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August 30, 2015

SNL: Peter Sarsgaard & The Strokes

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jan 22nd 2006 1:48PM

Peter SarsgaardI wasn't expecting much from Peter Sarsgaard. I just didn't picture him as an SNL host. He is a great actor, but comedy isn't what he's known for. That being said, he did so-so. It wasn't a spectacular episode but it did have some very funny moments.

Cold Open - Hooray for something different and by different I mean not a Hardball Sketch. Ok, well kind of different. Seth Myers is still alive and kicking as Anderson Cooper and the show opened with a 360° sketch where he welcomed Ray Nagin (Finesse), Darrell Hammond as Jesse Jackson, and Hillary Clinton (Poehler). It centered around Nagin's recent comments that New Orleans needs to be rebuilt as a "chocolate city." I have no idea what that means. The highlight was Jesse Jackson preaching about inclusiveness and claiming that New Orleans needs to have a variety of sweets such as Bavarian crème for the Asians, caramel for the Latinos, and tiramisu should any Italians show up. "...and the dessert cart rolls on!"

Peter's Monologue - This took my original feelings about Sarsgaard as a host and made fun of it. The guy is a dramatic actor and he frequently plays creepy characters. A few pre-taped segments showed him sneaking up on Fred Armisen so that the poor guy spills coffee on his own face, weirding Amy Poehler out by asking where she lives, and reading a newspaper naked in Kenan's dressing room. See? Peter Sarsgaard isn't creepy at all.

Nelson's Baby Toupee's - This was a new commercial on the idea of a Hair Club for Men advertisement only it was hocking hair pieces for infants. Apparently Bill Hader is convinced your child will be more confident with a full head of hair. I was glad to see Bill Hader in something for more than five seconds, but this just wasn't that funny.

The Target Employees - This is now going to be a recurring character I guess. They first did it back when Dane Cook hosted. Kristen Wiig (glad to see her being used as well) plays a Target cashier with a speaking problem (some kind of lisp) as well as a possible mental issue. She's a nut. Sarsgaard played her manager who was enjoying his flavored coffee while on the best break he's ever had. The main gist of this sketch is that Kristen takes forever to ring people up because whenever someone buys something she likes, she runs away from the register to go get the item for herself. "Oooh, an African inspired pillow sham." I don't dislike this character, but they need to switch it up a little each time so it seems fresh. Maybe have her stocking shelves next time or have her on break interacting with other employees. Don't always make her a cashier.

The Pirate Convention - This felt very outdated for some reason... as in pirates loving the letter "R" was funny five years ago. They just kept saying words that had a lot of R's in them. Peter Sarsgaard was their guest keynote speaker and if you don't understand why, then pronounce his last name in a pirate voice and you'll get it. This wasn't that good.

Carol - Third or fourth time they've brought back this character and I think I was on the fence about her before, but now I just don't like it. It's the exact same sketch every time which is exactly why I started to hate Debbie Downer. I love Horatio getting a recurring part, but I have the same complaint that I had for Kristen Wiig's Target employee: put Carol in different situations other than drooling over some guy and ordering drinks that are impossible to get. It was funny when Peter (he played an art gallery owner) told Carol about his PBS (protruding bone situation).

SNL Digital Short - Oh joy! I loved this. While not as good as "Lazy Sunday," this was still really funny. It was a music video for a song called "Young Chuck Norris" by Doug Brager (played by Sudeikis). In the video, Norris was played by Andy Samberg. Funny stuff, all about him roundhouse kicking people, his magnificent moustache, and his powerful death grip. I haven't been able to find a link for it on the Internet yet, but if you find a place where someone uploaded it, please stick it in the comments section. I hope they give this one away for free on iTunes too. SNL needs more of this stuff. (UPDATE: Grab the video of this short here (11.39MB, MPG))

Shattered Glass spoof - This ran with the character that Sarsgaard played in said movie, only this time he was the managing editor for "Cat Fancy" magazine and the Stephen Glass character was Seth Myers. Seth has been fabricating stories such as the cyclops cat, the Siamese cat that babysat over 700 children, and Fang: The Ninja Cat Assassin. This was humorous, but the best part were the dozen or so cats on the set that kept jumping all over Seth's lap.

Weekend Update - Had some funny moments. Would have been better if Amy didn't laugh at every one of her own jokes. Tina commenting on Osama's new audio tape: "He even offered a truce in the recent recording, probably because he's tired of pooping in a cave." Darrell Hammond and Seth Myers reprised their roles at Al Gore and John Kerry. They were supposed to comment on their crusade about the recent wire-tapping scandal but it just turned into how bitter they were with President Bush. The highlight? Tina made a comment about Drew Barrymore's breasts and how abnormally large they looked at the Golden Globe awards. Then Drew actually showed up on the WU set, wearing some GIANT pillow sized boob shirt and kept slapping the things in Tina and Amy's faces. I love when celebrities can laugh at themselves like that.

Gays in Space - I believe this is the second time they've done this. It's incredibly unfunny and I'm not even going to waste time writing about it.

The Fairemont Suites Inn - You know the automated hostess system that a lot of hotels have on their TVs in your room? What if you couldn't turn it off and had to listen to it over and over again? Peter Sarsgaard found out. Rachel Dratch played the hostess in the video describing all the things the hotel offered its guests. Eventually Peter went nuts and started posing questions to the video at certain moments so that it seems as if Rachel was answering them. The questions included "Name three things I might find in your butt?" and "Where can I find an obese single mother of mixed race?" I really liked this sketch.

Two Old Ladies and the NSA - This wasn't that funny. Poehler and Dratch played two Grandmas being monitored by the NSA on the phone. They kept dropping buzz words like "bomb," "9/11," and "stock tips." Eventually The NSA agent gets fed up and walks away from his phone tapping machine. Only then do the old ladies start discussing their plot to blow up the White House. Not very good.

The Peter SARS Guard - When SARS was a threat a few years back, our host capitalized on his last name and sold his own Peter Sarsgaard SARS Guards. They were just dust masks with his a picture of his face glued to the front. Originally $120 each, you can now pick them up 5 for $1.00 - not a bad deal. For the last sketch of the night, this could have been a lot worse.

Musical Guest The Strokes - They played two songs off their album First Impressions of Earth. I'm not really a fan of these guys but if someone would like to comment on the quality of the performance (was it on par for them? which songs were they?), that'd be great.

Next week is a repeat of the Dane Cook episode, but in February we get Steve Martin and Prince. Outstanding... why you ask? My buddy on the inside (I love saying that) informed me that even though Dan Aykroyd has only agreed to host once, he still frequently attends the live show. So perhaps he'll get involved and we'll see a new Festrunk Brothers sketch? I believe the last time we saw them was in a Butabi Brothers sketch back around '98 or '99 maybe.


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Weekend Update was one of my favourite part, then these two girls began to laugh at their own jokes. STOP IT!!!!

January 24 2006 at 2:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

In my opinion, I love Horatio Sans and his laughing at himself. I don't laugh if everything goes perfectly. I want live TV chaos as with the classic Debbie Downer episode starring L. Lohan.

The Hotel room flubs were awesome and I attempted to download the show to see it again and the flubs were gone......... I was shocked. SNL had edited out the true live version for the dress reheasal. That's a tragidy in my opinion.

January 22 2006 at 11:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought it was great episode. The Chuck Norris short was fun, and the Hotel sketch was great -even with the technical flubs in it, half the fun. picture on the tv went out, picture came back on with the OCD showing, then the stage-hand tossing the remote onto the set. It's also as great as when the flying rigs get caught on something.

January 22 2006 at 7:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

While I don't think this SNL was that great, I don't necessarily think it's all Sarsgaard. He graduated in '93 from my school, Washington University in St. Louis and was the one who co-founded the inprov sketch comedy club on campus that still remains. So if anything, he started out in comedy, which shows he's a good actor as he's known very well in drama.

January 22 2006 at 6:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Digital Short was great. The pirates were amusing. And the hotel sketch, complete with technical difficulties, was good as well. Carol and the Target lady need to go.

I did see some booms as well. Very uncharacteristic of the SNL crew. The stuff and people that got caught in frame during the hotel bit is understandable because afer the TV went out the camera crew had to improvise.

January 22 2006 at 6:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I defended last week's episode, but in my opinion, this week's episode was bad.

Although I like Sarsgaard as an actor, I thought he did a poor job as a host. He almost idd a good job with the cue cards, but he flubbed almost a dozen lines.

I have gotten to my breaking point with SNL cast members who laugh at their own lines. I wish Horation could get through one skit without doing that; ditto for Amy and Weekend Update.

I like Drew Barrymore, but through that whole skit all I could think of what how her publicist must have decided that this was the best way to do damage control after the Golden Globes, and how finding an outfit to fit her for the Globes in the first place would have been much easier.

Overall, I enjoyed the digital short and chuckled at a few other things, but at 1 a.m. I was asking myself: "Why did I stay up for this?"

January 22 2006 at 3:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think Sarsgaard did a great job. I thought the Pirate Covention was amusing, it felt just like classic early-90's SNL.

I liked the Shattered Glass spoof, but I thought Peter was too over the top and Seth Meyers should have done a Stephen Glass impression.

Chuck Norris -- so it's official, the Lonely Island guys are at TV Funhouse status, which is a good thing.

Gays In Space and Carol -- not two or three times, this has to be the fifth or six time they used both of these awful recurring sketches. And as talent as Kristen Wiig is, the Target girl is just irritating.

Anyone catch this in HD? The technical errors were horrendous. I saw booms in about three sketches and the head of a grip or PA in the Hotel sketch.

And the Strokes sounded exactly as the do on the album.

January 22 2006 at 3:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Annie W.

The Strokes did alright. They didn't vary much from the sound of the songs on their CD, which could be a good or a bad thing.

They've done that 'Gays in Space' sketch way more than twice. Will looked so damn awkward trying to fill in for Maya. I think he was shaking a little bit, poor guy.

The funniest part of the Fairemont Suites Inn sketch was when Peter actually broke the TV. I was only half-smiling up to that point but when the screen blinked off and you could hear Dratch struggling to continue without laughing, I started cracking up.

January 22 2006 at 1:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The first song was "Juicebox."
The second song was "You Only Live Once."

Both were quite good.

January 22 2006 at 1:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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