'Saturday Night Live' - Jim Carrey / The Black Keys Recap
Welcome back, everyone! Let's hope the folks at 'Saturday Night Live' all made resolutions to be hilarious, as their choice of host seems to indicate that they have. It's odd to think that there might be an entire generation of people who look at Jim Carrey and think 'The Number 23' rather than 'Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.' OK, no one thinks of 'The Number 23' considering I just referenced it for the first time in three years... twice. But there was a time when no one was funnier.
Carrey still has the Kaufmanesque comedic chops, doing interviews like this one, but I'm hoping he hops into the comedic time machine to tap into some of that old school 'In Living Color' sketch swagger that made him a star in the first place.
Cold Open: The message from New York mayor Michael Bloomberg (Fred Armisen) about the recent deluge of snow made it sound worse than a tsunami and a volcano inside a hurricane. I like when the show makes fun of New Yorkers, and this was no diferent, as Bloomberg delivered a fireside chat style assurance that the snow is not dangerous. The funniest portion came when he outlined the snow removal procedures of NY sanitation workers, inserting some political jabs in what was otherwise a light poke at Manhattanites.
Monologue: Jim Carrey was all about looking forward in 2011, turning the circumstances of the impending apocalypse into positives. "When I see a river of blood, I go kayaking." His positivity ranged from pointing out a nice set of man boobs in the front row to proposing to a female audince member, only to settle for man boobs when she was already spoken for. Not setting the stage on fire, by any means.
Bosley Hair Restoration: We get it! Pubic hair on your head is oddly funny, but using the same commercial parody three times in one season is simply cheap, irresponsible comedy... increasingly creepy. It's not even the best one they have. I wouldn't even put it in the top 25. I'll take "Urigro" three times a year.
Black Swan: There's a lot of buzz going around about 'Black Swan' and Carrey was the perfect fit to play the title charater to Nasim Perdad's white swan. Carrey transformed his old Vera DeMilo character into Lily, the crude and blunt ballerina with chicken wing tattoos and a johnson who "just finished going numbers three and four." It was good to see Carrey getting back to his roots in physical comedy.
SNL Digital Short: This is where I would have written about the Digital Short if it existed. Either they cut it after dress or they couldn't come up with anything for Jim Carrey. Either way, it was a tragedy.
Finding Your Power: I really liked the concept for this sketch. The gap between who people really are and the person they try to convince everyone they are, is gaping. Guests told the host (Jason Sudekis) about how brash they were when confronting their boss, sister, and spouse only to be proven simpering weaklings by hidden camera footage of each confrontation.
Grady Wilson's Tantric 'N Tasty: Unfortunately, these kinds of sketches are becoming more prominent on 'SNL.' By "these kinds of sketches" I mean, sketches that seem to originate around two or three lines that can't really be turned into an actual sketch, so they assign them a catch-all theme and go through the list. This isn't Grady Wilson's (Kenan Thompson) first go 'round, either. Carrey's Lee Liscious brought a little nuance to the tired sketch, but even his topical sex positions "The Oil Rig" and "The Market Fluctuation" couldn't save this one. I will give them a fist bump for "The Wrath of Ganesh" though.
Time Life - Soul Train: See above. This sketch is constructed in basically the same way, and not too far away from the "Under Underground Records" sketches. This was a little funnier than the Grady Wilson sketch, because we hadn't seen it before, with highlights going to Gary St. Marvelous (Andy Samberg), the Jon Bovi-esque Ocean Billy (Sudekis) urging us to "get out of my car and into my trunk," and Jim Carrey's DeBarge inspired singer, Diversity.
Weekend Update: With power shifting back to the right, it made sense to have John Boehner (Bill Hader) and Nancy Pelosi (Kristen Wiig) on to make fun of each other. Boehner exhibited the blind patriotism and lack of genuine compassion of the Republicans by blubbering like the Lion from "Wizard of Oz" over old men saluting a parade, yet shrugging at the thought of millions of people without healthcare. The right wasn't the only target, as Seth called out Pelosi and the Democrats for laying down during the mid-terms.
Anthony Crispino, Secondhand news correspondent (Bobby Moynihan), made a welcomed appearance. I like this character a lot. He reminds me of the old Jon Lovitz character, Tommy Flanagan from Pathalogical Liars Anonymous. According to Anthony and his sources: Oprah got her own TV set, gays in the military don't speak don't spell, Boehner has new speakers for his house, and Brett Favre announced he's retarted.
Merryville Brothers: This was probably my favorite sketch of the night, even though (or because) it was brief. Wiig and Thompson were on an "It's a Small World" type amusement park ride with Carrey, Taran Killam, and Hader as animatronic minstrels come to life. I'd pay to see a robot-only dance off between these three. Sound stupid? It was. But it was good stupid, not "I feel bad about myself" stupid.
Impressionist Psychic: The show got stronger toward the end, which isn't saying much, but I liked the last three sketches better than the first three. That's either a comment on my comedic sensibilities or their lack of them. You can decide. Here, Carrey is an ex-D-List comedian turned psychic who only channels people he used to impersonate. Attempting to conjure up dead relatives, he only managed Jimmy Stewart, Billy Holiday, Charles Bronson, and an epic Alan Thicke. "No one does a Thicke!" The kicker was Sudekis loving every minute.
A Taste of New York: Opening and closing the show with some NY jokes was a nice touch. A Taste of New York (Wiig, Armisen, and Carrey) was a band of street people playing to tourists about the authentic NY experience. Not so much Sinatra's New York, or Woody Allen's, but rather the guy peeing on the subway while looking you straight in the eye's, New York.
Musical Guest: Where was Fergie?
Next week: Host Gwenyth Paltrow and musical guest Cee Lo Green 11:30PM EST on NBC
Dr. Vaughan teaches English/Media/Humor courses at Binghamton University in upstate New York, and he's all up in your area. You can also check out his blog at drvtv.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/pages/Ryan-Vaughan/21931402981