Cold Opening – George W. Bush Returns
- Great to see the return of Will & his Dubya impression right from the cold opening.
- I’m loving the biting take to this cold opening with Will’s Bush reminding us of how bad of a president he was. This is even funnier when you remember how many people were looking back at Bush’s disastrous presidency with rose-colored glasses due to their hatred of Trump.
- Love the bit with him admitting creating ISIS.
- Some funny Bushisms here, in particular the whole economer line.
- Now we have Leslie entering the scene and stumbling HORRIBLY with her line, which is so frustrating to me as a person that generally likes her as a person to see her so lazily prepared & sloppy in her work.
- Ok, I did love the whole Edith Bunker impression from Leslie, which gave me a pretty solid laugh.
- Great, memorable cold opening overall.
- Good entrance from Will & the visual of his head injury is funny.
- I love how oblivious Will is to his head injury & his excitement about hosting is endearing; a good showcase of Will’s natural likability as a performer.
- While I’m not really caring about this monologue suddenly turning into a musical one, the whole bit with Will going into the audience to mess with them is funny.
- Love Will’s whole interaction with writer Sam Jay, and him calling her Lorne & “the rudest man in show business” gave me a big laugh.
- A good, but cheap laugh from the reveal of Will’s name being Clown Penis, which I’m assuming is a reference to the classic season 25 commercial with Chris Parnell.
- After that cheap laugh, nothing else is working much for me here, as there’s no proper escalation to the joke beside the name. Will is performing this to his best ability, like the pro he is, but I’m not laughing much.
- Ok, I did love the visual of Will’s Plane being upside down.
- While I appreciated the oddball concept of this sketch, a rewrite or two could’ve made it better than what it ended up being.
- The third & final installment of these shorts, despite Beck & Kyle staying for three more years together after this season.
- I love Beck’s look here, he’s looking even more attractive than usual.
- Like the last two installments, this is such a spot-on parody of the tropes that are heavily prevalent in reality shows.
- While this installment is solid so far, it’s feeling a bit repetitive, especially compared to the previous two.
- A hilarious random cameo by Tracy Morgan!
- Interesting bit with the kid & the dog, and the random testimony with the dog was very funny.
- OH, NO. I recall this sketch being DREADFUL.
- This sketch seems to be parodying this viral video. Yet, like in many cases, the real thing is much funnier than the parody.
- While Kate’s facial expressions as the old lady cracked me up early on, it has now devolved into her usual mugging & vamping that feels so tired by now.
- The whole messing up of the simple tagline of the commercial isn’t as funny as it could’ve been, and the aforementioned mugging by Kate is very distracting.
- Yay, they finally got it! I’m sure they’ll say it right for the commercial shoot right now…
- Ok, just got a laugh (my first of the sketch), from the line “Nobody beats the Wiz”, which is the only amusing moment so far.
- A flop, overall.
- Southern accents & flamboyant characters? Is this our obligatory Anderlette sketch of the night?
- Luke steals the sketch with his humble bragging before launching into his beatboxing.
- A big laugh from Will’s lyrics about the existence of God.
- Much like some other sketches tonight, the laughs from me are dying out after the initial one. This sketch seems to be one-note as well, which is a shame as it has fun performances from Luke, Chris, and of course, Will too.
- I could’ve used a better ending, and aside from few merits, this overall sketch didn’t work for me.
- Another sketch this season addressing the #MeToo movement. This one also seems to address the issue of toxic masculinity as well.
- A good idea for an ad parody, and I’m loving that Will is the commercial’s spokesman, considering that he’s one of SNL’s greatest when it came to that capacity.
- Alex is very solid throughout this commercial, and his characterization here is a spot-on impression of these types of people.
- I know this may sound a little ignorant, considering the subject matter of this commercial, but Alex & Melissa look incredibly good during their scene.
- Good ending.
Musical Performance – “Midnight Train To Memphis” ft. Sturgill Simpson
- Jesse Nathan: Seeing how Chris and Sturgill were responsible for some of my favorite performances of Seasons 41 and 42, respectively, this feels like heaven.
- Already, I’m getting a much different feel than the songs Chris performed last time, as this has more of a hard rock sound.
- This whole guitar intro sounds absolutely incredible, even moreso than the studio version.
- Chris’ vocals are once again fantastic, and they’re perfect for the tone of this song.
- I dig this chorus.
- Sturgill’s mic could be turned up a bit more, but his voice still sounds great, albeit not as much as Chris’.
- I really like the way Sturgill sings the chorus.
- Part of me wishes that we got to hear Chris and Sturgill on the chorus together. In fact, chances are it just might sound as good as hearing Chris and Margo Price together. Hell, maybe one day, we’ll hear all three of them sing together.
- I dig Chris and Sturgill’s guitar work at the end.
- Overall, another amazing performance from Chris and Sturgill.
- That Stephen Miller joke & graphic is giving me unwanted flashbacks to that dreadful cold open where he is a snake in a box.
- Yes! And now I’m getting even more nostalgic with Will’s return, as we get a surprise return of Will’s Jacob Silj who last appeared in season 26!
- I see that Will hasn’t lost a touch when it comes to playing this character, as he’s as hilarious as ever here.
- Colin is doing a good job with his interactions with Will’s Silj, and I’m glad we aren’t getting too repetitive here with the straight man reactions.
- Loved Will’s Silj interaction with Michael, after the former made a racist remark.
- Great ending reveal that Jacob Silj can speak with a normal voice after all; a fun little sendoff to one of Will’s more fun characters.
- Ladies and gentleman, we have a major recurring character debut!
- Very happy to be reviewing our very first Bailey Gismert commentary, as I’ve always greatly enjoyed this character.
- Strong & accurate characterization from Bailey, and she’s doing an eerily convincing job in playing a teenager here.
- I absolutely love the sudden dramatic turn with Bailey after being offended, which is getting a great audience.
- Heidi’s voice when simultaneously crying/talking is FANTASTIC & incredibly well-performed.
- An overall fairly strong debut for Bailey and Heidi absolutely KILLED it with the studio audience, ONCE AGAIN this season. Two Update commentaries in, and Heidi is quickly proving herself in being an absolute Update gold.
- This sketch was cut from the previous season’s Jimmy Fallon episode.
- Oh, god. Just spare me. It looks like I’m in for a hammy, shouty, over-the-top Anderlette mug-off & ham-off sketch.
- I do love Will & Cecily’s look here, even though their lines continue to be white noise to me.
- Aaaand, we now get our “comedic” conceit with full-on shouting & hammy performances by Will & Cecily.
- The dog is stealing this sketch, and its cuteness is helping me not completely lose it.
- Aidy’s starting to break here, which isn’t anything new for her.
- I guess this sketch was supposed to be a “satire” of these types of reality shows, but it devolved into a mugging/vamping/shouting storms that resulted in almost no laughs from me at all.
- An interesting mention of the allegations about Aziz Ansari, considering that I covered him fairly recently on this blog.
- This is yet another piece this season that covers the #MeToo movement & our second one in tonight’s episode.
- I recall reading that this is supposedly a Michael Che-penned sketch, which shouldn’t really come as a surprise considering how muddy & unfocused a lot of his writing tend to be.
- Some good laughs from the various over-the-top reactions from the performers, even when it feels like an excuse for a ham-off between them instead of an actual jokes or satire.
- This sketch isn’t as solid as I recall it being, but it is still good.
- I do love the visual of Heidi using black magic to vanish from the table.
- An overall good sketch, yet the fake ad parody earlier tonight (Next), was stronger overall to me & featured sharper satire.
Musical Performance – “Hard Livin” ft. Sturgill Simpson
- Jesse Nathan: Why does Will credit Sturgill for just this performance instead of both?
- Another great country riff from Chris that sounds like legitimate country music instead of the stupid crap we usually get in modern “country”.
- I love the outlaw-esque lyrics.
- The composition of the chorus sounds a bit too similar to the last song we heard from these guys, but I’m still digging this.
- Nice to hear Chris’ wife Morgane lend her vocals to the chorus after how incredible they sounded together back in Season 41, though her mic could be turned up a bit more.
- The fact that we only hear Sturgill sing the last line of each verse makes Will’s decision to credit him here instead of both times even more baffling.
- Despite what I just said, I do like the way Sturgill sings those two lines.
- I love the guitar solo from Sturgill after the second chorus. It sounds like pure magic to the ears.
- And now we hear Chris doing a guitar solo after the final chorus. And just like Sturgill’s, this sounds like pure heaven.
- Overall, yet ANOTHER killer performance from Chris and co. The guy’s had a great track record with his SNL performances. It’s a shame that this is his last performance on the show, as of 2022. I’d love to see him perform again in the coming years, as he’s been a blast for me to listen to and review.
- A good laugh from Will mixing up Cracker Barrel with Crate & Barrel. A good & simple sketch concept that is perfectly tailored for Will.
- Will’s offended reactions here are cracking me up so much, he’s so good at these roles.
- Solid straight man reactions from the performers throughout the sketch, Alex in particular is always underrated in this type of a role.
- A huge laugh from Will storming off from the room with the freakin’ water cooler jug.
- I absolutely love the memorable visual near the end, with Will glaring at the camera behind Alex & Cecily.
Chucky Lee Byrd: Poet Of Teen Love
- Interesting to see this type of a sketch as our 10-to-1.
- Much like the previous sketch, this is SUCH a Will Ferrell-esque role that’s pretty much perfectly tailored for his comedic styling.
- I’m really enjoying the pairing of Beck & Kate, and both are doing a solid job in their roles here. It only makes me wish that they were paired much more together.
- Some risky & daring humor here, and the topic of a 50s pedophile rock legend is being pulled off well, and with actual jokes, unlike that dreadful Captain Hook sketch that I recently reviewed.
- Cheap, but guilty laughs from how the teen girls in Chucky’s songs are getting younger & younger; Will’s executing both this role & the material flawlessly.
- Great reveal at the end that all these songs were actually from the 80s.
Segments Ranked From Best to Worst
Chucky Lee Byrd: Poet Of Teen Love
George W. Bush Returns
- A good episode, aside from a few weak spots throughout the night. Most of what worked tonight was pretty solid & creative to me. I did like the more experimental feel that this episode had with the many original, solid, and unique sketch concepts on display, and how Will seemed to lean into that experimental feel in this episode and his upcoming season 45 hosting stint. As for the man himself, Will was a fantastic & very fun host that impressively appeared in EVERY SINGLE SKETCH tonight, and provided many laughs with his effortless talent & fun presence. I would say, however that this episode rank above his seasons 37 & 30 episodes, but below his seasons 34 (his most consistent) & 45 (the shakiest but with the highest high).
- Another good aspect to this episode was our musical guest Chris Stapleton (whom I forgot to mention in my review of the season 41 Adam Driver episode for some odd reason), whose two musical performances with Sturgill Simpson were fantastic, especially the first one.
- Natalie Portman & Dua Lipa.
2 Replies to “January 27, 2018 – Will Ferrell / Chris Stapleton (S43 E12)”
As I said on Twitter, I actually remember liking this episode when it first aired, yet I felt disappointed that we didn’t get to see many recurring Ferrell segments. I recall kinda liking the Commercial Shoot sketch when it first aired, but boy, does it not hold up. The House, IIRC, was my favorite installment of that sketch, though I’m not 100% sure if I still feel the same way today. All I know is that I’m gonna have plenty of fun looking at Will’s first year. Can’t say for certain that I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s review, for reasons I’ve disclosed on Twitter.
And as always, the averages:
Gosling – 6.8
Gadot – 6.3
Nanjiani – 7.0
David – 7.0
Haddish – 7.2
Chance – 7.1
Ronan – 7.3
Franco – 7.6
Hart – 4.9
Rockwell – 6.9
Chastain – 6.0
Ferrell – 6.1
Cold Open ****
Always love seeing Dubya back on the show and this overall cold open was alot of fun.
Absolutely hilarious and probably only a monologue the Will Ferrell can sell.
Fighter Pilots ***½
The randomness of this is what makes this a sketch I love.
The House ***½
The typical great House sketches this [ne was just as funny.
Commercial Shoot **½
A few laughs here and there but then fizzled out the longer it went.
Safety Rap ***
A decent sketch. Loved the “we are alone in the cosmos” line.
Not so sure what this went for but still an ok commercial.
Weekend Update ****
Great jokes all around surprised the brought back Jacob as he’s not one of Will’s popular characters. I am happy they brought him.
Reality Stars *½
Other than the way Will and Cecily look this did absolutely nothing for me.
Dinner Discussion ****
Great sketch loved the random shots of different things towards the end.
Break Room ***½
A character I’ve seen Will do a lot of times but still good sketch.
Chucky Lee ***
Nothing to say other than me saying it was fine.