Saturday Night Live

Season 34 Episode 20

Zac Efron/The Yeah Yeah Yeahs

0
Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Apr 11, 2009 on NBC
7.5
out of 10
User Rating
38 votes
5

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Live from New York, it's... Jason Sudeikis!

Sketches include "Biden Annoys Obama," "Today," "Gilly and the Science Fair," "The Alliance of Direct Mail Marketers" (film), "Underage Drinking," "High School Musical 4: The New Senior " "Connecticut, 1917," "I Am Your Mother," and "Big Brother Foot Rub."

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs performed "Zero" and "Maps."moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Stick to the Status Quo

    6.0
    A Review by "HelloStuart," Mr. Amateur Critic If Ya Nasty



    I'm somewhat disappointed that SNL has been immersing itself into the Disney arsenal for hosts and musical guests; where Shia Labeouf was somewhat justified in that he's long since divorced from the House of Mouse, The Jonas Brothers and Zac Efron –tonight's host, by the way- still have their umbilical cords attached. Then again, there's little denying the influence Disney has on youth culture in the late 2000s; maybe something like this was inevitable, whether we purists and comedy geeks liked it or not.



    In spite of Efron, I'm a little more enthusiastic for tonight's musical guest, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I've been a fan of this NYC-based trio since I was in high school, so it was a pleasant surprise to learn that they'd been booked for SNL.



    And now, the sketch-by-sketch analysis:



    COLD OPENING: Vice President Biden (JS) sits at the president's desk, than seems reluctant to relinquish what limited power he has –and the attention that brings him- when Obama (FA) returns from abroad. In a way, this sketch is little more than a clearinghouse for the minor controversies that the motor-mouthed Delawarean has entangled himself, though the cloying desperation in Biden's eyes is a sharp, funny contrast to the President's peculiar brand of coolness.



    MONOLOGUE: The "17 Again" star spends his opening statements addressing the vast majority of his fans –specifically, 11-year-old girls and middle-aged homosexuals- and later they take photos. Kristen and Abby were diligent as the tween representatives, but Fred was a subtle hoot as Zac's biggest supporter in the "twifty" (between 40 and 50) demographic.



    "Today": Kathie Lee (KW) celebrates one year at NBC, an on-air fête that only further exasperates Hoda (MW), the straight man/co-host that stealthily conceals her anguish and vexation… at least from what I've seen on the real-life show. Gifford's notoriously untalented son Cody (Zac) drops by to sing "Isn't She Lovely" and join in his boozy mother's aggravating shtick. I'm still on the fence about this recurring spoof; daytime chat-fests have been ripe for parody for as long as I can remember, though the target at hand can vary wildly. In this case, lampooning the unnecessary fourth hour of the seminal morning news show is a great success in some places (like Wiig's Gifford impression) but a dud in others (Mike's white-bread mimicry of the exotic Ms. Kotb).



    "Gilly": The sociopathic youngster (KW) continues to wreck havoc on her private school peers, this time at a seemingly blasé science fair with a new punching bag, a pragmatic foreign exchange student (Zac). This will make excellent filler on Kristen's best-of DVD, which should hit stores sometime around 2014.



    "The Alliance of Direct Mail Marketers": A short filmed piece where an upper-management type (JS) puts a positive spin on junk mail, from its alleged greasing of government palms to its loose connection to identity theft and private data exchanges. I never really considered junk mail to be a major problem (more like a mild annoyance in spite of all that wasted paper), though maybe that was part of the point.



    "Underage Drinking": Two teens (AS, Zac) chug beers in a bar that doesn't card, but their rebellion is watered down by realizing that they're the least heinous offenders in the bar. The drunken children gag runs it course, yet the epilogue with attention-hungry ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer (BH) seemed a little tacked on.



    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: "Zero" is scruffy, white-noise dance-rock, a middle finger in the face of Lady GaGa and all those other little poseurs.



    WEEKEND UPDATE: It only took twenty shows, but tonight we've reached the first truly top-to-bottom forgettable news segment of the season. Nothing clicked, like the superfluous return of the gay couple from Jersey (BH, FA), the second appearance of snarky celeb blogger Angie Tempura (MW), or even "opposite" band/obnoxious time-waster Jon Bovi (WF, JS). If you need some time off Seth, why didn't you just tell us?



    "High School Musical 4": One year after his graduation, Troy (Zac) returns to his alma mater to elaborate on the cold realities of a world where people don't constantly break into song and dance. The East High Class of '09 is unfazed by Bolton's reality check, until a recently thawed Walt Disney saves the day with an Anti-Semetic slur and just a smidgen of magic. "Disney characters don't grow up," claims Uncle Walt. "Look at Peter Pan or Lindsay Lohan."



    "Connecticut 1917": A generic lovers-in-a-train-station scene goes off into a bizarre tangent when the clingy sweetheart (CW) of a World War I doughboy (Zac) runs to great lengths to never let go. One-joke sketches can go a long way when they're properly expanded, but this one snapped like a wet rubber band. At least Casey got some face time, a rarity in recent shows.



    "Gino's Pizza Rolls": During a routine commercial shoot, the actress (FA) playing mom to two teen actors (AS, Zac) overacts upon her one line in the spot. And she keeps doing it, over and over again, as if his/her hamming it up was supposed to be endearing.



    MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: Rather than perform another song from their new disc "It's Blitz," Karen O. and the boys blast their 2004 hit "Maps." Maybe it's because I've heard this song so many times, or that they've done the song live almost every night for the last six years, the effort felt a little flat.



    "Big Brother Foot Rub": A loser (JS) that lives above his parents' garage explains to his younger sibling (Zac) that the best way to seduce a woman is from the feet and move upwards. Suds carries this sketch with perverse zeal, playing a character that could've easily been a one-note creep, and Zac was an affable pawn in his brother's incestuous mind games. Hard to believe something like this would be banished to ten-to-one, right?



    I had low expectations for Efron, and in the end he did his best to play along in spite of never really controlling or altering the dynamic of the show. Zac was a supporting player in nearly every sketch he appeared in, a patsy for the likes of Kristen Wiig and Jason Sudeikis, who both had strong nights. Late-season shows tend to find the writers in a state of burnout, rehashing characters from past sketches in an attempt to hide a lack of new ideas regardless of whether they connected or not. Tonight was no exception but no textbook case, either; we'll never see a Gilly or Jon Bovi movie anytime soon, yet the cast carried the show with aplomb. I'll gladly take two straight not-awful shows over something much, much worse.



    Segments That Will Probably Be Removed In Repeats: Update, "Connecticut 1917," and "Gino's Pizza Rolls."



    In Four Weeks: Justin Timberlake, a megastar that hasn't been on the show enough lately, hosts with musical guest Ciara.



    "HelloStuart" has been doing this whole episode-review thing since 2003. Feel the glow of his immense wisdom by sending him your questions and comments to sma17kc@aim.com.moreless
  • Young children drinking adult drinks, an angry Walt Disney, and whats up with all these season 32 characters coming back?

    8.5
    Saturday Night Live,

    Zac Efron/Yeah Yeah Yeahs,

    - Ello i am back writing reviews for the show. I know how much u didnt miss these. Well lets get things rolling - My Thoughts: (just to say i rate by stars highest out of 5 and lowest is 0)



    Zac Efron, of HSM fame, hosts. The third person(i count the jonas brothers as one annoyence) with a disney connection to host. The makes me nervous, but hay Walt would like me(get the joke?). The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are the musical guest. Since i havent heard their music before, i'll make sure to watch their performence.



    Cold Open: Obama (FA) returns from his Europe Tour, and goes back to work at the white house. Were he meets Biden (JS). Who goes on a rant of what happened while Obama was gone. I was really let down by this sketch, more on the lines of how the vice and the pres was done. The sketch went nowere and Obama just agreeing with Biden hoping he goes away wasnt that funny. As it still seems SNL is afraid to attack Obama, while they make Biden look like a fool. And Jason stop screaming when you do an impression. I give this a *



    Monologue: Zac takes a moment to thank his fans of mostly female tweens and there parents who will pay all of their money to Zac to keep their child away from bothering them. Overall i liked this, i thought for a moment Zac was going to sing. Fred saved the sketch as he played the creep which usually is done by Forte. I give this a ***



    The Today Show: Hmm? This sketch again. This time around we find out it's been one long year since Kathie Lee joined the fourth hour of the Today Show. Like we needed a fourth hour. As usual Hoda gets angry as Kathie goes on her drugged yet sturred rant. Penny Marshall (FA) sends Kathie an disemotional congrats making me think of how good that Looker sketch was from so long ago. Zac stops by as the son of Kathie (that's right the creature bred) to give her a congrats. In which we find out that the Gifford family is allover drugged, and really needs to stop singing. Nothings changed to make this worthy to be done again. ** - due too Penny Marshall.



    Gilly : Really they thought the first time went well the second time would be better. The dreadful character from all over, and i mean it, returns to wreck havoc on her classmates. sorry You had to see this one again. 0



    Underage Drinking: Andy and Zac happen to be at a bar. Which is weird since he is actually a college student pertending to be a highschool students again? WHAT?!? The weirdest part is that the bar is filled with kids and i mean under 10 year olds. Who were probably tricked into appearing in the sketch. Nice way to show kids what to do with shots. Disgraced NY governor Eliot Spitzer (BH) comes on at the end after the bar is raided by the junior police. Coming back one issue at a time. Making me wonder if the Today Show is an issue enough. Funny Sketch overall though. *** 1/2



    Weekend Update : Seth doesnt disappoint when he does update, as i once again tell you people Amy made the show bad! Some short but funny jokes are put in. The gay couple from New Jersey come by the desk. Making me wonder why is the show bringing back alot of characters, and i mean unncessary characters, from season 32. The make their usual gay jokes before making an off-color joke about Amy Poehler, which i found funny but the audience found rude. Not poehler, oh boo who. **** blogger Angie Tempora comes by the dest too. Good to see the features getting into the show with a new cropp of characters. This time however it was funny the first time, it still did well, but thte surprise of Zac stopping by SHOCKED nobody. If you catch the vid of that make sure to wait for the Connecticut joke. The last guest(s) the stop by the dest are Bon Jovi. Which make me wonder season 32 couldnt be far away. They stopped by a short time ago. And why they did have to stop by again. I give this a **. Drag down by the bad characters from season 32



    High School Musical 4 New Senior Class: When i saw this coming i thought of another bad sketch with bad jokes. But instead of using Andy having Zac play the main part. The funniest sketch of the night as Zac bashes the thing that has brought the star to him. You wont find a school were everybody sings. Darrell was great as walt disney. I found it funny as he bashed the jews, although i wonder why they didnt bring up his hatred for the commies. ****



    Off to War: Could it be, could it be, yes yes yes, finally Casey plays the main role in a sketch. Finally it happened. And unlike the stripper and Ms Perry it was great. Casey runs along side a train and eats fish. Never thought it would be funny. But yet it was. The best part was Bobby playing the mother. Oh casey why havent u done another Rachel Ray sketch? ****1/2



    Gino's Pizza Rolls Commercials : Fred in drag usually brings laugh. Like the end of season 32. What ever happened to that character? Fred get angry at her fake son. Although a little over done it was worth watching **1/2



    Foot Rubbing : JS plays the older brother to Zac, who wants to know how to impress a girl. The outcome Jason rubbing Zac's foot and then trying to put it in his mouth. A weird idea of a sketch. It was funny, even the masterb{-} jokes. Which i think Jason likes to make. **



    Overview: Zac really surprised me. I hated him for the whole HSM thing, but he was a good host. I should keep an opened mind about who's hosting. Such as i dont like anything Timberlake does but he is a good host. The Jonas Brothers, no i still hate them. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs however were a horrible bunch that reminded me of a bad Maya Rudoplh skecth. As cast ways goes, the show is getting heavy with Samberg, which is alright. Wiig isnt taking over the show. And we got a break from Kenan on Update and there wasnt a DS. Overall it was a great show. I give it a *** overallmoreless
  • Overall - Heavy on irritation and light on laughs. The pacing of this show was very bad.

    6.0
    Biden & Obama - Mildly amusing sketch depicting the awkward relationship between Joe and Barack. Joe is certainly a blowhard and Barack does seem to be somewhat irritated with him. I saw a news conference where a reporter asked Obama a question by stating that "Biden said that...(whatever it was about some policy issue)". Obama replied "Joe says a lot of things." I think that about sums it up and also highlights the strained relationship the writers were satirizing. Fine performances from Sudeikis and Armisen. Grade: B-



    Zac Monologue - An enjoyable monologue pointing out the obvious fact that Zac's fans are mostly still pre-pubescent. Kristen and Casey were funny as the tweeners and Fred was just creepy as the middle-aged male fan. I loved the kiss on the neck. I can only imagine what Parnell would have done with Fred's role. Still, a good monologue which avoided the obvious singing and dancing jokes (given Zac's resume). Grade: B-



    The Today Show - It might just be me, but this sketch brings out the most annoying aspects of Kristen's humor without any redeeming factors. Michaela just smiles and looks mildly annoyed. The cameo by Penny Marshall was unnecessary and unfunny. Zac did fine as the annoying son, but there wasn't much to work with. Kristen did her usual chicken wing dance (the same moves she does in every sketch). Lots of talk without many laughs. Grade: D-



    Gilly - What is going on here? Kristen's two worst characters back to back?! Gilly is easily one of the worst characters ever created for the show. Did somebody think this was going to go over well with the increased number of youngsters watching this episode? Maybe it did. But for me, this sketch is an unmitigated disaster. Predictable, repetitive, and annoying. Not exactly the best ingredients for a successful sketch. Did you see the chicken wing dance during the Gilly theme song? Grade: F



    Direct Mail Marketers - A stab at dry humor. It came across a little too matter-of-factly to really have much impact. Not bad per se, but severely lacking in comedic execution. Grade: C



    Underage Bar - This sketch was cute and the use of the kids was kind of fun. The kids doing the shooters was good, but the little detective was the funniest. Not your typical SNL sketch as it relied more on cuteness rather than crudeness, but it won me over nonetheless. The Eliot Spitzer ending seemed tacked on and completely unnecessary. Grade: C+



    Weekend Update - Several good jokes. Seth keeps playing with his delivery. Although he has improved over his earlier style of smiling the entire way through, he still has trouble with a total deadpan face. He manages to do this usually during the punchline which is good, but smiles during the entire setup. It's like you're friends who can't stop laughing at their own jokes. The NJ gay couple did their usual shtick with Hader cranking up his somewhat overused Jersey accent. Angie Tempura also did her usual shtick with the whole joke resting on the delivery of "bithchpleeze!!!" Like so many other WU guest commentators (Aunt Linda and Nicholas Fehn come to mind), Tempura is completely one-dimensional leaving the prospect for a fresh approach or surprising twist dead at the door. Easy to write I suppose. Speaking of easy to write, what's with bringing Jon Bovi back already? I mean bithchpleeze! Take any popular song and flip the lyrics around and deliver it with gusto and you have a segment that can take up time without expending much effort. Grade: C+



    High School Musical 4 - This concept has already been done on SNL, but I guess they had to bring it back with Zac. Troy's description of life after high school and the uniqueness of East High were very good. Walt Disney's cameo was a little out of place, but I guess they need to give Hammond something to do these days before forced retirement is thrust upon him. A good parody sketch. Grade: B



    Off to War - A clever spin on the usual heartbreak scenes from the movies where the young soldier gets separated from his sweetheart as the train leaves the station. In this version, the girlfriend runs alongside the train and refuses to separate from her man. What starts as dear affection from the soldier quickly turns to abhorrence as it seems that his lady appears to be some freak of nature with an incredibly strong set of legs. Both Zac and Casey were very good in their roles, but I particularly liked Bobby as the mother when she went zipping by Casey on her way to town. The fish from the creek was a nice touch. Solid, original sketch. Grade: A-



    Jeno's Pizza Rolls - The commercial shoot is a very common theme on SNL. What makes this one different from so many is the escalation in insanity from Fred's mother character. What is supposed to be a playful jab at her son turns into a series of increasingly outrageous outbursts from the mother. Fred plays this role to the max and manages to squeeze a lot out of a slim premise. Nice job Fred! Grade: B+



    Brotherly Advice - Zac goes to his older brother about girl issues. Sudeikis does a good job as the creepy older brother with a fetish for giving foot rubs and flipping through Lane Bryant catalogs. He turns it up a notch as he gets increasingly erotic with his younger brother's foot rub. The recurring theme of the cursty shirt and baby oil implies that this was written by those guys on the show who specialize in masturbation humor. There must be some real pros considering the frequency of this theme throughout this season. As a five-to-one sketch, it was OK. Grade: Cmoreless
  • I am your mother! I gave birth to you!

    7.0
    3 episodes left in the season! Wowey Wow Wow! To think the Ashton Kutcher episode aired only a year ago is crazy. Also crazy is to think how different the cast is now. Our very own Amy Poehler has started her show "Parks & Recreation" which premiered pretty well by my means. Yes, awkward pilot moments were in the episode, but it was the pilot. Don't tell me you never thought the Office pilot was awkward just a little. But, I wish Amy the best with her show. I really pray it does better than Kath & Kim.



    Our host tonight is Zac Efron. I've never seen any work of Zac outside of when I watched High School Musical, and when I was forced to watch High School Musical 2. We found out he was hosting back in early February, so we've had enough time to take in everything and grow an open mind. Musical guests are guests I've been wanting for a while, Yeah Yeah Yeahs.



    Obama's Back: A pretty funny opening. I always like Jason's Biden, and even though the premise was predictable, I still laughed.



    Monologue: Zac has two tweens and one 40Tween50 guy take a picture with him. I thought Fred made this pretty funny. You don't know how long I thought Abby was Casey.



    Today Show: I'm happy to see this sketch back. The Neil Patrick Harris one was awkward, while the Bradley Cooper one was better. This one shaped up to be the best sketch of the night, in my opinion. Very well written, and Fred's Penny Marshall was a pleasant surprise back. I actually watched the real Kathie Lee Gifford one year anniversary. I was sick that day, and I was barely alert, but I still watched.



    Gilly: Oh boy. This sketch. Sorry. It was a little bit of an improvement over last time. Kenan and Bobby's lines were able to be laughed at, but other than that, same old thing.



    Junk Mail Message: I laughed. Kinda. The excuses were good. It reminded me of something they would do with Will Ferrell.



    Drinking Underage: This sketch was almost on the brig of being totally pointless, but Bill Hader's Elliott Spitzer was so random, and so silly, that this was actually a pretty decent sketch.



    Musical Performance: Yeah Yeah Yeahs put a great performance on for "Zero". Karen sure loves that music.



    Weekend Update: While the jokes were mostly good, the gay guys from New Jersey were so random to bring back. When were they last used? The Justin Timberlake episode from 2006? I will say though, I am glad SNL is bringing back some of the characters from season 32 that got the shaft last season. Anyways, **** Pleeze Blogger was funny, but she needs to have Aunt Linda come in one of these days and chew her apart. The Jon Bovi Members again? Really? Granted, they're a lot better written then they were back in the Jaime Pressley episode oh so long ago, but still.



    High School Musical 4: Troy Bolton comes back to tell everyone that the outside world is nothing like where they live. I thought it was pretty funny, and kudos to Casey playing that wicked annoying drama teacher. The random Walt Disney appearance made the sketch more entertaining, also.



    Off to War: A sketch starring Casey!!! Whoa! Pretty funny. Bobby as the mom really made me laugh.



    Gino's Pizza Roles: Am I the only one who found this sketch hilarious?? It was great. Fred is just hilarious when he cross dresses. Well, most of the time at least.



    Musical Performance: Yeah Yeah Yeahs perform "Maps" which is an older song, if I'm right.



    Foot Rub: Jason playing the normal, yet creepy guy was pretty funny. It was a funny 5-to-one sketch. Actually, lately SNL has been doing a bunch of good 5-to-one sketches (The Rock episode, Tracy Morgan episode, etc.)



    A good show! The show in comedy aspects was decent, but the Yeah Yeah Yeahs made the show above average and enjoyable. Almost all sketches were fun and enjoyable. Zac was a middling host. He was better than expected, and he did good in some of his roles, while others were merely straightmen roles. After barely appearing last week, Fred Armisen would probably be this week's MVP just for the big roles he had.



    In a month, May 9th, Justin Timberlake comes to host with musical guest Ciara.



    Next week is The Best of one of our most versatile women, Amy Poehler. I'll be in Boston, but I'll DVR it because I really want to see what sketches make it.moreless
  • Yikes. I just realized during this episode that I could have had a V8!

    2.0
    I know are expectations were ever so high for zac Efron. But could the comedic iconic and teen hero live up to the hype?



    Cold Opening: Jason Sudeikis continues his awful impression of Joe Biden. It looks like the SNL writers will only be mocking the Vice President of this administration.



    Monologue: Truly, truly awful. Even worse than I expected and my expectations were lower than that night I went to a Jewish singles gathering.



    The Today Show: The female cast of SNL is terrible and they cannot have a standalone sketch. Not a good way to open the show.



    Gilly: Worst sketch of the season makes its return. It still holds that title after tonight.



    Junk Mail: Jason Sudeikis is funny in these commercials, but the parody is never strong enough to truly be memorable.



    No-Carding Bar: Kind of funny in premise, but Zac Efron is still absolutely terrible. It's not just his continuous cue carding, he just isn't fit for comedy.



    Weekend Update: Bill Hader giving us a Andrew Dice Clay impression. Apparently it was supposed to be a gay guy. They decided to bring back the ***** Please segment. Questionable decision. It's funny because of how bad it is. Seth Meyers actually did a decent job tonight. Overall, not a horrible Weekend Update. High School Musical 4: Not even going to address this. Pretty awful sketch realy. Off To War: Another forgettable sketch outside of Jason Sudeikis' lines.



    Gino's Pizza Rolls: Another thumbs down sketch. My thumbs are actually getting tired from being in that position all night.



    Closing Sketch: Stupid sexual innuendos that make Two and a Half Men look like brilliant comedy.moreless

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Angie Tempora: Zac Efron? More like, "Zac, what the Eff is wrong?"

    • Seth Meyers: A new study finds that almost one in five American 4-year-olds are obese. Thanks in no small part to new Lunchables Extreme.

    • Seth Meyers: Evanger's Dog and Cat food company has released a line of kosher food for pets. In this case kosher means that all of the food has been blessed by a rabbit.

    • Seth Meyers: Police in Germany scrambled helicopters over a forest after getting reports of hysterical sounds that people thought were the cries of someone being murdered, but instead turned out to be someone laughing at a book he was reading. Ah, Germans always confusing laughter and murder.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Sketches not shown in the 60 minute version: the Angie Tempura segment on Weekend Update, "Foot Rub," "Gino's Pizza Rolls," "Underage Drinking," "Alliance of Direct Mail Marketers," "Gilly," and YYY's performance of "Maps."

    • International airdates:
      Latin America: July 18, 2009 on Sony Entertainment Television (a.k.a. Canal Sony).

    • Sketches cut after dress rehearsal: "Sproingo" (rerun from Paul Rudd/Beyonce); "Jar Glove" (rerun from Michael Phelps/Lil Wayne); a kid's show host (Zac Efron) is disturbed by the actions of his robotic co-host (Bill Hader) during an episode taping; a Digital Short about a man (Andy Samberg) who doesn't own a pair of hip sunglasses; Animal park visitors (Will Forte, Casey Wilson, Bobby Moynihan) expecting to see alligators, instead get a musical; Alliance of Junk Mail #2 - The junkmail spokesman (Jason Sudiekis) answers questions from concerned taxpayers; Jeff Montgomery (Will Forte) continues his pedophilic antics during Easter passing out eggs and tries to lure an unsuspecting
      homeowner (Zac Efron); BOP magazine reporter (Abby Elliott) interviews Zac Efron for an article; the details of the activities of various apartment dwellers balconies are performed in song; and on Weekend Update, E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons (Kenan Thompson) gives a commentary.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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