Saturday Night Live

Season 32 Episode 19

Molly Shannon/Linkin Park

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM May 12, 2007 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
48 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Live from New York, it's... Molly Shannon!

Sketches include "Mary Katherine Gallagher on American Idol," "Urigro," "Penelope at the Tenants' Meeting," "The Fringe Candidates Debate," "Sally O'Malley on The Sopranos," "Kaitlin at the Nursing Home," "MacGruber" (three parts), "The Legend of Big-Boobed Einstein" (cartoon), "Charli Coffee," and "Trump Steaks."

Linkin Park performed "What I've Done" and "Bleed It Out."moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • “At my house... I have Xbox.”

    A Review by “HelloStuart,” the Nostalgic Amateur Critic

    The weekend before tonight’s broadcast aired was quite lively for us SNL diehards. On Saturday night (in the usual 11:30/10:30c slot) was a clip show of memorable sketches from Year 32 so far. Though some of sketch selections were peculiar (they picked “Bronx Beat” over Target Lady or the A-Holes?), the special showed that this last year of SNL produced two breakout stars: Jason Sudeikis and Kristen Wiig. I might sound like a broken record when I say this, but Wiig is probably the most versatile female cast member since Ana Gastayer (or perhaps Rachel Dratch). When she joined the cast 18 months ago, Wiigy hit the ground running and she hasn’t stopped since. Suds is a different matter; since he first appeared as a sketch extra four years ago (one of many perks to being a writer on the show), he started low-key and worked up; so far this year, no male cast member has had more screen time than he has. Granted, he’s no Will Ferrell, and at worst he can be a bland and monotone actor, but he can work himself into almost anything.

    The night after “The Best of 06-07,” the diehards were treated to Kenneth Bowser’s “Pop Culture Nation: SNL in the ‘90s,” the third chapter in the British documentary-maker’s chronology of the show. As expected, the special was laden with interviews from writers, cast members, and past hosts alike, though I couldn’t help but notice the producers skimped certain aspects of the show’s uneasy mid-decade period. Let me assure you that there was more to the Great Overhaul of ’95 than just generation gap issues. Does Janeane Garafolo ring a bell? How about the near-constant overacting and lazy writing that wrecked a whole assembly line of sketches approaching the end of that season? Despite that gross overlook, it was a fascinating special to sit though.

    I guess that brings us to night’s broadcast. Perhaps to retroactively promote the special, but in turn plug her own current project and prove to the world that she’s not dead yet is Molly Shannon. With this out-of-the-blue choice, she becomes the 23rd SNL alum (and second female in said group) to host the show. Somewhere, Cheri Oteri is staring at the bottom of a quart of Ben & Jerry’s Neapolitan Dynamite and sobbing.

    Tonight’s musical guest is Linkin Park, the hip-hop/nu-metal octet that has lied low for the last few years but is staging a comeback with their third album, “11,662 Minutes to Midnight*,” which if you do the math is 8 days, 2 hours, and 2 minutes. Not that doing the math is relevant or anything.

    Without further ado, the sketch-by-sketch analysis:

    COLD OPENING: A spoof of Ryan Seacrest’s mixed signals on “American Idol” suddenly segues into the resurrection of Mary Katherine Gallagher, who does her usual shtick (smelling the armpits, quoting old made-for-TV movies, and so forth) like if she’d spent the last six years rehearsing in front of a mirror. If you didn’t like MKG (personally, I thought she was passable in small doses), at least give credit to Suds for doing a Simon Cowell impression that was five times better than Chris Parnell’s.

    MONOLOGUE: Molly describes via flashback how she got jilted by Lorne ten years ago. Granted, the filmed bit wasn’t entirely accurate (“Mambo #5” first came out five years after “Waterfalls”), but I liked the Zima consumption and the gag surprise ending.

    “Urigro”: For the third time this season, it’s that urination-enhancement ad spoof. I’ll take a pass, but I’m make sure to spread the word, okay?

    “Penelope”: The nervy one-upper (KW) makes an ass of herself at another social outing, this time a tenants’ meeting. Molly, as a neighbor with a recently deceased cat, catches on to Penny’s awkward attention-whoring and mimics her with snarky gusto. I don’t know what to make of this new recurring character yet, but I will deduct points for the cumbersome, “she was right all along” end to the sketch.

    “The Fringe Candidates Debate”: The sad decline of Dan Rather (DH) reaches a potential nadir when he moderates a debate of several oddball third-party candidates, ranging from the ludicrous (a woman with a crazy wig, Blacula) to the painfully real (Dennis Kucinich, some animal rights whack-job). Everyone states their agenda, though it seems that Molly’s neo-Nazi housewife and Will’s NAMBLA member stole the show. Overall, this was a promising idea but it didn’t completely cook; the tension between Maya’s crazy wig lady and Andy’s Whig Party member could’ve been completely done away with.

    “The Sopranos”: The moment I saw the stripper’s pole at the Bada Bing, I instantly thought of Sally O’Malley. My premonition proved to be correct, as we get another wallop of recurring character chutzpah at the chagrin of Tony, Walnuts, et al. I’d probably be more excited at the return of these beloved characters if they didn’t pander to the audience; I knew exactly what direction the sketch was going from the moment Sally high-kicked her way onstage.

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: Their current single “What I’ve Become” isn’t quite as synth-heavy as their earlier output, but I like Chester Bedingfield’s emotive singing.

    WEEKEND UPDATE: Outside of the unnecessary return of another Molly Shannon character (hack comedienne Jeannie Darcy), this was actually one of the strongest Updates of the season. Nearly every riff met its target, from Amy’s comment on “Dora the Exploder” to Seth’s comments on the oldest woman to reach the North Pole. Even Fred’s blind BBQ chef, a shameless rehash of a past Update gag, was worth a laugh.

    “Kaitlin”: With her stepdad Rick “in the car,” our favorite sugar-high preteen (AP) makes an attempt to entertain the residents of a local nursing home. Just as she’s about to flame out again, we meet her equally spazzy mother (Molly) and they wheel off some poor old man (FA) to what we presume is a fatal dinner at The Olive Garden.

    “MacGruber”: This again? That was unexpected. Tonight, the mulleted genius (WF) decides to make a Bloody Mary despite being trapped in a bomb-laden bridge.

    SMIGELTOON: “The Legend of Big-Boobed Einstein” doesn’t need much further explanation, or at least until “Chesty Churchill” and a mammary-enhanced Lassie pop in. Was there even a plot to this mess? Simply put, Bob’s creative slump soldiers on.

    “The Oak Room”: The cheerless, inebriated Charli Coffee (MR) turns another nightclub performance into a walk of shame, but her fellow slurring lush Toni Carlisle (Molly) makes sure she’s not alone in her slow, alcohol-fueled death. Maybe it was funnier the first time around (two years ago, as I recall), but I found Kenan’s closet-homosexual pianist to be way more interesting than his other two.

    "MacGruber”: Now I see where this is building up. On the brink of being blown to smithereens at a POW prison camp, Mac drunkenly plays his own theme song on a poorly tuned guitar.

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: The simplistic rhythm and repetitive lyrics of “Put It Out, Throw It Away” secretly make me hope that I don’t have to hear this song on the radio all summer.

    “Trump Steaks”: The Donald (DH) and his wife Melonia (Molly) hawk high-quality “black anus” cow meat. Granted, that was a nice little pun to prove their utter cluelessness, but couldn’t the person who wrote this sketch build upon this idea? Sketches this truncated and disjointed seldom make it to the live broadcast, so how in the heck did this make the cut?

    “MacGruber”: Did somebody say trilogy? With one of his sidekicks out of the picture, Mac mimics the now-infamous David Hasselhoff “cheeseburger” tape. Much like the real thing, this was pathetic but simultaneously funny.

    Nineteen down and one to go, and I’m still feeling under-whelmed. What hurt the show for me was that it felt so predictable, especially in the first 45 minutes; recurring characters don’t age well if you simply imitate past glory for a younger audience. On the other hand, you could tell Darrell Hammond was happy to be working with his old chum Molly; what else would explain his spirited performance and unusually high amount of screen time? For me, the show wasn’t working until after Update; sketches like “Kaitlin” and “MacGruber” weren’t entering new territory but they weren’t stale retreads either. Will Forte was also dominant tonight, but at least he didn’t leach onto the host.

    Sketches/Segments That Will Probably Be Removed in Repeats: “Urigro,” “The Sopranos,” “Big-Boobed Einstein,” and “Trump Steaks.”

    Next Week: Zach Braff of “Scrubs” and “Garden State” fame hosts with Maroon 5 as his musical guest.

    Contact Stuart at He replies to all queries.

    *They might’ve shortened the name since I first read about the CD, but I didn’t want to kill the joke.moreless
  • A very good episode all around. A few dull spots were not enough to pull this out of the top 5 for the season. Molly brought the energy and the writers brought the goods.moreless

    American Idol cold open - I was never much of a Molly Shannon fan during her tenure, but this sketch (and the whole show) showed why her cast is so highly revered now. In a word: energy. That cast had a lot of energy and Molly brought it to the fore in this sketch. It's kind of weird seeing an old character brought into the present, but this worked well. Grade: B+

    Monologue - The references to the 90s were totally inconsistent (Mambo #5 is from 1999 whereas phones that large were at least 3 years earlier), but who cares? The interaction with Lorne was great and I dug the "I love you" on the eyelashes which was taken right from Raiders of the Lost Ark. One of the better, if not the best monologue of the season. Grade: A

    Penelope - Isn't it strange how Penelope has only been on once before, but the crowd cheered at her appearance as if it was some cherished favorite character? Kristen may be onto something here. She is undoubtedly great playing these twitchy kinds of characters, but it hasn't quite reached the level of Lovitz's liar character yet. Grade: B

    Fringe Candidates Debate - A funny premise and some great candidates (with the exception of Maya's Whitney with a big wig). Forte truly stole the show here. I had no idea NAMBLA was real. I thought it was just some organization that Trey Parker made up for South Park. Kenan's black vampire has only two precedants that I am aware of: Blacula (awesome 70s blaxploitation film) and Count Chocula (I want to eat your cereal, ha ha ha) . Grade: B+

    The Sopranos - First off, parodies of TV shows and movies are usually the domain of the lazy and feeble-minded (witness MadTV and Scary Movie). So I audibly groaned when I saw what they were up to. Obviously, the introduction of Sally O'Malley takes it far outside the realm of the Sopranos, but still nothing too exciting. This character never did all that much for me anyway. Outside of the outrageous camel toe joke, this one kind of fell flat for me. Still, the camel toe was pretty out there for network TV, even late night TV. Grade: C

    Weekend Update - The Comedy Cul-de-sac bit was kind of funny. I have seen so many lame comics on Live at the Improv, so I kind of got a kick out of it. I'm hoping to see nihobbs do his bit the next time they do this segment. The jokes seemed to be a little better than usual tonight. And Armisen is always great playing dolts who get in the way of the camera. It's kind of his specialty really. And it's good for a laugh. Armisen should get some more WU airtime. Maybe do Ferricito or the Native American comedian. The What's in a Word segment was great and capped a good WU. It runs so much more smoothly when Hammond doesn't appear or Maya's Whitney. Grade: B+

    Kaitlin - Like most everybody else, I thought (and hoped) that this character had been buried alongside Horatio. Wrong! The hyperactive Gilda wannabe is back and just as annoying as ever. I'm undecided if it's better or worse without Rick sucking on his Big Gulp. But truthfully, Horatio added virtually nothing to these sketches. However, the appearance of Molly as Kaitlin's mother solidified this one as the best Kaitlin sketch yet. Sorry Horatio, but the boat floats without you, and a little higher in the water to boot. Grade: C-

    MacGruber #1 - Wow the return of MacGruber! It's enough for me that they brought him back. Grade: B

    TV Funhouse - Smigel must have been really high when he came up with the idea for this one. "Dude, wouldn't it be hilarious if Einstein had really big boobs?" Umm, not really. Grade: C-

    The Oak Room - After all these years, Maya is still desperately searching for a character that will immortalize her. Honestly, it's time to pull the plug. But, on with the review. What to say? A couple of drunk lounge singers making lousy jokes. Kattan was much better as the down-and-out lounge comedian. Also, the Sweeney sisters were similar, but much more fun. Even Molly couldn't save this turkey from imploding. Grade: D-

    MacGruber #2 - Better than the last MacGruber with a drunk MacGruber singing his own theme song! A nice laugh after the lounge mess. Grade: A-

    Trump Steaks - Quick, have we seen this 1 million times or 100? Actually, it's less than either, but it feels like more than both multiplied together. Sure, Trump is buffon. Sure, Hammond has nothing else to do on the show. But why make us suffer? Solution: give Hammond a permanent vacation. He'll enjoy the rest and so will we. Grade: C-

    MacGruber #3 - Save the best for last. Absolutely hilarious. A totally wasted MacGruber activates the bomb himself and can't even get up to save his own a$$. Precious! Grade: A+moreless
  • Maybe it's not ten, but it's certainly seven... okay, maybe five or maybe four, MacGruuubb--

    Molly Shannon, ex alum comes back to host to promote "Year Of The Dog". Of course, this got mixed reactions. Some were excited for her to come back, while others sighed, thinking "i have to deal with those characters again?!" Meanwhile, others were excited to see Linkin Park, the American rock band, to make their debut on the SNL stage.

    American Idol: I was a bit worried that the opening would just depend on Ryan Seacrest (who's now Bill Hader) prolonging the answer if Melinda made it or not. But, nope, as early as it was in the show, it was nice to see Mary Katherine Gallagher. The sketch overall, made me laugh very hard. I also say I like Hader's Ryan Seacrest better than Seth's.

    Monologue: Molly tells us about how SNL was in the 90s, then we see a flashback of her romantic thing with Lorne. This made me laugh very much. Just the stupid little details of the 90s was great.

    Urigro: This was the 3rd repeat of the commercial, but this was MY first time seeing it. I did not laugh a bit. :)

    Tentant Meeting: Penelope shows up to a Tentant's Meeting. And, I saw the Peyton Manning/Carrie Underwood rerun two weeks earlier, so I knew what I was watching. This was probably the peak of the character Penelope, because as she would show up in the season premiere, it would be rushed, and less funny.

    Fringe Candidates Debate: This sketch was probably one of the most creative political sketches that had been made for years. Just the fact that you're going to have a Nazi, PETA woman, kids pervert, and a black vampire run for president is just ridiculously funny. I thought this was great. And, Will Forte's final line, "At My house... I have X-Box", frosted the cake".

    The Sopranos: As much as I liked Hammond's Tony, and all of the other character impersonations, I felt that the Sally O'Malley bring-back was a little dumb. The sketch's energy really never picked up, unless you count the Molly Shannon camel toe cameo.

    Weekend Update: I did not mention this in the Scarlett Johansson review, but Amy's hair for this, and that episode bugged me. But, anyways, I liked the Jeanie Darcy coverage, and I also liked Pep Walters. The "What's In a Word" segment was funny, but nothing that should be translated into a recurring segment, like "Really?!?". The jokes were pretty good, also.

    Kaitlin At A Nursing home: Kaitlin is brought back, without Rick, and tries to entertain the elders, and us. I'm pretty sure it didn't work for neither of us groups. I didn't see why this character was brought back.

    MacGruber: MacGruber doesn't pay attention to the bomb, and instead, he makes a Bloody Mary. That's the sketch. Mediocre, I'll say.

    Big-Boobed Einstein: I thought this was quite stupid, even though some lines had me laughing. "She's not really smart, is she, dad?" "Yeah, but she's beautiful."

    Oak Room: Charli Coffee returns (what the heck?) and sings intoxicated with her friend. This had some good lines, but the sketch seemed un-needed.

    MacGruber: MacGruber sings to the girls, while he's intoxicated. This was much funnier than the first one. Obviously the first one was some how weirdly connected to this.

    Trump Steaks: This was silly, and it made me laugh. It was short and sweet.

    MacGruber: This was just kind of stupid. MacGruber didn't have his shirt on.

    Tonight's episode was top-heavy. Really top-heavy. After the Kaitlin sketch, things really didn't fly. But, the pre-Update sketches were so funny, that I had to like this episode.

    Linkin Park's first song was very good, while their second song was fun, and got the crowd warmed up... for one more sketch, but anyways they were good.

    Molly Shannon brought energy to the cast. She was probably one of the best hosts that season. I also hope to see her return late season 34.moreless
  • Saturday Night Live- Molly Shannon/Linkin Park

    Pretty good episode. I especially liked MacGruber. That was halarious. Also Mary Katherine Gallagher on American Idol was pretty good. Urigro was another good commerical parody. Linkin Park performed well too. If you didn't know...this is my 3rd SNL episode ever seen. This show is amazing. The casts, hosts, musical guest, all great. This episode was rather silly, I admit. The newer episodes aren't as goo das the 90's and past but it's all good. Molly Shannon was a great cast member and was just as good as a host. Linkin Park as I said before was awesome too. Prety good episode.moreless
  • i love this

    i love this one. it is one of the best ones. keep them coming because penelope is so funny! i like to imitate her sometimes. i laugh everytime i see her on the tv. kristen wiig is a very good actress. i think she should do more of the saturday night like stuff. i especially think that you shoudl do more of the penelope ones because they make me laugh. she thinks she is better than every one and that is what i like about that. please keep it on! it is a very funny show! i love saturday night live!moreless

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • This is the third time the commercial "Urigro" was used during Season 32.

    • In the "Fringe Candidates Debate" sketch, Andy Samberg's character speaks with a British accent and wears an 18th-century outfit, even though the Whigs were an American political party in the mid-19th century.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Gina: I have a card for everyone to sign. Some of you may not know this but Mrs. Jacobs' 15-year-old cat Whiskers McGee passed away last week.
      Penelope: My cat passed too, so. His name was Whiskers McGee the First. He was 17 years old, so he was a little bit older that her cat, so... he also died just a few minutes ago, so... affects me a little more, so...
      Lisa: Well, that cat was like her child to her.
      Penelope: My cat was my child. I was pregnant with my cat. Gave birth to it, so... had my cat baby in the hospital, and I had a cat baby shower.

    • Seth Meyers: Hamas has started a new children's show which features Farfur, a Mickey Mouse knock-off, who teaches Islamic radicalism and hatred toward America and Israel. Farfur replaces the network's previous children's show, "Dora the Exploder."

    • Amy Poehler: Last week Oprah Winfrey endorsed Barack Obama for President. Said Obama, "That's great, but I was hoping for a car."

    • Amy Poehler: On Monday, President Bush held his first ever white tie dinner in honor of Queen Elizabeth, opting to save the even more formal "platinum tie" dinner for when Spider-Man visits.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Sketches cut after dress rehearsal include: a sketch where Will tells Andy to pull his finger to hear fart noises, and Andy pulls it out of place and the noises won't stop; a parody of "The Bachelor" where the bachelor (Jason) has to send a person home, and chooses a woman with a witches chin (Molly); a sketch where a sex therapy couple (Molly, Fred) try to aid a bland woman (Kristin) with her sexuality; and a sketch where during a Power Point presentation, a man's (Fred) computer gets stuck during the song "I Like To Move".

    • Molly Shannon is the 23rd ex-cast member to host SNL.

    • Molly Shannon is both the second female cast member to return as host (after Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and the second person from the late-'90s cast to return as host (after Will Ferrell).