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'Saturday Night Live' Jane Lynch and Bruno Mars Recap

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Oct 10th 2010 11:28AM
['SNL' - S36 E03']

Jane Lynch is everywhere these days, it seems. She's played minor, yet memorable roles in thousands of comedy film produced since 2005, killed it in the little-known, brilliant TV comedy 'Party Down,' and brings the funny every week as the near-immortal Sue Sylvester on 'Glee.' She certainly seemed like someone who owned the comedic chops to discover the holy grail of comedy as the host of 'SNL' this week, but 'SNL' doesn't care who you are, or how awesome you were in 'Role Models,' you'd better bring your A-game. Tonight Jane Lynch lived up to the challenge. Videos and commentary inside.

Cold Open -- Ask Gloria Allred: The cold open is usually a good indicator of the show's overall quality. Nasim Pedrad as the sensationalistic camera-seeking attorney, Gloria Allred didn't really set the tone for hilarity, although reducing Allred to her essence (a glorified ambulance chaser) was well executed. Did you catch that they dressed Allred in all-red? Subconscious hilarity, people.


Monologue: It was no surprise that Jane Lynch came out and did a height joke. She must be about 6'14''. It was even less surprising that she went into her own, self-glorifying version (with co-writer, Jose Cuervo) of the 'Glee' theme song with Fred Armisen on guitar. The song monologue is a tried and true way to start the show, and Lynch's insistence that "this would all be claymation" set the show off on the right foot.


Damn It, My Mom is on Facebook Filter (Commercial):
I can't count the number of times I've seen an 'SNL' commercial parody and wished the product actually existed (Oops I Crapped My Pants and Baby Toupees come to mind). The product's tagline was "The 'Damn It My Mom is on Facebook Filter does what you do naturally. It lies to your mom." Millions of college students across the globe would probably breathe a sigh of "that would be awesome!" if it was real.


Glee - Gilly: Mixing the obligatory 'Glee' sketch with Gilly was a marriage that should have been annulled at dress rehearsal. Lynch had a couple decent one liners, and Jason Sudekis captured the wannabe nature of Mr. Schuester and his glory day seeking desperation. Unfortunately, neither the 'Glee' parody nor the Gilly sketch could save this piece, especially without the signature Will Forte deep "Gillyyyyy" bellow.

The New Boyfriend Talk Show: This was the best sketch of the night. Lynch played a single mom who had multiple partners... per day, Andy Samberg was her teenage son hoping to find his "new daddy" by interviewing her dates the morning after, and Sudekis played "Mike... Somethin'" who "works as a CD organizer at Borders." They did a great job escalating the joke, much to Mike's dismay. An added bonus was Armisen's Gene Simmons impression. "Keep it real and keep it moist" are indeed words to live by.


O'Donnell Ad: Christine O'Donnell was made for 'SNL.' She's like a mini-Sarah Palin: even her attempts at damage control are WTF-worthy, and the wild things she's on tape saying are infused with a brand of crazy usually reserved for padded rooms and mid-town McDonald's bathrooms. Palin/O'Donnell/a hobo 2012!


Secret Word: 'SNL' loves to parody old game shows. Last week's effort was "weird creepy child molester host," (possibly "inspired" by this?). This week was a showcase for another of Kristen Wiig's elaborate characters, Mindy Grayson, a vapid stage actress convinced that she is always in a lavish Broadway musical. Accompanying her on the show was Lynch as Peggy Zellers, a Phyllis Diller knock-off cracking jokes about her looks... neither character aware of the fact that they are indeed, on a television show.


SNL Digital Short: Samberg was a patient in therapy with Lynch as the therapist trying out some new and unusual methods that get more and more bizarre as the session unfolds. It ended with a naked Lynch spooning the patient on the couch, the Freudian implications of which are mind-blowing.


Denzel Washington at Macy's: Jay Pharoah is showing himself to be an extremely accomplished impressionist. Any hack can go out and do a Jack Nicholson, but it takes a pro to pinpoint and master the more subtle ticks and intricacies of Denzel Washington or Will Smith.



Weekend Update: Has there ever been a bad Update? There are some that aren't as good as others, but is it ever really bad? I think it all depends on the special guests and correspondents they bring in. Samberg appeared as Mark Zuckerberg, and astutely pointed out that "I invented Facebook, Seth. I didn't invent getting successful to get girls." It went a long way toward demystifying Zuckerberg in the shadow of 'The Social Network,' only trumped by his apology for "poking." Then came Miguel Conjeros (Armisen) from the Mexican Board of Tourism. A decent joke about the drug/border controversy in Mexico.


Suze Orman: It was a Kristen Wiig train tonight, and her Suze Orman impression was the caboose. Furthering the implication that Suze is a lesbian, she brought out her former "roommate," Roma Dunk (Lynch), and the innuendo did flow. Roma has since married and insisted she is straight when Suze asked if she "told that to your haircut and your Crocs?" Wiig's Orman is so spot on that she really does look "like a vagillion dollars!"


Sunday Night Football: "Nothing says football like a woman singing on a field." This was the jewel of the back end of the show, and it probably should have ended there, instead of hurrying through a sketch where Sudekis had a baby's head growing out of his own. The impressions weren't great, but they don't have to be when you have a good concept. Whoever thought that Faith Hill singing in a black dress screamed "football," needs to see this. It's a great example of taking a joke and running with it... breaking tackles and high-stepping into the end zone.


Host: B+
Musical Guest: Bruno Mars had Snooki hair, but sang better.
Laughs: B-

'SNL' returns live on October 23rd with Emma Stone and musical guest Kings of Leon. Next week is a replay of Amy Poehler/Katy Perry.

Dr. Vaughan teaches English/Media/Humor courses at Binghamton University in upstate New York, and he's needs some ointment. You can also check out his blog at drvtv.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/pages/Ryan-Vaughan/21931402981

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Ben

Does anyone know where I can watch the Glee-Gilly skit? I can't find it anywhere. It's not even on Hulu within the full episode (wtf?!).

October 12 2010 at 12:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chas Winterbottom

Emma Stone isn't hosting next week. It's a rerun.

October 10 2010 at 5:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Chas Winterbottom's comment
Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously)

You're right. Emma Stone/Kings of Leon October 23rd. Next week, Poehler/Perry replay. Thanks!

October 10 2010 at 6:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1iPete

"but 'SNL' doesn't care who you are, or how awesome you were in 'Role Models,' you'd better bring your A-game"

I agree, because you need it to elevate the D-level writing.

October 10 2010 at 4:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JLGreenlee

I realize that Jay Pharoah must've gotten the job as a featured player with his impressions. But they're just not working for me. Maybe the mannerisms of Denzel Washington and Will Smith are more recognizable to others than to me, but if it weren't stated upfront, I'd have no idea who he was impersonating. He may be spot-on (and he's getting rave reviews), but I'm just not seeing it.

October 10 2010 at 1:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to JLGreenlee's comment
ropermom

I thought the dude who impersonated Denzel Washington was spot on with his mannerisms and tone! This guy is sooo good...they need him on more often!

October 10 2010 at 12:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ropermom's comment
Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously)

He could be the new Darrell Hammond.

October 10 2010 at 12:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BC McKinney

"Implication" Suze Orman is a lesbian? She came out publicly in the New York Times Magazine some years ago.

October 10 2010 at 12:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to BC McKinney's comment
Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously)

Yay!

October 10 2010 at 1:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ColinInLA

Wow, I thought last night's show was very flat, unfunny and slow.

October 10 2010 at 11:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jude

My favorite part about your recap is that I don't have to bother watching SNL to get to the few skits that are worth watching. Thanks for pre-editing for me.

October 10 2010 at 11:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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