Saturday, February 11, 2012



Zooey Deschanel hosts SNL tonight. She has been a charming, wacky presence in a number of fine movies, including (500) Days Of Summer and Gigantic.

While she sometimes plays a somewhat flaky young woman, Zooey herself is no flake at all: She actually has an amazing film resume... see the list below! (Also, links to some of the films on Amazon, at the end of this post.)

I first saw her in Almost Famous, but first really noticed her as quite a kinky presence in WEEDS as a "love" (or sex) interest of Andy Botwin, the brother of Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker). She is best known, currently, as the new girl on New Girl. (My own take on this show is that it could -- and should -- sharpen its concept a bit, and tighten up the quality of the writing. It's getting awards, but some hard, creative work on the writing and direction could take it to another level.)

In addition to her film and TV work Zooey is a very skilled, singer, song-writer, and musician -- on several instruments. I wonder if SNL is going to let her be musical.

Some personal notes that may come up in the show: Zooey is 5' 6", and just turned 32 -- born January 17, 1980. She recently separated from her husband. She's rumored to be "affiliated" with Russell Brand, who just separated from Katy Perry, who could almost be a twin of Zooey, separated at birth.



COLD OPEN: Romney as the common-man (not!) had a few laughs at the start, but then petered out into a bland routine that was too much like the real thing to be particularly funny, and not real enough to be particularly funny either.  Romney is not a very funny guy.

MONOLOGUE: WEIRD little girl dress, but it was on purpose, I guess. At least the hearts, for Valentine's day. The song was amusing.

CLINTWOOD CHRYSLER COMMERCIAL came in three parts.  #2 was the payoff!

PIERS MORGAN was the least effective element of the sketch: interviews about the FINGER episode at the Super Bowl Halftime Show. Zooey was terrific as the downspun morality queen.  The DECENCY STRAP -- a brilliant invention to prevent the FINGER -- got spontaneous-sounding applause from the audience!

LES JEUNES DE PARIS was again a great sketch (see 1/21/12 SNL Emma Stone - Jean Dujardin (from THE ARTIST) made a surprise appearance.  He seemed to be enjoying himself as always.

THE DAILY POST required the most sophisticated acting I've seen on SNL.  It was a nice little sketch about movie actors that talk too fast in those movies about newspaper reporters and editors.

KARMIN was wearing an outfit even stranger than Zooey's opening monologue dress. It also looked like she had a dark slinky on her head.

Some interesting commercials. There was a commercial (then a second one later) for William Shatner's limited-run Broadway Show.  (I'm looking forward to see it next week.  Check back for a report.) CAMRY had a good commercial.  And there was a sketch about selling Verizon 4G service which seemed easier to understand than their usual commercials, so I wasn't sure whether it was a parody fake commercial or a funny real commercial.

WEEKEND UPDATE was pretty good.  Spot-on impression of Ariana Huffington. Then the "IN THE CAGE" spot, which is usually pretty dreadful came alive with Nick Cage interviewing Nick Cage (clones!) Nick Cage explained a Nick Cage movie as one in which "All the dialog is either whispered or screamed." Cage (the real one) did a perfect deadpan throughout the routine. He was great.

BEING QUIRKY WITH ZOOEY explained the process of quirkification. During the sketch they knitted a sweater for an octopus.

CRAB BLAST parodied the failure to produce.  I'm afraid there will be more of these until one finally pays off.

WE'RE GOING TO MAKE TECHNOLOGY HUMP was not as effective as the last time.  The setups were more elaborate, but the humping was not as convincing.

ENGLAND 1860 was a bunch of letters from two women to each other about their men.  The men were funny, and the sketch had a few laughs.  But it was letters.  It ended with something about the women getting together with each other, gay marriage in California, and surfing in 1960.

Most all the sketches were either funny or interesting.  Zooey was an active participant and did well. Going back to my muses before the show: Zooey did sing, but did not mention her separation or Russell Brand. Except for the monologue, there was no mention of Valentine's Day.



2011-2012 New Girl (TV series) - Jess
2011 Your Highness -- Belladonna
2011 Our Idiot Brother -- Natalie Rochlin
2010 Havin' a Summah (video short)
2010 Drunk History (TV series) -- Mary Todd Lincoln
2010 Funny or Die Presents -- Mary Todd Lincoln
2009 Bones (TV series) -- Margaret Whitesell
2009 (500) Days of Summer -- Summer Finn
2008 Yes Man -- Allison
2008 Gigantic -- Happy Lolly
2008 The Happening -- Alma Moore
2008 The Simpsons (TV series) -- Mary (voice)
2007 Tin Man (TV mini-series) -- DG
2007 The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford -- Dorothy Evans
2006-2007 Weeds (TV series) -- Kat
2007 Surf's Up -- Lani Aliikai (voice)
2007 Surf's Up (Video Game) -- Lani Aliikai (voice)
2007 Raving (short) -- Katie
2007 Flakes -- Miss Pussy Katz
2007 Bridge to Terabithia -- Ms. Edmunds
2007 The Go-Getter -- Kate
2007 The Good Life -- Frances
2006 Live Free or Die -- Cheryl
2006 Failure to Launch -- Kit
2005 Once Upon a Mattress (TV movie) -- Lady Larken
2005 Winter Passing -- Reese Holden
2005 American Dad! (TV series) -- French Maid/Candy Striper Stripper (voice)
2005 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy -- Trillian
2004 Eulogy -- Kate Collins
2004 Cracking Up (TV series) -- Heidi
2003 Elf -- Jovie
2003 House Hunting (short) -- Christy
2003 It's Better to Be Wanted for Murder Than Not to Be Wanted at All -- Gas Station Girl
2003 All the Real Girls -- Noel
2003 Whatever We Do (short) -- Nikki
2002 Frasier (TV series) -- Jen
2002 Sweet Friggin' Daisies (short) -- Zelda
2002 The New Guy -- Nora
2002 Big Trouble -- Jenny Herk
2002 Abandon -- Samantha Harper
2002 The Good Girl -- Cheryl
2001 Manic -- Tracy
2000 Almost Famous -- Anita Miller
1999 Mumford

Here are some pix with Zooey:

Here's some music by Karmin:

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