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Review: Saturday Night Live - Gerard Butler/Shakira

by Annie Wu, posted Oct 18th 2009 2:03PM
gerard butler and shakira
(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.]

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Here is the Robot Through Wall Video, HD but not the best quality...

October 28 2009 at 3:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to cpostier's comment


October 28 2009 at 3:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow, I think Gerard Butler did an outstanding job hosting the SNL show. There were so many skits. His singing is still great. I loved the Phantom and Beauty and the Beast the best. He totally put himself out there and he's hilarious. Well done - I hope we see a lot more of Gerry.

October 21 2009 at 12:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Beauty and The Beast was clever, and Daveheart was pretty good. Everything in between ... meh. As noted in the review, the best part of this episode was the Bud-sponsored clips from dress rehearsals.

Ten minutes into the "What Up With That" sketch, I actually envisioned Lorne on a commercial break, saying, "Keenan, the show's running short. Let's go with the interminably long version of 'What Up With That.'"

October 19 2009 at 12:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought the show was funny. I don't know the actresses' name, the one that kept having the orgasms on the news, that skit was so funny. I couldn't stop laughing. The 300 spoof was funny too. I liked Shakira's first song.

October 19 2009 at 10:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joe Siegler

I dunno, my wife and I really enjoyed the Beauty & The Beast bit. Perhaps it's because we have a 4 year old daughter who is into all that Disney princess stuff. That made the two of us laugh pretty hard.

October 19 2009 at 1:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No fun left for me either. Just stayed with the great Yanks game. So much more exciting.
btw I had same sense of 30 mins having flown by tonight
in the Simpsons show. Another yawner.
Only thing (s) holding my attention are when seek out some
lesser known shows. Do like the new NCIS: LA.
But also the Robin Hood type shows with smaller audience.
Wonder what will finally replace SNL if anything. Talk show?

October 19 2009 at 12:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

where was adam samberg?

October 19 2009 at 12:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thought it was repeat from last year when I saw The Rock doing the opening and was familiar enough to think I'd seen it before (like half the other skits on every show). Turned it off - very tired of seeing repeated material on new shows and not interested in spending the time watching anything rehashed anymore. You'd think with all those ex-MadTV writers out there somewhere, some of them would have been offered jobs- they knew how to invent new situations for their recurring characters far better than SNL has done for years, if ever.

October 18 2009 at 8:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Next time: Taylor Swift"

Unfortunately, no... it's actually the horrible U2 that you have to look forward to.

October 18 2009 at 8:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Can someone explain to me why Shakira, Lady Gaga and Beyonce are trying to all look the same? They look horrible and ridiculous.

October 18 2009 at 6:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Si's comment

Clearly a woman's perspective.

They all look great to me. Yes, it may be wearing thin, but who else are you hoping to watch slink around on TV while "awoooooooooo[-ing]"... John Mayer?

October 18 2009 at 8:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I happened to mute the television when shakira was on. Man, it was such an odd performance. I guess I'm not well versed in her, but that weird body popping just looks ridiculous.

October 18 2009 at 9:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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