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Saturday Night Live

Season 30 Episode 11

Paris Hilton/Keane

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Feb 05, 2005 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
41 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Live from New York, it's... Rachel Dratch! Sketches include "American Idol," "CheapKids.Net" (three parts), "Versace Ski Trip," "Starkisha and Portia at the Purse Shop," "Exclusive Connections," "The Trump Family," "Merv The Perv," "Rafael Alonzo's I.T.F. Technical Computer Institute," "Inside Barbie's Dreamhouse," "Love, Pittsburgh Style," and "Bear City: Cigarette Shopping" (film.) Keane performs: "Somewhere Only We Know" and "Everybody's Changing."moreless

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  • Over the Hump with Hilton

    A Review by "HelloStuart," Amateur Critic and Dazed Socialite

    Well, the time has come. After spending the last two weeks begging and pleading that this cannot and will not happen, I am reserved to my fate in reviewing an episode of SNL hosted by none other than talent-challenged publicity wench Paris Hilton. While this may seem humdrum to some of you, I personally cannot stand her. I've always had a low threshold for overexposed celebrities, especially ones who are largely contemptible and famous for almost no apparent reason. Personally, I feel that Hilton would probably be more at home on "MADtv," which is not only on the network that broadcasts her increasingly unwatchable reality show but is also better suited for her vain, bottom-scraping presence. I mean, what good can come out of a woman who was banned from the prestigious Lloyd Grove column?

    With that in mind, at least I can take some time to count my blessings. Tonight's musical guest is Keane, a British pop-rock trio that is currently touring the states on the unfair prognostication of being the next Coldplay. Plus, this is the beginning of the second half of the season, which could make for a possible minor cast adjustment. After all, Jeff Richards left SNL after the tenth episode of last season, so who knows?

    And now, the sketch-by-sketch analysis:

    COLD OPENING: Bad singers are on the rampage on "American Idol," with the judges trying oh-so-desperately to gently put down these ridiculously clueless contestants, only to indulge in deservedly harsh comments. Heck, even Paula Abdul (AP) threatens to resurrect her own singing career. But just when things start to look bleak (and in the process, more delightful to watch), who other than Q*terplx (RD) can save the show with her peculiar, drool-heavy caterwauling?

    MONOLOGUE: Dear god, she brought her #$%&ing dog! But just when it seems that she's going to be a very self-indulgent host, we learn that Tinkerbell is magnet for Kenan and his landlord's pet, also a Chihuahua. While Mr. All That tries to flirt, the dogs (FA, MR) telepathically communicate on their own. It was weak, but was anyone really expecting this to be a riot?

    "CheapKids.net 1": I checked, it's not a real URL, but it is a enjoyable send-up of self-important yuppie parents. And that flame-retardant sleepwear is such a steal!

    "Versace Ski Trip": Making her first appearance so far this season, the Italian fashion maven (MR) has her day on the slopes ruined by Paris and her dog, not to mention Elton John (HS) and a "Swiss chocolate" (FM). As expected, Hilton kept saying "that's hot," which was proceeded by a string of bad puns relating to the word "bitch." I've tried to be partial to Donatella, but this was undeniably a poorly written sketch.

    "Starquisha at the Mall": Golly, another recurring character. This time, the urban princess (FM) and her boytoy Malik (KT) squabble with a upper-class white girl (Paris) over a Vuitton purse. Not only does Paris attempt to act in this sketch, but she even makes a primal squeal when she's frustrated. On the other hand, at least it wasn't as borderline offensive as some of the sketches we've had so far.

    "CheapKids.net 2": In this second installment, the dutiful spokesperson (CP) promotes a third-rate spelling book for upper-class latchkey children. Just as much cutting-edge zing and wry social commentary as the first one.

    "Exclusive Connections": Another spokesperson (Paris) introduces a phone-sex line for nerds, all based upon their preference of sci-fi clichés. Set phasers on "not very stunning."

    "The Trump Family": With The Donald (DH) back home with his gushing bride (Paris), the Trump kids (FA, SM, MR) take a good look at Mom #3 and draw trite conclusions as only a Trump family member can. It was amusing at first to see his offspring acting just their dear old dad, but gimmick grew old fast.

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: Britain's top piano/organ/vocal trio performs a swanky live version of their first American hit, "Somewhere Only We Know."

    WEEKEND UPDATE: More mayhem from Tina and Amy, including a football point/counterpoint that leads into a catfight, a flashback to Amy's moustache, "Update Little People" (FA, RD) that clearly have ulterior intentions, and a chat with Donovan McNabb and his self-important mother (FM, KT). Outside of the expected quirks, this was just another run-of-the-mill news segment.

    "Merv the Perv": America's favorite sex fiend (CP) drops by to wreck havoc at his 20th high school reunion, resulting in a bland flashback with a young Merv making the moves on a vapid, cue-card reading cheerleader (Paris). If was an attempt to make the 80's look a lot worse than it really was, then from that standpoint this succeeds.

    "CheapKids.net 3": Pretending to care for your children? Why not buy some expired rubella vaccine? This is so merciless, yet so funny.

    "Rafael Alonzo's ITF": An overzealous pitchman (FA) owns and operates an el cheapo technical computer institute, complete with an unconvincing success story from an ITF alumnus (MR). Fred was certainly over the top as Rafael, but otherwise this clearly got lost in tonight's storm of ad spoofs.

    "Inside Barbie's Dreamhouse": Popping up for the second time in four seasons, our plastic heroine (AP) catches Ken (WF) shagging another Barbie (Paris, in the performance of a lifetime). If not for the fact that Paris grabs for the prosthetic arm pulled off her torso with both hands, this really would've made for a convincing performance. As for the rest of the sketch, I shrug my shoulders.

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: We might have pay closer attention to this great band on the rise, since in terms of musical taste, "Everybody's Changing."

    "Pittsburghian in a Bar": A self-proclaimed jack-off named Brent (SM) tries and miserably fails to seduce a fashion plate (Paris) at a swingin' hotspot. For the third or fourth show in a row, the last live sketch of the night goes to a likable though flawed concept sketch, though this one was way more hit and miss than usual.

    "Bear City": I have a fever, and the only cure is anthropomorphic ursines! Today in the city, we learn that buying cigarettes from a gas station can prove difficult for the average bear. I still don't know why I find this so entertaining, though I do like how it sticks out from everything else on the show.

    As it turns out, this wasn't the dead-in-the-water train wreck that some people were expecting, though with exception of the "cheapkids.net" trilogy, it certainly never ignited either. Paris met expectations as a stiff and uninteresting host, though at least the writers were able to find some of her strong points, such as playing a giant Barbie doll or a slightly caricatured version of herself. It is also worth noting that there were a lot of short sketches tonight, possibly bloated by the five or six fake ads that popped up in the show. As for Keane, they rocked the house without pandering to the audience or making an attempt to become the thinking man's Maroon 5.

    Sketches That Will Probably Be Removed For Repeats: "Exclusive Connections," "The Trump Family," "Pittsburghian in a Bar," and "Bear City."

    Next Week: Oh goody- from my current favorite TV show "Arrested Development," Jason Bateman is host with musical guest (and fellow FOX refugee) Kelly Clarkson.

    The writer known simply as "HelloStuart" resides in Downers Grove, Illinois. Contact him at sma17kc@netscape.netmoreless
  • Sketch by Sketch Review

    E! Version

    Pre-show: Well, Paris Hilton is hosting, so I'm not expecting it to be much of a classic. The hotel heiress belongs nowhere near SNL. At least the other teenage girls we've had are able to make fun of themselves, but I heard Paris had to lock herself in the dressing room at the first mention of her infamous sex tape. The only thing I'm looking forward to is Keane. I recently bought their album off of Itunes and it's great. It will interesting to se if they are any good live.

    Cold Opening: This was a mediocre start to the episode. The sad thing is, American Idol has practically been reduced to this kind of shenanigans. Some parts did make me laugh, like Horatio & Rachel's auditions. Qrptlt*xk always amuses me, so tonight wasn't any different. I also laughed when Amy said if she wanted no talent she would get up there herself. Overall, this was a pretty good start to what I'm sure will be a less than impressive episode.

    Monologue: Of course, Paris sets the tone for her monologue by saying her overused, increasingly annoying "catch phrase" ("That's Hot"). Following this, Paris introduces her pet dog Tinkerbelle who then flirts with Kenan's pet. This is ridiculous, and I can honestly say I didn't laugh once. Good effort from Armisen and Rudolph as the voices of the dogs though. The material was just too weak to pull out any laughs.

    Inside Barbie's Dreamhouse: This was an odd choice to bring back since the last time we saw it was back when Britney Spears hosted. I did enjoy it then though, so I wasn't put off by it or anything. This didn't compare to the first one, which had me laughing a lot. This just felt like it was trying to hard, but in the end it didn't deliver. I liked the random product placements, and Maya as the Bratz doll though.

    Merv the Perv: Everyone's favorite raunchy teen pervert is back. This time, he tries to pick up a cheerleader to go to prom with him. His remarks were hilarious as always, especially the handball and ma'am yank me. Hilton once again proved her complete lack of skill, when she repeatedly stared at the cue cards. Parnell is great as this character, and it was great to see him again tonight.

    Weekend Update: For a weak episode, Update came in pretty strong. Most of the jokes hit home, and had me laughing pretty hard. I especially liked the Point/Counterpoint but between Tina & Amy, and also the NYU Professor, Jackson/Jury Pool, and Paul McCartney jokes. I also enjoyed some bits from the Donovan McNabb appearance by Finesse. The only thing I didn't like was the "little people from the Update desk."

    "Somewhere Only We Know"- Musical Performance

    Exclusive Connections: A sex-hotline for hardcore nerds. Absolutely brilliant. This was hilarious. I was cracking up at the Horatio & Maya bit, and also at Dratch as the hobbit. The cast performed great and the whole premise had me laughing the whole time.

    Bar Pick-up: I have to hand it to Seth for trying to dig his way out of this. Honestly, it was just too hard to salvage though. Hilton, of course, brought in absolutely no laughs and I was just waiting for some kind of punch-line or something, but it never came. I did laugh a little at the times he tried to kiss Hilton, and his Cowher impression but in the end it was just kind of an awkward three minutes that I was wondering when would end. Seth tried hard though, but it would be pretty hard to save this one.

    Bear City: As I continue to see this, I continue to be baffled at how ridiculous these things are. Tonight, we get the bears buying some cigarettes and obnoxiously using a wheelchair-enabled bathroom stall. I didn't get into it at all.


    Host: Hilton performed as most expected, no better, no worse. She brought in zero laughs for me in every sketch she appeared in, and proved to be useless to the episode. I just hope SNL learns their lesson to not bring these types of hosts anymore.

    Musical Guest: Keane was great. It's a shame E! only shows the first performance, because I would have loved to hear "Everybody's Changing" live. People are comparing them to Coldplay, but they are way past that level in my opinion.

    Best sketch of the night- Exclusive Connections

    Worst Sketch of the night- Inside Barbie's Dreamhouse or Bar Pick-up

  • one of my favorites

  • Excellent episode really funny excellent host excellent music guest

    This is a very speacial episode all the sketches are funny and paris hilton did excellent as a host i would really like to see her again hosting .. this wass a really good written episode i dont know why it has a low score i started wathing snl every sturday after i watched this episode and i have watched it fro years but nont like now i never skip an episode ... . it was tons of fun . keane did a very good job a musiucal guest i really really enjoyed this one so this is really a must-see...moreless
  • Paris Hilton hosts SNL. \'Nuff said.

    First of all, let me just say that while I don\'t think Paris Hilton\'s all that great (except for, y\'know, the buckets of money), I don\'t hate her either. However, I will say that she\'s not a fabulous actress. I was pretty surprised when I heard that she was going to be hosting SNL, and I was really worried that it would just be a terrible episode. That said, I didn\'t think it was all that bad. The SNL writers did a great job with what they had to work with (uhm, nothing). Sooo, the reason I scored it so high was mainly because of the Weekend Update Point/Counterpoint. I *died.* It was so hilarious!!!! So, overall, not a bad episode.moreless

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • In the Barbie's dream house sketch you can see Paris Hilton's real hand holding Barbie's fake arm for several minutes before Amy Poehler's Barbie rips the arm out and beats Paris with it.

    • During the Barbie's Dreamhouse sketch, when "Ken" hands "Barbie" back her arm, you can see Paris Hilton's real arm showing.

    • Donovan McNabb's mother's name is Wilma, not Charlene. This is corrected in later episodes.

    • During the Donatella Versace skit, you can see the shadow of the person who really was skiing (the video is shown on a green screen)

    • Paris kept looking straight ahead as if she was trying to read her next line from the teleprompter. She does this numerous times. The most obvious was during the handbag purchasing sketch.

    • At the end of Merv The Perv, Paris Hilton walked right in front of the camera and Chris Parnell as he was saying "Everybody chung wang tonight!" This is a huge don't in staging as actors are suppose to walk behind the camera.

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Tina Fey: An estimated eight million Iraqis voted in Sunday's election, and though the vote counting has yet to be completed, exit polls seem to indicate that the big winner is —wow, I did not expect this— Don Cheadle, for Hotel Rwanda! Congratulations, Don.

  • NOTES (9)

    • The "Pittsburgher in a Bar" sketch could possibly be some kind of inside joke aimed at the Steel City. The premise is a guy from Pittsburgh hitting on a pretty girl in a bar. He mentions Steeler coach Bill Cowher (the night before they lost to the Patriots), and uses the term "jagov" which is orginally a Pittsburgh term. He delivers his lines in an exaggerated Pittsburgh accent as well, flattening out vowels ("Stillers" "dahntawn"). However there is no mention of the sketch taking place there or any reason for it to be a Pittsburgh-themed sketch.

    • Amongst the sketches not shown in the 60 minute version: "Versace Ski Trip", "Expensive Purse", all three "Cheapkids.net" commercials, "The Trump Family", "ITF Computer Institute" and Keane's perfomance of "Everybody's Changing".

    • The NBC rerun of this episode replaces the last part of the Merv the Perv sketch (where Paris Hilton walks in front of the camera as Parnell says, "Everybody chung wang tonight") with a dress rehearsal version where she doesn't appear.

    • Paris Hilton was not as open to making fun of herself as the writers had hoped, and she turned out to be one of the most difficult hosts in recent memory. She rejected a number of sketches, including one called "Paris Hilton's House of Crabs." Similar to "Al Sharpton's Casa de Sushi," it featured Hilton advertising her own crab restaurant in New Jersey, with the opening line "Hi, I'm Paris Hilton, and I have lots of crabs."

    • When Paris Hilton's head spins around in the Barbie sketch, you can hear someone in the audience go "Eww."

    • Horatio Sanz played Kenan Thompson's role in the monologue during the dress rehearsal.

    • Chris Parnell as Trevor, the Broadway Guy (last seen in the Queen Latifah/Ms. Dynamite episode) was cut from Weekend Update after dress rehearsal.

    • The "Merv the Perv" sketch takes place at the Germantown High School reunion for the class of 1985. In real life, Chris Parnell went to Germantown High School (in Germantown, Tennessee) and graduated in 1985. Coincidentally, this episode aired on Chris Parnell's 38th birthday.

    • During the goodnights, Kenan Thompson can be seen holding up a poster that says "Happy Birthday Parnsy", this episode aired on Chris Parnell's birthday.


    • "Wait until I tell Jem! She'll think it's truly outrageous!"

      This refers back to the popular '80s cartoon, "Jem (and the Holograms)". The quote is a direct reference to the show's end-theme song, that goes, "Jem is truly outrageous / Truly, truly, truly outrageous."