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Saturday Night Live: Jon Hamm/Coldplay - VIDEOS

by Annie Wu, posted Oct 26th 2008 12:15PM
Mad Men on SNL
(S34E06) I'm not one of the hardcore Mad Men fans out there, but from what I've seen, the show is slick as hell. Never would I have expected Don Draper to be so funny, so I was absolutely thrilled that Jon Hamm did such a beautiful job hosting. He and Anne Hathaway have been stand-out hosts this season, and hopefully they'll be back for more, if only to show other hosts that it is entirely possible to read from cue cards with some degree of naturalism. Actually, some players could take notes, too. Mr. Hamm even managed to do some impressions without making me cringe out of my seat, which was a super-extra-bonus. It was a strange night, certainly, what with the Fingers in Butts and Amy Poehler being MIA to have her baby (I hope the baby will have Amy's eyes and Will Arnett's voice), but Mr. Hamm's performance managed to carry the show and help everyone deliver a solid episode.

Cold Open: Geez, this dragged on forever. Jason Sudeikis' Biden still isn't quite there yet, but Darrell Hammond's grumpy-faced Murtha was pretty good.

Digital Short ("Rasta Man"): I couldn't understand what Andy Samberg was saying through most of this, but the bits that I could hear were kind of funny. Please note I only heard "Excuse I!" and something about Cool Runnings and heard him get super-quiet when he walked past a group of black people.

"Two A-Holes in an Ad Agency in the 60s": This was probably a lot funnier to anyone who has seen Mad Men, not only because of the special appearances by Elisabeth Moss and John Slattery (aka Silver Fox), but the impressions were too perfect. We've seen funnier "Two A-Holes" sketches, but the fact that it was Mad Men made it a little more bearable.

"Obama Variety Hour": Hi, Maya Rudolph! It's been a while. I suppose this Maya's appearance as Michelle Obama was another reminder that the SNL cast needs a little more diversity.

"Don Draper's Guide to Picking Up Women": Amazing and hilarious in its simplicity and execution. I was surprised by the amount of retro-y slash Mad Men-related things in this episode. I wouldn't be surprised if the show just got a lot of new people interested, or at least willing to take their skirts off for Don Draper.

"Weekend Update": Poor Seth Meyers had to pull this off all on his lonesome. At least Amy's absence was for a wonderful reason. I guess I wasn't too far off when I mentioned last week that Amy looked like she was rocking that Sarah Palin rap so hard, the baby was about to slip out. That's how people have babies, right? I saw a TLC show about it once. Anyway, there were a few chuckle-worthy lines here and there, but the highlight of Update came at the very end with Maya Rudolph and Kenan Thompson singing, "We love you, Amy." Even my bitter, frozen heart melted for that moment. Just a little.

Finger in Butts: This week's "Fartface." At least Hamm pulled a few good faces.

I'm super-sad that NBC didn't upload the Vincent Price sketch. The pacing of the piece was a little awkward, but I thought Mr. Hamm's James Mason was hysterical and Bill Hader's Vincent Price is always funny to me. Maybe I just have a thing for retro-themed sketches.

Coldplay: Man...these guys really don't do themselves justice live. I didn't think that was possible, but I guess it is. I'm assuming they played a third song ("Yellow"!) because of the time left from the sketches that needed Amy Poehler. I believe she and Maya were supposed to pull a "Bronx Beat" for old times' sake, but perhaps it's for the best that they didn't do it. Anyway, even though I'm digging Coldplay's "Viva la Vida" look, they totally need to throw in more lasers.

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er..... where is the coldplay video?

November 30 2008 at 10:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Coldplay was fantastic! This band is so totally awesome. Chris Martin's energy and passion, not to mention singing while in aerobic motion, was refreshing and inspiring! Thank you, SNL, for this uplifting treat.

November 09 2008 at 11:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I like everything Annie writes. *smiles*

October 28 2008 at 10:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Coldplay was GREAT, and I loved how they threw in a shout or two for Obama. Whoever said the singer can't sing is wrong, his voice is exceptionally good. He's got a wide vocal range with perfect control and pitch. The guitarist is also good, creative. Coldplay's the kind of band that grows on you over time.

Although I dont' care for Madmen, I thought Jon Hamm was exceptionally funny (much funner than Josh Brolin last week, fwiw).

October 27 2008 at 8:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

*MUCH* weaker than in the past.
only good parts were Coldplay, and the end of Weekend Update. and Jon Hamm's John Ham was mildly amusing. i fast forwarded through the rest of the show, though.

October 26 2008 at 10:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andy Nordvall

No Vicent Price sketch? As got as Hamm's Mason was, Wiig's scarily accurate Nora Desmond/Gloria Swanson that really made the sketch the best SNL in a long while.


October 26 2008 at 10:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
James J. Gutierrez

what about the sexual predator sketch...man that was funny

October 26 2008 at 9:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No mention of the trick-or-treating sex offender? That and the "Vincent Price" sketch were 2 of the best written and acted of the season. I was also quite pleased with most of the other sketches, and even "Update" (which clearly had less jokes and an extra appearance by Fehn because of no Poehler) wasn't bad.

Coldplay's problem was the soundman, especially during "Yellow", where the lead guitar was non-existent and the bass was way too high in the mix. I'm guessing they weren't expecting to play that one, but because of Poehler's last-minute labour-times, were asked to do a third that hadn't gotten any practices or soundchecks.

So far, SNL is 3/6 this season. The other 3 have had some good content, and I might even be tempted to put last week's episode in the "great" category too, but I can definitely say that I'd re-watch the James Franco, Anne Hathaway, and Jon Hamm episodes again.

October 26 2008 at 7:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It was by far the best episode of the year. I am a Mad Men fan so maybe I'm biased but I was disappointed that they had to include the Two A-Holes into the Mad Men sendup. It would have been easy to simply do a takeoff on the show. Although perhaps they thought too few would get it.

October 26 2008 at 6:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Craig's comment

Yeah, that's exactly what I thought! Bill Hader was doing a really good job as Sal, I thought, and the times they did actually parody Mad Men instead of the two A-holes worked well. "Well, it's noon. I'm off to the bar."

October 26 2008 at 7:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A good ep. Perhaps not the best of the season, but very solid. Don Draper's Guide To Picking Up Women was an instant classic, and the non-A-Hole dialogue in the Mad Man sketch was spot-on. The Butt/Finger sketch was sophomoric, calling it this week's Fartface is a little harsh.

A few other comments:

* A couple bands have played three songs on the show. (U2 and Eric Clapton come immediately to mind.) I kind of assumed Coldplay was big enough to warrant three, so I wasn't too surprised. What did surprise me were the performances themselves. I'm not going to say Chris Martin was lip-synching, but something about their performances felt off to me. I'd blame it on my TV, but the rest of the show seemed fine.

* Maya was a nice surprise! She grew up with Gwyneth Paltrow, so maybe she was there because of the Coldplay connection?

* The Rosie O'Donnell joke ("Hey, Kool-Aid") was the highlight of Weekend Update!

* The Digital Short sucked. I'm almost to the point of not liking something just because Samberg's face is on it.

October 26 2008 at 6:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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