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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Saturday Night Live: Seth Rogen & Ed Sheerhan

A bit of a Jekyll & Hyde episode, with the first half consistently strong while the second half was much more inconsistent. A weak Weekend Update (which has, unfortunately, consistently been the case of late) signaled the transition, and while what followed it wasn't, with one exception, completely terrible, the back end sketches weren't as reliably funny as the pre-Update ones. Seth Rogen was fine, doing his usual "confused straight man" and "loud angry outbursts" routines, and the episode as a whole continued this little post-spring break "good enough" role the show has been on. 

Other Thoughts
The cold open was fine, making the most of an obvious joke (the GOP doesn't appeal to the young, but isn't above pandering), while the monologue was more dicey (the whole "reading from a journal bit" is tired, and we all know I'm not a fan of cast members showing up in the audience), but at least it didn't feature a song.

The CNN Pregnancy test commercial was sufficiently amusing, landing solidly in the "it's funny cuz it's true" realm.

Though by no means awful, the steak house sketch was the weakest sketch of the first half, built entirely around Aidy Bryant doing and saying whacky things. Which is all well and good, but there wasn't much else to it other than lots of breaking.

Update was, as mentioned above, still a work in progress. I'm not ready to call a mulligan on this pairing yet (I see signs of improvement each week), but there's still far too many photoshop gags and Jost hasn't yet found his rhythm. Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy isn't my favorite recurring Update character, but he's reliably funny, as was the case here (I think I realized what I don't like about the bit: either Seth or Cecily making it a point to point out that Jacob can just talk and not read from prepared remarks. We get the joke - especially by now - no need to underline it for the slow folks in the audience).

The engagement party sketch was oddly constructed: at first, the gag seemed to be built around the uncouth cousins, then it turned into a "Seth Rogen's character isn't gay" thing. I'm all about sketches having multiple levels of humor to them, but neither of these were developed enough to fully work.

Once again, the Kyle Mooney pre-filmed sketch didn't do much for me, whereas the monster one earlier in the night worked much better, and was just the right amount of weird.

The end-of-the-night sketch, featuring Herman and Sons sperms bank, did crack me up though, particularly the random bit of Aidy Bryant running across the screen screaming, pushing a cart of hobo sperm. In a weaker episode, this might have made "favorite sketch".

Least Favorite Sketch: That Al Sharpton thing was dreadful. I honestly could have just fast forwarded through it, as much as I just zoned out about 30 seconds in and never came back.

Favorite Sketch: A toss up between the Shallon sketch (yay Nasim Pedrad) and the dog food sketch. Nice to see the former back, and in a position of prominence, while I appreciate the way the latter took the obvious gag and just kept escalating it. Cecily Strong really knocked it out of the park, and it might have been Rogen's best work of the night, playing off her manic, insane, aggrieved dog food customer. I'll go with that, but Shallon has quickly become a new favorite nonetheless. 

Jeb Bush: A lot of you out there are probably in favor of gay marriage, right?
Paul Ryan: We thought so! Well, you’re in luck! Because the new GOP is—not going to talk about it as much. 

Cindy: Bend over Pat, they wanna get in your ass!
Pat: I don’t think that’s what they want, I think they’re just cutting corners on their dog food.

Episodes Featuring a Game Show: 6/18
Episodes Featuring a Talk Show: 11/18
Episodes with a Monologue Featuring a Song: 8/18
Episodes with a Monologue Technically Featuring a Song That Is Not a Song for the Purposes of "Episodes with a Monologue Featuring a Song": 1/18  

1 comment:

  1. Wow... Ed Sheeran is really good. I've seen him on a couple of random things before, including CBS's Grammy tribute to The Beatles, but I don't know if I've heard his original songs before.

    I really kind-of liked the "monster" filmed piece both despite and because of the fact that I'm way past having had it up to here with James Franco. However, I too would vote either Shallon or the dog-food commercial my favorite, probably giving the edge to the latter just because it not only kept getting weirder but because when that kind of thing is clicking it's just that much funnier instead of eye-roll stupid to know that of course it would never end up on tape for broadcast as a commercial that we're supposedly watching in real time.

    Consecutive episodes in which I've been shocked to see Kenan do an actual character voice instead of just being a younger, older, and/or "French" Def Comedy Jam version of Kenan Thompson with the same weird laugh that entails Kenan moving his lips funny and which he presumably finds hilarious: 2


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