Cold opening – The Southern Republican Leadership Conference!
- MEH, a lazy & blatant variation of the Coachella cold open from the previous season.
- Similar to Bobby’s Cruz, I didn’t know that Kenan played Ben Carson for a while, he certainly doesn’t look the part, and knowing Jay’s definitive and hilarious take on the impression next season, it’s easy for me to understand why I do not remember Kenan’s version.
- I’m getting some good laughs (one of few in this open) from Bobby’s Ted Cruz, certainly a better version than whatever the hell Taran went for next season.
- Taran’s Marco Rubio is always good for laughs, and I still remember Taran’s priceless Update commentary as Rubio, one of Taran’s finest moments in the cast.
- Despite the fun atmosphere, this cold open had NOTHING else going for it, and I’ll only grade it the way I will for the fun energy brought by the cast here, as there’s no point to be made by this open as far as I know.
- Ah, I’ve always personally absolutely loved this monologue in the past, and considered it an absolutely blast. I cannot wait to revisit it for the first time in years.
- A very charming & sweet idea for a monologue featuring the host, the cast, and their real-life mothers for the show’s Mother’s Day episode.
- Aside from our two Update anchors of course, and Taran & Leslie, because IIRC both of their mothers sadly passed away years ago, I love how we’re seeing the cast & the host interact and apologize to their mothers on Mother’s Day, a great and fun idea for such a special monologue.
- Sweet moment with Cecily & her mom.
- Jay’s mom kinda looks like Ellen Cleghorne.
- A huge laugh from Kate’s apology for re-enacting the shooting of Mary Jo Buttafuoco, and Kate’s mom own response that her weirdness is what brought her to SNL really put a big smile on my face.
- Vanessa’s mom looks a ton like her. And kinda reminds me of a certain actress yet I cannot recall whom.
- Ah, Kenan’s his usual lovable, funny self with his mom.
- Geez Pete sounds A LOT like me when he’s talking to his mom here, if anybody wonders how I sound, add in a hint of a weird English accent and you’re there.
- I LOVE the turn with the home videos, and it’s the one that makes this already-strong monologue somehow even better.
- Aww, Aidy’s whole childhood home movie is hilarious, and classic Aidy Bryant.
- Funny Vanessa scene, and knowing her Laura Parsons character, I get how she developed that character pre-SNL.
- Aww, a cute home video of Pete, and I’m assuming that the voice we’re hearing is that of his late dad.
- Kenan’s whole scene is great, and seeing Joshua Jackson here reminds me of how much I loved his season 25 episode.
- Kate’s whole bit excellent, and classic Kate McKinnon.
- Cecily’s “Where’s my cocaine” scene is freaking PRICELESS!
- Jay’s whole crying bit is absolutely adorable.
- Overall, what a freakin BLAST. This was the right mix of charm, fun, feel-good, and the idea of having both the home videos and cast members apologizing to their moms on stage makes this monologue a favorite of mine. An ALL-TIME high monologue in my view, and one this era’s finest.
Be Scene In L.A.
- Right from the start, this sketch is very Anderlette, with our obligatory gay stereotypes with Kenan & Jay. And with Cecily Strong in the co-lead role.
- That’s quite the look on Reese…
- Yup, strap in ladies and gentleman for Anderlette City 2.0. FOR THE SECOND CONSECUTIVE EPISODE IN A ROW.
- Blah at the very weak, boring, and frankly pathetic “comedic” conceit for this D.O.A. tripe.
- I’ll also have to ask: REALLY SNL? This is our lead-off sketch of the night?!
- NOT caring for Cecily’s desperate talk about depends. It’s just the typical juvenile and desperate Anderlette-written tripe.
- Very poor utilization of Reese’s talents.
- Aaaaaaand here we go with our obligatory fart of the sketch. A horrible staple of Anderlette-written sketches.
- (*sigh*) Just end this sketch already, SNL. I don’t want to waste my time and energy ranting about it.
- (*sigh*) I recall the writers behind this sketch getting busted for blatant plagiarism after this episode originally aired, which is a damn shame as I recall enjoying this sketch a lot. And the culprits of the aforementioned plagiarism are no other than Anderlette (geez between the horrid previous sketch and now THIS strong-but-plagirised sketch, and the several coming sketches later on, did Anderlette LITERALLY write the entire episode??!!).
- It feels so frustrating seeing this sketch as it’s performed, because I did like it a lot when this episode originally aired, and considered it the best live sketch of the whole night, and if it weren’t plagiarized, it would’ve gotten a pretty good rating from me.
- Bobby’s scared facial reaction when asked to draw the Prophet Muhammad is hilarious, and a part that always stuck with me.
- A solid ending. Such a shame that this strong, creative, and well-performed sketch was stolen. How in the world Anderlette weren’t terminated after getting busted for plagiarism TWICE in one season, I’ll never know.
Rating: * (for plagiarism) and if it wasn’t plagiarized it would’ve gotten a ****
- A very famous & controversial short from this season.
- Funny voice & characterization from Bobby.
- A strong, dark turn after initially mocking Mr. Westerberg, Beck’s revelation and performance is solid here.
- Some dark revelations from Beck throughout his imitation of Mr. Westerberg, and the reactions from his co-workers and their slow realization is making the darkness of this short work.
- Kenan & Reese’s straight man work here is pretty solid.
- Oh my god at Mr. Westerberg’s face at the end, you could tell he realized what was being said behind his back, and Bobby’s scary turn is bone chillingly terrifying.
- Such a great short overall, dark and daring in all the right ways. A great showcase from Bobby & Beck too, who helped sell the controversial conceit.
Musical Performance – “Ship to Wreck”
- Jesse Nathan: Cool intro.
- Not sure if I’m the first person to say this, but…goddamn, there are way too many members of The Machine.
- It’s worth mentioning that Florence does both of her performances barefoot on a stool. The reason for this is because she had recently hurt her foot at Coachella.
- Florence sounds great as always, to the point where I find myself puzzled that she was only 28 when this aired.
- Despite the fact that she’s putting her all into this, her vocals weren’t mixed properly.
- I love the guitar tone.
- I’ll be honest, a small part of me is pretty much jamming to this song and not entirely focusing on criticizing it.
- The chorus is kinda weak, as she’s just repeating “to wreck” over and over.
- I like Florence’s facial expressions.
- The pre-chorus to the song is honestly way better than the chorus. In fact, I’m not even sure if it’s the pre-chorus. Maybe it’s the actual chorus, and the “to wreck” part is actually the refrain.
- I like how the instruments drop during the final hook.
- Surprisingly, I’m getting solid laughs from Leslie reading the love letters. While I find Leslie amusing some of the time, and I’ve always loved her as a person, most of her comedy leaves A LOT to be desired from me. This commentary is working very well for me.
- A big cheap laugh from Leslie’s Tom Brady line towards Colin. A solid way to end her surprisingly solid commentary.
- Another excellent stand-up style-esque breakdown from Colin, this time I’m getting tons of laughs from his comments regarding Mcdonalds’ Hamburgler character.
- Love the bit were Colin & Michael read jokes sent by their mothers, continuing the fun Mother’s Day atmosphere of the night, and serving as a solid continuation of the fantastic monologue.
- Great to see our host doing an Update commentary, and a solid idea of having Reese do a variation of Girl At A Party character. It reminds me of Ryan Gosling’s two Update commentaries as a variation of a cast member’s own Update character.
- A big laugh from Cecily’s C-section line.
- Reese’s very good here, and is doing a solid job as the similarly-traited friend of Cecily’s character.
- The commentary is now over? This felt quicker than most of Girl At A Party commentaries, yet I can’t complain with what we got.
- Willie! boy this is one long Update, probably the season’s longest.
- The usual excellent, dark laughs from Kenan’s Willie, probably Kenan’s best SNL character.
- A huge guilty laugh from Willie’s bit about locking his classmates with the school shooter.
- The usual great Willie commentary, and a great way to end tonight’s strong Update.
- Great to see this back.
- As usual, I’m getting good laughs from the supposedly “deep” commentary this theater group is aiming for.
- Quite an interesting pairing of Bobby & Leslie, they’re fitting well as a couple here.
- Unlike the last time this sketch appeared, I’m not annoyed by Bobby & Leslie’s comments here, as they’re better written & not REACTING to every single thing that the theater group is doing.
- Beck’s brief bit steals this entire sketch for me, his underrated sketch-stealing abilities are becoming more and more visible for me as I review him in these reviews of mine.
- Man, even Cecily hamming it up in her little moment is cracking me up, and is adding to the whole atmosphere of these sketches.
- A huge laugh from Leslie’s reaction to the theater group pretending to be black people getting shot.
- Love the ending with Leslie just storming off.
- A great installment, and an improvement over the solid first one. If my memory serves me right, I recall the upcoming one with Elizabeth Banks being phenomenal, pretty much like that whole episode.
- Yet another Anderlette sketch, and the southern accents are a clear giveaway, as James Anderson is a heavily-accented southerner, and aside from gay stereotype sketches, he wrote plenty of “normal” ones taking place in the south.
- So far, this is not bad, and I’m enjoying the more realistic feel of this sketch, even when nothing is standing out to me, I’m still enjoying how harmless this sketch is so far.
- Reese is obviously a natural in this sketch, and this one is probably her best utilization through the whole night.
- A very random ending with the house robbery, and one of the few times that Anderlette attempted randomness and still it worked for me.
- Maybe because of the streak of three great segments before this one, but I overall liked this sketch just fine.
- Is this a rare Beck & Kyle-written live sketch? Because it doesn’t feel like their comedic style at all.
- Bobby is very funny early on in the sketch.
- Maybe I’m bored or something, but this sketch feels DEAD to me so far. While not bad per se so far, it just feels very dull & lethargic, reminding me of a huge gripe that I had with the 2nd half of season 43 & season 44 later on back when they originally aired.
- Wait, is this sketch ending?! Well, that was a big waste of time, good that this mess lasted for two or so minutes as I would’ve given it an even lower rating than the one I’m going to give it right now.
- Overall, a rare misfire for Beck & Kyle.
Musical Performance – “What Kind of Man”
- Jesse Nathan: I recall kinda loving this performance when I first saw it a year ago. We’ll see if that opinion still holds up.
- Already off to a good start with how it starts, as we hear nothing but eerie instruments while Florence pours her soul out on both vocals and lyrics.
- Kinda having a hard time understanding what she’s saying.
- Good bit with the harp addition while the song’s getting to its chorus.
- Oh, I LOVE the part with the guitar building and building after the intro, with the addition of the tambourines and backing vocals. It honestly sounds a lot better here than on the album version.
- Wow, Florence is really going out after that aforementioned part.
- Love the addition of the trumpets.
- Great instrumental during the next verse.
- The “with one kiss” part fell rather flat.
- I love how Florence changes the melody of “what kind of man” near the end.
- This overall performance was an improvement over the last.
Whiskers R’ We
- And the night ends with another Anderlette sketch, much like the previous episode.
- I’m still torn on these sketches, and I want to like them like how I did in the past, they’re harmless enough, but aside from Kate’s characterization, and the adorable kittens, there’s nothing else happening,
- Reese is surprisingly not coming off convincing in this role, unlike how Amy & some later hosts will.
- An overall average installment, and I do hope that I enjoy these as they air in the next few seasons, but perhaps because I’m a cat lover, I enjoyed them more in the past. We shall see when I eventually review the remaining installments.
Cut For Time: Inner White Girl
- A hilarious, clever premise. And a perfect usage of both Leslie Jones and our host.
- The contrast between Leslie’s personality here and her inner white girl, played perfectly by Reese is priceless.
- Funny straight man reaction from Sasheer, an area that she was criminally underrated in.
- Funny bit about Leslie’s hair, and yet again this is a short that perfectly uses Leslie’s energy and personality quite well.
- Man, even when he’s cheesily smiling, Bobby can milk easy laughs from me any time.
- A great turn with Reese having an outburst of her own over having to wait 10-15 minutes. Reese’s ranting about how she’ll spend her time is hilarious.
- A great ending monologue from Leslie. And an excellent short overall, a real shame that this was cut, as it was a solid showcase for Leslie & Reese, and would’ve given this episode a good boast in the average.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
CFT: Inner White Girl
Whiskers R’ We
The Southern Republican Leadership Conference!
Be Scene in L.A.
Picture Perfect (for plagiarism)
- An average episode, while not bad, it featured several flops and shaky material. And was slightly better than I recall it being in the past. Reese Witherspoon was mostly wasted as the host tonight, disappearing into the background of sketches, being given some pretty lame material, and mis-utilized in several of her roles.
- Louis C.K. returns for the third time to host the finale with musical guest Rihanna.
9 Replies to “May 9, 2015 – Reese Witherspoon / Florence + The Machine (S40 E20) ”
Nice seeing your reviews and as usual
Monologue **** (you have an accent?)
Picture Perfect * (for plagiarism) and **** (for the sketch)
Mr. Westerberg ****
Water Slide **
CFT: Inner White Girl ***½
I’m of an Arab origin, but was raised in both NYC and the UK for a while. So, I have a weird hybrid accent, between my native language and NYC and London accents.
That’s cool fact about you
Glad to see you love the monologue, as I do too, and IIRC, the last monologue of the season is also a season highlight. However, I don’t feel as though Jay’s mom resembles Ellen Cleghorne. If you ask me, Kate’s mom kinda looks like Laraine Newman. And no, I’m not making that comparison just to brag about some Twitter action that involved you, me, Imalive, and a tweet that Newman made (though I kinda want to). Also, you mentioning Joshua Jackson’s Season 25 episode reminds me that NSYNC was the musical guest that night, and today’s the last day of April, and you know what that means. IT’S GONNA BE MAY!
Yes, I feel that Reese does come off as a natural in her Update commentary. She’s always struck me as someone who’s capable of pulling that type of performance off.
By the way, I’m having a hard time believing that you only have one episode left this season. I’m not sure if it feels like you’ve been doing this forever or shorter than usual. Here’s another thing that’s hard to believe: I’m nearly done with those S41 performance reviews.
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
Shelton – 6.8
Simmons – 7.9
Johnson – 4.8
Hemsworth – 6.7
Johnson – 8.0
Keaton – 8.2
Henson – 6.2
Johansson – 5.6
Witherspoon – 5.8
“And no, I’m not making that comparison just to brag about some Twitter action that involved you, me, Imalive, and a tweet that Newman made (though I kinda want to).”
Where were you in that? I retweeted it and I remember Blood commenting on it. Oh and thanks for following me
Read the first reply to “Why do the words “Bassett hound” come to mind when I look at this?”
She wrote a reply to her own tweet, I replied, and she liked the reply.
Ok good to know
Love Reese Witherspoon, yet this episode was a real let down. Love Inner White Girl, Mr. Westerberg, the Monologue & Cecily’s update, yet sketches like the Water Slide sketch really expose how lazy the writers can be.
Just rewatched the monologue on YouTube and it put just the biggest smile on my face. So cute.
“Where’s my cocaine?!”