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Monday, January 27, 2014

Saturday Night Live: Jonah Hill & Bastille

Well, once again this is a thoroughly average episode, with neither significant highs nor lows, and once again, the host is largely irrelevant to that outcome. Jonah Hill more or less did what he was asked to do ably, including a return for his recurring character and a variety of roles as both the featured player in a sketch, a supporting character, or a straight man. But the writing never really required him to do much, and the result was another blase episode (though one that was, overall, still weaker than last week's similarly blah episode).

Other Thoughts
The cold open was actually pretty strong, and seemed to be just about the right length.

Was that the first time Leonardo DiCaprio has been on SNL? He strikes me as the type who wouldn't deign to appear on the show, let alone host it (though he clearly has enough of a sense of humor about himself to do the whole Titantic schtick).

Jonah Hill's Adam Grossman character doesn't do much for me, but I do like it when hosts have recurring characters specific to them (and his turtle being named Shell Silverstein was genuinely amusing, if not laugh-out-loud funny). 

One of the things I liked about the game show sketch was that, ultimately, it made no effort to actually play the game, which was at least an interesting use of one of SNL's stock settings, even if the sketch itself was nothing special.

Oddly enough given who the host was, we got no Wolf of Wall Street parodies (as I was expecting), but we did get a her parody (with Michael Cera's appearance the funniest part thereof).

I believe next week will be Seth's last episode behind the Weekend Update desk (I'm assuming the show is taking the Olympic weeks off). Earlier this week, it was announced that current SNL head writer Colin Jost will be joining Cecily Strong after Seth leaves (though Cecily has really grown into the role, and probably could handle it on her own). This continues the recent tradition of having the head writer anchor or co-anchor Weekend Update, but the difference between Jost and, say, Tina Fey or Seth, is that I don't think Jost has ever appeared on camera before (at least not in any speaking role) the way Tina and Seth did.  

Least Favorite Sketch: "Inside SoCal", the second week in a row where a Kyle Mooney/Beck Bennet pre-filmed video that tries to be funny by not trying to be funny manages to be neither funny nor entertaining.

Favorite Sketch: Thankfully the former porn stars returned at the end of the night, otherwise this was going to be another week where it was tough to pick a favorite sketch. Though honestly, I think I laughed hardest at Kate McKinnon's Russian woman on Update (I'm a sucker for Russia jokes), and the other Update guest (Keenan as the cop who arrested Justin Bieber) was strong as well.

Olga: I mean, how could the Olympics pick Russia? What was the other options, Haiti or middle of ocean?

Porn Star 1: What are those things you press with your feet?
Porn Star 2: Testicles.

Episodes Featuring a Game Show: 4/12
Episodes Featuring a Talk Show: 8/12
Episodes with a Monologue Featuring a Song: 6/12
Episodes with a Monologue Technically Featuring a Song That Is Not a Song for the Purposes of "Episodes with a Monologue Featuring a Song": 1/12  


  1. I loved Kate McKinnon's Russian woman as well. Not the first time she's done one on Update, although I'm unsure if this was officially the same character. Everything from the accent to the jaunty delivery to the callbacks within the piece just made it a great, well-written, well-performed bit.

    These filmed pieces really are dry to a fault. I think I liked the Miley Cyrus one just for how bizarre the hook was, but the last couple have just sat there.

    Jonah Hill was fine. While I remember not being too fond of Adam Grossman before, I got more of a kick out of it this time around thanks to how straight the absurd conceit was played. I'd probably have resigned myself to choosing it as a favorite sketch, if I had to, were it not for the always delightful ex-porn-star models at the end.

  2. @Blam: I think I liked the Miley Cyrus one just for how bizarre the hook was, but the last couple have just sat there.

    That's the last one I really remember enjoying as well, though these last two have devolved from "fine but not funny" to just straight-up bad for me.


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