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Date Posted: 13:00:05 05/19/17 Fri
Author: Stooge
Subject: Dwayne Johnson / Ray LaMontagne - March 7, 2009 (S34 E17)
In reply to: Stooge 's message, "Retro Reviews - May 2017" on 09:14:42 05/05/17 Fri

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 - A Message from Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner
• Interesting having Will in a cold opening like this. I don’t think he’s done an “A message from…” type of cold opening since the days when he was Bush.
• The premise of Will asking people to call in and come up with a workable plan to solve the banking crisis and having a call number on screen was pretty good and this turned out okay.
Stars: ***


Monologue - Dwayne Johnson
• The comparison to Tony Danza and Rob Lowe at the beginning was funny as was “The Wrestler” joke.
• I normally can’t stand musical monologues, but Rock was able to make it somewhat enjoyable and Fred’s part made me laugh.
Stars: ***


Mini-Sketch - MacGruber #1
• I’m surprised that not only are they doing another MacGruber so soon after the Pepsi commercials that aired during the Super Bowl a few weeks ago, but Richard Dean Anderson makes another appearance. At first, I thought this was just going to be a rerun of the Pepsi ones, until I realized Dean Anderson was wearing a gray wig this time instead of a brown one.
• The flashback revealing that MacGuyver is MacGruber’s father, the “MacGuyver!!” explosion/title, and Will going “da--” right before the normal “MacGruber!!” explosion/title were all funny.
Stars: ***½


Sketch - The Rock Obama
• I remember back when Rock was supposed to host last season (before the writer’s strike), people were wondering if he would do an Obama impression in a sketch since his voice sounds just like Obama and he kinda resembles him, and that was before they chose Fred to be Obama. Nice to see that they were able to still find a way to work Rock in as Obama this time. The Incredible Hulk premise was brilliant.
• By the way, I'm STILL not crazy about Fred's Obama. I figured he would've had the impression down cold by now, but his impression still feels like a work in progress.
• Andy was great as Rahm Emmanuel and his gleeful facial reactions to Obama's anger cracked me up.
• Rock throwing everyone out the window started getting a little old, but the eventual revelation that they were on the first floor was funny.
• It felt like this sketch could’ve gone a little further, but it was still good.
Stars: ***½


Mini-Sketch - MacGruber #2
• This was probably the weakest of the three by default, but the “My dad’s a dick” line saved it.
Stars: ***


Sketch - Activia
• Was it really necessary to bring this back? I was one of the people who didn’t even like this the first time, although Kristen did a good Jamie Lee impression. Tonight’s installment was basically just a rewrite of the first one, only with Abby and Jason crapping themselves along with Kristen. Was that supposed to make it funnier?
• Jason’s various “pun intended/not intended”s were good, though.
Stars: *½


Sketch - Hawaiian Singers
• An okay sketch, but the insults to the customers peaked too early and seemed to get a little weaker as the sketch went on, like the lame "garbage" insult.
• Rock seemed to be very noticeably reading from the cue cards during this.
• Rock and Fred purposely spilling Jason and Kenan’s drinks was my favorite part.
Stars: ***


Mini-Sketch - MacGruber #3
• The “His dad’s a freakin’ butthole - MACGRUBER!!!” lyric in the theme was hilarious.
• The scene from the future was a creative twist and Will on the toilet was very funny. Seeing his bare ass is starting to get less and less shocking (we already saw it earlier this season at the end of the “A Couple of Homies” digital short), but it still makes me laugh.
Stars: ***½


Weekend Update - Seth Meyers, featuring Michael Steele, Cathy with Irving & Jessica Rabbit, Jon Bovi
• Best jokes: AIG, Iran, Square Root Day, Bush
• Kenan’s commentary was standard Kenan stuff. Didn't do anything for me.
• I was really disappointed to see Andy back as Cathy, since I hated the last appearance and this started out as basically the same thing. Timberlake’s appearance was a nice surprise, but his material here wasn’t funny and he couldn’t really save it. How many cameos does this make for Timberlake this season anyway? Jessica Biel as Jessica Rabbit redeemed this somewhat, but you could tell after she and Justin left, they didn’t really know how to end the segment properly so Andy had to make some awkward ad-lib.
• Bringing back the Jon Bovi guys was really random. Their previous appearance was in a sketch from 2006 that barely anyone probably remembers. I was one of the few people who liked that sketch, but their appearance tonight felt like too much of a rewrite. I still laughed at some parts, though, like the “tiny dongs” song at the end, and Will and Jason's performances as these two characters always amuses me.
• Anyone else find it strange that there were two Baby Got Back references in the same Update? Plus, there was that Sir Mix-A-Lot sketch from the last episode.
Stars: ***


Sketch - Game Time with Dave and Greg
• This sketch had an interesting bizarre premise and Bill was awesome as the alleged “non-alien”. I was laughing out loud right from the start just from his frozen facial expression at the beginning, and I especially loved his reaction to the spilled water and when his wings showed up behind him.
• Was that Seth’s voice as the caller from New Jersey? Very rare to have him in an actual sketch.
Stars: ****


Sketch - Celebrity Apprentice Promos
• They haven’t done these “Trump films a promo” type sketches in a long time. These sketches were some of the rare highlights from the mediocre 04-05 season.
• The “douche demographic” line was great, but the rest of Darrell’s lines were just standard recycled Darrell-as-Trump stuff that isn’t funny anymore. And why does he always have to name-drop Derek Jeter at the end of these Trump sketches?
• Michaela does another good celebrity impression. She looked and sounded dead-on as Joan Rivers.
• Fred as Tom Green was hilarious, especially when he popped up in front of the camera while eating spaghetti.
Stars: ***


Sketch - Lighthouse Romance
• This was quite good for a closing sketch and I laughed at all the different characters they kept adding downstairs.
• Rock’s dirty puns were great as well as Kristen’s different reactions to them.
Stars: ***½

_________________________________________________________

Episode Highlights:
• Game Time with Dave and Greg
• The Rock Obama
• Fred as Tom Green and Michaela as Joan Rivers
• Lighthouse Romance

Episode Lowlights:
• Activia
• Parts of Weekend Update

Best Performer of the Night:
• Will Forte


FINAL THOUGHTS
A consistently good episode, although there wasn’t much that stood out as really great aside from Game Time. But there were barely any weak sketches either, so I’m definitely not complaining. This was the best episode in a while. The writers seemed to try quite a few inventive, out-of-the-ordinary premises for this episode, which I always appreciate. The Rock did another impressive job as the host.


CASTMEMBER COUNT DOWN
ARMISEN: 5 sketches (Monologue, Obama, Hawaiian, Game Time, Celebrity Apprentice)
FORTE: 8 sketches (Timothy Geithner, MacGruber #1, Obama, MacGruber #2, Hawaiian, MacGruber #3, Update, Lighthouse)
HADER: 5 sketches (Timothy Geithner, Hawaiian, Game Time, Celebrity Apprentice, Lighthouse)
HAMMOND: 4 sketches (Obama, Hawaiian, Game Time, Celebrity Apprentice)
MEYERS: 2 sketches (Update, Game Time)
SAMBERG: 4 sketches (Obama, Hawaiian, Update, Lighthouse)
SUDEIKIS: 6 sketches (Timothy Geithner, MacGruber #1, Activia, Hawaiian, Update, Lighthouse)
THOMPSON: 5 sketches (Timothy Geithner, Monologue, Hawaiian, Update, Game Time)
WIIG: 9 sketches (Timothy Geithner, Monologue, MacGruber #1, Obama, MacGruber #2, Activia, Hawaiian, MacGruber #3, Lighthouse)

ELLIOTT: 5 sketches (Monologue, MacGruber #1, MacGruber #2, Activia, Hawaiian)
MOYNIHAN: 2 sketches (Hawaiian, Lighthouse)
WATKINS: 4 sketches (MacGruber #1, MacGruber #2, Hawaiian, Celebrity Apprentice)
WILSON: 1 sketch (Hawaiian)

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Replies:

  • Tracy Morgan / Kelly Clarkson - March 14, 2009 (S34 E18) -- Stooge, 13:14:34 05/19/17 Fri
  • "Stage manager" in the monologue is actor Stuart Margolin -- bjdwsm, 14:37:55 05/28/17 Sun
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