'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.
'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.)
"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.
"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.)
"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).
'"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.
"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?)
"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.
"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.)
"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.
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
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