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'SNL' Scorecard: Did Spider-Man Rescue Emma Stone's Show?

by Mike Ryan, posted Nov 13th 2011 12:40PM

Last season, Emma Stone hosted 'SNL' for the first time, a show that would introduce us to "Sex" Ed Vincent and "Les Jeunes de Paris." For Stone's return visit, "Les Jeunes de Paris" was back for a third time (sadly, "Sex" Ed still isn't back) – in fact, for whatever reason, of the first eight sketches of the night (including the two Update segments), only the Digital Short wasn't a recurring sketch. Even the Spider-Man monologue was a recurring sketch! Regardless, it doesn't matter -- Stone has now proven twice that she's a terrific host. But, after four subpar shows in a row to start the season, could Stone keep the momentum going that started with Charlie Day's show last week? On to the Scorecard!

Sketch of the Night

"Someone Like You" (Pedrad, Stone, Ensemble) Sadly, this isn't online for obvious song rights issues (so enjoy the crappy YouTube video I found). Buried near the end of the show, for reasons that I don't understand -- and one of the few non-recurring sketches of the night -- this is 'SNL' firing on all cylinders. Nasim Pedrad didn't land an account that she wanted, so she listens to 'Someone Like You' by Adele and starts crying. As cast member after cast member enter the office, they start to cry, too. Even Coldplay cries when they hear this song. It ends with a cast sing-along.

Score: 9.0

The Good

'Weekend Update' (Meyers, Sudeikis, Wiig, Armisen, Martin) Last night I was at a party and someone made an off-color joke about the Penn State scandal. People laughed. I didn't. I actually said out loud, "Why are we laughing about this? It's not funny." So, yeah, I became that guy who someone had to tell, "Sorry if we offended you, I guess you don't like dark humor." Oh, yeah, that's it: I just don't like dark humor. Oh puh-leeze, there's absolutely nothing funny about that situation. But the way 'SNL' handled it, bringing in Sudeikis' Ashton Kutcher Twitter following Devil, who just assumed this was all about recruiting violations -- and even he recoils at the atrocities when told the full situation. Not to mention Sudeikis' admonishment of the students of Penn State in regards that ill-thought-out riot in honor of Joe Paterno. It's a delicate situation. This is a comedy show. This was perfect and illustrates what "Update" can be when it wants.

(Also, as an aside, Armisen and Wiig's "Garth and Kat" fascinates me, so I was happy to see them, too, along with their new backup singer, Chris Martin.)

Score: 8.5

"Cold Open: GOP Debate 3" (Hader, Sudeikis, Ensemble) In last week's Scorecard I floated the idea of Hader's brilliant Rick Perry impression being used to kick off the show, to set the tone early. I think I was right! (This doesn't happen very often.) I'm always hesitant when 'SNL' does a parody by pretty much just recreating almost exactly what happened in real life, but Hader's Perry is just too good. And Sudeikis' line as Mitt Romney, "I want to be president, but not like this," has had to go through the real Romney's mind more than once over the last few months. Oops, indeed.

Score: 7.5

"Le Jeunes de Paris" (Killam, Stone, Pedrad, Ensemble) Fitting that Emma Stone gets to reprise her role in one of the oddest recurring sketches 'SNL' has to offer. It's in French and they dance. That's pretty much the gist of these, but they are a delight. Oh, this time there was a baguette, too. But, for whatever reason, this was my least favorite of the three that have aired. Since I really don't understand the sketch in the first place, I can't really explain to you why I didn't like this one as much as the first two. I just don't, that's all I know. (Sadly, these are never on Hulu. If it pops up online later, I'll add it in.)

(Update: I can't embed it, and it's a terrible copy, but you can watch it here.)

Score: 6.5

"Emma Stone Monologue" (Stone, Samberg, Garfield) I always wonder why actors like Andrew Garfield will travel all the way to New York City for a walk on during the monologue, only to not bee seen again until the Good Nights. Well, at least he got more airtime than Jay Pharoah. (Speaking of Pharoah, I just re-watched the Good Nights for proof that he was even there last night. I saw him!) The monologue was a rehash of Kirsten Dunst's 2002 monologue in which Horatio Sanz played Spider-Man, only this time it's Samberg as Spider-Man. Which did lead to a pretty clever "aren't you just redoing the exact same Spider-Man movie?" joke (that actually lead to a few guffaws from the audience).

Score: 6.5

The Bad

'"Secret Word" (Wiig, Hader, Stone, Brittain, Killam, Brittain) Not only do I not understand why this sketch is done so often, I don't understand why it always gets such great real estate in terms of its timeslot. I mean, sure, it was funny the first time. And to be fair, Stone was good in this, but it's a tired sketch that needs to be retired. At this point, the only thing that makes me laugh about 'Secret Word' is the voice that introduces the show, for whatever reason.

Score: 5.5

"Herb Welch: Falling Ice" (Hader, Sudeikis, Wiig, Stone, Pedrad) Speaking of tired! You know, I really used to like this sketch. I think this is the first time I've ever put a "Herb Welch" in "The Bad" category, but this one just didn't have it. Sure, it was entertaining to watch Hader almost break character (something Hader seems to be doing a lot of lately) as he was whacking Kristen Wiig in the crotch, but, sadly, there was nothing else. (Really, "falling ice" is the story Herb's covering?)

Score: 5.0

"Technology Hump" (Samberg, Stone) The "Someone Like You" sketch was so late in the show, I was really hoping that would be it for the night. To end the show on a really high note! Then came "Technology Hump," which is a series of scenarios involving gadgets having sex with each other. Admittedly, the first scene, involving a digital camera and a Droid, was amusing – but this sketch got really tired really quickly.

Score: 4.0

"Bridal Shower Gifts" (Wiig, Stone, Bayer, Elliott, Pedrad, Armisen, Samberg, Killam) This could have been good. I almost saw a little Debbie Downer in Stone's Wallace, but I felt like it lost some of its edge once Wallace realized that everything she was doing was a faux pa and was constantly apologizing. She was funny when she was oblivious. Once she started apologizing, I just felt bad for her. (Also, why was it necessary that Abby Elliott had to wear a dark hair wig? Why did that character just have to have dark hair? I must know these things.)

Score: 3.5

The Ugly

"Digital Short: Wish it Would Rain" (Samberg, Armisen, Sudeikis) This was weird. I mean, it is a funny concept: The pop singer looking for his big dramatic moment by singing in a rain storm that never materializes. But what it became was jokes about being peed on and then, inexplicably, a joke about big butts. Seriously, where did that come from? It just seemed so out of place and ruined the tempo that the rest of the concept sorta had.

Score: 2.5

Average Score For This Show: 5.85

Weekly Host Scorecard:

· Charlie Day 6.00
· Emma Stone 5.85
· Alec Baldwin 5.80
· Melissa McCarthy 5.45
· Ben Stiller 5.18
· Anna Faris 4.95

You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.

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Les Jeunes de Paris wasn't as good this time, principally because one of the others (don't know which I saw) was simply great. It's not a skit, it's not a parody, it's what is called a "dance." :] The one I saw starts with dork moves and subtly moves to a magnificent complexity of lighthearted, comic movement: dorkish becomes sublime.
Just saw this (the third one) and have spent an hour trying to find the others and find out which one I saw previously, but NBC/Universal is aggressively keeping this off the net, so I was unsuccessful. Incredibly stupid of them; it's one of the best things they've had on their air.

January 22 2012 at 1:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Secret Word is not just a good skit but a GREAT SKIT. The Cold Open was solid and Bill Hader does do a incredible Perry, same with Paul Brittain as Ron Paul. BTW I would love to see more of Paul as Ron Paul. Lame monologue though but I loved the cameo by Andrew Garfield. Herb Welch was good but not great. I enjoy that character but its never made me roll on the floor and I think it might be time for Bill to retire it. The digital short was a mess. WU was really good as always. Jason as The Devil is a really great character. Also, I had always hated Garth and Kat until the Gwyneth Paltrow show last season where, for some reason, I just found it funny. I loved Garth and Kat this week. Also, interesting fact the only person besides Chris Martin to appear with Garth and Kat is his wife, Paltrow. The French Dancing was ok but I have never been a fan of it. However its grown on me a lot since its first appearance, last year. The Bridal Shower skit was ok. Taran and Andy were great as the strippers however yet again Vanessa was annoying as a supporting character. Not sure why I find her so annoying when she is not the main character in a skit. The Someone Like You skit was very clever but Sambergs crying was just annoying. Major props to Bill and Kenan though who nailed the crying. And also a fun cameo by Coldplay. While I didn't love this skit like you did, it was a very clever, and solid skit. The technology hump skit was a mess. Terrible premise and once again Vanessa's voice annoyed me. The camera lense going out was one of the only funny parts. Jay, Kristen and Jason were all ok in their tiny roles but overall the skit was a MESS. Overall, last year I thought Emma Stone was one of the worst hosts of the season and generally hated her show. This year she does ok but I dont really think she was a big reason that we had a decent show this week. In my opinion the best show of the season is still melissa mccarthy's show. Also, Coldplay was great making it 3 weeks in a row of great musical guests, Drake, Maroon 5, and Coldplay.

November 14 2011 at 3:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Reverend Puck

This is going to be a stretch, but I'm thinking the "Digital Short: Wish it Would Rain" is a nod to all the stories from Pop-Up video. Was just watching one from Tuesday in which John Mayer was supposed to be walking in a coat during winter, yet was set in NY's hottest day of the year.

Just a theory.

November 14 2011 at 1:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

In rehearsal, they never checked to see if Silly String worked upside down?

Emma Stone was largely useless on the show. She was funny in the gameshow sketch, but was second fiddle to Wiig. She was supporiting in the Adele sketch. She was wasted, I thought.

November 14 2011 at 4:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Piecar's comment

How do you separate the men from the boys at Penn State?

With a crowbar

November 14 2011 at 7:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mike's comment

If this is some allusion to my screen name, it's beyond me. Old joke, too

November 14 2011 at 10:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down

The scores are a little misleading.
Mike did you ever think about making the final verdict a good, bad, or ugly instead of a 1-10.

I would say the majority has been ugly. This season seems particularly weak. They were building up the past couple of years but now it's like they're back in the slump they hit post Tina Fey and crew.

November 14 2011 at 1:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to shadowracer's comment
Mike Ryan

I've done it this way for, now, two seasons. So it would be hard to change the format at this point. But, really, there's both: if you want, you can ignore the scores and just look what category each sketch falls in to. I like the scores just as a way to keep a running tally of the entire season.

November 14 2011 at 9:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tom Flynn LaSusa

I'm willing to give the Monologue / Spider-Man skit a few extra points for the great ribbing they gave to the upcoming movie. Not only was there the "aren't you doing the same movie" joke but also that great moment when Samberg realized Andrew Garfield is British and lamented that they'd 'Outsourced Spider-Man.'

November 13 2011 at 9:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brian Coe

Still no Barak Obama? Has SNL ever gone this far into a season without making fun of the President?

November 13 2011 at 7:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Brian Coe's comment
Mike Ryan

I would assume not since the Ebersol era, which wasn't very political. (Which is part of the reason Reagan had the least interesting run on SNL of all of the presidents since '75. I can think of, maybe, one good Reagan sketch, which was Hartman after Lorne came back.) I'm going to look into this.

November 13 2011 at 7:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Mike Ryan's comment

I remember a few Reagan sketches during Ebersol's run (I think with the camera-eye-view as Reagan), and then Terry Sweeney's Nancy Reagan run. Followed by Phil Hartman as Reagan. Remember the Reagan-as-dolt with the press, and as genius behind the scenes? And right after that, Dana Carvey as Bush I. Shatner as Ollie North, "the Mute Marine." I don't think any SNL era has ignored presidential politics.

As far as this season, Obama hasn't relly been at the center of any issue that lends to parody.

November 14 2011 at 2:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down
Mike Ryan

@Jamie: "Remember the Reagan-as-dolt with the press, and as genius behind the scenes?" Exactly the one I was thinking of. I'm not saying that Ebersol ignored politics, it just wasn't as urgent of a subject for him as it is for Lorne. In other words: If SNL 81-85 had gone six episodes without a Reagan sketch, it wouldn't surprise me. With Lorne: that's actually quite remarkable. Especially to start a season.

November 14 2011 at 10:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down

An actor like Andrew Garfield travelled all the way to New York for a walk-on because Miss Emma Stone is not just his costar but his girlfriend :)

November 13 2011 at 1:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Ellie's comment
Mike Ryan

Had no idea!

November 13 2011 at 1:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mike Ryan's comment

I think they're pretty private about it :) Nice review by the way! Someone like you was definitely the best bit

November 13 2011 at 6:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

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