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November 27, 2014

'Saturday Night Live': Jesse Eisenberg / Nicki Minaj Recap (VIDEO)

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Jan 30th 2011 10:20AM
['Saturday Night Live' - 'Season 36, Episode 13']

Who's hosting 'Saturday Night Live' this week? Who? Jesse Eisenberg? What would I know him from? I haven't seen 'The Social Network.' That's the internet movie about the rich nerds with the lead singer from N'Sync, right? He's hosting? Man, they must be hard up for hosts these days. Who's next week, that homeless guy with the sexy voice? No, I'm sure he is talented. You don't get nominated for an Oscar without some talent... unless you're Adrien Brody. There's always an added element of excitement when a newbie hosts the show, too. Cool. I'm psyched. Let's do this.

Cold Open: CNN gave Michele Bachmann (Kristen Wiig) another shot at rebuttling President Obama's State of the Union speech after her first attempt was thwarted by looking into another camera that might as well have been in outer space. The second attempt didn't fare much better. The sketch pointed out a percieved base level stupidity of the Tea Party and its constituents: If the graphs drawn in white didn't say it, the 'Xena' video did.


Monologue: Eisenberg sounded nervous, but it felt like that was a part of the shtick as he went on to explain how arrogant and confident he is in real life, only to undercut that by hyper-analyzing everything he said. The joke of the monologue was about the three Zuckerbergs. Andy Samberg came out, reprising his role on the show as Zuckerberg, then they cut to backstage with the real Zuckerberg explaining why he shouldn't be on the show to Lorne Michaels. Eventually, the three were appeared on stage together, a scenario that Samberg aptly labeled "Awkberg."


Once Daily Estro-Maxx: This was pretty damn funny, and once again, a spot-on commercial parody. It hinged on the Aleve ads that boast only taking two pills a day for complete releif, only these were Estrogen suppliments for pre-op transsexuals. It makes sense. So often we assume that other groups of people don't want the same things we do, but in most cases, especially when it comes to health and well-being, we all want to take as few pills as possible. Medicine doesn't care what sex you are, and besides, we could all use a pill that helps with "turning my penis into a functional vagina."


Mr. Wizard's World: Bill Hader was Mr. Wizard for this Mr. Wizard episode that quickly escalated into a make-out party. Eisenberg and Nasim Persaud were very funny as pre-teens siezing the opportunity to turn basic science into basic groping. After rubbing each other with balloons and learning that "Balloons make things grow," out came the Van de Graf generator which was immediately mounted and prompted the line "I want to do science in the shower." Eisenberg jumped right in, head first. You have to let go of yourself to be a good host, and Eisenberg did that almost right away.


Don't Forget the Lyrics!: This was as much a sketch about how lame 'Don't Forget the Lyrics!' is as it was about how far Mark McGrath has fallen since his Sugar Ray days. It had plenty of jokes about both. Eisenberg was the overly enthusiastic contestant who never came close to getting the lyrics right, failing most epically with "Doctor, Doctor, give me the news. I've got one extra testicle," at which I laughed audibly. Jason Sudekis played Mark McGrath's career desperation very well, oscillating between indignant and simpering. The funniest part could have been the realization that this show still actually airs. "This is VH1. It's two in the afternoon. It's all happening."

WXPD News Herb Welch: Disgruntled, out-of-touch, withering, old news reporter Herb Welch (Hader) returned to cover a university drug bust, then hit a kid in the face with a microphone for five minutes while butchering the entire interview. Hader is a spectacular character actor, and deserves comparison to the legendary Phil Hartman, but this isn't one of his best. The hitting with the mic has a small window of hilarity that starts after about the fifth hit and ends by the twelfth. Other than that, eh.


SNL Digital Short - "The Creep": The Lonely Island boys came up with a new dance, and like all great dance crazes before it -- "The Macarena," "The Humpty Dance," "The Bartman" -- it came with an all out video teaching us how to do it. The Creep could have easily been named "The Perv" or "The Skeevy Middle Aged Dude." Picture John Waters (who cameoed) or Mr. Feeny from 'Boy Meets World' dancing/stalking. Jorma Taccone was far and away the best "Creeper." I thought he really captured the essence of a sweaty lurker with his moves, with Nicki Minaj a close second.


Weekend Update: I thought Seth Meyers and the writing were particualrly sharp compared to other Updates this season. He seemed to be ad libbing a little more, and as I mentioned before, letting go of himself. It just makes things funnier when people can see that.

Fred Armisen came on as Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to give the lowdown on what's really happening with his nation's revolt and his crippling denial of the situation. Fred Armisen is one of those performers blessed with perfect pigment. Like Horatio Sanz and Mya Rudolph before him, he can (and has) played Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin, African American, Jewish, Italian, Jersey, White, and many more. He made a point of illustrating that Egyptians have never been good at reading signals, "so you'll excuse me if I'm not too worried about a couple of guys in Adidas sweatshirts, you know, throwing bricks."


Kenan Thompson emerged as Tyler Perry to comment on the Oscar nominations... and the non-minations as well. Most notably his own. Draped in money and constantly alluding to how much of it he has, he announced his next big movie, "I Can Do Internet All By Myself." The whole thing was a rather blunt joke about how little Tyler Perry cares about awards since his "best friend is Oprah," he owns an island, and can wipe his nose with money.


TCM Bride of Blackenstein: This sketch was amazing, but not really funny. It was an odd feeling that I've never experienced before. The sketch was well written and performed, especially by Jay Pharoah and Minaj, and the concept was solid, but I didn't laugh at all. I suppose you could say I "appreciated" this sketch, the joke being that the ideal black woman would be a monster only redeemable by her mesmerizing booty. "Is an ass like that really worth all this trouble?"


MTV Skins: 'Skins' has been losing sponsors "because we showed, like, a bunch of fourth graders having sex, and doing heroin or something," so they moved to product placement to keep the show on the air. Trying to organically infuse mentions of Kennedy Fried Chicken, Jenkins Stank Ass Foot Powder, The Sweater Dump, and Trapper McGee's Squirrel Skin Condoms into teenage sex dialogue was funny enough, but Samberg's douchie head of programming made the sketch work. "We lost L'Oreal, you know, French Oreos."


Spa Time with Tyla Yonders: This sketch missed pretty hard. It looked like it was supposed to be a Springer style talk show with a new age air-head host. Wiig added yet another character to her stable, and you have to admire the way she continues to develop when she could so easily do Gilly and Penelope every week and cash her checks. The character wasn't bad, and neither were the guests -- an interracial couple (Kenan and Abby Elliot) and an Italian family (Eisenberg, Vanessa Bayer, and Bobby Moynihan) -- who had some quotable lines, but it just didn't gel the way they thought it would.


El Shrinko: An advertisement paid for by two dorks with tiny genitalia. El Shrinko explained that their penises used to be huge, too huge for pleasure, and now they were small out of consideration for the ladies. With a tag line like "It's why Arthur's and Randy's penises are so small," how could they go wrong? It was another good closing effort, most notably Wiig, Persaud, and Bayer as the rather uninspired and unaware testimonials.


Host: Eisenberg impressed me. He was consistently funny and didn't really take any sketches off, either. A-
Musical Guest: Was better in sketches.
Laughs: B+

Next week: Host Dana Carvey with musical guest Linkin Park 11:30PM EST on NBC

Dr. Vaughan teaches English/Media/Humor courses at Binghamton University in upstate New York, and he holds a place for you in his heart. You can also check out his blog at drvtv.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/pages/Ryan-Vaughan/21931402981

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mithund

"Bride of Blackenstein" was funny!

January 31 2011 at 9:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ronan11

Not a laugh in the show. Digital shorts are so tired

January 30 2011 at 7:22 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
big1nfla

"The Creep" digital short was definitely the highlight for me. John Waters is perfect casting! Wonder who, between him & Lonely Island, approached whom? oH! and I laughed plenty at the Bride of Blackenstein skit! Maybe your "odd feeling that I've never experienced before" may be because you prefer your booty flat and shapeless? Just joshin'; keep up the good review work.

January 30 2011 at 12:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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