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'Saturday Night Live' - Jeff Bridges / Eminem and Lil' Wayne Recap

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Dec 19th 2010 11:15AM
Jeff Bridges hosted 'SNL' on 12/18/10['Saturday Night Live' - 'Season 36, Episode 10']

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?

Host: C+
Musical Guest: Seemed really angry.
Laughs: B-

'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

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December 20 2010 at 7:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Digital Short - Like many of its predecessors, it was the best LOL moment of the night, along with the cold open as a close second.

When, oh when, if ever, will Jorma Taccone become a regular cast member? I was a Lonely Island fan before those guys were even considered for SNL, and I was surprised that he was passed over for Andy (Not that Andy's undeserving of screen time, mind you). If my wish were to come true, it wouldn't be the first time there has been a writer-turned-castmember.

December 20 2010 at 2:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

SNL needs to go the way of the Dodo. The Miley Cyrus show? It sucked, it's the same thing every time. If you can't do something with it leave it the first time was more then enough. As for the digital short, 30 secons was enough. That was the turn off point. Most time I have to turn SNL off somewhere during the first sketch after the monolog. On rare occasions I've managed to last till the weekend update. But rarely. If the first sketch dosen't make me turn it off then the musical guest will.

SNL is a dead horse and needs a bullit in the head.

December 19 2010 at 7:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to John's comment

I don't understand all the unbridled hatred toward SNL, or any show for that matter. If you hate a show so much just stop watching it. Obviously enough people enjoy it to keep it on the air. Personally I think some of skits are pretty lame but I'll keep watching because I think the performers are funny, the digital shorts are great, and really is there any other sketch comedy on TV right now?


December 20 2010 at 11:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joel Keller

One thing people who say 'SNL' should be canceled don't seem to think about is: What would NBC put in its place? That's 90 minutes of late-night space that the network has had all to itself, more or less, for 35 years. What would fit better in that timeslot than 'SNL?' Reruns? Music? Another sketch show?

December 20 2010 at 2:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Third Eye Blind is a real band name. The rest were made up.

December 19 2010 at 6:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Richard_Head's comment
Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously)

NO! Really?!

December 19 2010 at 6:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Musical Guest: Seemed really angry" - Maybe you shouldn't include the musical guest as part of your review if that's the best you've got, PhD. Eminem was on his game, Lil Wayne was AWESOME, their band was crushing it - even the middle aged white guy who looked like he wandered in on his way home from Barnes & Noble.

Taran Killam was very funny as Brad Pitt - for the first 5-10 seconds. If they had gone directly from his opening line to the end with "Angelina" joining him, it would have been better. I liked the Patterson/Stefon/Snooki trio - didn't make the association to Tonto, et al, until you mentioned it. Kind of makes it even funnier.

I thought "THIS you call a Wonderful Life?" was excellent. Wish you had mentioned the spot on impressions by Jason Sudeikis as Jimmy Stewart/George Bailey, Abby Elliott as Donna Reed/Mary and Nasim Pedrad as Zsu Zsu. This bit could be a classic, even though Kristen Wiig uncharacteristically fudged her lines twice and the camera accidentally panned to the floor for a few seconds. I think the camera messed up on the cold open too, if I'm not mistaken. Maybe the crew started their holiday partying a little early.

December 19 2010 at 1:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Deebopalula's comment
Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously)

You're probably right. I never know what to do with the musical guest, so I usually just make a lame joke. I'm just not enough of a music guy to make any important interjections.

I love Killiam's Brad Pitt, but it went on way too long. I think sometimes they feel like they have to "make it worth their while" rather than get in, get the laugh, and get out which can ruin some impressions.

December 19 2010 at 5:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They missed the best joke of the evening... when Bridges announced that Eminem was the musical guest, Cookie Monster should've said he liked M&M's in his cookies... I thought it was so obvious, but would've been funny from the monster himself.

December 19 2010 at 12:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mike's comment

Cookie Monster did say that he liked M&M's, but it was kinda while Jeff Bridges was talking.

December 20 2010 at 12:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I finally now know what audience SNL is trying to draw.An audience that still think the Cookie Monster is funny.

I like Jeff Bridges but it's now clear why he hasn't been back to SNL,he,like some others,kinda sucks at it.

"M&M" is a clitche and a pretenious one.He's not a genius nor is his work a masterpiece,he's an ex-drug addicted wife beater who has made being angry a career choice.

SNL needs a massive over haul.It's just not funny anymore,it drives sketches into the ground and relies on abstract silliness instead of the biting satire and social relevance it once had.

December 19 2010 at 11:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hulu doesn't have the clip of Eminem?

December 19 2010 at 11:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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