Happy Almost Thanksgiving everybody! I’m still working on my next editorial, which will come Next Weekend, PLUS since there’s an SNL Thanksgiving Special on in Primetime on Wednesday, expect a Bonus sketch from me around that time. In the meantime, here is yet another episode that aired just last year that I can conveniently save time in writing.
Matthew McConaughey/Adele – Original Airdate: 11/21/2015
FOX & FRIENDS: Again? So Soon? And Nearly Identical to the Last one? C’mon, even “Hardball” sketches mixed it up a little when it began to repeat itself. On the plus side, at least Bobby continues to be Dopey Comic Relief, Kate’s Wasserman-Schultz continues to need a straightjacket, and Jay’s Carson has not only improved from last week, but has also managed to do what no SNL character could do…use Mugging to their advantage (in addition to the performance itself). I also give them props for a major variant on the “Fact Checking” joke—No facts this time, but Jonsey steals it at the end of this otherwise Standard-issue edition.
SCORE: 7 out of 10 Jars of Valium Dr. Ben Carson needs to “Be Himself”.
(EDITORS NOTE: When this first aired, it aired about a month after another edition aired on Amy Schumer’s Episode. I guess I was a little startled because recurring things happen so rarely on the show these days, I guess it kinda caught me on guard.)
MONOLOGUE: So, being a 2nd time host after 12.5 years (NOT 14!), do we get “The Line”? (*WATCHES*) Thankfully, no. I never thought in a million years that McConaughey would be able to do this one Solo, but I guess that’s why he’s the Oscar winner. Though not “Ha-Ha” funny, it feels like a homespun, down home, “folksy” tale, and is actually a breath of fresh air in comparison to the usual “Showstopping” numbers we’re accustomed to…still coud’ve benefited from some actual jokes; but then again, Matt’s no comedian.
SCORE: 6 out of 10 Bongos played while high at 2AM.
(EDITORS NOTE: I know this boarders on nitpicking; but as an SNL fanatic, even small details like gaps between hosting gigs kinda get under my skin in an “Anal Retentive Chef” kind of way. Also if you’re curious about what “The Line” is, Back when George Carlin hosted for a 2nd time in 1984, he made a quip along the lines of “they told me if I did a real good job, they’d have me back.” This is what I’d like to call the “Carlin Line”, a line that has been uttered by Several hosts over the years whenever someone has a long stint between hosting gigs. As of Today, Bob Newhart, Jeff Bridges and Charlize Theron have thrown in their own variations of it…And yes, we’ve been paying attention.)
ADELE THANKSGIVING: “Full Disclosure” time, Not that big a fan of Adele…yep, I said it, I regret nothing, and I invite you to come clean as well. That being said, I HAVE seen the video enough times (by force, and under protest in some cases) to know another sharp parody when I see one. Though I’d be lying if I didn’t think they borrowed elements from those OTHER sketches from 2008-09 that showcase tense family arguments, but I can actually forgive that considering Tense Family Arguments are apx. 48.6% of what Thanksgiving is all about. Anyway, as soon as we got in to the “Video” portion of the Video, they nailed everything to a T—from the Acrylic nails, to the fur coats, to the guys dressing up like Adele, to the wind knocking over Aidy & smacking leaves in Kate’s face. It was a Slow Build-up to a big payoff.
SCORE: 8 out of 10 Musicologists who will spend the better part of their lives trying to figure out what they Lyrics to “Hello” REALLY means.
(EDITORS NOTE: Somehow, I don’t foresee the same thing happening with Trump/Clinton supporters this year…in fact, I sense bloodshed—bloodshed and sweet potato stains.)
CHARLIES BLUES SHACK: No fair, SNL! Blues music is one of my Many weaknesses…too bad this is just about as boilerplate a “Kenan Reacts”/”Odd One Out”/Tucker Motherfucker sketch as it can be—even with Matt blowing his lyrics (Hell, the premise of the sketch became obvious as soon as we saw what McConaughey was Wearing, let alone what he would say). Everybody else (Kyle, Jonesy & Jay) tried their best to move things along, but as long as Kenan was sharing the center of attention with Matt, any hope of this being amusing was lost. Even more unfortunate is that for the first time this year, we have a sketch that just “ends”. No clear punchline, no capper, no exclamation marks, not even a period. We could’ve used a little expansion on Matt’s “Quitting facebook” riff at the end, but I guess they wanted to have enough time reserved for Adelle’s performances later on.
SCORE: 3 out of 10 Deals with the Devil made by Robert Johnson.
3D PRINTER MAN: Everybody seems to be raving on this one, but I’m more “On the fence” about it. Short Version; it’s this past October’s “Citizens Forum” meets “The Dating Game”. Long version, it’s Nice to know that even after winning the Oscar, Matt is still willing to act like an idiot…Not in a Good way. As much as they wanted to make “Who Me? As for me…” into the Catchphrase of the week, this was another sketch whose premise was made blatantly obvious within less than 30 seconds. That said, at least Matt played the robotics to his advantage here; from his Wiseau-esque dialogue, to the way that he “Walks” at the end, at least he can credibly portray artificial intelligence somewhat well. Unfortunately, for the 2nd time tonight, we have a sketch that just “ends”—but at least in this case, there’s more of a concrete resolution as opposed to things coming to a screeching halt in the last sketch.
SCORE: 5 out of 10 MakerBot’s
STAR WARS SCREEN TESTS ’15: Oh Wow…where do I start? Let’s use the Streamlined “ensemble” listing to save time:
*Nice of J.J.Abrams, Daisy Ridley & John Boyega to show up (Especially like John’s reaction to being a Stormtrooper).
*Even Nicer of Emma, Buble & Hamm to show up as well—it MUST be Sweeps.
*People who were “Just OK” in this: Cecily’s Vergara, Kate as Maggie Smith, Aidy as Wynona.
*Jay as Shaqbaca was the most bizarre part (but still funny)
*Beck tried as Javier Bardem, but it sounded too much like a cross between John Wayne, Antonio Banderas, and Sudeikis’ “A-Hole” character.
*J.R. Actually made me laugh (albeit briefly) with his John Mayer.
*Liked Taran trying to “Bend It” with the BB-8.
*Bobby steals this one, not once…but twice—Though his “Lucas” was the funnier part…Only for Jay’s “Fifth Element Chris Tucker” to Steal it back…Only for Jonesy to Steal and Run away with it at the end.
*After all that, STILL Not quite as good as the 1997 version, but pretty damn close!
SCORE: 9 out of 10 hours of inevitable “Bonus Footage” on the Episode VII Deluxe BluRay set.
Colin’s Best: Jeb Bush, Cat Study, Jared Fogel, Penis Surgery (even though it was technically Che’s joke)
Michael’s Best: Bobby Jindal, Radio Shack
Commentaries: Mini-Comment on Refugees once again Tries to have a major impact, but is spotty at best (Che beats Jost on jokes & valid points, BTW). Vanessa is simply evolving (or devolving?) her “Child Actor” character to little avail—but at least using an existing character in an outside element is a plus. Kenan in a Red Sox jersey just makes me want to hit him with a Sack of Quarters…of course, it doesn’t help that he’s playing David Ortiz either (Thank you, I’m here all week!). But in the spirit of the Thanksgiving Holiday, at least there’s one good thing about Kenan as Ortiz…………Nah, can’t think of one. Weakest Update of the year so far in terms of Commentaries, and I hope this doesn’t mean we have to wait until January again for Jebidiah Atkinson to show up eventually. But at least Jost & Che have reached the point of Gelling together.
SCORE: 7 out of 10 KARK’S (NBC in Little Rock, AK)
(EDITORS NOTE: Unfortunately, we have to keep waiting for Jebidiah Atikinson to make his return………Just wait….and wait…and wait…at least until Taran Killam does something noteworthy again so he can host the show.)
SHOULD YOU CHIME IN ON THIS: Feels like a while since we’ve seen a Game Show sketch, unfortunately, this was pretty one-note—especially when the entire premise of the sketch can be described in the title. Kenan continues to react & chew more scenery than a famine victim (and that “Allen DeGeneres” joke WAS a joke, BTW). Aidy was charming with her “Think of the Children” type person, Matt was unusually creepy—especially on his unwashed braid, Kyle was intentionally a douche. Thankfully, Kate came in at the end and did what she does best—save the day with as much effortless effort as possible.
SCORE: 3 out of 10 Noses stuck where it doesn’t belong.
(EDITORS NOTE: Oh, Hindsight! We meet again. Considering the current political landscape and the fact that the jerks of the world are coming out of the woodwork now, I think the time has come to reconsider this sketch and just how relevant it now is. Kenan remains the weak link, but everybody else now looks like caricatures of your typical Breitbart reader…Which in turn makes Kate, Kyle, Aidy & McConaughey’s characters more “believable” than “funny”. That said, I’m gonna add on an extra 3 points for relevancy. The comedy is still a little on the weak side.)
REVISED SCORE: 6 out of 10
RIGHT SIDE OF THE BED: Uh, yeah, Survey Says……..*BUZZER*. But like all Anderlette pieces, at least there were TWO saving graces; This time in the form of Matt’s somewhat psychotic Cajun/creole cook, Especially when he starts tripping out with his Turkey puppet (possibly his best performance of the night, BTW), and Kate briefly draggin’ it as Ed Sheeran. Otherwise, Seriously Anderlette, what IS your fetish with Southern Accents?
SCORE: 4 out of 10 Magnolia bushes in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park (Scored ONLY for Matt’s performance, Taran & Cecily alone would’ve brought it to Zero).
(EDITORS NOTE: Reminder; “Anderlette” is the combination of writers/tenure earners James Anderson & Kent Sublette…who I really don’t like making fun of, and I’m sure are better writers when they work apart. This is just One of many examples why I’m glad that they’re more separate this current year than in years past.)
AMTRAK: I gotta give Matt credit for covering up his Texas accent pretty well at the expense of sounding like a cross between Denis Leary, Randall from “Clerks” and Jere Burns in his “Dear John” days (C’mon, you remember). But that’s just about the ONLY high point here (That, and MAYBE “Nice Rack”). Also, Hi Pete—I’m hoping this “Week On/Week Off” routine is just your way of pacing yourself, and Not a sign of something more ominous in the future.
SCORE: 2 out of 10 Union Pacific’s
+1 for Playing Craps w/Turkeys.
+1 for the Logo on the “Star Wars” set
+1 for Steamed Turkey
FINAL SCORE: 57 out of 100 (57% Watchable)
REVISED SCORE: 60 out of 100 (60% Watchable)
FINAL THOUGHTS: This really felt like a “Vintage” show to me…in that McConaughey was just as weak here as he was in 2003 (Which once again as a reminder was 12.5 years ago…NOT 14). And When I say He was weak, I just mean the material he was given—Matt himself did the best he could with it, even though we still have no concrete reason why he’s even here in the first place. Fortunately, the filmed stuff continues to prove its worth as a decent insurance policy; but after 6 shows & a big Turkey dinner to look forward to, I think we can officially give this one the “Burnout” excuse this time around. If everything seemed tired tonight, it’s because everybody WAS tired—both figuratively, literally AND Creatively, and this ultimately resulted in the first True disappointment of the year (Though 5 out of 6 “Good” shows is still a pretty good track record, perhaps they Needed the Mulligan just to show they’re not invincible?). Also, Chalk this one as a point against Social Media determining who should host the show; but on the plus side, at least this statistically means the next person the masses say should host will automatically be better…one could only hope.
NEXT WEEK: Whatever happened to “Special Guests” on the show?
WEDNESDAY: One of my Favorite “Thanksgiving” sketches…