SNL Season 33 Episode 16 Recap

Dwayne Johnson returned for his third appearance as SNL host last night, joined by musical guest Ray Lamontagne. The results? There were some funny sketches, while others were quite weak.

I remember having my doubts about Johnson when he first appeared on the show. At that time, he was still World Wrestling Entertainment’s The Rock, but had began his transition into the world of film. I also recall being pleasantly surprised at just how funny he was.  So let’s just say I expected more from this episode.

His latest appearance began with a musical number during his opening monologue – a Broadway-inspired song and dance called “Tough Guy”, complete with tights and tutus!

I don’t know why I didn’t imagine this sooner, but how cool was it that MacGruber featured MacGyver? Yes, Richard Dean Anderson reprised his role as MacGyver, and revealed he’s MacGruber’s father. In the second segment, MacGruber found out his dad abandoned him for a stripper. That MacGruber has some real daddy issues!

The next sketch was all a figment of Andy Samberg as Rahm Emanuel’s imagination, but it was kind of funny. I wouldn’t have thought of Barack Obama transforming into The Rock Obama, an Incredible Hulk-like character when he gets mad. It was good for a chuckle or two, but it doesn’t have much of a re-watchability factor.

I don’t know what it is lately with SNL bringing back stuff that wasn’t funny to begin with, ie the Activia commercial parodies with Kristen Wiig as Jamie Lee Curtis. I still don’t find this funny, and the poopy pants chain reaction between JLC and Abby Elliott’s character just made it even worse.

Now I know I’ll probably get flack for this, but I thought the Hawaiian restaurant sketch was good. Johnson and Fred Armisen played bitter locals that have to act like monkeys to entertain the tourists. I had a real laugh with the line “it’s not like our President’s Hawaiian”.

Some special guests made the Weekend Update priceless! Apparently, Jessica Rabbit was voted the sexiest cartoon character, so Cathy of comic strip fame joined Seth Meyers to comment on not being sexy, along with her husband, Irving, played by Justin Timberlake. Irving dotes on his wife until Jessica Rabbit enters the picture – played by none other than JT’s real life girfriend Jessica Biel. Okay SNL, everything JT does on the show is pure magic – they should seriously consider making him a permanent player for a season!

The rest of the sketches were pretty unremarkable, and I downright hated the one with the lighthouse keeper played by Johnson.

I was pleased with Ray Lamontagne as musical guest. He’s a gifted musician, and one of my personal faves. Overall, he gave two solid performances.

This episode of SNL was pretty much hit and miss. Kudos on MacGruber and Weekend Update. I know Dwayne Johnson is a funny guy, and it’s a shame that the writers didn’t have some better content for their host.

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Tonight on SNL – Neil Patrick Harris and Taylor Swift (Repeat)

In stark contrast to last week’s disappointing repeat of the Hugh Laurie episode from December, this week’s repeat is one of this season’s finest, with TV, film, stage and internet star Neil Patrick Harris.

For a taste of what’s in store, visit and check out the Save Broadway sketch.

Read my full episode recap HERE if you’re still not convinced.

Quite simply, if you missed it the last time, I highly encourage you to tune in!

SNL airs at 11:30 pm on NBC, and Global TV in Canada.

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Kristen Wiig on Flight of the Conchords

SNL’s Kristen Wiig guest starred on a recent episode of HBO series Flight of the Conchords. If you’ve never seen FOTC, it’s about Jemaine and Bret, a folk parody duo from New Zealand who move to New York to try and make it as musicians. In “Same Girl”, the guys both fall for Wiig’s character, Brahbrah.

Now, I’ve always been quite vocal on my dislike for most of Kristen Wiig’s characters on SNL, but I give credit when credit is due.  And I have to give her props on this awesome performance on Flight of the Conchords.

Here is one of the musical numbers featuring Wiig:

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Now if the SNL writers could watch this and take notes on how to create characters that really show off Kristen Wiig’s talents!

Tonight on SNL – Hugh Laurie and Kanye West (Repeat)

Leading off two weeks of SNL repeats is the Hugh Laurie/Kanye West episode from December.

When they first announced that Hugh Laurie was going to host, I was excited. Laurie is a talented comedic actor, but he was sadly underused. This was one of this season’s biggest disappointments, in my opinion.

Decide for yourself by tuning in at 11:30 pm on NBC, Global TV in Canada.

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SNL Season 33 Episode 15 Recap

Alec Baldwin returned to SNL as host for the 14th time on Valentine’s Day, along with some special celebrity guests, and teen heart throbs Jonas Brothers.

The opening sketch was pretty lame – a Republican gripefest over the Obama administration. It was so weak, not even Dan Aykroyd could save it. I kept thinking it would have been so much better if Aykroyd had returned for the Steve Martin episode, and they could have reprised those “Wild and Crazy Guys”, The Festrunk Brothers.

Alec Baldwin’s opening monologue was solid. I really liked that Jack McBrayer stole the spotlight away from Baldwin (note to the PTBs at SNL – I want to see McBrayer host an ep). I also chuckled at Baldwin thanking Christian Bale for taking over as person “most synonymous with celebrity breakdowns”.

In the first sketch of the evening featuring Baldwin, he was joined by Jonas Brothers. All the little girls who were allowed to stay up late with mom to watch SNL had their first squee moment of the episode. Baldwin played Gary, the much older and morally questionable supposed fourth Jonas Brother. When asked to return his “purity ring” upon being kicked out of the band, he claimed that he broke it.

In the latest edition of The Cougar Den, the menopausal minxes celebrated Valentine’s Day with special guest, Blaine Bagby, author of “Stop That Boy, I Want to Get On”, and self-proclaimed cou-gay. His co-author and previous Cougar Den guest Kiki, played by Cameron Diaz, stopped by as well. From the ladies taking a “Facebook Break” to Kiki attempting to pounce on the hostesses’ boyfriends, this sketch had some good chuckles.

This week’s Digital Short wasn’t the greatest, but it was okay for a laugh or two. It featured Andy Samberg discovering a VHS tape of Jonas Brothers as an 80s hair band, with songs such as “Struck by lightning” and “Ask the Wizard”. Wondering how the boys were in these videos from 25 years ago, Samberg asks them if they’re Highlanders.

Sir Mix-a-Lot’s Photo Shop was good for a one-time laugh. I liked the play on “Baby Got Back”, especially the two-for-one special, known as the “ugh double up ugh ugh”.

The Weekend Update was rather dull this week. The only vaguely interesting part was Jason Sudeikis as Joaquin Phoenix.

I thought Vincent Price’s Valentine’s Special was done rather well. Bill Hader always does a great job with these. Price’s guests were Alec Baldwin as Richard Burton, Casey Wilson as Liz Taylor, Kristen Wiig as Carole Channing, and Fred Armisen as Liberace. Best part of this sketch: when Vincent asks, “Carole, what’s so great about a strange hand sticking through a hole?” And Liberace responds, “Plenty!”

I think I laughed the hardest at the Wii sketch. It was so wrong, but so funny at the same time. I know every adult that owns a Wii has thought the remote is obscene at least once. Oh, how I laughed!

Overall, this was a pretty good episode, good but not great. Alec Baldwin delivered, and Jonas Brothers weren’t fantastic, but at least they can poke fun at themselves.

Photo Courtesy of Hulu

Tonight on SNL – Alec Baldwin and Jonas Brothers

Tonight on SNL, Alec Baldwin returns as host, with musical guests Jonas Brothers.

Check out this PROMO for the ep, featuring Baldwin and the JoBros.

This is Baldwin’s 14th appearance as host.

Some of my fave sketches have feature Baldwin during his previous hosting stints – Canteen Boy and Schweddy Balls, just to name a couple – so we might just be in for a solid episode in what’s been a season of few hits and many misses.

Photo courtesy of NBC

SNL Season 33 Episode 14 Recap

Color me shocked – last night’s episode of SNL with host Bradley Cooper was one of the best this season!
Each sketch, from beginning to end, was consistently funny.

In Bradley Cooper’s opening monologue, he recounted his many appearances on Inside The Actors Studio – as a student – and James Lipton even made a brief appearance. Cooper showed off some of the skills he learned while studying at TAS.

We got another Today show sketch featuring Kathie Lee and Hoda. Although I wasn’t too crazy about this at first, I’m really starting to enjoy their crazy dialogue. These are not sketches that I’d watch repeatedly, but they’re quite entertaining in the moment.

The “Bar Buddies” were back, and this time, they’re taking a trip down memory lane to Mr. Big’s “To Be With You”. Their sometimes uncomfortable confessions were made even more awkward when it turned out they were at their friend’s funeral, and not his wedding.

The Weekend Update was solid this week. I thought Seth’s “Really” piece, a rant about Kellogg’s dropping Michael Phelps as spokesperson because of his marijuana use, was brilliant. And he’s so right, the repertoire of Kellogg’s characters do look like they were created by a bunch of potheads with the munchies!

A surprisingly funny sketch was “Bad Guys, Good Conversation”. It featured Bradley Cooper as Johnny from Karate Kid as host, and Jason Sudeikis as the Sensei, with a cast of panelists that included Alex from Fatal Attraction, Die Hard’s Hans Gruber, and Silence of the Lambs’ Jamie Gumb. Dark, but funny!

This week also brought us another fantastic Digital Short, “I’m on a Boat”, featuring T-Pain. This is another track from the upcoming Lonely Island album Incredibad. With lyrics like “I’m the king of the world, on a boat like Leo”, this is destined for YouTube greatness!

Close to the end of the episode was the compulsory making fun of Christian Bale’s tirade. In it, Bale is promoting a DVD of his and other celebrity outbursts.

This was a good episode, with solid sketches and really funny moments.

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Tonight on SNL: Bradley Cooper and TV on the Radio

Bradley Cooper takes on hosting duties for this episode of SNL. Who, you may ask? Don’t worry, I had to look him up as well. Turns out I do know who Bradley Cooper is! I knew him as “Hearts and Scalpels” leading man Aidan on Nip/Tuck, and from the hit film The Wedding Crashers. He’s also part of the new flick He’s Just Not That Into You, alongside some Hollywood heavyweights like Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, and Drew Barrymore.

Check out the promo right HERE

I’m going to come right out and say I have zero expectations for this evening’s episode. I don’t know if Bradley Cooper will be able to deliver the funny.

As for musical guests, TV On the Radio, I think I might just skip over their performance. Their pretentious tunes don’t really appeal to me.

Photo Courtesy of NBC

SNL Season 33 Episode 13 Recap

Steve Martin is the lone member of the 15 time club, yet that wasn’t enough to impress this long-time SNL viewer.  I expected so much more.  Much like his movie career of late, Martin’s latest foray into Studio 8H was mediocre at best.

It started off promising, and I particularly liked Steve Martin’s comment regarding President Obama in his opening monologue:  “If you had told me that even eight years ago, that a competent, educated person would be elected president – wow!

The episode went on to SNL’s latest commercial parody for Chewable Pampers – a concept that I found disgusting and funny at the same time.  I think I gagged as I laughed!

From there, it was pretty much downhill.  Most of the sketches were just plain unfunny, like “Issues”, with Kenan Thompson as a talk show host that insults all of his guests.  I also wasn’t very fond of the sketch with all the girls of SNL vying for Steve Martin’s adoration.  The only thing that proved was that those gals can sing.

Now, I did like the latest Digital Short that marked the return of the Laser Cats in “Laser Cats 4”.  Best part, hands down, was the ending, a blatant homage to Return of the Jedi.

The Weekend Update was also strong, with Jason Sudeikis reprising the role of Rod Blagojevich, and Fred Armisen once again appearing as New York Governor David Paterson.

I wasn’t shocked that Kristen Wiig broke out another annoying character, Trina, calling for her husband, Thomas.  As a result, every time I hear the name Thomas, I cringe.

I quite enjoyed Steve Martin’s banjo number, which was a classic, clever ditty, and reminded me that he is comedy royalty.

The most remarkable part of this episode – Jason Mraz had to be my favorite musical guest of the year so far.  The boy is super talented, and he really shone as only few have been able to on that stage.  I could have done without Colbie Callait joining him on his second song, though, seeing that she’s the cure for insomnia.  I kid you not, I saw her open for John Mayer last summer, and I needed a coffee when she was finished!

Overall, this wasn’t the worst episode of the season, but it was slightly disappointing.

Anyone else agree with me?  I’d like to hear your thoughts on this episode.

Photo Courtesy of NBC

Tonight on SNL: Steve Martin and Jason Mraz

Tonight on SNL, history is made as Steve Martin hosts for a record-breaking 15 time!

Some of SNL’s most memorable sketches have included Mr. Martin, so here’s hoping the writers brought their A-game (following the horrendous episode with Rosario Dawson two weeks ago). I’ve always enjoyed his appearances over the years, so I’m really looking forward to this evening’s episode.

Want a sneak peek? Check out this PROMO with Martin and Andy Samberg.

I’m actually excited about this week’s musical guest, too. Jason Mraz is a very talented songwriter and vocalist who is one of the best live performers out there. Here’s hoping it translates well on the SNL stage!

Saturday Night Live airs on NBC (Global in Canada) at 11:30 EST.

Photo courtesy of NBC