Saturday Night Live

Season 35 Episode 26

Weekend Update Thursday (3)

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Oct 01, 2009 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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  • Falling like a 92-year-old skydiver...

    A Review by "HelloStuart," Amateur Critic and Letterman Mistress

    Does anyone else think that Jenny Slate's slip-up last Saturday has been blown out of proportion? Granted, dropping the F-bomb on live network television is fairly shocking, but this is not the first time it's ever happened on SNL (it once happened twice in a show) nor does it mean curtains for Slate. Most longtime fans will admit that Slate's slip-up shares some odd parallels to when Paul Shaffer dropped the first profanity in SNL history 30 years ago. In all likelihood, Jenny will rebound from that awkward first impression and with any luck she'll become a valuable asset to the cast. On the other hand, Jenny was the only current cast member to not appear in any of the three Weekend Update Thursdays that have aired this season, though that's probably a pure coincidence.

    A couple of years ago, shortly after Tina Fey left the show for a life of relative obscurity, several posters in the SNL forum wondered if Broadway Video would release a Best-of DVD in her honor. The crucial problem with that, as I repeatedly pointed out, was that Fey was such a non-presence in sketches that the disc would be nothing but zingers from Weekend Update. That memory flashed back into my conscious as I watched tonight's prime time special, which had no cold opening and was a basically a full half-hour of Update with Seth Meyers. Pretzel logic would suggest that expanding a ten-minute segment to three times its average length would mean triple the laughs, right? It worked for all those SNL movies, didn't it?

    Obviously, I was a bit underwhelmed by tonight's show. There were a couple of scattered chuckles, but the end product was bogged down by several guest commentaries that ran beyond its course and a general lack of energy. Seth's two opening stories –Sarah Palin's memoir and the latest swine flu alert- were punctuated by Whoopi Goldberg (KT) and Joy Behar (FA). Apparently the arrest of director Roman Polanski on a three-decade-old rape charge was too ungainly a topic to poke fun of, and three minutes of airtime were filled by Fred and Kenan honing and sharpening their respective imitations. This was followed by an equally unfunny treatise by Capt. Roger Baines (JS), an American Airlines pilot with a simmering jealousy for recent comeback kid Chesley Sullenberger.

    It was after the first commercial break that WUT #6 reached an apex of sorts. Rather than open with a Suze Orman sketch, the frisky financial guru (KW) was relegated to a sit-down with Seth. This was a mixed blessing, as Orman was the only commentary of the night that worked; her penny-pinching tips in a down economy (like getting a free spray tan by laying under a neighbor's stained deck) were absurd enough that there was no way you couldn't smile. That was followed by a topic near and dear to my heart: Chicago's (ultimately futile) bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics. In what will likely be his last SNL appearance as a de facto cast member, Darrell Hammond took on Dennis Franz to Bill Hader's sublime John Malkovich impression; together, they join forces to explain why a Windy City Olympiad would never work out. The slow drag of their ranting and the oddly tepid generalizations about my hometown were traversed by Oprah Winfrey (Maya, of course) cheering on the planning committee live from Stockholm and promising gold medals to everyone in the audience. It was, to sum it up in one word, tired.

    The third act maintained the same cadence of the first two. After a sharp gag about a prolific Bangladeshi rat killer, the last commentary of the evening was an impromptu performance by Daryl Hall (WF) and John Oates (FA again). As we learned last year, the rock n' soul duo are on opposite ends of the political spectrum, and they will often rewrite their old hits to address the main issues of the day. Their homage to "Private Eyes," reconstructed as an uninformed debate on health care and the recent public option vote, was almost interchangeable to their previous riff on Obama vs. McCain. In short, one must hope that tonight's appetizer is no harbinger for Saturday's live show.

    In Two Days: Ryan Reynolds hosts with musical guest Lady Gaga.

    "HelloStuart" can regularly be found in the Forums. Feel free to leave him your comments and questions at
  • SNL's Impression of The Daily Show.

    OK, They took out the Cold Opening Sketch to instead go right into Update with Seth Meyers behind the Desk which makes the Show an almost Clone of the Daily Show and the Colbert Report. We get a couple of good 1 liners but they he has to cut every 3-5 minutes to do a Showcase for Un-needed Impressions.

    Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar talked about A Guy who was on Death Row?

    Suze Orman talked about How to Save Money?

    Dennis Franz, John Malkovich, and Oprah say how Chicago is Better than Rio. Why Didn't they do this for the Cold Opening?

    Finally, Hall and Oats Reheated.

    One thing I found kinda sad was that They brought back Darrell Hammond and Maya Rudolph. It makes me feel kinda sorry for the rest of the cast members that were'nt in the show.
  • The final Thursday ep.

    20 minutes of Seth Meyers stand-up. If that interests you, then this was a good episode. If not, you probably hated it.

    Meyers did provide a few solid zingers, although there was nothing too memorable. Notable lines included his theory that the T-Rex became instinct due to it not being able to floss because of its small arms and the health advisory that people should not be touching their eyes, nose or mouth having an effect on third base coaches.

    Bill Hader, Darrell Hammond, Fred Armisen and Kenan Thompson all were entertaining as John Malkovich, Dennis Franz, Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg respectively, but none of the impressions were that memorable.
  • WUT is a nut!

    I'm going to keep this review short. The only thing I'll touch up on before the review is the Jenny Slate f-bomb slip, which has finally calmed down, and which I would like to confirm to everyone who hasn't heard yet that Ms. Slate will not be fired for the slip, considering the fact that it was a pure accident, with not purpose behind it.

    The biggest wake up call of this whole show was definitely the beginning. We just started. It was awfully weird. No cold open, not even a cold open from Seth. We just started. That really indicated the burn-out in the Weekend Update part of SNL recently. Just last Thursday, SNL Weekend Update Thursday was thriving, and, in one week, we're indicating writing fatigue. Of course, there will always be a chance for revival without a break, but, I've got to say, with the ratings not being so hott, and the specials effecting the actual show, I saw we just axe SNL Weekend Update Thursdays. Or at least we should axe WUT specials going in consecutive weeks. Maybe one here or there. But, I hear that we'll be getting Weekend Update Thursdays in January, which is a terrible idea, considering the fact that January is usually the most dryest month in news.

    But, let's get back on topic. We had a few joke, then commentators Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg on to comment on the recent arrest on the 30-year-old rape scandal. There was really nothing behind this if you've already seen The View sketches SNL's done in the past year. We then got to Jason being a bitter pilot who worked with Captain Sully of last January's plane-in-the-Hudson incident. The commentary fit Jason really well, but the energy never started.

    We returned with Kristen's Susie Orman which was hilarious. We then went to (Darrell returning as) Dennis Franz and John Malkovich to talk about the Olympic decisions in Chicago. The commentary was actually pretty funny, but the whole random filmed Maya as Oprah cameo was just too much. BTW, while I'm at it, congrats to Maya for being pregnant again! I completely forgot she was until she was on. I heard about the announcement last May.

    We then returned with a few more jokes, then a Hall & Oates commentary. These aren't that bad, and this was pretty funny, but it was much like last year's when they broke up and made up again.

    I'm a little happy Weekend Update Thursdays are going on hiatus. While the first two editions were both more delightful than not, this one was more of an average edition. It started out very slow, and ended on more of a high note. I'm glad Weekend Update Thursday is over though, because it really is killing the actual Saturday show by taking away original Weekend Update material and such. NBC, which is doing anything to get inflation in ratings, is trying to make this SNLWUT what it was last year, and, even though I'd like it to be just as big as it was last year, it isn't. The fact that they're also putting it at the deadly NBC 8 o'clock spot, and not the 9:30 spot like last year also is a bad decision by the Peacock.

    Hopefully Weekend Update will gain energy and consiousness fast.

    In 23 hours from this post: Ryan Reynolds hosts with musical guest Lady GaGa.

    By the way, I wish my best to Stu, who's a co-reviewer here, and lead of the pack, with his future journeys! (He'll still be around, but, just not doing full out reviews)