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October 13, 2015

Who Scored Big in Week 8 of SNL's Relevancy Poll?

by Mike Ryan, posted Dec 5th 2011 12:45PM
The interesting thing about "Coach Bert," the best sketch this past Saturday night, was that no cast-member really stood out – at least as far at the Relevancy Poll is concerned. The concept and the writing were perfect, but it was played so straight, other than Buscemi, it's hard to remember who was even in the sketch. One of the lesser sketches of the night, "Miley Cyrus Show," was all about Vanessa Bayer. And to Bayer's credit, having a recurring sketch as popular as "Cyrus" is quite the coup. So, sorry Taran Killam, you were great in "Coach Bert," but it doesn't help you much around these parts. And so it goes with the Relevancy Poll...

1. Paul Brittain (Last Week: 14) Last week I wrote, "I will write this every week until it happens: Bring back "Sex" Ed Vincent and Lord Wyndemere." Well, that only took one show! I guess I can drop the "Sex" Ed part of this petition and just concentrate on getting Wyndemere back on the show. Brittain also stepped in for Vinnie Chase as the role of Aquaman and had a smattering of other appearances. It was a big week for Brittain! And do you know who is the most excited about the return of "Sex" Ed Vincent? Yep, Lord Wyndemere. Look at him go!

2. Vanessa Bayer (Last Week: 8) I really thought this was one of the weaker installments of "Miley Cyrus Show," but it's hard to overlook the prime real estate this sketch always gets. As stated, of the four current featured players, Bayer is at such an advantage just for having created this sketch. Need a boost? Bring back Miley Cyrus.

3. Andy Samberg (Last Week: 4) Two fairly stellar Digital Shorts in back-to-back episodes is giving me hope for a Samberg resurgence.

4. Kristen Wiig (Last Week: 7) I made no secret for the disdain I have toward "Surprise Lady." But, having said that, Wiig's influence is still all over this show. It's just that the show has evolved to something different than when her influence first came to prominence. When Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were still on the show, Wiig was really the corny oddball to Fey and Poehler's more, intellectual, if you will, form of humor. In other words: Wiig was really a breath of fresh air. She was different. Now, the show has drifted away from Fey's intellectual style and more to an overall sense of absurdity – which is a bit of a trademark of current head writer Seth Meyers. So, what was fresh then, now, not surprisingly, just comes off as dated. It really is a strange dichotomy right now: Wiig is holding 'SNL' back while, simultaneously, 'SNL' is holding back Wiig.

5. Fred Armisen (Last Week: 2) Hey, Obama's back. It's about time. Then again, most of the other characters that Armisen plays are dead. Hey, Armisen, we are long past due for the return of Nicholas Fehn. I even joined a Nicholas Fehn Facebook group – sadly, it seems that I am only the second member. Can we get it to three? (For the record: I did not found this group, but I wish that I had.)

6. Jason Sudeikis (Last Week: 5) Again, call it the "Coach Burt" syndrome. Sudeikis has been all over the Penn State (and now Syracuse) scandals, which is not surprising because Sudeikis is a huge college sports fan -- often seen wearing his Kansas Jayhawks basketball shorts during the "good nights. (As a Mizzou alumnus, Sudeikis' allegiance to Kansas is really the only thing that I do not like about this man.) "Coach Bert" was such a well conceived concept, but Sudeikis wasn't exactly memorable – which, considering the topic, was played perfectly.

7. Bill Hader (Last Week: 10) Keith Morrison returned, which, this week, along with a few bit parts, is enough for the sixth slot.

8. Kenan Thompson: (Last Week: 12) I think the biggest tragedy concerning the fall of Herman Cain is that Kenan never fully got a shot to bring his version of Cain to fruition. It feels like the early days of Will Ferrell trying to nail down George W. Bush. It's so close – but I wish 'SNL' had let Kenan hit Cain harder than they did and develop this properly.

9. Bobby Moynihan: (Last Week: 3) Drunk Uncle was about it for Moynihan. Which is a shame because this is the first week in a long time that we were denied a brilliant Bobby Moynihan cutaway shot.

10. Jay Pharoah (Last Week: 6) There is a lot of buzz surrounding the fact that Jay Pharoah had a larger presence on the show this past week. (Though, no starring roles, which hurts him here.) Maybe this means Pharoah has finally gotten himself hooked up with a writer who will put Pharoah in sketches? Or maybe this means Pharoah will not be seen again until 2012? It's encouraging that in a week that Pharoah didn't have any starring roles, he was at least around. It's a start. We will see.

11. Seth Meyers (Last Week: 1) Meyers certainly didn't sleepwalk through this week's update, but, alas, compared to recent weeks, it wasn't particularly memorable.

12. Taran Killam (Last Week: 13) Killam played the DA in "Coach Bert" and had small role in "Dateline." Back-to-back quiet shows for Killam, which is quite an anomaly dating back to the middle of last season.

13. Abby Elliott (Last Week: 11) After her role in the monologue, Elliott was pretty much missing in action until "Surprise Lady." But, at least she had another appearance in the show, as opposed to...

14. Nasim Pedrad (Last Week: 9) After the monologue, Pedrad was really nowhere to be found.

You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.

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