Saturday Night Live

Season 34 Episode 22

Will Ferrell/Green Day

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM May 16, 2009 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (7)

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out of 10
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  • 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.

    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: C
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