Host: Sigourney Weaver (2): This is Sigourney Weaver’s first hosting gig since 1986, making it the longest gap between hosting gigs in the show’s history. Fun fact, she previously hosted the Season 12 premiere, which was the beginning of the Phil Hartman/Dana Carvey/Dennis Miller/Kevin Nealon cast many of us in our 30s remember fondly. Season 11 of SNL was so bad (featuring the frequently forgotten cast of Robert Downey Jr, Joan Cusack, and Anthony Michael Hall) that the show was nearly canceled. The entire cast, save for Miller, Nora Dunn, and Jon Lovitz was fired and Madonna read a “press release” in the Season 12 opening borrowing a plot point from Dallas and stating the entire previous season was just a bad, bad dream. I digress. Weaver’s monologue was a bit odd, though she did do a bit about her dad (Pat Weaver, former president of NBC) inventing The Tonight Show.
Musical Guest: The Ting Tings (1). I hated this. I don’t follow indie music. I don’t like it and I don’t think crazy, experimental stuff and bad singing over a drummer with a synth machine is good. What I do know is that there’s no such thing as not liking indie music… there is just not getting it. So I’ll defer to Radio Exile.
Best Skit: ESPN Classics: Ladies’ Darts sponsored by Summer’s Eve — Pete Twinkle and Greg Stink get their third appearance of the season. This event’s sponsor is Summer’s Eve………….. DOUCHE. Better then the last one, still not quite as good as the first one. But we do get to see Pete Stink try to describe how to use douche. Which is nice.
Honorable Mention: Internet Buzz — Sigourney and friends watch the Golden Globes, but Sigourney has a new laptop and just discovered Internet Message Boards. She takes them a little too seriously. It’s a funny concept that works because of Weaver’s age. That’s probably offensive to say. “There’s a video of me from the first Alien movie and someone named Cylon57 just wrote “Dat Ass”. That’s good right? He also wrote something racist about Barack Obama but he likes me, right?”
Line of the Week: Greg Twinkle: “When your situation down south makes him breathe through his mouth: Summer’s Eve……………………… DOUCHE.”
Character of the Week: Avatar — I’ll give character of the week to this whole sketch. I didn’t really get but I haven’t seen the movie. The, um, coarseness still made me laugh. Besides, “it’s like revenge sex with a puma” really crosses all cultures.
Worst Skit: Riley — A new character for Fred Armisen. I don’t really get it. I think he’s supposed to be a little kid that inappropriately curses who might be gay because he likes pink, sequined hat? I don’t know, just didn’t work for me.
Should Have Been Funnier: The cold open with Larry King (Armisen) interviewing Jay Leno (Hammond) and Conan O’Brien (Hader). Darrel Hammond finally returns for a Leno impersonation that was surprisingly lackluster though I’m happy to see these impressionists calling Leno out for his “have you heard about this? have you seen this” method of joke-telling. For 15 years I haven’t gotten the Leno thing. I still don’t. The best part of this sketch was the Sudekis’s impersonation of Letterman because he did nothing but giggle, adjust his glasses, and throw pencils at the camera. Spot on.
Digital Short: Laser Cats V — This time, James Cameron tries to sell Laser Cats to Lorne Michaels. There are certainly some more Avatar jokes in here that I’m not getting.
- The first “guest segment” was Seth doing a long analogy on the Leno/Conan debacle comparing it to a guy who told his current wife that he’s totally going to divorce her and marry someone else in five years. I liked the bit, I was really expecting/hoping there would be some kind of gimmick where Jimmy Fallon (good) or Chevy Chase (better) came to “take their job back” on the Weekend Update desk. He even made reference to it with the eventual punchline: “If Jay can take his job back from Conan, then Conan can take his job back from Jimmy, and then Jimmy can come and take his job back from me, and I can’t go back to being in a sketch once every six weeks.” It seemed like Fallon would be the obvious choice but, alas, nothing doing.
- Larry The Goose 1 year later: Andy Samberg revisits Larry the Goose, still mourning the loss of the geese slaughtered by Captain Sullenberger during the Miracle on the Hudson. “You call it the Miracle on the Hudson. We call it the day the crazy loud big thing came at us out of nowhere.” “That’s not very poetic.” “It sounds better in goose!” This is way funnier then it had any right to be and further proof that Samberg, somehow, has the ability to make everything he’s in 12% funnier.
- Abbey Elliot as Meryl Streep: Proving, if anything, that Abbey could look good in a burlap sack. The point is to make fun of Meryl Streep’s self-deprecation and overhumility. She can’t admit to being the best at everything but still won two Oscars while sitting at the desk for Best Hummus and Best Update.
- “Frigid temperatures in Florida are threatening the state’s citrus crops which make up 40% of the world’s Orange Juice supply, so I guess diners will start serving it in even tinier glasses.” Possibly only funny if you’re from the Northeast. So, option two: “A man in Canada who won the legal right to own a tiger was mauled by that tiger in the most clear cut case ever of you win some you lose some.”
Final Thought: There was more good then bad here, including a new Keenan sketch called Disco Booty Junction which was a somewhat funny mash-up of Deep House Dish and What Up Wit’ Dat. Above average episode which will probably end up pretty forgettable this season placed in the dead of January.
Tags: Sigourney Weaver, SNL