Saturday, April 14, 2012



This was not one of SNL's classic shows.  Nothing terrible, but not that much was memorable. It felt like Josh had not that much to do, and what he did seemed not quite written/directed to his strengths.  His best sketch was the last, and he didn't quite get the right tone to make the drunk school teacher on the podium at the prom confessing his affair with a student both scandalous and funny.  

What was scandalous was the number of commercials:

after the music 7 commercials
before Weekend Update; then 7 commercials
before a CNN sketch; then 6 commercials
before a HS sketch and digital short; then an amazing 10 commercials and 5 minutes
before a musical segment; then 5 commercials
before the prom sketch -- which seemed to be cut off before it ended for 4 commercials
before the show ending goodbyes.

a staggering 39 commercials in the last 45 minutes.  (And one of those commercials, GE, also plugs Budweiser -- does that make 40?) It's impossible to develop any comic momentum with so much chaff.

Here's a quick summary of the show:

COLD OPEN -- An amusing reunion of all the GOP hopefuls (wow, there were a lot), as each remembered... "There was a time when I was the front runner," and then all together, "This campaign was the time of my life..." (Romney, Gingrich, Bachman, Perry, Santorum & Cain).

MONOLOG -- Josh seemed a bit worried.  Jay Pharoah came on as Will Smith in MEN IN BLACK 3, but then Josh had almost nothing to say as the young Tommy Lee Jones.

GAME OF THRONES -- If the TV show really has as much sex this year as this sketch claims (GoT directed by a horny teen?) maybe I'll try watching it again, and the hell with trying to understand the plot.

SOAP NET - THE CALIFORNIANS -- A sometimes funny soap parody about Californians who worry mostly about the traffic routes.  For some reason the cast had trouble keeping a straight face.  They seemed to find it funnier than I did.

EMPIRE STATE OF MIND / TOP PARODY ARTIST -- This parody of TV contest shows lacked wit in executing the various parodies. Best line (from JAY-Z) "My songs aren't parodies."

SPIELBERG'S LASER CATS 7 -- Yes, that Spielberg contributed to the SNL Digital Short, in a more sophisticatedly funny episode than those cats normally manage.

GOTYE (pronounced GOteeYay) Musical Segment -- Nice sound. Different. He's been described as something akin to Sting. There's some similarity but Sting seems much deeper.

WEEKEND UPDATE -- On the "Secret Service" Scandal: it should now be called the "Can't Keep A Secret Service". (But, What's the point of the Song Duo segment?) 

CNN PIERS MORGAN SHOW -- Some funny moments: a new Florida law: "An Eye for an iPad." The funniest bit of the whole night was Kim Kardashian.

WOODRIDGE HIGH SCHOOL --  The Slow Motion Hallway, where the cool kids -- and everyone else -- slow down, was the most original, clever sketch of the night.

ANOTHER SNL DIGITAL SHORT -- Gotye was nicely gracious in this gentle parody of Gotye's music videos.

GOTYE Musical Segment 2 -- The SNL mix often leaves the lyric's words incomprehensible underneath the music. Gotye did not allow that to happen here: repeating, loudly,  many, many, many times, "We walk the plank with eyes wide open..."

PROM -- The last sketch is often the most arresting.  PROM had possibilities. Pharoah was hilarious even though (or because?) I couldn't make out what he was saying.  Brolin had the big role (and his biggest scene of the night) as the teacher who comes out drunk and announces his affair with a student.  But his character -- as mentioned above -- never quite found the right note to ice the sketch.  

This was a big night for Jay Pharoah.  Even though he's not listed as one of the regulars, he had solid and funny appearances in several sketches.  He's the new guy to watch.

All in all, I enjoyed the show, except for the excessive commercials.  

Here's some info on the Host and Musical Guest:

Josh Brolin is a 44 year old actor, married to the actress Diane Lane; the son of actor James Brolin. Among his most important recent films have been: NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, W, and TRUE GRIT.

He is soon to be seen in MEN IN BLACK 3.




Gotye is a 31 year old singer/songwriter originally from Belgium, born Wouter "Wally" De Backer.





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