Saturday Night Live

Season 31 Episode 11

Peter Sarsgaard/The Strokes

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Jan 21, 2006 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
48 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Live from New York, it's... Seth Meyers! Sketches include "Anderson Cooper 360," "Nelson's Baby Toupees," "Target Greatland," "National Pirate Convention," "Carol!," "Young Chuck Norris" (film), "Cat Fancy," "Gays in Space," "Fairmount Suites Inn," "NSA Wiretap," and "Peter Sarsgaard's SARS-guards." The Strokes performed "Juicebox" and "You Only Live Once."moreless

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  • "You talk like Channel 13..."

    A Review by "HelloStuart," Amateur Critic and Cult Sensation

    It boggles me that we're already beyond the halfway point of the season. Granted, this year's schedule was altered for Olympic coverage next month, which will result in three straight weeks sans SNL, and yet I still have this vibe that this season is still young, fresh, and impressionable. Nonetheless, Season 31 has been a slight but not signifigant improvement over Season 30; an infusion of new talent is blending amiably with several more experienced cast members in what will probably be remembered as a transition year for the show.

    This week's host is Peter Sarsgaard, this year's winner of the "most obscure hosting choice" award. I know that seems derogatory, but Sarsgaard is an up-and-coming actor and he has the potential to be a household name by the end of this year; his tendency to take on roles as creeps and closetcases might remind some people of a young Christopher Walken. Our musical guest this week is The Strokes, the onetime critical darling whose attempt at tweaking at their overall sound has resulted in their uneven new release, First Impressions of Earth.

    And now, the sketch-by-sketch analysis:

    COLD OPENING: Today on "Anderson Cooper 360," the former reality show host (SM) rubs in his acclaimed Katrina coverage one more time before playing straight man to Mayor Ray Nagin (FM) and the Reverend Jesse Jackson (DH) in response to the former's "chocolate city" comments. Nagin spins his reverse-racist remarks into a metaphor for food, which the Reverend turns into an impromptu and almost sexual sermon. A similar sitdown with Senator Hillary Clinton (AP) in regards to her equally offensive "plantation" remark mutates into a barage of ethnic stereotyping. With Seth accurately mimicing Anderson's serious demanor, this sketch could be described as "Hardball" without the personality.

    OPENING CREDITS: I hate to say it, but Pardo's losing it. Not only does he miss the opening cue, but he can't keep up with what's going on on-screen. I don't want to call for a replacement just yet, but it's times like these that make you wonder if he'll ever throw in the towel.

    MONOLOGUE: Peter denies that he's a weirdo in real life, and yet he has plenty of behind-the-scenes footage with the cast that proves otherwise. At least he alluded to the fact that his celebrity is somewhere near the scale of, say, Richard Jenkins or Emily Mortimer.

    "Nelson's Baby Toupees": A spokesman (BH) speaks out for "male infanitle baldness" and plugs another wonderfully useless product that only SNL can dream up.

    "Target Greatland": I wasn't expecting this sketch to pop up again, but if it wasn't excrusing last time around, why not give it a second chance? Basically, the homespun incompetence that was formulated in the Cook/Blunt episode rolls on with an easily distracted cashier (KW) and a manager (Peter) that embraces his flavored coffee at break time to the chagrin of several frustrated customers. At best, we now know that Kristen is capable of playing a recurring character and push it to absurd heights; at worst, this was a "MADtv" sketch on sedatives.

    "National Pirate Convention": Apparently, those menacing plunderers of the sea have somehow confederated and are now having their fourth annual get-together somewhere outside Milwaukee. What would appear to be a symposium of all things buccaneer turns into a shameless excuse to emphasize "R" (as in "Arrrrr...") sounds and a vanity sketch for Peter. This goes without saying that this was a one-time bit, though the idea was cute.

    "Carol!": Run for your lives- it's the recurring character that won't die! Basically, this is the same sketch as the last two, the only difference is that it takes place at an art gallery and the poor schmoe the falls for Horatio's "charm" is a Greenwich Village magniloquent named Ephram (Peter). Outside of one fluke non sequitor, this is why God gave us mute buttons.

    FILM: A prototypical 80's metalhead (JS) rips through the ballad of "Young Chuck Norris," with Samberg recreating the formative years of Cordell Walker. At least the Lonely Island boys didn't try to make a "Lazy Sunday" sequel.

    "Cat Fancy": It's nothing more than "Shattered Glass" with felines, but at least Seth's preposterous article topics were good for a chuckle.

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: Nick Valensi goes bonkers on a Dick Dale riff, and things get crazy in that Rube Goldberg sort of way shortly afterward. It's their current single, the infectious "Juicebox."

    WEEKEND UPDATE: Tina throws her two cents into the "chocolate city" controversy without making any reference to Parliament-Funkadelic, which is good in that she didn't go for an obvious target. (Yay Mrs. Richmond!) Even so, most of the gags in tonight's Update could be seen coming from a mile away; a critical discussion of government wire-tapping by Al Gore (DH) and John Kerry (SM) veers into an anti-Bush therapy session, and Drew Barrymore's response to her noticibly braless appearance at the Golden Globes results in an barefaced jab at her seemingly sagging mammeries.

    "Gays in Space": With Maya Rudolph still tending to her offspring, you would think that this gay-stereotype smorgasbord would've died or at least been put on a very high shelf. Guess again. Tonight, the usual space antics are subdued for a visit to a hot new nightclub called Urge, where the new captain (Peter) runs afoul of an old boyfriend.

    "Fairmount Suites Inn": A traveling businessman (Peter) lands in a St. Louis hotel room, and his inability to find the remote control turns into a existental and psychological journey with the host of the TV preview channel (RD). Several technical gaffes in the sketch doesn't hamper a great opportunity for Sarsgaard to demonstrate his comic timing; his defeated "conversation" with the boob tube is probably one of the highlights of the season.

    "National Security Agency": Two old ladies (RD, AP) discuss family and such while an NSA agent (Peter) monitors segments of their conversation. Though it's very rare to see a topical sketch this late in the show, the fact that the SNL has addressed this controversy is a promising omen for some naysayers.

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: Anything goes for this fearless five on the forgettable disc-ending track "You Only Live Once."

    "SARS-Guards": It's been awhile since we've had a sketch based upon a bad pun, huh? At least Peter was more than inclined to play along with this.

    The aforementioned comparisions between Sarsgaard and Walken is not limited to film roles; both actors have a certain weirdness that is ripe for parody, ergo, making them quality hosting material. Overall, the writing was unusually sallow for what we've come to expect this season, but at least everyone involved had a lot of fun. Also, an "A" for effort for The Strokes, who played their hearts out despite the equally subpar material they had to work with.

    Sketches/Segments That Will Be Removed in Repeats: "National Pirate Convention," "Carol!," "Gays in Space," and "SARS-Guards."

    In Two Weeks: Boy, this is the season that keeps on giving, huh? Steve Martin hosts for the first time in nearly 12 years (a record 14th appearance, by the way) with musical guest Prince appearing after a quarter-century hiatus.

    Contact "HelloStuart" at Don't worry, he doesn't bite.moreless
  • Pirates of the Holiday Inn

    This week on SNL was a host that mostly nobody has heard of, not even pirates. And then we have a musical guest that, well, it’s hard to explain them, since I don’t really listen to their music. Mostly, with a host I never heard of and a musical guest I don’t exactly like, I thought it might not be that great of a show. Well, I was wrong. It had great skits. With that said, let’s start the review.


    This week’s host was Peter Sarsgaard, a man who is an actor, and has had minor roles in movies. His monologue was very funny. In his movies, he plays the weird guy, which is exactly what he proved to be in his monologue. He harassed that cast, and that was very funny. The monologue was very clever. He was doing well, but did mess up a few of his lines. Other than that, he was almost perfect. B+


    This week’s musical guest was the Strokes. I don’t know much about them, except that the drummer is dating Drew Barrymore, and they were caught messing around in the bathroom of the opera. (Really, the opera? That’s a classy place. Go hit up some trashy restaurant, but not an opera house. Or just wait a little while. Just not the opera.) Anyway, they performed “Juicebox,” which didn’t sound that bad, and “You Only Live Once,” which didn’t sound that good. I could say that whole, “Not my type of music,” but I don’t know how to classify it, so I cannot. C+


    Cold Opening: Anderson Cooper 360 – It is Seth playing the “pretty-boy” anchor, though I wouldn’t call him back. Mostly, what made this skit even better than it already was is the fact that Finnesse was in it!!!!!! He played the mayor of New Orleans, who made the whole “chocolate city” statement, and discussed that. It was a great opening, and I greatly enjoyed it. A-

    Nelson’s Baby Toupees – I really thought, “Oh great, a dumb @$$ commercial.” Man was I wrong! This offers toupees for babies who are still bald. The kids will get their hair, but this way, they won’t feel so bad when all their friends have hair and they don’t. I really liked it. A-

    Target Greatland – When I saw this, I remembered the first time it was on, and dreaded it. But this time was great. I loved Sargaard’s manager-on-a-break character. And I loved how Wiig’s character kept running off to the disappointment of the customer. It’s not like that at Target, at all. First off, it’s all young kids. But this made my mom question one thing, is this based on someone’s actual experience? A-

    National Pirate Convention – Now this was definitely the best skit of the night! And not just because Samberg had a big part in it. I have to make a quick comment though. They said it took place at the Milwaukee Holiday Inn. Now, was that Milwaukee, Wisconsin or Milwaukee, Pennsylvania? Cause if it was Milwaukee, in my hometown, the Holiday Inn downtown does not look like that. Maybe there is another that does, but the one I know doesn’t. Anyway, this skit was about Pirates, who mostly held a convention with Sarsgaard as a special guest, and they love pronouncing the R’s in words. It was very funny. This should definitely be recurring. A+

    Carol – I never liked this character, and why in her theme song a word is “sexy.” How drunk do you gotta be to find her “sexy?” Anyway, another man fell for her, and her charm (if ya can call it that). The lines were way too predictable. I saw them coming from a mile away. I might have laughed once though. I am mad that this character of Horatio’s is recurring. Oh well, hopefully it won’t be on until April. C-

    Young Chuck Norris (Film Short) – All I can say is, it was no “Lazy Sunday.” But hey, anything with Samberg in it will make me happy, even if he did have that horrible mustache. But who knew Sudekis could sing? I actually thought that was a real singer. There was real talent in this skit, though Samberg can’t really do those kicks and punches as well. He could take lessons. I loved when he hit the lady. I originally gave it a C+, but after viewing some of it again, I knock it up a grade. (Plus, I do play favorites, and since Samberg is my second fav, he gets more of a vote. First is Finnesse and third is pry Hader cause he does great impressions). B-

    Cat Fancy – Cat Fancy has more cats in the office than a 82 year old woman. My cat loved this skit, mainly because he heard cats in it. He never took his eyes off the set. He was napping and it woke him up. But I thought the skit was funny. Salem is my special reviewer, so his opinion is important. It was a very good idea. B+

    Gays In Space – Baby, Finnesse is in this one too, and I loved his character!!! The title is self explanatory, the Gay Men visit a Space Bar this time. It was funny. B+

    Fairmount Suites Inn – This skit had so many blunders in it. A man was trying to turn off his TV, but couldn’t fins his remote, so went crazy. Sarsgaard began messing up his lines during it, and you saw a few things, like people’s heads. But the concept was funny, and the errors did make it funnier then it pry would have been. B+

    National Security Agency – Phone tapping, old ladies, boring conversation, hung up phone, and the ladies plot to blow up the White House. There’s a quick summary of this okay skit. Wasn’t special. C-

    SARS-guards – This actually was boring to me. But watchable boring. Since his name is Sarsgaard, he made SARS-guards. With the threat of Bird Flu, he’ s marketing them. Pry was the worst skit of the night, but an impressive bad. C-

    BEST MOMENT – One would be Finnesse being on and having great characters. I always love that. The second would be that pirate skit. That was so funny. And Samberg had a big part in it, and while he wasn’t really in any other skit, I was glad to see his face in that. The skit was really funny. The show was very enjoyable though. It was an improvement. It does appear to be improving.

    WORST MOMENT – There weren’t really any this week. I didn’t enjoy the music, but that’s easily avoided. The SARS-guard thing wasn’t that great, but not horrible. So nothing. But I have a complaint to make. I know Pardo is getting on in years, but he did mess up a few names, so that wasn’t great. He started announcing Bill on Kenan’s pic, then didn’t announce Andy till Jason was on. Other than that, nothing to complain about.

    SURPRISING MOMENT – The Baby Toupees commercial was funny when I didn’t think it would be. That’s it. I thought it’s be a C+, and it was an A-. Very glad about that. I just hope Morgan Stanley and Taco Town return to be on again. I love those, and the new one.

    Skit Average: 3.1 B (First time this has happened.)

    Rating: 7/10 Sparkling Diamonds.

  • Funny.

    This was a great episode especially the many times Peter Sarasgaard screws up his lines. I didn't like the fact that in a bunch of the scketches he played himself because he's an actor and should be able to be whoever they need him to be. The episode was excellent.
  • I was not looking forward to Carol but the digital short and the Fairmount Inn sketches were the best of the night for me.

    I've seen some of the promos this week and I don't like that "Carol" may be on this weekend. Not SNL related but you can view Rajon Rondo winning the game against South Carolina or Patrick Sparks hitting a clutch 3 late in the game.

    Cold Opening: Looks a Anderson Cooper (Seth Meyers) sketch. He talks about Ray Nagin's comments. Nagin is played by Finesse Mitchell. Nagin says that when he said chocolate, he meant delicious. Jesse Jackson joins in. Darrell Hammond plays Jackson. Hillary Clinton (Amy Poehler) explains her plantation remarks by saying she was speaking to an African-American audience. Live from New York, it's...Seth Meyers.

    Monologue: Peter Sarsgaard mentions how he plays dark characters. He scared Fred Armisen in a clip. He questions Amy as to where she lives. He hung out with Kenan Thompson too.

    Commercial: Bill Hader promotes toupees for infants.

    Target: Another Target sketch. Kristen plays the cashier. Amy plays a customer. Peter plays the manager on his break as a Kristen runs off. Kenan wants to exhange a gift. Kristen is not authorized and Peter won't help. Chris Parnell is the next customer. Whatever it is, she runs off.

    Holiday Inn Pirate Convention: Will Forte welcomes guests to the convention. Andy Samberg does the roll call. Bill Hader, Horatio Sanz, Chris Parnell, Jason Sudeikis, Peter Sarsgaard, and Fred Armisen are also in it. Peter Sarsgaard plays himself. Arrr. A musical number with Andy Samberg and everyone else in the sketch.

    "Carol" Art Gallery Opening: Jason and Amy are a couple. Oh, gosh. No. Not that sketch. They give us another Carol sketch. Bill Hader is a waiter. I didn't like that sketch at all.

    Digital short: Doug Brogar's Young Chuck Norris. Jason Sudeikis is the singer. It was hard to tell at first but it was Andy Samberg who played a young Chuck Norris. Amy was in there and so was Fred. This wasn't the same as "Lazy Sunday" but it was interesting. Jorma Taccone was featured in this short. It won't be too long before this sketch makes it's way around the internet or should I say the internets.

    Cat Fancy Magazine: Peter is behind a desk and plays Chuck. Seth is Jack. This deals with plagarism or a story that never existed. Jack gets fired. This was a spoof of "Shattered Glass"

    Musical guest The Strokes sing.

    Weekend Update: New OBL audio tape. Ray Nagin and the Chocolate City. Google and the subpoenas. Democrats attack Bush on wiretapping. Al Gore and John Kerry talk about the law being broken. Al and John argue over whether John lost. Hillary Clinton and the plantation. The space proble landed in Utah. Fathers for Justice wanted to kidnap Tony Blair's son. An internet project in Ohio dealing with porn. Julia Roberts in "Three Days of Rain." A 101-year-old man married a 68-year-old woman. "Bloviate with Bill." Drew Barrymore cameos when they said she arrived with two Golden Globes of her own. Drew calls Tina by Amy. Tina apologizes. Fan jailed in the Cleveland-Steelers game. International cockfighting Derby and the bird flu. Legal prostitution in Britain. Paris Hilton opens a club in Vegas.

    Gays in Space: A recurring sketch. Looks like Forte in the intro. Kenan, Fred, Chris, Peter, and Bill in this sketch. Rachel, Tina, and some other female in the sketch as well. Finesse and Jason in the sketch, too. Seth joins in.

    Fairmount Suites Inn: This sketch takes place in St. Louis and features Rachel and Peter. Peter can't seem to find the remote. They are both cracking up. The clock went from 9:21 PM to 1:13 AM, give or take. I couldn't stop laughing during this one. He finds a remote.

    NSA Wiretapping: Rachel and Amy are in this one. Their phone call is being wiretapped. Jason and Peter are the NSA people listening in. After the NSA guy gets up, they mention words that I wouldn't mention on here even if it was a joke.

    Once again, The Strokes.

    Peter Sarsgaard's SARS Guard: Peter speaks about bird flu. Two years ago, the disease was SARS. He developed the Sarsgaard SARS guard. You can get 5 for $1. It is 60% effective. It's been difficult to sell them.

    Next show on February 4, 2006: Steve Martin with Prince.

    Next week is a rerun of Dane Cook and James Blunt.moreless
Peter Sarsgaard

Peter Sarsgaard


Guest Star

The Strokes

The Strokes


Guest Star

Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore


Recurring Role

Jorma Taccone

Jorma Taccone

Chuck Norris victim

Recurring Role

Paula Pell

Paula Pell


Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • In repeats of this episode, a caption was added to the "Cat Fancy" sketch. When Parrot Companion Quarterly was mentioned a disclaimer reading "Note: Parrot Companion Quarterly is a real magazine" appears on the screen.

    • In the 'Target' sketch, the first customer has a bill of $61.20. After paying with a $100 bill, the clerk gives the customer her change entirely with paper currency.

    • During the "Fairmount Suites Inn" sketch you can hear and see Rachel Dratch cracking up.

    • The microphone is visible for part of the "Cat Fancy" sketch.

    • During the opening credits, Don Pardo accidentally announces Kenan Thompson's name as a featured cast member, then has difficulty keeping up with what appears on-screen, such as when The Strokes' picture card come up on screen, he completly blanks out.

    • During the "Fairmount Suites Inn" sketch several unplanned incidents happen. First, the camera bounces as it zooms in on the clock radio. Second, when Sarsgard hits the TV the screen goes blank but the sound can still be heard. Then when the picture does come back on, the words "Video 1" can be seen in the corner. The top of a stagehand's head can be seen when he goes to fix the TV and to hand Sarsgard the remote. There was also a moment where the camera cut to a surprised Rachel Dratch who was only supposed to be seen on the TV in the hotel room. When this episode was rerun, this sketch was replaced with the dress rehearsal version.

    • When the pirates sing the alphabet at the end of the "National Pirate Convention" sketch, they skip the letter P.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Red Beard Pete: All right, all right we don´t need a roll call. Ok, first order of business. Picking a location for next year´s convention. Any ideas?
      Bartholomew: AR-R-R-R-R-RKANSAS!!
      Red Beard Pete: Maybe. Anyone else?
      Pirate 1: MADAGASCAR-R-R-R-R-R!

    • Barb: (on TV) To scroll through a selection of recent box office hits, such as Skeleton Key, Monster-in-Law, and Are We There Yet?...
      Rick: Oh! And porn, too, Barb. Don't forget there's porn in there!
      Barb: the "Movies" button on your remote... now! Your enjoyment is important to us.
      Traveler: You're a liar, Barb!

    • Peter Sarsgaard: Introducing... the Peter Sarsgaard SARS-Guard!

  • NOTES (3)

    • Sketches cut after dress rehearsal include: a Digital Short called "The Tangent," where a loquacious man (Fred Armisen) becomes a star; "Al Pacino Checks his Bank Balance," in which Pacino (Bill Hader) checks his bank account by phone; and a sketch where a derelict (Andy Samberg) annoys a yoga instructor's (Peter Sarsgaard) zen.

    • Sketches/segments not shown in the 60 minute version: The Strokes' performance of "Juicebox," "Nelson Baby Toupees," "Cat Fancy," "Gays in Space," "Fairmont Suites Inn," and "National Security Agency."

    • Maya Rudolph does not appear in this episode, as she is still on maternity leave.


    • Drew Barrymore's appearance during Weekend Update pokes fun at her braless and allegedly sagging breasts at the Golden Globe Awards the week before this broadcast aired.

    • The "Cat Fancy" sketch spoofs Peter Sarsgaard's performance in the 2003 film Shattered Glass.