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Date Posted: 20:52:55 05/27/17 Sat
Author: Stooge
Subject: Seth Rogen / Phoenix - April 4, 2009 (S34 E19)
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 President Obama
• Fred’s Obama voice STILL needs work, but this was better than the usual Obama openings and it’s good they had him doing something different here.
• Fred going through different products on which are good and bad was funny, especially the plastic vomit and magazines parts.
• The Clinton comment was good, too.
Stars: ***


Monologue - Seth Rogen
• The weight loss comments were good. I’m still amazed at how thin Rogen is now.
• Why does SNL keep using castmembers as audience members nowadays? What happened to using writers?
• The Paul Blart mix-up was pretty funny.
• Bobby as the Rogen lookalike was hilarious. I was wondering if they’d address the somewhat-resemblance between him and Rogen.
Stars: ***


Commercial - The Fast and the Bi-Curious
• I thought this would be really funny at first, and it was nice having Rogen in the taped commercial, but this just turned into a predictable homoerotic-themed bit and it feels like Andy has done stuff like this on the show so much already. Plus, this just wasn’t all that funny.
• Abby’s disturbed facial reactions were good, though.
Stars: **


Sketch - Save the Funnies
• Right from the start, I knew this was going to be like the Save Broadway sketch from earlier this season. They even repeated the “that’s racist” line and Kenan’s character. This wasn’t anywhere near as good as the Broadway sketch and this should’ve had more originality.
• Bill’s voice as Archie was pretty funny.
• Darrell’s part was surprisingly very funny and was probably the best part of the whole sketch.
• Kristen and Michaela as Peppermint Patty and Marcy was hilarious.
• The Cathy appearance was really unnecessary, but at least it was short.
• The ending with Fred could’ve been funnier, although I laughed at his look and voice.
Stars: **½


Sketch - La Rivista Della Televisione con Vinny Vedecci
• I wish they’d stop doing the whole “Uh…I’m sorry, but I don’t speak Italian” thing at the beginning. That’s the only part of this sketch that I don’t like.
• The bear stuff was really funny, especially the “Bear Man and A Very, Very Handsome Man” picture from Superbad, and the bottle in the bear trap.
• I heard about Bill doing a great Rogen impression before on Conan, but I didn’t get to hear it until now. It was excellent and was yet another dead-on impression from Bill. The guy always amazes me.
Stars: ***½


Digital Short - Like a Boss
• I wasn’t too crazy about this overall. The musical digital shorts had a brief resurgence with Jizz in My Pants and I’m on a Boat, but this video felt way too “been there, done that”, like most of the musical digital shorts from the second half of last season and the beginning of this season. And I’m tired of all the musical digital shorts having to star Andy. For once, can’t they do a musical short that DOESN’T have Andy? Maybe they could’ve had a short with Rogen singing instead of him being wasted in a straight man role in this.
• Some parts still made me laugh, though, like Andy mumbling “Oh, crap, I can’t ever do it”, Bill’s expression when Andy started blowing him, and Andy blowing himself.
• Nice brief cameos by Jorma and Akiva.
Stars: **½

[2017 UPDATE: Wow, I'm surprised I gave this well-remembered song such a negative review. I still do feel that people kinda overrate this a bit, but I feel it definitely deserves higher than my original two-and-a-half star rating.]


Sketch - Phone Voices
• When they showed the outside shot of the bar, I thought this was going to be another Introverts sketch, but then when they showed Bill, Andy, and Rogen at the table, I thought this would be another Song Memories sketch before I realized there was Andy instead of Jason and Will.
• This was pretty funny and I loved how the phone voices got increasingly more ridiculous.
• Bill’s voices were especially impressive. I read a recent interview with Bill where he said he always wanted to do a Gizmo impression on SNL, but he never got the opportunity.
Stars: ***½


Weekend Update - Seth Meyers, featuring Rod Blagojevich, Jean K. Kean, Madonna and Angelina Jolie
• Best jokes: Chrysler, Obama/Queen, Man Drops Ring, Michael Jackson
• Jason as Blagojevich was funny once again. I especially liked the “beating a dead whore” line.
• Damn, why is Kenan always on Update, like, every week? I never liked Jean K. Jean so I basically payed no attention during his segment.
• At first, I thought the Madonna segment with Kristen would be boring, but it got much more interesting once Abby came on as Angelina Jolie again. I’m glad that they did something different with Abby’s Angelina this time and the conversation between her and Madonna was great. Abby’s line about the Russian baby was particularly funny.
Stars: ****


Sketch - CD Project
• Very strange sketch.
• Fred replaying the song was pretty funny, mostly due to his frozen angry facial expression while the song was playing. Bill’s nostril-flaring was funny as well. But this seemed like it could’ve gone much further and the ending with Darrell was weak.
Stars: ***


Sketch - Milestone High
• At first, I thought this was going to be like that Mirror Image sketch from the Amy Adams episode, since it had the same classroom set and the same ABC Family opening.
• This was really boring and didn’t go any place. The freeze-frame ending was kind of funny, though.
Stars: *½


Sketch - Easter Album
• I figured that they’d do this spaceships/toddlers/Model-T cars/etc. sketch from the Jonah Hill episode again sometime. This wasn’t as original as the first sketch, but it was okay. Will’s singing still cracks me up and his crazy facial expressions at the end were absolutely priceless. And at least Rogen did a better job keeping a straight face than Jonah Hill.
• The roast beef minister was hilarious.
Stars: ***


Sketch - Muppet Bus
• I remember the Muppets sketch they did when Rogen first hosted being really disappointing and the writers not giving the characters anything funny to do. Here, they seemed to try a little more and the setting was better as well. The hit-and-run premise and Fred shooting Kenan was funny.
• Will dressed as Kermit reminded me of the Timberlake Kermit sketch.
• I thought that was Kristen as Janice at first, but then I saw Kristen as Beeker and realized Michaela was Janice.
• Bill as Animal was very funny, especially when he held up the dynamite and bag of cocaine (“boom-boom, sniff-sniff”).
Stars: ***

_________________________________________________________

Episode Highlights:
• Weekend Update
• Phone Voices
• Parts of Vinny Vedecci
• Will’s performance as Clancy T. Bachleratt

Episode Lowlights:
• Milestone High
• The Fast and the Bi-Curious
• Parts of the Digital Short
• The ending of CD Project

Best Performer of the Night:
• Bill Hader


FINAL THOUGHTS
An average episode overall. Nothing special but not much terrible stuff either, pretty much exactly like Rogen’s last episode. There also should’ve been less rehashed material, but I should just be happy they didn’t bring the Ugly Twins back. Rogen was a good host but the writers seemed to give him too many straight man roles. We know he’s a funny guy so he should’ve been given more comedic roles like in the Phone Voices sketch.


CASTMEMBER COUNT DOWN
ARMISEN: 7 sketches (President Obama, Funnies, Vinny Vedecci, Phone Voices, CD, Milestone High, Muppet)
FORTE: 4 sketches (Funnies, Vinny Vedecci, Easter Album, Muppet)
HADER: 7 sketches (Monologue, Funnies, Vinny Vedecci, Digital Short, Phone Voices, CD, Muppet)
HAMMOND: 2 sketches (Funnies, CD)
MEYERS: 1 sketch (Update)
SAMBERG: 7 sketches (Fast and the Bi-Curious, Funnies, Digital Short, Phone Voices, CD, Milestone High, Muppet)
SUDEIKIS: 6 sketches (Monologue, Funnies, Digital Short, Update, Milestone High, Muppet)
THOMPSON: 5 sketches (Funnies, Update, CD, Milestone High, Muppet)
WIIG: 7 sketches (Monologue, Funnies, Digital Short, Update, CD, Easter Album, Muppet)

ELLIOTT: 6 sketches (Monologue, Fast and the Bi-Curious, Funnies, Digital Short, Update, CD)
MOYNIHAN: 4 sketches (Monologue, Funnies, Vinny Vedecci, Muppet)
WATKINS: 2 sketches (Funnies, Muppet)
WILSON: 2 sketches (Funnies, Digital Short)

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