was also awesome. You can't ask for more.
  • Pancakes to America. PANCAKES TO AMERICA!

    I can’t think of a word to describe this show. It was bad, but watchable. That’s the best I can think of. It had a celebrity couple on as host and musical guest. Not that great of an episode to me, so I’ll jump right into it.

    HOST: This weeks host was cyclist supreme, Lance Armstrong. Now, athletes as hosts haven’t always proven that great, but he was okay. He broke character a few times, but it wasn’t that bad. I’m sure that if the sketches were funny, he would have fit right with them. I did like his monologue. That was pretty good. B-

    MUSICAL GUEST: And this would be his girlfriend, Sheryl Crow. I did like that song of her’s “Soak Up the Sun,” but that was about it. Though, I did listen to her, and she was alright. She performed “Good Is Good” and “Wildflower”. Plus, she was really good in the few sketches she was in. A-


    The Libby Indictment - Um, I don’t think I laughed. This was okay. Not much to brag about. C

    Celebrity Ironman – Just because Lance is a great cyclist doesn’t mean he can win a race. That also doesn’t mean that that will make this skit funny. C

    RAD 3000 – Yes, it is here. Finally, an alarm that plays hit songs from the 80’s. A brilliant concept. My mouth was hurting from laughing, also because I had 8 teeth pulled. But this was truly the skit of the night. A

    Indigo Girls Harmonies - Wait, they are still around? So they are living in a national park, and invite the future Mrs. Armstrong to sing with them. Not funny at all. D

    The O’Reily Factor – Hey, this wasn’t bad. I giggled. B

    Sheryl’s Song – Lance is writing a song for his love, and a horrible song at that. But he did try, and that is what counts. I’ll be nice. B-

    Day’s Of Our Lives: Wait, are you people actually telling me that THE DONALD CAN’T ACT? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! He just can’t read lines. Poor man. He has billions, a hit show, and a gorgeous wife, and he can’t act. I wonder if he cares. D

    Carol – Okay, whoever thought, Hey, this is a good idea, needs to seek help immediately. The worst skit of the night. Now, it will return, but I hate that. F

    Giddy Henchmen – Thankfully the members of the mob aren’t really like this, or no one would get to visit the fish in cement shoes anymore. D

    BEST MOMENT: Weekend Update is sometimes the best part of the night, and this time is no difference. I love that Mrs. Butterworth thing to. And Finnesse was on this too. So of course I love Update. And the 80’s Alarm was wonderful too. So with these I can give it more than the starting score of 4.

    WORST MOMENT: One word, Carol. Done.

    SURPRISING MOMENT: DONALD CAN’T ACT?! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Oh yeah, the Sheryl is a pretty good actress, but that doesn’t mean she should.

    Rating 5.5/10 Sparkling Diamonds.

  • Not that Bad

    I don't know where all this negativity is coming from. It wasn't the best episode ever, but it certainly had some high points. The Henchman sketch with Forte was simple, but hilarious. I've argued with many of Forte, but I think he's the best peformer on the show when he's in his element. The creepy laugh definitly put him said element.

    The skit where Lance writes a song for Sheryl was kinda stupid, but it had something that made it fun (probably the increasingly essential Hadar and Armisen as gardeners/musicians). My one main regret was the ending of the skit, which was truly horrendous.

    Weekend Update was solid, although Finesse's piece was pretty stupid (He shoud be fired).

    The Sanz "Carol" sketch was more confusing than funny, but the line about "working one out and smoking a joint" was great. Everything else didn't make much sense.

    It wasn't anything to write home about, but it is definitely not one of the worst episodes since the "bad" year. That being said, with two weeks to prepare, the Jason Lee episode better be downright classic.moreless
  • One of the funniest episodes I've seen in quite a while, and I've been watching since 1975.

    This episode was one of the best I've seen in some time. And it was not due to any exception ability by Lance Armstrong. He was about average as guests go. But the writing in this episode is exceptional.

    The line in update about Adam and Eve had me laughing as hard as any since the Norm McDonald O.J. days. The Cheney and O'Reilly skits were flawless. I'm sure that O'Reilly will now become a recurring skit.

    Other sillier segments that scored were Will Forte's laughing henchman and Lance singing horrible pathetic lyrics to Sheryl Crow.

    While no episode on this show is ever perfect, this one had WAY more hits than misses.moreless
Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow


Guest Star

Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong


Guest Star

Scott Podsednik

Scott Podsednik


Guest Star

JB Smoove

JB Smoove

Audience Member

Recurring Role

Liz Cackowski

Liz Cackowski

Audience Member

Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Tina Fey: This week, McDonald's will launch a two-day media event to tout the quality of its food and to combat critics who say its burgers and fries are unhealthy. McDonald's says their food represents all four food groups: brown, dark brown, tan and salty.

    • Amy Poehler: The next edition of The Real World will be shot in Detroit... as will several cast members.

    • Amy Poehler: Courtney Love dropped her dog off at a vet's office in the spring and still hasn't picked him up. The dog is extremely grateful.

    • Amy Poehler: (on Harriet Miers) Shocking many on Thursday, the Religious Right participated in a second-term abortion.

    • Tina Fey: In a recent poll, 66% of Americans think President Bush is doing a poor job of handling the war in Iraq. The other 34% think Adam and Eve rode dinosaurs to church.

    • Tina Fey: (to Harriet Miers) Uh, I don't think it's a good idea to drunk-dial the president.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Sketches/segments not shown in the 60 minute version: Finesse Mitchell's Rosa Parks commentary in which he refuses to leave the Update desk in protest, the Weekend Update Bitch Slap Quiz, "The O'Reilly Factor", "A Song for Sheryl", "Totally Rad Smoke Detector 3000", "Giddy Hit Man" and Sheryl Crow's performance of "Strong Enough."

    • Lance Armstrong is the first (and so far, only) cyclist from the Tour De France to ever host SNL.

    • This episode features the first appearance of Darrell Hammond's acclaimed Bill O'Reilly impression.