Cold Opening – 60 Minutes
- Great to see Beck front-and-center in this open for a change.
- I’m about two minutes or so into this cold open, and I’m very bored, particularly those tweets that Jay’s Obama is reading are putting me to sleep.
- This cold open seems to be trying to have a biting take on President Obama, which I should appreciate from SNL to take on the president, but having him just read a bunch of tweets and explain some photos is boring me to DEATH.
- (*sigh*) This open is failing miserably to have the sort of dry, sharp political humor that SNL used to have in better days before the political writing went downhill after the Ferrell era ended. This open is, yet again, coming off as a failed attempt from SNL to stay cool with the youth again this season.
- Boring, boring, BORING!!! Just end this cold open already SNL!
- Some good laughs from Sarah’s talk about blue & important comedians.
- A huge guilty laugh from the moment with Wally and the cue card.
- Knowing where this monologue is going, I’m enjoying the setup.
- Is the audience member a plant? The interaction seems genuine to me.
- Sarah’s coming of very likable in this monologue so far, while I never had any problems with her as a comic and a person, I’m surprised by how natural she is here.
- A great, memorable turn with Sarah taking question from her older self.
- A laugh from the Dinosaur question from the younger Sarah, some solid self-deprecating humor from Sarah regarding her filed SNL tenure.
- A very strong, fun, memorable, and charming monologue overall, while I’m not as high on this one as some others are, I still enjoyed it greatly and my very high rating for it will show that.
The Fault In Our Stars 2: The Ebola In Our Everything
- A huge guilty laugh from the reveal of Sarah’s illness.
- Boy, that Ebola talk reminds me of all of the COVID pandemic talk nowadays.
- Love Taran’s “oookaaayy” delivery.
- Funny USA Today headline, and Beck’s always-reliable delivery elevates the material as always.
- Strong short overall.
- Oh, I like the premise of the legendary Joan Rivers giving a roast to other dead famous people in heaven.
- Bobby’s laughing as Benjamin Franklin is giving my expected laughs.
- Not caring for Adam Levine’s cameo, considering how much I disliked him as host back in season 38.
- Sarah’s flubbing some of her lines left & right, but I’m still getting some good laughs, and the goodwill from Sarah & SNL is making up for that.
- Kate looks hilarious as Lucille Ball, and it still feels jarring to me how she’s still not the show’s leader by this point.
- Boy, that brief photo of Joan is giving a lump in my throat. Rest in piece, Joan. I still miss you to this day.
- Some solid sharp commentary when it comes to race in America.
- While I’m still baffled by how America see race, I’m enjoying the strong and sharp commentary in this pretape.
- Good to see Mike O’Brien in here, considering how brilliant of a writer he is, even when he never fit as a live performer. Yet, if he wrote this piece, which I’m assuming he did as he is in it, it doesn’t feel like his style at all.
- A solid piece overall, but again I’m not in the targeted demographic (White Europeans), so some of the jokes in this might have flown over my head.
Forgotten TV Gems
- It feels weird seeing Kenan’s Reese outside of the Cinema Classics sketches.
- Kenan’s giving my solid laughs with his commentary about the first scene.
- Ah, even with just a brief moment, Aidy’s facial expression gave a solid laugh.
- Yeah, this feels like it’s going through the one-joke route and it’s losing me and its humor real quick.
Musical Performance – “Animals”
- Jesse Nathan: Interesting guitar intro.
- Oof, Adam’s vocals are really poorly mixed, even more so than most musical guests.
- I will say that I like the stage that Adam and co are standing on, with a big V to symbolize their album title.
- Why does the drum stand out from the other instruments in this performance? Maybe it’s just me.
- Boy, Adam is really struggling to hit the high notes on the chorus, but unfortunately, the mixing is giving him nothing to work with. And you can see his slight awkwardness as he’s moving around.
- To get into the actual song, these lyrics are honestly kinda terrible. Not to mention how annoying the chorus can get.
- Did Adam’s mic cut out briefly during the third chorus? I could’ve sworn that “think” was inaudible.
- Are the other band members poorly miced too? Their attempt to sing backing vocals during the final chorus BOMBED.
- That high note that Adam held out was…not pleasant to listen to.
- Okay, I do kinda like the outro.
- It feels weird seeing that globe graphic under the photos next to Colin & Che, I wonder when they were abandoned.
- Solid commentary about Texas from Michael.
- Yeah, Colin is still somewhat Seth Meyers-y and kinda bland so far, he’s giving me good laughs though.
- A pretty good Al Sharpton impression from Kenan.
- Good digs at Sharpton’s infamous line flubs.
- Boy, that talk about the Ebola scare in America in 2014 is such an interesting time capsule.
- A huge laugh from Michael’s great joke about president Carter’s 90th birthday celebration.
- Solid jab at Biden’s job as vice president.
- Interesting to see Colin and Michael interacting here, the growth of both behind the desk is already showing in their second episode alone.
- Great to see Sarah back behind the Update desk, and a solid pairing of her with Kate.
- Some decent laughs from Kate & Sarah’s song, particularly the part of plants having boobs.
- Man, Kate’s mugging up a full storm here, tone it down please.
- Another good Update, this new era is starting pretty good so far. Yet, I do recall some mixed or shaky Updates along the way.
- OH FUCKING NO. Here comes a particularly notorious SNL sketch that was found to be plagiarized verbatim from some Groundlings performers after this episode’s original airing, and would cause, IIRC, this episode to not get a rerun in the future. Also, the culprits behind this proven plagiarism are none other than good ole James Anderson and/or Kent Sublette, and to prove that right now is that the opening lines from Kenan in this sketch are FILLED with the typical James Anderson-written horrible staples, particularly the “funny” altered pronunciations of certain words, like when Kenan exclaims “yerm!” instead of yum at the beginning of this tripe. This is rather eerily similar to an upcoming infamous James Anderson-written trainwreck of a sketch, Space Thanksgiving, in the notorious Steve Carell hosting stint in season 44. When Kenan’s character says “Kern” instead of corn. Those horrible trademarks are one of many to be found in James Anderson-written sketches, which makes it clearer than the sun that he is indeed the one behind this disaster.
- Back to the sketch, good god, this is DEATHLY so far. What am I watching?! What is this tripe? How did this get past the table read in the very first place?! Look, plagiarism is shameful either way, but couldn’t Anderson at least steal material that is FUNNY?! This just makes it even more embarrassing and pathetic that he resorted to steal such weak material in the first place.
- You can practically hear a pin drop in the studio during this, the audience is fucking DEAD.
- Not caring for the ladies’ mid-song stories, this is the typical James Anderson & Kent Sublette snoozefest.
- OOF. Fuck this sketch basically, it was a torture for me to sit through, and to know that it was plagiarized, makes it somehow even worse to me if you can believe that. Just a pathetic, desperate, shameful attempt from James Anderson to stay relevant in the fresh, new direction that this new era is taking.
Rating: * (and even that’s being generous)
Home From Vacation
- A huge laugh from the visual of a shocked Bobby rising from the backseat of the car.
- Solid angry delivery from Bobby.
- Man, Kate’s facial expression slayed me just now, she’s so good in getting huge laughs without much effort.
- A funny, albeit cliched SNL moment, with all the stations playing songs about cheating. It reminds me of the memorable part in one of the Lewinsky scandal cold opens when Darrell’s Bill Clinton is changing the TV channels with panic as they all happen to mention him being blown by Monica Lewinsky.
- Meh at Adam Levine’s second sketch appearance, it reminds me of how much I disliked him as host back in season 38.
- Look, I don’t want to sound mean, but I’m sensing some egotistic, arrogant vibes from Adam’s line delivery and general demeanor in this sketch.
- Solid laugh with Adam being ran over by a truck & the visual of the dummy added to the humor.
- A weak ending to an otherwise good sketch.
- Great sudden turn with the cliched romcom trope of ”two people finishing each other’s sentences then they realized they’re in love”.
- Love the threats that Beck & Kyle are saying to each other, and how they’re played in such a romantic, sweet way.
- Dark, yet funny montage of the many horrible things that Beck’s character is doing to Kyle’s, and the tender, soft music and cinematography are adding well to the humor.
- Great ending with Beck’s getting what he deserved at the end.
Musical Performance – “Maps”
- Jesse Nathan: One thing that’s always bugged me: how come Maroon 5 plays “Animals” before “Maps”? Shouldn’t that be the other way around?
- Interesting how this starts out slower than the actual song.
- Adam’s vocals are mixed slightly better than they were on the last song, but that’s not saying much.
- Why is this being sung in a different key from the original?
- Oop, I spoke too soon, as Adam’s vocals are poorly mixed during the first chorus, and the drums are tuned slightly higher.
- Is it just me, or is some other instrument mixed in with all the others?
- I think the drummer is trying to sing along during the second chorus, but they probably forgot to turn on his mic.
- I couldn’t really find much to say about this performance. If anything, these two performances do serve as interesting time capsules to 2014, when these two songs were the shit.
- Solid increasing negative tension between Sarah & Vanessa.
- Yeah, I’m enjoying Sarah’s performance, but this sketch is kinda falling flat for me, and it’s somewhat getting uncomfortable for me to watch, and not a funny way.
- Boy, the audience is kinda dead in several parts of this sketch, you can hear even some whispers and what sounds, to me, like footsteps in the studio. Ooof.
- An ok ending at least for an average, but still not a bad sketch.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
The Fault In Our Stars 2: The Ebola In Our Everything
Home From Vacation
Forgotten TV Gems
- A slightly above-average episode, while definitely a step in the right direction after the premiere, it still had some rustiness and weaker material than we would be normally getting as the season finds its groove soon. Aside from two segments, one of them being a particularly horrible James Anderson-written disaster of a sketch, the rest of the episode got between average to strong ratings. Sarah Silverman was also a fun host as expected, and she blended very well with the rest of the cast and delivered a very charming and memorable monologue and gave me some good laughs throughout the night.
- Bill Hader returns home with musical guest Hozier.
10 Replies to “October 4, 2014 – Sarah Silverman / Maroon 5 (S40 E2) ”
Since I haven’t seen this episode, I’m gonna try to say the best I can about some of the segments that I’m familiar with.
Unfortunately, the number of segments I’ve seen is very minimal. I have seen the monologue and I actually really like that one. Not sure why, though. And I’ve also seen Whites, but the only thing I actually remember about that is the fact that it had “Hey, Soul Sister” in the background.
Here’s one thing that bothers me: I don’t feel as though either you or Stooge have fully discussed what’s wrong with River Cruise. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s bad, but honestly, both of you guys haven’t given enough info as to why.
One more thing to note: I’m shocked by how soon this review was posted. I mean, don’t get me wrong, you do you, but when you said you were hoping to post three reviews before the Gyllenhaal episode aired, I thought that meant you were gonna do one per day.
And as always, the averages:
Pratt – 5.3
Silverman – 6.2
Overall average (so far): 5.8
Crap, I forgot another thing: I recall one site (I can’t remember what) saying that Kate’s look in her Update commentary looked similar to St. Vincent. Meh, I think that’s a bit of a stretch.
I just felt that I had the energy to finish this one too Jesse! Don’t worry, I’ll be taking some breaks, as I’m preparing a big celebratory post to be posted in a week or so. And yes, I’m fine with repeating my point about Levine. River Cruise was plagiarized, which ALREADY makes it one-star in my book, but the material was lame, featured random, incoherent, unfunny, boring stories and went nowhere. I guess that explains why I disliked it in the first place, even before it became clear that it was stolen.
Oh, and by the way, in regards to this: “It feels weird seeing that globe graphic under the photos next to Colin & Che, I wonder when they were abandoned”, the answer is that the globe was abandoned at the start of Season 42.
Excited for next episode one of the first time I saw a Vintage episode of SNL when aired on 2018 11 year old me was cracking up at Herb Welch oh and will you be reviewing the 40th Anniversary
No I won’t be reviewing the 40th Anniversary Special. Because 1) I don’t have the time nor the energy for it, and 2) I have no interest in the first place, due to the lack of original material.
Sketches I’ve seen
The Fault in our Stars ****
Here’s my second musical performance review of the season. Hope you enjoy it.
Interesting guitar intro.
Oof, Adam’s vocals are really poorly mixed, even more so than most musical guests.
I will say that I like the stage that Adam and co are standing on, with a big V to symbolize their album title.
Why does the drum stand out from the other instruments in this performance? Maybe it’s just me.
Boy, Adam is really struggling to hit the high notes on the chorus, but unfortunately, the mixing is giving him nothing to work with. And you can see his slight awkwardness as he’s moving around.
To get into the actual song, these lyrics are honestly kinda terrible. Not to mention how annoying the chorus can get.
Did Adam’s mic cut out briefly during the third chorus? I could’ve sworn that “think” was inaudible.
Are the other band members poorly miced too? Their attempt to sing backing vocals during the final chorus BOMBED.
That high note that Adam held out was…not pleasant to listen to.
Okay, I do kinda like the outro.
One thing that’s always bugged me: how come Maroon 5 plays “Animals” before “Maps”? Shouldn’t that be the other way around?
Interesting how this starts out slower than the actual song.
Adam’s vocals are mixed slightly better than they were on the last song, but that’s not saying much.
Why is this being sung in a different key from the original?
Oop, I spoke too soon, as Adam’s vocals are poorly mixed during the first chorus, and the drums are tuned slightly higher.
Is it just me, or is some other instrument mixed in with all the others?
I think the drummer is trying to sing along during the second chorus, but they probably forgot to turn on his mic.
I couldn’t really find much to say about this performance. If anything, these two performances do serve as interesting time capsules to 2014, when these two songs were the shit.
The only part I really remembered about Sarah’s monologue was her taking questions from her season 19 self for two reasons 1) it was true highlight of that monologue and 2) what a shamefully wasted opportunity it was for them to NOT use her brief “are you some sort of talking mutant?” cameo from the Charlton Heston Planet Of The Apes Monologue.
I don’t know what it is about the Heavenly Roast sketch that felt flat for me. Maybe it was Sarah flubbing her lines or most of the impressions seeming off the mark or just flat out miscast (Adam Levine as Freddie Mercury? C’mon) or just how full fledged sketches written in tribute to recently deceased celebs with barely even the most tenuous connection to the show always feel more inappropriate than (in some cases) just a title card to me but I couldn’t fully get into it even if I could appreciate what they were going for.
I agree that “Whites” and “Fault In Our Stars 2” were well executed pretapes (even if the latter might have aged weirdly by now). Forgotten TV Gems was something that was too heavily telegraphed from the get go for me to fully enjoy. Strangely, I have no memory of “Poem” but it seems like something I will have to given that its’ an early Beck & Kyle piece and how interesting your description of it makes it sound.
I also agree that River Cruise was so bafflingly dull one has no choice but to wonder how anyone thought it was worth plagarizing in the first place.
I remember this episode being disappointingly mediocre at the time (not quite the spectacular multi car pileup that Rock/Prince was but definitely in my bottom five of season 40 along with that one plus Hemsworth and IIRC Dakota Johnson). For a simple blog post to bring out such strong memories of what should’ve been such a largely forgettable episode out of me really speaks to your true talent as a write (especially at engaging your target audience). Again, keep it up!
Thank you so much Casey for the kind words toward the end of your comment. I only started doing these reviews after being encouraged by other great people in the community who saw how I used to comment & discuss SNL on other blogs. So, for my reviews to be so positively received by you, a veteran SNL reviewer, is a real honor for me. So, thanks yet again for these kind words.