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Date Posted: 02:24:04 08/01/17 Tue
Author: Stooge
Subject: Tina Fey / Justin Bieber - April 10, 2010 (S35 E18)
In reply to: Stooge 's message, "Retro Reviews - August 2017" on 02:13:46 08/01/17 Tue

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
• With Tina Fey hosting and her confirming earlier this week that she’ll reprise her Sarah Palin impression, I (and probably some others) figured we’d be seeing that here, but nope, we have to endure Fred’s Obama non-impression once again.
• There were a few funny parts like the question asking who in the household criticized the Health Care Plan and the Jews/Wall Street bit, but overall, this was the typical overlong, boring Obama opening that should’ve been way shorter.
Stars: **½


Monologue - Tina Fey
• This monologue started out well enough with several funny comments by Tina, then this got even funnier when she started her song. Tina did a great job performing the song and some of the walk-ons added to it.
• Steve Martin was a nice cameo, although not really a surprise when you remember he also appeared in Tina’s monologue last time she hosted. Is this gonna be a running joke every time she hosts?
• Really could’ve done without Justin Bieber’s walk-on and singing in this (unfortunately, this wouldn’t end up being the only sketch tonight where he would appear and sing). Kenan appearing in drag for his record 2,480,523,282,584th time was just as bad.
Stars: ***½

[2017 UPDATE: The (intentional or unintentional) running theme of Steve Martin always appearing in Fey's monologues would end after this episode, as her next monologue instead featured a Maya Rudolph cameo in a bit about them both being pregnant in real life at the time.]


Commercial - Brownie Husband
• I should’ve expected a commercial parody with Tina tonight. As soon as this started, I knew this wasn’t going to be anywhere near as good as the fake ad from Tina’s last episode (“Annuale”). I turned out to be correct, but this commercial still wasn’t bad in its own right.
• I didn’t really get a big laugh, though, until towards the end with the caramel filling oozing out and the shot afterwards of Tina lying in the brownie-stained bed.
• Did this have to star just Tina? At least “Annuale” and most of the other fake ads Tina wrote over the years involved the entire female cast.
Stars: ***


Sketch - CBS Sports: Masters
• Has anyone else noticed that Jason always stars in the Tiger Woods and Golf-related sketches SNL does these days? The Situation Room sketch, The PGA Tour ads, the cold opening with the senators who had affairs similar to Tiger, The Haney Project, and now this. Actually, come to think of it, he always seems to star in the sports-related sketches in general.
• Too much of this felt too “run-of-the-mill”, as Tiger Woods sex jokes are getting more and more tired. Tina still had a few funny lines like the racist comment.
• My favorite part was the parody of the Tiger Woods Nike ad; I was hoping SNL would make fun of that tonight, even though I don’t even like Kenan’s impression (I still think Fred would make a far more convincing-looking Tiger).
Stars: **½


Sketch - Sarah Palin Network
• The much-anticipated return of Tina’s Palin impression. I was worried they would use her Palin in a typical standard press conference/address-the-nation sketch, so I was pleasantly surprised to see a more original, creative set-up like this.
• In retrospect, this should’ve been used as the cold opening; it would’ve been a far more welcome change from yet another Obama opening.
• A lot of the programming clips were very funny, especially the Tea Party Wheel of Fortune, “Elites”, “Todd!”, the re-edited Palin/Couric interview, and Bobby drawing a Hitler moustache on the cloud. Of those, “Todd!” was probably my favorite; Jason was hilarious in that, and I love how he always wears that snow outfit whenever he plays Todd Palin.
• This sketch could’ve been shortened by a minute, though; some of the fake shows listed towards the end weren’t that funny. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno bit was hilarious, though.
Stars: ****


Sketch - Lonely Teacher
• As soon as I saw Justin Bieber playing a student, I groaned out loud. Then when he started singing, it took everything in me not to reach for my remote control. And even worse, him singing ended up being done throughout the ENTIRE sketch! As if him being tonight’s musical guest wasn’t already punishment enough...
• This whole sketch was insufferable for me. The miserable expression on Bobby’s face in the background was exactly the same as how I looked during this.
• Not even Tina could save this, although I got a chuckle out of her line about putting wine in her cereal.
Stars: *


Weekend Update - Seth Meyers, featuring The Devil, Aunt Linda, Tina Fey
• Best jokes: Greenspan, spa treament, male-only yoga
• I liked seeing Jason appear as the devil; Jason doesn’t appear on Update very often, but I always enjoy any of his commentaries when he does show up. He as the devil had plenty of funny lines like him referring to his pitchfork as a “salad fork”, his comment about Hell being where Walgreens cashiers are trained, his son being the TMZ guy, and him modeling for hot sauce bottle labels.
• When Seth asked Jason’s character about having a son, I had a horrible feeling that Justin Bieber would make ANOTHER appearance. Thankfully, I turned out to be wrong, although Bieber as Satan’s son would actually be VERY fitting when you think about it.
• What was with them cutting to the “spa treatment” graphic while Seth was in the middle of a completely unrelated joke? The spa treatment joke didn’t even occur until much later in the Update. In fact, there seemed to be weird camera delays throughout this whole Update tonight. I'm guessing that will be fixed in the reruns.
• When Seth was introducing the next commentary, as soon as he mentioned reviewing movies, I immediately said “Oh, no, not Aunt Linda!!” and of course, there she was. They haven’t done this character in about a year and a half, and even last time, that was her first appearance in over a year. Will this character ever officially retire? SNL can keep spacing her appearances out as long as they want, but it still doesn’t hide the fact that the Aunt Linda routine isn’t funny anymore; that character grew stale ages ago. She should’ve went out with Amy Poehler’s departure in ‘08, especially since Linda IS supposed to be Amy’s aunt, so it makes no sense why she’s still on.
• I figured before the show that Tina would appear on Update with a new Women’s News segment, but by this point of Update tonight, I actually forgot Tina was even hosting. Anyway, her Women’s News segment was funny as usual. My favorite parts were her comments about Tiki Barber, some of the Bombshell McGee lines (although I think Tina focused a little too much on her), the Hitler speech, and her talking at the end about shaving her leg/pubic hair for a sketch that didn’t even make it on the air.
Stars: ***


Sketch - Al Roker’s Ruff, Rugged, and Roker
• Okay, didn’t SNL basically use this same premise before in 1995 with David Alan Grier playing another person from the Today show: Bryant Gumbel? It was a sketch with Grier as Gumbel on the Today show and when the cameras would be on him, he would talk nerdy and professional, but as soon as they would go to commercial, he would get all loud, rude, and ghetto with everyone, and two hoes came to his side at the end. This sketch was the same basic thing, only without the actual humor and without the good writing.
• And what the hell was with Kenan’s Roker impression during the map scenes? I remember the first time Kenan played Roker back around 2005 (I think it was the Christmas Tree Re-Lighting cold opening from Dane Cook’s first episode), someone mentioned that Kenan’s voice sounded more like Bullwinkle, and I definitely noticed that here. Bizarre; when the hell does Roker’s voice even sound remotely like that? Kenan has got to be one of SNL’s worst impressionists ever.
• Nasim’s Kim Kardashian, as inaccurate as it may be, is at least always nice to look at, and Tina’s bomb line was decent.
Stars: *½


Sketch - School Dance
• I liked the premise for this; it had potential to be an entertaining lower-key sketch and Nasim gave a good performance as this Bedilia character, but I felt this sketch didn’t go as far as it should have and too much of it ended up being pretty forgettable.
• Some posters said that they thought Nasim looked like Maya Rudolph when this sketch began (please don’t say that, people; are you TRYING to ruin Nasim for me?), but I thought she actually looked like Tina for the first few seconds, which I guess makes sense since they were playing mother and daughter.
• Also, how and why did they make Nasim look so much shorter than everyone else in this sketch? Were all the other performers wearing platform shoes or something? Even Jenny towered over Nasim in this sketch, and they’re both usually about the same height.
• The ending with Bieber completely killed this sketch dead. THREE sketch appearances for him in one night? This is ridiculous; not even the Jonas Brothers got this many sketches when they were on SNL last season. Hell, Bieber had more sketches than over half of the actual SNL cast tonight. Now that just ain't right.
Stars: **½


Sketch - The 9-Inch Tall Prostitute
• At first, this sketch gave me shades of both Tiny Elvis and Cool Mite (remember that sketch, with Andrew Dice Clay?), but this ended up coming into its own after a while and I liked this overall. It wasn’t laugh-out-loud hilarious for the most part, but it succeeded at being an entertaining low-key sketch better than the previous School Dance sketch did. The performances were very good in this as well.
• Two big laughs were Tina’s line about falling in a bidet when she goes to France, and the way Jason yelled “And don’t you ever come back!!” when Will left. The ending was funny, too, with the guys questioning how men do it with her.
• For some reason, the way Will looked in that thin moustache amused me.
Stars: ***

_________________________________________________________

Episode Highlights:
• Sarah Palin Network
• parts of the Monologue
• The Devil and Tina Fey segments on Weekend Update

Episode Lowlights:
• Lonely Teacher
• Justin Bieber’s appearances in the monologue and School Dance
• Al Roker’s Ruff, Rugged, and Roker
• a few parts of Weekend Update
• a few parts of the Cold Opening

Best Performer of the Night:
• Jason Sudeikis / Tina Fey


FINAL THOUGHTS
The 09-10 season churns out yet another pretty forgettable episode. There were a few good highlights tonight and this episode surprisingly featured no recurring sketches AT ALL, which you have to admit is an amazing feat for 09-10, but I wasn't crazy about this episode overall - too much of the episode still suffered from subpar, dull writing and the end result was mildly disappointing, especially compared to Tina’s ‘08 episode. I knew this was going to happen anyway; SNL has yet to produce an all-around good episode since Jon Hamm all the way back in January and I’ve already pretty much given up on this season ever improving. I had maybe a slight bit of hope that Tina could end this long string of weak/forgettable episodes, but sadly that did not happen. She didn’t seem to have much of an influence on the writing this time. I also wasn’t too crazy about how they used Tina like a normal host. Last time she hosted, they treated her like she was still a castmember with the type of roles they gave her, and I liked that; she blended back in with the cast perfectly and it made the episode feel like there actually WAS no host. Tonight just didn’t feel right to me with Tina being featured as the main character of almost every sketch. She still did a good job performing, though.

Another thing this episode suffered from was the overload of Justin Bieber. I know they said before the show that he’d be appearing in a sketch tonight, but I was definitely not prepared for THREE sketches, one of which was centered entirely around him singing. Tonight’s episode is going to look quite silly 5 years from now when nobody will even remember who Bieber even is anymore.

[2017 UPDATE: Well, I guess I ended up with my foot in my mouth regarding that 'nobody will even remember Bieber 5 years from now' comment, considering he's - FOR SOME ASININE REASON - still relevant today SEVEN years later. How the fuck did that happen???]


CASTMEMBER / HOST COUNT DOWN
ARMISEN: 2 sketches (President Obama, Teacher)
FORTE: 2 sketches (Monologue, 9-Inch Prostitute)
HADER: 2 sketches (CBS Sports, 9-Inch Prostitute)
MEYERS: 1 sketch (Update)
SAMBERG: 3 sketches (Palin Network, Al Roker, School Dance)
SUDEIKIS: 4 sketches (CBS Sports, Palin Network, Update, 9-Inch Prostitute)
THOMPSON: 5 sketches (Monologue, CBS Sports, Palin Network, Al Roker, 9-Inch Prostitute)
WIIG: 2 sketches (Palin Network, Update)

ELLIOTT: 2 sketches (Teacher, School Dance)
MOYNIHAN: 5 sketches (Palin Network, Teacher, Al Roker, School Dance, 9-Inch Prostitute)
PEDRAD: 2 sketches (Al Roker, School Dance)
SLATE: 2 sketches (Palin Network, School Dance)

TINA FEY: 9 sketches (Monologue, Brownie Husband, CBS Sports, Palin Network, Teacher, Update, Al Roker, School Dance, 9-Inch Prostitute)

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