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Saturday Night Live: LeBron James/Kanye West (season premiere)

by Annie Wu, posted Sep 30th 2007 12:01PM
Micah Kring(S33E01) "All-But-Certain-To-Be Next President" (Cold Open): This was a funny piece, but it didn't pack the punch I would have expected for a season premiere open. Oh! Hi, Darrell Hammond. Still here, huh? No, it's not a problem, man. It's just that you've been crashing here for a while and, well, you haven't really been doing much to contribute. And we've kind of been wondering when you'd be moving out -- Yeah, I guess your Bill Clinton voice is still pretty funny and I guess it'll come in handy some time in the near future. Okay, I suppose it's okay if you stay for a little while longer. Just try not to creep out the younger folks, okay?

With the announcer not cutting in until about halfway through the cast, it must have sucked to have such a slip-up this early in the episode. Was that even Don Pardo doing the voices for the cast intro? At first, it sounded like someone doing an impression of him.

Monologue: LeBron James, dressed like an Edwardian giant, clad in velvet, delivered a fairly weak monologue. With a pre-taped crazy piece like that, things could have been pushed so much further. It stopped just short of "hilariously wacky". I can't remember the last time I was super-satisfied with the performance of an athlete host, so I wasn't expecting much from Mr. James.

"Angry Dog Food": First new commercial of the season! Unfortunately, it wasn't much. I did, however, like the vicious German Shepherd seeing-eye dog.

"Penelope": See, this is the kind of formulaic sketch that works. Penelope always delivers some great lines, and Kristen Wiig does great things with the character. My favorite was probably "I was at the first Thanksgiving, so... Brought maize, so..."

"High School Musical 3: Return of the Seniors": This was great, but it could have been so much better if they had just pushed a little bit further. Andy Samberg didn't gay it up quite enough to make a Zac Efron, unfortunately. The choreography was funny, though, as was Fred Armisen's crazy Corbin Bleu hair.

"SNL Digital Short": I was a bit disturbed by how much Fred Armisen looked like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when he scrunched up his eyes like that. It was a smart move, because Ahmadinejad has one of those weird Rumer Willis facial situations, where the eyes are really tight in the center of the face. Anyway, this song wasn't particularly catchy or as memorable as some of the other Digital Shorts, but it was great to see Maroon 5's Adam Levine and two seconds of Jake Gyllenhaal.

"BET's Lyle Kane Show": Oh, my word. Will Forte's hair looked spectacular.

"Weekend Update": Bless the hearts of Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers for not making fools of themselves while pronouncing "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad" correctly, unlike a disturbing number of members from the proper press. Fred Armisen's reappearance as Ahmadinejad was interesting. Again, I loved his scrunched up eyes. The rest of the jokes were all right. I quite enjoyed Seth's bit about Austria trying to legally consider monkeys human ("The one remaining obstacle? It's not").

"Best of Solid Gold": Ahh, C. Micah Kring. Nice. I actually Googled "Micah Kring" to see if anyone else had made that joke before and all I got was one result about NBC's Heroes, in which someone wrote about the character Micah and show creator Tim Kring. Fun Fact. Anyway, the choreography for this piece was just as great as the High School Musical 3 sketch. James' introductory dance was so subtle and hilarious, I choked a little bit. Whenever Wiig, Poehler, and Maya Rudolph get together and dance in a sketch, good things happen. Doubly so if it's 80s style.

"Saturday TV Funhouse: Ambiguously Gay Duo": AHH! I've missed these two so much! Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell are such big-shots now, I was worried they'd never have time for poor ol' Ace and Gary. But with such a wonderfully weird scandal like the Larry Craig foot-tapping situation, I guess Rob Smigel had no choice but to go back to the Duo.

"106 & Park": I think this was one of my favorites from the night. The sketch was so simple and yet so effective, mainly because Kanye West is ridiculously charismatic and can make anything look or sound fabulous. Mr. West needs to host. Please. Someone make this happen. Also, I loved that he wears glasses and carries his own microphone everywhere.

"Read to Achieve": SNL seems to love doing PSA sketches, which totally isn't a problem with me. Jason Sudeikis' expressions were great and James did a super job of playing the straight man.

"Great Moments in Guidance Counseling": Damn, the cutting for this sketch was really awkward. Someone was asleep in the control room. Jason Sudeikis' rant about college was really good, but James didn't do much.

Kanye West: I've never considered myself a huge fan of West's work, but he always seems to deliver such strong performances. I actually stuck around to watch him instead of making myself a snack like I usually do when musical guests do their thing.

Next time: Seth Rogen and Spoon. I think I may be sick of seeing Rogen. Gosh, that almost feels un-American of me.

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I thought the Kanye West/awards show sketch was hilarious. I think he's a great musical talent (thought I'm not a big fan of "urban" music), but I have gotten perturned when he's "misbehaved" in public at times. However, he always gets right back in front of the cameras and pokes fun of himself, so he doesn't take himself too seriously. I thought his acting was great in this sketch, and I laughed out loud every time he jumped in fun of the podium. I think he would make a great host.

As for the rest of the show, good but not great. Even when it's average, though, I still love this show. I can take another 20 years.

October 09 2007 at 10:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

so you say the show hasn't been good since 1987? myers, norm, spade, sandler, farley, ferrell, molly, oteri, meadows, fey, fallon, & poeler were't funny? get outta here!

October 03 2007 at 9:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David D

"And your host... Melanie Hutsell!"

October 01 2007 at 4:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think 1ipete said it best. The Seth Meyers writing crew has to be the worst in a long time. The lack of originality is disappointing. Penelope, like so many sketches in his reign, have been overdone so quickly. They need to open it up to more parodies and less cookie cutter material.

October 01 2007 at 3:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

SNL hasn't really been funny in 20 years. I can't believe I still watch it.

There's only one or two funny skits the whole show.

I always thought it would have been cool to open and close the seasons with an old cast member.

October 01 2007 at 3:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Last year made SNL appointment TV for me (or at least for my TiVo) and it's back this year again!

No, LeBron wasn't the strongest, but the cast was good enough to compensate for him. The angry dog food as a dig against Michael Vick? Hilarious. The SNL digital short? I loved it, but I'm a big Samberg fan. Penelope is a skit me and my friends quote constantly, because we all know someone like her. "I was voted Rookie of the minute...they just voted now, so..."

Solid Gold was great too, reminds me of my youth. The BET Lyle Kane show won the night though. I need to see that again.

October 01 2007 at 10:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
laura nason

I hate it when they have sports guys on there, i can actually see thier brain straining to read the cards and stay in the sketch at the same time. You are just waiting for them to start biting thier lips and drooling. NOTHING was funny about this show, and it just makes me miss the days when it was.

October 01 2007 at 8:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought Lebron James was a bit weak. I hate it when people (hosts and regulars alike) read off the cue cards.

I think the Penelope sketch is funny. Some of the others... not so much.

September 30 2007 at 10:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jonathan C

you guys are nuts, it was a good show. i laughed at everything except the last sketch which was just badly directed with weird camera switching. the Iranian president song was hilarious!
it looks like there are only 3 of the 20 comments that actually liked the episode. other 17 = might as well stop watching. the funny has to end somewhere doesn't it? for the 3 who liked it = hopefully seth rogen is just as good.

September 30 2007 at 9:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought it was a fairly strong episode. No, LeBron wasn't great, but athletes rarely are (Peyton was the exception). I thought that everyone else seemed confident. I liked the short, but the sketch I laughed the most at was the "Read to Achieve". Sometimes you don't need a whacky character to have a funny sketch. Solid Gold was great, but it could be that the writers are now in my age group and it reminded me of a show I used to love as a kid.

September 30 2007 at 8:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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