Dakota Johnson Hosts 50 Shades of SNL

SNL returned last night for their first post-anniversary show, riding high from the fumes of the big celebration two weeks ago. Other than the fact that she is promoting Fifty Shades of Grey at the moment, I knew very little about Dakota Johnson. I heard online once it was announced that she has been pretty funny on Ben and Kate, which I am admittedly unfamiliar with. Does that mean she can sustain as a sketch comedy player? Anyway, between that and wondering if the cast/writers would return inspired by the SNL40 celebration of its’ past, I went into this episode thinking it could be quite the wild card. How did it turn out?

COLD OPEN: GIUILIANI (Bayer, Killam, Mooney, Zamata, Moynihan, Johnson, Bennett)
Full disclosure: I still haven’t seen Birdman. But I know it looks stellar. So as a sendoff to that, this looks pretty well done. (I’m afraid that the audience may have been full of people like me…you don’t hear much audience reaction while he’ going backstage.) Beck Bennett’s Birdman voice was the best part for me.
Blackometer: 6.5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/giuiliani-cold-open-070754315.html

DAKOTA JOHNSON MONOLOGUE (Johnson, Mooney, McKinnon, Don Johnson, Melanie Griffith)
Dakota Johnson seems nice. And she’s not naked. That’s about it. Okay, okay – mentioning her parents and honoring them was a nice touch, and she was trying to win the crowd over on her side (albeit nervous). But between that and the questions plug for Fifty Shades, there wasn’t a lot to be remembered later.
Blackometer: 4/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/dakota-johnson-monologue-071048633.html

FATHER DAUGHTER AD (Killam, Johnson, Mooney)
This was the beginning of more ISIS jokes than I had expected to get. However, it was better than the Shark Tank attempt to joke at ISIS last fall. It’s a messed up world we live it.
Blackometer: 6/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/father-daughter-ad-070251011.html

CINDERELLA (Killam, Mooney, Moynihan, Johnson, Strong)
I was looking forward to a nice Cinderella sketch between a charming Taran Killam and Dakota Johnson…and then the worst part of the James Franco episode from last December showed up. I don’t get how this character, even in a different environment, becomes recurring. She used the exact same jokes from the first troll sketch, and it was not funny the first time around. This sketch also wasn’t funny. I want to award points for putting her in a different situation, but I just don’t know wanted to see this character in a Cinderella story.
Blackometer: 3/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/cinderella-070754375.html

SAY WHAT YOU WANNA SAY (McKinnon, Strong, Johnson, Bryant, Bennett, Pharaoh, Bayer, Davidson, Jones, Zamata, Moynihan)
I can neither confirm nor deny whether or not I have been Dakota Johnson’s character talking to Jessica or Kate McKinnon’s character in the bathroom. (All internally, that is.) Anyway, this was a great idea. (I would watch a sketch about Leslie Jones spoiling movies and TV shows for people.)
Blackometer: 8/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dow2GiOmbZY

PRESS JUNKET (Johnson, McKinnon, Killam, Mooney)
Upon re-watching this one, although it didn’t particularly make me laugh out loud, what’s most impressive here is Kyle Mooney. Here, he plays a middle school student who’s seen Fifty Shades of Grey with his dad just to spend time with him, and interviews Johnson for the school paper. Mooney was having an MVP night, and I hope this character comes back again in a new situation. (But please…no more of Cecily Strong’s Cathy Anne.)
Blackometer: 6/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/press-junket-070754343.html

I CAN’T (Strong, Johnson, Moynihan, Bryant)
Okay, this one wasn’t particularly funny, but had this sketch been put in the wrong hands, the focus would have remained on the three “I can’t even” characters, when the focus should be on poor Margo. I get that the point was a play on the “I literally can’t” thing, but I wouldn’t mind the put-upon Margo showing up again in a more interesting situation (instead of predictably falling out of the window). As far as her coworkers, don’t act like you don’t know these people. You do. (However, this was the most electric Dakota Johnson was all night.)
Blackometer: 6/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/cant-071048259.html

WEEKEND UPDATE (Jost, Che, McKinnon, Pharaoh, Zamata, Moynihan)
We had Kate McKinnon’s Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg first, dishing out ‘Gins-BURN’s while dancing at 81. This isn’t anything new in terms of content or Update characters, but man, Kate McKinnon is just great at what she does. Even her quieter, more passive-aggressive characters that I didn’t understand the first time around are still very good. Jay Pharoah performed a great Kanye West apology rap, and literally, the moment he appeared on stage, the real Kanye West started tweeting about his new album cover. (The world needs to remember again just how great Kanye tweets are.) And back one again, my favorite new Update character, Riblet!!
How were the Che/Jost jokes this week? Pretty darn great, actually. Both anchors were having the time of their lives delivering lines like “what color is that?” referring to Obama, or “Hey Chris Brown: don’t beat yourself up over this”, this was the most fun I personally had all night.
Blackometer:
9/10
http://www.hulu.com/watch/758029

EMERGENCY ROOM (Killam, Johnson, Jones, Thompson, Bayer, Davidson)
I want to study an oral history on the creation of this sketch. It ended with a tribute to Leonard Nimoy for his passing this past week…but Kenan Thompson was playing Worf (sort of). This sketch played to crickets as the audience started to attempt at understanding it, and while I want to give it points for creativity and paying homage to Nimoy, it just seemed to have the wrong setting for its’ intentions. Worf M.D. alone might have been a funny idea, but the setting of this sketch did not have the payoff I think they were hoping it would.
Blackometer: 5.5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/emergency-room-070251927.html

NET NEUTRALITY (Zamata, Johnson, Davidson, Moynihan, Jones, Killam)
What in the WORLD was this?! I still have no idea what I was watching here. There were multiple issues all going on, and none of them were coherently related. Zamata asks her guests about net neutrality, and suddenly, we’re talking about the dress again…internet porn…fingers…slow clapping…a founding father of the internet slapping the guests…what was this?! Somehow, Dakota Johnson even snuck another Fifty Shades joke in there. Thankfully, the Alabama Shakes performed after this and cancelled out all this noise.
Blackometer: 2/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/net-neutrality-070754208.html

MR. RIOT FILMS (Mooney, Bennett, Thompson)
In the moment, my brother had to inform me that this sketch is based on a video series that’s been played in anti-bullying school assemblies. So as far as what Mooney and Bennett do with that to parody it here, that’s great. However, I’m assuming the people they approached were unaware people off the street in real life who were not ready for this, and also who did not react well. That kept this from getting out of first gear, unlike Mooney’s tourist sketch last season where people actually responded to his interruptions pretty well.
Blackometer: 5.8/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/mr-riot-films-071048699.html

Best Sketch of the Night: Weekend Update
Worst Sketch of the Night: Net Neutrality
Joke of the Night: “What color is that?” – Che
Observations: This episode was pretty much what I was afraid it would be. Dakota Johnson was fine at best, but she just seemed nervous and uncomfortable in almost ever sketch, except when she was given a more upbeat character to play, such as in the I Can’t sketch. Weekend Update was as great as it’s been this season, and the Alabama Snakes did very well for themselves also. The rest of the show was pretty inconsistent in terms of quality. A few good ideas, but sans Update, it was at least 18% more interesting than the Blake Shelton-hosted show.

More Riblet.

BLACKOMETER AVERAGE: 5.62

Next time: Chris Hemsworth!
-BB2

Image result for snl dakota johnson

Martin Freeman: 6.98
Bill Hader
: 6.91
Kevin Hart: 6.86
James Franco: 6.81
Woody Harrelson: 6.80
Jim Carrey
: 6.80
Cameron Diaz: 6.78
Sarah Silverman: 6.78
J.K. Simmons: 6.70
Chris Pratt: 6.54
Amy Adams: 6.18
Chris Rock: 5.75
Dakota Johnson: 5.62
Blake Shelton
: 5

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J.K. Simmons Goes Pantsless on SNL


Last week, ratings went sky high for Blake Shelton’s show, which was a true dud. Last night’s show featured J.K. Simmons rapping with his pants off and two white guys playing Kanye West & Jay-Z. However, because of how life works, I’m sure it won’t be rated as high despite how much better of an episode it was over last week. (Although, Aidy Bryant wishes Blake Shelton was still there.)

COLD OPEN: SUPERBOWL SHUTDOWN (Pharoah, Thompson, Zamata, Moynihan, Killam, Davidson)
I feel like Jay Pharoah has been wanting to play Richard Sherman for some time now. I enjoy his Richard Sherman, but that’s really all that was going on here – Richard Sherman talking. It was a hodge-podge about a few different topical things from the past week, and might have been better if the premise had focused on one of these instead of “Richard Sherman talking”.
Blackometer: 5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/super-bowl-shut-down-cold-070255158.html

J.K. SIMMONS MONOLOGUE (Simmons, Mooney, Bryant, Davidson, Jones, Armisen)
This was certainly fun at best…although he was basically doing a re-tread of the infamous Whiplash scene. Similar to last week’s monologue, the best parts were iterations of the cast rather than the host, and nothing super special happened. Dissimilar to last week, I had more fun with this one.
Blackometer: 6.5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/j-k-simmons-monologue-070256105.html

TOTINO’S SUPER BOWL COMMERCIAL (Simmons, Bayer, Pharoah, Moynihan, Bennett)
So that’s what wives are doing during the games – I knew it!! Meanwhile, Vanessa Bayer continues to be great at her weird, passive-agressive wife-in-a-commercial voice. The main point of this is ‘how can I keep my wife out of my hair?’ as if she were the child he’s babysitting. My favorite part: ‘for grown women 5 and up.”
Blackometer: 7/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/totinos-super-bowl-commercial-070255170.html

MISS TRASH 2015 (Simmons, Bryant, Strong, McKinnon, Bayer)
“We would show the before picture but the network won’t let us because they are the visual equivalent of the F-word.” There were a few good lines in here (such as that one), but once the reveal of Vanessa Bayer’s character thinking she was at the Miss America pageant came, there was pretty much nothing else going on except people doing voices. In other news, Aidy Bryant looked like a Melissa McCarthy character, and now I want them to do a movie or something together.
Blackometer: 4/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/miss-trash-2015-070257621.html

CASABLANCA  (Thompson, Simmons, McKinnon, Killam)
“Some common sense and a bra that doesn’t cut into your back!” I’m only bummed that this “Cinema Classics” didn’t also end with Reese DeWhat yelling something absurd. But for what it was, Kate McKinnon and Simmon’s repartee here is pretty brilliant. “Nazis are weird like that.”
Blackometer: 7/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/casablanca-070256930.html

TEACHER SNOW DAY (Mooney, Strong, Moynihan, Zamata, Jones, Pharoah, Davidson, McKinnon, Bryant, Simmons, Thompson)
This is what I wish “Office Christmas Party” would have been – sure, it’s everyone just turning up to rap music, but at least there was more to it this time. Also: J.K. Simmons rapping with no pants on.
Blackometer:  7/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/teacher-snow-day-070257830.html

WEEKEND UPDATE (Jost, Che, Strong, Killam)
This Update gave us Mitt Romney’s concession, Jebidiah Atkinson’s triumphant return, and another great Michael Che spiel on Black History Month. (Seriously though, do you know anyone named Crispus today? And why isn’t he on a stamp?) Jost and Che continue to bring solid material to the desk, looking more and more comfortable each week. Their chemistry is also starting to show up behind the desk a little more in 2015 as well!
Cecily Strong’s “One Dimensional Girl” character wasn’t really anything new this time, aside from showing how good Jost has gotten at doing these. Jebidiah Atkinson was, of course, as solid as he always was – maybe even a little more. Poor Michael Jackson.
Blackometer: 8/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/weekend-part-1-082507312.html
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/weekend-part-2-082506106.html

PUSHIE (Simmons, Bryant, Moynihan)
Another fine example of plain good live sketch comedy. Set up a funny premise, add some solid energy to keep it moving, throw in good jokes, and then do something with it beyond just one joke. Bobby Moynihan is electric here, and it’s a great example of why he’s great at what he does.
Blackometer: 8/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/microsoft-assistant-070256891.html

THE JAY-Z STORY (O’Brien, Pharoah, Killam, Zamata, Davidson, Sudeikis, Simmons)
Mike O’Brien as Jay-Z and Jason Sudeikis as Kanye West. WHY NOT?!?
Blackometer: 9/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/jay-z-story-070255820.html

CAREER DAY (Strong, Simmons, Davidson, Jones, Mooney, Bryant, Zamata, Moynihan)
Weird, weird, weird exposition. And by the end, you could feel the audience’s confused faces (but you went along with Magic Show last week? Okay). But man, was I hooked on every word he had to say about this job. Quick question: was it okay to say ‘Japanese’ over all this? Just checking.
Blackometer: 5.5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/career-day-070257016.html

Best Sketch of the Night: The Jay-Z Story
Worst Sketch of the Night: Miss Trash 2015
Joke of the Night: “I know Maury’s not black, but he’s brought more black families together than anyone I know. AND he’s set more black men free than Lincoln himself!” – Michael Che
Observations: It was a better show than last week, for sure – and mostly pretty consistent. But in general, the general air of the show was waiting for the big anniversary special in two weeks. I’m sure the several things they’re saving up for this special (including the long-awaited, never expected return of Eddie Murphy!!!) will prove beyond worth it on February 15th, and release the pieces of oxygen tonight’s show could have used in some areas.

BLACKOMETER AVERAGE: 6.70

Next time: THE SNL 40TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL!!!!!
-BB2

Martin Freeman: 6.98
Bill Hader
: 6.91
Kevin Hart: 6.86
James Franco: 6.81
Woody Harrelson: 6.80
Jim Carrey
: 6.80
Cameron Diaz: 6.78
Sarah Silverman: 6.78
J.K. Simmons: 6.70
Chris Pratt: 6.54
Amy Adams: 6.18
Chris Rock: 5.75
Blake Shelton: 5
SNLTeachersSnowDay_article_story_large

Blake Shelton’s SNL Needed More Riblet


The hype for a certain kind of SNL host is the most interesting thing. Blake Shelton is, obviously, a major part of another NBC show, The Voice. While many enjoy his music as well as his personality on the show, that doesn’t always guarantee that someone will make a great component of a sketch comedy show. Do surprises occur? All the time. However…last night wasn’t the good kind of surprise. Shelton seemed game for anything given to him, but most of the material he was involved with seemed either thin (less sketches, which led to killing time by the end…) or like one big ol’ commercial for NBC. I get why these things have to happen (because ratings, because NBC, because promotion) but when the focus is more on someone’s presence, it takes away from the material…and what we got was a rare miss in an otherwise very good SNL season. I found myself more bored than anything on all sketches Blake Shelton was in. (The good news: Weekend Update was the best it’s ever been this year.)

On to a ho-down of a scorecard!

COLD OPEN: INSIDE NFL (Thompson, Bennett, Killam, McKinnon, Mooney, Zamata, Pharoah, Moynihan)
Bobby Moynihan = MVP of this sketch as soon as he started yelling about the balls. As it turned out, he was the MVP of this episode and I wish there was a little more of him throughout the evening. The concept here produced a few good lines (Beck Bennett’s Bill Belichick was pretty great), but even if this was on point with the recent press conference & suspicions, Taran Killam’s Tom Brady having to be basically dumb instead of in a defensive denial (maybe?) could have been focused a little differently…just me.
Blackometer: 6.5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/patriots-press-conference-cold-open-084617628.html

BLAKE SHELTON MONOLOGUE (Shelton, Moynihan, Killam, Pharoah, Jones, Davidson, Strong, Bayer)
This was a moderately creative way for Blake Shelton to show that he could be a fun host and put a little of himself into his role here. It almost worked! The best part was Pete Davidson’s brief roast lines. Not much going on here, but otherwise…Shelton looked like he was having fun.
Blackometer: 6/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/hee-haw-monologue-084616968.html

FARM HUNK (Shelton, Strong, Bayer, McKinnon, Zamata, Bryant, Jones)
This sketch was only worth it for the final Leslie Jones appearance (who can save almost any sketch, and I look forward to the day she becomes a big star and returns to host SNL). Meanwhile, this sketch went on way too long for lines that didn’t leave too much of any lasting impact aside from Kate McKinnon & Aidy Bryant’s deliveries. Blake Shelton didn’t have much to add here other than some creepy stiltedness…but they may as well have replaced him with a cardboard cutout and it would’ve been about the same.
Blackometer: 4/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/farm-hunk-084617003.html

WISHING BOOT (Shelton, McKinnon, Bryant, Pharoah)
Blake Shelton sings! Watching this, I felt like it would serve well as the random song during an episode of Spongebob. No, really. It definitely sounds like something you’d hear pop up in a nonsensical, over-emotional country song. I may have found this that interesting due purely based on my own interests in country songs, but it was at least well done & everyone in it is good.
Blackometer: 6/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YA756ItcL-s

CELEBRITY FAMILY FEUD (Thompson, Shelton, Killam, Pharoah, Strong, McKinnon, Zamata, Bennett, Mooney)
You know, the thing that made the other two installments of this sketch were memorable host performances along with the ensemble. The first time, Jimmy Fallon fell apart at Justin Timberlake’s impression of him. The second time, Andrew Garfield killed as an overly-hammy Justin Timberlake. This time…it was pretty much just a sloppy but direct promo for NBC’s The Voice (they literally announce it) with Shelton playing himself, not really offering anything fun. The others did the best they could (Killam’s Adam Levine was spot on), but ultimately, there wasn’t much here with the material to make it good. Also, I usually enjoy Kenan’s Steve Harvey, but it’s getting farther and farther away from the real person each time. (Though, “not in my neighborhood” was funny.)
ONE MORE THING. Does anyone still watch American Idol? Because I haven’t since maybe 2007, but nothing about the teams featured here led me to believe I should start again. (It was nice to Kate McKinnon’s Keith Urban again, but that’s about it.)
Blackometer:  2.5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/celebrity-family-feud-084617142.html

WEEKEND UPDATE (Jost, Che, Moynihan, Davidson, Zamata)
Weekend Update was the lone saving grace of this episode. All of the material was sharp, hilarious, slightly different, and made for one of the best Updates of the season so far. I truly think Colin Jost has been getting better and better behind the desk this year – his first SOTU/Patriots joke had him firing shots right out of the gates immediately, which was great! He and Michael Che especially seemed a little looser than usual (“You look so stupid…”) and the pieces of camaraderie we got between the two of them felt very much like the audience could enjoy the comedy with them a little more.
Riblet jeering Che was one of the funniest ‘goofball’ kind of things to show up on Update, reminding me of things we would’ve seen during the Fey-Fallon Update days. I hope next time, he’s already behind the desk with Colin at the start of Update, with a furious Che showing up to kick him out. Pete Davidson‘s bit was an echo of his first appearance in September (still the best one) but he’s still just great to watch all the same. The best parts of Sasheer’s Nicole were Colin and Bobby. That’s all I’m gonna say. Meanwhile, I hope Sasheer can still find a breakout character soon…but I feel she’s getting closer lately.
Man, this was all great.
Blackometer: 9/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/weekend-part-1-084617831.html
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/weekend-part-2-084617903.html

PAROLE BOARD
 (Thompson, Shelton, Strong, Moynihan)
So, was Kenan supposed to be an echo of Morgan Freeman in Shawshank Redemption? Either way, he’s a cannibal…and that’s about it. Really. Okay. At least it was weird, I guess. In other news, Kenan’s voice here sounds like Sump’n Claus. I would rather have watched that. Kenan was as committed as ever in this, but once the concept was revealed, it got boring fast.
Blackometer: 3.5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/parole-board-084617375.html

MY DARLIN’ JOAN (Moynihan, Zamata, Killam, Shelton)
Whoever took those great old-times pictures of Taran Killam & Kate McKinnon deserves a raise. Not super memorable, but far more interesting than other non-Update things on this show. It kind of reminded me of Jon Hamm’s “Hamm & Buble” sketch a few years back when he forced Michael Buble to sing against his will for his business idea. Also, more Blake Shelton singing.
Blackometer: 6.5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/darlin-joan-102704984.html

MAGICIAN (Killam, Thompson, Bryant, Shelton, Bennett, McKinnon)
Ugh. Where do I start? This sketch is everything wrong with getting a host that just doesn’t offer much to once you get past “oh look the famous singer” (or athlete, or whatever). This concept might have been funnier in different hands, and Taran Killam is practically sweating trying to make it all work aside the pestering/annoying Blake Shelton skeptic. But in the end, this was nothing but a lame, cheap ploy at comedy, and it continued to go on and on, snowballing as it deconstructed. Blake Shelton’s big “twist” line was a very desperate shot for a “shock laugh.” In fact, that’s all these types famous-personality-host-focused types of episode become – desperate.
Blackometer: 1/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/magician-084617793.html

Best Sketch of the Night: Weekend Update
Worst Sketch of the Night: Magician
Joke of the Night: “This Wednesday was National Hug Day…Dad.” – Jost
Observations: Other than Bobby Moynihan being the MVP of this show, there’s not much else to say about it. It was the first time all season in which I was mostly pretty bored or annoyed, sans Weekend Update. Blake Shelton seems like a nice guy and all, and from what I hear he’s a pretty fun & talented individual. But I’d rather see a host who can offer contributions to a great episode of SNL with good sketch writing & acting…rather than here’s a host because ratings and the internet. Alas, I’m sure next week’s show hosted by an actor will provide much better material.

My advice: Don’t feel bad about skipping this one and re-watching last week’s Kevin Hart-hosted episode.

BLACKOMETER AVERAGE: 5.0

Next time: J.K. Simmons!
-BB2

Martin Freeman: 6.98
Bill Hader
: 6.91
Kevin Hart: 6.86
James Franco: 6.81
Woody Harrelson: 6.80
Jim Carrey
: 6.80
Cameron Diaz: 6.78
Sarah Silverman: 6.78
Chris Pratt: 6.54
Amy Adams: 6.18
Chris Rock: 5.75
Blake Shelton: 5

Kevin Hart Fires Shots on SNL

Kevin Hart returned to host SNL for his second time – his first hosting gig brought about one of the best commercial parodies ever, Z-Shirt. Just as before in 2013, Kevin Hart brought a grand amount of energy and character to everything he was doing, which made the strong material amazingly entertaining, and the lesser material at least a little more enjoyable at best. (Pretty much an echo of his recently heavy movie career.) Last night had him used well as himself, a talk show host, a talk show stage hand, rap artist, and even James Brown. So how did things pan out? On to a pretty excitable the scorecard!

COLD OPEN: MARTIN LUTHER KING  (Davidson, McKinnon, Thompson)
Hey, we get Kenan Thompson as MLK again! Last time he appeared after Obama’s second inauguration, and he talked about things he observed were happening in America. This time, he appeared as a spirit guide to Pete Davidson, who can’t finish his school report but this time it’s him telling Dr. King about what’s different. The individual jokes followed with Kenan’s MLK yelling ‘mountain!’ were all pretty great (If I’m MLK, I wouldn’t mind my boulevard being a nice neighborhood w/gardens). These usually end with a nicer, more convincing message, and something to say more than “well, this is where we are now, and that’s that.” I wish there was a little more here than “I’m just gonna copy-paste my report about all the progress you’ve made.” Doesn’t that undercut things a bit?
Blackometer: 6.5/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZ_jp11WxC8

KEVIN HART MONOLOGUE (Hart)
Kevin Hart dives right into some standup on his story about a burglar-type raccoon in his new neighborhood. Honestly, I could listen to Kevin Hart tell a story about bread and be entertained. (My personal favorite is the bum bump story, which he told a lighter version of last time he hosted. But anyway.) Fact: black people just do not like going outside in the dark when there’s animals on the loose. “You don’t need thumbs to scare me!” and “this is YOUR journey” are examples of why Kevin Hart is good at what he does.
Blackometer: 9/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jH_OI3Sfo0U

CALVIN KLEIN ADS (McKinnon, Strong)
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Kate McKinnon’s Justin Bieber is a national treasure. Also, I was really hoping for a third installment of these during the show (which appears here!!).
Blackometer: 8/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXvo6ksBHnI

WHY’D YOU POST THAT? (Hart, Bayer, Bryant, Mooney)
First of all, this sketch has a point. People do post stupid things on Instagram. Unfortunately, it was subject to some technical issues that fought against how committed Kevin Hart was. However, I did like the ending sign-off line “please don’t post pictures of coffee.” (Confession: I post pictures of my starbucks semi-frequently. Sorry, SNL.) This serves as another great example of Kevin Hart trying hard to elevate even the best of material, but it wasn’t super great to begin with. You get the point pretty quick, and there are worse things on Instagram than what these people were doing that deserve this kind of discipline.
Blackometer: 3/10
http://www.hulu.com/watch/739053#i1,p0,d1

CORNER BOYS (Hart, Thompson, Pharaoh, Bayer)
It was funny seeing Kevin Hart walking all those dogs after everything he said about the raccoon in the monologue. The gentlemen had a great repartee during the whole thing about making pretty tamely white things sound pretty tough and ‘normal’. Best line: “you sound like someone put gluten in your muffin.” Anyway, this was great.
Blackometer: 8/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAsBta25OGQ

GET ON UP (Hart, Thompson, Killam, Moynihan, Bennett, Mooney, Pharaoh, Zamata, Strong, Davidson)
I was pretty excited for this sketch when it started, showcasing Kevin Hart as James Brown, because, why not? It technically doesn’t get out of first gear, but it’s a fun ensemble piece, Kevin Hart is a blast as James Brown, and I now want to know why one of his singers got married on a Tuesday and changed her first name. Also, I want to attend a concert like this.
Blackometer: 7.5/10
http://www.hulu.com/watch/739054#i1,p0,d1


SOAP OPERA REUNION (Bryant, McKinnon, Killam, Zamata, Bayer, Strong, Hart)
My favorite part of this sketch is just how great Taran Killam does the “artsy celebrity walking.” I also found Vanessa Bayer’s cartoony walking music funnier than it deserved. This is a silly thing, but ultimately there’s not much to it other than ‘funny entrance music.’
Blackometer: 5/10
http://www.hulu.com/watch/739040#i1,p10,d1

WEEKEND UPDATE (Jost, Che, McKinnon)
Kate McKinnon appeared as Colin’s neighbor to talk about dealing with bad neighbors. A few good lines here or there, but not largely as much fun as Michael Che’s neighbor Willie from last month (my own opinion.) A few great show-pausing jokes (especially from Jost, still piling on the Bill Cosby stuff), one quick segment, and they kept this one shorter after a long first half of the show. Not the most memorable Update this season, but pretty solid all the same. I’m sure if they had more time, we could have gotten something like Pete Davidson or Leslie Jones talking. Anyway, Colin Jost was great this week – his deliveries on jokes get me a little more each week.
Blackometer: 6.5/10
http://www.hulu.com/watch/739048#i2,p0,d2 (Part 1)
http://www.hulu.com/watch/739047#i2,p0,d2 (Part 2)

THE JOURNEY (Thompson, Hart, Killam, Strong, Zamata, Jones)
A sketch in the same vein as the 90s ‘Cobras & Panthers’ sketch with Robert Downey Jr., in which both opposing gangs go into song dance choreography, while one person questions why they are breaking into song. This one focuses more on the broadway-style drama of it all, which keeps things not as memorable, but definitely still fun. There wasn’t much to this one, but the best parts were Kevin Hart overreacting and, again, Taran Killam nailing “overly dramatic performance by someone having a ‘moment’.” (The singing is pretty good, though!)
Blackometer: 6/10
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zXmgH_plz8

KEVIN’S SON (Hart, Jones, Pharaoh)
Even if this is just a chance to take a break and let Jay Pharaoh do his Kevin Hart impression, it was still a ton of fun to watch. Leslie Jones must have practiced keeping a straight face over the holidays, because a month ago she might have have lost it when the Hart & Pharaoh were standing next to each other.
Blackometer: 7/10
http://www.hulu.com/watch/739045#i1,p5,d1

LISTENING PARTY (Hart, Pharaoh, Jones, Moynihan, Davidson, Bennett, Killam, Strong, Thompson)
One of the best uses of Kevin Hart all night. His nonstop energy plus some pretty funny reactions to the secrets made for some good comedy. I completely lost it at the reveal of Pete Davidson eating gummy bears.
Blackometer: 9/10
http://www.hulu.com/watch/739049#i1,p5,d1

Best Sketch of the Night: Kevin Hart Monologue & Listening Party
Worst Sketch of the Night: Why’d You Post That?
Joke of the Night: “Harry is a Muslim but he eats pork. He pops gummy gears all day…gummy bears have gelatin, and gelatin comes from pigs. That’s pork! You didn’t know that, did you?!? Dumb b****!” – Hart
Observations: Kevin Hart came with some stellar, contagious energy that lasted all night, right up to the last minute! Some of the lesser material that would have sank completely in the hands of a different host was raised with just his high-energy spirit being involved. The strongest parts of the show may have been the second half, but it was a generally solid show all things considered.

BLACKOMETER AVERAGE: 6.86

Sia went for a rather artistic, emotional set with per music. It was highly interesting to watch…but she was mumbling through ‘Chandelier’ so much that it took away from the presentation as a whole. Not sure how someone can make a singing career without diction. But that’s just me.

Next time: Blake Shelton!
-BB2

Martin Freeman: 6.98
Bill Hader
: 6.91
Kevin Hart: 6.86
James Franco: 6.81
Woody Harrelson: 6.80
Jim Carrey
: 6.80
Cameron Diaz: 6.78
Sarah Silverman: 6.78
Chris Pratt: 6.54
Amy Adams: 6.18
Chris Rock: 5.75

BB2’s Top 15 SNL Fall 2014 Moments


This list includes sketches & a few Weekend Update segments that were, in my own opinion, 15 of the strongest highlights of the the first half SNL’s strong 40th season. I’m not going in any particular order this time around – after much toiling, here are 15 things that made me laugh, got me interested in the construction of the writing, or made me laugh really hard.

So, here we go!

1. Puppet Class (Bill Hader, Killam, Strong, Moynihan)
Anthony Peter Coleman may be one of Bill Hader’s best characters ever to air (or one of the best characters, period). I hope he hosts again sometimes and gives us a third installment.
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/puppet-class-071109449.html

2. Back Home Ballers (Diaz, Zamata, McKinnon, Strong, Diaz, Jones, Bayer)

This one is a pretty good representation of how well done and fun the song sketches have been this fall. Anytime you get all the ladies of SNL together with some good material, you’ll never be disappointed. Finally: Bowls, bowls, all type of bowls…
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl-current-season-skits/back-home-ballers-074651628.html

3. Weekend Update: Cheer Up, Obama (Jost, Che, Thompson)

This was the first sign that the new Update team of Che & Jost could be pretty great together. Not sure if anyone still thinks about this segment, but I hope it cheered up our President.
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/weekend-cheer-obama-063736486.html

4. Bad Boys (Pratt, Bennett, Mooney)

Everything about this is pure genius. I’d be okay with a Mooney/Bennett early 90s sitcom knock-off every week in 2015. A little kid peer-pressures Chris Pratt into stealing Beck Bennett’s ball with a gun so they can play in the house for 4 seconds…what’s not to like about this?
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/bad-boys-081547652.html

5. Match’d (Harrelson, Strong, Bennett, Mooney, Killam)
Great sketch writing example #1. I will laugh at this every time I see it. Also, everything about these executions are perfect. Cecily Strong is a perfect MTV voice/personality, and the reactions of each guy when Woody Harrelson’s host drops the bomb is solid.
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/match-39-d-091104169.html

6. Kid Mayor (Franco)
This is here because of how hard I laughed. I’m nearly ashamed of how much I laughed at this. Also, because its’ motives are just plain funny.
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl-current-season-skits/kid-mayor-085156932.html

7. 39 Cents (Hader, Pharoah, Thompson, Zamata, Jones)

Great example of good sketch writing #2. (I believe Michael Che wrote this?) I should’ve scored it higher on my scorecard, but it makes such a good point…why 39 cents? Seriously? Anyway, this is a good ‘evergreen sketch’ in that it brings an original idea to the table and could be enjoyed later on as a classic.
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/39-cents-070921029.html

8. Weekend Update: Leslie Jones (Jones, Jost)

Literally any time Leslie Jones is on Update is a true gift. I’m posting this one because Harriet Tubman. But seriously, she brings such life to the Update desk (and the show in general) and has been such a breath of fresh air in the world of comedy. It’s only a matter of time before she’s a big star. Finally, I’d watch a half-hour comedy show of Leslie flirting with Colin Jost.
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl-current-season-skits/weekend-leslie-jones-085157061.html

9. Sump’n Claus (Thompson, Zamata, Strong, Moynihan, Freeman, Bayer, Mooney, Bennett, Bryant, Davidson, Pharoah)

I am STILL going around with this song in my head.
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/sump-n-39-claus-091746322.html

10. Grow-a-Guy (O’Brien, Franco, Bennett, Zamata, Bayer, Davidson)
Mike O’Brien is without a doubt the most interesting SNL writer right now. He has this unique gift for making a mini-story that combines genuine sincerity & meekness with comedy and “what in God’s name am I looking at???” This is a prime example, as well as Monster Pals Dragon Babies from last spring. Also, He and James Franco make a nice duo in these.
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/grow-guy-085157033.html

11. Wedding Objections (Freeman, Jones, Bennett, Bryant, Bayer, Thompson, Killam, Strong, McKinnon)
Another great piece of sketch writing that could have aired whenever. Everyone delivering their objections is great in this, immediately jumping to the absurdity of this couple being together (especially Vanessa Bayer). The sketch nearly jumps into 3rd gear when Kate McKinnon’s Evelyn stops by to SHUT IT DOWN.
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/wedding-objections-091746876.html

12. Lincoln Ads (Carrey, Thompson)
Jim Carrey solves the question of “yeah, why did this need to happen?”
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/lincoln-ads-071111377.html

13. Church (Moynihan, Davidson, Pharaoh, McKinnon, Bryant, Mooney, Strong, Bennett, Killam, Jones)
All of this is true.
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/church-100137785.html

14. Weekend Update: Pete Davidson (Che, Davidson)

Pete Davidson has done a few ‘Resident Young Person’ appearances, and I believe his first one may have been the best so far. It didn’t even really matter what he was talking about – his charm and grin won over the crowd so quickly that everyone just wanted to see more of this guy. This could be why we started seeing him star shortly thereafter in a few pre-taped segments. But this has been some of his best stuff this fall.
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/weekend-pete-davidson-063116630.html

15. High School Theater Show (Diaz, Bryant, Killam, Bennett, Mooney, McKinnon, Thompson, Bayer)
Truly one of the best pieces of sketch writing this fall – maybe the best. This sketch was also entirely dependent on timing with each line, movement of boxes, choreography, etc. and it hit everything dead on. It’s so great when a live sketch can be this succinct and funny and great to look at. Plus, everything is true about this. I’ve been Kenan Thompson/Vanessa Bayer in the audience looking at these. 100%.
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl-current-season-skits/high-school-theater-show-074944587.html

Can’t wait to see more of what SNL40 brings!
-BB2

P.S.: 

Nicki Minaj Stars on James Franco’s SNL

nicki-minaj-james-franco-snl-promo
Last night, James Franco ushered in the first of our SNL Christmas shows! SNL has been pretty solid thus far in season 40, but there was something interesting about last night’s episode. They seemed to really be trying to experiment with new things in a way that gave the show more of an edge here and there – which was great! There was still plenty of room for good comedy, with only a couple of the usual “how did this make it to air” sketches. Also, Nicki Minaj was in a lot of sketches! She was mostly playing other renditions of herself, but who knows…maybe she keeps coming back and turns into the new Lady Gaga of SNL…or even Timberlake down the road? (I think I’m getting ahead of myself.)

On to an edgy SNL Scorecard!

COLD OPEN: POLITICS NATION (Thompson, Pharaoh, Moynihan)
You know, right before this show I was talking to someone who felt (like many others) that SNL isn’t funny anymore “like it used to be back in the good ol’ days.” I always defend this opinion…but I can only assume that those people turn on their TVs and see sketches like this when they make these claims. Politics Nation, as a whole, has just never been that great – it’s just Kenan’s Al Sharpton making goofy mispronunciations, and it’s not like Al Sharpton is known for being that goofy. (The little Pharell Williams joke did get me.) At least it tried to end with a point about things getting better in the future starting with each of us…I dunno. Maybe I’ll feel differently about this thing later. For now…
Blackometer: 3/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/politics-nation-cold-open-085544107.html

JAMES FRANCO MONOLOGUE (Franco, Rogen)
I would watch the heck out of Seth Rogen teaching James Franco how to read. This was shorter & left me wanting a little more of Franco’s leaked secrets before the pictures, but it was still fun & a good way to bring in the Sony leaks (although the real incident with the email sent to Sony employees was pretty terrifying).
Blackometer: 7.8/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/james-franco-monologue-085156485.html

PETER PAN LIVE (Mooney, McKinnon, Bennett, Strong, Bryant, Franco, Killan, Thompson, Moynihan)
I should’ve seen two things coming: A Peter Pan Live parody, and the return of Tonkerbell. This was somehow more of a mess than the first time we saw Tonkerbell on Jim Parsons’ show last season – mostly because the Tonkerbell stuff made it feel like there were multiple sketches at one time. Also, James Franco does not do a good Christopher Walken. The written material for everything aside from Tonkerbell was fine, but everything all together was too much. I really want to know what Taran Killam’s eager pirate had to say.
Blackometer: 4/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/peter-pan-live-085157444.html

STAR WARS TEASER (Killam, Pharaoh, Moynihan, Franco, Thompson, Jones)
This was great – everyone in it was great, and it’s just tremendous to see Killam’s Harrison Ford + Moynihan as Leia. Great production values, good jokes…what else can I say? Nice piece of entertainment.
Blackometer: 7.5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/star-wars-teaser-101343393.html

JINGLE BALLERZ SPECIAL (Davidson, Zamata, Killam, Franco, Thompson, McKinnon, Minaj, Pharaoh)
Kate McKinnon’s Justin Bieber is a national treasure. Furthermore, Jay Pharoah’s Kanye West is just the best thing ever. Kudos to Nicki Minaj who was solidly more committed in this role than the last time she was on the show as the bride of Blackenstein (which I still find funny).
Blackometer: 7.5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/jingle-ballerz-special-085544868.html

GROW A GUY (O’Brien, Bennett, Bayer, Zamata, Davidson, Franco)
After appearing in Mike O’Brien’s great Monster Pals sketch from last season, James Franco co-starred in another broadly esoteric sketch from the strange, strange mind of the most interesting SNL writer on staff. This is one I really would have liked to watch at the pitch meeting – it probably sounded so simple on paper, but took off to insane limits once it was put into motion. Everything is actually so specifically complex once you break it down, from the imagery of the grow-a-guy in its’ pre-human stage to how seriously everyone takes this. Execution is what sells this one here the most, and it’s great enough to where I could watch a movie of this premise if given the right atmosphere.
Blackometer: 9.5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/grow-guy-085157033.html

MAGIC BRIDGE (Bryant, Mooney, Franco, Strong)
Not really sure what that was, but James Franco and Kyle Mooney shared a long kiss. I think that was the point, other than Cecily playing another “funny voice” character. The audience was pretty quiet, except for her quick jab at Bill Cosby that no one was expecting. Anyway, there just wasn’t a lot going on here.
Blackometer: 3/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/magic-bridge-085158204.html

WEEKEND UPDATE (Jost, Che, Moynihan, Jones, Minaj)
Yesterday, I read an article by Entertainment Weekly about how ‘Update’ has been missing a lot of things, but mainly a ‘bite’ to it in the last year. Millions of people compare Jost & Che’s current Update to the previous installments by Fallon, Fey, Poehler and Meyers, who all had more rants and interactive pieces to make it gel more memorably. I hope those who feel this way watched Update last night, because a somber Che and Jost opened up immediately tackling the recent failures of juries to indict policemen in the Eric Gardner and Mike Brown cases. These rants were fearless, sincere, had a little comedy tastefully thrown in, and just felt truly genuine from these two. This was the perfect thing that Update has been missing, and I’m so glad it was there. (It did seem to just up and stop rather than end, however.)
The walk-on segments were great: the return of Anthony Crispino! More Leslie Jones! And even Nicki Minaj came on as Kim Kardashian. It wasn’t much, and it was for a joke that I think is almost on its’ way out…but she was having fun, so whatever.
Best Update of the season so far.
Blackometer: 9/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/weekend-part-1-085157060.html
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl-current-season-skits/weekend-part-2-085545843.html

BRAIN SPACE (Davidson, Franco, Strong, Killam, Bryant, Mooney, Pharaoh, Minaj, Moynihan, Bennett, McKinnon, Bayer)
“WHO REMEMBERS A BILLY ZANE LINE FROM TITANIC?!” = my favorite thing of the night. Pete Davidson is a guy trying to clear space in his brain, and James Franco does his best to clear out his old memories, including his old teacher, movie quotes and song lyrics. This was a great sketch idea, and I can definitely say I’ve thought of my brain functioning as beings representing information. I was pretty bummed when the Fresh Prince theme and the “Bye Bye Bye” dance had to leave. Finally, by now it was notable how strong of a presence Nicki Minaj had had on the show thus far tonight. Anyway, this sketch was funny.
Blackometer: 7.5/10
This sketch doesn’t appear to be online, likely because of song copyright issues. A lot of throwback songs were in this.

KID MAYOR (Franco)
This Tad Rankin monologue was just hilarious. I laughed harder at this than almost anything else all night, save Anthony Crispino. Good lord, I laughed harder at this. James Franco yelling about how he’s more of a man than a kid who crapped his pants is my new favorite thing. My score is based purely on how much I laughed.
Blackometer: 8.6/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl-current-season-skits/kid-mayor-085156932.html

SUNSEEKER YACHTS (Bayer, Strong, Franco, Rogen)
Franco & Rogen are the perfect kind of guys to be in a sketch like this, but I agree with some twitter opinions that Nicki Minaj would have fit in with this one. Or then again, maybe letting her play other variations of herself (basically) in previous sketches was enough. Anyway, this sketch gets better every time I see it based mostly on individual jokes, which is what this one is all about.
Blackometer: 7.6/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl/porn-stars-101341473.html

Best Sketch of the Night: Grow a Guy
Worst Sketch of the Night: Magic Bridge
Joke of the Night: “WHO REMEMBERS A BILLY ZANE LINE FROM TITANIC?!” – Franco
(Also: everything in “Kid Mayor” – Franco)
Observations: Another solid show! James Franco both blended well into the cast as well as serving as the standout/lead when the material needed him to do so. Weekend Update led the way for SNL to really run the gauntlet in a fearless kind of way that seemed to transfer into the energy of other sketches, which while not new, still seems newer for this cast as of late. As such, I hope the writers and cast continue in this direction! It’ll definitely help to make the show stand out more positively than some want to admit right now. But anyway…yeah! This was funny! Go find little Tommy and make him your major!

BLACKOMETER AVERAGE: 6.81

Next time: Martin Freeman!
-BB2

Bill Hader: 6.91
James Franco: 6.81
Woody Harrelson: 6.80
Jim Carrey
: 6.80
Cameron Diaz: 6.78
Sarah Silverman: 6.78
Chris Pratt: 6.54
Chris Rock: 5.75

seth rogen james franco snl

Cameron Diaz and the Ladies Shine on SNL

Black Annie
Cameron Diaz showed up last night and, with an energized cast, brought us another strong episode of SNL! Not only was she game to try whatever, as per usual – the show also came with some pretty good/new sketch comedy ideas this week, one or two that make you wonder why they hadn’t been tried before. (I think Kenan’s ‘bill’ is still falling down the stairs.)

Here’s your fun, pre-Thanksgiving SNL Recap!

COLD OPEN: SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK (Mooney, Thompson, Pharaoh, Moynihan)
Kenan playing the “I’m just a bill” guy was just so much fun – I chuckled every time Obama pushed him down the stairs. And also I laughed out loud at Bobby Moynihan’s contrasting line “I’m an Executive Order, and I pretty much just happen.” This was a more refreshing format to deal with the immigration bill than ‘here’s Jay Pharoah’s Obama talking at the camera’ – which SNL has now done better two weeks in a row now.
Blackometer: 7.5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl-current-season-skits/capital-hill-cold-open-074234364.html

CAMERON DIAZ MONOLOGUE (Diaz, Mooney, Bayer, Moynihan, Jones, Bennett, Bryant)
It’s been revealed in the past that when the writers don’t know what to do with their host in the monologue, they take fake questions from the “audience”. Most of these aren’t great and feel pretty short & lazy. Our host monologues have been pretty good so far this season, so I was surprised when this went as short and as lazy as it did. I mean, Cameron Diaz is a great personality and has been game for a lot of things in the past as an actress…and they couldn’t come up with anything else for her to do? So yeah…this was as phoned in as a fake-questions monologue can get. However, I did strangely like how Vanessa Bayer delivered her “I knew that.”
Blackometer: 3/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl-current-season-skits/diaz-monologue-074651916.html

BACK HOME BALLERS (Bryant, Zamata, McKinnon, Strong, Diaz, Jones, Bayer)
The return of “Do it in my twin bed” – Thanksgiving edition! Having not had a large fill of the SNL ladies yet this season, this was so much fun. And it had some pretty good lines as well. I’m not sure yet if this as good or better than last year’s rendition…but in any case, it was good to see Lil Baby Aidy again. Also, I liked Leslie Jones’ bowls, Aidy’s neighbor, and Kate’s wifi password.
Blackometer: 7.8/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl-current-season-skits/back-home-ballers-074651628.html

NEW ANNIE (Bayer, Bryant, McKinnon, Strong, Diaz, Pharaoh, Jones, Thompson)
Well, with Diaz hosting, an Annie sketch was predictable. But good grief – as per usual; this kicked into high gear when Leslie Jones hit the stage. Vanessa Bayer’s Black Annie was funny. Pharaoh’s subtle Jamie Foxx-isms were great. But it’s Jones’ energy that take it into the next level. I have no idea what happened at the end, but man, I couldn’t keep it together when Kenan showed up. This sketch had good material & such, but gets points mostly on the energy it had.
Blackometer: 8/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl-current-season-skits/annie-074651808.html

NEST-SPRESSO (McKinnon, Killam, Bayer)
Someone on twitter compared this to Mike O’Brien’s Bird Bible last season, and this felt like perhaps a “version” of that. Man, it was weird.It is the kind of weirdness that hides in the cloak of subtlety that we can identify with Mike O’Brien’s work having known him from last year, so maybe it’s his sketch? Not sure. Anyway, Vanessa Bayer was pretty committed to the weirdness, and that makes this work more than anything. (I’d seen her more in 15 minutes by this point than I had in the entire season thus far.)
Blackometer: 6.5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl-current-season-skits/nest-spresso-074651915.html

HIGH SCHOOL THEATER SHOW (Diaz, Bryant, McKinnon, Mooney, Killam, Bennett, Thompson, Bayer)
This sketch was pretty brilliant. I’ve been to these kinds of “experimental theater” performances, and yes…this is rather accurate. Right down to moving box-type props and trying to ‘teach’ you something about society…even “stay in the your seats, because we will be walking around in character.” I didn’t know what to make of this until Kenan Thompson and Vanessa Bayer started asking the same questions I would find myself asking while watching this (especially if I paid to go see it). I was almost going to tie this with Black Annie, but I think this deserves the slight nod, because it’s true.
Blackometer: 8.5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl-current-season-skits/high-school-theater-show-074944587.html

WEEKEND UPDATE (Jost, Che, McKinnon, Killam, Strong)
Well, I was curious as to how SNL would tackle the Bill Cosby story this week…and perhaps letting Michael Che handle this one may have been for the best. It’s such a delicate story/subject to deal with, and even Seth Meyer’s Late Night show struggled to joke about it in a ‘comfortable’ way (if there is even such a thing for shows that parody topical events). So appealing to Dr. Huxtable was…was okay, all things considered. It felt like a personal piece coming from Che rather than just a flat-out lampooning of either side of the story. (Also: why does the KKK have a twitter account???)
Kate McKinnon was great – maybe her best Angela Merkel segment yet, right down to getting Jost to do a German kiss face. GOOD LORD, Taran Killam’s Charles Manson was a sight to see. The hair/make-up department deserve a Thanksgiving bonus just for that. Especially whoever made those eyebrows.
Blackometer: 7.6/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl-current-season-skits/weekend-part-1-074019762.html
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl-current-season-skits/weekend-part-2-090415303.html

OFFICE BOSS (Bennett, Diaz, Thompson, Zamata)
This was the perfect kind of premise to do with this character – take him out of the office and try something new. Between the new atmosphere/premise, the perfect kind of host to play opposite him as wife, and the news that threw this sketch into a new gear, this was very well done and funny. I laughed out loud at Kenan/Sasheer’s faces when they hear the news. Being the 3rd time we’ve seen this, it was cool that the host was the partner this time, rather than the straight man type of character trying to get through this respectfully, like Kenan & Sasheer. “I actually have a lot of questions about your relationship…”
Blackometer: 7.8/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl-current-season-skits/office-boss-074651226.html

DR. DAVE & BUGGLES (Thompson, Diaz, Pharaoh)
One joke. One dumb joke. I get it – the monkey ripped his genitals off. You know, I saw the pre-set stage/monkey and wondered why we were about to get a Brian Fellows sketch. I would rather watch one of those. (I really wonder if someone brought up the passing away of Zaboomafoo, and the discussion led to…this sketch.)
Blackometer: 3.5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl-current-season-skits/dr-dave-buggles-074944400.html

THE FIGHT (Mooney, Bennett, Davidson, Diaz)
This gets a spot in the ‘good’ based solely on the pointless/epic car crashing transitions. People say they knew people like this in high school…and I finally remembered my recollection from yesteryear.
Blackometer: 6.5/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl-current-season-skits/fight-074944862.html

POETRY CLASS (Bayer, Diaz, Davidson, Zamata, Thompson, Bryant)
I think I said it already – Vanessa Bayer was having a great night. And I feel like she really enjoys playing this character. The poems before Diaz were fine, but the reactions that Diaz’s poem was worth the price of admission. Kenan’s reaction faces are two-for-two in this show.
Blackometer: 7/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl-current-season-skits/poetry-class-074651027.html

NIGHT MURMURS (Strong, Diaz, McKinnon)
Great lines, great prop work, good execution – I think this should just speak for itself. A perfect 10-to-1 sketch, and perfect weird way to end the night.
Blackometer: 7.7/10
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl-current-season-skits/night-murmurs-074944541.html

Best Sketch of the Night: High School Theater Show
Worst Sketch of the Night: Cameron Diaz Monologue
Joke of the Night: “Stay in the your seats, because we will be walking around in character.” – Aidy Bryant
Observations: Another solid show! We got to see some great work from our host and cast, especially the ladies! Outside of Back Home Baller, Vanessa Bayer and Kate McKinnon especially had great nights. It’s interesting how the monologue, which sets the stage for the potential energy of the night, felt so mundane and tepid; yet the rest of the show had good material and great execution from the cast. Cameron Diaz was as game always, and she was able to not only rise to the hosting occasion (as she has in the past), but she also really let the cast shine to put on a solid series of sketches. The show was so good, we even got to see the full goodnights afterwards – a rare, but grand treat.

In other news: I really need to get my behind to a Bruno Mars show. This guy was electric last night:
https://screen.yahoo.com/snl-current-season-skits/mark-ronson-bruno-mars-quot-074042158.html

BLACKOMETER AVERAGE: 6.78

Next time: James Franco to start off the December Christmas shows!

-BB2

Bill Hader: 6.91
Woody Harrelson: 6.80
Jim Carrey
: 6.80
Cameron Diaz: 6.78
Sarah Silverman: 6.78
Chris Pratt: 6.54
Chris Rock: 5.75

cameron diaz snl