Saturday Night Live

Season 34 Episode 22

Will Ferrell/Green Day

0
Aired Saturday 11:30 PM May 16, 2009 on NBC
8.2
out of 10
User Rating
62 votes
7

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Live from New York, it's...Darrell Hammond! Sketches include "Cheney in Makeup," "Wade Blasingame," "The Lawrence Welk Show,", "Celebrity Jeopardy!," "Inside The NBA," "Joseph Baerwell's Wake," and "Goodnight Saigon." Green Day performed "Know Your Enemy" and "21 Guns."

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10:00pm
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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A Night of Even More Stars

    7.0
    A Review by "HelloStuart," Amateur Critic and Petulant Archeologist



    Scroll down for a special bonus review!



    I'm not so much a Will Ferrell fan as much as I admire his versatility. Though he occasionally gets typecast as a petulant simpleton, he still has the ability to rise above a bad script. In the seven years since his departure from SNL, he has become far and away the biggest star of the show's late-90s cast; sure, Molly Shannon and Tracy Morgan have found moderate success on television, but it doesn't compare to Ferrell's ascendency to Hollywood's A-list. Only two cast members remain from Will's stint on the show –and only four others from his previous hosting stint- yet they'll be a non-factor in tonight's show. It's going to be all about Will, whether you like it or not.



    Oh yeah, and Green Day is tonight's musical guest. Good for them.



    And now, the sketch-by-sketch analysis:



    COLD OPENING: While he sits in the "Meet The Press" makeup room, Former Vice President Cheney (DH) is confronted by his old boss Dubya (Will). Apparently, America's most famous rancher has been sent by the GOP to get to the bottom of Big Dick's newfound love for the media… well, Fox News, anyway. After admitting that they had "the chemistry of acid in the face," Bush 43 blackmails Dick by threatening to tell the public that Cheney was dead for three days in 2004. It was a moment of middleweight topical satire, not necessarily pointed yet a nice little jab at the previous administration's reluctant bulldog.



    Also, this has nothing to do with anything, but did you know there's a 32-year age difference between Darrell Hammond and Abby Elliott? I don't think they've been on-screen together all season, but I just thought I'd mention that before the season ended.



    MONOLOGUE: Fresh off his Tony-nominated performance as –yeah, you guessed it- Former President Bush, Will looks back at his career in theater. To nail down his point, he recites the closing soliloquy from "The Wishful Dreams of Danny O'Neill," an imaginary and apparently terrible Off-Off-Broadway play that Ferrell wrote and directed. We get it Will, you're a big ham. You don't have to prove yourself.



    "Wade Blasingame": For all you longtime fans, the producers treat us to a classic ad spoof from 2000 that you've probably already seen twenty times. (By the way, there was a real ballplayer named Wade Blasingame; he was a 16-game winner for the 1965 Milwaukee Braves.)



    "The Laurence Welk Show": The king of champagne music (FA) introduces a Spring-themed number by Ted Netters (Will), who is later accompanied by the Maharo Sisters. As it turns out, their deformed youngest sister Junice (KW) is still the undisputed weak link of their act, and her "like touch" weirdness turns off Ted. I rarely touch upon the physical element of Kristen's performances, or anybody's for that matter, which is a shame because she's a great two-way player.



    "Celebrity Jeopardy!": Sure, it's a hoary old chestnut, but it never fails to score a laugh. This time around, Trebek (Will) has to deal with a tipsy Kathie Lee Gifford (KW), a hopelessly befuddled Tom Hanks (not a cast member, the real deal), and of course, the incomparable Sean Connery (DH). Things get even crazier when Burt Reynolds (Norm!) wanders in to further aggravate Alex. I don't know how the writers come up all those "Yo Mama" jokes or naughty misinterpretations of the categories, yet I tip my hat to anyone that can write so many PG-13 jokes and simultaneously keep such a beloved recurring sketch so fresh.



    "Inside The NBA": While breaking down the second overtime of a Celtics-Magic playoff game, Ernie Johnson (BH) plays it straight while Charles Barkley (KT) is distracted by interactive promos for a generic sitcom called "Mark" ("from the creator of "Jeff"). While I liked the idea, the sketch lacked focus; was Sir Charles supposed to be the center point of the sketch, or the "Mark" graphic? I don't think balancing it out did this any favors…



    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: To launch their third appearance on SNL in 15 years, Billie Joe and the boys play "Know Your Enemy," the current single from their new album. If you enjoyed their previous album, than this will not disappoint you.



    WEEKEND UPDATE: First Norm, now Amy? What's with all the stunt casting? If they can carry the show the way Poehler lifted Update, I'm not complaining. Seth goes on a mini-rant about Twittering astronauts, a bit I can't really explain without ruining the gag, yet it was my favorite part of tonight's segment. Of course, that doesn't mean that was the only memorable moment; the astro-tweet tirade segues into another edition of "Really!?!" focusing on Arizona State University's refusal to give President Obama an honorary degree.



    "Joseph Baerwell's Wake": In a kinda-sorta sequel to that wedding reception sketch from Laurie/West, a gallery of rogues and misfits pay tribute (sort of) at a wake, much to the slow burn of a straight-man minister (JS). The oxygen tank lady (KW), the AC/DC fan (FA), and the right-wing paranoid (WF) don't have anything new to say, but a third-tier comedian (Will) isn't afraid to promote his upcoming gigs. To nobody's surprise, this gaggle of odd ducks is an appetizer for another audience-pleasing cameo; Maya Rudolph takes over the sketch in Glenda Goodwin mode, singing about Sasquatch for no other reason than to gratify herself.



    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: While "21 Guns" has its redeeming qualities, it feels like a rewrite of "Wake Me Up When September Ends."



    "Goodnight Saigon": During a night of drinking and awkward small talk, three office pals (DH, BH, KT) are mystified when a fourth friend (Will) bugs out by the slightest reference to Vietnam, than launches into a soaring rendition of the 1982 Billy Joel hit. This is where the celeb cameos kick into overdrive; the entire cast, plus Norm, Tom Hanks, Maya, Poehler, Green Day, Anne Hathaway, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Moss, and Artie Lange join in to play instruments and sing the chorus. As you can imagine, the entire audience has pretty much j***ed their pants as this point, yet I can't think of a better way to close out the year.



    Much like last week, the cast and writers played it safe and it paid off in spades. Normally the talent is on the brink of burnout by season's end, yet the right host can make a big difference, especially an ex-cast member who knows the ins and outs of the show. This star-studded spectacle almost overshadowed the fact that tonight was the end of an era; Don Pardo is reportedly retiring after 33 years on the show, and Darrell Hammond might be heading for greener pastures in his own right. In conclusion, the 2008-09 season ended on a high note, and they left me hungry for more.



    Segments That Will Probably Be Removed In Repeats: "Wade Blasingame," "Inside The NBA," and "21 Guns."



    Next Week: a repeat of Zac Efron/Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Not a bad choice.



    ----+---------------+----



    And now, a retrospective of Season 34:



    Let me just say that some of my selections were far from cut-and-dry. There were a lot of highly enjoyable shows this season, not to mention an above-average number of funny sketches. This was, after all perhaps the strongest season since 2001-02. For the sake of fairness, however I'm sticking with the format that I set up five years ago. Here goes:



    Best Musical Guest: Fleet Foxes

    Runner-Up: Kings of Leon



    Worst Musical Guest: Jason Mraz

    Runner-Up: TV on the Radio (that wasn't an easy choice, but let's face it- they bombed) Best Host: Justin Timberlake

    Runner-Up: Neil Patrick Harris



    Worst Host: Michael Phelps

    Runner-Up: Rosario Dawson



    The Ten Most Indelible Moments of the Season:



    10. Amy says goodbye (Laurie/West)

    9. Kanye's meltdown (Laurie/West)

    8. The "Mad Men" Lovefest (Hamm/Coldplay)

    7. Mark Wahlberg's "feud" with Andy Samberg (Brolin/Adele)

    6. "Mother Lovers" (Timberlake/Ciara)

    5. Gov. Petersen lashes out at Fred Armisen (Laurie/West)

    4. "Family Flix" (Morgan/Clarkson)

    3. Justin Timberlake drops by every other week

    2. The "Pepsuber" Flap (Martin/Mraz)

    1. Sarina Feylin (Phelps/Wayne onward)



    Worst Overall Episodes:

    3. Hugh Laurie/Kanye West

    2. Steve Martin/Jason Mraz

    1. Michael Phelps/Lil' Wayne



    Best Overall Episodes:

    3. Anne Hathaway/The Killers

    2. Tracy Morgan/Kelly Clarkson

    1. Justin Timberlake/Ciara



    MISCELLANEOUS HONORS

    Outstanding Achievement in Completely Phoning It In: Steve Martin

    Most Pleasant Surprise, Hosting Category: Tim McGraw

    Most Pleasant Surprise, Musical Guest Category: Phoenix

    The White, Female Dean Edwards: Casey Wilson

    Will Be Sorely Missed: Don Pardo

    Will Also Be Missed, But Not As Much as Don: Darrell Hammond

    2008-09 Most Valuable Player: Bill Hader. I give him a narrow edge over Kristen and Armisen if only because he was so clutch in a lot of fair-to-middling sketches.



    "HelloStuart" will be taking classes at Second City's training academy in Chicago this summer. In the meantime, get ready for the summer re-launch of The SNL Column sometime in the next couple of weeks. If you any questions, comments, or good recipes, either drop Stu a PM or e-mail him at sma17kc@aim.com.moreless
  • Mediocre ep featuring Will Ferrell at his laziest but at least Green Day saved the day.

    6.0
    I didn't really find this ep as funny as other eps this season. It's sad that SNL started out this season with a bang (Tina Fey as Sarah Palin) and ended on a whimper. Will Ferrel was not funny. From his opening monologue to the final sketch, it was one long snoozefest. Now matter how many surprised guest appearances there were (Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler, Tom Hanks, Artie Lange, Norm McDonald, Anne Hathaway, Paul Rudd, etc.), bad writing and bad acting = not funny. Even the Weekend Updated was a dud and Amy couldn't pull it out, although it was good to see her again. The only saving grace of the whole ep was Green Day's two performances - "Know Your Enemy" and "21 Guns". They rocked the house down.moreless
  • How much better can this get?

    8.0
    Saturday Night Live,

    Will Ferrell/Green Day, - Ex castmember comes back to host the season finale of SNL. While the band Greenday performs. This season has been an upswing for the show, with message of dont count us out yet. Having high hopes for this show and lets go



    The night opened with a sketch that feature W. and Cheney. The last 8 years have seen enough of these guys. But it is always great to see Ferrell do his W. impression it has been missed since he left back in 2002. The monoglue was usual balance of what Ferrell brings to the table. Trying atleast to be "serios actor" in some sorts.

    Then the show gave us a nice treat with a reshowing of the Wade Blasingame short from a long time ago.

    The next sketch was another dose of The Lawrence Welk Show. Hathways great episode early in the year showed the same sketch. With Wiig as the stange sister of the bunch, yet Ferrell once again made this funny. The next sketch was Celebrity Jeopardy!. Oh this is where all the stops were put down. This famous sketch is what everybody was looking for when they found out that he was hosting. Another shot with sean connery. And for a suprise Norm MacDonal as Burt. The only bad part of this was Wiig.

    The the next sketch was Inside The NBA, seeing Kenan wasnt a good showing since his impressions arent that good. But in this sketch it showed a TNT look around for Basketball, what else? Yet a ad of new show called Mark keeps interupting the show. Only to Barkley joy. A funny sketch. The next sketch was another one of those all come together to sound akward type of sketchs feature in the christmas episode from this season. This time around it's the same go around but this time it features Ferrell and a suprise visit from Maya. The night would end with a good showing of the cast and some suprise guest singing Goodnight Saigon. As Hader Hammond and Thompson sit confused on the point of why they are signing. With guest including, Artile Lange, Amy Poehler, Elisabeth Moss, Norm, Maya. A surpise term that of a sketch that nicely ended the show and the season. Weekend Update was nice until Amy showed up, Seth has come into his own with Amy to get out of the picture. Green Day were okay but could have done better, i mean a better album. Overall a great show that ended the season good job. And have a great summermoreless
  • I laughed until I cried!

    10
    This is like the best SNL Episode that I've ever seen! Will Ferrel was great in every sketch. His George W. Bush impression was a good one, then he plays a baritone singer on "The Lawrence Welk Show" featuring those sisters from the finger lakes. That was classic, but what made this episode was "Celebrity Jeopardy"! Though crazier, I was laughing. Tom Hanks (and THE Tom Hanks too), Norm MacDonald, and Darryl Hammond as Sean Connery. Will Ferrel was at his a-game, and Green Day made a good appearance for the last sketch that had Ferrel sing "Goodnight Saigon". This is one that I have to tape!moreless
  • A good show to end the season. There were a few clunkers to be sure, but Will can shine even in the worst of sketches.

    8.0
    Bush/Cheney cold open - Very good to see the classic Ferrell/Hammond duo one last time pllay their most famous characters. This time Ferrell played W as a relaxed retired President wistful that he didn't have the good-time relationship with his VP that Obama and Biden supposedly share. There were plenty of laughs but I was left feeling a bit wistful myself knowing that this will be the last time we get to see these two together. And it certainly appears to be the last time Hammond will ever get to utter the famous opening line, that is unless he pulls a fast one and sticks around another season or is invited back to host sometime. Grade: A



    Ferrell Monologue - Will is certainly one of my top 11 all-time SNL favorites, but this one-man sketch just didn't do much for me. It was kind of long and started to seem awkward the longer it drug on. Grade: B-



    Wade Blavingame commercial - A surprise to see them run this old spot. Perhaps Parnes couldn't be there in person so Will made sure he was still represented anyway. A repeat yes, but still a classic from the last great period of SNL, 1995-2002. Grade: A



    Lawrence Welk - Not much different from the version in the Anne Hathaway episode, but this one had the benefit of always hilarious Ferrell and his reactions to Kristen's malformed temptress were nothing short of brilliant. The ladies all did fine, but Will delivered the goods. Grade: A



    Celebrity Jeopardy - They pulled out all the stops with this one with Tom Hanks playing himself and a great cameo by my favorite contestant Norm MacDonald as Burt Reynolds. Hanks playing himself as a complete dunderhead was certainly funny, but it would have been light years funnier to see him on the show as Mr. Short-Term Memory. Kristen did her usual Kathie Lee bit that we have already seen several times on the Today Show. The real point of this sketch was to give Hammond's famous Connery impression one more chance to flog Ferrell's hapless Trebek. This may not have been the best Jeopardy they have done but the unexpected cameos and what will likely be Hammond's last turn as Connery on the show bestowed the sketch with a certain level of pathos. It was like saying goodbye to friends that you know you will probably never see again. I was especially glad to see Norm bring closure to his unfair ousting from the Weekend Update desk over a decade ago. It would have been more appropriate to let him say a joke to two on WU, but maybe he wasn't in to that. Very good farewell to the Ferrell years and Hammond's extraordinary run on the show. Grade: A



    TNT Sports - At first I thought this was going to be a redo of Hader's great alien-caster sketch. But it turned out to be far less than that. Ferrell definitely has the body language to pull off the guy in the lower corner of the screen, but Kenan was perhaps a bit too enthusiastic about Mark. Mark becomes increasingly intrusive, Kenan becomes increasingly taken with Mark and Hader becomes increasingly irritated with Mark. That's about it. Grade: B-



    Weekend Update - I was kind of let down with Amy's return. It was far too soon after her departure to have any impact. Why not let Norm co-anchor? Anyway, the jokes were about par for the course: some were good, some were OK and others were weak. Fortunately the good/OK ones slightly outnumbered the weak ones. The Really!?! segment was very condescending and Amy and Seth came off as smug asses. Written by snooty Ivy League-ers no doubt. If ASU decides that Mr. Pres hasn't done anything yet after only 4 months in the hot seat that would make him worthy of an honorary degree other than being black (which they kept saying over and over), so be it. The slight jab at honorary degrees by comparing them to #1 Dad mugs did not redeem this bit. Very poor taste. Fortunately the bad taste was rinsed away by Ferrell's loving tribute to Harry Carey. Ferrell has always played Carey as an eccentric kook, but you could tell that it was done with love and respect rather than malice. Grade: A for Ferrell, C for the rest.



    Funeral Service - The same gang from the wedding reception are back. Like before this sketch failed to take off. Only Ferrell's characterization of a very unclassy comedian using the service as an opportunity to market himself generated any real laughs at my household. The sketch was cruising along at a marginally funny level until the worst cameo of the night: Maya, Crap, she can sink any sketch. I respect her years on the show, but good riddance. Grade: C-



    Vietnam Vacation Vet - One last chance for Darrell and Will to kick out the jams together at Studo 8H. Unfortunately a rather poor concept didn't give them a chance to do some any riffing. I didn't see this sketch as a jab at Vietnam veterans at all, rather it was just a poorly conceived sketch serving as an excuse to fill the stage with cameos. Not a great ending for the season, but it could have been filled with a deeper meaning referring to the steep decline in the quality of the show after Ferrell's departure. No, I guess that would be too clever and self-deprecating. Grade: Cmoreless
Alex Baze

Alex Baze

Fernando

Guest Star

Green Day

Green Day

Themselves

Guest Star

Norm MacDonald

Norm MacDonald

Himself

Guest Star

Will Ferrell

Will Ferrell

Himself

Recurring Role

Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks

Himself

Recurring Role

Amy Poehler

Amy Poehler

Herself

Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (2)

    • During the "Celebrity Jeopardy" sketch, while there is a long camera shot to all five characters in the sketch, Norm MacDonald's podium has the name "Turd Ferguson," an allusion to Burt Reynolds' previous appearance on the segment in 1999.

    • At the end of the "Celebrity Jeopardy" sketch, Tom Hanks can be heard saying "sibilance" into his pen/microphone. This is a reference to a "Wayne's World" sketch from 1990 in which Tom Hanks played a roadie for the band Aerosmith, and would use the word sibilance to test the volume of the band's microphones.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Seth Meyers: It was revealed this week that Harrison Ford is engaged to his long-time girlfriend Calista Flockhart. Unfortunately, the news came to light in the final paragraph of Chewbacca's suicide note.

    • Seth Meyers: Tony Danza has begun work on a new A&E series in which he will spend a year teaching 10th grade English at a New York City school. The network is already preparing a spin-off series in which a group of students repeat 10th grade English.

    • Amy Poehler: Pfizer unveiled a new program Thursday that provides people who have lost their jobs and health insurance with free Lipatorine Viagra. So good news, ladies. You know that fat guy you've been dating who uses Viagra? He doesn't have a job!

    • Amy Poehler: The World Health Organization said Thursday that the swine flu virus did not result from a laboratory accident. So you're back on the hook, Fernando, the farmer who married a pig. (shows image of Fernando holding a pig)

    • Amy Poehler: In a reversal of his position, President Obama this week said he now opposes the release of photographs showing terrorist suspects being abused in Afghanistan and Iraq. Meaning we'll just have to wait for Dick Cheney's Christmas card.

  • NOTES (4)

    • Sketches not shown in the 60 minute version: the "Really?!? with Seth and Amy" segment on Weekend Update, "Inside the NBA," "Funeral Remembrances," "Goodnight Saigon," "Wade Blasingame" (rerun 12/9/00), and Green Day's performance of "21 Guns."

    • International airdates:
      -Latin America: August 15, 2009 on Sony Entertainment Television (a.k.a. Canal Sony)

    • Sketches cut after dress rehearsal: a "Charlie Rose" cold open, where Rose (Darrell Hammond) interviews various people; a substitute teacher (Will Ferrell) demands students undress; "Secret Weapon," a Digital Short in which a psycho (Will Ferrell) invents a dog-shaped puppet to attack others; a club owner (Kenan Thompson) advises a free-for-all on the stage at his nightclub; Jar Glove (rerun from Michael Phelps/Lil Wayne); Gas-Rite (rerun from John Malkovich/TI); a man (Will Ferrell) hides a woman's (Abby Elliott) favorite mug; a couple (Will Ferrell, Kristin Wiig) are fascinated by the bidet in their hotel bathroom; on Weekend Update, Arianna Huffington (Michaela Watkins) and Boy George (Fred Armisen) stop by to give separate commentaries.

    • Michaela Watkins and Casey Wilson's last episode. Also Darrell Hammond's last episode was a full-time cast member.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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