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Date Posted: 21:24:27 03/18/17 Sat
Author: Stooge
Subject: Anne Hathaway / The Killers - October 4, 2008 (S34 E4)
In reply to: Stooge 's message, "Retro Reviews - March 2017" on 05:01:55 03/02/17 Thu

Here's the original review I posted back when this episode first aired.

---------------------------------------

RATINGS SYSTEM
***** = Excellent, a possible future classic
**** = Great
*** = Average
** = Meh
* = How'd this get past dress?


Cold Opening - The Vice Presidential Debate
• I was wondering if Queen Latifah would reprise her impression of Gwen Ifill. She was good in this role once again, and I laughed at her plugging the Obama book and all of her facial reactions to Palin. Although this really shows how much SNL needs a black female castmember. Maybe they’ll hire one after Amy leaves.
• Tina did her usual spot-on Palin impression and I loved Jason’s Biden as well, he was very funny and delivered the goods.
• Highlights of the sketch were Biden slamming McCain while claiming to be a dear friend, his stance on same-sex marriages, and the “Joe Biden is better than THAT” part, and Palin’s comments about marriage between two unwilling teenagers, her love for Jews and Cuban food, and the talent portion part.
Stars: ****1/2


Monologue - Anne Hathaway
• Very short monologue, but this was pretty good and I liked seeing two real monologues in a row. Anne Hathaway was able to carry this just fine and it was better than last week’s dumb blonde monologue.
• Surprised she made fun of the issue with her ex-boyfriend. I was expecting her to not want to mention that.
• Anne pronouncing her future Nigerian name at the end was my favorite part.
Stars: ***


Sketch - The Lawrence Welk Show
• A sketch about Lawrence Welk in 2008? And as the first sketch of the night??? Don’t they usually put on classical parody type sketches like this in the last 20 minutes? I thought they’d figure most of SNL’s younger audience never even heard of this show before.
• There have been funnier “Kristen Wiig plays a freak” sketches before, and I hate to say it but I think that formula may be getting a little stale for me. I did laugh at some of Kristen’s scenes, though (especially the bubble chasing at the end), but if they really wanted to sell this, they should have gone all out and made Kristen much more repulsive and disgusting-looking. I’m thinking something along the lines of Rachel Dratch’s deformed lovechild character or even worse-looking than that.
Stars: **1/2

[2017 UPDATE: "There have been funnier “Kristen Wiig plays a freak” sketches before, and I hate to say it but I think that formula may be getting a little stale for me." This is only the beginning, 2008 Me. You have no idea how bad the 'Wiig plays a freak' formula is going to get.]


Sketch - Wall Street Bailout Press Conference
• Similar to the New York Times sketch from a few episodes ago, in that both were written by Jim Downey, both featured almost the entire cast (missing Andy this time), and both were pretty long. I didn’t have a problem with the length in this one, though, since I laughed at almost everything here.
• This is the first time Jason has played Bush since May 2007. I forgot how much I liked his Bush impression; he was really funny here. I even laughed at his facial expressions when he was standing in the background looking at the other people around him. It was also nice to see Kristen’s Nancy Pelosi finally back again after the brilliant cold opening from 2 years ago, and Fred debuted a hilarious Barney Frank impression.
• Kinda funny seeing Kenan and Bobby standing next to each other. I didn’t realize until now that they both are pretty much the exact same height and weight. Bobby had some decent lines here and he seems to be good at doing urban, black-type voices.
• Anne's line about how she's unable to have children...because she does not want to get stretch marks was great.
• Damn, I didn’t know Amy was quite that far into her pregnancy. Her stomach was friggin huge in this.
• Will’s voice and hair made me laugh a lot, and I liked the ending with him asking Bill to sell his wife to him and Bill saying “okay” with no hesitation.
Stars: ****

[2017 UPDATE: This sketch caused a bit of controversy back when it first aired. There was a part with Darrell Hammond and Casey Wilson playing a real-life couple, Herb and Marion Sandler, who's names were displayed in a graphic on the bottom of the screen with a subtitle saying "people who should be shot". The real Herb and Marion Sandler ended up taking offense to the "people who should be shot" joke, and complained to the network and threatened to sue. SNL was forced to edit out Darrell and Casey's entire portion of the sketch in all reruns.]


Sketch - Dance Club
• At first, I first this was going to be the “dancing bar ladies” sketch from the Amy Adams episode again.
• Anne and Bobby’s spontaneous dance sequence was alright and Bobby’s dance moves actually really impressed me.
• The funniest part was when the guys were cheering in slow-motion, then Andy as the waiter walks by in normal speed and takes away their glasses, then looks back at them with a confused expression.
• What was with the ending? I was expecting more, but they just abruptly cut it off. Where was the punchline?
Stars: **1/2


Digital Short - Extreme Activities Competition
• This was kind of a variation on the Andy Popping into Frame/Punching People Before Eating shorts and they played similar background music. Kristen was an interesting addition to this.
• I thought I had my fill of the digital shorts centered around Andy and I was becoming sick of them, but I was pretty entertained by this short. Some of the bizarre contests between Andy and Kristen were really good and I like how at the end, it devolved into Will’s referee character just being a pathetic guy desperate for human interaction and showing him crying in the fetal position.
Stars: ***1/2


Musical Performance


Weekend Update - Poehler & Meyers, featuring Orville Willis Forte IV
• Best jokes: OJ, 150 inch screen, space walk, heaviest man engaged, Lesbos
• Will randomly being billed by his full name made me laugh. I remember being surprised a few years ago when I first found out that’s what his real name is. I don't blame him for going by just "Will".
• Will’s Update songs are always a treat and tonight’s song delivered like always. The repetition of the gag worked and I also liked Will’s back-handed remarks to Amy for interrupting his song.
• Amy and then Seth telling several different punchlines to the world’s heaviest man story was hilarious and unexpected.
Stars: ****


Sketch - Mary Poppins
• Another random parody tonight of a classical movie/TV show, but I can understand why they came up with this particular one because of the Anne Hathaway/Julie Andrews connection. I was actually expecting Anne to do a Julie Andrews impression in a sketch tonight, but I didn’t know it would be in the form of Mary Poppins. She did a very good impression.
• The definition of supercalifragilisticexpialidocious being a liver disease was a funny dark twist, and the revelation of Bill and then Will getting the same illness from Mary Poppins was great. This maybe could’ve gone a little further, but overall, an enjoyable sketch.
• I couldn’t help but think Bobby looked so much like Chris Farley with that wig and also with the facial expressions he was making. He and Casey were good playing the young children.
• Bill’s impression of Dick Van Dyke’s character was gold. Absolutely spot-on.
Stars: ***1/2


Sketch - News 3 Sioux City
• A funny and dead-on parody of those types of news bloopers you see on YouTube.
• My favorite parts of the sketch were the “big black penis” slip-up, some of Anne's comments, the lizard scene with Bobby, Fred as the redneck in the background pointing to his crotch, and Will puking at the end.
Stars: ***1/2


Miscellaneous - Mark Wahlberg Talks to Animals
• I read before about this getting cut after dress from last season’s finale. When I read the description, I raised an eyebrow and thought it sounded incredibly lame. This actually turned out to be much better than I thought it would be.
• Andy’s Mark Walhberg impression was really funny. He pulled this sketch off well and was able to get humor out of a very thin premise.
Stars: ***1/2


Sketch - Faux-Gay Best Friend
• The premise of Jason “coming out” as a straight guy was very good. Jason’s performance was great and he had some very funny lines.
• Bill was also hilarious, especially his line about his Village People cover band.
• Could’ve done without the singing at the end (Jason has a surprisingly nice voice, though - who knew?), but it didn’t ruin an otherwise great sketch.
Stars: ****


Musical Performance


Sketch - The Less Provocative Songs of Katy Perry
• This sketch finally makes it on the air, after we all heard about it getting cut from dress several times this season.
• It was nice to finally see Casey showcased in her own sketch again for the first time in what feels like ages. I was feeling real sorry for her for getting cast in nothing but small straight roles all the time. I don’t like, though, how all the sketches where she has a lead role always keep getting shoved into the 10-to-1 slot (this, paraplegic stripper, dancing bar ladies, blind date w/ Jonah Hill). Even Bobby Moynihan’s pepper sketch from his first episode was put in an earlier time slot than that.
• The premise of this sketch was pretty one-joke, but Casey’s impression made me laugh and I feel like a perv for saying this, but I liked seeing Casey dancing around in that revealing dress. Anyone who thinks she’s fat or chubby is out of their mind.
• I laughed out loud at the Rolling Stone review which simply said “No.”
• Kristen’s cameo as the lesbian golfer was funny.
Stars: ***

_________________________________________________________

Episode Highlights:
• The Vice Presidential Debate
• Weekend Update
• Wall Street Bailout Press Conference
• Faux-Gay Best Friend
• News 3 Sioux City

Episode Lowlights:
• The non-ending to Dance Club
• Some parts of The Lawrence Welk Show

Best Performer of the Night:
• Jason Sudeikis


FINAL THOUGHTS
An overall very good show, and I enjoyed this much more than last week’s dull episode. Almost every sketch was good, and nothing was truly terrible. Even some of the weaker sketches from the first half had its moments. It was also a real treat not to see a single recurring character all night. The cast was utilized much better in this episode as well. So far this season, there seems to be a good-bad-good-bad pattern with the episodes (Phelps episode- terrible; Franco- great; Faris- mediocre; Hathaway- great).
Anne Hathaway was very impressive and easily the best host of the season so far. Faris and Franco were serviceable hosts but did nothing special, and Phelps was… well, yeah… Hathaway brought something special to almost every role, blended in well with the show and cast, and you could tell she was having a great time and loved being there. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see her coming back to host again sometime.


CASTMEMBER / HOST COUNT DOWN
ARMISEN: 4 sketches (Lawrence Welk, Press Conference, Dance Club, News 3)
FORTE: 5 sketches (Press Conference, Digital Short, Update, Mary Poppins, News 3)
HADER: 4 sketches (Press Conference, Dance Club, Mary Poppins, Faux-Gay)
HAMMOND: 1 sketch (Press Conference)
MEYERS: 1 sketch (Update)
POEHLER: 4 sketches (Lawrence Welk, Press Conference, Update, News 3)
SAMBERG: 3 sketches (Dance Club, Digital Short, Mark Wahlberg)
SUDEIKIS: 4 sketches (Vice Presidential Debate, Press Conference, News 3, Faux-Gay)
THOMPSON: 4 sketches (Press Conference, Dance Club, Digital Short, News 3)
WIIG: 6 sketches (Lawrence Welk, Press Conference, Dance Club, Digital Short, News 3, Katy Perry)

MOYNIHAN: 4 sketches (Press Conference, Dance Club, Mary Poppins, News 3)
WILSON: 6 sketches (Lawrence Welk, Press Conference, Dance Club, Mary Poppins, News 3, Katy Perry)

ANNE HATHAWAY: 8 sketches (Monologue, Lawrence Welk, Press Conference, Dance Club, Digital Short, Mary Poppins, News 3, Faux-Gay)

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