Cold Opening – We Stand with Paris
- A short and sweet message, yet filled with support to the people of Paris against terror. Man, these SNL episodes really stand as moments in time, through happiness and through tragedies.
- A nice touch with Cecily repeating the message in French after saying it originally in English.
- I love that Cecily delivered the LFNY in French here, and the camera not doing a close-up, but the contrary is a great touch too.
Rating: N/A (not a ratable segment)
- Right out of the gate, I’m loving Elizabeth’s energy and demeanor onstage, a FAR better sight than our previous He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named host from last episode.
- I’m sensing classic Hollywood vibes from Elizabeth here, her natural beauty and style is giving me 30s/40s starlet, which is making more excited for this episode, as it’s been several years since I last saw it. Not to mention that I’ve always been a massive fan of Elizabeth and her consistent, excellent work.
- A funny cutaway to Kyle as a cheering Hunger Games fan in the audience.
- A musical monologue, a welcomed change of pace this season, and it helps that we won’t be getting too many musical monologues this season in general, compared to the myriad of musical monologues last season. Even though, I never personally had a problem with musical monologues, unless they don’t contain jokes or a fun atmosphere.
- MAN, this musical monologue is a BLAST so far, Elizabeth’s energy, and the various directions and effects she’s demanding, and her singing here are fantastic, and is adding a great deal of energy to the episode right from the start. A far better visual once more than the lethargic, dreary, lifeless, and notoriously dead atmosphere that dominated the previous episode.
- A cutaway to a smiling Lenny!
- Love the bit with the octopus effect behind Elizabeth.
- An overall great, energetic monologue, Elizabeth was fantastic here, and is ALREADY far better as a host than He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’s lousy, dull, and wretched hosting performance from the previous episode.
- Great to see another traditional fake commercial from this era, as this era, in my personal view, is right up there with 75-80, 90-95, and 95-02 when it comes to high-quality, brilliant, and utterly hilarious commercials.
- A fantastic, dark reveal that “Arons” in Arons List stands for “American Registry Of Nonviolent Sex offenders”. Vanessa’s shocked, subtly terrified to the reveal is just excellent.
- Pretty solid laughs from the list of non-violent sex offenses, particularly the toilet camera one which gave me a cheap laugh.
- Great laughs from the various creepy visuals of the offenders throughout this commercial, particularly of Jay’s, who steals this entire commercial for me.
- Good to see this back. And IIRC, this is only the second installment of this sketch, with the first being from TWO seasons ago with Louis C.K.
- I’ve always liked these sketches, but never found them to be amazing in the past, yet I liked them because SNL finally understood how to do some urban humor well, in a way that doesn’t feel hacky or stereotypical.
- A solid reveal that Elizabeth doesn’t get the game.
- I love Elizabeth’s bit about once dating a black guy, so she doesn’t see color, and Kenan’s response was solid.
- Some good laughs from the various black-centric answers from both Jay & Sasheer here, even when they are more amusing than big laugh-getters.
- I love the whole bit with Leslie’s Daily Double scene turning, after such long setup into a very random “Who Killed Tupac?”.
- A solid ending.
First Got Horny 2 U
- Here comes the latest from this era’s female-led music videos, and what a famous installment this one will turn out to be.
- I love the serious introduction before the conceit of this whole song is revealed, and especially the matching outfits on the ladies, giving me early 2000s boy/girl band vibes, which I’m sure is what this whole music video is trying to emulate.
- A very funny reveal of this song’s whole conceit after such a serious set-up.
- Kate almost steals this short with her revelation that her crush on Taylor Hanson is what made her realize she’s a lesbian.
- The visual of horny Elizabeth here is absolutely hilarious, and the part that made me realize that this music video will be very well-remembered.
- A big, guilty laugh from Vanessa revealing that the Menendez Brothers, of all people, are the ones that she first got horny to.
- Ah, Aidy’s stealing this entire short with her absolutely priceless bit, so many hilarious visuals throughout her scene, particularly her scooting on the floor.
- A great part with Taran, as Cecily’s dad, leaving the room IMMEDIATELY after seeing Cecily rolling back-and-forth on the floor, in a sexual way, a hilarious visual that makes this short an official bonafide classic.
- An overall true SNL classic. I do recall loving the upcoming Welcome to Hell short, which is another one of those female-led music videos from this era, and seeing it as both brilliant, and incredibly clever. I thought of it as even better than this fantastic short, and I hope it lives up to my memory when I review it eventually.
- Great to see this great sketch back too.
- Spot-on delivery from Aidy, and I absolutely love Elizabeth’s look in this sketch.
- A huge laugh from the first “deep” showcase with Kyle being the earth that just died due to humans neglecting it for earthly delights. Leslie storming off the show after that is hilarious.
- Very funny, brief “Who Run the World” take-off with the theater group just repeating “whites!”
- I always get good laughs from the whole dancing & music combo between the showcases in these sketches, this rendition is particularly catchy to me.
- Kate’s great in the whole priceless, excellent SeaWorld bit. The writing & performances in this particular installment are even better than usual.
- Great, brief Neil Patrick Harris bit, and Kenan’s always-excellent delivery makes it my favorite part of this fantastic sketch.
- A big, guilty laugh from Aidy’s whole spiel about her dead mother, and the reveal that Vanessa IS her mom is priceless.
- A funny “girl” bit from Elizabeth, whose perfectly blending into he cast, yet standing strong on her own.
- A hilarious visual of the chair being reserved for Caitlyn Jenner.
- Overall, this has always been my personal favorite of the many excellent Theater Showcase sketches.
Musical Performance – “Magnets” ft. Lorde
- Jesse Nathan: Boy, Elizabeth looks rather fine in her introduction. I mean, something, something, Press Your Luck.
- I like the fact that the lights are in the colors of the French flag before the performance even starts.
- Cool intro.
- Boy, Lorde looks incredible here.
- Oh, and by the way, between Lorde and Elizabeth Banks, SNL is trying to make me say more names of people I find attractive, aren’t they? (And yes, I’m sure it’s fine to say that about Lorde in this case, as she was only my age when this song came out)
- Lorde’s opening vocals fell kinda flat for me.
- Why are the two members of Disclosure singing along with Lorde during the chorus?
- Okay, I will admit that the chorus sounds great here, and the instrumental really comes together in this live performance.
- What’s the one instrument that plays after the first chorus? I think it might be a cowbell, but I’m honestly not sure.
- Lorde’s vocals are actually getting somewhat better the more this goes on.
- “Pretty girls don’t know the things that I know.” Yeah, that’s pretty much the same message you were conveying in your earlier works.
- Lorde’s moves during the second chorus kinda remind me of Charli XCX’s bizarre dance moves in her second performance.
- This whole song is actually making me vibe as it nears its end.
- This is our first of these Daily Show-esque bits where they show footage of Trump (*shudder*) and have the anchors react to it on Update.
- Good laughs from Michael & Colin’s jokes about Jeb Bush and Bernie Sanders, respectively.
- Boy, reviewing the earlier seasons from this era is really making me appreciate Alex/Mikey/Heidi behind the desk even more than ever, aren’t there others beside the endless Pete/Leslie commentaries?! I know I said this in a previous review, but I’m starting to get annoyed.
- Oof, I’m not caring AT ALL for this Pete commentary, it feels way too one-note, yes even for his standards, and I’m barely getting any chuckles.
- Great to see the return of Kyle’s Bruch Chandling character, one of my favorite things that he ever did on SNL.
- The usual laughs from Bruce’s hacky jokes. Kyle’s so good at these anti-comedy bits he’s doing as this character.
- Great reveal that Bruce’s girlfriend is in high school, which leads to his obligatory self-reflective, depressed turn. This is simply my kind of dark humor, which Kyle is pulling off flawlessly.
- Ah, here comes the obligatory dark turn in these Bruce Chandling commentaries.
- I’m loving how dark this is getting, and Kyle’s fantastic as this character. The audience being involved here and getting concerned over Bruce is making this commentary even better.
- I love how the audience cheers after Bruce returns to become his jolly self once again.
- Overall, this has always been my personal favorite Bruce Chandling commentary, and my 2nd favorite of his Update appearances, after the great Scooter Reinholt commentary that he’ll do in season 45, which I cannot wait to eventually review.
- Ah, great to see the return of Kate’s Olya, one of the many favorite things that Kate did behind the desk throughout the ten seasons she’s been on SNL.
- The usual laughs from Kate’s Olya, and as always the delivery is so on-point and Kate’s coming off her likable, charismatic, and charming self here.
- Funny American accent imitation by Olya.
- An overall great Weekend Update, aside from Pete’s subpar and dull commentary, I loved everything here.
The Adventures of Young Ben Carson
- The debut of Jay’s memorable Ben Carson impression.
- As expected, Jay’s Carson is spot-on and very funny.
- Elizabeth’s role here feels kinda shoehorned, yet like the ultimate professional she is, she sells it well.
- A good laugh from the whole Black Jesus scene with Kenan.
- Decent sketch overall.
- Ah, a favorite of mine that I haven’t seen in ages.
- I’m getting solid laughs from Bobby’s cheesy, jolly behavior at the beginning of this sketch.
- Yet ANOTHER fantastic, dark reveal tonight with the revelation that Bobby’s walk-on role in this cop show is a perverted criminal, which is even more of a priceless reveal after the initial lighthearted set-up of this whole sketch.
- I LOVE the close-up to Bobby, with his creepy look into the camera, one of the most memorable visuals from this entire season.
- Elizabeth is doing such a spot-on job in her cop portrayal here.
- Aidy nearly steals the entire sketch from Bobby with her mock-dramatic, over-the-top delivery of her line “You are a MONSTER, I HATE YOU!!!”
- Great reveal, for the second time in this sketch ALONE, with Bobby saying that he’s a middle school principle and that he told EVERYONE to watch the show.
- Ouch at Jay’s line flub AND facing the wrong camera, oof. He does recover nicely and is still his likable, solid self here.
- YET ANOTHER great reveal that the promo Bobby just filmed is going to air during the Super Bowl.
- A great ending with the whole unflattering, pervy photoshopped picture of Bobby’s character being signed by the whole cast.
- A fantastic sketch overall, and has always been one of my favorite Bobby Moynihan sketches. A true, hidden gem.
Musical Performance – “Omen” ft. Sam Smith
- Jesse Nathan: Boy, between Demi Lovato and now Sam Smith, SNL is really forcing me to watch my pronouns, aren’t they?
- Great intro.
- Sam’s vocals sound great.
- Cool staging.
- I love the way Sam and the backing vocalists harmonize.
- Good chorus.
- Just like the first performance, I’m finding this song to be a total vibe, and it makes me feel like I’m in somewhat of a trance.
- Sam’s vocals on the second verse aren’t as good as they were on the first.
- I like the drum fill in between the pre-chorus and chorus.
- Great lighting throughout this performance.
- Overall, this was way better than I thought it was gonna be. Though I’m not entirely sure which Disclosure/Sam Smith collab I prefer more: this or “Latch”. Gonna have to think about that one.
Uber for Jen
- Ah, our first of, sadly, only two Mike O’Brien shorts this season, as this season is Mike’s last.
- A pretty creative, fun concept as expected for this short from Mike.
- A very funny visual of Mike immediately driving before Elizabeth grabs her smoothie causing it to fall into the ground.
- I’m loving the montage with Mike & Elizabeth suddenly bonding, not only is it funny, and a good take on that trope in movies, but it has some heart and soul in it, much like Mike’s other work on the show.
- A hilarious, WTF moment with Vanessa giving birth in the car. Elizabeth’s panicked reaction while grabbing the newborn is killing me. This is the visual that always stuck with me from this entire short, even many years after seeing it for the first time.
- Good, semi-dramatic scene between Elizabeth and Mike, especially her acknowledgment of him as her Uber driver.
- A solid ending with Bobby.
- I’m enjoying the turn in this sketch with Elizabeth’s disclosing how truly “ghetto” her life is compared to how trivial the complaints from her friends about their privileged lives are.
- This sketch, while it feels somewhat repetitive, particularly with the myriad utterances of the word ”literally”, which is a James Anderson staple, like the atrocious She’s A Mess sketch from season 32, with that one having tons of “You guys” utterances by the performers. This sketch, however, is working well and Elizabeth’s performance sells the somewhat shaky material.
- An overall good way to end the night.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
First Got Horny 2 U / Theater Showcase (tie)
Uber for Jen
The Adventures of Young Ben Carson
- Ah, an exceptionally outstanding SNL episode, and one of the finest of this era. EVERYTHING tonight worked for me, and almost the entire episode was rated between 4-5 stars, incredibly impressive. Elizabeth Banks was also a very impressive host tonight, one that blended perfectly into the show, yet at the same time, was able to stand out amongst the performers. I’m still shocked how she never became a big recurring host for this era, or at least returned to host at least one more time. By the way, this is an observation that you’ll be hearing for me as I cover the coming seasons, as there were many standout hosts who surprisingly never returned to 8H.
- Also, contributing to the outstanding quality of the episode is our musical guest Disclosure, whose musical performances tonight were absolutely phenomenal, and helped elevate the quality of this episode somehow even more.
- Matthew McConaughey returns to host with musical guest Adele.
3 Replies to “November 14, 2015 – Elizabeth Banks / Disclosure (S41 E5) ”
Sad Elizabeth never returned to host (As of Season 48)
Finally, someone understands the music in the Theater Showcase sketches. Hallelujah!
Going back to the episode, I’m rather pleased that you were very high on this. I mean, there are segments that I enjoy more than you, but still, this many high ratings is very pleasing to read, and I don’t think there’s gonna be any other episode that comes close. Well, except for a few…David and Dinklage!
And as always, the averages:
Cyrus – 5.5
Schumer – 6.6
Morgan – 8.2
Trump – 4.2
Banks – 8.3
Great to see more of these
Arons List ****
Black Jeopardy ****½
First Got Horny 2 U ***
Uber for Jen *****
So Ghetto **