Saturday Night Live: Steve Carell/Usher (season finale) - VIDEOS
by Annie Wu, posted May 18th 2008 1:05PM
(S33E12) To ensure a strong season finale, Saturday Night Live made a very smart choice to go with Steve Carell. He is an incredible comedic performer and his first hosting stint went pretty well, so I wasn't surprised to see him pull it off again this time around. Actually, this picture is from the first time Carell hosted. Is it weird that I've had it sitting on my desktop since then? Yes, probably. Anyway, the material was better than some of the other episodes', with a few spectacular highlights, including the hilarious digital short.
Gallery: Saturday Night Live: Steve Carell
Oh, and I noticed that Casey Wilson wasn't in any of the sketches. I think I've made it extremely obvious in previous reviews that I really don't care for her, but it must have been tough to not be able to participate in the final episode of what may or may not be her last season. Even Darrell Hammond showed up more than twice. EDIT: Ah, yes. Wilson was onstage for the Cold Open and part of "Deal or No Deal." I guess I just mentally blocked her out.
Cold Open (Graduation): Maybe it's because I still have the mind of a twelve year-old, but I thought this was an absolutely hilarious idea. I also appreciated the fact that they actually got an Asian extra to accept the diploma for Wang. Way to go. The placement of this skit at the top of the show was a bit weird, though. It would have been better to put the John McCain monologue at the very beginning and then let him reappear on "Weekend Update", instead of showing those two back-to-back.
Monologue: Ahh, I knew something was up when Steve Carell walked out wearing his serious eyebrows. The subtlety in Carell's uncomfortable reactions are always hysterical, so I love it when he plays panicky. "Feels like my hair is growing!" It was also lovely to see his wife, SNL alum and funny lady Nancy Walls, because they're super-cute together. In my notes for this part of the monologue, I just typed "GLEE", like, twenty times. I'm not sure how many people in the audience actually recognized her, though.
"There Can Only Be One": A Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton take on the LeBron James and Kevin Garnett NBA ad. Man, I cannot get over how bad these two impressions are. In the past, when players' impressions of presidential candidates weren't exactly spot-on, they played off mannerisms enough to make it funny. Like, Will Ferrell's George W. Bush wasn't that perfect, but he got the squinting and smirking down. Fred Armisen's Obama just looks grumpy all the time and doesn't carry the right amount of gravitas, and Amy Poehler's Hillary Clinton sounds like a generic, rich, white lady voice. Maybe Kristen Wiig will take over once Poehler's baby bump gets out of control. I have more confidence in her ability to pull off the impression.
"Deal or No Deal": One of my favorite things about Carell's correspondent character from The Daily Show was what happened to his voice when he struggled to keep from crying. That's pretty much all he was doing throughout the entire thing, so I was pleased.
"Two A-Holes Do Karaoke": The A-Holes! It's been a while since we've seen them and this skit felt a bit rusty. It wasn't the best, but it was still good to hear from some of the few recurring characters remaining on the show.
"SNL Digital Short: Japanese Office": Oh. My. Word. I cannot get over how absolutely spectacular this was. First of all, the special appearance by Ricky Gervais made me way happier than necessary. This whole thing was really well done. I'm sure it was twice as enjoyable for people who are actually familiar with the show(s), as the subtle nod to "Assistant TO the Regional Manager" and the stapler in the jelly probably didn't make sense to casual SNL fans. Highlights included Wiig's Japanese schoolgirl laugh, Kenan Thompson's pouty Stanley and Carell's everything. "It's funny because it's racist!"
"McCain in One": John McCain probably squeezed into the season finale because he didn't want to be the only presidential candidate not to get in on the action. I wonder if he remembers that he hosted already. Anyway, this was pretty funny. The writing was good for the most part, but the majority of the comedy came from seeing McCain poking some fun at himself. Nice work, old man.
"Weekend Update": Quit hoggin' the show, Senator McCain! Granted, this was super-funny, but having back-to-back appearances just made it feel like McCain overload. The "McCain in One" really should have been the Cold Open. Also, I appreciated how it was a bit riskier material than that from Obama or Clinton's SNL appearances. Heck, McCain has nothing to lose at this point, right? Darrell Hammond's Jesse Jackson and Thompson's Al Sharpton were quite good as well, but my favorite part was seeing John Lutz in a Speedo ascot.
"Charlie Flitt Show": As I type this, I am having all my doors and windows replaced with massive paper pictures of myself. The highlight of this skit was seeing Bill Hader looking super upset in a fat suit. Also, I couldn't help but stare at Poehler's baby bump all night. She and Will Arnett are going to have the coolest baby ever.
"CPR": All I could think of was Videodrome. Also, I bet Andy Samberg has a total man-crush on Steve Carell and wrote this skit so that he could get some mouth-to-mouth action. Twice. The final double-thumbs-up from Usher was also a nice touch.
"Bless This Child": It was obvious that this would be the final skit of the evening, but at least it wasn't so bad that it let the season end with a whimper. Doing the wave with the baby was hilarious, as was the spin-and-jump. Wiig and Carell need to work together more often.
Usher: This guy really, really, really likes to sing about sex, doesn't he?
|1 - Awful!||22 (5.1%)|
|5 - Carell-tastic!||183 (42.8%)|