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October 7, 2015

Who Scored Big in Week 6 of SNL's Relevancy Poll?

by Mike Ryan, posted Nov 14th 2011 1:15PM
The reason that Emma Stone is such a good host is that she could easily be a cast member. The sketches don't have to feature her; she can just blend in and play a supporting character. In other words: she doesn't have to be the center of attention. Because of this, it leads to a show in which the cast can really shine. And, collectively, they did! But there were a few that had really standout weeks, including our surprise winner...

1. Nasim Pedrad (Last Week: 8) Pedrad's Adele sketch was just so good. In the Scorecard, I rated it a nine. Maybe it should have been rated a bit higher? Not only was it great, it got the whole cast involved. Nasim Pedrad has been a bit marginalized so far this season, but she's so funny – it's nice to see her, finally, get her first breakout sketch of the season on the air. (And her dancing, along with Killam, is my favorite thing during "Le Jeunes de Paris.")

2. Jason Sudeikis (Last Week: 1) Sudeikis has been on quite a run the last few weeks. He's made it pretty clear that this is his last season, which is probably why we're seeing such resurgence over what we saw last season. Again, his Devil on "Update" was the perfect way to respond to the Penn State scandal. Enjoy Sudeikis while you can, because you've only got 16 of his shows left.

3. Bill Hader (Last Week: 2) Last season, Bill Hader played WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in three straight shows in a row. Hader has now played Rick Perry in two straight episodes. With the roll that Perry is on – and the roll that Hader is on with his portrayal of Perry – there is a very good chance of a third this time, too.

4. Taran Killam (Last Week: 5) Honestly, Killam could put "Le Jeunes de Paris" on the show every single week and I'd be happy. Also, Killam is the reason why Sudeikis' departure won't sting quite as bad, considering that Killam will pick up the slack for a lot of what Sudeikis does. I've said this before, but the fact that Killam does this well, week after week, while Sudeikis is still very much a presence, bodes well for Mr. Killam.

5. Seth Meyers (Last Week: 3) Again, whatever Meyers did during SNL's two week hiatus seems to have paid off for him. To start the season, he just looked... tired. But for the last two shows, his wit's been sharp and he looks quite rejuvenated.

6. Andy Samberg (Last Week: 14) The Digital Short was bad, but airtime is airtime. But he did get in the best line of the night in regards to the new Spider-Man movie during the monologue. Also, "Technology Humping" should have been better.

7. Kristen Wiig (Last Week: 6) Wiig had a few supporting roles to go along with her "Secret Word" performance. I know Garth and Kat isn't popular with everyone, but she always looks like she's having the time of her life while performing that segment -- the only true improv on 'SNL.'

8. Fred Armisen (Last Week: 7) As mentioned during the comments yesterday, we have now had six straight episodes to start the season without one appearance from our President. I know the Republican debates have taken up most of the political real estate, but this really is quite remarkable. (Perhaps it really is time to give Obama to Jay Pharoah – it's been six months since we've seen Armisen's, so if there's a good time for a handover, this is it.)

9. Bobby Moynihan: (Last Week: 9)For the third week in a row, Moynihan is number nine. He's always number nine. I wish that he wasn't number nine! Though, his reaction during Adele might have been the single funniest moment of the night. And his dancing was great!

10. Abby Elliott (Last Week: 10) Elliott joined in on the dancing fun in "Le Jeunes"... You know, forget about that for a second. I really want to get to the bottom of her wig in "Bridal Shower Gifts." Why did that character just have to have dark hair? And that wig was so good! I actually wondered, did Abby Elliott dye her hair in real life? She didn't!

11. Paul Brittain (Last Week: 11) He danced in "Le Jeunes de Paris" and played a contestant in "Secret Word." Week after week, this guy is so underused. It might be time for Brittain to just go full out Forte and only deliver "the weird."

12. Kenan Thompson: (Last Week: 4) Kenan never seems to have two good weeks in a row. He always has a good week, followed by a bad week. This was his bad week. Though, he did make the most of it with his ability to cry.

13. Vanessa Bayer (Last Week: 12) Small part here and there, most notably "friend number two" in "Bridal Shower Gifts." But, hey, at least her face appeared on air, as opposed to...

14. Jay Pharoah (Last Week: 13) That is a picture of Jay Pharoah's hand. Not counting the "good nights," that is the only time that we saw any part of Jay Pharoah on Saturday night.

You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.

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Kristen De La Riva

I feel like the entire staff has a vendetta against Jay Pharoah.

November 15 2011 at 12:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kristen De La Riva's comment

I seem to be in the minority, but I don't understand why Pharoah gets so much acclaim for his impressions. If they didn't expressly say who it is he's impersonating, I wouldn't know.

November 15 2011 at 1:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jamie's comment
Mike Ryan

Have you not seen his Denzel Washington?

November 15 2011 at 10:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down

I went back and did a sketch count for Fred Armisen... he appeared in 6 sketches! 6!!!!.. and it's like I hardly even noticed him there. Maybe it's because they were mostly friend or suppoting roles, but I also don't think he's been Fred-Armisening all over the parts he's been given (and by that, I only intend to imply his characters often employ a certain comedic sensibility that's uniquely Fred), so it's hard to notice him.

Can I make a case for Paul Brittain ahead of Abby Elliott , too? I think we could both agree the two of the,m had about equal screentime, but I think Brittain's absurdist Ron Paul needs to be recognized more than it is (I'm still chuckling about "little bird arms). He always brings such strange little pieces of excellence to the characters he plays (did you see the crazy hairline on his wig in the Secret Word sketch?), which is something I don't think Abby does, and therefore makes him a slight bit more memorable than Abby. I'm not an Abby hater (far from it, I think when she exercises herself to her max potential, she's the funniest of the ~newcomers~), but Brittain definitely shone a bit brighter than she did.

One more last comment, too. I achieved certain road weariness to all of the Hader/Wiig last night, which shocked me. I love the two of them in sketches together (probably more than I should), and I think they are the unbeatable twosome of SNL right now, but I was just like EEEENNNNOOUUUGGHHHHH by the time they both showed up in Sad Song. It's become some weird qualification that one of the two of them needs to appear in every sketch, and having the both of them in there at once is preferable, but I was getting a bit exhausted by the end.

November 14 2011 at 1:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Talia's comment
Mike Ryan

That's a valid point about Brittain. His Ron Paul is fantastic. But I felt that the Cold Open was pretty much all Hader and Sudeikis. And, yeah, Armisen was everywhere, but no starring roles other than Garth and Kat.

November 14 2011 at 2:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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