Surprise, Bonus Review! Once again, a “Recent” episode is the subject of tonight’s “Vintage”. But thankfully, it was one of the stronger shows from Last Year; the Emmy Winning Tina Fey/Amy Poehler/Bruce Springsteen episode. With the exception of maybe one or two sketches (As well as a sketch I already covered back in September on the Main Page), Very little has changed in my opinion on this episode. Let’s take a look at just how solid this show was…
Tina Fey & Amy Poehler/Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band – Original Airdate: 12/19/2015
REPUBLICAN DEBATE: Piece of advice, J.R…Try to avoid playing older people from now on (either that, or impressions are just Not your thing). For all the hoopla Taran has received for taking over the Trump impression, Hammond rightfully shows us how it’s done…Then again, Taran is better at playing Cruz anyway, so this works out just fine. Beck as Jeb was amusing, but nothing groundbreaking. Bobby’s Christie remains a little pitchy, but at least his energy was enough for it to be a co-highlight—Though I’m surprised he didn’t throw in a Springsteen reference with him in the building. The other highlight goes to Jay continuing to excel as Dr. Carson, though I’d be lying if I didn’t think he was trying to emulate one of Eddie Murphy’s more “Feminine” characters this time around. Cecily tries as Fiorina, but to little avail. Kyle had approximately one good line as Rand Paul, and Pete’s Rubio was just OK for a first time, but give it time. We’ve been waiting for a full-fledged Republican debate for some time now, but this just felt like it was missing something…the other recent debate sketches lasted a good 10 minutes, This one lasted slightly after 6. Never thought I’d say this, but “More is More” this time. Further, there WAS a Democratic debate tonight…but considering a sketch that happens later, maybe they didn’t want to subject us to Hillary overload this quickly (A shame really, I was jonsing for another Larry appearance).
SCORE: 7 out of 10 Candidate drop-outs that might consider an Independent run.
EDITORS NOTE: Sometime after I take a break for the Holiday, We have to do a week’s worth of Trump Sketches over the years leading up to the Apocal……Uh, I mean Inauguration Day. At the very least, it’ll be interesting to see how the “Character” of Donald Trump has “Evolved” over the years…and yes, this will also include the last time the Real Trump hosted—which according to his corner of the Twitterverse was also the Last time SNL was considered “Funny”.
MONOLOGUE: A song on the Christmas show seemed inevitable, but I’ll allow it as long as nobody shows up to overstay their welcome…(*WAITS HESITANTLY*)…Phew, Now that we’ve dodged that bullet, I didn’t think Tina had the pipes to pull off a dirge, good for her. Otherwise; the song was just OK in spite of it being one of the more energetic/solemn songs I’ve seen, and the contrast between Fun/Somber was OK, if not abrupt in some places. The unison speaking & the vintage photo at the beginning was cute. Sidebar: REALLY enjoying Amy as a Redhead.
SCORE: 6 out of 10 Boughs of Holly.
EDITORS NOTE: After the Previous season with Kristen Wiig infiltrating Amy Adams’ episode, needless to say, a number of us were nervous that she would show up again. Thankfully she didn’t, but someone else does a little later.
HILLARY’S CHRISTMAS: Now that I’m seeing both impressions side by side, I can honestly say that Amy’s is the funnier one due to manic energy, but Kate’s is still funny because of her accuracy to the real Clinton—in other words, it’s a draw between the two, they’re both unique in their own way. The Palin twist was OK, if not a little meandering—possibly trying too hard to recreate the “CBS Evening News” rambling from ‘08. The impromptu dancing at the end was a bizarre non-sequitur, but I’d be lying if I didn’t think they all looked GOOD busting their various moves. What would’ve made this perfect is if Ana Gasteyer’s or (Rest her Soul) Jan Hooks’ Clinton’s showed up as well…I don’t know under what capacity, but why not put the cherry on top?
SCORE: 7 out of 10 Holiday Pantsuits with Garland Trim.
EDITORS NOTE: I’m not exactly sure if this is either Prophetic or Painful to watch now (Depending on who you voted for and/or what the Electoral College eventually decides on Dec. 19th). I mean it, too, everybody looked so happy here it almost looks like a calm before a storm of sorts. Hindsight is a fickle thing sometimes.
MEET YOUR SECOND WIFE: I already reviewed this sketch on the Main Page (see: 9/12/2016). What I WILL add is that this sketch will more than definitely earn a berth on a list of “Game Show” sketches in the future.
SCORE: 8 out of 10 Divorce Settlements made with the First Wives.
HOVERBOARDS: The Nostalgia continues as this commercial reminds me of a bunch that appeared on the show in the 90s/Early 2000s. Parodies that are supposed to cater to the “Dude” demographic with a bunch of fast cuts, bright graphics, and out-there visuals (Think either “KCF Shredders”, “Bubble Yum Genital Herpes Gum” and/or “Nerf Crotchbat” just to name a few). This one is no different, as Pete, Mooney & Beck with his pants on fire get to show off how “KEWL” these things are despite the consequences. Nice to see Pete make up for lost time—especially at the end when he’s going down the street at light speed (Despite the physical impossibility of staying on at that speed). The underground Asian “Manufacturers” joke at the end, along with the “Plane Lasers” was clever. Also, I have to nitpick…Hoverboards can’t “Hover” if they have wheels. I didn’t think that would be a necessary thing to say, but c’mon you’re all thinking the same thing, right?
SCORE: 7 out of 10 malfunctioning Segway Scooters.
ANOTHER DIRECTOR SKETCH: Oh, No! We were doing so Well so far, Why bring this back?! Once again, I feel the need to point out the irony in Kenan telling others how to react. Though to be completely fair, this edition is FAR better than last year’s because at least Tina & Amy have natural comedic talents to pull off the reaction shots. Their shots are the SOLE Reason why this one is better than the last one, otherwise I think it’s safe to say the Xerox machine was busy this week.
SCORE: 4 out of 10 Exits, Stage Left
Colin’s Best: Chris Christie/Feckless, Finding Your Roots
Michael’s Best: Ben Carson in Africa, Tree Fire, Kwanzaa
Commentaries: I kinda get where Kate was coming from with “Deenie”, there’s a lot of people in my town who still drop everything in order to watch their “Stories” while eating leftovers. I’ll even give her extra credit for making the otherwise stoic Jost break down a little, they’ll probably try this again just to see if they can do it w/o Jost Giggling. The mini-comment on Skrelli was very pointed for a Colin commentary, but still pretty strong. And of course, you have to…HAVE TO end Update with Tina & Amy slamming the door…I just wish they stuck around to tell a few more. A Very Joke-heavy Update, and there ain’t nothing wrong with that.
SCORE: 7 out of 10 KSDK’s (NBC in St. Louis, MO…200 miles West of Santa Claus, Indiana)
CHAD & MRS. DOUGLAS: (*SIGH*) Well…Maya IS in “Sisters”—and the notion of her being drunk in front of children was Dark Humor of the highest regard; so Just this Once, I’ll forgive her for hamming it up (Besides, Maya actually plays drunk pretty well here). Thankfully, she doesn’t hog the spotlight too long as Amy delivers a jacked up—but all too brief performance. And let’s face it; knowing what we know now, Bill Cosby jokes will never Not be funny—and will probably remain Kenan’s biggest saving grace (for this episode…and of All Time). Not much to complain about; the sketch was a decent length, the back & forth between Taran & Vanessa was cute, and the sketch was enjoyable if not uneven in certain places.
SCORE: 7 out of 10 Informercials for the Carol Burnett Show (also available by Starvista)
EDITORS NOTE: Hoo boy, I’m about to do a bad thing…………………For the benefit of hindsight, I should probably explain to some of you that at a certain SNL fansite that no longer exists, Maya Rudolph used to be a MAJOR thorn in many of our sides……until Kristen Wiig came along a few years later. Personally, I think she’s OK—except when she either plays a character where she sounds like an unspecified bird, or when she sings (which is HIGHLY unfortunate considering who her famous mother was). Otherwise, she’s still a funny person, and she’s done a few things worth writing home about. Having said that, I still manage to gnash my teeth whenever I hear her speak in her “Glenda Goodwin” voice…(*SHUDDERS*)
DOPE SQUAD: I’m calling it now; the term “Squad” today is what “Science” was in the 80s—catchy but otherwise meaningless buzzwords…but I digress. Never have I seen Tina & Amy look so Badass—kinda hot, too. Also, Nice of the OTHER Amy to show up and make up some lost ground from October (Also, yes that Really was Gayle King on Bazooka…though the jury is out on whether that was the Real Robert Downey Sr.—at least according to the dated pictures on his imdb page. I’m also going throw out one of my semi-reliable predictions and say that Aidy participating alongside Tina & Amy has to count as a “Stamp of approval” of some kind—like she’s officially “Arrived” or something. Unlike that other short film about a “Squad” earlier this year, this one’s definition of the term is Far more concrete, and therefore makes it easier to understand in spite of (once again) stunning visuals.
SCORE: 7 out of 10 Personal Assistants available through the classifieds of “Variety”.
EDITORS NOTE: Yes, that was indeed Iron Man’s father—he’s credited & everything.
BRONX BEAT: All right…let’s dig through the Bag of “Disappointment” Memes………OK, Here’s a classic…
There you go, This just about sums things up. On the plus side, at least this was buried in the back as the last sketch of the night. It wasn’t funny then (except maybe the one with Katy Perry in her “Elmo” shirt), it’s Still not funny now, and I can only hope the Boss does a 3rd song as the credits roll…and thank merciful God, he Does…
SCORE: 1 out of 10 Major Deegan expressways.
EDITORS NOTE: (*SIGH*) Let me be perfectly clear, I Don’t Hate Maya Rudolph. In fact, even the most irritating cast members of all time have at least one good quality about them. I just…….don’t know what it is about her that makes me want to change the channel; I know she’s talented, yet it almost feels pavlovian to flip to “The Weather Channel” for a few minutes whenever she’s on the screen. Maya, if you come across this page by accident, please don’t sue. It’s like “The Incredible Hulk”, I can’t stop myself sometimes.
+10 for “Meet me in the City”
+10 for “The Ties That Bind”
+10 for “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”
+1 for the Last Second/Biennial McCartney Sighting
+1 for that “Simon & Garfunkel” shot
FINAL SCORE: 63 out of 100 (63%)
FINAL SCORE W/BRUCE: 93 out of 130 (71.5%)
TOTAL FINAL AVERAGE: 67.3% WATCHABLE
FINAL THOUGHTS: Not quite the Masterpiece we were expecting, but at least we can all be in agreement that this was FAR Better compared to this time Last year (Which is also something I could say about the season here at the halfway point). Yeah, the odd one or two sketches that outright sucked were still present, but we still seem to be in a holiday “forgiveness” mood otherwise. Tina & Amy’s natural chemistry both together & apart made for some decent comedy, but then Maya just HAD to insert herself as a 3rd wheel near the end (Sorry!)—thus turning potentially the Best show of the year into one that was only slightly above average. Thankfully, her’s was the Only cameo that had any major bearing in the long run (McCartney notwithstanding), and Thank God for Springsteen, A performer so powerful He could play in a dive bar unannounced and Still rock that place to the ground.
THIS COMING WEEK:
*A Sketch from 1989’s Woody Harrelson episode (I Promise)
*A Special Christmas Sketch to mark the Prime-Time special
*And a “Retro Review” of something I clearly had no clue how to write back then.
Afterwards, I’ll be taking the rest of the month off…From SNL related things anyway. Stay Tuned!