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September 4, 2015

Saturday Night Live: Michael Phelps/Lil Wayne (season premiere) - VIDEOS

by Annie Wu, posted Sep 14th 2008 11:46AM
Palin and Clinton(S34E01) Well, well, Saturday Night Live is back for another season and we couldn't be more excited. Actually, we probably could be more excited, but we're still tuning in and that's what matters.

Personally, I believe they took a risk in inviting an athlete to open the season with a bang, as I often find their performances super-awkward and damn near unwatchable, but there are folks that go totally nuts when sports people host. Plus, Michael Phelps was definitely the sweetheart of the summer and it was a smart move to grab him before he retired to his giant fish tank in Baltimore. His performance was still pretty awkward, but at least they didn't give him a lot of crazy characters to struggle through.

Cold Open (Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton): No surprise here in seeing Tina Fey stop by to portray Sarah Palin because A) there have been non-stop comparisons and B) we brought it up twice and I know you guys read every single little thing we write. Although I've always seen a resemblance, she looked scarily dead-on during the sketch and the mugging for the camera was absolutely hilarious. Also, her impression wasn't perfect but it was more accurate than Amy Poehler's Hillary Clinton, which I still find incredibly off. Again, I will point you to the lady in this YouTube video, showing everyone how it's done. Also, the Palin coverage is definitely going to go on for a while, so who are they going to bring in to do those impressions? Surely Tina Fey is too busy with 30 Rock stuff to come in every week. I have nothing but confidence in Kristen Wiig pulling off something like this, even if her face shape won't make it quite as spot-on. I guess we'll just have to see. In other news, I kept trying to figure out why Amy Poehler looked so different and then I remembered that she's pregnant with Will Arnett's inevitably super-funny baby. I hope the kid looks like Amy but sounds like Will...

Monologue: Michael Phelps, how are you built like a mythical creature? This was a little awkward, but a cute idea. I find myself saying stuff like that a lot when athletes host. Also, they mentioned meth again in the monologue and then would mention it once more during "Weekend Update". Meth on the brain this week? Plus, random endorsement celebrities in this episode! William Shatner, what do you have to do with Michael Phelps? And by "Michael Phelps", I mean "anything"?

"Quiz Bowl": Goodness, were the techies a little rusty this evening? It felt like cameras were shaking and kept cutting to the wrong people for reaction. Plus, they seemed to be placed at really awkward angles for a few sketches, including this one. Maybe I'm the only one that notices these technically super-awkward things. This sketch was timed a little awkwardly, but had some good lines. Kristen Wiig took no time in reminding me how awesome she is.

"Jar Glove": I swear I was just talking about horrible black and white infomercial dramatizations the other day. This was hilarious, just because those stupid ads are inherently funny.

"Locker Room": We've seen this sketch before, really, but there's no need to complain because any excuse to see Will Forte do something with music is great. I didn't even mind Michael Phelps being awkward again.

"We": Nice usage of "huit" and "Wii" as Wiig's weird "we." I think the most laughter in the room stemmed from the weird Swiss doll and pained work-out combination. I feel like I've seen that performance art before. Also, I think Michael Phelps needs to dress like that more often, in shirts that recoil in terror at the sight of his super-long torso.

"Weekend Update": God, that political comedian. I was okay with him at first because I've seen comics and people that do that, but I'm starting to get tired of him now. He either needs to get crazier or disappear altogether. Andy Samberg's appearance as Cathy didn't make much sense to me, but that's probably for the best. At least he succeeded in triggering the same annoying headache that I get when I see those comics. Also: Tummy! Amy Poehler's tummy! God, that's going to be a hilarious baby.

"The Charles Barkley Show": I was actually kind of excited about this because of that hilarious Charles Barkley/Bjork "Iconoclasts" sketch from a while back ("Ohh, Bork!"), but then I realized that this sketch was appearing super-late in the evening and that probably meant it wouldn't be so hot. Everyone in the room with me groaned when Darrell Hammond popped up onscreen. Is he only sticking around in case we need an old guy to play McCain again? He somehow got a little Regis-y during the first part of his Bela impression, and I felt like he didn't really capture that totally gymnastics-crazy excitement that Bela completely exudes.

"T-Mobile Fav 5": A pretty hilarious twist on the T-Mobile Fav 5 commercial and yet another terribly awkward wig on Michael Phelps.

"SNL Digital Short: Space Olympics": Uh ... huh. I think that was just an excuse to use Lil Wayne audio effects. I did laugh out loud at the part about food funding, but I spent most of this short yelling variations of "What in the hell is going on?" My friend said that Andy Samberg looked like he was a futuristic founding father and I can't say I disagreed.

"UNO": i get the feeling that this was the character that the new guy used in his audition to get on the show. I laughed, but I'm not sure what I laughed at. In my notes, I wrote "I'm so confused" at least three times. Was the whole point to throw together, like, four different archetypes into one character so that it would make absolutely no sense? If so, he totally succeeded.

"Michael Phelps Diet": In case you didn't know, this sketch isn't actually that much of an exaggeration on his real training diet. I can't even read about it without having a heart attack or two. Inexplicable appearance by Jared Fogel wearing a Subway shirt. He might as well have walked on holding hands with William Shatner in a Priceline tee. The only time I laughed at Casey Wilson this evening was when she shoved spaghetti in her face and shrugged her shoulders. Ahh, binge eating humor.

Lil Wayne: I guess some people ... like ... this ... stuff ... I mean, someone must, right?

Next time: James Franco and Kings of Leon.

How would you rate this episode?
5 - Amazing!116 (13.7%)
4138 (16.3%)
3241 (28.4%)
2204 (24.0%)
1 - Terrible.150 (17.7%)

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Baltimore is eagerly anticipating Phelps' return home. Two separate events are planned for October 4th. One in his hometown of Towson, MD and then a big celebration, including other MD Olympic athletes, down at Fort McHenry. For details go to www.baltimore.org/phelps.

September 16 2008 at 10:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Lil Wayne evened it Out??? He looks great learning to play guitar on national tv....

September 15 2008 at 4:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My two cents on L'il Wayne. Never heard of him before I caught a second of him on the VMA's. That song Got Money got stuck in my head. I downloaded it after watching it on SNL. Lollipop not so much. So I don't mind him at all. And I'm a classic rock fan. Over 25. Without a stick jammed in any part of my body.
So there is room for compromise.

September 15 2008 at 10:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Tina Fey rocks. Every Kristin Wiig character reminds me of that "one upper" chick she does. (dont watch that often to know names).
Phelps was not good.

Bring back Peyton - best athlete host ever! The United Way thing... "Hey kids, who wants to live at my house? Ehhh I'm just f***ing with ya"

September 15 2008 at 10:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought the T-Mobile sketch was hilarious as was Samberg's Cathy impression. I mean, seriously, how random to do a Cathy impression? And it was spot on. The Palin/Clinton intro was good and there were a couple funny lines in the Barkley sketch. I felt the same way as Annie about the Space Olympics...I was laughing but I was super confused at the same time. Same for the new guy's sketch. Funny but a bit frantic and confusing.

September 15 2008 at 4:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The cold opening and the Fave 5 commercial were the best sketches. Everything else was okay or worse (well, Quiz Bowl was a little funny but went on too long).

Was expecting more political humor, but that wasn't a deal breaker. The sketches, in general, were just bland. Fred Armisen's character in WU was pointless. Andy Samberg's Cathy bit was boring (except for the end - sweatdrops! sweatdrops!)

I, however, don't see the infatuation with Michael Phelps. Sure, he won 8 golds (plus medals from previous Olympics) but who cares? His 15 minutes (or, if you're NBC - 2 weeks) or fame are over. The host could have been any random person - he brought absolutely nothing to the episode (except his mom, who - thanks to NBC, we have seen too many times already).

September 15 2008 at 12:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

overall, i thought it was OK, maybe a 70/100
i only noticed the camera shaking once, but then again i fast-forwarded through about 25% of the show
Phelps was ok, but was definitely stuttering, trying to remember his lines a lot
i found the Cathy impression funny the first time he said ACK!, but got annoyed very shortly thereafter. I haven't found Weekend Update to be a particularly funny piece since i started watching The Daily Show and Colbert.

September 14 2008 at 11:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was not impressed as the flow died after the first comercial. But I think the actors are great when given material that is worth it. The skits were just lackluster in concept. Michael Phelps in swimmy wings would have been fantastic.

More political skits would have been cool. Pailin was fun, but come on, they could have done SO much more with this. Much more.

So, here's what they should: put the edited version on TV and then put the unedited version on the net. People want risk.

And by the way, will someone at TV Sqaud cover MadTv(I'll do it if you need me to). Someone is obviously watching this show and it kicks the arse out of SNL.

September 14 2008 at 10:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Here's hoping they use Lemon's "Cathy" instead of Andy Samberg's.


September 14 2008 at 9:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David D

Here's the thing I don't understand about this episode. They kept saying that the reason they started the season earlier than they usually do is because they wanted to get a jump on the election season. Then I read an article on Huffington Post about Hammond and Armisen's work as McCain and Obama. And apart from the cold open -- which was by far the best thing on the show -- there was NO political humor in the entire 90 minutes. Are they saving it for the Thursday night shows? Or did Obama's cancellation screw it up? Come on -- there's, what, eight weeks to the election? And all they can come up with is a carbon copy of the locker room sketch? (I dearly wanted Phelps not to get up from the bench and say, "Coach, stop it -- I'm no Peyton Manning.")

On the other hand, the Nicholas Fehn bit never fails to crack me up, because Armisen is so brilliant doing it. But I do agree, it needs a twist at this point.

September 14 2008 at 8:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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