I find myself watching Saturday Night Live almost compulsively these days. I mainly watch it for the musical guests (perhaps the most reliable part of the show), but I also watch it with the hopes of finding sketches that stick out to me as being pretty funny (looking for anything beyond that is just wishful thinking). Thankfully, this episode had several. I’m going to go a different route with this review and point out my favorites:
FOX News Tries to Go Sane
I’m not a big fan of FOX News at all – Jon Stewart is right in calling it entertainment before news, in my opinion. This opening sketch was geared toward me, though — I found it hilarious. Jason Sudeikis was suprisingly spot on as Glenn Beck, as was Kristen Wiig as Greta van Susteren. The best part, though, was of course Bill Hader as political analyst James Carville (a spot-on impersonation), who bugged the panel of FOX’s elite with his tales of vegan restaurant to avoid eating animals, which are just “people with fur.” It was a solid start to the episode.
Andy Samberg’s growing elusive these days — I only spotted him in two sketches tonight, and this was one of them. Of course, Samberg wasn’t the best part of this Digital Short. Nor was it Pee Wee Herman, who made a surprising and incredibly funny turn as a shot-downing, chair-flinging version of himself. No, the funniest part of the short was Anderson Cooper, who made a completely surprising appearance that ended with him trying to sit on Pee-wee’s giant anthropomorphic chair and being jilted off as the chair told him to “get the f**k off me!”
The Bar Mitzvah
Again, I didn’t expect this one to be funny, but it was (if overdone). Fred Armisen was typical (all his roles seem the same), but it was the guest stars who really stole the show. Jay Pharaoh popped up as a convincing Jay-Z — that guy can do impersonations with the best of them — and Cee-Lo Green made an appearance singing about how the subject of the Bar Mitzvah was good at speaking Hebrew (to the tune of “F**k You”). The appearance by Paltrow as Taylor Swift? The sketch could have done without.
Did I say that Armison’s roles get a little repetitive? True as that may be, all is forgiven when he plays former New York governor David Paterson, who manages to make me laugh simply from Armisen’s squinty-eyed impersonation. The character is one-note, but that’s sort of what makes him great. You know he’s going to throw in a dig at New Jersey, but it’s fun to anticipate how long it will take for that to happen. Hader was reliable as Spitzer, who only managed to elicit a chuckle from me with his recurring joke of the high-five with Paterson.
Those three were really my favorite sketches. There were more that were somewhat funny,