Tonight Dame Helen Mirren hosts SNL for her first time. Mirren appeared in a digital short earlier this season in the Bryan Cranston episode. She is the 3rd British host in the past four episodes. Tonight she is promoting her new film "Arthur."
The Foo Fighters, the first band in the five-timers club, are making their 6th appearance. They first appeared in 1995 with host Anthony Edwards, then 1999 with Dylan McDermott, 2003 with Christopher Walken, 2005 with Jason Lee, and 2007 with Jon Bon Jovi. In addition, with 2 appearances with Nirvana, 1 with Them Crooked Vultures, and 1 with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Dave Grohl becomes the 7th member of the 10-timers club, and the first to have never hosted.
-With the return of ESPN Classic last week, I'm calling a comeback for Greg and Randy tonight.
-Helen Mirren said she will not do the Queen. So we won't get her Elizabeth meeting Armisen's.
-1 cameo, but I don't know who. Maybe Arthur costar Jennifer Garner who was in NY on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon earlier this week.
Back at 11:30!
Sketch 1- We've got Armisen as Obama in the Oval Office, giving us an update on the budget. Everyone walked away unhappy. He's telling us how this made literally everyone unhappy. Repetitive and not all that funny. C.
Monologue- "Since most people know me for playing the Queen, I was afraid they'd make me play a queen in every sketch, but they did that last week with Elton John." She talks about how she's different from the Queen. She's now joined by the male cast for a rendition of South Pacific's "There is Nothing like a Dame." Pretty good. A-.
Sketch 2- Midbreak- we seem to be looking at a library. Mort Mort Feingold Celebrity Accountant is recurring? Time for a stream of impressions. Brittain's very good James Franco. Elliot, Pedrad, and Bayer as the Kardashians. Killam's pretty strong Ricky Martin. Pharoah's Will Smith. Mirren and Hader as Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton is absolutely brilliant! With Brittain as Depp. Armisen as Ghaddafi. Solid. B+.
Sketch 3- Digital short- Pedrad reveals to Mirren that she is her hero and asks her to touch her breasts. This leads to a variety of great images, including Moynihan as a tap dancing bee. Samberg then welcomes her to Helen Mirren's titties, a place greater than heaven. Dave Grohl is hanging out there. Wiig follows suit. Excellently random. A.
Sketch 4- Fox and Friends with Killam, Bayer, and Moynihan as the hosts. Boehner saved the government despite Obama's failings. They also hate Michelle Obama's anti-obesity program- if there are no fat kids, who is going to play the comic relief in Disney movies? Mexicans- just look at the kid on Modern Family! Here's Mirren as a border warrior. The Fox and Friends hosts bring in their birth certificates to show how easy it is. Then we see a quick flash of corrections by the fact checkers. Too fast to read but I saw mentions of Lionel Richie and Rebecca Black. B.
Sketch 5- Midbreak- we're looking at some sort of old-timey, revolutionary sketch. Mirren plays Mary Shelley for the release of Frankenstein. Armison is her landlord, who looks quite a bit like Frankenstein's monster. His name is Frank Stein. He accurately predicts that over time people will confuse Frankenstein and the monster and combine them to one. Brittain plays Stein's son, a hunchback named Igor. B+.
Music 1- The Foo Fighters perform "Rope." I feel the need again to point out this is lead man Dave Grohl's 10th SNL appearance, placing him behind only Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, John Goodman and Paul Simon, and tying him with Buck Henry and Tom Hanks. That's rather elite company.
Weekend Update- Shutdown averted. Cuts to flowers, sunshine, and hugging. Glenn Beck. Royal Wedding. Here's Hader's James Carville. He was apparently raised by eels. Also he's apparently a big Mambo #5 fan. Sing Sing Prison Condos. Baggy jeans. Flavor Flav's chicken. Wiig as a flight attendant from Southwest flight with a hole in the plane. This is not particularly funny. Credit cards for prostitutes. Mama Bieber's birthday. Incestual reverend. And here's Kenan's French Def Jam comedian Jean K. Jean. Zut Alors! Zombie fan. Walk to wedding. B.
Sketch 6- Midbreak- some sort of apartment or office. No it's a TV show, The Best of Both Worlds with Samberg's Hugh Jackman, both the most masculine and feminine man in the world. Here's Killam as Gerard Butler of 300/Phantom of the Opera fame. Now Kenan as Ice Cube. And Mirren as a rather believable Julie Andrews. Andrews is apparently a crazy biyotch if you get her coffee wrong. B-.
Sketch 7- DJ SUPERSOAK AND LIL BLASTER FOR UNDER UNDER GROUND RECORD'S CRUNK ASS EASTER!!! DJ Vlade Divac! Scrambled egg hunt! Will Shortz and a Female Gremlin! The white guys from the 1993 Michigan basketball team! A memorial for Ass Dan! 60 Minutes performed live! The Chilean Minors! Helen Mirren running the dunk tank of Elian Gonzalez! Free sex show from the green M&M! It all takes place on the streets of Libya! As always, completely awesome! A+.
Sketch 8- Midbraek- Some sort of formal office. It's the Reelz miniseries The Roosevelts, with Hader as FDR and Mirren as Eleanor. Pretty solid parody. "Even if Eleanor Roosevelt was a lesbian, it's highly unlikely she had an affair with Marilyn Monroe who was 5 at the time." 10% Factual and 20% Entertaining. Kenan as a 4th-wall breaking Teddy Roosevelt! A nude Eleanor ordering the attack on Pearl Harbor. "When everyone else passes, it shows up on Reelz." A.
Sketch 9- Prerecorded sketch. Perspectives Photo Studios to make sure the picture of your penis is as impressive as possible. Seth Meyers as himself gives a tutorial! Pretty good. A.
Music 2- Foo Fighters perform "Walk."
Sketch 10- We're at Bongo's strip club, where we are celebrating MC Jason Sudeikis' last day. We've had some pole dancing from Elliot and Pedrad. This was the last sketch of the night for a reason. Now a patriotically dressed Wiig. Now, predictably Mirren as a tired old exotic dancer. This is really rather boring. The audience seems to be groaning more than laughing. Grohl is Sudeikis' replacement. D.
Overall- Odd episode that started okay, dipped around Update, and then peaked in the second half before a poor sketch in the garbage slot. Still, overall a strong showing and Mirren was well used. B+.