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'Saturday Night Live' - 'Jude Law/Pearl Jam' Recap

by Annie Wu, posted Mar 14th 2010 12:31PM
jude law peal jam
(S35E17)
Congratulations, Jude Law. That was a solid episode all around and a fine return to the 'Saturday Night Live' stage. And despite the fact that Pearl Jam was virtually unrecognizable to any ears that haven't heard them since the early-'90s, at least Law's musical guest didn't have any reason to do an awkward hoedown during a career-crippling blunder.

Cold Open: Of course they had to talk about this. Of course. Now, if you haven't read up on the incredibly weird Eric Massa story, it probably would have seemed like 'SNL' was just making up most of it. Unfortunately, they weren't. Maybe that's why they felt that ridiculously long intro was necessary? Anyway, the treatment of this topic was all right, though the absolute best part was Bobby Moynihan as Massa, attempting stealth snorkeling on Andy Samberg (the weak distraction was especially nice). And no, sorry, you can't unsee it.

Monologue: Instead of going on about his stint as Watson in 'Sherlock Holmes' or his upcoming film 'Repo Men,' Law chose to focus primarily on his turn as Hamlet on the stage. I guess he was pretty damn excited about it, as it was the focus of both the monologue and a sketch later in the evening. The monologue turned out to be kind of long-winded, but Law sounds cool saying anything so it's no big deal. Also, obligatory mention of his last time hosting, when Ashlee Simpson slipped and drove a stake into the heart of her singing career.



Ford commercial: Mwah! Simple but clean execution. I mean, sure, the topic is probably a little late but it was well-done. Also, Abby Elliott should go for that redhead look more often.

Secret Word (1967): Ah, yes. Kristen Wiig's Judy Garland-y character again. This, combined with some jokes about old-school mid-century racism and Jude Law's huge Russian junk, made a good sketch to kick off the evening. This also marked a long evening of Law demonstrating all the accents he can do.



Broadview Security commercial: Do they usually do this many commercials? We got three in one night (well, one was a repeat, but still). Anyway, this Broadview Security one was funny, if only to see KD Lang and the classic "two boys dressed as a man" bust down a door.



Spain: I totally thought this was going to turn into a new version of that Shia LaBeouf thing. Y'know, with the repeated creepy faces? As it turns out, it was just a two-year-late joke on 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona.' However, Law's "I kill you" face was great and just further proved that if you look and sound like Jude Law, you can charm women into doing anything. His oddly specific lisp was also a fantastic dialectic detail.



Boombox: Yes! And also, yes. I had been waiting for this a long time and actually gave up hope once they started doing Digital Shorts with music not from The Lonely Island's "Incredibad" album. "Boombox" with Julian Casablancas was my favorite track from the album, so I was excited to see this. I liked the Short, but I'm wondering if I would have enjoyed it more if I had never, ever heard it before. None of the jokes really rely on a direct visual, all the funny is in the song. Oh well. I can't complain when Julian Casablancas shows up in fingerless gloves.



Weekend Update: Let's see, Swedish artists with a death wish and meat thermometer-stabbings in movie theaters. A respectable Weekend Update. Then Jerry Seinfeld decided to swing by and do a "Really!?! with Seth and Jerry," covering more of the Eric Massa scandal. In case you didn't know, Mr. Seinfeld is behind NBC's new 'The Marriage Ref,' in which celebrities, regardless of their own very public marital disasters, attempt to judge ordinary people's messed up relationships. 'Cause sometimes, you just need to hear the words coming from Madonna. Really, Jerry? Really?



'Twilight Zone': I nearly fell out of my seat as soon as the music started up. Have I mentioned how much I love Bill Hader's old-school impressions? Because I do. From Vincent Price to Peter Falk to Rod Serling, all amazing. His Serling-y smile was also great. This sketch was ridiculous but amusing through-and-through. Notable parts included the creature's "Kiss me! I'm real" apron, chilling (and spooking) with Pearl Jam, and the Food Network Cake Challenge (I wonder if anyone who doesn't sit around in their PJs watching food porn got that joke).



Hamlet: Hey, did you hear that Jude Law was in Hamlet? In case you weren't paying attention during the episode, he clarified again. It was good to see Moynihan's Nathan Lane again and Hader's Al Pacino is always welcome. Andy Samberg's Nic Cage is also a fun addition, but only if he is suddenly attacked by bees. Never. Not. Funny.



Kickspit Underground Records: A repeat. How dare you let me think this was a new version of that hilarious Insane Clown Posse parody, only to rip my hopes out and bury them in the sand. You broke my heart, Ass Dan.

Stenographer: I would not have counted the debut of this Fred Armisen character as a success so I was pretty surprised to see her again. Same not-great jokes. Law took the time to break out his American accent again, though.



Ravish: I was surprised Law didn't attempt to do an accent again for this sketch. "Jay Leno Walking with Ravish" was the best part of this and everything else was pretty typical of any sketch in this time slot. In other news: Jude Law really likes those shirts.

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Picviewer

Wow it's as if the other networks know to program better blocks of shows up against SNL lately. For the third suck week in a row FX had a block of Always Sunny on to save the night.
Wonder what the counter programming for the sure to be weakfest of the Fey/whiny teen singer of the month show will be?

March 15 2010 at 1:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pat L.

SNL improved to a rousing mediocre and the writers had to work hard to achieve it. I watch and count just how many sketches I'll see again and again and again. Did fred find his chapstick yet? Two years from now he'll still be looking for it. Keenan will still be dancing to "what's up with that"and John Hamm will be the host for the fifteenth time.
But all in all it's the only thing on on saturday night and they try. Try what I don't know but they try.

March 14 2010 at 11:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pat L.

SNL improved to a rousing mediocre and the writers had to work hard to achieve it. I watch and count just how many sketches I'll see again and again and again. Did fred find his chapstick yet? Two years from now he'll still be looking for it. Keenan will still be dancing to "what's up with that"and John Hamm will be the host for the fifteenth time.
But all in all it's the only thing on on saturday night and they try. Try what I don't know but they try.

March 14 2010 at 11:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Professor Zed

I was surprised at how good the show was last night. Sure, there were some pretty bad skits; the last half hour was the pits, excepting for Pearl Jam's second song, which actually wasn't as strong as the first.

The Underground Rock Festival (a repeat? I hadn't seen it the first time) was weak, and the Stenographer skit and Cable Talk Show at the end were really bad. I've never been a fan of Andy Samberg's material, and his latest digital short was just as annoying as anything else he's ever done. I can accept that others love the guy. (For me, he's just a notch above Adam Sandler in the talent department - so that's not saying much.)

The opening was good, although they could have played an exact "word for word" from Massa's own actual appearance on the show on which he proclaimed his love for tickling male interns - that actual segment played like a skit from SNL.

Jude Law's Hamlet opening was a bit boring, although the later skit with Pacino, Sam Elliot and Nathan Lane was good. Yes, even Samberg's Nick Cage was good.

While the Ford commercial was OK, the Broadview Security commercial was absolutely hysterical.

The "Secret Word" sketch was also great, and I understand that a lot of guest stars on the old "Password" game show did in fact have a lot of trouble with saying the "secret" word out loud. Kristen Wiig was great - in everything she was in, but that's how she always is.

The Spanish Restaurant Killer was good as was Weekend Update. (Surprise!) Yep, after weeks of dull material, Seth came through with some funny stuff. The Woopie Goldberg bit was bad, but Jerry Seinfeld's guest spot on "Really?!" was terrific.

The best piece of the night was "The Twilight Zone" sketch. Annie mentioned the best part in her review - the "Kiss me, I'm real" apron. That was share brilliance, as was Pearl Jam's appearance on the wing alongside the gremlin.

Overall, a pretty good episode. Jude Law is an excellent host, and I'm sure he'll be back again and again in the future.

March 14 2010 at 8:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

Weak.

March 14 2010 at 7:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rishabh

This was the second good episode in a row after some weak ones. The newer cast members like Moynihan, Abby Elliot and Nasim Pedrad got the most exposure, and Kristen Wiig's pretty much hard to keep out.
I think this is the first time they've attempted to do something with Indians in it, and as one myself, I have to say that Fred Armisen was the only one who had the accent down - not so much the others. Moynihan's dance at the end was funny, though.

March 14 2010 at 5:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Patty Justice

If you've been to Edison and Iselin, then I invite your comment. Surely, I have no problem of people keeping their culture, but if you saw how they over took these towns where my friends and I grew up, you would understand. See if you can find some video on you tube. Maybe then you will see where I am coming from (literally).

March 14 2010 at 4:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Patty Justice's comment
Edward

this is just racist

March 14 2010 at 8:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Patty Justice

I am from Edison, NJ and it is so funny that I caught this, since I now live in Maryland. The Indians took over the town, and especially the neighboring town of Iselin. If you mention those towns to Indian surgeons ANYWHERE, they are familiar with the Indian culture that is thriving there. It truly is a shame that they have overrun and have made it their own, not that it is any fault of theirs. They do not assimilate, wearing the same clothing that they wore in India. Great food, though.

March 14 2010 at 2:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Patty Justice's comment
Edward

you are faulting them for keeping their culture? come on

March 14 2010 at 3:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Edward

so according to your usual good/not good/disaster breakdown...everything last night was good?

March 14 2010 at 1:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Edward's comment
Annie W.

I was trying to figure out if it was necessary or if a sequential breakdown was more effective (kind of like... judging sketches as individual pieces versus the full 90 minutes as a whole). I believe there are benefits to both but if readers find it easier/better/whatever to do it the other way, I can go back.

March 14 2010 at 1:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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