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'Saturday Night Live' - 'Gabourey Sidibe/MGMT' Recap

by Annie Wu, posted Apr 25th 2010 3:00PM
(S35E20) Like most of the public, I only knew Gabourey Sidibe from 'Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire' (Okay, seriously, if we're gonna do that, can we put it on the end of every movie adaptation of a novel? 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, based on the novel 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban' by JK Rowling). It was one of those movies that I wasn't sure if I wanted to even watch because just looking at Sidibe in the trailers made me uncomfortable.

However, as it turned out, Sidibe is friggin' adorable. I wasn't expecting to laugh-out-loud so much during this episode, but it was super-strong all the way through, with very, very few exceptions. A lot of this could be credited to Sidibe's incredible enthusiasm and surprisingly great comedic delivery. The only problem with her performance was that she seemed nervous and rushed through a lot of her lines, causing her to stumble or mumble. But that was really it! This whole episode was very fun.

Cold Open (Obama Reform): This was probably the weakest sketch of the night. The premise was kind of cute but it got boring quickly. Also, I still wish Fred Armisen's Obama was a little stronger. After having almost eight years of Will Ferrell doing such amazing things with his Bush character, Armisen's Obama just seems boring. Maybe they should bring in Jason Sudeikis's Joe Biden more often; he's starting to turn into a distinct character.

Monologue: Look at that sass-walk. Sidibe made a point of demonstrating how she's not Precious. I mean, that'd be a pretty awful episode. If it was just Precious getting screamed at by her mom and depressing everyone for an hour and a half. All teh cast members in their slick 60s outfits were great and the "She's Gabourey!" song is going to be stuck in my head for the rest of the week.

The Suze Orman Show: Wow, it's been a while. This character is almost always hilarious though. She didn't let me down with "Kitty Lang" or "pap smear cruise." I'm going to say that again, actually... "pap smear cruise." Sidibe came right out of the gate with an accent, which was a bold choice. The best part was her farewell gibberish.

Steve Harvey on 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' : Kenan Thompson butchering words has always made me laugh, even since the days of 'All That.' Steve Harvey's weak banter and the expression that he made upon seeing the list of Icelandic cities were great.

Crazy Lady Yelling from Window: Sidibe was a little hard to understand and stumbled a few times but, damn, her enthusiasm is infectious. "My daddy used to sell Wikipedias" was also a great revelation.

Digital Short: Cherry Battle: I questioned how punchy I was at this hour of the night because this sketch made me cry with laughter. I was already laughing uncontrollably at the spitting back and forth and super-intense facial expressions, but the singing cherry caught me completely off-guard and sent me over the edge. Then the screaming, then the X'd out eyes... Oh, it was equal parts confusing and amazing.

I Did It In My Style, the Story of Frank Sinatra: Fred Armisen's indistinct Eastern European accents are always promising. I wouldn't mind if this Danish Repertory Theater thing became a recurring sketch and they just changed the play every time they used it.

Weekend Update: Be still, my comedy nerd heart! Seeing John Mulaney stop by the desk was an amazing surprise. His bit with the Girl Scout cookies was funny but definitely not the best of his material; check out his album 'The Top Part' if you're interested in his work (his 'Chase Through the Subway' bit is great).

Kristen Wiig's Judy Grimes also returned with some volcano news. Even when she's not super-funny, this character is incredible to watch. And, of course... Stefon. Oh, Stefon. It's been a while since Bill Hader last played this character, and this time was a real treat. I'm a sucker for when the actors break character, as long as they're not in Jimmy Fallon or Horatio Sanz territory. His elaborate, oddly specific descriptions were very funny, as was Seth Meyers's final "The things you describe sound like visions a dying gay man might have if he were under too many blankets."

2010 Public Employee of the Year: This ran on a bit long, but it still had its strong moments. I loved Bobby Moynihan's stone-face and sudden smirk. That Brendan Fraser clap still makes me cringe as much as the first time I saw it. Jesus...

Alarm Clocks: I still don't like this character. I can feel them trying to turn "Oh, my gaaahd" into a thing. The Gene Hackman alarm clock was good and that's about it.

Hamilton: I definitely thought the rest of the wedding and funeral characters (including Bobby Moynihan's "Whaaat!?" guy) were going to show up when I saw Hamilton. It worked out fine without them, though. I loved his "I have come to ask for your black hand in marriage" and attempted high-five after "Or should I say, Black House..."

MGMT: I'm not gonna lie, I'm actually a big fan of MGMT. I liked the studio versions of "Flash Delerium" and "Brian Eno" more than their performances on 'SNL,' but they still did well. By the way, someone absolutely needs to make a Saturday morning cartoon about Eno just so they can use "Brian Eno" as the theme song. I hope I'm not the only one that gets that vibe from listening to the song on the album ("We're always one step behind him / He's Brian Eno!")... Come on.

Next time: You wanted it. And it happened. Betty White and Jay-Z! This is too crazy. I foresee the galaxy collapsing on itself, starting with a black hole above Rockefeller Center.

[Watch episodes and clips of 'Saturday Night Live' and other shows over at SlashControl.]

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I just love your reviews! I couldn't agree more. Keep it up!

I would only contest, that I love the alarm clock skits. I thought the door bell and car horns were much better though. I like the character and the Oh My Gaahd!

May 01 2010 at 1:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Everyone saying Gabby was the worst host of all time has a short memory or didn't see January Jones host last year. Was she great? No, but she showed a lot more range than I expected, and she did her best to sell most of the sketches -- the Crazy Lady being the best example.

That said, there were definitely some low points in this episode. The cold open was almost unwatchable; the alarm clock sketch has been terrible since the first time they did it; and Hamilton ... well, I've liked him in the past "ensemble" sketches, but he can't really carry one on his own.

Other comments:

* Kenan's been on a roll for two weeks now, first with his great Al Roker impression and now with Steve Harvey. That might have been one of his best performances to date.

* The Frank Sinatra sketch was a little high-brow but still very funny. I recall a similar sketch being done years back (maybe in the '90s?), but I can't remember the details of it.

* Cherry Battle was good, and it was great to see a writer featured during Weekend Update. Good stuff.

Looking forward to Betty White!

April 27 2010 at 10:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

the new saturday night live is very funny

April 26 2010 at 9:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mr. Bungle

I watch the show every week and love it. This episode was terrible. I don't know what you were watching, but it was just as bad as the Eva Longoria episode a few years back. It was clearly the host that was the problem. The only time I laughed was when she wasn't on the screen.

April 26 2010 at 7:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jess Muha

i don't understand why so many people hated this episode. It was far better than the shows over the past few weeks.... weekend update was good, the band was GREAT, and for "Cherry Battle" alone, this episode was a winner. Gabby messed up her lines a couple times, but it didn't ruin any sketches. I just have to question the judgment of anyone who says this was the worst episode of the season when it most certainly wasn't. I was laughing out loud this week... something that hasn't happened to me during an SNL episode for the past couple months.

April 26 2010 at 11:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Man, it's so lame, but I can't get enough of the "door bell/alarm clock/car alarm" bit. What's wrong with me...

April 26 2010 at 9:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Gabourey Sidibe was the worst host in SNL history, hands down..

April 26 2010 at 8:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I feel very badly about my lack of faith in Gabourey. I didn't think she could pull it off, but she was great.

April 26 2010 at 3:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

check out this MGMT site. pretty cool concept. you can even help design the site http://www.whoismgmt.com

April 26 2010 at 1:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The media's shove-this-girl-down-our-throats coverage of Sidibe is as nauseating as their infatuation with Gerard Butler and Sam worthington. Let us pick the people we like, please.

She may be sweet, she may be funny but the reality...like Tim Tebow, I just want her to stop appearing everywhere in the media.

April 25 2010 at 10:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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