Saturday Night Live: Ryan Reynolds/Lady Gaga
by Annie Wu, posted Oct 4th 2009 2:38PM
(S35E02) After that Jenny Slate f-bomb nonsense and Megan Fox's not terribly original hot girl material from the season premiere, it was exciting to see a really solid episode (and a star-studded one, at that). Ryan Reynolds did a fantastic job as host (snaps for his wavering voice during the porcelain fountains sketch and accent in SYTYCD), though he didn't have any major stand-out roles. Did I miss the memo that Lady Gaga wasn't just musical guest but co-host as well? Such a role is normally left up to Ryan Reynolds' giant biceps.
It's been a while since we've seen such consistently enjoyable writing in an episode. Usually, there's a distinct lull during the course of the 90 minutes, but I didn't feel it this time. Hopefully, this is a good indication of the rest of the season.
All right, first things first: Why so much Gaga? It wasn't terrible, just strange. After a while, I felt like I had seen more on-screen minutes of her than Ryan Reynolds. But, despite the generally attention whore-y behavior, there's no denying that Lady Gaga puts on a show. I loved her intergalactic backbrace thing, and her "Deephouse Dish" with Madonna was weird/fun/awkward. Was this a filthy little dream that Kenan Thompson or one of the writers once had, and they just had to bring it to life?
An appearance by Mrs. Ryan Reynolds, Scarlett Johansson, was also fun. I mean, if Justin Timberlake can bring around Jessica Biel whenever he feels like it, then a little bit of ScarJo was inevitable. It was a nice touch bringing her in to reprise an old character.
As for Elijah Wood ... I have no idea why he was there, but I will not complain. "On the Ground" was hilarious, though formulaic (not sure if it was because it actually was very formulaic or because I've had so much Lonely Island stuff ingrained in my head). "Happy birthday to the ground!" has yet to fail to make me laugh.
Does Darrell Hammond count as a special guest? I liked that his appearance as Schwarzenegger didn't get big "Oh my God, an SNL alum!" applause. It was just ol' Darrell, coming back to hang out in the studio. Hey, SNL, you know you guys can't keep bringing him back, right? You gotta move on. Find another guy that can do voices.
Speaking of "Weekend Update," this week's was particularly strong. Seth Meyers is really wearing solo well. Strangely, that Eeyore joke got a bigger reaction than Lady Gaga's shenanigans, and I include her intentionally belting out the word "shit" during one of her songs. Also, Thompson's Charles Barkley needs to become a permanent correspondent for "WU."
And finally, I think one of my new favorite things is Bobby Moynihan's face. Hilarious.
Here are some video highlights from the evening:
Next week: Drew Barrymore, Regina Spektor.
[Watch episodes and clips of Saturday Night Live and other shows over at SlashControl.]