Cold Opening – Martin Luther King
- A variation of an open from two seasons prior where Kenan’s MLK visits President Obama.
- It’s weird that Kenan’s MLK is not familiar with Obama in this open, where he visited him in an open just TWO SEASONS AGO. And, I know this is SNL, and not some serious dramatic work, but why is he familiar here with 90s figures like the Wu-Tang Clan, and seems lost when Obama & Macklemore are mentioned??? Why bring up this part in this open SNL for no good reason?
- Ok, back to the open. Pete, once again, is surprisingly coming off good here, and I’m enjoying the creative premise of this open. This season, in general, aside from few shaky opens early on, has done a surprisingly good job with their cold opens, something modern SNL should learn how to do.
- Good laughs from Kenan’s MLK optimistically believing that Selma received lots of Oscar nominations.
- A good, well-written (mostly) cold open.
- I love Kevin’s energy at the beginning of the monologue.
- Some decent laughs from Kevin’s raccoons story, which is bringing me some good memories of first watching the fantastic A Magical Christmas sketch, which I enjoyed reviewing yesterday.
- The material here, while fun, is not Kevin’s best, yet like usual, he sells it with his energy and delivery.
- Ok, the part with his son is fairly funny, yet it reminds me of how notorious his next SNL monologue will be in the Christmas episode of season 43 (and somehow it wasn’t even the worst part in that episode). It will be interesting to see how I’ll react to it when I eventually review the episode.
- A pretty good & fun stand-up monologue as expected.
Calvin Klein Jeans
- A good usage of Kate’s Bieber impression. And this pretape is pretty well-directed & the quick edits add to the humor.
- Cecily’s pretty solid straight man here, and is selling her frustration & annoyance very well.
Why’d You Post That?
- Here comes the sketch I mentioned in my review of the Jake Gyllenhaal episode.
- Yikes at the technical gaffe at the beginning of this with the screen next to Kevin failing to show Vanessa’s photo, leading to PAINFUL moments of dead air and awkward ad-libbing, Kevin’s doing well in his ad-lib, but poor Vanessa, she looks so lost and kinda scared. I feel terrible for her.
- Kevin is doing a solid job in his role, but his questioning of Vanessa is not as funny as it could’ve been, and it has a subtle mean-spirited vibes.
- Cecily looks hilarious in her photo.
- Aside from some funny parts toward the end of this sketch, after the painfully awkward beginning that is, the whole sketch didn’t live up to its promising concept.
Bushwick, Brooklyn 2015
- A famous & highly-acclaimed short from this season.
- Like several other great shorts before it this season, and several others coming soon, this is a piece of brilliant, sharp satire and commentary. A memorable, strong commentary on the gentrification of urban neighborhoods
- Solid & realistic acting from Kevin, Kenan, and Jay at the beginning of this short.
- A great cutaway to a Martha’s Mayonnaise shop in this urban neighborhood.
- I love the memorable cutaway with Kevin wearing a red sweater with his two dogs wearing he same matching sweaters. Every single time I see this bit it just makes me laugh out loud.
- Jay’s painting scene is making me laugh, especially with him drinking wine.
- I’m enjoying the various white hipster actions being committed by committed by Kevin, Kenan, and Jay throughout this, a joke machine of a short in my view.
- Overall, yet ANOTHER standout, brilliant, hilarious and sharp short from this new SNL era.
Get On Up
- Hoo boy, a band sketch, and this one is reminding me that I’m getting closer and closer to the episode hosted by… uh… ohhh…. ooof. A guy that’s basically a black hole of comedic antimatter. And with his episode being quite possibly the ultimate NADIR in SNL history. I bet you NOW know the guy that I’m speaking of, ha?
- Back to the sketch, Kevin is perfectly cast as James Brown and his energy is shining through this sketch.
- Beck & Taran are stealing this sketch for me with their hilarious expressions & dancing in the background.
- As a non-soap opera guy (sorry John), I’m worried that this sketch will go over my head, then again I LOVED the fantastic The Sands of Modesto sketch in season 45 & enjoyed the All My Children parody in Alec Bladwin’s season 37 episode. So, I hope I enjoy this one too.
- REALLY?! Having Farting noises as Venessa enters the scene?! How old is the writer(s) of this sketch?! How did this get past the table read?!
- I recall an online SNL fan (possibly SNL reviewing legend Bronwyn Douwsma), singling out this sketch & others where Vanessa basically sits there in thankless roles reacting to wackiness in mad libs sketches (like Gemma) as prime examples of how disrespected & underutilized she was in this season. And I couldn’t agree more.
- Not caring for anything so far in this sketch.
- I feel so bad for Vanessa here, it’s so pathetic seeing her being humiliated by participating in this tripe of a sketch. This is not only an unfunny sketch, but a one that actually demeans its performers. It kinda reminds me of a certain upcoming extremely notorious sketch with Kenan, where he basically drops character BEFORE GOING TO COMMERCIAL in what it feels like him acknowledging how insulting it was for him to perform the sketch that he just finished. But we’ll get to that sketch in-depth when we reach it.
- Boy, this sketch is somehow getting EVEN WORSE as it goes along, why do I not remember this sketch as this bad?!
- This feels like its dragging on forever!! Just end this sketch now, SNL!
- Overall, this has to be amongst the worst SNL sketches that I’ve ever seen.
Calvin Klein Jeans
- Again, some solid laughs from the various visuals, and Kate’s coming off hilarious as Bieber.
- Love the part where Cecily is raising Kate’s Bieber with her own legs, never realized how tiny Kate is compared to Cecily.
Musical Performance – “Elastic Heart”
- Jesse Nathan: Certainly an interesting novelty to review a musical guest who likes to keep her face hidden.
- Decent intro.
- And of course, we get two dancers who resemble the girl in the video for “Chandelier”.
- Uh…wow, these two dancers are really going all out. Can’t say for sure I’m enjoying their dancing, though.
- Well, at least Sia’s vocals are audible, for the most part.
- Decent hook, but not as good as the one we’ll see in the next song.
- Why are the dancers mouthing the lyrics now?
- Yeah, the more this goes on, the less I’m caring for the crazy moves from the dancers.
- And now the male dancer starts fake-crying. Can’t say I’m into it.
- Man, I’m loving Michael’s stand-up style rant regarding the lack of nominations for people of color, he’s been killing it on almost weekly basis with these segments.
- Ah, the debut of Kate’s Mrs. Santini character, one of the MANY great things that I recall absolutely loving from Kate back when this season originally aired.
- Some good laugh from Kate’s commentary, elevated by her always-reliable delivery. I especially enjoyed the ways she calls her fellow attendants, and the disturbing-yet-funny animal skeletons story.
- Cheap easy laugh from Colin’s Rhode Island joke, I kinda feel guilty for laughing as much as I did.
- A short, yet solid Update, and I think this is the first one in the Che/Jost era to not end with a guest commentary.
- Uh-oh, this sketch, from the looks of it , has the potential of being a pretty rough one.
- So, this sketch is taking the route of the classic West Side Story sketch with Norm from season 22.
- Ok, Kevin is doing some different things and not just emulating Norm in the aforementioned classic.
- Just got my first laugh in this sketch from Taran’s very low-pitched, stretched-out singing during his solo.
- Much like most Anderlette sketches, and IIRC, I heard they also wrote the horrible Nancy sketch earlier in the episode, this feels very low-energy, dead, and most importantly very dull.
- Man, Kevin is REALLY trying hard to save this sketch, as he succeeded with saving some in his first hosting stint, but it ain’t working at all.
- HOO BOY, as soon as Leslie entered the sketch, I immediately remembered a particularly notorious SNL sketch from Kevin’s aforementioned next hosting stint. You bet I’ll have A LOT to say when I reach that sketch (you ALL now which one).
- Jay’s Kevin Hart impression really improved over how it sounded in the past.
- Jay’s doing a solid job acting just like Kevin here, and Leslie is surprisingly coming off well here.
- Some good laughs from the massive size difference between Leslie & Kevin.
- A weak ending, that hurt an otherwise fun, harmless sketch.
Musical Performance – “Chandelier”
- Blood Meridian: Ah, it feels so good to hear this song again, after I recently covered the legendary Office Costume Contest sketch.
- Jesse Nathan: Why is this song being performed as a piano ballad?
- More importantly, what exactly is a mime doing here?
- I’m getting some unintentional chuckles from the mime’s passionate facial expressions.
- Nice addition of strings.
- The mime’s movements are working far better for me than the dancers in the last performance.
- Why does Sia seem to be mush-mouthing some of the lyrics?
- I’ll admit: the structure of this song has always put me off a little bit. This post-chorus really should’ve been saved for the second chorus, then they should’ve added a third chorus after the actual outro, and then the post-chorus again. Just saying.
- Uh…shouldn’t the mime keep his mouth shut? That kinda ruins the point of being a mime.
- I like how the strings are building up more and more as the second chorus goes on.
- This overall performance was better than the last one.
- Huge laughs from Kevin as he starts rapping, I love the part with him yelling ”GUNSHOT SOUNDS! BOP!” And it always stuck with me from this episode.
- A good laugh from Beck’s lipstick reveal.
- I like the fake-out with the song supposedly being over.
- Ok, I didn’t need the funny gunshot shots to be overdone here.
- A weak, questionable ending.
- And by the way, why in the world were Cecily & Taran in this sketch without uttering a SINGLE word during its entirety? Then, why have them in the very first place?? Was this sketch trimmed before air?
Cut For Time: Comedy Club
- It’s been ages since I last saw this short, it will be interesting to revisit it.
- Great to see Kyle‘s Bruce Chandling outside of Update, this is a perfect setting for a short revolving around him.
- Beck steals this entire short with the quick hilarious cutaway to him.
- Strong dramatic turn, and Kyle’s Bruce always gets me whenever gets depressed. He honestly made me nearly choke up here.
- A great ending with Kyle’s idea being made into a TV show.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
Bushwick, Brooklyn 2015
CFT: Comedy Club
Calvin Klein Jeans 1-2
Martin Luther King
Get on Up
Why’d You Post That?
- Our second consecutive average episode, while I gave the majority of this episode good ratings, barely anything stood to me as above average outside of the monologue, Calvin Klein Jeans, Weekend Update, Kyle’s CFT piece, and the memorable Bushwick, Brooklyn 2015 pretape. While the rest got average or slightly above average ratings. And what was bad in this episode? Ooof. The Journey sketch, and that unbelievably horrible soap opera sketch that HAS to be a new entry into my list of the worst sketches in SNL history.
- Kevin Hart, was like last time, an energetic and fun host, but was not used properly, while his first stint was overall ok, his second is average, and the third? Well, I recall it being WRETCHED.
- I recall with the Blake Shelton episode, and minus the miserable Dakota Johnson stint, we’ll be having a streak of episodes ranging from pretty good to absolutely phenomenal till the last two episodes before the great season finale, I hope my memory serves me right as I review the remaining ten episodes of this season. If so, I’ll be having even more of a blast than the one I’m already having.
- Blake Shelton pulls double duty hosting stint.
7 Replies to “January 17, 2015 – Kevin Hart / Sia (S40 E11) ”
Cold Open **½
Calvin Klein Jeans ****
Bushwick, Brooklyn 2015 ****½
Kevin Hart’s Son ***½
Listening Party ****
“seems lost when Obama & Macklemore are mentioned???” It’s kinda funny that Macklemore is mentioned in this review, seeing as how he was the musical guest last time Kevin Hart hosted.
While I’m not a huge fan of Kevin Hart, I don’t dislike him, and in all honesty…I kinda prefer Chris Rock. I haven’t actually seen any of his episodes, but his Season 38 stint has the Z-Shirts two-parter, which is a favorite of mine, and one that I fell in love with last year after reading about it in Stooge’s review last year.
“this one is reminding me that I’m getting closer and closer to the episode hosted by… uh… ohhh…. ooof.” As one commenter on Stooge’s site mentioned (can’t remember which one), both of those episodes have Sia as the musical guest.
And as always, 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
Hart – 5.9
Overall average (so far): 6.3
This is a rather stupid question, but earlier today, I was watching The SNL Network’s livestream about the Lizzo episode, and I saw some of your comments on the chat reply. So, with that said…are you in any way on YouTube?
No I don’t have an established YouTube channel, only here & on Twitter. Thanks as always for calculating the averages.
Will you be doing 41-43 and finish 44 and 45
You have a very good blog, I hope you can continue well. Thanks a lot!