Saturday Night Live

Season 32 Episode 16

Peyton Manning/Carrie Underwood

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Mar 24, 2007 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (12)

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  • “Do you have change for a fifty?”

    A Review by “HelloStuart,” Amateur Critic and Mistake-Prone Fourth-Year Quarterback

    This week’s host is Peyton Manning, the superstar quarterback and commercial pitchman extrodinaire that as I mentioned last week fulfills SNL’s one-athlete-host-per-season quota. The athlete-host is not exactly a proud generation; it’s given us more cue-card readers and self-aggrandizers then any other type of master of ceremonies. In fact, the only decent ones I can think of were Bob Uecker and Derek Jeter, and to a lesser extent Tony Danza. Despite the potential ratings upside, it’s usually best to make something like this a cast night.

    The musical guest is Carrie Underwood, the third “American Idol” participant to appear on SNL. Like Manning, she’s a southerner, a big winner in early February (a best new artist Grammy to his Super Bowl MVP) and more or less despised in the greater Chicago area.

    And now, the sketch-by-sketch analysis:

    COLD OPENING: President Bush (JS) explains the consequences Attorney General Gonzales (FA) may or may not suffer while he smiles, frowns, and bounces around behind him. The pacing was like molasses, but Suds and Army made a stab at bouncing as much energy off each other in spite of another weakly written topical sketch.

    MONOLOGUE: Peyton introduces three of the four members of his direct family, then jokingly disses his mother because she can’t play ball with the boys. An easier jab could’ve been made at his AWOL brother Cooper, but given everything he’s been though, I can see why Peyton would pull his punch.

    “United Way”: Paying insolence to the goody-goody PSAs that air during NFL games, Peyton bullies a bunch of grade-schoolers during a pickup game, and than shows them how to jack a car and forces one boy to get a Peyton tattoo on his calf. Points for realism (thuggish football players aren’t a stereotype anymore, it’s quickly approaching self-parody), but this might go down as being the single most melancholy, straightforward Digital Short ever.

    “Bronx Beat”: Poor Jodi (MR): maybe if she’d stop whining about how sexually unsatisfied she is –on a public access talk show, no less- maybe her taciturn, work-driven husband might actually knock boots with her. The third go-around for the borough-dwellers shows hints of going on autopilot; Peyton’s zookeeper is almost completely interchangeable with Jake Gyllenhaal’s mountain-biker from earlier this season.

    “NCAA Tournament Pool Party”: A sports columnist (Peyton) is flustered by a flaky Teen Vogue copy editor (AP) when she determines Final Four picks by team colors and cute mascots. Things go from bad to worse when the host of the talk show (JS) suggests that he “pulled a Peyton,” leading to a clumsy life-imitates-art moment and a typical awkward ending.

    “Penelope”: So far tonight, I’ve been paying close attention to Peyton’s eyes to see if they’re glued to those precious cue-cards, and with this sketch I finally nailed him. As disappointing as that was, it didn’t distract from the premise of the sketch: a socially awkward braggart (KW) struggles to make conversation at a housewarming party. Unlike some potential recurring characters of late, I wouldn’t mind seeing how Penelope evolves. What’s the true ulterior motive to her maladroit one-upmanship?

    SMIGELTOON: For all you “Dora the Explorer” haters out there, your moment in the sun has come. “Maraka” and her talking feline friend ask random questions to their preschool-age audience while rescuing a penguin egg. It seems that Robert Smigel’s post-DVD slump is finally over, if only because he took advantage of the obtuse format of a popular children’s program and turned it into an exercise of self-aware hubris.

    “Halftime Pep Talk”: The quirky coach (WF) of a struggling college hoops team tries and fails to turn the theme song from “Casino Royale” (the one with Woody Allen, not Daniel Craig) into a motivational anthem. The actual plot is nothing more than an expositional set-up to see Forte dance like a doofus, but it was funny while it lasted.

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: Carrie tells the tale of man who put alcohol before love in her DUI-themed hit “Before He Cheats.”

    WEEKEND UPDATE: I’ll admit, usually whenever Tim Calhoun (WF) pops up, a big smile appears on my face; tonight, on the other hand, gave me the idea that maybe the aspiring presidential candidate made one appearance too many. Seriously, a Jack Abramoff pun? Quoting that Head On commercial? Man, that was unbelievably disappointing. On the other hand, Seth made a pointed commentary about Knut the polar bear and whether or not that cute little thing should stay in captivity or be taken out of his misery, an example of animal rights activism going off the deep end. Seeing Dan Aykroyd spoof the “crying girl” controversy on American Idol didn’t hurt, either.

    “300”: Thickheaded Mitch (Peyton) won’t throw a fake rock at his co-star (FA) during the filming of the Frank Miller epic. What a sad, pointless exercise.

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: I probably would comment on her performance of her “other” anti-drinking song “Wasted,” but I was distracted by her dress. To put it in Oklahoma-speak, she purdy.

    “Sunday Night Coffee Chat”: A sequel to the “Cider Chat” sketch from Pressly/Rae was the furthest thing from my mind, but here it is, taking up space in the 12:50 slot and weirding out the general consensus with tales of using human feces as fertilizer and stuffing ham in your pants pocket to create the illusion of having a secret. If that didn’t work for you, you could’ve stared at Peyton’s wig for the whole sketch and gotten the same witless result.

    “Mercedes 500”: Sending up his own status as a relentless commercial pitchman, Peyton shills a car that makes meatloaf and has two built-in toilet seats. A luxury car you can drive without pants? Somebody call Tracy Morgan!

    “Air Force One”: A spoof of those Nike Pick-Ups commercials finds six cast members playing some really lousy b-ball, further pounding tired old white-athlete clichés into the ground. I can totally see why this was cut from two past dress rehearsals.

    Following last week’s somewhat underwhelming affair, the show roars back with another uneven effort. It was interesting to see a lot of sports-themed sketches, which is very unusual even when athletes do host. Peyton seemed more than willing to make fun of his overexposed image, though his performance overall was just as wooden as everyone expected it to be. Maybe the birthday cake during the goodnights was intended to be comfort food.

    No Darrell for two episodes in a row? Maybe my theory is becoming reality…

    Sketches/Segments That Will Probably Be Removed in Repeats: “Bronx Beat,” “300,” “Sunday Night Coffee Chat,” and “Air Force One.”

    In Three Weeks: Shia “Even Stevens” LaBeouf hosts while Avril Lavigne makes her third go-around as musical guest. Yes, I know, it’s like we’re watching the Disney Channel circa 2002.

    “HelloStuart” is a senior at Illinois State University and has been writing episode reviews of SNL since 2003. Contact him at
  • A highly disappointing show especially after having a so-so week with JLD. Amy and Jason were way overused tonight and Hader and Samberg were way underused.

    Bush cold open - More of the same with a slight improvement due to Armisen's performance as Gonzalez. Not a great opening but it had the virtue of being very short. Grade: C+

    Monologue - Quite frankly it was really boring. Athletes don't typically make the best comedians so it was probably wise not to give Manning a bunch of jokes to recite, but was it really necessary to go for cheap applause by introducing his family? Nothing funny here. Grade: D

    NFL commercial - Kind of funny but nothing original. We've seen this kind of thing many times before with the "bad guy" as the role model for the kids. Nothing exceptional. Grade: C+

    Bronx Beat - This is one of the worst recurring sketches. Why get this show off to such a poor start by placing it so early? As with the previous two episodes, Maya just seems to be getting less and less funny. I am actually annoyed that she is still on the show. Grade: F

    NCAA Tournament Pool - Original concept but it got old pretty quickly. It was the same joke over and over. Amy's performance really wore on my nerves as it drug on. Though it was better than a lame recurring sketch. Grade: C

    Cocktail Party - This makes the third sketch in a row with Amy. Enough already! Kristen was funny as the psychotic party guest, but the sketch did not go anywhere and could have benefited from more conflict. Why didn't she go really psycho and do some crazy sht like Farley would have? Grade: C

    Maraka Saturday TV Funhouse - I guess you have to have kids to get into this one. One of the least funny Funhouse's I've ever seen. Didn't even elicit a chuckle. Grade: D-

    Locker Room - This sketch was looking like a poor Suell Forrester knock-off until Will broke into his hilarious dance routine. The saving grace of the sketch and it recaptured some of the zaniness of the cheerleaders. Grade: B-

    Weekend Update - Usual bland jokes. Will's Tim Calhoun was great tonight and much appreciated instead of Hammond's Gore. Where is Hammond? In the unemployment line? Anyway, I loved Calhoun's version of the Bay of Pigs. One of the better guest spots on Update this season. The new segment Zoo News was nothing special and offered the same weak jokes as the rest of WU, but it sure was better than being subjected to Whitney yelling "Bobby B". Grade: C+

    Throw the Rock - A mildly entertaining sketch with the all of the humor courtesy of Armisen's dopey character waiting to be smashed by the rock. Sudeikis played the director with the same blustery bravado as a lot of his other roles. It was fine if you like that style, but it gets old very quickly for me. Manning did nothing except hold the rock. I guess this guy really can't act. Grade: C-

    Porch Talk - This is the second appearance for this sketch and although there are some funny lines as the characters spit out non sequitors, it just doesn't add up to much. Grade: C-

    Mercedes commercial - Besides the built-in toilets in the seats, this was an otherwise unexceptional commercial parody. I'll take a Chameleon XLE thank-you very much! Grade: C

    Air Force One commercial - Pure filler. Nothing to say. Grade: D
  • manning hosts

    Many of the athletes who have hosted this show have been ridiculed, but people have praised Peyton Manning as different from that bunch, and in a way he was. He came in with energy, something that was absent from the arsenal of many other hosts who have won titles before getting this gig.

    Peyton playing football with kids, berating them and helping them steal cars was amusing, even if the concept has been done a dozen times (most notably on The King of Queens). The half time pep talk was funny, and was one of Will Forte's premiere characters, a character that needs to come back.
  • A total b*tch and a whore...

    Peyton Manning was the athlete for season 32. The only one, that is. Carrie Underwood was the musical guest to perform her number 1 song, "Before He Cheats". Wonderful.

    Alberto Gonzales: Actually, I'll say it, I thought it was a pretty silly opening. Not exactly funny, but a pretty good idea. The fact that Fred had no part, other than walking in and out made me laugh.

    Monologue: I think this would have worked better if they kept Amy in as a Patriots fan, like they did in dress. The family thing was just a time filler.

    United Way: This was actually really funny. You can't say Peyton was a total waste after this. At least he was willing to make a fool out himself.

    Bronx Beat: Yes, I like this recurring sketch. Shove it. No, but I thought this edition was like the last two. Good.

    ESPN's NCAA Pool Party: Sometimes I can't stand sport-sketches, because they go no where. This was different. Amy's performance in this was very good, and even though Peyton stayed wooden, at least, once again, he was willing to be teased.

    Party Pooper Penelope: Penelope's debut. Just by watching this, you could tell Kristen was planning to make this a recurring character. Next to the Molly Shannon sketch of this, this was probably the funniest volume.

    Maraka: A knock-off on Dora the Explorer. A random time making fun of the character, I must say, as she debuted in 2001, but after the misses that TV Funhouse had to offer throughout the 32nd season, this was definetly a hit.

    Pep Talk: This was goofy, and it was funny. Did it deserve to be on the Best of 2006/2007? No. But, Will's dancing was funny.

    Musical Performance: Carrie Underwood performs "Before He Cheats" which is actually a nice song.

    Weekend update: Strong, strong Update. Most jokes were consistent, while all "guests" were funny. Aykroyd was a pleasant surprise.

    300: Worst sketch of the night. I mean, what kind of premise was that? There were so many other areas they could have poked 300 with, but they decide to go after a guy who can't through a rock while the camera is shooting.

    Musical Performance: A little earlier musical performance tonight. Carrie performs "Wasted", which is a nice song, and the violin solo at the end was great.

    Porch Talk: The two creepy porch sitters talk about creepy things once again. I thought this was up to par for a post-12:45 sketch.

    Mercedes 550: The only thing I found funny about this was how Peyton tied a car and meat together.
    Nike: Huh, now was this the sketch that was cut from dress from the past 4 episodes? Can we see why?

    Peyton Manning wasn't exactly the best host. I'll give him a thumb for being a good sport. Carrie Underwood's songs, I'll admit, were enjoyable.

    This episode was actually a pleasant one. Aside from the 300 sketch, and the Nike commercial, the show was on game.
  • My favorite episode!!!!!

    I live in Indiana, so the Super Bowl win was so cool for us. I was in Miami at the time, but wasn't at the Super Bowl. Anyway, Mom recorded this episode on our DVR and it's still there. My favorite skit was the Maraka, making fun of Dora The Explorer. The one following that was funny too. I think it was the one where Peyton and his basketball teammates where down by a lot of points and their coach played a song to get them fired up. The commercial towards the beginning is one of the best parts. I still go around and say to people, "Spend time with your kids, so Peyton Manning doesn't."
  • This episode was GREAT! There is a flicker of life at NBC Saturday Night after all.

    I have attempted to watch SNL about 25-35 times over the past three years with essentially two results: 1) total boredom causing me to turn the channel within 30 minutes; 2) Painstakingly leaving the show on and wishing for something funny to be said, rarely getting a chuckle.

    What a great and pleasant surprise when I tuned in for the Payton Manning episode. I literally laughed so hard and so many times that my chest and belly were sore the rest of the weekend!

    Peyton really surprised me with his acting and his relaxed demeanor in all of his skits. There were no dull moments and I was very satisfied watching. This SNL episode for me was the first time since the likes of Wil Ferrel, Cheri Oteri and Adam Sandler gave the show depth and talent on a steady basis.

  • Classic show with classic United Way commercial skit!

    Great show as I haven't seen SNL so funny in years
    Plus I love Peyton Manning and kind of new he would do the show. The skits were funny. And that dancing skit with him and the coach was hilarious. The college basketball bracket had me in tears as Peyton is talking about himself as a second person in a sense. United Way commercial will go down as a classic with Peyton being an anti-role model for kids.
  • Payton Manning need i say more?

    This is a special episode for me because this had Payton Manning in it and the very beautiful Carrie Underwood. I am a huge fan of Payton Manning and I love to see this guy making it huge. Better on the field but hey he did a good job to totally try something completely different from what he is regularly doing. Well, I believe this episode is great just because it had Payton in it. I loved it and I hope others did as well. I am looking forward to the next new SNL because this is one of my favourite shows to watch when I come home on Saturday nights from a long clubbing night.
  • Much better than I thought.

    Saturday Night Live,
    Host Peyton Manning muscial guesy Carrie Underwood.
    I belive this to be a very funny episode better than most but still not the best. The opeing seemed to be to short also with the monologe. Amy i belive had to much screen time mostly during the first half. Or what leads into WU. WU was better than i though with the polar bear and abigal bresil and that person from AI. Carrie did ok. All in all it was a good-great episode.
  • Awful

    This show was so bad, I couldn't even make it to the Weekend Update. However, I feel confident if I had watched unitl Weekend Update, I would have rated this show under a 1.0. This episode was even more painful to watch than past episodes from this same season. Peyton Manning's comedy career should have been confined to credit card commericals. He did not look very comfortable on stage. However, the college bracket skit saved this episode from a sub 1.0 ranking. I wish I knew what Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Bill Murry, Dan Akroyd, Eddie Murphy and other past performers thought of SNL. But, I bet they don't even watch this garbage.
  • Worthy of a Best Of

    This episode featured great sketches and Manning did a superb job hosting. "Maraka" = ingenious. I hope the writers add "Penelope" to Kristen Wiig's repertoire. This skit was the best of the night. Carrie Underwood looked and sounded absolutely marvelous. Overall, an episode very much worthy of an SNL "Best of" moniker.
  • Better then I thought.

    I know I have been bashing him all week about the way he absolutely stinks and the fact he would suck as a host. I am a huge Bears fan and darn it I have a strong dislike for all Colts players, but I must say the show wasn't that bad. They made him look like an absolute idiot through the entire episode, and as one of my least favorite characters said, "I love it, I love it, I love it." The monologue was ok but my favorite part of this episode was the NCAA Pool Party where they bashed his name, now that was funny, and with this episode they pulled of a Peyton Manning.
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