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'Saturday Night Live' - Anne Hathaway / Florence and the Machine Recap (VIDEO)

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Nov 21st 2010 10:20AM
['Saturday Night Live' - 'Season 36, Episode 7']

According to Dylan from 'Modern Family,' Anne Hathaway is "everywoman," and I'm finding it difficult to disagree with him. After being heralded as the second coming of Julia Roberts, both in talent and looks, she went on to live up to that billing.

How does one get out from under such a looming and intimidating comparison? One goes out and makes a name for oneself as a versatile and nimble performer, on a stage one's predecessor has yet to grace. Enter 'SNL,' and Anne Hathaway's return to hosting duties, a stage that not just "everywoman" can fill.

Cold Open:
It took them a while, but 'SNL' finally got around to commenting on the mid-term elections and the subsequent legislative power shift. 'The Rachel Maddow Show' (Abby Elliot played Maddow) brought big winner John Boehner (Bill Hader) and big loser Nancy Pelosi (Kristen Wiig) together with a splash of Charlie Rangel (Kenan Thompson), all there to illustrate their familiarity with the American public, bash Republicans, and let people know that "I'm just a person that can, and should not be trusted," respectively.

Monologue: Anne Hathaway is a gorgeous woman, so it's not a stretch to think that men are constantly thinking about her in the nude, which makes it kind of awkward to watch her movies in large groups. Hathaway immediately addressed the issue of nudity in film, reciting the obligatory "it's OK if it's important to the story." Then the cavalcade of male cast members insisting their sketches now "need" her to be nakie, began.

Transportation Security Administration:
What better way to change the perception and stigma of airport security than to turn it into nothing short of a sex line? "What are you waiting for? I want to check under your testicles."

Miley Cyrus Show: Vanessa Bayer's Miley Cyrus impression was only trumped by Hathaway's Katie Holmes, right down to the timbre of the voice. Miley asked the tough questions like, "What does Jesus think of Scientology?" It's funny to view the world through the lens of a teen pop-star who has absolutely no reason to acquire knowledge other than to outsmart her Achy Breaky Old Man.

Penelope: Penelope (Wiig) returned as everyone's loathsome purveyor of one-upsmanship. Recurring sketches are a paradox: on one hand we generally love the characters and want to see them do their thing(s). On the other hand, the sketches are, by definition, formulaic. Penelope's greatest strength is the ability to make the most tolerant, level-headed characters irate to the point of hysteria. Hathaway's dorky Lutheran just happened to be this week's victim to stoop down to Penelope's level. "If I clap twice all the dogs in the world get an extra wiener."

Prince William/Kate Middleton: For nerdy fans of the show, this sketch about Prince William (Andy Samberg) introducing his fiancee, Kate Middleton (Hathaway) to the king and queen, sharply echoed a classic sketch from the '80s. In that sketch, Phil Hartman portrayed Ronald Reagan as a feeble, absent minded old man to the public, and a ruthless tyrant to his staff. Here, the Queen (Fred Armisen) and King (Hader) were genteel and proper in front of William, and dodgy cockney street toughs when he left Kate alone in the room with them. British accents are funny.

Weekend Update:
"This year marks the first Thanksgiving in which travelers will get molested before they get to their uncle's house." was a great way to kick-off the Thanksgiving Update, and yet another shot at the new TSA security procedures. Bobby Moynihan's Guy Fieri was blissfully accurate, and his insistence on adding raisins to everything was delightfully random. Unfortunately, the show seems to be finding fewer and fewer creative platforms for jay Pharoah's impressions. Tonight was a forced hip-hop Thanksgiving ploy where Pharoah imagined aloud, Thanksgiving raps by Jay-Z, Drake, and Biggie. Don't get me wrong, the impressions were stellar, but how long before they just start saying "and here's Jay Pharoah with some impressions!"

TCM - The Essentials: Here, we delved into lost scenes from 'The Wizard of Oz' that included a new character in the form of a talking, uncomfortably Jewish, weather vane. Played by actor Lon Donson (Armisen), Weathervane whined and complained his way through several Oz chestnuts, looking for a new apartment from the man behind the curtain. His pinnacle moment arriving with the titular line. Taran Killam's Tin Man was sweet.

WXPD News:
Bill Hader is a hugely underrated performer. He can do impressions like Hammond, and voices like Hartman, and the character work of someone like Dana Carvey. Here he became Herb Welch; a cantankerous, senile, 60 year news man with a penchant for hitting his interviewees in the face with his microphone while he insulting the anchorman who took his job and asking questions as if he had just woken up.

Mega-Mart: A super store gearing up for Black Friday and its "12 Minute Sale." Every thing they did was to ensure maximum 4am shopping related injuries and hysteria.

Camel Tame: 'SNL' loves to tap into the female experience with its commercial concepts. From "Annuale" to "Kotex Classic" to "Coin Slot Creme" every nook and cranny of femininity had been explored... except camel toe. "Camel Tame" is for women with unsightly vagina wedgies, and makes it look like you're wearing a cup. Phew!

Host: A
Musical Guest: Poor man's Tori Amos
Laughs: B+/A-

'SNL' returns live with Robert DeNiro and Diddy-Dirty Money on December 4 at 11:30PM EST on NBC.

Dr. Vaughan teaches English/Media/Humor courses at Binghamton University in upstate New York, and he's not gonna pay a lot for this muffler.You can also check out his blog at drvtv.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/pages/Ryan-Vaughan/21931402981 and http://twitter.com/#!/TVSpeaks

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> "Musical Guest: Poor man's Tori Amos"

It's a good line, but it's just not true. Tori has been a caricature of herself for at least 10 years. At least Florence is relevant.

November 22 2010 at 7:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've got to admit that I laughed out loud quite a few times during this one and that's a rarity.

As to F&tM, if there was ever an artist that needed autotune it's this one. At first I thought it was just me that found her singing off key so I had my wife listen and she found it an aural assault as well. Maybe that's the effect she's going for, but a complete album of that?

November 22 2010 at 9:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I preferred Tori Amos back when she was Kate Bush. And I prefer F&tM to Tori!

November 21 2010 at 10:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

HOW do you people even watch this show any more???
The reading off cue cards is soooo bad I don't even know why they have them off camera any more. Just give the players the script and have them read right off it.

November 21 2010 at 2:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to hugeliver's comment
Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously)

That would be a great sketch.

November 21 2010 at 4:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What a difference a week makes! This weeks SNL was head and shoulders better than last week's episode. Hathaway did an amazing job and was stellar from the beginning all the way to the end. Great rebound SNL.

November 21 2010 at 11:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well Darrell Hammond was a great cast member and he had like 5 characters according to this website I found


November 21 2010 at 10:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really enjoyed this episode. Thanks largely to Anne Hathaway it was a huge step up from last week.

I'm starting to think they made a mistake hiring Jay Pharoah. When he's not doing an impression, he seems really awkward. When he is doing an impression, he comes too close to realistically recreating someone's voice, mannerisms, and vocabulary when the true art of impressionism lies in exaggerating and parodying them. I still think the problem I have with him is, in part, very weak writing for his segments. I'm also beginning to wonder why he never does anything but impressions. Is he incapable of creating a non-celebrity character and sustaining it through a sketch?

November 21 2010 at 10:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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