December 20, 2014 – Amy Adams / One Direction (S40 E10) 

Cold Opening – A very Somber Christmas With Sam Smith / Dr. Evil Address

  • Very funny Sam Smith impression from Taran as always.
  • Damn, some good vocals from Taran.
  • Ah, and here comes the real opening with MIKE MEYERS! Freakin awesome!
  • Ah, Mike still got it as Dr. Evil.
  • I’m loving the premise of this cold open, with Mike’s Dr. Evil mocking North Korea & Sony.
  • Love Mike’s Dr. Evil dig at the GOP.
  • Great self-deprecating line from Mike regarding his own career with the mention of his disastrous flop The Love Guru. Mike’s been showing good aport whenever he cameos on SNL.
  • Solid cold open overall, surprised it’s over already.

Rating: ***1/2


  • OH NO. I’m not very pleased with this turning into ANOTHER non-comedic, dull musical monologue for the billionith time in this half ALONE.
  • OH FUCKING NO. A Kristen Wiig cameo!
  • Ok, when Kristen “interrupted” Bill Hader’s monologue earlier in the season it kinda made sense because of the movie Bill was promoting, and of course their tenure together. But THIS?! Why SNL, WHY?!
  • For fuck’s sake SNL! This is the THIRD Kristen Wiig this calendar year ALONE! Learn to cut the cord with her already!!
  • OHH GOD!! This musical number, which heavily features Wiig in her worst muggy, “Look at me!”, self-indulgent shtick is BRUTAL FUCKING TORTURE to sit through!
  • Blaah! Now they’re having cast members return from earlier to cheesily dance & sing along. Just end this already SNL!

Rating: ** (being merciful)

Asian American Doll

  • A spiritual successor the to the incredible The Dudleys piece, also written by the brilliant Kelly/Schneider team.
  • (*sigh*) Vanessa in her first & ONLY appearance all night, and in just a pretaped segment. Another sign of how poorly utilized she will constantly be this season, and knowing a particularly wretched, demeaning sketch that she’ll star in by next episode, I feel even more saddened for her.
  •  Cecily, in a kind manner, towards the little girl asking many questions about the Asian American Doll: “You ask a lot of questions. You should go play outside”, a very well-delivered, hilarious line from Cecily, and accompanied with a great shot of Vanessa guiding the little girl to play outside.
  • Lots of big laughs from the various disclaimers delivered impeccably by Cecily in this.
  • Another huge laugh with Vanessa being cut off when she struggles to come up with a non-offensive phrase that the Asian American Doll can say when you pull her string.
  • Man, the hits keep on coming! As we got another freaking priceless moment, when the little girl wonders about the chef hat and the dog accessories, with the girl thinking that the chef’s hat is for the Asian American Doll to eat the dog, because she’s Asian. This hilarious bit causes Cecily to go into full panic mode and for Vanessa to hurriedly & nervously storm out of the room.
  • Overall, an SNL masterpiece, and yet another sharp, fantastic, and brilliant satirical piece from this new era. I heard people debating which one is better, The Dudleys or Asian American Doll? Well, both are outstanding, yet I would slightly lean towards The Dudleys. However, both deserve to have the same perfect rating, and trust me, if I can give them a higher rating, I would.

Rating: *****

Tenderfield Christmas 2014

  • An interesting presentation to this sketch.
  • A good guilty laugh from the first dark reveal.
  • Boy, Kate’s mugging up a storm in her scene with Amy.
  • Yup, this sketch seems to be going through the one-joke route, but the execution of the premise is coming off tedious so far an dull. You can have, as I said before, a one-joke premise that works with the proper escalation, but this one is NOT working at all for me.
  • A weak, flat ending.

Rating: **1/2


  • Here comes another short that I’ve always absolutely loved from this season, a favorite of mine.
  • Cecily’s been having a strong night so far, between Asian American Doll, this fantastic short, and the upcoming gem A Magical Christmas, this episode kinda serves to show us how damn valuable Cecily is when used properly. A shame how her tenure turned out to be in the long run.
  • A fantastic Sarah Koenig impression from Cecily, reminding me once again of her part in the excellent The Poddys sketch from Liev Schriber’s season 44 episode.
  • Loving the absurdist details of elves being a recognized minority in the United States, and Cecily’s excellent delivery is elevating the already-fantastic material even further.
  • Such a perfect conceit for this Serial parody, and the Christmas setting, the subtle escalation, and performances are elevating this strong piece even more.
  • Surprisingly, Kyle’s doing a great Adnan Syed impression too.
  • This is so well-directed & performed so far, the atmosphere of this short is nothing short of incredible.
  • Big laughs from the scene when Kate & Cecily build a sleigh, and being dumbfounded that the horse won’t even fly.
  • I could rave about this short more and more, but it will basically take over this whole review, man am I loving this!
  • Ah, Aidy’s stealing this whole short with her hilarious scene with Jay’s character in trial.
  • Overall, yet ANOTHER SNL masterpiece from this era, this season is killing it so far with these pieces on almost weekly basis.
  • I remember not being familiar with the real Serial podcast back when this short originally aired, but it didn’t matter to me back then. Real writers who parody elements of pop culture don’t need the audience to be familiar with the source in order to make it funny. You would be amazed of how many classic SNL sketches that parodied either soaps or classic sitcoms that I absolutely LOVE back in the day, such as the fantastic Twilight Zone parody from the season 4 Rick Nelson episode. That one had multiple classic sitcoms in it with a Twilight Zone-esque twist to it, and I absolutely loved it without being familiar with the parodied shows, because you know, they had actual jokes that do not rely on people knowing what’s being parodied.

Rating: *****

Girlfriends Talk Show

  • Like I said in my review of the final Poetry Class sketch, this is the penultimate installment of this recurring sketch, and it feels so JARRING for it to make an appearance halfway through this season, a season that’s been so refreshing & creative.
  • Yup, so far it’s still the usual by-the-numbers structure to these sketches. At least, Aidy’s line deliveries are still on-point here.
  • Ugh, cue the teen girls screaming as the One Direction boys enter this sketch.
  • Blaah at Cecily’s obligatory crazy boyfriend stories in this recurring sketch, so BORING.
  • Thankfully, the next one is the final sketch, I’ve never liked these sketches in the first place.

Rating: **

Office Christmas Party

  • Our first of MANY Pete Raps! shorts, I do recall these becoming regular around season 43 IIRC.
  • This feel like Lonely Island lite so far, without the creativity, originality, or fun.
  • The song isn’t catchy at all, and I’m not caring for the various visuals in this, despite the always-good direction from SNL’s film department.
  • Like I said in my review so far, this is BORING me to death, and it’s not bad per se, just frustratingly dull & flat.
  • Meh so far, yet I do recall enjoying another short similar to this one in the J.K. Simmons later in the season.
  • (*sigh*) Next please.

Rating: **1/2

Musical Performance – “Night Changes”

  • Jesse Nathan: Boy, Amy looks great in her introduction–oh, I’m sorry, that was a little uncalled for.
  • As expected, the audience is going crazy for One Direction.
  • Geez, the sound engineers really fucked up Zayn’s vocals.
  • Well, at least this performance will help me know who’s singing which part, as their voices tend to be indistinguishable whenever I hear their songs.
  • Why is Liam wearing a hella big earpiece?
  • Ah, it feels nice to talk about Harry Styles again, after how much I enjoyed him in his Season 45 hosting stint.
  • I like the chorus.
  • Why is the camera on Harry’s face for too long?
  • Nice to see Harry signal the sound people to turn up Louis’ mic.
  • Louis doesn’t sound too good here. In fact, his voice fell kinda flat.
  • Speaking of falling flat, their attempts at harmonizing are falling flat.
  • Wow, everyone’s vocals are starting to fall flat now.
  • This is more of a minor observation, but I can’t help but notice that Zayn’s earpiece almost resembles the Italian flag. I say “almost” because the middle color is yellow instead of white.
  • Harry’s vocals are standing out from everyone else.

Rating: ***

Weekend Update

  • I’m loving Michael’s direct message towards Kim Jong-Un, particularly calling him Kimberly. Michael has been on fire so far into his tenure as an Update anchor and improved drastically in such a short time.
  • A big laugh to the end of Bobby’s Kim Jong-Un commentary with the whole sniper bit, and I liked Bobby claiming to be Seth Rogen.
  • YES! The debut of Willie! Ladies and Gentleman we have a major recurring character debut!
  • And yes, I borrowed Stooge’s catchphrase, and I’m sure he’ll be okay with that.
  • Already, kenan is coming off fantastic as this character, and I don’t if I said it before, but this has been rather a solid year for Kenan so far, between his memorable Sump’n Claus pretape in last episode and now the debut of Willie, he’s slowly reaching the legendary status we all now recognize him as such.
  • So many big guilty laughs from Willie’s stories being delivered by Kenan’s trademark jolly, joyful, charismatic manner.
  • A solid debut for Willie, but I recall some of his later Update appearances being even stronger.
  • A good laugh from Colin’s condom law joke, and I kinda feel bad for laughing at this one.
  • OH MOTHERFUCKING NO! The return of Garth & Kat.
  • UGHHHH!!!! This inside-joke, self-indulgent, giggly commentary between Fred & Kristen is FUCKING TORTURE to sit through!
  • Also, why the FUCK are Fred & Kristen in this episode in the first place?! WTF Lorne?! Why do you have such a hard-on for the medicore 2005-2013 years so fucking much, by bringing in THE bane of that era’s 2nd half in this episode?
  • It’s been about 3,474 years now and THIS Garth & Kat commentary is STILL going on and on and on and on….

Rating: **1/2 (the overlong, torturous, seemingly non-ending Garth & Kat commentary made me dock a FULL star from an otherwise solid Update)

A very Cuban Christmas

  • A very flimsy & boring premise to base an entire sketch on.
  • Taran is no Mikey Day when it comes to impersonating Pitbull.
  • Cecily singing?! Well, THIS certainly spells doom.
  • Kyle’s Tony Montana impression is HORRIBLE.
  • Not caring for anything in this sketch so far.
  • Rising SNL superstar Kate McKinnon gave my first & most likely only laughs in this sketch with her delivery of her lines, particularly “Ninety miles of open ocean you little bitch!”
  • This sketch is boring me to death with its overt lameness, when will this seemingly never ending tripe conclude?
  • OH FUCKING NO. Here comes motherfucking Fred Armisen in the flesh to basically take over this already-lame sketch. Yup this sketch hit rock bottom for me.
  • Geez! Poor Beck barely appeared in tonight’s episode, which is rare for him as he’s been having a pretty solid season so far.
  • This Castro/Obama scene is extremely boring, and going on for fucking FOREVER.
  • This terrible sketch died a miserable death toward the end, if that’s even possible.

Rating: *1/2

Musical Performance – “Ready to Run”

  • Jesse Nathan: Once again, Amy looks great. Yes, of course I find her attractive, why you ask?
  • Oof, we already get bad mixing.
  • I like this opening verse, but once again, the sound mixing is making this worse.
  • Like the first song, I like the chorus.
  • The guitar and drums sound great.
  • It kinda bothers me that the second verse would alternate between the members, but that’s just me.
  • Zayn’s long note that he held actually kinda worked.
  • I barely had anything to say there, but it was decent.

Rating: ***

A Magical Christmas

  • Here comes a favorite of mine from this season.
  • This sketch has always been amongst my favorite Anderlette sketches, due to the fun, creative premise, and the warm, feel-good atmosphere that surrounds the sketch. I do recall loving the Restaurant Complaint sketch in the season 43 Chadwick Boseman episode for the same exact reasons, and I hope to enjoy it when I eventually review it.
  • Right out of the gate, we’re noticing that there’s something wrong with our three leading ladies, yet at the end we will know why.
  • With the previous Martin Freeman episode, and now this one, Bobby & Kyle are a surprisingly solid duo in sketches. I would’ve loved to see them more together.
  • Some very catchy songs that are well-performed by Amy (one of her better usages tonight), Cecily, and Kate. I, also love how warm this sketch feels, a contrast to the dullness of large sections of this episode.
  • Some solid laughs from all the weird things that the ladies are demanding, I especially enjoyed the moment where Bobby finds out the garbage in the handbag.
  • A great ending & fantastic reveal of the three ladies being raccoons, and I absolutely love the visual of the three of them singing that catchy melody from earlier in the sketch. This should’ve been our 10-to-1, as it would’ve been a great, fun way to end tonight’s otherwise lackluster show.

Rating: ****1/2

Whiskers R’ We

  • Geez! was half this fucking episode written by James Anderson & Kent Sublette??!!
  • I generally enjoyed these sketches in the past, even when I recognize that they’re nothing special outside of Kate’s strong characterization.
  • I guess, as a cat lover, I should enjoy looking at the adorable kittens in this, but they won’t distract me from the shaky writing that plague this sketch & THIS episode as a whole.
  • Solid line deliveries from Kate as always; but the material, ONCE AGAIN tonight is boring me to death.
  • Believe it or not, I actually recall slightly enjoying some later installments of this sketch, it’s either me that’s being bored to death by this episode and thus, was too mean toward this particular installment, or it was as weak as I deemed right now to be.

Rating: **

Cut For Time: Christmas Romance

  • I recall this sketch going viral back when this episode originally aired.
  • So, a Love Actually parody? What’s this 2006? I do recall enjoying the one they did with Kate’s Hillary Clinton in season 42.
  • Pete is surprisingly solid here, and is coming off really well. His facial expressions in particular are providing me with good laughs.
  • Overall, for a basic Love Actually parody, this worked rather well for me, this sketch should’ve replaced at least half of what aired tonight.

Rating: ***1/2

Cut For Time: Soldiers Of The Nativity Battle Force

  • A hilarious premise, especially for the Christmas episode.
  • I’m getting good laughs from the 80s/90s aesthetic to the dolls, this HAS to be a Kyle & Beck-written sketch, as we all know they have a great nostalgia toward their childhood/teen years.
  • The kids here are doing a solid job in imitating the typical kids in these types of commercials.
  • Funny bit with Jesus not having blasters.
  • An overall fun, creative, and silly Christmas commercial. I would’ve loved it to replace one of the live sketches, as the pretapes that got on air were particularly phenomenal.

Rating: ***1/2

Segments Ranked From Best to Worst

Asian American Doll


A Magical Christmas

A very Somber Christmas With Sam Smith / Dr. Evil Address

CFT: Soldiers of the Nativity Battle Force

CFT: Christmas Romance

Weekend Update

Tenderfield Christmas 2014

Christmas Party

Whiskers R’ We

Girlfriends Game Night


A Very Cuban Christmas

Final Thoughts:-

  • While the three fantastic segments will give this episode a very nice boost in the average, this was an overall subpar Christmas episode & has NOTHING on the previous fantastic Martin Freeman episode. Almost the majority of the episode barely rose above a middling rating, and was rather frustratingly boring and formulaic, aside from only four segments that aired, leaving aside the solid cut sketches. And the less said of Kristen & Fred basically taking over with their insufferable, self-indulgnet, tired shtick, the better.
  • We’re halfway done through the season! Overall, this has been a good first half despite ending with a rather subpar Christmas show. The season has already established its feel effectively with the outstanding Woody Harrelson episode, and continued to solidify itself with Martin Freeman’s fantastic hosting stint, even the few flops in the first half are forgiven when we realize that this era is experimenting and trying to establish itself properly. And, IIRC, the second half of the season, aside from four mediocre-to-average episode is otherwise FANTASTIC.

Up Next:-

  • Kevin Hart hosts with musical guest Sia.

12 Replies to “December 20, 2014 – Amy Adams / One Direction (S40 E10) ”

  1. “Real writers who parody elements of pop culture don’t need audience to be familiar with the source in order to make it funny” Agreed. One good example of this for me is the Homeland sketch from the Season 38 Anne Hathaway episode. I don’t watch that show, and probably never will, but Anne’s performance in that sketch slays me and really puts it over the top. Why couldn’t the current writing staff learn this for the Kim Kardashian episode?

    “And yes, I borrowed Stooge’s catchphrase, and I’m sure he’ll be okay with that.” I’m at least 90% sure he is. Hell, I use some of his phrases all the time. Not only that, but you seem perfectly fine with using phrases I use heavily, as evidenced by this:

    “Well, THIS certainly spells doom.”

    Ha, I love that line. Never gets old.

    That whole Garth & Kat spiel was way funnier than it had any right to be. I don’t know what it is, but deep down, there’s a dark part of me that loves seeing you suffer in pain, especially when it comes to Fred and Kristen. For these reasons (well, not Fred and Kristen), it’ll be an absolute blast when you get to the Season 41 Donald Trump episode (*shudder*). I particularly love this line: “Why do you have such a hard-on for the mediocre 2005-2013 years so fucking much…” I think just the use of the word “hard-on” was what made it funny to me.

    “Overall, this has been a good first half” Yeah, about that, uh…well, let’s just look at the averages:
    Pratt – 5.3
    Silverman – 6.2
    Hader – 6.4
    Carrey – 7.2
    Rock – 5.3
    Harrelson – 8.4
    Diaz – 6.0
    Franco – 4.8
    Freeman – 8.0
    Adams – 6.0

    Overall average (so far): 6.4

    1. Glad you’ve been enjoying these reviews Jesse, happy to see you having an absolute blast in my pain & misery (*sniff*). Kidding, but I know that feeling, as Stooge’s rants were hilarious to read back in the days when he reviewed SNL. Don’t worry regarding Donald Trump’s episode (*shudder*), I’ll have A LOT to say about it when I reach it eventually, which will possibly happen sooner than both of us think. Don’t be shocked if I start reviewing season 41 as season 47 returns for the May shows, and Trump’s episode (*shudder*) is amongst the first ones that I’ll have to endure. Finally, the average overall is still decent! It’s certainly FAR better than season 46 around the same time, and knowing the high quality episodes in the second half, I won’t be surprised if the overall average reaches a 6.6-6.8 average, as some weaker episodes will sadly hurt this overall pretty strong season. Thanks again for the comments & the calculations!

      1. “Don’t be shocked if I start reviewing season 41 as season 47 returns for the May shows” Well, then I might have to get started on those performance reviews soon. Actually, now that I think about it, I’m not entirely sure if I should do that, because even though I’ve enjoyed writing them and you’ve enjoyed reading them, I recall you saying that you would let me continue to write them “if the fans enjoy it”, and so far, I don’t know if they have. However, don’t expect me to write reviews for 44 and every episode of 43 after David.

        1. Hey! I absolutely enjoy reading them Jesse! And I’m sure the readers too! If you do not want to continue doing them, then it’s fine, but it will make my reviews feel hollow to me. Your work is greatly appreciated, your generous calculations & opinions. Don’t worry!

          1. “If you do not want to continue doing them, then it’s fine” Oh, I do, I really do. It’s just a concern of finding the right time. Plus, I recall a lot of the songs being performed in Season 41 boring me to death, which isn’t surprising, as I feel the era in which that season aired is also the moment when mainstream music took a decline. In fact, I don’t even know which musical guest to look forward to that season. However, I am looking forward to eventually covering Bruno Mars’ performance of “24K Magic”, due to me absolutely LOVING the way it starts. And I’m also somewhat looking forward to covering Katy Perry’s two performances, as I recall those being BRUTAL FUCKING TORTURE to sit through. Either way, something should be good.

          2. I recall enjoying The Weekend, Disclosure, Chance the Rapper, Kanye West, and Margo Price from S41. This season, aside from Prince & Kendrick Lamar, I loved D’Angelo, Alabama Shakes, and Carly Rae Jepsen in the second half. Either way, it will be a blast reading your reviews in the coning seasons after this!

  2. Serial ****
    Office Christmas Party ****½

    It’s ok Jesse shes beautiful

    “And yes, I borrowed Stooge’s catchphrase, and I’m sure he’ll be okay with that”. I dont have anything to say just wanted to let you know I thought that line was funny

    A Magical Christmas *** (yet another sketch I’m not at all surprised you REALLY enjoy)
    CFT: Christmas Romance ****

  3. I’m on Twitter now. Here’s my profile:

    It needs a little work, but this’ll hopefully get more people to visit my site. Granted, I have a pretty large following, but deep down, there’s a part of me that feels jealous of you getting praise from John, while my reviews have gone unnoticed by those guys. Either way, I hope this turns out good.

    1. Followed you immediately! Well, it’s not only the great John that happens to enjoy these reviews, I won’t tell you the reception that these reviews are getting by some SNL reviewing legends, it will only make you more jealous (*smiles mischievously*). It will be great you hear your thoughts on the show outside of the blog, and the community there is pretty great.

  4. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this,
    like you wrote the book in it or something. I think
    that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a bit,
    but other than that, this is fantastic blog. A great read. I’ll
    certainly be back.

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