Review: Saturday Night Live - Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Dave Matthews Band
by Annie Wu, posted Nov 22nd 2009 12:38PM
(S35E07) I imagine it played out like this: Joseph Gordon-Levitt was at home last week, trying to mentally prepare for his first go as Saturday Night Live host by watching January Jones. Her performance turned out to be wooden and incredibly low energy and, consequently, the laughs were minimal. This struck fear into Mr. Gordon-Levitt's heart, and, terrified, he dropped the pint of Phish Food that he was eating in my imagination. "I won't let this happen to me," I bet he said. "I'm going to eat two fistfuls of Pixi Stix at 11:25 p.m. Saturday night and have someone inject me with a near lethal dose of adrenaline. I'll also wear a lot of vests."
And that's how Joseph Gordon-Levitt managed to exhaust a seated audience through sheer enthusiasm and volume alone. Maybe.
Here are some notable sketches from the evening (more clips as they are available from legit outlets).
Cold Open: This sketch featured Fred Armisen as Barack Obama, Will Forte as Hu Jintao and Nasim Pedrad as the screeching translator of Hu Jintao. I actually thought this sketch could have been funny if not for Pedrad's voice. Yes, that was the dealbreaker. I swear to God not all Chinese women sound like that. Pedrad's Kim Kardashian from last week was pretty amusing too, but also had a similar problem where it was surprisingly screechy. On another note, I was amused that in any other situation, Fred Armisen, the go-to any-ethnicity guy on the show, would probably have played Hu Jintao.
Monologue: Man, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is not a singer, but bless his heart for giving it all he had (and doing three off-the-wall backflips). The whole night, he seemed like he was having the time of his life and, actually, it was a little unnerving at times. He wins for most enthusiastic host so far this season. Also, what was up with him singing through, like, the entire first hour and fifteen minutes of the show? I was starting to wonder if he was trying to break some sort of record and, even though his singing voice isn't exactly amazing, as 1:00 a.m. drew closer and closer, I kind of hoped that he would just sing the rest of the night and make it an inexplicably extra-musical night.
Palin 2012: Ridiculously simple but effective.
What Up With That: Unexpected highlight of this sketch: The random celebrity that has to silently sit there for no reason. The first time, it was James Franco, and now Mindy Kaling was the lucky celeb.
Weekend Update: Al Gore made another green NBC appearance (Gore appeared on 30 Rock) and did incredibly well. His straightforward delivery can sometimes be dangerous ground, but it totally worked with his "crazy" angle and made it super-funny. Hell, I didn't even mind the preachiness of it.
Jack Johnson's Mellow Show: I was not aware that Jack Johnson is still relevant. Then again, I didn't know that Dave Matthews was still relevant, but there he was. Dave Matthews' appearance as Ozzy Osbourne was kind of a dated reference, though I'll admit he came pretty close to nailing Ozzy's singing and screaming.
Digital Short: Two Worlds Collide Ft. Reba McEntire. Yet another amusing but groan-worthy musical Digital Short. I don't mind that Andy Samberg keeps revisiting the rap motif because he does it really well. I laughed, but I won't be downloading this tune any time soon. Maybe it'll start sounding catchy to me after a few more listens.
Now, I must close with a question. I don't have this problem, but I've been hearing from some people that they often confuse Nasim Pedrad and Jenny Slate. Is this an actual prevailing issue or do I just know weird people?
|No, that's never happened before.||212 (23.0%)|
|Which one is Chris Elliott's kid?||129 (14.0%)|
(Psst. Abby Elliott is Chris Elliott's kid.)
[Watch episodes and clips of Saturday Night Live and other shows over at SlashControl.]