Saturday Night Live

Season 32 Episode 18

Scarlett Johansson/Björk

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Apr 21, 2007 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

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  • It’s déjà vu all over again

    A Review by “HelloStuart,” Amateur Critic and Maestro

    What an awkward week to be doing sketch comedy, don’t you think? With the unfortunate incident at Virginia Tech still fresh in everyone’s minds, it makes you wonder how truncated the topical humor on tonight’s broadcast will be. This is probably the first time ever that I will watch WU knowing fully that I wouldn’t want to be a writer for that segment, especially now.

    This week, we find ourselves watching a pair of familiar faces: our host is Scarlett Johanssen, the lovely, curvaceous actress who first graced the Studio 8H stage about a year ago. Despite a so-so writing effort, she turned out to be a capable host, so her return to the show is all the more welcome. Making her first appearance in almost a decade (and third appearance overall in twenty years) as musical guest is Bjork, the bewildering Icelandic art-rock chanteuse fresh off a recent collaboration with (of all people) Timbaland.

    And now, the sketch-by-sketch analysis:

    COLD OPENING: The night begins with a faux preview sending up what you’d usually see on C-SPAN (There’s a connection between Halliburton and the death of Steve Irwin? Do tell.), which leads into a press conference by President Bush (JS). He then spends then next five minutes circumventing questions by the press corps regarding his staff’s role in the Alberto Gonzales situation. A running gag with reporters having unflattering nicknames (“Sneezy,” “Hooters,” etc.) proves pointless, and the sketch is ended by an arbitrary taped cameo by Senator Charles Schumer.

    MONOLOGUE: The Girl with the Pearl Earring describes her love for her hometown, and then sings an off-key duet of an old Bonnie Raitt song with “American Idol” wash-up Sanjaya Malakar (AS). It’s nice to see that the crying girl (KW) still cares, because I don’t.

    “Live with Regis and Kelly”: Now back from triple-bypass surgery, The Reege (DH) puts up with the usual condescending antics of Kelly (AP) even as Howie Mandel (FA) vultures around the backdrop. Tonight, the emotionally invalid Ivanka Trump (Scar-Jo) proves once and for all that is must really suck to have The Donald as a father. The “You’re Tired!” pillow was cute, though, if only because the catchphrase has now veered from cliché to passé territory.

    “Prom Dress”: All this applause for Mrs. Hastings? One can only hope this doesn’t turn into a movie deal for Kenan. Tonight, Virginia (or however it’s spelled) and another one of her white poseur stepdaughters (Scar-Jo) hunt for the perfect prom dress. I don’t see why Hader always has to play the straight man; he could stand there silent for six minutes and still be just as effective. At least this vignette was a bit easier to swallow than the first two.

    DIGITAL SHORT: Andy declares himself man-crushed by his bean-counter brother-in-law in the pseudo-metal ballad “Roy Rules!” I don’t see how this was cut from the last two dress rehearsals, this was actually very amusing in all its goofiness. Then again, the same territory was covered in that “Sloths!” piece from three months ago.

    “Mike’s Marbleopolis”: Wow, I never thought this would be a recurring sketch. Mike (FA), now either widowed or divorced, hawks tacky marble columns with his Brooklyn-bred, arm-flailing daughter (Scar-Jo). I guess next time Scarlett hosts, they’ll be selling doorknobs, am I right?

    “WIIX News”: Didn’t this used to be WVIR-TV in central Virginia? What an interesting irregularity. Roving reporter Michelle Dison (KW) returns from a self-imposed hiatus, but her awkward, pan-sexual banter with a local hero (Scar-Jo) suggests that she’s not quite ready yet. This probably would’ve been funnier if this hadn’t been done before.

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: When Bjork promotes herself as being offbeat, she really means it. Where should I start- the fact that she had an entire choir of monotone horn players or that everybody on stage was barefoot? “Earth Invaders,” indeed.

    WEEKEND UPDATE: Seth and Amy avoid the 800-pound gorilla in the room, but they make the most of it. Another “Really?!?” commentary ripped Alberto Gonzales to shreds with aplomb, and even if you could see Seth’s comment about Woolworth’s from a mile away, at least he was thinking the same thing we were (I thought they were long gone, too). Will’s “Open Apology to Mother Earth” was cheeky, but it felt a little too similar to some of the other songs he’s performed on Update.

    “Kuatos”: This is basically a rehash of a forgettable sketch from earlier this season, only this time there’s a female stomach-dweller (Scar-Jo) and a lot of projective vomiting. Sadly, Darrell rolls out the Ah-nuld impression again in vain to close a poorly coordinated example of lazy writing.

    “News Makers”: Now on the brink of television news irrelevance, Jane Pauley (KW) looks into the YouTube phenomenon about a year or so after everybody else did. Conversations with a rapping sofa salesman (KT) and a grape-stomping oaf of a reporter (Scar-Jo) provide limited insight to both Mrs. Trudeau and the audience.

    SMIGELTOON: Sending up Anime as well as the United States’ conflicts with the Geneva Conventions, “Torboto” is a big, goofy robot that dehumanizes prisoners at Camp X-Ray at Vice President Cheney’s behest. As you would probably imagine, things go too far and the clothes-shredding monstrosity gets grilled by Steve Kroft on “60 Minutes.” This animated bit feels like it’s been sitting on a shelf for two years and it shows. MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: Another ironic song title? There must be something in the water. “Wanderlust” shifts from one tangent to another so quickly you’d think it was just a medley of 30-second songs.

    Another day, another so-so show. I won’t doubt that Scarlett is a talented actress, but after seeing her on SNL twice it seems that she’s will to take a stab at comedy but doesn’t quite have the knack for it. As expected, Bjork was as weird as hell but her latest musical experimentations were quite fascinating to watch. The hero of the night was once again Kristen Wiig, who worked around a lot of weak material (most of which was recycled from the flavorless Pressly/Rae broadcast) and somehow made her delivery pitch-perfect. On the other hand, the questionable quality of the last half-hour’s worth of sketches really brought down the show, and there were way too many recycled sketch premises.

    Sketches/Segments That Will Probably Be Edited Out in Repeats: like I said before, pretty much anything after Weekend Update. In Three Weeks: Remember Molly Shannon? Kinda, sort of? Well, she has some movie to promote, and as a result she’s now the second female alum to host the show. The musical guest is Linkin Park, who may or may not be contending for the title of comeback act of the year.

    “HelloStuart” is in fact Andy Samberg’s other, lesser-known, unattractive brother-in-law. He can be contacted at
  • Scarlett hosts

    Scarlett Johansson is your host tonight. Definitely one of the best looking women to ever host, but could she deliver the laughs? Yes, and no.

    Saturday Night Live did not provide her with the best material, but she was interested in playing a wide variety of characters and trying her best to go out with a bang, and she did just that, leaving an impression on the viewers that she can be funny.

    Bjork was your musical guest, an artist popular in her home country and among snug fans in the US, but I found her yelling to be anything but pleasant on the ears.
  • This episode could have been so much stronger than it was. They front-loaded the episode with so much crap that it didn't really show any life until the digital short.

    Bush cold open - I have typed the words Bush cold open far too many times this season. Actually, it would have been a pleasure during the Ferrell years as I loved his take on W. This was just another overly long and unfunny sketch. I've seen enough of these openings to last me a lifetime. Grade: D

    Monologue - The native New Yorker jokes have been done before. The Sanjaya part was pretty lame and not much different from the brief WU bit that was done earlier. Grade: D

    Regis & Kelly - We haven't seen this one in a long time and, frankly, I didn't miss it. Hammond just needs to go. I love all of the great stuff he's done for the show, but he's just a boat anchor at this point. Grade: D

    Dress Shop - Ah crap, more of Kenan's Big Momma impression. Hader was amusing as the irritated salesman, but that's about it. Grade: D

    Roy Rules! digital short - A hilarious digital short and a nice comeback after the "controversial" one last week. I love the line about Andy dreaming his dong is the pirate's peg leg. Nice! Grade: A

    Marble Columns - As David Spade would say, I enjoyed it much better the first time when it had the chandeliers. This was almost a word-for-word replay of the chandeliers sketch that was done the last time Scarlett hosted. I enjoyed it but not as much as I did the first time. Grade: B-

    Local News Reporter - I didn't really care for this character during the Jamie Pressley episode and I still didn't find it very funny. It's not bad, but just doesn't tickle my funny bone. Maybe if Kristen was even more obnoxious and "hands on" with the guests then it would work. But as it stands, I could do without it. Grade: C

    Weekend Update - Really! is back and it is really one of the best things to happen to WU in a long time. I'm so glad that they didn't roll out Armisen or Hammond to do a Gonzalez guest spot. Most of the other jokes were kind of lame tonight, but they pulled it out in the end with Forte's great Earth Day song. One of the funniest songs on WU since the days of Sandler. Without the horrible guest spots, this was one of the stronger WUs of the season. Grade: A-

    2 Kuatos - I really liked Andy's Kuato the first time he did it and it is still funny, but he didn't do anything to expand on the original jokes. The only twist this time was that Maya had her own Kuato played very well by Scarlett. The interplay between the two Kuatos was enough to elevate the sketch above the original. The vomiting was a bit over the top, but what the hey. Grade: A-

    News Makers - Kristen was great as Jane Pauley. The guests could have been better especially with all of the weird crap out there. The best parts for me were the horrible script that Kristen was stuck with and the brief appearance of the Star Wars Kid at the end. This sketch does hold promise as a recurring sketch though. Grade: B-

    TV Funhouse - Not one of the better Funhouses, but not too bad. The Abu Ghraib thing is really old news now. Still, I liked the robot's Cheney impersonation. Grade: B
  • Earth, you're a wonderful, wonderful planet!

    Saturday Night Live is now close than farther to the next season (Unless SAG has different things to say). So, these reviews are going to be more spaced out. But, here we go.

    Scarlett Johansson, the model gone actress hosted for her second time, with the... out-there, Bjork as musical guest.

    George on C-Span: George W. Bush takes questions about Alberto Gonzales. This went way too long to begin with. You can't make a whole sketch about Bush avoiding the questions about Gonzales. And the random filmed cameo at the end, just gave you an impression that the writers said "we tried...?"

    Monologue: Sanjaya singing with Johansson made me laugh. Kristen's ressurection of Ashely Ferl was a hilarious add-on. I also liked the changing hair dues.

    Live with Regis and Kelly: Of course, Darrell's Regis is spot on, and Amy's Kelly is almost there. Scarlett's Ivanka Trump was also very good. I thought most of this was good writing.

    Prom Dress Shopping: This edition of Virginica wasn't as good as Justin Timberlake's episode. The reason why most SNL characters die sooner than later is because they stick to the same formula.

    Roy Rules!: Andy has a creepy crush on his brother-in-law, Roy. This seemed like more of a MadTV sketch, than SNL, because of the sketch revolving around how Andy wanted to bang Roy.

    Marble Collumns: I liked the chandeliers, and this was also a good one. Scarlett was good at pointing every direction, also.

    Bi-Curious: The bi-curious news-caster is back. Kristen once again, made the sketch funny, while Scarlett played a good creeped out woman.

    Weekend Update: Jokes seemed to have a more fast, dry sense of humor this time around, which was a nice change in? the wind. Will Forte's song was also a song to remember.

    Kuatos: Oh god. The fact that this sketch wasn't intended to become a recurring sketch in the first place, and bombed when it aired wasn't enough to never bring it back again?! Of course, this didn't improve. The only good news was that Darrell's Arnold monologue only went on for 5 seconds opposed to a year.

    Newsmakers: This sketch somewhat had a grip. It really did point out how ridiculous some of the things that go on Youtube are. But, the energy never got climatic.

    Torboto: Ahh, the cartoons during season 32 were mostly a mess. The only ones I liked from 32 were the political ads from "Hugh Laurie/Beck" and Maraka from "Peyton Manning/Carrie Underwood". This was just a dudder.

    The episode started low, then got high, but by Update, it started to fly down, and by the first sketch after Update, it was shot. Of course some sketches were acceptable, but post-Update just fell apart.

    Scarlett was once again, an acceptable host. She was willing to do what she had to do.

    Bjork's music was out-there, and even as I like some out-there music, Bjork music is not for me. Unfortunately, after the two exception March musical guests, the April musical guests had you suffer, while the May musical guests brought you back.

    Some time or another I'll be writing a review on "The 25th Anniversery special", but my next official review will be Molly Shannon/Linkin Park. Yes, I already have a review up there, but ignore it. I'm making a new one.
  • Hilarious!

    I never thought of Scarlett Johannson as a funny person, but I changed my mind after seeing her on SNL the first time. She really is a versatile actor. I wasn't a big fan of the sketch before the "intro credits", but the rest of the show was pretty decent. I don't follow American Idol but I loved the parody of Sanjaya (complete with the everchanging hairdos) singing with Scarlett. Hilarious! The other sketches I enjoyed the most was the Digital Short (about Andy singing about how he wants to have a "special" relationship with his brother-in-law). It was really random and hilarious, and also the sketch about "marble columns". I'm not a Bjork fan so i didn't like the singing, mostly because i didn't really know what she was singing about.
  • Better than i thought it was going to be.

    Saturday Night Live,
    Scarlett Johansson is the host while björk performs. Scarlett did a good job as host. björk and friends not so good.I could barley, at some points, understand what she was saying. The show opens with another bad press confrence sketch with Jason as the president.I think Will does a better job then him. With a huge surprise that many really did not want to see Senator Charles Schumer! as he opened the show.Sanjaya again shows up and sings during the monologe. Nothing special with Regis and Kelly your tired{joke} on the pillow to me brought the sketch down. I find Virginiaca Hastings actually funny then most characters after seeing another sketch of "hers". The show goes on with Andy singing about his brother in law Roy. Fred tries to get you to buy colums. And Kristin does character who is in love with the femal people she interviews again. No funny or news makers. I got sick during Kuatos way to much seen.And the cartoon was weird. Although with a interesting muscial guest and people coming out of people it was an above average show.
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