Saturday Night Live

Season 34 Episode 25

Thursday Night Live (3)

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Oct 23, 2008 on NBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Thursday Night Live (3)
This 30-minute prime time special consisted of a sketch where President George W. Bush endorsed John McCain, followed by a third election-themed edition of Weekend Update.

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  • Thursday's child has far to go...

    A Review by "HelloStuart," Amateur Critic and Slimy Political Strategist

    Two down, one to go. With the presidential debates over, I'm not sure what to expect from the third and final prime-time SNL special (for now, anyway). Will Tina Fey take one last jab at Governor Palin? Is it right to expect another drawn-out Weekend Update segment? Should I be writing in the future tense, even though I've already watched the show?

    Two of those questions were answered tonight, though it was an additional surprise that really took the cake. I didn't realize how badly I missed Will Ferrell's impression of President Bush until I saw him lampoon Dubya on SNL for the first time in 6 ½ years. The role was passed to four different actors in that time, yet none of them could squint and malapropos quite like Mr. Ferrell. Tonight, our fearless leader addresses the election between "the hot lady and that Tiger Woods guy," deciding now is the right time to endorse a candidate because his administration has made a dramatic turnaround (or so he thinks). This segues into the obligatory Tina Fey-as-Palin cameo, which turns the sketch into a smarmy fête of cue-card reading, mostly regarding Senator McCain's reluctance to accept the endorsement. The physical humor was cute, but the cold opening would've been more satisfying if they gave Ferrell/Bush something funnier to say.

    Over at the Update desk, it's more of the usual economic worrying and welterweight political satire. The new Democratic slogan of "jobs, baby, jobs" turned into a stale Bill Clinton joke, while Amy commented on a goldfish that was accidentally registered to vote. What happened within Update wasn't quite as monotonous. A segment with Fred Armisen and a CNN-type pixilated hand-map had a boomerang effect; the bit went from silly to cloying back to funny again, a moment of whimsy that played to Army's strong suit. On the other hand, Oscar Rogers (KT) resurfaced to rehash the same "fix it" gag that nobody found funny two weeks ago. If there was a petition to ban Kenan from doing any more Update commentaries, I would sign it in a heartbeat.

    Luckily, the Update ship was righted after the second commercial break. The 25th anniversary of the first cell phone call was commemorated with a voiceover piece where Seth and Amy tried to jam as many early-80s pop culture references into a minute of conversation. Like Army's hand-map bit, the piece was cute but far from a gut-buster. Following the phone call was a filmed segment with Andy Samberg, whose "Jam the Vote" initiative is curtailed by a spicy hot dog. Projectile vomiting may not be cutting-edge in the comedy world, but the piece ended before Andy's nausea went over the top.

    Overall, this last prime special was just as much of a mixed bag as the other two, with the positive aspects just barely outweighing the negative. Where the Bush/Palin sketch couldn't sustain an early high, Weekend Update was all-around adequate. After two straight months of hype and hoopla, it'll be nice to see things go back to normal. The cast's stamina has been remarkable these last few weeks, even if the writers can barely keep pace.

    This Saturday: Jon Hamm of "Mad Men" fame hosts with musical guest Coldplay.

    "HelloStuart" is the chairman of the Dr. and Mrs. HelloStuart Memorial Scholarship Fund, which has given full college grants to zero high school students nationwide since its inception fifteen minutes ago. He can be contacted at
  • Better than the last episode, but not as good as the first. This was still a good end to a very fun series of Thursday night programming.

    Bush's Endorsement – It was very good to see Will Ferrell back as Bush. Nobody does Bush better. There may be more accurate impersonations such as that guy on Leno and Frank Caliendo, but nobody does a better job of creating the Bush caricature. The premise was simple and well-executed: an endorsement from Bush at this juncture could be the kiss of death. Fey's Palin seemed oblivious to the negative implications such an endorsement would mean for their ticket. I love Jason's portrayal as the First Dude and was a bit disappointed that he did not get to do more. It was funny to see how uncomfortable Hammond's McCain was while Bush was endorsing him. The sketch was really a showpiece for Ferrell and it worked. As a side note, 4 of the 5 SNL Bushes (Ferrell, Hammond, Forte, and Sudeikis) were present in this sketch. Only Parnell was AWOL. Grade: A-

    Weekend Update – None of the jokes really caught my fancy. I did enjoy Fred's weather map demonstration. I would have loved it even more if he would have picked up a game controller and played some video game like Missile Command superimposed over the map with some states being annihilated as he misses the ICBMs. "Dang, it looks like Obama or McCain will have to pick up those 15 electoral votes somewhere else now." Oscar Rogers was a complete rehash of his first appearance with virtually the same script. Unfortunately, it did not get any funnier the second time around. The writers must have needed a time filler. I was a bit let down with Jam the Vote. I liked how it started off, but was disappointed that it turned into a barf fest. Although they are sometimes funny, bodily function jokes always appeal to a certain segment of the audience (especially those under the age of 13) and frequently reveal a deficit of creative thinking or just plain laziness on the part of the writers. Grade: B-moreless
  • The final Thursday Update.

    Well, the old expression save the best for last applied here as last night we finally had a decent amount of laughs from Thursday Weekend Update. It still wasn't the greatest show of all-time but it accomplished in goal in using the election as a source of humor.

    Will Ferrell and Tina Fey were great in the opening sketch as George W. Bush and Sarah Palin, and it just goes to show how two people no longer on the program consistently top those who are. Fred Armisen was mildly amusing with the touch screen map and Kenan was great as the financial analyst as well. Seth Meyers even had some funny remarks during the Weekend Update section.

    Rarely is Andy Samberg bad, but his portion of the show was really dumb. We don't need throw up humor in the year 2008.moreless
  • The writing fire is out of oxygen...

    Our third and last week of Thursday NIght Live. What shall be on? Well, I really don't have any pre-show thoughts, so I'm going to say something that some of you noticed. My review style is much like Stu's review style for SNL. Sketch-by-sketch analysis. And, I haven't even asked him if he ever cared if mine was much like his. I didn't copy him, as much as I think it's only common sense to review a sketch show by sketches. He does have his trademarks that I won't take, though, such as the 'what will be cut in the 60 minute edition of this episode', and other stuff.

    We open with Will Ferrell as George Bush! I like Sud's Bush and all, but Will Ferrell's is dominant over all. Then, Tina comes out as Palin. Okay, anyways, this was a hilarious opener. I will admit though, I wish they held this for Saturday's show, but, whatever. All in all, it got everybody pumped up.

    Weekend Update: You can tell we're really running out of political Update commentaries. None of them really focused on politics. The 'new board' thing was fair, while the Oscar Rogers was totally not needed for a second run around. The jokes were either hit or miss, but mostly hit. The Andy Samberg commentary was actually really funny. It was just so stupid, that it made me laugh.

    I'm keeping this review short. Tonight's broadcast was an average one. I will admit that I'm happy there are no more Thursday Weekend Update broadcasts. That will have us focus more on the Saturday shows. I just hope the writers can go two more weeks.

    This Saturday: Jon Hamm hosts, with musical guest, Coldplay. Also, this Saturday, Maya Rudolph is planned to make a cameo for Michelle Obama, and it is rumored there will be a Bronx Beat sketch. Let's see how much of a carbon copy it is from the last 5.

    Also, next Thursday, 30 Rock starts!moreless
Will Ferrell

Will Ferrell

President George W. Bush

Recurring Role

Tina Fey

Tina Fey

Gov. Sarah Palin

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Seth Meyers: There is a growing trend amongst some parents toward home-schooling children because they believe mandated vaccionations for public schools are unsafe. This is expected to lead to another new trend: dying of polio.

    • Seth Meyers: Japanese climbers returning from a mountain in western Nepal said on Tuesday they had found footprints they think belong to the abominable snowman, but turned out just to be the footprint of a non-Japanese person.

    • Seth Meyers: India on Tuesday launched its first unmanned moon mission. Not to be outdone, Afghanistan let a boy fly a kite.

    • Amy Poehler: While campaigning for Barack Obama this week, Hillary Clinton said that the Democrats have a new slogan: "Jobs, baby, jobs", while Bill Clinton is sticking with his slogan "Please, baby, please."

    • George W. Bush: My God, you are folksy.
      Sarah Palin: Thank you, Mr. President. I like to think I'm one part practice folksy, one part sassy, and a little dash of high school bitchy.

    • Seth Meyers: A cat named Platina Luna Bladerunner was the winner of this year's "Best of the Best" award at the Cat Fancy Championship at Madison Square Garden. Though I wonder if he would have won if they'd used his full name, Platina Luna Hussein Bladerunner.

    • Amy Poehler: Two British women who are life-long friends were surprised to discover that they were actually sisters, and have spent every day since trying really hard to forget about that one time in college.

  • NOTES (0)