Saturday Night Live

Season 33 Episode 6

Tina Fey/Carrie Underwood

0
Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Feb 23, 2008 on NBC
8.4
out of 10
User Rating
74 votes
13

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Live from New York, it's... Kristen Wiig! Sketches include "CNN-Univision Democratic Debate," "Annuale," "Rock of Love 2," "A Message for Old People" (Digital Short), "What's That Bitch Talking About?," "Celebrity Apprentice," "Ed Mahoney's Speech," "Virgania Harsen's Hot Air Balloons," "I Drink Your Milkshake," and "Lady Business." Carrie Underwood performed "All-American Girl" and "Flat on the Floor."moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

SUBMIT REVIEW
  • "Face time!"

    7.0
    A Review by "HelloStuart," One Well-Rested Amateur Critic



    Wow, we're back. After a 3 ½-month hiatus imposed by the Writers' Guild strike, SNL is back on the air. For whatever reason, it feels much longer, but that might be because of all the stuff that's happened to me since late November (read my blog for more details). It's also hard to fathom that we're in the final weekend of February, but we're entering only the fifth broadcast of the season. To make up for lost time, this will be first of four consecutive Saturdays with a live show, which hasn't been done since 1976.



    During the break, there was a smidgen of significant cast news- UCB veteran Casey Rose Wilson has joined the cast as a featured player, supposedly to fill the gap left by a departing female repertory player (probably Maya) at the end of this season. Though unconfirmed, at least two more rookies might be on the way. Much like when Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig joined the show, I am completely unaware of Casey's previous work, so it should be interesting to see how she develops. The odds are in her favor, though; there hasn't been a truly forgettable female cast member since Nancy Walls.



    On that note, I want to congratulate Tina Fey on becoming the 24th ex-cast member to host SNL, and third woman to do so. Given that SNL was one of two late night shows to be completely shut down during the strike ("MADtv" being the other, obviously) I can imagine that there will be an unimaginable level of hype going into tonight's broadcast, and Fey seems like a very willing ringmaster. The musical guest is Carrie Underwood, the country-pop singer who first graced the SNL stage eleven months ago.



    And now, for the first time in 2008, the sketch-by-sketch rundown (or is it analysis?):



    COLD OPENING: During the umpteenth televised Democratic debate, Sen. Hillary Clinton (AP) is mystified by the media's growing cult-like obsession with frontrunner Sen. Barack Obama (played adequately by FA), then coldly denies that her campaign is off the rails. After inadvertently dissing Obama Girl, Hillary reluctantly sits back and watches Univision anchorman Diego Ramos (WF) admit to stalking her charismatic opponent. After being forced to sit out most of the primaries, it relives me to see that SNL's top political pundits don't have an itchy trigger finger; they kept their cool and didn't try to spit out every possible idea in their arsenal.



    OPENING CREDITS: It's a little weird not seeing Maya in the credits (we'll probably get an official announcement sooner than later), but Casey looks pretty.



    MONOLOGUE: Tina tries make penance with the SNL crew (they were laid off during the strike, then quickly rehired after it ended), and after a quip about the settlement Steve Martin runs up onstage to motivate Tina as a performer, not a writer. The bit felt like old hat to Steve, though I had no idea Tina could do weird voices.



    "Annuale": A magic pill that reduces a woman's menstral cycle to once a year has a dark, disturbing effect. I probably could make some crude, sexist joke about hormone rampages, but this ad spoof already covered the bases.



    "Rock of Love 2": Amber the belligerent amputee (AP) leaves a mark on the skeevy VH1 reality series starring Bret Michaels (JS) and his scene-stealing buddy Big John (FA). The other three finalists (TF, KW, CW) get emotional/obsessed/space out while Amber hobbles into the sunset and onto another similarly-themed reality show. Surprisingly boring.



    DIGITAL SHORT: A septuagenarian man pitches a set of DVDs (made by his wife, he claims) where his two grandsons (BH, AS) ease the elderly through today's flashy, high-concept movies. On top of being dumb and predictable, this doesn't even feel like something Akiva and Jorma would write. Is this their punishment for the "I Ran So Far" mess?



    "What's That ***** Talking About?": A game show spoof where two contestants (TF, BH) must correctly guess the context of one side of a woman's shrill phone conversation. The title is better than the book, but I like the way Tina rolls off all her answers.



    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: There's a syrupy sweetness to "All-American Girl," but isn't that what Carrie does best?



    WEEKEND UDPATE: For the first time in awhile, Amy and Seth were on their game tonight; the jokes were quick with zing to spare, and even the guest commentaries were passable. Kudos to Gov. Mike Huckabee for willing to make fun of himself and his long-shot candidacy, and even though the third installment "Woman's News" started strong, Tina's blatant endorsement of Senator Clinton felt like too little, too late. Update ran long, but doesn't it always?



    "Celebrity Apprentice": The Donald (DH) gives his trademark broad room dress-down to a variety of D-list celebrities. After initially bashing Ted Lewis (JS) and Jennifer Tilly (KW) for making a lousy new flavor of Gushers, the sketch goes off the deep end, forcing the likes of Mary Jo Buttafucco (TF), non-murderer John Mark Carr (BH), and Mr. Six (AP) to admit their mistakes. The arguable highlight was Casey's impression of Rachael Ray, a quick reminder that she might be easy on the eyes but an incredibly obnoxious TV personality.



    "Ed Mahoney's Speech": The guy from that jeweler sketch from two years ago (JS) gives a rambling and all-too-revealing speech at a wedding reception, predictably making the two newlyweds (WF, TF) very uncomfortable. I don't mind Mahoney because he hasn't been overexposed yet, and characters like Ed eventually get run into the ground, but this sketch went from nowhere to oblivion in three minutes flat.



    "Virgania Harsen's Hot Air Balloons": No, that's not a spelling error. A budding entrepreneur (KW) rocks the green-screen to sell her flying ride. As a stab at local TV commercials, it's right on the money; Virgania straddles the line between smug and anxious, gesturing with a muted eagerness. It's so staid, it's almost subversive.



    "I Drink Your Milkshake": An awkward clustering of three Oscar-nominated movies finds Daniel Plainview (BH) and his meek son (AP) hogging strangers' frozen treats at an Oregon ice cream parlor. Throwing Anton Chigurh (FA) and Juno (TF) into the mix only made it feel more contrived. To the 50% of the population that probably hasn't seen any of these movies, you have my sympathies.



    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: "Flat on the Floor" is about 80% country, 20% pop, and dominated by Carrie's convincing ability to play a scorched-earth woman.



    "Lady Business": Taking a chapter from "Lipstick Jungle" and "Cashmere Mafia," this new dramedy finds four more unrealistic women (TF, AP, KW, CW) pretending to be witty and dynamic in an urban, male-dominated setting. The concept was there, but the execution was rushed.



    As the first episode of Season 33 ½ draws to a close, I will agree that the hype was matched with several good sketches but the drive for madness was overwhelming. Where the over-the-top moments dominated, the more subtle aspects of the show drew the heartiest laughs. Tina dominated the night alongside the three female cast members; I wasn't expecting Casey to be in five sketches, but she held her own and I hope she builds on her hot start. I hope the long break gave the cast and writers more time to work on their chemistry, and that it sticks together for the remainder of this abbreviated season.



    Sketches/Segments That Will Probably Be Removed In Repeats: "Ed Mahoney's Speech," "I Drink Your Milkshake," "Flat on the Floor," and "Lady Business."



    Next Week: Ellen "Juno" Page hosts with musical guest Wilco.



    "HelloStuart" graduated with a bachelor's degree from Illinois State University in December 2007, and is now a licensed substitute teacher. He can be contacted at sma17kc@aim.com.moreless
  • fey hosts

    7.5
    Tina Fey is your host tonight. She is currently starring on the hilarious sitcom 30 Rock, and is the funniest female to come out of the show in a long, long time. She did not appear in many sketches other than Weekend Update while on the show, but you would not know that if this was the first time you saw her tonight as she excelled in nearly sketch she was on, and had a homerun with her monologue as well.



    Carrie Underwood performed two solid songs off her most recent album. Nice female voice to accompany the female host.moreless
  • fey hosts

    7.5
    Tina Fey is your host tonight. She is currently starring on the hilarious sitcom 30 Rock, and is the funniest female to come out of the show in a long, long time. She did not appear in many sketches other than Weekend Update while on the show, but you would not know that if this was the first time you saw her tonight as she excelled in nearly sketch she was on, and had a homerun with her monologue as well.



    Carrie Underwood performed two solid songs off her most recent album. Nice female voice to accompany the female host.moreless
  • And we're back! After a few weeks hiatus...

    7.0
    The WGA Strike of America went on strike forcing late night shows to go off air immediately. While most late night talk shows came back in January, SNL did not. Saturday Night Live has been off air since Brian Williams/Feist in November. So, here is the first review back.





    Tina Fey came to host incase of some grogginess from the cast. And, even though we've barely seen her act in sketch comedy, I'm sure she'll do great.. Musical guest is Carrie Underwood with her two new singles that made a lesser extent from last year's two "Before He Cheats" and "Wasted".



    CNN Clinton/Obama: The actor playing Obama was right bellow our noses the whole time. I was going through the current cast and seeing who could possibly play him. When I heard Maya was leaving, I was relieved. Now I knew they weren't going to have a half-black women to play a black senator, man. I never thought of Fred. But now that I think of it, Fred is capable of playing African Americans. He did Corbin Bleu in the season premiere! Favoring Obama was pretty funny. This was more of a silly sketch. It was a pretty good cold opening, but it should be, since we are approaching the elections.



    Tina Fey's monologue: Steve Martin! I would have been surprised, but the spoiler at 11 ruined it. I thought this was a pretty good monologue. I knew there would be a big name on tonight's show.



    Annuale: This commercial was great! Obviously Fey had something, if not everything, to do with this. All the women were funny in this.



    Rock of Love: I know this really annoying kid who always talks about this show. And now that I've seen the spoof on SNL, it looks like a pretty stupid show. But anyways, this was a pretty good sketch.



    The Disk my wife made (Digital short): More like a commercial, but yeah, it's unique. Andy and Bill were great as the grand kids.



    Whtas That B**** Talking about?: Always gotta have a gameshow. Once again, it was a SNL gameshow. How good can it get? For the record, the title was more entertaining than the sketch.



    Musical Performance: Carrie performs "All-American Girl". It was an easy yawner, which is a bumber since last year's two performances from her were so good.



    Weekend Update: Good jokes. I really wished they brought Roger A. Trevanti to wrap up the Strike. At least she wasn't a full on anchor. Huckabee was a great sport, and actually really made me laugh a lot.



    Celbrity Apprentice: We ressurected many impressions. This was probably the best sketch of the night. Donald Trump, Gene Simmons, Charles Barkley, and also we got Casey as Rachael.



    Wedding Reception: This was a pretty funny one. Tina was pretty funny as the bride. Mahoney was never my favorite character, though, and I thought it was extremely random to bring him back.



    Air Balloon Commercial: Kristen as a bad actress. "weeee." Hahaha, that stands up for all cheap, local commercials in America.



    Food Channel special: First of all, the best part of this sketch was the slogan. Food Channel, Porn for fat people. It took a second to sink in but then I was laughing for a while. But yeah, unique.



    Musical Performance: Carrie performs "Flat on The Floor". It's more exciting than All-American Girl, but not by much.



    Lady Business: A short ending sketch. But, yeah, the word of the night, unique. Casey's scene was cut out last second.



    Overall: Well, we're back, and this was a good return episode. You could tell Tina touched this episode with her awesome writing techniques. Casey was around alot for her first episode, and she did exceptional. Her Ray impression, and her making out with Sudeikis was great. Carrie was more of a bland musical guest, and I know she's a good live singer, hence winning American Idol, but, ya know. Her last album was a lot better..



    Next week is Juno, or Ellen Page, nominated for an Oscar, hosting. Wilco is musiscal guest. They're a great band and I can't wait for their debut. (It is there debut, right?)



    Posted February 24, 2008. 10:37moreless
  • It would be easy to carp and say that this show was a complete letdown after 3 months off. On a brighter note, Maya's replacement Casey Wilson appeared in the show a great deal tonight and did an admirable job.moreless

    6.5
    After such long wait, expectations for this show are abnormally high. Some folks might think that the writers should have stockpiled ideas during this time and come back with a very strong show. My own thoughts are that the writers went into the same kind of mode that kids do during summer break where they forget everything about school and just chill out. That and the writers don't want to think for free, ya know? Only on the clock! Enough rhapsodizing, let's get down to it!



    Democratic Debate - Yes, the media is in love with Obama and the coverage has been totally one-sided. Not to mention that they have seemed to have forgotten McCain altogether (other than his alleged indiscretions). Everybody finds humor in different ways during the political season. Armisen's portrayal of Obama was very accurate physically, but lacked significantly on the vocal side. Obama has a wonderful low resonance to his voice that gives authority to his otherwise trite speeches. Armisen needs to work on the low register of his voice if he wants to be truly convincing as Obama. I have frequently bashed political openings, but that is because they are often irrelevant. This is THE time when they are relevant. Just need to find the crumbs of humor in the in the campaign. Believe me, they're there. Grade: C



    Monologue - Seeing Fey up there, it was like "Hey, where's the host? Oh, yeah she IS the host!" The jab at the disappointing outcome of the writer's strike was funny and necessary. Probably more poignant than funny for the writers though. A cameo by Steve Martin always portends great things. He has always used the line "I was just sitting at home watching the show" whenever he does a walk on. It's too bad that Martin wasn't the host because he was full of energy and elevated the monologue just by being there. The shot of the "writers" was funny (are they really writers?). Sad to see Steve leave and not return. Grade: B+



    Annuale commercial - Every man's nightmare. We sometimes joke about PMS or "that time of the month" but this pill raises the terror to a whole new level. I liked this commercial and wouldn't have changed anything (other than add a swash of pink to the Amy/Fred segment for consistency). Kristen tongue kissing the dog was a nice and bizarre touch. Now she joins Andy in the French kiss dog club. And we get the chance to see Tina as her normal self. Grade: A



    Rock of Love 2 - Yes, we have this several times before with Amber appearing on The Swan, America's Next Top Model, and The Bachelor. The formula was the same this time, but was a bit funnier because of the source material. $kankie groupies are always good for a laugh and the ladies did a great job of showing how scary groupies can be. Casey's first big moment of her SNL career. Nice set with the candles and drapes. The usual ending with Amber farting her way off the set. Probably don't need any more Amber sketches unless they find a new format for her. Undoubtedly, this was a quick one for the writers. Grade: C+



    Digital Short - The Lonely Island guys provide one of the highlights of the night (for me at least). A scared old man with geeky grandkids provides a nice setup for the clips. Well done all around. Love the Member's Only jackets! Grade: A



    What's That B1tch Talking About? - OK, so we all overhear people's cell phone conversations and try to figure out what they're talking about. Nice concept, but not one of the better SNL game shows. Having Fey get every one of the questions exactly right go old quickly and lost whatever humor it may have had initially. A real quickie sketch. Grade: C-



    Weekend Update - The jokes were OK tonight, but the Huckabee appearance was probably the highlight with his missed cue to leave the set. A lot of people seem to be fired up over the Fey segment, but it really wasn't much different than when she was the anchor for WU. She has always been highly opinionated and thinks that we should somehow share, let alone care about, her opinions. Grade: B- (for everything but Tina)



    Celebrity Apprentice - TV was a vast wasteland during the writer's strike (only during the writer's strike?) and this is the kind of crap that got served up (and still is). Not one of the better Apprentice parodies, but seeing the Six Flags guy up there was a nice surprise. And I always love to see Arimsen's Gene Simmons impression, even when he is just mumbling gibberish. ESPECIALLY when he is just mumbling gibberish. Grade: C



    Wedding Toast - The idea about the drunk best man giving an embarrassing speech is nothing new and was done very well in Four Weddings and a Funeral and a series of Budweiser commercials. Sudeikis did a fine job as a complete a$$, but that's to be expected as he excels at these characters. I'm not sure why they went with this one other than it was not a concept piece so all the writers had to do was put together a string of jokes. A hurried sketch that probably wouldn't have made it on under normal circumstances. Grade: C



    Hot Air Balloon - A nice low-budget local commercial feel to it. Kristen came across like one of those desperate Realtors begging for business. (Apologies to any Realtors reading this). Quick and fun. Grade: A



    I Drink Your Milkshake - A strange show highlighted by one of Armisen's creepy characters. He always does a great job playing these. Not sure what to say about this one. The idea wasn't great and the conflicts between the drinker and the milkshake owners could have been more pronounced. Perhaps a duel with the oversized straws? Grade: C



    Lady Business - A complete throwaway. With 2 minutes to kill, they gave us something from Tina's playbook: the Nazi feminist business lady. They could have just shown clips of Tina during her normal workday for the same effect. Grade: Dmoreless
Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood

Herself

Guest Star

Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee

Himself

Guest Star

Amber Lee Ettinger

Amber Lee Ettinger

Obama Girl

Guest Star

Tina Fey

Tina Fey

Herself

Recurring Role

Steve Martin (I)

Steve Martin (I)

Himself

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (4)

    • In the "I Drink Your Milkshake" sketch, it was mentioned that Anton Chigurh was mexican. However, in the movie and book No Country For Old Men, it never mentioned his birthplace.

    • During "Weekend Update", there's a news piece about changing the menu of prisons. A picture of writer John Lutz is used.

    • During Weekend Update, after Tina Fey is done with her segment, the picture fades to black for half of a second before it pans to Amy Phoeler.

    • During the "Rock Of Love" sketch, you can see that Jason Sudeikis is not actually playing the guitar he's holding.

  • QUOTES (15)

    • Amy Poehler: It was announced this week that butter and sweets will no longer be on the menu at New York City jails. Great news for inmates "Butter" and "Sweets."

    • Amy Poehler: Lurch, a dog in Michigan, was given the Pet's Best Friend Award by a local American Red Cross chapter, for donating blood over 20 times. Now, obviously, Lurch can't talk - but if he could, I think he would say "Mmn, my balls are delicious."

    • Amy Poehler: Rapper Snoop Dogg was given a desk appearance ticket Wednesday night in New York for possesion of marijuana. Snoop called the ticket "unfair" and "hard to roll."

    • Tina Fey: And maybe what bothers me the most is that people say that Hillary is a bitch. And let me say something about that: yeah, she is! And so am I, and so is this one! (pointing towards Amy)
      Amy Poehler: Yeah, deal with it!
      Tina Fey: Yeah, you know what? Bitches get stuff done! That's why Catholic schools use nuns as teachers, and not priests. Those nuns are mean old clams, and they sleep on cots, and they're allowed to hit you. And at the end of the school year you hated those b***hes, but you knew the capital of Vermont! So I'm saying it's not too late, Texas and Ohio, get on board! B***h is the new black!

    • Tina Fey: And then there is the scrutiny of her [Hillary Clinton's] physical appearance. Rush Limbaugh, the Jeff Conaway of right-wing radio, said that he doesn't think America is ready to watch their president, quote "turn into an old lady in front of them". Really? They didn't seem to mind when Ronald Reagan did that.

    • Tina Fey: You know, what's it, America? What is it? Are you weirded out that they're [the Clintons] married? Cause I can promise you, they are having exactly as much sex with each other as George Bush and Jeb Bush are.

    • Tina Fey: Why are people abandoning Hillary for Obama? Some say that they're put off by the fact that Hillary can't "control her husband," and that we would end up with "co-presidents". Cause that would be terrible, having two intelligent, qualified people working together to solve problems. "Ugh, why would you let Starsky talk to Hutch? I wanna watch that show 'Starsky!'"

    • Tina Fey: I think we can all agree that it's a great time to be a lady in America. And not just because of that new yogurt that helps you poop. Although, on the serious side, thank you for that yogurt.

    • Amy Poehler: A kitten that ran out of its carrier case in a New York City subway platform has been found, after 25 days in the underground tunnels. The kitten reportedly survived by hooking up with a hip-hop dance crew.

    • Amy Poehler: The New York Times this week printed an article that John McCain may have had an improper affair with lobbyist Vicki Iseman. Or, as it's known among lobbyists, "lobbying."

    • Campbell Brown: Now, as is customary at these debates we're going to have a question from an ordinary citizen chosen completely at random from our audience. Tonight's questioner is Obama Girl.
      Obama Girl: (singing) Senator Obama, I can't wait 'till 2008... baby you're the best candidate. Yes, I've got a crush on Obama. Yes, I've got a crush on Obama...
      Hillary Clinton: Excuse me, I'm sorry. I've really got to say something here. First of all, that wasn't even a question. Second, she was lip syncing. Third, I find it really difficult to believe this questioner was chosen at random.
      Campbell Brown: Senator Clinton, if you ever interrupt Obama Girl again, I will personally escort you from this building. Do I make myself clear?

    • Campbell Brown: Like nearly everyone in the news media, the three of us are totally in the tank for Senator Obama. We will make every effort tonight to keep these biases hidden, but please remember we are only human.

    • Tina Fey: A new study shows that strokes have tripled in recent years among middle-aged women, which doctors blame on obesity... and which I blame on 65-year-old women calling themselves middle-aged.

    • Tina Fey: B**** is the new black!

    • Sen. Hillary Clinton: It was always our intention to lose Virginia.

  • NOTES (11)

    • Sketches not shown in the 60 minute version: both musical performances by Carrie Underwood, "A Message to Old People" (Digital Short), "What's That B**** Talking About?" "Celebrity Apprentice Promos," "Ed Mahoney's Toast," "Virgania Horsen's Hot Air Balloon Rides," and "Lady Business."

    • Sketches not shown in the 60 minute version: "A Message to Old People" (Digital Short), "What's That B**** Talking About?" "Celebrity Apprentice Promos," "Ed Mahoney's Toast," "Virgania Horsen's Hot Air Balloon Rides," and "Lady Business."

    • This episode was nominated for Emmys for Outstanding Directing For A Variety, Music or Comedy Program and Outstanding Hairstyling For A Multi-Camera Series or Special. It later won for Outstanding Hairstyling For A Multi-Camera Series or Special.

    • The media buzz the preceding week concerning various aspects of this particular broadcast led this episode to garner the highest viewership total (7.5 million) in a year.

    • Sketches cut after dress rehearsal: "HD Ultrasound" (rerun from Seth Rogen/Spoon); a funeral home director (Fred Armisen) fails to come to an agreed price with a family; a slovenly man (Andy Samberg) angers his brother (Will Forte) by sleeping with each girlfriend he's ever had; Virgania Horsen Hot Air Balloons #2 (note: no. 1 aired in the live show), where Hanson (Kristin Wiig) continues to advertise her balloon rides in an awkward fashion; during Weekend Update, John McCain (Darrell Hammond) and wife Cindy (Kristin Wiig) comment on the recent sex scandal; and two guys (Bill Hader, Jason Sudiekis) meet two girls (Tina Fey, Kristin Wiig) during a cruise.

    • This broadcast aired the day after Don Pardo's 90th birthday. The milestone is celebrated during the goodnights.

    • Maya Rudolph is omitted from the opening credits. As of the day of the broadcast, she had not confirmed or denied her departure from the show, but it was confirmed two days later.

      Maya did, however, pre-record the voice-over for the "Annuale" ad spoof.

    • With this episode, Carrie Underwood becomes the first American Idol contestant to perform on SNL twice.

    • Tina Fey is the second cast member from the NBC series 30 Rock to host SNL (after Alec Baldwin).

    • Tina Fey is third female cast member to return as host (after Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Molly Shannon) and the 24th overall.

    • Casey Rose Wilson's first episode.

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • The "I Drink Your Milkshake" sketch references three movies from 2007 that were nominated for Academy Awards, There Will Be Blood, No Country for Old Men, and Juno.

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