Cold Opening – Politics Nation
- Kenan’s Al Sharpton is always reliable for some quick laughs.
- I’m more amused than laughing at the part where Jay repeatedly gets interrupted from Kenna’s Sharpton.
- Yeah, the gag with Sharpton messing up words off the teleprompter is being played to death here.
- Bobby looks hilarious here.
- Sadly, Bobby’s scene isn’t as funny as I hoped it would be.
- Very average cold open, not bad, but not as good as it could’ve been.
- NOT caring for James’ delivery so far.
- Once again this season, this monologue turns into a cameo-based one with the “surprise” appearance of Seth Rogen.
- Blah at the very desperate and juvenile montage of photos of both James & Seth.
- Really?! Is this whole monologue going to be a bunch of lame photo-based “jokes”? How did this get past the table read in such a state?!
- OH, GOD. This montage feels like it’s going on forever!! Fucking end this NOW, SNL!
- Mercifully, this tripe is now over. If this monologue was a few seconds longer, it would’ve gotten an even lower rating than the lousy one I’m going to give it right now.
Peter Pan Live!
- This seems to be the same set design & somehow the same costume on James that Bill Hader wore in a pirate sketch from the season 33 Elliot Page episode.
- They’re having freakin JAMES FRANCO play Christopher Walken in this??!!
- Geez, this has to be the worst Christopher Walken impression I’ve ever heard.
- This sketch feels dead so far, and James’ bafflingly bad performance is getting on my nerves.
- Cecily is embarrassing herself in this, a shame to see a reliable utility player being wasted in a sketch like this (not the last time tonight…).
- Awkward direction with the cutaway to Tonker bell during Pan & Hook’s stiffly-performed sword fight.
- Man, you know you have a rough sketch when even Bobby cannot steal it with his walk-on by the end.
- Tonight’s episode is off to a horrible start.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
- Great production quality.
- BLAAAAH!!! An extremely lame punch line to this whole short with it being a bunch of hacky old people jokes.
- Really?! An entire short based on “Lol! Old people are useless!” what is this ageist shit doing on my screen right now?!
- I’m not caring for the parade of old people jokes in this, much like the previous segments it’s unfunny, and most importantly BORING.
- That Bobby & Taran scene in the hallway was fucking TERRIBLE.
- Horrible, lazy, uninspired piece overall, and tonight’s episode continues to somehow sink lower and lower.
- OH NO. my misery in tonight’s episode continues as I recall not caring AT ALL for this tripe of a sketch.
- Not even Taran’s hilarious Eminem impression is being used properly here, just like how they wasted his great Harrison Ford in the dreck before this.
- I’m sensing arrogant, smug vibes from James’ in this & his scenes aren’t doing it for me, I mean he was never known for being a laugh riot on SNL in the past, but even the material here is horrible on its own.
- Boy, this sketch is dead so far, barely little-to-no-laughs from me.
- That’s rather a pleasing look on Nicki Minaj.
- Geez, Nicki, a singer is coming off FAR better than Franco here, whom last I checked is a TRAINED PROFESSIONAL ACTOR. Why didn’t they have Nicki as double duty? She always outshines the host in her episodes (aside from Fey’s as she was cut from the live show).
- Ah, just got a chuckle (my first since the cold open) from Kate’s Bieber facial expressions while Nicki’s Beyonce is singing.
- Not that impressed by Jay’s Kanye, especially after being far more entertained by current cast member Chris Redd’s far superior & funnier take.
- Boring, boring, BORING!!! This sketch is going NOWHERE fun or interesting. How did this get past dress?!
- A terrible sketch, and if you couldn’t tell so far into this review, I’m slowly being murdered by this episode’s horrible quality.
- Ah, finally a silver lining.
- God bless Mike O’Brien who has come to save me from tonight’s trainwreck of an episode with his usual brilliant, creative, and sentimental pieces.
- As always, an absolutely brilliant concept for this short.
- I’m enjoying not only how very creative & unusual this short is, but how it also evokes a sense of pathos and explores the human condition in such an impeccable way.
- Beck is great here.
- strong sequence with each of the characters self-destructing after revealing that they’re a Grow-A-Guy.
- Fantastic short overall, and leave it to Mike to give me the first strong segment in this dire episode so far.
- (*sigh*) As if tonight’s episode wasn’t mostly miserable enough for me to sit through, now we get the debut of freakin Cathy Anne, and what an infamous, notorious, laughless trainwreck this debut sketch will turn out to be.
- ALREADY, Cecily is terrible as this character, while I respect that Cecily would hide her natural beauty and act as this character in order to showcase her range, it’s not working in this sketch, this Dreck is D.O.A. right from the motherfucking jumpstart.
- UGH! This sketch is fucking DEATH. Absolutely unwatchable!
- Horrible & lazy “comedic” conceit to this sketch.
- I’m almost halfway through this, and boy you can practically hear a pin drop in the studio. The audience is fucking DEAD.
- That “C U next Tuesday/Thursday” line, which is supposedly Cathy Anne’s catchphrase is FUCKING. BRUTAL. TORTURE. to sit through being repeated twice in this trainwreck as if this would’ve made it funny, it makes it more suicide-inducing than it already is!
- Blaah at the cheap man-on-man kiss. REALLY SNL?!! We’re still doing this in 2014?!
- Aaaaaand to cap off this already-terrible sketch we end it with ANOTHER man-on-man kiss as desperate, cheap, unnecessary, and BRUTAL attempt at a laugh. Yep, it’s official: This sketch is, hands down, HANDS DOWN, one of the absolute worst, most miserable, and cringe-inducing sketches in SNL history. I’m more than certain that Cecily Strong & Kent Sublette are great people, but I see that they ONCE AGAIN succeeded in making a sketch that would DESTROY ME while reviewing it with its aggressive awfulness, and continue to produce material this bad & miserable TO THIS FUCKING DAY. And to know that this is just one of MANY soul-crushing, anger-inducing, laughless trainwrecks that the two will churn out in these coming seasons, makes me shudder even more in fear and utter disgust for what’s to come.
- Awful, AWFUL ending.
- Tonight’s episode continues to succeeded in absolutely destroying my soul with all of it’s horrible segments. MY GOD did I HATE this sketch. An ALL-TIME SNL lowlight without any question.
- It’s becoming morbidly fascinating to see how low can this walking corpse of an episode will continue to sink.
Musical Performance – “Bed of Lies” ft. Skyler Grey
- Blood Meridian: Hopefully Nicki can make me forget for a while this soul-sucking misery of an episode.
- Jesse Nathan: Oh, uh…hi, Skylar Grey. I didn’t expect to see you here.
- I like Skylar’s hook, but that honestly really isn’t surprising to anyone familiar with her work, especially after she assisted Eminem in his Season 43 performance (and also Season 39).
- I like how the instruments start joining in during the chorus, and then stop.
- Okay, not sure if I needed to hear all the other instruments once it got to Nicki’s verse. It felt kinda unnecessary.
- Fun rapping from Nicki, but again…#notsurprising.
- I like Nicki’s dress.
- I wish that Nicki moved around a little more, instead of a little less.
- And now Skylar’s vocals have been doubled, though in this case, it’s kinda for the better.
- Nice bridge from Skylar.
- And now Nicki starts walking over to the piano.
- Boy, Skylar’s vocals don’t mix well with the instrumental at all.
- I like Nicki’s smile at the end.
- Ah, please save Colin & Michael, you’re my only hope in this dire episode.
- Boy, is that opening interaction piece between Colin & Michael even intended to be funny? I mean there are some strong points being made about the whole Eric Garner/grand jury discussion here, but the lack of jokes in between in a COMEDY show, and the audience’s tense, long, eerie silence throughout it is making me uncomfortable.
- Ok, there are doing some jokes now, thank god.
- Ah, it feels great to see an Anthony Crispino commentary, Bobby is always gold on Update.
- Some huge guilty laughs from the ”Bing Crosby” being a “Rappist”.
- Not caring for this Leslie Jones commentary, as it’s so far just LESLIE SHOUT! and with barely any points being made or actual entertainment outside of her yelling through it.
- Meh, this “bitch” routine from Leslie is hacky as fuck and LAME, with little-to-no laughs from me.
- Great to see the musical guest doing a commentary behind the desk.
- That’s rather… an appealing outfit on Nicki, for the second time tonight.
- As expected, Nicki is coming off very likable in her portrayal of Kim Kardashian and is performing this well.
- Some ok laughs from the various photos of Nicki-as-Kim. Yet again, the material is not the strongest, but Nicki is doing a solid job and coming off likable. I ask again: why wasn’t she booked as double duty?
- An average Update overall, enjoyed the first and last commentaries to a certain extant, but the loud and annoying Leslie commentary, and many jokes not working for me will compel not to gave this Update a higher rating.
- A welcomed premise given how creatively bankrupt and miserable the majority of tonight’s sketches were.
- Taran is hilarious at the beginning of this.
- Yet another Nicki Minaj sketch appearance.
- Cute dog appearance in this.
- Perfect casting of Kate as Kevin from Home Alone, and she’s coming off fun as expected here.
- Thankfully, James is not annoying me here as I feared, having him stand there with the cast doing the heavy lifting should’ve been the way to use him tonight.
- Very fun, ensemble sketch which feels even more welcomed as a palate-cleanser to the horror from earlier tonight.
- I’m loving how different this premise, between this and Brain Force, where the hell were these concepts in the MISERABLE first half??!!
- surprisingly, James is pretty solid in his angry outburst here, reminding me of how much I enjoyed him in the Spelling Bee & Za sketches in his upcoming (and last) hosting stint in season 43.
- Some cheap laughs from the various things James’ disclosing throughout this, particularly his crapped pants bit which causes him to briefly break, yet thankfully he kept it together and continued the sketch (he would break, IIRC, in the aforementioned memorable Spelling Bee & Za sketches in his coming stint, but still kept it together).
- Not caring for the girls in the audience wildly screaming after James puts on his “cute” face here, it’s coming off more groanworthy than anything else.
- Great sketch overall, and it feel so refreshing with the previous Brain Force sketch in contrast to the dullness and dead feel of the sketches from the first half.
Musical Performance – “Only” / “All Things Go”
- Jesse Nathan: Mixed feelings on this being the second song she performs.
- Nicki’s having a hard time self-censoring at the start.
- “Yeah, that was a setup for a punchline on duct tape.” (*cricket noises*)
- The drums don’t mix well with this song.
- Nicki seems to be wearing the same outfit she wore in the video for this song.
- And now we get the pre-recorded chorus from Chris Brown. Maybe I should count my blessings that we don’t get to see the real Chris Brown. (*shudder*)
- Wow, even when he’s not appearing in person, I still feel the need to punch Chris Brown, just like how he repeatedly punched Rihanna in the face back in 2009 (Sorry, that was in poor taste).
- I kinda like how Nicki is hyping up the audience.
- Nicki: “Can I get real wit’ y’all tonight?” Not really.
- Boy, these are pretty lame lyrics at the start.
- I’m not finding myself caring for this second song.
- The backing vocals fell pretty flat.
- Okay rapping from Nicki.
- And now she resorts to pre-taped vocals? Why couldn’t she just perform them live?
- Wait, is THAT why she couldn’t do them live? If so, then it’s still pointless.
- Well, at least it’s over.
- I recall this sketch starting out great in its first few segments, and then slowly dying by each passing sketch.
- NOT caring the various mispronunciations at the beginning of this, and there’s no standout absurdly hilarious lines for me to quote so far.
- I’m sensing more and more of an unlikable, arrogant, creepy demeanor from James throughout tonight’s episode, and the way he’s presenting himself in this sketch is making me shudder.
- Blaah at the part where Seth & James keep taking over this sketch, they’re nowhere near as charismatic or fun as Ben Affleck or Jamie Foxx when they were featured in previous installments of this once-fantastic sketch.
- Yup, this Franco/Rogen section here is doing NOTHING for me, and both are absolutely derailing the comedic potential of this sketch.
- Weak ending, befitting this episode.
Cut For Time: 100 Greatest Guys
- A fun-seeming premise.
- Bobby is very funny here, and this is a spot-on imitation of the typical shows on channels like this.
- James is serviceable, and actually coming off far better than in the whole aired episode.
- Hilarious how they cut Vanessa’s part in this.
- Weird ending, although I did enjoy Taran’s delivery at the end.
- This segment was FAR better than almost the entire aired episode, this should’ve definitely replaced the horrid, ageist Star Wars tripe.
Cut For Time: Susan Boyle’s Boyfriend
- Hilarious makeup job on Kate, and a surprisingly good Scottish accent from her.
- Good laugh from Kate’s eyebrows line.
- Love the audience groans after James’ carpet matches the drape line.
- Cheap laugh from Kate’s father being named Hagrid.
- Beside some stereotypical humor scattered throughout this sketch, Kate’s natural charisma and likability helped it sail through, and managed to elevate the material. I would’ve replaced six sketches that aired with this one
Cut For Time: Rise And Smile St. Louis
- Ah, yes. HERE WE GO!!!
- Already a laugh from Cecily & Kenan’s nervous demeanor at the beginning.
- Huge laugh after the theme song ends, and Cecily & Kenan are great here with their despair and scared attitude, both are PERFECTLY selling the premise of this sketch.
- Guilty laughs from ”Superior race” and ”blackeys”.
- Leslie’s scene actually gave a good laugh, a good usage of her energy.
- This sketch is a perfect example of how to do a piece were everything is falling apart around the main characters much like the classic morning show with Horatio & Julia Louis-Dreyfus in season 31. And the legendary Wake Up and Smile! which is my absolute favorite sketch in SNL history.
- Kenan: ”Use the whole damn egg!”
- James’ fine here, and once again coming off far better than how lousy and arrogant he was in the live show.
- Loved Cecily’s “Please stop talking egg man”.
- A great, great ending.
- Overall, this was as brilliant & hilariously dark as I recall it being. A true hidden masterpiece. How this sketch got cut while the miserable live sketches in the entire first half were allowed to air, I’ll never ever know.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
CFT: Rise And Smile St. Louis
CFT: 100 Greatest Guys
CFT: Susan Boyle’s Boyfriend
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Peter Pan Live!
- Simply awful. One of the worst episodes that I reviewed since I covered the roughest episodes from season 46. The first half of this episode, aside from an average cold open and the fantastic Grow-A-Guy, was downright unwatchable, with one painful dud after another and seemingly getting only worse and worse culminating in the notorious Magic Bridge sketch. I was made increasingly miserable in that half of the episode as I struggled throughout the review as evident by my many frustrated comments, and while the quality improved with Update and most of the second half, the episode never fully took off. All of that gets an ooof rating from me.
- Thankfully, the upcoming hosting stint is Franco’s fourth & last. I do recall it being surprisingly strong, consistent, creative, and with many original & premise-driven sketches. And IIRC, I recalled it being my favorite of that entire season when it ended, I do hope it lives up to my memory of it when I eventually review it.
- (*sighs of relief*) Martin Freeman hosts with musical guest Charli XCX.