by Mike Ryan, posted Dec 11th 2011 12:40PM
Katy Perry wasn't listed as the 'SNL' musical guest last night (that was Robyn), but, boy, she sure did sing a lot. Of the eight segments that Perry made an appearance in, she sang in six of them. I'm sorry, but that's pretty telling that the writers didn't know what else to really do with her. And to be fair to the writers: from what we saw of Perry, they probably did the best that they could. And it's always a bad sign when the host plays his or herself, which, yeah, she did that, too. I appreciate Perry willing to stretch herself as host instead of "musical guest who also appears in a sketch", but, yeesh, this was pretty bad. Not even Matt Damon and Val Kilmer could save this show. But, hey: At least Kristen Wiig had a good show. And 'Weekend Update' saved this show from being the worst of the season. Barely. On to a pretty ugly scorecard...
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!
by Mike Ryan, posted Nov 20th 2011 11:50AM
There's a danger in looking too forward to an individual 'SNL' host just because, on paper, they should excel. Too often I've thought, "Well, this person will obviously be great,' only to have that person come off as flat or uninterested. Jason Segel's name immediately jumped out as a potentially great host. I mean, yes, he was obviously going to bring the Muppets with him, that was a given. But this is a guy who has made it clear that hosting 'SNL' has been a lifelong dream. But Segel is a writer. Sometimes writers come to the show with ideas in mind (like Segel obviously did with "Andre the Giant Gets an Ice Cream") that aren't necessarily great. But, happily, Segel brought his A-game and he brought Paul Rudd because, well, why not bring Paul Rudd? On to a very happy Scorecard!
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!
by Mike Ryan, posted Nov 6th 2011 10:25AM
Well, what a difference a couple weeks off can make. Charlie Day lent his manic persona to a show that started slowly (the cold open was immediately forgettable) became worse (I wonder how many people switched off their televisions during the 'Dr. Oz' sketch), then found itself in a zone that, for the most part, built momentum as the show continued – thanks mostly to the chemistry between Day and Jason Sudeikis. Even Seth Meyers, who has often looked bored so far this season, hosted 'Update' with an aplomb that I was starting to forget existed (and having Hader visit as a drunk Rick Perry sure helped, too). There is hope! At least I have hope! Off to what just may be the first happier than not scorecard of the season...
by Mike Ryan, posted Oct 16th 2011 1:20PM
So, do you want the good news first or do you want the bad news? "The good news first," you may or may not have said? Well, the good news is that after a rare four week run of live shows, 'SNL' has two weeks off to recharge. And, wow, do they need it. I mean, could last night's Anna Faris monologue have been any more phoned in? It's always a bad sign when the writing staff resorts to "fake Q&A with the audience,' but, my God, at least sometimes those can still be funny. Also, more good news: Jason Sudeikis' pal Charlie Day will be the next host on November 5, which should bring some much needed comedic inspiration. Of course, the bad news: last night's show was somewhat awful. Also, Faris introduced the show as the "Halloween show" – but where was the Halloween? Where was Hader's Vincent Price sketch? Come to think of it, where was Anna Faris? Anna Faris is funny! Why wasn't she featured more often? Regardless, thankfully, near the end of the show, there were a couple of gems. (Actually, this show, for as bad as it was overall, had my two favorite sketches of the season.) On to the scorecard...
'SNL' Scorecard: With Ben Stiller's Show Being This Bad, It's No Wonder Why Eddie Murphy Didn't Show Up
by Mike Ryan, posted Oct 9th 2011 2:00PM
'Saturday Night Live' did itself such a disservice by not immediately squashing the rumors of an Eddie Murphy appearance on last night's show. As we pointed out on Wednesday: this was most likely never, ever going to happen. But it would have been really fantastic if it had – and that's the problem: Anything less than an Eddie Murphy cameo is going to be a letdown. (And it doesn't help when the show is as lackluster as last night's Ben Stiller hosted effort.) I mean, Hugh Jackman showed up. From all accounts, people like Hugh Jackman. He's one of the biggest movie stars in the world. Do you know who Hugh Jackman isn't? Hugh Jackman isn't Eddie Murphy. Hugh Jackman isn't a guy who has openly despised the show that made him famous and then gave the world a glimmer of hope this week that this feud may be coming to an end. A world where 'SNL' and Eddie Murphy are on good terms is a world that I want to live in. Unfortunately, we don't live in that world. We live in a world that teases us with the hope of that world – and, sadly, that's a kinda dickish world to live in. On to the scorecard...
by Mike Ryan, posted Oct 2nd 2011 1:55PM
Someday Melissa McCarthy will be a good 'SNL' host. Her name will be mentioned alongside recent 'SNL' hosting phenoms like Jon Hamm and Justin Timberlake. Hell, if given some better than average material last night to back up her deliveries, we may already be mentioning her name as part of this class. Unfortunately, McCarthy did what she could with a writing staff that seemed to take the week off from writing anything interesting and, instead, just gave her a few sketches that resembled poor man's clones of 'Bridesmaids.' To be fair, this was probably to be expected with her first outing immediately following her breakthrough comedy role. But, now that this is out of the way, hopefully, next time, the writing staff will giver her more things to do than pour food on her head and have her fall down a flight of stairs. Alas, on to the scorecard...
by Mike Ryan, posted Sep 25th 2011 12:30PM
Watching Alec Baldwin host 'SNL' – which he has now done a record 16 times -- has become a little like purchasing a recent album from the now disbanded R.E.M.: We know that we're going to get a solid effort – even great, at times -- but the truly memorable moments are from the first decade of work. A point Baldwin even kind of alludes to in last night's monologue. The first show of the season is usually a mixed bag at best (with last year's excellent Amy Poehler hosted effort a huge exception). "But they've had all summer to think of new ideas," is often a criticism levied at the first show of a season, but that's not really the way it works. With Baldwin as host and with the exact same cast as last year (with the only change being Nasim Pedrad promoted from featured player to cast member) there was hope that SNL's 37th season could come out firing on all cylinders. Nope. So, with that, welcome to another season of 'Saturday Night Live' and, yes, another season of SNL Scorecard!
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