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Who Scored Big in Week 2 of SNL's Relevancy Poll?

by Mike Ryan, posted Oct 3rd 2011 10:30AM
Even though the results were disappointing, this week's 'SNL' was, again, very host-centric – meaning there wasn't a ton of lead-role airtime to go around for cast members. Though, Jay Pharoah managed to get his first sketch of the season on the air, while poor Paul Brittain was nearly shut out. But who leads the poll after the second week of the season? A show hosted by 'Bridesmaids' star Melissa McCarthy? It should be no surprise that the top spot goes to...


1. Kristen Wiig (Last Week: 1) In the least exciting result ever: Yes, Kristen Wiig won the night while her buddy, Melissa McCarthy was hosting. Actually, what is surprising is that Wiig didn't obliterate her cast member competition. Wiig looked to dominate the show early on between "Lawrence Welk" and the monologue – after, she settled in to just a couple supporting roles. But her early dominance was still enough for her to carry the week. (Also, she managed to get 'Bridesmaids' mentioned three times during the course of the show.)

2. Andy Samberg (Last Week: 6) Samberg's "Stomp" is certainly not one of the better Digital Shorts to be produced, but its interesting twist allowed for some laughs. Also came up with one of the better ideas of the week with "Complaints" – unfortunately, he just couldn't execute "Complaints." Regardless, as far as airtime, a nice rebound from last week for Samberg.




3. Jason Sudeikis (Last Week: 5) In this week's episode of "Has Jason Sudeikis checked out?" my answer this week: I'm not sure. On one hand, Sudeikis was everywhere this week. On the other hand, he seems to be playing an awful lot of "host" type characters (other than when he was resisting Melissa McCarthy's advances). Also, with some of the duds that aired last night, how did this cut "Netflix Apology" sketch not make the live show?





4. Jay Pharoah (Last Week: 14) This is how life will be for Jay Pharoah. Either he will be at the bottom of the list every week for being in nothing, or he will be near the top of the list after delivering another killer impression. This week: Chris Rock. Though, what may be more important, Pharoah got himself a walk on part in "Arlene" – which shocked and excited me. (And, no, I wasn't the person in the audience who also sounded quite shocked and excited.)


5. Vanessa Bayer (Last Week: 8) I'm starting to think that Bayer has the looks of this sweet and innocent person – but something really, really, dark lies within. Her second "Gaddafi's Friends" segment with Armisen was, again, solid – but might have been better off on a different week. What was really great was whatever role she had in creating "Lil' Poundcake.'




6. Bill Hader (Last Week: 2) Is there a chance that Hader isn't going to dominate 'SNL' like he did last season? Was last season's MVP performance just an aberration while Wiig was preoccupied with 'Bridesmaids'? Last season was a much better overall product when there was more of a balance between Hader and Wiig, but, so far, we seem to be returning to a Wiig heavy season.



7. Taran Killam (Last Week: 3) Killam should have been promoted to a fulltime cast member before this season started. Even when he doesn't have a sketch of his own, he's used as supporting characters extremely liberally these days -- which is almost as important as being the featured performer. Killam made appearances in the monologue, "Lawrence Welk," "The Comment Section," "Taste Test," and "Lulu Diamond."



8. Bobby Moynihan: (Last Week: 11) Moynihan had a very similar week to Killam's. Honestly, I think Moynihan is one of the funniest members of the cast, but, for whatever reason, since about midway through last season, he's been regulated to supporting roles. And he's great in them! But I'd love to see more sketches in which Moynihan is the featured performer.




9. Keenan Thompson: (Last Week: 12) Some bit parts here and there, but Keenan's best moment was as Tyler Perry – which was... OK.







10. Fred Armisen (Last Week: 7) He did have "Gaddafi's Friends" make its second appearance (why couldn't it have been Nicholas Fehn?). But outside of "Lawrence Welk," another pretty quiet week for Armisen. Also, it should be noted, after two weeks into the season, we have yet to see a sketch that features Obama. (Also, he, too, would have benefited from the "Netflix" sketch.)



11. Abby Elliott (Last Week: 10) Elliott made a few appearances this week, but she's still digging herself out of last season's doldrums. She was seen in the cold open, "Chris Rock," and "Taste Test." Elliott really needs a hit of her own. Though, it's nice to see, at least so far this season, she is getting into sketches.




12. Seth Meyers (Last Week: 4) Meyers just hasn't been in a groove yet this season. Meyers has been at the "Update" desk for now his sixth season (two of those alongside Amy Poehler). That's a lot. Get this: After this season, Meyers will tie Dennis Miller and Tina Fey for the longest tenure as "Weekend Update" anchor (and Fey always had a co-host). Meyers has now been on 'SNL' for, kind of quietly, eleven seasons. Darrell Hammond, who owns the record, was on for fourteen seasons. I have no doubt that Meyers will rebound, but is there a chance that he's getting bored with "Update"?


13: Nasim Pedrad (Last Week: 4) A very quiet week for Pedrad with just a supporting role in the cold open, plus a few lines in "The Comment Section" and "Complaints."






14. Paul Brittain (Last Week: 9) Good God, Brittain needs a follow up to last season's excellent "Sex" Ed Vincent... quickly. Brittain had, maybe, five seconds of airtime on Saturday.







You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.

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October 24 2011 at 2:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Daniel

Here are my rankings for this show.

1 Taran Killam
2 Bill Hader
T3 Vanessa Bayer
T3 Kristen Wiig
T4 Jason Sudeikis
T4 Bobby Moynihan
T4 Kenan Thompson
T5 Fred Armisen
T5 Nasim Pedrad
6 Andy Samberg
7 Abby Elliott
8 Seth Meyers
9 Jay Pharaoh
10 Paul Brittain

October 12 2011 at 10:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Daniel

Why so hard on Bill? He was funny in "The comments Section" and "Office Romance". He had a main part in "Stomp". He had a small part in "Complaints". He was also the voice for "Rock's Way" and hes great at those voices. Kristen and Jason were both very good even though after being in the first 3 skits Kristen disappeared. Jason really is great at the type of role he played in the "Office Romance" sketch. Andy was ok. Non of his skits were that funny. "Stomp" was not great and "Complaints" was ok but not anything special. I thought Fred was really good this week and made the most of his screen time. I like his Welk and I really like the Kaddafi's friends skit. I also wished we had gotten more Paul. He was only in 2 skits and had one line and in one of his skits he was all blue. I like Kenan on WU but that was pretty much all he did. I thought Seth really rebounded from an off week last week. I loved Pedrad nodding her head in the Rock's ways skit but that was all she did. I'm not a big fan of Nasim and while I love this cast if i had to chose a least favorite it would be her. Taran was awesome in a bunch of supporting roles. I loved his voice along with Andy and Bobbys in the TCM skit. He also is a great dancer, think about it. What up with That, Les Juentes De Paris, Lawrence Welk show, Bryan Cranston monolouge. I didnt really like Jay's Chris Rock though.

October 12 2011 at 10:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lordz86

Last week, everybody but Pharoah had a good week. This week, everyone, and I cannot explain how, seemed to have a slow week, possibly because McCarthy was in every live sketch. Except for Pharoah, for whom this may have been his best week yet.

I think part of the problem is, the featureds were hired as future replacements for people who are leaving within the next couple of years, but those they are replacing are still there. I suspect they will all be much busier if they get to stay another year, when Wiig are Sudeikis are gone, which I believe they have confirmed. And Armisen and Thompson won't stay for more than a couple of years, at most.

The new guys should consider finding themselves a partner-in-crime, like Forte and Sudeikis. Perhaps that would aid their quest for airtime. If poundcake was, indeed, a Bayer idea, I could imagine her working well with Brittain.

Good to see Pharoah taking on a walk-on, something that, last season, was solidly part of the Brittain empire.

October 03 2011 at 6:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dorthy

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October 03 2011 at 11:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Talia

Oof. I MUST disagree on a few things.

First, and foremost, I'm surprised Taran Killiam wasn't ranked higher than 7. I'd give him 3 based on his ballet skills in the monologue alone. He was everywhere, and when he wasn't, I noticed.

Second, I still remain very scared for Andy. He's really struggling, and it's really noticeable. I'm usually always a fan of the off-beat Digital Shorts he and Hader dream up ("Weekend at Mr. Bernard's" being a prime example), but this one seemed dry and uninspired. It seemed really exhausted. Andy seems exhausted. I don't know. Maybe my tolerance for Samberg-charisma has been exceeded after 6 years.

Third: where in the WORLD is Fred Armisen? Maybe he's preoccupied with Portlandia? I've missed Fred so much this season. He is one of the people whose characters and sketches breathe a different energy into the show, and I've desperately missed them these past two weeks. It was nice to see him in the "Ghaddafi's Friends" Update piece, but even then, I felt like he was being upstaged by Bayer.

Also, is there a single thing on SNL Bill Hader cannot save? Even though I thought the Digital Short was a bit too weird for life, his facial expressions during the whole thing and on point delivery during the short's button joke, made it tolerable. I have to admit, I really missed his presence this week, and found myself being completely delighted when he walked on for 6 seconds. He has that rejuvinating effect. I'm not exactly sure what it is, but there's an energy when he enters a sketch, and it makes me perk up (even if he ends up being taserd in the end). Also, DAAAANNNNNGGG. BOY CAN DANCE.

After a week chalk-full of Paul Brittain, I missed him this week! I think McCarthy could have worked a Sex-Ed Vincent sketch, and I would have LOVED to have seen one. More Brittain. I would have ranked him higher than Nasim. She felt almost non-existent (probably because McCarthy refused to play a character that's anyone's mom? /burn)

As far as ladies go, I fear an era of SNL women in a post-Wiig framework. None of the current ladies of SNL seem to be stepping up to the plate to try and challenge her for the top spot. Vanessa is trying, but I don't think successfully yet (sidenote: would have ranked her lower in this poll. 7 or 8). It's when I consider this, that I really mourn Michaela Watkins.

October 03 2011 at 11:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Talia's comment
Mike Ryan

Killam would have been higher -- most likely would have won -- if he had a starring role in at least one sketch this week. The poll isn't really based on quality and Samberg had two starring roles.

October 03 2011 at 2:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shadowracer

I wish each blogger here would but this much work into the shows they cover. Good job sir.
Does anyone know who the blonde girl was in the Stomp bit?

October 03 2011 at 10:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to shadowracer's comment
Mike Ryan

That's a good question. I can only assume a member of the SNL writing staff.

October 03 2011 at 11:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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