Saturday Night Live

Season 31 Episode 10

Scarlett Johansson/Death Cab For Cutie

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Jan 14, 2006 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

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  • A "Match" Made in Hubris

    A Review by “HelloStuart,” Amateur Critic and Whiny Emo Kid

    Scroll down for a special bonus review!

    Arguably the biggest SNL story of the past month has been the internet cult sensation of “Lazy Sunday,” a digital movie clip that appeared on the show four weeks ago and turned Andy Samberg into a star overnight. As I stated several weeks ago, I had originally all but given up on Andy, and upon seeing the short film I evidently refuted my statement. After taking the time to view some of his work at, I can now say that this was the breakthrough that Andy needed; after barely being noticed for the first half of the season, with any luck he'll get more screen time as Year 31 progresses.

    This week’s host is the lovely Scarlett Johansson, star of such films as “Lost in Translation” and “Girl With a Pearl Earring” and a potential Oscar nominee for her work in the Woody Allen character study “Match Point.” The musical guest is Death Cab for Cutie, the poetic art-rocks sometimes deriviately referred to as "The 'O.C.' Band." Their most recent album, 2005's Plans, was their major label debut and found itself on several critics' best-of lists last year.

    COLD OPENING: Live from New York, it's... a Smigeltoon? Your eyes are not deceiving you, kiddies; I guess Darrell Hammond had more inportant things to do. Anyhoo, it's time for the "The 700 Gang," as Pat Robertson appalls an audience of children with his wacked-out belief that heart problems, pastries, and celebrity deaths is God's way of smiting the world's sinners. It really doesn't matter to me that the show broke tradition with this sketch- this was funny as heck.

    MONOLOGUE: Amy and "Scar-Jo" wear identical strapless party dresses and perform a goofy song about the perks of being a celebrity.

    "Taco Town": There must be a drought in terms of commercial parodies this year. Has Jimmy Signorelli gone AWOL too?

    "Deep House Dish": I don't know why, but after watching last week's Longoria/KoRn repeat, I developed a gut feeling that there would be another "Dish" sketch in this episode. This time around, straight man Dynasty Handbag (KT) and his dullard co-host Tiara Z. (RD) chat with two dance club neophytes (Scar-Jo, AP) and a electronica legend (CP) recovering from a horse-tranquilizer addiction. Though I was indifferent towards "Dish" upon first viewing, I am warming up to this.

    "Smorgasbord": The newest show on the Food Network lineup is a stereotype-teasing homage to Scandinavian cooking. The hosts (SM, Scar-Jo) profess their lust for one another in a Bergman-esque state of repression, as her hubby (BH) lies comatose on the other side of the studio. Meatballs and pickled herring are cooked, and even the Swedish Chef (AS) pops up to sell ringtones. Being a film buff, I loved the cinematic references, and even the Muppet non-sequitor worked.

    SMIGELTOON: Another one? This has to be another first. Sharing a common theme with tonight's show-opener, the Hanna-Barbara spoof "Darwin" is a religious right mockery of his theories of evolution (Paging Tim Kazurinsky- he's married to a monkey!), plus two promos that mock International Family Entertainment in "Bryo the Gay Stem Cell" and "Celibots." Now that "Christmastime for the Jews" is earned an internet cult status not dissimilar to "Lazy Sunday," you could say Robert Smigel's on a roll, and that fact is not lost on the producers.

    "Mike and Toni's Chandelier Galaxy": A husband and wife from Brooklyn (FA, RD) shill gaudy ceiling ornaments with gusto in a forgettable ad spoof.

    "Live Duluth": The hosts (AP, JS) of a local morning talk show are bewildered and bored senseless by a live performance of their overlong, overindulgent new theme song. This sketch had every right to be bad but wasn't; whether it was Fred's drum solo, Forte's consumption of an entire bottle of Jack Daniels, or the bored reaction on Amy and Jason's faces, this was a lot of fun to watch.

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: The band sings their heart out on their breakthrough single "Soul Meets Body." Somebody loves their baroque-pop...

    WEEKEND UPDATE: Tina takes a jab at the Samuel Alito hearings, depicting his wife (RD) as childlike and bored in her facial expressions, then pulls a Jon Stewart and comments on a news clip of Lindsey Graham. Amy recites a Limp Bizkit lyric for comic effect, which proves to be an omen as she strains for laughs for most of the night. Together, the ladies throw a "Nutbird News Quiz" in which they pit Pat Robertson against a mentally unbalanced homeless guy. The highlight of the segment (surprise, surprise) is a cheeky appearance by Mr. Samberg, who launches a crusade for people with shaggy hair.

    "My Super Sweet 16": Spoofing an MTV reality show that I'm only vaguely aware of, a Beverly Hills brat (Scar-Jo) is followed around as everyone she knows and loathes plans her sixteenth birthday party. Every character in the sketch is a sad caricature, though it's clear that whoever wrote this has a great regard for "Laguna Beach," "The Simple Life," etc.

    "Once in a Lifetime Jewelers": A boisterous jerk named Ed (JS) hounds a stiff but well-meaning clerk at a Kansas City jewelry store, but his massive ego proves to be an assault on her senses. This sketch was minimal on the laughs, though this Ed guy does have recurring character potential.

    "The Kuril-Khamchatka Trench": It's a love triangle (quadrangle?) when husband and wife underwater explorers (SM, Scar-Jo) unravel a third wheel in their trusted associate (HS). Horatio is seemingly uncomfortable in a rare straight-man role, and despite a decent twist ending this sketch was literally floundering.

    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: The bittersweet boys from Bellingham play "Crooked Teeth." Somebody also loves their 70's-era Fleetwood Mac...

    "Mr. Willoughby": A trio of unmarried sisters (RD, TF, Scar-Jo) obsess over the the exaggerated characteristics of a much-older suitor in a amalgam of every other Jane Austen novel you've ever read. On the bright side, at least they didn't awkwardly insert Samberg into this sketch...

    Just when I thought the "Lazy Sunday" hoopla was starting to die down, the man who was #16 in the cast depth chart six weeks ago was all over the place tonight. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing, but by the end of the show it was bordering on overkill. On the bright side, Samberg has proven his mettle and will be a key component of the cast no matter how maladroit he can be at times. The becoming Ms. Johansson treated her hosting stint like a therapy session, bouncing off the satellites in a scattershot test of her versatility. Death Cab also ran the spectrum but escaped almost unscathed, proving that it is possible to be mellow, thoughtful, and dryly self-depreciating all at the same time.

    Sketches that will probably be removed in repeats: "Taco Town," "Chandelier Galaxy," "My Super Sweet 16," "Once in a Lifetime Jewelers," and "Mr. Willoughby."

    Next Week: "Trendy" character actor Peter Sarsgaard hosts, with The Strokes appearing on the big show for their second time.


    And now, a quick recap of the first half of Season 31:

    Most overrated cast member: Horatio Sanz. Seriously, he has to go.
    Most underrated cast member: Samberg. I don't think I need to explain this again.
    Biggest breakthough: It's a toss-up between the four newbies. Whether or not Maya Rudolph ever comes back, or if some of the more seasoned cast members get a bad case of wanderlust, the future of SNL is in good hands.

    Best host: Catherine Zeta-Jones
    Worst host: Lance Armstrong

    Best musical guest: Franz Ferdinand. To be honest, there haven't really been any outstanding musical guests in these past ten episodes.
    Worst musical guest: Ashlee Simpson. She can sing, but her range is limited and her material is way too weak.

    Best episode thus far: Jack Black/Neil Young (a no-brainer pick)
    Second best: Jason Lee/Foo Fighters
    Worst episode thus far: Eva Longoria/KoRn (there hasn't been a truly bad episode so far this season, but somebody had to take the honor)

    All archived information for this review is courtesy of The SNL Retro Archives ( Contact HelloStuart (the former Heystu) at
  • The best part of this was Scarlett!

    Most people should probably just TIVO this show just like me. I love "SNL," but there are just certain skits that should be scrapped. As the night progresses, you can see the skits that were probably ranked low for that week.

    What was up with "Duluth?" The song was funny at first, but it was so freaking long. The joke was at the beginning.

    I think that the Cartoons are not as good as when they first began. The only part of "Darwin" were the promos for other cartoons.

    And you know what, I think I laughed the hardest at the last skit "Mr. Willoughby." I just imagined the guy as the three girls giggled over how they loved him.
  • We've reached the halfway point of the season. I hope it's a good show and that there is another digital short like last time. The promos were on target.

    Should be an interesting show. I wonder if they will do another rap similar to "Lazy Sunday."

    Cold Opening: "Pat Robertson and the 700 Gang." Looks like a Robert Smigel cartoon and it seems interesting for a cold open.

    Monologue: Amy Poehler wears the same dress as her. I hear a song coming up. "It's wonderful being a star."

    Commercial: Another rerun of the "Taco Town" commercial.

    MTV4 - Deep House Dish: Kenan plays DJ Dynasty Handbag and Rachel Dratch plays some person named Tiara Zee. Amy plays a singer who sings "Incident." Scarlett plays a singer named Donna Smalls English who sings "Doncha Wish." Chris Parnell is DJ Intro. Where's Andy Samberg?

    Food Network Smorgasbord: Seth Meyers and Scarlett. I hope I got the title right. It is a Scandinavian name. Looks like Bill Hader is sleeping. Fish? Oy, this looks sickening. I'm not sure if that was Will Forte or Samberg.

    Intelligevision - Darwin: Two Smigel cartoons? Looks like their going against the religious right tonight. Darwin's wife is a monkey? Celi-Bots? Darwin's IQ is worse than Bush's.

    Mike and Toni's Chandelier Galaxy: Rachel Dratch and Fred Armisen in a sketch about chandeliers (sp?). Scarlett is also promoting them.

    Channel 23 - Duluth Live: Amy Poehler and Jaon Sudeikis play the hosts. Scarlett and Forte sing the theme song. Seems like the show has a whole music theme today. "Fly High, Duluth." Looks like a bunch of the cast is in the background (Bill Hader, Rachel Dratch, Horatio Sanz, Finesse Mitchell, Fred Armisen on drums, Andy Samberg?). I couldn't make out the other girl in the sketch. I assume it's Tina but I don't know. It could be Kristen. Forte must be thirsty. I like how Jason and Amy get bored.

    Musical guest.

    Weekend Update: Alito hearings. Parnell as Alito and Rachel as his wife. Apparently, Biden makes everyone fall alseep or age. Iran jokes coming right up. Pat Robertson. Tony Blair smacked his children? Brad and Jolie are pregnant. Harry Belafonte on Bush. Shaggy Hair Corner with Andy Samberg. Worst Dressed list. Phantom of the Opera (7468) record performances. Another "Tina Fey is a lesbian" joke. Starbucks.

    Super Sweet 16: Scarlett plays Crystal, who just turned 16. Chris and Rachel are the parents. Amy plays her best friend, Sabrina. Sounds very expensive. I think that was Kristen Wiig at the end.

    Once in a Lifetime Jewelers: This one has Jason and Scarlett. Finesse pops in as the security guard. Kansas City, eh? Jason's from Kansas so he must have written this sketch or made sure that Kansas was mentioned. The ring costs him $5708. Expensive.

    Somewhere off the Kuril-Kamkatcha Trench (sp?): Scarlett, Seth, and Horatio. A fight at the bottom of the sea in a submarine. Samberg pops up as an intern. The oceanographers went missing and are presumed to have drowned.

    Musical Guest.

    Mr. Willoughby: Tina, Scarlett and Rachel. Tina is in a sketch for a change. Another song. It's based on a half-finished Jane Austen work. With four minutes to go, I don't think that there will be any digital shorts despite the two promos this past Thursday for tonight's episode.

    Where the heck was Darrell Hammond?

    Next week: Peter Saarsgard with The Strokes.
  • Who came with the idea of a Pat Robertson cartoon for the cold opening?

    For the 1st time in SNL's 31 years on the air, the cold opener was not LIVE! I really don't know what happened, if there was a Hardball opening and all of the sudden the skit was called off! Was it true that Howard Stern was to make a secret appearance at the show and decided not to do it? Go figure!

    However, they opened the show with a parody of the 700 Club, which was supposed to be a future cartoon by Robert Smigel and despite the fact that another cartoon by Smigel (Darwin) was already scheduled for this episode, made me realize that SNL is running out of ideas, once more!

    Whoever tough that the recent comedy skit of the "Lazy Sunday/Chronicles of Narnia" rap, would make SNL come back with style, I believe they blown it out. Too bad!
  • So, if I don't like her, and if I don't like them, will I like this episode?

    Well, kind of. Yeah, I guess. ABove Average.

    SNL has been on a pretty good streak this season. This episode is no different. While it is not a totally great episode, it was quite impressive. With that said, let’s start the review.

    This weeks host is 21 year old actress Scarlett Johansson, a girl who in the past year has said many things about her fellow co-stars in movies, making me wonder if she has anything to say about the SNL cast. I didn’t particularly like her monologue. In it, she sang a song with Amy. The singing was okay, not bad. And as a host, she was not very impressive, having messed up a couple of her lines. But she did give it her all, and handled the impressions well enough. Though I don’t see her coming back. C+

    This week’s musical guest is a group who I have only heard of because they were on Conan, Death Cab For Cutie. I must admit, I do like the name. I listened to some of their performance, and frankly was not impressed. When it seemed like they were really rocking out on their second song, making me want to hear it because maybe they are as good as Fall Out Boy, it turned out to be a slower song. I thought they were weak. They performed “Soul Meets Body” and “Crooked Teeth,” neither of which I found to be enough to keep my attention. C-


    Cold Opening (The 700 Gang): So originally, this was so supposed to be Hardball, but at the last minute, it was changed. Instead, this was a rather weak cartoon. It was “The 700 Club” for kids, in a summary. My immediate reaction was “Um, okay?” I didn’t get it. Or like it, but I giggled a bit. C

    Taco Town: OH HELL YEAH!!! I love this commercial, it’s still not old. I mean, come on, ya gotta love it! A+++

    Deep House Dish: Okay, first thought was, “On, not this again.” But I do love Kenan’s character because it reminds me of his persona from “Kenan and Kel.” I liked this one better than the last one. It was actually funny. B

    Smorgasbord: Talk about stereotypes. This was a Swedish cooking show on the Cooking Network, which Scarlett and Seth play the hosts, and Scarlet’s husband, played by Hader, is unconscious in a bed on the set. I loved the appearance by the Chef from the Muppet Show, played by Samberg. The best I can describe this is Iffy. And that, surprisingly, is a word. I did laugh, well, giggled more. Scarlet and Seth weren’t that great, but the Swedish chef and the unconscious husband made it better. C+

    TV FUNHOUSE – Darwin: This was like the Flinstones, at least it was a religious take-off. It was weird, but funny. In the previews, I liked the Celi-bots. That was clever. Oh, but the skit, cartoon, was Darwin being given the secrets of the Almighty, but going back to that evolution crap. Hey, I believe in creationism, because even if people want to believe we evolved from monkeys, something had to create the stuff we evolved from – it didn’t just appear, okay. Sorry, about that. B

    Mike and Toni’s Chandelier Galaxy: This skit mostly tells that a chandelier in the house, or any room, will class it up. There is a small chandelier in my dining room, and it doesn’t class it up to me. Though it isn’t that extravagant. Scarlett had a good accent though. It was okay, but not that funny. C

    Live Duluth: Okay, this was the best skit of the night. This was about a morning talk show where the band played through the whole show, making the hosts, Amy and Jason, rather annoyed. I loved this. Best part had to be when Will Forte’s character, who was the lead singer, drank the whole bottle of booze. They stopped with the theme, then started a whole new song, complete with solos. It was really funny. Skits like this are the reason I watch SNL. A+

    Super Sweet 16: This was a pretty accurate take on the crappy MTV reality show about spoiled little brats planning their Sweet 16s, which I did not have cause it ain’t my thing. This skit, which I thought would be hilarious, made me laugh only once. Oh, and Scarlett’s the brat, who doesn’t look 16. She doesn’t even look 21 – She looks like she could be in her late 20s/early 30s. Amy was her friend. Rachel and Chris were her parents, the best characters. Her father had to mortgage his house 3 times for her party, among other things. That was the best part. C-

    Once In A Lifetime Jewelers: Some guy is trying to buy a ring, then tries to steal it. And he doesn’t know how expensive a diamond ring can be. This was pry the worst skit of the night, but actually, not as bad as some of the other worsts. C-

    The Kuril-Khamchatka Trench: So, 3 scientists, Scarlett, Seth, and Horatio, are on an expedition, and it turns out that Scarlett and Horatio are having an affair, which is hard for Seth to believe because there is barely room for the 3 of them. It would be interesting to see how they are able to consummate. And it turns out that they have been including the intern, Samberg, in on their affair. Now, why the intern had his shirt off is beyond me, but I didn’t mind seeing Samberg with his shirt off. Didn’t see much though. It was funny, but had a weak ending. B

    Mr. Willoughby: Take on the Jane Austen book. And it was disturbing to think of how this man looked, not to mention that he was the most eligible bachelor. I think I’d become, no, I’d head to the next town. The sisters were Tina, Scarlett, and Rachel, who were all very excited at the thought of wedding such a man. C

    BEST MOMENT: I loved, loved, loved, loved, seeing Taco Town again. And Live Duluth was so great. I love skits like that. Oh, and I liked Samberg’s whole “Shaggy Hair Club” thing on Update. It was good to see him on something that wasn’t a previously filmed short. That was very funny too.

    WORST MOMENT: Okay, where the hell was Finnesse? Huh? Some of the skits were pretty unfunny, but they don’t even measure up to this. I WANT MORE FINNESSE!!!

    SURPRSING MOMENT: I didn’t think Live Duluth would be as good as it was. When it started, I said, “Well, this looks dumb.” But at the end, I wanted to rewind it. And, I got to see Samberg in something that wasn’t a film short. That was surprising.

    SKIT AVERAGE: 2.8 B-

    Rating: 6.5/10 Sparkling Diamonds

  • Nothing too funny but it wasn't bad either.

    This was a pretty decent episode. Some funny clips but nothing really laugh-out-loud funny. There was one thing that got me laughing- the Celi-Bots cartoon. They seem to be Transformers but they are celibate. Hilarious little toon. The Mr. Willoughby sketch was pretty funny too. This was the sketch where there were three girls waiting the arrival of Mr. Willoughby, a bachelor. They kept talking about him and mentioning horrible things about him. Rachel Dract's character said- "When he speaks, the air fills with the scent of roasted meat!"
    Most of the other sketches were filler. The Live Duluth sketch was very corny and went on for way too long. I think they took up about 8 minutes with that one. Weekend Update was not that funny and was way too short. I've noticed that that's how WU has been during the past few episodes.
    Not bad but not that great either.