Saturday Night Live: Neil Patrick Harris/Taylor Swift - VIDEOS
by Annie Wu, posted Jan 11th 2009 1:29PM
(S34E12) It's just as we thought, everyone: Neil Patrick Harris is awesome. Why did it take SNL so long to bring in NPH? It seems cruel, almost, to make us wait like this. Even though the sketches this week were not particularly spectacular or groundbreaking, NPH's delivery and enthusiasm made the ride really fun. Unless his backstage demands and antics were too crazy for the SNL gang to handle, there's no reason to hold back on multiple returns.
Cold Open (Rachel Maddow and Roland Burris): Abby Elliott's impression debut! She had Rachel Maddow's smirk down but not much else. Plus, Abby Elliott looks and sounds like she's 17. Maddow and Burris are really interesting characters and some of the jokes were pretty good, but the links were weak. Like, super-weak. It was a lot of "And then what happened?" Joke joke joke "And then what?" Even in an interview format, there's ways to shake things up.
Monologue: Beautiful! NPH delivered each and every word as naturally as the most seasoned SNL player, sometimes even better. The monologue itself was cute, if only to have an excuse to bring back Andy Samberg's Mark Wahlberg ("Say hi to the cast of How I Met Your Mother for me"). I was a little surprised that NPH didn't take this opportunity to sing, but that can get a little obnoxious so perhaps that was for the best.
Today Show: Something just didn't quite click. I know what they were trying to do, but it didn't quite work and it dragged on forever. Also, I'm liking Michaela Watkins so far. NPH did beautifully, once again. I think the ladies were still making jokes and little gags back there, but I was somewhat hypnotized by NPH's thrusting and double-time thrusting.
Save Broadway: Ahh, the Drama Club geek in me lives on. I'm interested to know what people with zero-interest in theatre thought about this sketch. I also like that in his short time on this show, Bobby Moynihan has been in a giant cat costume more than most -- if not all -- of the other cast members (I think; there's no Wiki entry on this). Also, also, was that "Wow! Wow. Still relevant" line directed at Stomp! or Darrell Hammond? Please let that man go home. God, I'm starting to think it's just SNL holding him hostage. Does he live in the studio, feed off lost NBC pages and scraps from tourists?
Penelope: Good ol' Penelope. I'm curious to know why Liza Minnelli showed up in this sketch and not the previous Broadway one. I suppose it was a bigger surprise here.
Weekend Update: This is the first "Weekend Update" with Seth Meyers officially flying solo! We haven't had an official lone anchor Update since the days of Colin Quinn. When are they going to let a lady do this thing without male supervision, huh?
Kenan Thompson's Charles Barkley showed up to defend himself and then Will Forte shared a song. That guy really needs more credit for what he's doing. The Digital Short/Lonely Island boys are stealing a lot of the spotlight with their music (they have an album, "Incredibad", coming out next month) but Will Forte has been delivering a lot more consistent material, albeit not quite as catchy ("Dick In a Box" vs. that weird "yay/nay" song). Round of applause for the man, c'mon.
Fran & Freba: NPH makes a very, very unattractive woman. Good lord. My eyes are offended. A lot like the Today Show sketch, there was something missing with this one. There were some cute moments, but in the end it just felt like it dragged on too long.
Frost/Other People: Simple and interesting execution. Between this sketch and the "Two First Names" one, it seemed like everyone on the cast got to stretch their impression muscles. My favorite was probably Bill Hader's David Bowie but only because it was Bill Hader and David Bowie. Jason Sudeikis's subtle costume additions were also fun.