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October 9, 2015

Who Scored Big in Week 7 of SNL's Relevancy Poll?

by Mike Ryan, posted Nov 21st 2011 1:45PM
It was a very crowded week for our favorite 'SNL' players. Not only did they have to share the spotlight with Jason Segel --who appeared to be glowing from having so much fun – but they also had to share the spotlight with the Muppets. Also, a key element of success on the Relevancy Poll was missing this week: The "Weekend Update" segments. I mean, yes, there were two segments, but they were monopolized by the real John Huntsman and then, later, by Kermit the Frog. Who's number one? Let's find out!

1. Seth Meyers (Last Week: 5) I was on Meyers' case the first four shows of the season. So much so that commenters were accusing me of hating Meyers, which is the opposite of reality. Regardless! Meyers has been on fire the last three weeks, culminating in a pretty fantastic riff with Kermit about congress declaring pizza a vegetable.

2. Fred Armisen (Last Week: 8) It's nice to see Armisen up here. It's not like he's not been getting airtime, but the truly weird stuff that's kind of been his trademark has been absent for most of this season. Armisen sent the show out on a high note with "The Blue Jean Committee," but also was a major part of "Kissing Family Thanksgiving."

3. Bobby Moynihan: (Last Week: 9) Moynihan's three second cutaway during "The Blue Jean Committee" just may have been the funniest three seconds of the entire season. Man, does anyone do a cutaway reaction better than Moynihan? Also, he was the lead in "New Jack Thanksgiving."

4. Andy Samberg (Last Week: 6) "Seducing Women Through Chess" was by far the best Digital Short of the season.

5. Jason Sudeikis (Last Week: 2) After the cold open, Sudeikis kind of disappeared into the background. But he had the cold open all to himself, which, without the "Update" segments, is the only cast member who can say such a thing this week.

6. Jay Pharoah (Last Week: 14) Pharoah didn't take the lead role in any sketches this week, but, good lord, his Denzel Washington is fantastic. And he really was everywhere, which was surprising because that's usually not the way it works out for him. Hey, even his two seconds in "Kissing Family Thanksgiving" was funny.

7. Kristen Wiig (Last Week: 7) It was weird because it felt like Kristen Wiig was a larger part of this episode, but I think a lot of that had to do with "Red Flag" being repeated. She was in "Kissing Family," but the rest of her night was pretty much regulated to quick punch line cameos. Well, except for "Retirement Party," which I think you will find it is still being performed live, right now, if you turn on NBC.

8. Vanessa Bayer (Last Week: 13) Not a huge part of the live broadcast, but Bayer's role in "Kemper Pedic Bed" keeps her in the top half.

9. Nasim Pedrad (Last Week: 1) She was the lead in "Regis Philbin Auditions" and had some good moments in "New Jack Thanksgiving."

10. Bill Hader (Last Week: 3) I never thought that I would find a Garrison Keillor impression so funny, but, yeah, that was a really funny Garrison Keillor impression. Hader also had the second best reaction shot in "The Blue Jean Committee" and a memorable moment in "Kissing Family."

11. Abby Elliott (Last Week: 10) Elliott didn't have a ton to do, but that was a pretty great Zooey Deschanel during "Regis."

12. Kenan Thompson: (Last Week: 12) Kenan was the base player in "The Blue Jean Committee," but that really didn't give him too much to do. Yeah, he brought back his Charles Barkley for "Regis" and had a part in "New Jack Swing," but, overall, another down week for Kenan.

13. Paul Brittain (Last Week: 11) Brittain played Gelman during "Regis," but that pretty much regulated Brittain to being the straight man of a sketch in which every single other cast member got the chance to do a crazy impression. And, yes, he had a small appearance in "Retirement Party," but, whatever. (Also, I will write this every week until it happens: Bring back "Sex" Ed Vincent and Lord Wyndemere!)

14. Taran Killam (Last Week: 4) Killam's been so dominant this season, it's almost jarring to see him as the odd man out. By the time he showed up dancing in "Blue Jean Committee," I was like, "Oh! There he is." Yes, I know he played Ashton Kutcher, too, but that was the least memorable impression of that sketch.

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I don't know why Jay Pharoah keeps getting crappy bits. He's funny and he's got great timing. He must be bad at pitching or something. I also don't get why they went with Red Flag again. These things must be queued up if things go south on one sketch or another. I can only guess something got cut at the last minute.

I really dig it when the musical guest gets in on the comedy. Coldplay did their part last week, and Florence this week.....Ah and what's-his-nuts from Maroon 5.....

....Truly Moynihan KILLS his reaction shot.....But was the reaction shot the nature of the sketch? I may very well be a goof in this case, but the song was nothing....It was all about the reactions? They were funny, a little...;...but not spew root beer out my nose, funny.

November 23 2011 at 8:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Am I correct in saying that this is the least amount of screentime Hader has gotten in the last two seasons?

I was just about to write that the episode was topheavy, that they were everywhere or nowhere, but then I actually got to think about the first few entries, and I don't think anyone had what I would usually call a "great" episode. I don't think Brittain had significantly less screentime than Moynihan. I think everyone had a fair episode. If screentime were a race, it would be pretty close, this week. But, as you can see in the goodnights, it really was a crowded show, with Muppets, Rudd and Huntsman turning up, and Florence Welche also appearing in sketches. And a cameo by Olivia Wilde.

November 21 2011 at 3:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lordz86's comment
Mike Ryan

Agree. I mean, that's another reason Meyers is on top. He killed while, at the same time, no one else had an outstanding show. And you're right about Hader, he wasn't around much.

November 21 2011 at 5:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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