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October 4, 2015

Saturday Night Live: Steve Martin/Jason Mraz - VIDEOS

by Annie Wu, posted Feb 1st 2009 3:02PM
Steve Martin
This episode marked Steve Martin's 15th time hosting and one millionth appearance on SNL. My expectations are always a high for a returning show-favorite, as I picture the whole week of writing and rehearsals to be a wild, wild party praising the host and, between celebratory keg stands, they write bang-up material that uses the host to their full potential. Yes, it's my own fault for thinking like that because I'm inevitably let down, but every once in a while there's a hit. This episode was all right in general, but it certainly wasn't worthy of Steve Martin. Here are some video highlights from the night.

Cold Open (Obama): Here we go. The first sketch featuring President Obama. I'm super-excited to see how they deal with Obama's ups and downs through the next few years and how his character develops. Heck, maybe his hope-driven campaign will carry over his administration, though I find continuous optimism to be absolutely exhausting. I love that they already have a character down for Jason Sudeikis' Joe Biden, though. It's a marvelous contrast to the Dick Cheney presence that Darrell Hammond's provided us for so many years.

Pampers: Edible diapers. Immature? Very much so. Funny? Yeah, sure.

MacGruber: My friends and I were trying to figure out if these were real commercials or not because of multiple differences from normal "MacGruber" sketches. First of all, there was zero audience reaction. It was funny, so there was no way the audience could have sat stone-silent throughout the entire thing. Plus, MacGyver didn't get any applause and the crowd usually goes nuts for any surprise appearance. The direct reference to Pepsi was also unusual, and the fact that the first ad was sandwiched between two other commercials made us curious. I guess Pepsi gave them a bit of money. Or Pepsi inherited MacGyver from a dead aunt and they didn't know what to do with him.

Sports Bar: We've seen these characters multiple times and I always wish we had more of that crazy talk they have at the very end of the sketches.

Weekend Update: Oh, SNL's make-up and hair crew, how I love you so. Blagojevich's hair was spot-on and Abby Elliott looked remarkably like Angelina Jolie when she tilted her head just right. Also, I'm honestly glad they brought back Governor Patterson instead of succumbing to the previous criticism. Ruffle some feathers, SNL, don't be scared.

Issues: This was an attempt to make Steve Martin do something a little bit more humiliating than the new Pink Panther series. Sorry, SNL, man-boobs cannot top the fact that three super-legends like John Cleese, Jean Reno and Steve Martin have to do things like Pink Panther.

Laser Cats: Laser Cats is usually good for giggles and this time was no exception. The pseudo-futuristic word-dragging was hilarious because everyone likes to pretend to do that. No? I'm the only one that wakes up every morning and acts out all of Tom Cruise's parts in Minority Report? Okay.

Bernie Madoff: This seemed to drag on for a while. Maybe it's just because Bernie Madoff is inherently super-depressing.

ESPN Classic: This was simple but pretty hilarious. Guns plus football... A timeless combination.

Steve Martin's "Late for School": This was so innocent and full of non-snarky fun, it was kind of adorable. I mean, out of place, but adorable.

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Disclaimer: This is the second full episode of SNL I've watched since the Farley/Sandler/Spade days.

The first was the Doogie Howser episode. That was horrifically unfunny, outside of the Digital Short and Frost/Other People, both of which could be instant classics to me. So weird to have two monumental gems amidst such awfulness. The news amused me, too.

Then last night... exactly the same. Horribly unfunny. For one, Kristen Wiig is right out of MadTV. All she does is play socially awkward people that annoy everyone around her. Same exact mannerisms and speech patterns, too. All she does is change wigs.
Why do people like her? I am beyond baffled. She's horrible. She can't act.

The news was again good. Losing Amy Poehler was an improvement. Amy, formerly so funny, just overacted obnoxiously. Ever since Will Ferrell this sells on SNL, though. Just overact like the biggest idiot possible and you'll succeed. Look at Kristen Wiig...

I had to fast forward through almost everything, although Laser Cats 4 cracked me up, especially since I work with After Effects as a hobby and have had to edit crap like that.
The football thing, though... amazing. Some of those stills of Steve Martin with the gun killed me.

Again, SNL blows outside of the digital short, news, and second to last skit.
In two episodes I see a pattern.

And can someone put Kristen Wiig on MadTV where she belongs? I know it's off the air - she should be, too.

February 02 2009 at 1:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Just when you thought the last one with Rosario Dawson couldn't be any worse, you had this one. Fred Armisen isn't even trying to imitate Obama.

February 02 2009 at 12:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow just saw the MacGruber bit as a commercial during the SB.

I have lost the last string of respect for SNL and hope the show is canceled ASAP. Burn in hell you sanctimonious sell outs.

February 01 2009 at 9:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yep McGruber was an ad, I just saw it during the Super Bowl.

February 01 2009 at 9:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Really bad. The only chuckle of the episode for me was ESPN Classic. The rest were just pointless. They had either one joke (Issues, Madoff, Obama) or fewer (Sports bar).

February 01 2009 at 5:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Diego M

awful for the most part.

i liked update and i liked the orgy skit with steve and the girls.
madoff was awful, diapers was stupid, laser cats is played out, i finished watching the ESPN skit and i erased it off my dvr.

i think the anne hathaway and the tim mcgraw shows were the best on this awful season.

February 01 2009 at 5:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

With the exception of one or two shows, SNL has been lame all season and the Steve Martin show was not one of those exceptions.

The problem is with the writers. The typical skit relies soley on repetition for its humor; just keep repeating the same response to a slightly varying set-up. Only rarely are the paired lines as humorous after the first time. When they are not doing this, they are bringing back a character to do the same bit as previous shows, only with a slightly altered set-up.

In short, they are short on originality. Too short. It's boring, it's not funny (except for "Weekend Update") and it's no longer worth the time investment to watch it.

Finally, yes, you fools, the "McGruber" pieces were rather obvious paid ads for Pepsi. (And McGruber is yet another example of bringing back the same tired joke with precious little variables each time.)

February 01 2009 at 4:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I liked the Obama cold open (finally poking a little bit of fun at the Messiah!); the bit with the girls falling in love with Steve (not mentioned in this review); and Abby's dead-on impression of Angelina Jolie. The ESPN Classic send-up was pretty good too.

The rest of the episode stunk. Edible diapers? No thank you. Laser Cats? Never been funny and never will be. The impression of the blind governor? It was offensive the first time. The terrible skit with Steve working in a department store (also not mentioned in this post)? Painfully bad.

I expected a lot more from Steve. He looked downright apologetic during the curtain call.

Other thoughts:

* My guess is that the MacGruber sketches were paid ads.
* Pretty tasteless to see Seth making jokes about CBS infomercials given the state of NBC's ratings.

February 01 2009 at 3:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Bernie Madoff skit was ridiculously painful to watch. Not only did it go on 5 minutes longer than it should have, but I'm pretty sure the audience was only chuckling out of being uncomfortable throughout the entire skit.

I'm surprised you didn't mention the skit in the mall with Steve Martin's wife interrupting a sale. I'm almost positive that this skit was thrown in at the last minute because everyone was just staring at the teleprompters (and totally not looking at each other), and even Kristen Wiig seemed to have been hesitating on her lines, even though she was pretty much saying the same 3 sentences over and over again.

February 01 2009 at 3:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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