Review: Saturday Night Live - Gerard Butler/Shakira
by Annie Wu, posted Oct 18th 2009 2:03PM
(S35E04) I remember sitting down and staring at Gerard Butler as he made funny, smarmy faces at the camera. And then I blinked, only to see Butler was thanking the cast and viewers for a wonderful show. I looked on the computer screen. There were half-remembered notes haphazardly tapped out at some point.
Somehow, I had jumped forward ninety minutes. Had I finally mastered short-term time travel? Or did I just watch an incredibly forgettable episode of Saturday Night Live? Probably the latter. However, I vaguely recall a destructive robot adorably struggling through a wall. If that was actually a dream and not real life, please don't tell me.
I know nothing about Gerard Butler, so I went into this episode with absolutely no expectations. I mean, for the longest time, I didn't know he and Clive Owen weren't the same person, if that says anything. After it was all over, I wasn't terribly impressed but I harbored no dislike of him. He seemed a little nervous, is all.
The episode started off with a bang, thanks to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson reprising his role as The Rock Obama. Despite the absence of Andy Samberg's almost-sadistic Rahm Emanuel, this was still fun to watch. Also, can we take a hot second to marvel at how Jenny Slate needed minimal adjustment to look like Senator Snowe? Once they nail those unfortunate shoulder pads, it's really going to pop.
Anyway, after the cold open, things kind of went downhill for the most part. Butler's one of those musical guys in Hollywood, so of course he had to belt out a tune or two... or three... I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he usually sounds better when he's not crumbling under a giant Beast costume on live television.
As the end of the night drew closer, I started getting antsy because nothing was really happening. The closing cottage cheese sketch was the first time in a long time I've been truly annoyed by Kristen Wiig. As some of you know, I'm a big fan of Wiig's sketches, but, goddamn, I wanted that sketch to end before she even showed off her first "mouse." There was also something very off about the timing in all of the sketches in the evening, and this was no exception.
On the other hand, I thought Wiig's character with the inconvenient B train-triggered orgasms during "Weekend Update" was hilarious, especially in her interactions with Meyers. Meyers did well again this week, though the material included some real groaners.
Looking through my notes, I think the only sketch that really made me laugh out loud was "What Up With That," and most of that was just because I love watching Jason Sudeikis dance ("First Person In The History Of The World To Dance", come on). Kenan Thompson's character bobbing his head and quietly singing under his breath as his guests talked was also hilarious. Congratulations are in order for James Franco, whose silent appearance won him the "Most Inexplicable Cameo" award.
And, of course, this review would not be complete without mentioning the dress rehearsal clips sprinkled throughout the evening. I laughed at more of these than I did the actual live show, which, you know, could be a bad sign. And the robot! Oh, my goodness, that robot. Watching that thing, bent on human destruction, struggling to get through a wall was the cutest damn thing I have seen in a long time.
If someone came up with an America's Funniest Home Videos type show for just robots, I would watch it gleefully. Also, I don't think that Jeffrey's sketch with Sean Hayes, Jimmy Fallon and Will Ferrell was a dress rehearsal clip. I distinctly remember completely cracking up at that sketch back in the day because Hayes and Fallon could not contain themselves. This was back when Fallon was known for being a bit of a gigglepuss.
Here are some clips from the evening:
Next time: Taylor Swift. I'll admit, I screamed, though not for the same reason her pre-teen fans did.
I'll close with a fun fact: The normal human has anywhere between 200 to 300-some joints, whereas Shakira's number is closer to twelve thousand.
[Watch episodes and clips of Saturday Night Live and other shows over at SlashControl.]