Review: Saturday Night Live - Jon Hamm/Michael Bublé
by Annie Wu, posted Jan 31st 2010 10:32AM
(S35E13) The first time Jon Hamm hosted Saturday Night LIve, back in 2008, it was before I had seen his work on Mad Men and 30 Rock (the latter was due to the fact his guest appearances didn't exist at the time). I was super-excited that the seemingly perpetually serious Hamm actually turned out to be hilarious, and his performance led to one of the best episodes of the entire season. Taking all this into consideration, I was walking on dangerous ground as I prepared to watch Hamm's return to the SNL stage.
Were my expectations too high to be met? Did Hamm's pre-SNL beard somehow take funny away from him (I've heard beards can sometimes do that)? As it turned out, I had absolutely nothing to worry about. Hamm did yet another stellar job as host, bringing a level of charm and commitment that made just about every sketch work.
This initial delight in seeing Hamm do well quickly turned into frustration. People as handsome as Hamm shouldn't be allowed to be funny as well. That's almost personality greed. I mean, seriously, leave some action for the rest of us, jerk.
... Aww, I can't stay mad at you, Hamm. Let's look over some moments from the episode; videos will be posted as they're available.
Digital Short - Sergio: Sergio is like a horrifying Kool-Aid man that could potentially burst out of your wife's womb some day. An incredibly, incredibly bizarre Digital Short. Holy crap. There weren't even any good lines in this sketch, but the visual ridiculousness of it all made it one of the best moments of the night. I'm wondering if the writers decided they wanted to see a goo-covered, gyrating, shirtless Jon Hamm wailing on a sax and worked backwards from there.
Scott Brown: Who knew you could get something so great from mixing hot topic politicians and Mango? This could have been really cringeworthy if done half-assed (as I would imagine a lot of hosts would have done, out of a bit of embarrassment) but Hamm made it work. Plus, political sex jokes are rarely not funny ("I want to introduce something to the floor. It's called... Your panties").
Snooki: Weekend Update was only so-so this week but Bobby Moynihan's return as Jersey Shore's Snooki really stood out. I mean, both in performance and color. That orange skin was bordering on radioactive. His suddenly gruff speaking voice gets me every time and I laugh through Snooki's appearances, even though i don't watch Jersey Shore (and you can't make me, you MTV bastards).
Hamm and Bublé: This episode's follow-up to John Ham, in a way. Usually, it's an all-around bad idea bringing in the musical guest to do a live sketch. Sure, they can be funny in digital shorts when their blunders are gently buffed out in the edited room, but a lot of the time, the musicians kind of stare blankly at the camera until it's their turn to contribute their voice.
Michael Bublé was hilarious, though, looking sufficiently terrified and pitiful as Hamm repeatedly death-stared him down. This was one of those super-dumb ideas for a sketch that actually worked out really well because of the performances. In other news, a black tuxedo jacket and grey shirt? Totally working. Taking notes, gentlemen?
Closet Organizer: Yet another super-strange sketch from the evening and probably one of my favorite commercials in a long while. It was so rapid-fire and surreal, it took me a little while to process it after it was all over, even though I was laughing through the entire thing. The follow-up sketch at the bar was also a creative way of tying two bits together that I don't believe we've seen before (or at least in a long, long time). By the way, did a sound guy fall asleep at the wheel for the latter sketch? That bar music was blasting through most of it.
NOT SO GREAT STUFF
Barnes and Noble: Compared to the rest of the episode, this just wasn't so strong, but in just about any other week, this probably would have blended in fine.
Court Stenographer: The best moment was the first shot of Armisen's face, and then it went downhill from there.
Cold Open: Of course, Obama's State of the Union address had to be included. This started off pretty funny but it dragged on way, way too long. However, I will spare it from inclusion in the above category simply for the inclusion of Brendan Fraser's, um, unusual clap.
Monologue: Cute premise and a further demonstration of how Hamm should always and forever be in a suit.
Don't Make Me Sing: I started off really enjoying the sketch's simple premise and timing (and weirdly casual mention of Dorothy Parker) but then, much like the Cold Open, it dragged on too long. Actually, way too long. Holy wow. Another style note: Abby Elliott should sport finger waves more often.
Sports Show: I've gotten a bit bored of these sketches lately, but finally having a turn of events in the flow of the story made this a welcome change. Final style note of the evening: Bill Hader's alien look doesn't work on anyone. Even Hamm.
|Sexy doctor.||116 (25.2%)|
|Disco cowboy.||98 (21.3%)|
|Tiny shorts construction worker.||96 (20.8%)|
|1920s flapper.||151 (32.8%)|
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