‘Saturday Night Live’ review: Did Brad Paisley, LL Cool J, ‘Stormy Skies’ save Vince Vaughn?

Saturday Night Live LogoWe tried to remain hopeful going into this weekend’s “Saturday Night Live” hosted by Vince Vaughn; while we were sure it would suffer to rise to the same level as Melissa McCarthy’s slice of brilliance last week, it still has a chance to be pretty funny.

Unfortunately, there were flaws in the show almost from the get-go. Many sketches were uninspired when it comes to the writing and the performing. Even with some of the bits that were good ideas, there was just something missing beyond the initial concept: the laughs. This wasn’t the worst show of the season by any stretch of the imagination, but it could have been so much stronger.

What worked

Vince Vaughn monologue – This was actually one of the best parts of the whole night, mostly because it allowed Vince Vaughn to actually be Vince Vaughn. It was completely weird and wacky, and this was what the show needed more of. It actually got better as it went along, which is rare for this show.

Stormy Skies – Introducing a sketch that won us over! At first, we groaned at the thought of this being The Californians 2.0, but having a soap opera about TV weathermen was actually fun. This is really due to some sharp writing, as there were some great lines in here about precipitation, and the three-day forecast for a depressed man. Now, let’s just hope that the show leaves this alone, and doesn’t beat it to death moving forward.

Short-Term Memory Loss Theater – Last week, this would be a weaker sketch. However, it was at least a novel idea for the first minute or so to feature people wandering around cluelessly.

Brad Paisley and LL Cool J – We’re still trying to forget about the portion of “Weekend Update” revolving around the monkey, but if we forget about that entirely, this was a pretty great spoof on that controversial song released by these two earlier in the week. While neither impression was that great, the actual performance at the end was brilliant, and it raised up a pretty weak “Weekend Update” by show standards.

Dave Tesh – We have a feeling that anyone who didn’t watch NBA basketball on NBC in 1990 probably had no idea what was going on here. However, we loved the classic NBA on NBC theme, so this was a welcome slice of nostalgia to us, and we legitimately remember the days when we wondered what the lyrics of this song were.

The bar sketch – Why didn’t this air sooner? It was grainy, offensive, but also one of the funnier skits of the night featuring two trashy people kissing out of desperation.

What didn’t work

Cold open – Ugh. In our preview article for this episode, we begged “SNL” not to do an Obama cold open, and we even figured that they would put some sort of lame joke in there about Jay-Z and Beyonce going to Cuba. This may be the most predicable Obama sketch yet, and Jay Pharoah ended up flubbing one of his lines, to make it even worse.

History of Punk – This was a great idea in theory: having a bizarre behind-the-scenes rock documentary about a rebellious rock star who had a serious appreciation for Margaret Thatcher. The problem here? Not only did it feel like it was a little too soon, but it just wasn’t that funny.

Al Pacino Accused Biopic Murderer Series – This was a joke that only a certain demographic of viewers would even get, and the joke wasn’t really even that funny. The only good thing about it was seeing Bill Hader manage to play so many characters in a short amount of time.

Junior High Prom – We can’t really think of anything less funny than a sketch where the primary punchline is a guy creeping out on middle school boys. The craziest thing is that there were enough people who thought this was a good sketch to put on TV.

What was your take on this weekend’s “SNL”? As always, we want to hear what you have to say in the poll below, and you can check out who is going to be the host for the next new “SNL” over at the link here. We’ll have videos up for the episode beginning in the morning.

Photo: NBC

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