Tonight Bryan Cranston hosts SNL for the first time. He is most well known for his role as the father on Malcolm in the Middle, and his 3-time Emmy winning portrayal of a meth dealer on Breaking Bad.
Kanye West comes back to be the musical guest again, the first time since his song Power called out SNL and the cast. He chose not to interrupt Taylor Swift's hosting gig last year, but he did make fun of himself in promos this week, and did the same with Mike Myers on SNL after his last televised controversy. It will be interesting to see if either Swift (or Beyonce) stop by to make fun of the now infamous VMA occurence.
My predictions for this week:
-The interruption is utilized in a What Up With That sketch, where Kanye interrupts the always interrupting DeAndre Cole.
-There will be a Malcolm in the Middle sketch of some sort, or it will be the focal point of the monologue.
-The opening sketch is Andy Samberg as Rahm Emmanuel, adressing the people about his decision to leave the White House.
Be back at 11:30!
Sketch 1- As predicted, Samberg as Rahm stepping down, but with Armisen's Obama doing an intro. Also Moynihan as Peter Rouse. I don't know if that impression has anything to do with Peter Rouse. Samberg, who is not on SNL for his impression skills, has gotten Rahm down to a tee, which at this point is unfortunately useless. How many Bill Dailey sketches have you seen? Utterly predictable, but relatively entertaining. B.
Monologue- Cranston discusses his career. Shows the wide variety of roles he's played, all with him appearing in briefs. "It's nice to leave that meth and come to NYC where you can still find some good old fashion crack." And we've got a musical monologue! The backup singers don't know his name. All about how he's not a household name. Ending with "he's the guy from Dexter!" Well done. A-.
Sketch 2- Ad for Pepto Bismol Ice featuring Pedrad and Samberg. Actually pretty funny, and the first time I remember Pedrad as the star. B+.
Sketch 3- We introduce The Miley Cyrus Show, starring the new girl as Miley, and Cranston as Billy Ray. Mediocre impression from new girl, very solid from Cranston. She tells a not funny joke that only BR laughs at. Her guest is Johnny Depp, as played by Paul Brittain I think. Pretty solid. "Tim Burton and I are working on a haunting adaptation of Goodnight Moon." Now a clip from a movie with Miley and Samberg as some departing soldier. This is a bad, bad sign for the rest of the episode. D.
Sketch 4- Midcommercial- Looks like What Up With That. And it is What Up With That, tonight featuring Morgan Freeman and Ernest Borgnine! Forte replaced by a featured newbie. They've now gotten Oscar winners, sitcom stars, and a former US VP to come to 30 Rock to film silent cameos. That always impresses me. And as always, Hader as Lindsay Buckingham as Fleetwood Mac. (Fun Fact #25- Buckingham's costume in every ep matches what he wears in his Wiki Pic.) Freeman looks like he's actually in disbelief. And now Cranston and Pharoah as some sort of odd educational entertainment combo. And now Elliot and one new white guy as Mary Kay Lechildmolestor and her former student/now husband. Freeman looks disturbed, Borgnine like he's enjoying the show. And we have to cut Buckingham as always. Some people hate this. I've grown to find it one of, if not the best current recurring sketches. A.
NEXT WEEK JANE LYNCH AND BRUNO MARS!
Sketch 5- A basketball sketch with Shanna, which I assume is Wiig's attractive yet disgusting character. And it is. Elliot takes over for whoever used to be the jealous girl (I think Casey Wilson). I hate this sketch. I always have. I always will. It isn't funny. It is just idiotic. And disgusting. As always, the host (this time Cranston) remains attracted to her after he disgusting behavior scares the others away. Predictable, boring, not funny, and overdone. F.
Sketh 6- Digital Short. Can they make up for last week. Someone breaks into Samberg's host and he uses his iPhone to call 911 on a 911 app. It has an obsession with film Rescue Dogs 3D (starring Helen Mirren?) Keenan and Armisen are the robbers. And then the rescue dog comes and bites off Armisen's arm. This was actually a more lame laser cats. Comeon Samberg, you're better than that. C-.
Music 1- No presong sketch, Cranston intros Kanye who is performing Power on some sort of all white set. Now it is covered in girls with white unitards. Also Kanye is in an all orange suit with and orange tshirt and orange shoes. I actually think some of Kanye's music is pretty good, but I have no idea what this performance was, although I'm certain there will be a lot of people who call it brilliant and artistic. I found it over-the-top, which is saying something compared to Katy Perry last week. C-.
Weekend Update- "On Friday the White House released Rahm Emmanuel back into the wild." Rick Sanchez fired! It wasn't even funny, it doesn't have to be. Second-hand news correspondent Anthony Crispino (sp?), I guess a character we've met before. "They want to show the Jim Carrey's The Mask at Ground Zero, and that Pastor in Florida wants to burn Koreans." I'm not gunna lie this is actually making me laugh a bit. LeBron joining Miami Vice because he wasn't "cartoony" enough for The Cleveland Show, Tiger divorced Ellen Degeneres because she's Lebanese...not bad. And now, about the end of the run of the print comic Cathy, Samberg's impression of Cathy. Aaack! Not a great WU, and seemed a bit short. B.
Sketch 7- Midcommercial- Looks like some sort of game show. And it is Kid Smartz on GSN. Cranston hosts a quiz show for kids, "kidtestants" are new girl as Vicky, Elliot as Sandy, Samberg as Roger, and Keenan as Janelle. Cranston is some sort of child molestor who has the kids kiss him, Janelle is the one actually seeing what is going on. WTF was that? D.
Sketch 8- Armisen and Cranston as some sort of soft rock duet. The most interesting thing this ep might be that Cranston can sing moderately well. The only lyrics of this song are "I sent a bottle of sparkling apple juice to your house, did you get it?" sung over and over. And yet, and I can't believe I'm saying this, I find this amusing. At least they are trying something that doesn't involve just Wiig playing a quirky character with some strange defect. They should never do it again, but nothing lost by going for it there. B.
Music 2- This time featuring Pusha T. Again, on some random all white stage. Is he actually at 30 Rock? Oh I remember this song now, Runaway, he closed the VMAs with it. I hated it then. This time? Less screaming. Sure, I'll have a toast for the douchebag. B.
Sketch 9- My summary got erased. Pedrad was a little boy who was very similar to her as the girl obsessed with her parents. Her dad was Cranston, a green beret teaching her self defense. I forgot it was going on as it was going on. D-.
Sketch 10- An ad with Keenan for iSleepPro, now featuring Black Noise. Quite clever actually. A-.
I guess Kanye was there, or at least showed up for the Thank Yous.
Has anyone else in the NY area watching this noticed that every commercial break has had an ad for a different Broadway show?
Also it is a shame Jason Sudeikis couldn't get a speaking line today. Just a bit of running man.
Overall, quite mediocre, and a huge letdown from last week. Still some promising sketches, and Nasim Pedrad looks like she really brought it this season. Grade for episode 2: B-.