'Saturday Night Live' - Jeff Bridges / Eminem and Lil' Wayne Recap
Nothing says "I was in a huge comedy film, then disappeared for a while (unless you count 'K-Pax'), only to resurface in an obscurish low budget buzz worthy film to get that street cred (and Oscar) back and parlay it into a second career: including two gargantuan holiday releases" more than a 'Saturday Night Live' hosting nod.
Jeff Bridges knows this better than anyone, and we're about to find out if he's still got any "Dude" left in him.
Cold Open - Christmas Eve in Washinton DC: In a very 'It's A Wonderful Life' kind of way, this sketch took a whimsical look into the dreams of high profile democrats for 2011: President Obama - Sarah Palin 2012 Presidential Bid, Hillary Clinton - 2011 Hottest Look: Pantsuits!, Rahm Emanuel - Rahm Catches, Kills Bin Laden, Pelosi - Military to Go Exclusively Gay, Biden - Live Gorilla Runs On Basketball Court, Dunks. Sometimes political humor is best when it's not heavy-handed.
Monologue: It had been a while since Mr. Bridges last hosted. 1983 to be exact. After getting through the obligatory 'Big Lebowski' reference, Cookie Monster came out and the two sang a duet of "Silver Bells" with Bridges on guitar. Yup, you read that right, but it was a lot less bizzare than it sounds. Cookie recently launced a Betty White style campaign to host, and this was the cute, tongue-in-cheek way for the show to address it.
Message from Mark Zuckerberg: Julian Assange intercepted yet another broadcast. This time it was from Mark Zuckerberg Time magazine's most recent Man of the Year. Assange, in his typically arrogant way, hinted at the hypocricy of the situation, saying "I give you private information on corporations for free, and I'm a villain. Mark Zuckerberg gives your information to corporations for money, and he's man of the year," and I hate to say it, but he's kind of right... or at least the writers who wrote the lines for Bill Hader playing Assange are.
The Miley Cyrus Show: This sketch is one of the highlights of the season. For a newbie like Vanessa Bayer to nab a recurring sketch/character so early on is remarkable. That being said, it may already be slipping into complacency. Bridges didn't really have a Nolte impression, so he was basically a prop. Bayer's Miley was pitch perfect, as usual, but a huge part of that sketch is based on the guests having something to offer - think Anne Hathaway's Katie Holmes. It's quickly transitioning from "great sketch" to "sketch we put on the show when we have nothing else."
SNL Digital Short - 'I Just Had Sex,' featuring Akon: I love when the entire Lonely Island crew makes an appearance. Throw in Jessica Alba, Akon, John McEnroe, and lots of penis mentions and you have another in a line of great shorts from this season. What makes the digital shorts so good, in addition to the laughs, is their dedication to making the music. The music is never the butt of the joke. They commit to whatever genre they're parodying which always makes the goofy lyrics that much more funny.
Larry King Live: It would seem as though Larry King refuses to go off the air, as he brought back his "best" guests, to thank them for making it all possible: Jermaine Jackson, Naomi and Wynnona Judd, and Dog the Bounty Hunter, of course. It was OK. Calling Jermaine the shiniest man in show business, saying that a crying Dog was "a Sasquatch who found a dead bird and doesn't understand," and asking which Judd is the mother were the stand-outs in a piece that didn't really have anywhere to go.
Crunkmas: This sketch pops up every once in a while, mocking the underground music scene and all its extreme undergroundedness. It's always a treat to see what kinds band names they come up with. Names like Scrotum Fire, Dump, Boyz II Dickz, and Third Eye Blind. The topper for me was the Koko B. Ware and the promise of "Loose Hawks flying all over this bitch!"
Weekend Update: Seth welcomed RNC Chairman, Michael Steele who addressed his decision to run for a second term despite his recent woes, exclusively barking now lame, outdated slang.
Update has gotten a tad soft lately. The Steele bit was decent, but it was followed by two throwaway bits that didn't really offer much of anything outside of Taran Killiam's Brad Pitt impression. They even rehashed the old Tarzan, Frankenstein, and Tonto (Kevin Nealon, Phil Hartman, and Jon Lovitz) song with Gov. Paterson, Snooki, and Stefon (Fred Armisen, Bobby Moynihan, and Hader) singing "Oh, Christmas Tree."
TCM - 'It's a Wonderful Life' Chanukah Version: The iconic Christmas film was originally shot as a Chanukah story, but the filmmakers quickly realized that Jews wouldn't be nearly as helpful to George Bailey as Gentiles. The original version included a 43 minute shouting match over deli supremacy.
Jeff'd: I thought this was Bridges's best sketch, mostly because it was so underwhelming and unfunny, with Bridges doing it all knowingly. JEFF'D is Bridges's take on the celebrity prank show... which is basically just a super lame prank show, reminiscent of the old Christopher Walken "Trivial Psychic" sketch. The host's (I'm not going to make you read "Bridges's" three times in one segment) pranks are actually just mild annoyances, explained immediately by a giddy Bridges.
Happy Holidays from the Kardashians: they're famous for being famous, Khloe's ugly, they like black dudes, Kim has a huge ass, and they're superficial dummies. Get it?
Musical Guest: Seemed really angry.
'SNL' returns live on January 8 with host Jim Carrey and musical guest The Black Keys. airing at 11:30PM EST on NBC
Dr. Vaughan teaches English/Media/Humor courses at Binghamton University in upstate New York, and he's the next contestant on 'The Price Is Right!'. You can also check out his blog at drvtv.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/pages/Ryan-Vaughan/21931402981