Saturday Night Live: Alec Baldwin and Shakira
Well this certainly made up for last week's horrible episode with Dane Cook. Baldwin returned to Studio 8H last night for his twelfth visit and he didn't disappoint, save for a few so-so sketches. A real surprise was seeing him in the opening sketch, something the host rarely participates in. Baldwin played Saddam Hussein in his prison cell. Only one guard was assigned to him and Saddam kept sweet-talking him, trying to get what he wanted. At point he asks the guard's name and when he gives it, Saddam informs him his family will be dead by the next morning. Wait, just kidding! Such a sport, that Saddam Hussein. Really though, having Baldwin say "Live from New York..." was just a great way to start and a real tribute to his part in SNL history.
The Monologue - Baldwin began by comparing himself to other actors who had hosted multiple times and he feels pretty good about it. He's only one behind Steve Martin, tied with John Goodman, and there is no way Tom Hanks is ever going to catch him now. But he's also learned something every time he's hosted and we're treated to a montage of his past sketches: kissing Phil Hartman, selling his Schwetty Balls on the Delicious Dish, and feeling up Amy Poehler's breasts just last year. What did he learn from that last one? If it's in a sketch, then it's not sexual harassment. Good to know.
Tylenol BM Commercial - I always like it when a host makes an SNL commercial. Up until now, my favorite was Sam Waterston as the spokesman for Old Glory Life Insurance. But this one may have won me over. Tylenol BM helps you sleep through the night. In fact it's so good, that you'll sleep "right through your first dump." The drug numbs your mind so bodily functions lose control. When Baldwin gets out of bed and his wife (Rachel Dratch) asks if he crapped the bed, I lost it. Absolutely fantastic.
Face Transplant - This was one of those so-so sketches I was talking about. Baldwin's wife was attacked by wolves in a Burger King and she requires a face transplant. The first time she looks like Seth Myers, then an even uglier Rachel Dratch, and finally she has the face of Kenan. Each time, her body rejects the face and she requires another surgery. Finally, she looks like Amy Poehler and Baldwin is satisfied. So he feels her up, but this wasn't his wife - it was some other lady. See it just doesn't sound that funny, does it?
The O'Reilly Factor - "FOX News, like regular news, but louder." I love that slogan. This one was pretty good. O'Reilly welcomed Sen. John McCain and Congressman Barney Frank. As per usual, when SNL spoofs this show, O'Reilly is set as a complete idiot who gets all his facts wrong. So much so, that McCain even asks him if he has a research department. He first got in a fight with McCain claiming that being a prisoner of war simply made him a convicted felon, because what's the difference? His argument with Frank was even better. Frank kept trying to say homosexual (Congressman Frank is openly gay) and O'Reilly kept correcting him with homosapien. Not laugh out loud funny, but this was still very good.
TV Funhouse - I was really hoping for a cartoon and what we got was Celebrity Mugshot Poker. The mugshots of Nick Nolte, James Brown, The Carolina Panthers Cheerleaders, Glen Cambell, Jennifer Wilbanks - The Runaway Bride, and Tom Delay who was there in support of The Very Good Cause Foundation, were playing poker. This was pretty predictable. Nick Nolte and Glen Campbell kept vomiting, James Brown punched the cards, the cheerleaders went to the bathroom, and Jennifer ran away. I liked it when Tom Delay kept shredding the hand he was dealt. Overall, not good. Like I said, I wanted a cartoon. A new "Fun with Real Audio" would have been nice.
Brokeback Goldmine - This was hilarious. Baldwin and Will Forte played two gold prospectors who fall in love. This story sounds familiar...? They caress each other, smell each other's longjohns, reject a visiting prostitute, and play with each other under the covers. Who knew that a critically-acclaimed gay cowboy movie would be so easy to make fun of?
Weekend Update - Tina and Amy started off by announcing that Elizabeth Vargas and Bob Woodruff had been named the new anchors for ABC World News Tonight. However, WU was pleased to inform us that they got a hold of the audition tapes. What followed were the application submissions for Wolf Blitzer, Jane Pauley, Stuart Scott, Ty Pennington, and Gene Shalit ("The war? I'm Iraq'in my brain to figure out whodunit!"). The best was the audition tape for Stan Mather... which was just Darrell Hammond as Dan Rather with a discolored glue-on moustache. They made fun of Brokeback Mountain again - it's the first western where the good guys get it in the end. Even better? Tina's 72 year old father Don sent her that joke. My other favorite, and I'm not quite sure I understand it but I laughed anyway: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are rumored to be expecting a boy... because they were seen at the mall buying a boy.
The Tony Bennett Show - This was another so-so sketch. Baldwin was Bennett and he interviewed Dick Cheney. Bennett was depicted as ignorant and knew nothing about the war. But the show was sponsored by KY Warming Jelly which amusing. Other than that, this sketch was very uneventful.
Carol @ Bowl-a-Rama - This character is growing on me, but I hate how they keep using the same few jokes just like they did with Debbie Downer. Carol loves sex. She orders drinks not available at the place they're at (In this case a McDonald's Shamrock Shake with a shot of Jameson's). She likes "pushing one out while smoking a doobie." It's the same sketch every time with a different guy and a different set. Didn't really showcase Baldwin.
Jeremy Connors, The Man Who Married a Hotdog - When he was a kid, Jeremy's friend told him that if he loved hotdogs so much, then why doesn't he marry one? So he did, and had two beautiful half-human, half-hotdog children. But his kids can't drive - they have no arms. Plus his son is having girl problems. It was great when the daughter yelled at him, "It's okay Dad. I'm half hotdog, not half retarded." I really liked this idea, stemming from something stupid that little kids say to each other all the time.
Medicare Commercial - This was great. Jason Sudeikis was in the commercial trying to explain how great the new Medicare system is. But it kept depicting these old people who were incredibly tech-savvy and understood iPods, podcasts, computers, and satellite feeds for their televisions. It was a nice jab at the government, because no matter how easy they say this new Medicare system is, it's probably still confusing as hell. The song was great too, "Hey old people, old people, get on the drug train, prescription drug train..."
Santa's Workshop - Hands down, the best sketch of the night. Even better since it was the last sketch which usually blows. Baldwin reprised the role he played in Glengarry GlenRoss, only this time he was working for Santa Claus. The elves aren't producing, so he's sent in "on a mission of mercy." A lot of the words from his monologue in the film were the same, but that made it even funnier as he kept calling the elves sons-of-bitches. "Put that cocoa down! Cocoa is for cobblers!" ABC went from Always be Closing to Always be Cobbling. He even brought out the brass balls! And apparently the elf equivalent of a BMW is a talking moose. This was amazing. 10 out of 10.
Musical Guest: Shakira - She sang two songs. Don't Bother was first and the second was that other new song she has right now that's all in Spanish. She's a good performer, you can tell she really enjoys doing what she does. Her music just isn't my cup of tea. She was better than James Blunt though, that's for sure.
So yeah, as I said - way better than last week's episode. Baldwin should just host once a year permanently from now on (he kind of does anyway) because you know he'll give you at least two or three classic sketches.