'SNL' Scorecard: Steve Buscemi is Not a Pervert and the Return of 'Sex' Ed Vincent
by Mike Ryan, posted Dec 4th 2011 11:50AM
Oh, glory be, after more than 13 months, "Sex" Ed Vincent has returned to 'Saturday Night Live.' Funny, back in October of 2010, if I would have had a sneak peak at the upcoming hosts for the next year, yeah, my initial reaction would have been, "Yep, 'Sex' Ed will return during the Buscemi show." Speaking of Buscemi, honestly, I can't remember a thing about the last time he hosted in 1998 (and I watch a lot of 'SNL') – that will not be the case this time around. Buscemi's show was such a solid engagement... that is until, for the second show in a row, an eccentric Kristin Wiig character brought the show to a screeching halt. On to the scorecard!
Sketch of the Night
"Coach Burt" (Buscemi, Sudeikis, Killam, Thompson, Pharoah) A few weeks ago I mentioned that 'SNL' couldn't have handled the Penn State scandal (and now Syracuse) better than they did with Jason Sudeikis playing the Devil on "Weekend Update." My God, they really outdid themselves with "Coach Burt." Buscemi plays Coach Burt, a man who has never been accused of any sort of sexual abuse in any way, but a full investigation was launched because he looks kinda weird and has a mustache. Not the most laugh-out-loud hilarious sketch of the year, but, as far as crafting a comedy sketch based on a horrible, horrible subject – this is, to this point in the season, 'SNL' at its absolute best. The first perfect "10" of the season.
"Sex Ed Couples Therapy" (Brittain, Buscemi) What else can I say about "Sex" Ed Vincent? I've been begging Brittain to make this a recurring sketch (or, more likely, begging Lorne to let Brittain make this a recurring sketch). And now it is. And it was glorious. The credit card!
"Frozen Mexican Dinner" (Brittain, Buscemi) If you're going to do poop jokes, 'SNL,' this is how you do poop jokes. For me, the biggest single laugh of the night was Buscemi's line, "How's it not work? Eat it!"
"Digital Short: Batman" (Samberg, Buscemi, Brittain) My first thought during this short was, "Wow, Buscemi does make a pretty solid Commissioner Gordon." OK, yes, the Christian Bale Batman voice parody has been done to death. To death! But I laughed a lot more than I should have during this sketch. Less the voice and more the inappropriate popping in and out.
"Steve Buscemi Monologue" (Buscemi, Ensemble) A fake Q&A from the "audience" is never a good sign for a monologue. But, you know, this was pretty darn funny. The cast played character actors asking how they could make the jump, like Buscemi, to a lead role. More than anyone, Kenan was on his game, playing Chance, the magical African American.
"Weekend Update" (Meyers, Thompson, Moynihan) This was ... OK. Kenan as Herman Cain was ... OK. Moynihan as a new character, Drunk Uncle, was ... better than OK. Meyers wasn't on fire like he's been the last three shows, but, thankfully, he didn't look bored like he did to start the season. The best line of the evening was about congress' secret Santa program where "the Democrats give the Republicans a gift, and that's it."
"Dateline" (Hader, Killam, Buscemi, Wiig) The first time that I saw Bill Hader do his Keith Morrison impression, man, I thought it was one of the funniest things I've ever seen. And, yeah, it's still funny, but the one note joke has lost a lot of its luster, a bit.
"Cold Open: Obama in One" (Armisen) This was the eighth 'SNL' of the season and it was the first to feature a parody of our current Commander in Chief. And, yes, I can see why. Those holding out hope for a handoff to Jay Pharoah were waiting for naught – it's still Armisen. This sketch just made me ... sad. On many levels. But, the list of entities more powerful than the President was, well, also sad. But at least the inclusion of Tyler Perry made me laugh (because it's true).
"Miley Cyrus Show" (Bayer, Sudeikis, Rudolph, Buscemi) I know, I know: Cyrus was in the news this week. So, yeah, we all saw this one coming. But I really hate how 'SNL' plays to the cheap seats. With a sketch as brilliant as "Coach Burt" buried later in the show, it's frustrating that this gets such prime real estate just because it features a parody of a popular entertainer. Oh, and Maya Rudolph. Rudolph is at her absolute best when she's understated (see: "Bridesmaids"). I know she hasn't been a guest on 'SNL' in a while, so maybe she was trying to make every moment count, but understated this was not.
"Ornaments" (Buscemi, Wiig) Can someone explain this sketch to me? Because I sure the hell can't explain it. I'm usually quite the fan of the "weird last sketch of the night," but this one just seemed... unfinished.
"Surprise Lady" (Wiig, Buscemi, Hader, Elliott, Brittain) This was embarrassing. I was actually embarrassed for Kristen Wiig as she threw herself around the stage. On a night with such nuanced and clever comedy, rehashing this tired bit was very unfortunate. And, yes, for the second show in a row, a night that was running, for the most part, on all cylinders was completely derailed. Last night, during the show, I Tweeted, "Kristen Wiig is very talented, but it will be a benefit to SNL when she leaves the show." I wrote that in bit of haste after a bad sketch, but I do believe that it's true. I will add that leaving the show would be a benefit to her, too.
Average Score For This Show: 5.95
Weekly Host Scorecard:
· Jason Segel 6.05
· Charlie Day 6.00
· Steve Buscemi 5.95
· Emma Stone 5.85
· Alec Baldwin 5.80
· Melissa McCarthy 5.45
· Ben Stiller 5.18
· Anna Faris 4.95
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