Saturday, May 7, 2011

Some Random Thoughts About SNL 36x20 Fey/Goulding

Hey, what's up? It's been a while, hasn't it? Almost a month since we last saw Helen Mirren claw through 90 minutes of mediocrity.

But tonight is going to be different. Tonight, SNL living legend Tina Fey returns to host for her third time. In doing so, she breaks a 9-way tie for 4th place of former cast members to host, and takes sole possession of the lead for most hosting gigs by a female cast member. She now trails only Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, and Dana Carvey. Fey has also made several nonhosting appearances. Earlier this season she showed up with former Weekend Update co-anchor Jimmy Fallon in Amy Poehler's monologue, and last season she returned with a slew of SNL female alums for Betty White's episode. But perhaps most notable, Fey frequented her former workplace (and the namesake of her current show) in 2008 as Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Sarah Palin. Here's some of her best work:

Ellie Goulding will be making her first appearance as a musical guest tonight. I'm not going to lie, I've never heard of Ellie Goulding before this week. But she's British!

Some predictions-
-Because Fey was head writer and Weekend Update anchor, she rarely appeared in sketches and doesn't really have a recurring character from her time on the show. She does have Palin. I'm hoping it doesn't show up tonight, since it's been overdone, but I'm not betting on it.
-There will be cameos. I don't know who they'll be, but they'll be there. Probably some alums. If I had to guess- Maya Rudolph with Bridesmaids coming out next week, and Darrell Hammond with Trump in the news.
-Kristen Wiig has announced she will retire Gilly and Penelope after this season. I can see a farewell to Gilly tonight, with Penelope showing up one of the next two weeks.

Also, a reminder, you can vote for (or against) Fey, and your other favorite current female sitcom stars in the Hottest Female Sitcom Star Bracket, going on right now!

See you at 11:30!

Sketch 1- Osama bin Laden's Last Will and Testament video, with Armisen as the late OBL. He apparently has a Dakota Fanning obsession. He did not want to buried at sea, under any circumstances. It's a surprising take at the OBL death, but it's an amusing one. He left about $700 total for his family to split. B+.

Monologue- Fey's short dress gives her some trouble coming down the stairs. She has the #1 book in the country and the #86 show in the country. And here's an also pregnant Maya Rudolph. And they're going to sing to their unborn children. About how they are proof that they've been having sex. And now Killam brings out a sonogram machine so they can perform Natalie Cole/Nat King Cole style duets with the fetuses, played by Wiig and Kenan. Ok that was a decent payoff. B.

Sketch 2- Midbreak- we're looking at the Fox News GOP debate from earlier this week. Ah, but this is the undeclared candidates debate. Moderated by Bill Hader as Shepard Smith. Sudeikis as Mitt Romney, Moynihan as Newt Gingrich, Wiig as Michelle Bachman, Fey as Palin, Hammond as Trump, and Kenan as Jimmy McMillan. That McMillan impression is going to crack me up every time. Gingrich admits he has no chance and doesn't really want to be president, so he leaves early. Bachman challenges America to a staring contest. Palin is pleased America this week finally vanquished one of the nation's villains, Katie Couric. Hammond reminds everyone he is the perfect impressionist. McMillan confirms birther's theories that he was born a billygoat, and has heard intelligence that OBL is hiding in the ocean. Very well done. A+.

Sketch 3- Midbreak- Looks like The Little Mermaid? They do these Disney sketches (Aladdin with Rosario Dawson, Beauty and the Beast with Gerard Butler) every now and then. Here's Fey as Ariel, Kenan as Sebastian (tho he's being called Crabby). And now he's singing "Below the Waves." This is apparently the rights-less Little Mermaid. And here is OBL's body. Now all the fish start a USA cheer. Ariel finds the celebrating distasteful. Armisen's fish is a conspiracy theorist. I'm kind of shock they even went here, and it wasn't perfect. But it had serious shock value. B+.

Sketch 4- Digital Short. Lonely Island in studio, as Michael Bolton shows up. Lonely Island's rapping about being at a club, but Bolton's choruses are about Pirates of the Caribbean. And now he's jumped into Forest Gump, now Erin Brokovich, and Scarface. Wow. A.

Music 1- Ellie Goulding performs "Lights."

Weekend Update- Bin Laden's death. Qaddafi. Al Qaeda statement. Conspiracy theories. Obama's approval ratings. Now to talk more Osama, Sudeikis as The Devil. They lost Osama in hell. Alaska rescue and arrest. Free Black Eyed Peas concert. Oldest newlyweds. Star Wars Day. Here are Qaddafi's friends from growing up, to support him, played by Armisen and Bayer. Whenever they have something negative to say they whisper. That was awful. It's apparently the same between Seth and Tina. Cold cuts. College sex study. Children's group sing. And here's Stefan with some mother's day tips. New York's Hottest Clubs- Balognia Danza's Uhh, Rabbi Jew Diamond Phillips' Spicy (good for an old woman). Also you could take your mom to Central Park to fly a human kite. It's the thing where you put a midget in a windbreaker, attach him to a rope, and run around. Stefan, as he often does, saves a lame Update. B-.

Sketch 5- Midbreak- Looks like a yoga class, with Penelope? It's actually a Lamaze class. Showing an enormous video on natural birth, with Hader and Rudolph. It's very weird. And not particularly funny. Now Wiig and Kenan join. Rudolph and Wiig are 69ing to deliver eachother's children. Weird, and not in a good way. D.

Sketch 6- Midbreak- We're in what looks like a family room for a sleepover party. It's Bayer, Elliot, and Pedrad, and it's Pedrad's character who is obsessed with her parents. Pedrad calls her mother (Fey) at 1am to hang out. Now a couple boys snuck in and they're playing never have I ever. Why would they possibly do this sketch again? Ugh. C.

Music 2- Goulding is singing Elton John's "Your Song?" WTF?!?!?!?!? Apparently this cover is on her new album, and she performed it for Prince William and Princess Catherine at their wedding. Well then.

Sketch 7- Bravo's Pregnant in Heels. Elliot's Rosie Pope provides pregnant women with whatever they want. Fey is a PR consultant who represents other PR firms. Pharoah plays Elliot's sassy gay assistant. Okay. B-.

Sketch 8- Kenan is Googie Rene, selling slightly used prom dresses. If they can't fix a stain, they'll give you an autographed picture of Julie Chen to hold over it. Oh my. C-.

Sketch 9- Hallmark Mother's Day card ads. For weirdos, when you're your own mother. Yes, this actually aired. On network television. And it is going to again in 3 hours. Weird. D.

Overall- It started out really strong. And then Weekend Update happened. The last hour was pretty awful. It wasn't Fey's doing, but not impressive. That said, the first few sketches were excellent. B-.

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