Maybe we went into this weekend’s edition of “Saturday Night Live” with the completely wrong sort of mindset. We weren’t thinking that Josh Brolin’s show would be particular hip or relevant, and with a few exceptions it did seem that the show was indeed stuck in a (less funny) past.
Part of the reason for this? It’s been a long time since we have seen a host with so little to do as Brolin, who was primarily there to promote “Men in Black III” and do little else. During the first half of the show, we can barely even remember any memorable appearances that he made outside of a lame sketch featuring Weird Al Yankovic parodies, an even lamer sketch based around a soap opera starring stereotypical Californians, and an okay monologue that reminded us that he has a goatee. (We thought at one point that Will Smith would show up, but no dice.)
There were still some highlights, though they are unfortunately few and far between when compared to most of the show.
The political cold-open – Was it great? Not really, but for nostalgic purposes it was great to see the gang together again (especially Kristen Wiig’s batty Michele Bachmann) before the GOP candidates all fall out of the spotlight. We do have to thank Rick Santorum for staying around in the race for so long — after all, he provided us so much fodder for this show regardless of your affiliation.
“Laser Cats” returns – Finally, a good Digital Short! Andy Samberg’s segments have been weaker and weaker this season, but he returned to an old favorite this time around with some hysterical results. Steven Spielberg “directed” this version featuring E.T. and some evil guy in a blimp — and while it made no sense whatsoever, it was addictive in all the ways. (Then again, the name “Laser Cats” is enough to make us love this.)
The “Game of Thrones” spoof – Does the HBO show occasionally overdo it when it comes to nudity? Sure, and “SNL” introduced a pretty funny explanation for it in the context of there sketch — it’s all courtesy of a 13-year old boy who is assisting George R.R. Martin with writing the script. It was clearly the most current sketch of the entire show, and “Thrones” fans certainly got a few laughs out of it.
Gotye – It’s too bad that the we didn’t have more from the musical guest this week. Why? Not only were his two performances energetic, they were powerful and made us begging for more. We actually think that Gotye did more for his career (even if “Somebody That I Used To Know” is already a hit) than anyone else on the show this season. Plus, his brief Digital Short later was a nice way for him to spoof his own sudden popularity.
Unfortunately, most of the rest of the show suffered from either bad concepts (a hallway that made everyone move in slow-motion) or wasted opportunities (the “Piers Morgan Tonight” sketch that tried to get Kanye West and Kim Kardashian to comment on Trayvon Martin, when they instead simply decided to comment on themselves). Even “Weekend Update” fell flat, and we are starting to get a bit tired of Garth & Kat as guests compared to such other recurring characters like Drunk Uncle or Stefon.
What did you think about this episode as a whole, and were there any sketches that stood out to you? As usual, check back Sunday morning for some videos from the hour!