Saturday, December 18, 2010

Some Thoughts About SNL 36x10: Bridges/Eminem and Lil Wayne

Tonight Jeff Bridges hosts SNL for the second time. You might not remember his first, he co-hosted with his brother Beau Bridges in a season 8 episode in 1983, with musical guest Randy Newman. That hosting gig was a year after his film Tron came out, 27 years later he is back at 30 Rock to promote Tron's sequel. In between he did everything from making a cult-class bowling comedy to winning an Academy Award for Best Actor.

Eminem tonight becomes the 23rd member of the Five-Timers club. He is the 8th member of the club to never host the show, along with Dave Grohl, Tom Petty, Randy Newman, James Taylor, Beck, Nate Mendel, and Dave Matthews. The Five-Timers club was first introduced when Tom Hanks hosted in 1990, here is the sketch, including a not yet famous Conan O'Brien and a random visit from Ralph Nader:

Saturday Night Live - Tom Hanks - 12/08/1990
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Eminem made his first appearance in 1999, as a co-musical guest with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. Tonight he is joined by Lil Wayne, who appeared as a musical guest in the season 34 premiere in 2008, with host Michael Phelps.

Some Predictions for Tonight:
-With today's repeal of Don't Ask Don't Update. Tell, I can easily see the "Two Gay Guys from the Military" returning to Weekend. Hader and Armisen have also played the "Two Gay Guys" from Jersey and Connecticut.
-Rihanna and Eminem had one of the top 5 songs of 2010, and while Rihanna didn't perform it when she was musical guest, I could see her coming back to do it tonight.
-I don't expect a five-timers sketch for Eminem, but if there is the cameos could be high-profile and numerous.

Be back at 11:30 for the live blog!

Sketch 1- Christmas Eve in Washington D.C., with Kenan as Frosty the Snowman. Now we're seeing Obama's dreams for 2011. Unemployment drops, Wikileaks- McCain a Muslim, Palin runs. Now Hillary (again portrayed by new girl). Rahm, Pelosi, Biden. Unique, but quite amusing. A.

Monologue- Bridges is completely clean shaven. Jokes he must have done a good job when he hosted in 1983 for him to be asked back so soon. Now talking about the differences (or lack there of) between The Dude (his Big Lebowski character) and himself. And now here's Cookie Monster. And the two of them are singing Silver Bells. That was quite random. B. EDIT- Totally forgot about the Cookie Monster hosting SNL campaign. They did a great YouTube video for it:

Sketch 2- A message from Mark Zuckerberg(Samberg). And guess who he's interrupted by- Julian Assange, for the 3rd straight week! Talking about why he should have been Time's Man of the Year instead of Zuckerberg. It is getting old, but Hader does own it. B-.

Sketch 3- The Miley Cyrus Show, which I assumed was gunna come last week, but they pushed it to this week. She's doing the Conan combined celebrities baby bit, using Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, which makes Suri! Miley's drug lesson- "don't let your friends video you when you do things." Her guest tonight- Bridges as Nick Nolte. Funniest part- superimposing Bridges' face on Nick Nolte's mug shot. B-.

Sketch 4- Digital Short- Lonely Island with Akon, doing a song "I Just Had Sex." And John McEnroe! And Jessica Alba and Blake Lively! Classic Lonely Island style digital short, we haven't seen in a while. Solid. A-.


Sketch 5- Looks like we're getting a send-off to Larry King. With Armisen reprising Larry, which he did on King's final show Thursday, interviewing the man himself in matching outfits. A sendoff to the people who made his show. Kenan as Jermaine Jackson, Wiig and Eliot as the Judds, Bridges as a dead on Dog the Bounty Hunter. He asks Jackson if he is an only child. He asks the Judds which one is the mother. And now Dog the Bounty Hunter is singing My Way to close it out. So random. B.

Sketch 6- Under Under Ground Records is back! One of the most random sketches from last year. With Crunkmas! Sudeikis and Pedrad own this. Another death for Ass Dan! Pharoah is DJ George Costanza. Why? Who knows! It's 2 minutes of every random thing the writers room can come up with. Just brilliant. A+.

Music 1- Eminem and Lil Wayne are performing "No Love." This song samples Haddaway's "What Is Love" which has a rich SNL history itself through Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan's Roxbury Guys sketches, and the film "A Night at the Roxbury" based on those sketches.

Weekend Update- DADT, Assange, Afghanistan, David Paterson, Walmart, and Michael Steele, as portrayed by Kenan. Stronger impression than I would've guessed. Weekend Update weatherman a terrible Brad Pitt impression, joined by Eliot as Angelina. A Harvard joke. The ScarJo/Ryan Reynolds divorce. And now a holiday message from Snookie (Moynihan), Stefon (Hader), and Gov. Paterson (Armisen). An odd performance of "Christmas Tree." Very weird. Not a great WU. C.

Sketch 7- TCM looking at the original cut of "A Wonderful Life," the Chanukah movie "This, You Call a Wonderful Life?" Great premise, can they follow through? Sudeikis pulling off a very strong Jimmy Stewart. A 43 minute deli argument! Amusing. The director also tried and failed with "A Mitzvah on West 84th Street." Well done. B+.

Sketch 8- Jeff'd, Jeff Bridges' version of Punk'd. Pranking Sam Elliot (Sudeikis) at the dry cleaner. He comes in very early and Elliot doesn't care. Now Abby as Maggie Gyllenhaal. He sends her roses at the front desk of her hotel. Kenan as Forest Whitaker. He replaces Forest's dog with a cat. Samberg as Billy Bob Thorton. Bridges is his limo driver. And he tells him right away that he's Jeff Bridges. Thorton gets pissed and pulls out a gun. And then he tells he's been Billy Bob'd. Seems like it was probably a funny idea in the writers room on Monday, but it didn't work so great. C.

Music 2- Eminem performs "Won't Back Down." Then he leaves and Lil Wayne comes on stage to perform "6 Foot 7 Foot."

Sketch 9- At an old timey General Store. The worker is Hader, with the client new girl. Wiig and Daniels are the introducers of the concept of gift wrapping. They wrap things modernly. Now Sudeikis comes to shoot up the shop. Not good. Easily the weak link of tonight's episode. D.

Sketch 10- A holiday message from the Kardashians. Pedrad and new girl as Kim and Kourtney each dressed as "Sexy Santa," and Eliot as Khloe dressed as Santa. They wish their friends a "merry Christmas," their agents and managers a "happy Chanuka," and their boyfriends a "happy Kwanzaa." Decent filler. B-.

So that wraps it up for 2010. A solid ep. Nothing unbelievable, but nothing absolutely terrible. Overall, and compared to this season, a pretty strong episode. B+.

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