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Date Posted: 07:04:42 08/06/17 Sun
Author: Stefon out of this episode I suppose
Subject: Ryan Phillippe may have been bad, but I thought this was the worst of the season. At least we got
In reply to: Stooge 's message, "Gabourey Sidibe / MGMT - April 24, 2010 (S35 E20)" on 04:50:07 08/06/17 Sun

>Here's the original review I posted back when this
>episode first aired.
>***** = Excellent, a possible future classic
>**** = Great
>*** = Average
>** = Meh
>* = How'd this get past dress?
>Cold Opening - A Message from President Obama
>• Ugh... why are they doing these dull Obama
>openings so damn frequently? The writing in them is
>never funny and watching Fred’s Obama impression is
>as interesting as watching paint dry. The political
>writing in general this season has been terrible. For
>example, this sketch’s idea of “political
>satire” was having Obama go on and on about how
>great steak tasted at a restaurant. Seriously, SNL?
>It’s really time for Jim Downey to step down from
>writing these cold openings; the man is way past his
>• And, of course, Fred gets yet another LFNY, for
>the third week in a row. The frequent Obama cold
>openings alone would explain why Fred has said LFNY
>like 70 times this season, but he also stars in most
>of the other cold openings as well (Larry King,
>Lawrence Welk, Moammar Kadafi, etc.). Is this going to
>be Fred’s final season or something, and that's why
>they're letting him open the show so much? It SHOULD
>be his final season, anyway; staying beyond 8 seasons
>is pretty much always a bad idea.
>Stars: *
>[2017 UPDATE: "Is this going to be Fred’s
>final season or something--" Ha, not even

>Monologue - Gabourey Sidibe
>• I was kinda disappointed to see another musical
>monologue (especially after we had one just two weeks
>ago with Tina Fey), but Gabourey’s performance here
>was very good and gave you confidence in her as a
>host. However, the song wasn’t really all that
>funny. It probably wasn’t supposed to be, but this
>barely had any memorable parts. Well, I did laugh at
>the Mariah Carey line and I liked Bill’s quick
>• Also, an interesting thing is that the entire cast
>appeared in this, although I didn’t realize that
>when originally watching it. This current cast is a
>lot smaller than I thought.
>Stars: ***
>Sketch - The Suze Orman Show
>• Is this the first time they’ve done this sketch
>since the Josh Brolin episode a year and a half ago? I
>remember back then, I was only just beginning to get
>sick of Kristen Wiig but I could still tolerate her to
>an extent and I still enjoyed the Suze Orman sketches.
>I tried hard to enjoy this one tonight, but I just
>couldn’t help but get annoyed by Kristen. Really
>shows how much my opinion of her has changed over the
>last year.
>• There seemed to be an unnecessary overabundance of
>lesbian jokes all throughout this sketch, though I did
>like Kristen’s pap-smear cruise story, especially
>the “blowhole” line. That and Gabourey’s drunk
>story were the only two big laughs of the sketch.
>• At first, Gabourey’s presence made me happy
>since it took some screentime away from Kristen and I
>initially laughed at Gabourey’s Jamaican accent, but
>she had a noticeably hard time with the delivery of
>her lines. She kept stumbling over lines that were
>actually supposed to be humorous and could’ve gotten
>bigger laughs if they were delivered correctly.
>Overall, this sketch was pretty hard for me to watch.
>Stars: **
>Sketch - Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
>• I remember Kenan first played Steve Harvey several
>years ago in a Prince Show sketch, and I remember
>being stunned by how absolutely horrible Kenan’s
>impression was and how he didn’t sound remotely like
>Steve Harvey (this was back in Kenan’s earlier
>seasons, before I got used to his inability to do any
>accurate impressions). Kenan did seem to try a little
>harder to sound like Steve Harvey in tonight’s
>sketch, but he still came nowhere close.
>• The premise of this sketch was dumb as well, and
>the joke got old fast. And since when is Steve Harvey
>known for mispronouncing words?
>• I did laugh at Kenan's initial facial reaction to
>seeing the Icelandic names on the bottom of the
>screen, but that was it.
>• How come this sketch couldn’t be done live? I
>mean, this WAS pre-taped, right? It sure looked like
>Stars: **
>[2017 UPDATE: This sketch is obviously where
>SNL's running gag of Steve Harvey mispronouncing names
>originated. That, along with Kenan's Harvey
>impression in general, eventually ended up growing on
>me after a while. Honestly, this sketch wasn't bad,
>looking back on it. Also, that aforementioned "facial
>reaction to seeing the Icelandic names on the bottom
>of the screen" ( >href="https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/96
) may be the most famous KENAN REACTS moment
>in his whole SNL tenure thus far.]

>Sketch - Old Mrs. Johnson
>• This sketch had a good premise along with
>surprisingly actual clever writing. And while Gabourey
>was funny, her again having trouble delivering several
>lines and completely losing it at one point took away
>from the writing a little and made this sketch not
>come off as strong as it could've been. I wonder if
>they'll show the dress version of this in future
>reruns, assuming Gabourey didn't mess up there.
>• I still liked this sketch overall, and the twist
>at the end with Gabourey explaining her life story was
>good and unexpected. The Wikipedia part was pretty
>funny, too.
>Stars: ***
>Digital Short - Cherry Battle
>• Uh... wow. This has got to be easily THE most
>bizarre Digital Short ever. And considering how
>strange some of the shorts have been, that’s really
>saying something.
>• And normally, I like “strange”, but I didn’t
>know what the hell to make of this. I did kinda laugh
>and this was at least less predictable than last
>week’s awful Other Man short. But in the end, I
>didn’t really find this too outstanding; it seems
>like the Lonely Island actually could’ve gone more
>out and made this a really insane, instantly-memorable
>classic short.
>• Also, this didn’t really seem much like a
>“battle” to me. When this started, I thought it
>was going to be like the Extreme Activities
>Competition short Andy did with Kristen.
>Stars: **
>Sketch - I Did It in My Style, The Story of Frank
>• When Fred first spoke in that voice, I wondered
>why it sounded so familiar until I realized this was a
>follow-up to the International Masterworks sketch from
>the Ryan Reynolds episode, where the Norwegian actors
>were doing an American play. I remember back when that
>originally aired, I predicted they would end up making
>it recurring, although I thought they would bring it
>back within the whole International Masterworks show
>again. I at least have to give SNL credit for using a
>new set-up this time.
>• That being said, this sketch was terrible and was
>nowhere near as funny as the first installment. Most
>of this fell completely flat.
>• The newspaper reviews were the only times I
>chuckled, even though the reviews did go on too long
>and probably weren’t really that funny. But for some
>reason, I liked them.
>Stars: *½
>Weekend Update - Seth Meyers, featuring Judy Grimes,
>Stefon, John Mulaney
>• Best jokes: Larry King, Charmin ads
>• This was yet another Update where more time and
>focus was spent on the guest commentaries than on
>Seth’s jokes. But considering how weak Seth’s
>jokes are lately and how I pretty much can’t stand
>him anymore, maybe the fact that the Updates are
>focusing less on him is a good thing. But when the
>commentaries lately have mostly just been excuses to
>trot out tired, overdone commentators like Aunt Linda,
>Judy Grimes, and James Carville, it’s not exactly a
>better alternative. Weekend Update is in desperate
>need of an all-around revamp/makeover.
>• When Seth was introducing the first commentary and
>started by mentioning the Iceland volcano, I had a
>horrible feeling that Kristen would show up as Bjork
>for the second episode in a row. But then Seth said
>“travel writer” and I groaned out loud, knowing
>that meant the “just kidding” lady was coming
>back. At this point, I actually would’ve preferred
>Kristen’s Bjork to this tired nonsense again.
>You’ve seen one Judy Grimes commentary, you’ve
>seen them all; and it wasn’t even funny the first
>time as much as it was impressive.
>• On top of that, Kristen couldn’t even keep up
>with her own fast delivery tonight and she stumbled on
>a few words.
>• Seeing Bill as his Stefon character from a sketch
>in the Ben Affleck ‘08 episode was a surprise. I
>remember really enjoying that sketch last time, and it
>was good to see him in a new set-up here. He had some
>funny lines tonight, like “Tranny Oakley” and him
>explaining what Teddy Graham people are.
>• Then in the middle of the commentary, Bill just
>lost it for some reason and couldn’t stop laughing.
>He’s been doing this more frequently this season. He
>had a very similar character break on Update a few
>months ago when he played Eliot Spitzer, as well as
>the Scared Straight sketches, the Pageant Talk sketch
>after Zach Galifianakis started laughing himself, and
>both Hollywood Dish sketches (well, the dress versions
>of Hollywood Dish shown in the reruns). Do you
>remember when seeing Bill Hader break character used
>to be as rare as seeing Dan Aykroyd or Phil Hartman
>crack up? One of the things I used to love about Bill
>was his absolute professionalism. If his character
>break on Update tonight happened a year ago, it
>would’ve had me on the floor. But tonight, I merely
>just smiled and chuckled when Bill broke. The novelty
>is wearing off. I’m not denying that it was still a
>little funny, but I don’t think it’s a good sign
>that he’s having a harder time staying in character
>these days. What’s happening to him?
>• John Mulaney appearing on Update tonight was a
>complete surprise. I read last week that Hannibal
>Burress, another SNL writer, had an Update commentary
>that got cut after dress. I was disappointed to find
>out it got cut since it sounded like it could’ve
>been very interesting, so it was good to see
>Mulaney’s bit make it on the air tonight. SNL
>hasn’t had a writer do Update commentaries since the
>days of Kevin Brennan and Hugh Fink 10 years ago. I
>don’t know if they’re trying to return to that, or
>if maybe - just maybe - they’re trying out potential
>replacements as Update anchor if Seth leaves soon?
>Some people said they can’t see Seth leaving after
>this season and that could be true, but maybe he’ll
>just step down from Update and work entirely behind
>the scenes as just the head writer. But if he did, it
>probably wouldn’t exactly solve SNL’s current
>writing problem. IMO, Seth needs to be eliminated from
>the show COMPLETELY; he’s clearly past his prime and
>I believe he is one of the main factors in the decline
>of this season’s writing quality.
>• I enjoyed John Mulaney’s commentary and seeing
>him felt like a breath of fresh air. I may be a little
>biased, though, since I’m a fan of Mulaney’s work
>in general and he’s one of the stronger writers on
>the show currently; he’s written some of the best
>sketches from the last two seasons. Anyway, his
>delivery during tonight’s commentary was funny and
>he had a few good lines like referring to girl scouts
>as “the weird child army in tablecloth dresses”.
>Hopefully, this could be the start of something
>beautiful - either Mulaney making more appearances as
>a guest commentator or (*crosses fingers*) Mulaney
>becoming the possible next Weekend Update
>anchorperson... or maybe that honor might go to
>Hannibal Burress, Jessi Klein, anyone. Either way,
>something big needs to change. Seth represents part of
>what’s bringing SNL down right now, while John
>Mulaney is part of what represents hope for SNL’s
>Stars: **½
>[2017 UPDATE: Okay, a lot of things to address
>here: 1) This was Stefon's very first Weekend Update
>appearance, and would become the start of something
>epic. In fact, his appearance in this episode went
>over so well with the audience that SNL brought him
>back for his second Update commentary merely two
>episodes later in the season finale. 2) Regarding my
>gripe about the increasing frequency of Bill's
>character breaks, obviously we didn't know yet about
>the REAL reason for his crack-up during this (and
>subsequent) Stefon commentary. I believe the reason
>wasn't revealed until some point during the following
>season when Stefon had become a frequent Update guest.
> 3) It's interesting how the very first Update Stefon
>appeared in also featured a commentary from John
>Mulaney, considering he's the writer behind Stefon.
>4) "--they’re trying out potential replacements as
>Update anchor if Seth leaves soon?" Again, like my
>'Fred's final season' comment earlier, not even
>close... Also, I may have been eager back then for
>Mulaney to take over as Update anchor, but nowadays,
>it's hard to say just how good he would've been. Not
>too sure now if he would've been all that great. I
>remember a complaint about him on the SNL boards back
>then was, personality and delivery-wise, he seemed too
>similar to Seth, and thus there was a worry that him
>as Update anchor would've just been more of the same.
>Then again, when Colin Jost started doing Update
>several years later, there were similar complaints
>about him being a robotic Seth clone, before he found
>his voice during his second season on Update. So who
>knows how Mulaney would've fared. And finally, 5)
>regarding my hope for "Mulaney making more appearances
>as a guest commentator", he would do only one more
>Update commentary later on, in the following season's
>Emma Stone episode, IIRC. And interestingly, I
>believe Stefon also appeared on that same Update, too.
> Strange. Was Stefon appearing on Update whenever
>Mulaney did a guest commentary some sort of package

>Sketch - 2010 Public Employees of the Year Awards
>• SNL’s fake award show sketches are usually
>ALWAYS boring and way too long, and this was no
>exception. It felt like there were almost no funny
>moments in this overlong sketch, and the only true
>laughs came from Bobby’s performance, even though he
>wasn’t given any actual funny lines to say. It
>really says something about Bobby’s talent that he
>was able to wring laughs out of a dull role like this.
>This guy definitely needs to be promoted to the main
>cast next season.
>• Gabourey AGAIN stumbled over one of her lines,
>during her DMV monologue. I’m enjoying some of her
>performances tonight, but I don’t know... It almost
>feels like the writers intentionally gave her such
>difficult, long-winded dialogue in every sketch so
>she’d mess up on the air.
>• The Brendan Fraser cutaway could’ve been funny,
>but SNL already used that clip before.
>Stars: *½
>Sketch - Alarm Clocks and More
>• No. Just no. Please stop doing these, SNL.
>• When they first did the Doorbells sketch in the
>Taylor Lautner episode, I felt like I was one of the
>very few people who didn’t mind it and I actually
>defended Jenny Slate in my review of that sketch
>(since it seemed like everyone was hating on Jenny
>back then). But now I feel kinda foolish for all of
>that. There was absolutely no reason to ever make that
>sketch recurring, and it gets more and more annoying
>in each installment.
>• For those on this forum who called out some
>reviewers last week on complaining too much about
>recurring sketches, MY problem personally with SNL’s
>current recurring characters this season is that they
>never do anything new with most of them; each
>installment for most new characters these days are
>just completely lazy copy-and-paste rewrites of the
>first, with only a few minor changes, and they usually
>get less and less funny in each installment. And some
>of them are one-dimensional characters that had no
>business being recurring in the first place! Take this
>sketch for example: it’s the exact same every time.
>It starts with Nasim and Bobby, and Bobby goes
>“Pfft! Nice doorbell/car horn/alarm clock” and
>walks out on Nasim, then Jenny enters and goes “Does
>this ever happen to you???”, then throws a
>traditional doorbell/car horn/alarm clock off-camera,
>and proceeds to showcase a whole bunch of tedious
>ringing/honking tones for various types of people.
>They even have Fred and Abby appear as the same
>customers in every installment, asking for a
>doorbell/car horn/alarm clock that suits them, then
>saying “Thanks...” with a forced smile afterwards.
>The overall sketch is very one-dimensional and it’s
>been downhill after the first installment.
>• And honestly, I don’t know what to think about
>Jenny Slate anymore. My opinion of her and faith in
>her has actually lessened a little in the last few
>months. First off, have you noticed she never gets any
>big roles outside of this Tina-Tina Shaneuse
>character? When she’s not playing this character,
>she’s stuck in non-speaking walk-on roles all the
>time. Compare this to Nasim Pedrad, who has been
>showcased in quite a number of lead roles, playing a
>variety of different characters each time. Even when
>she gets a small walk-on role, Nasim still comes off
>like a very experienced performer. I cannot say the
>same for Jenny. And Nasim actually adds something new
>and unique to SNL, doing several low-key slice-of-life
>type sketches like School Dance and Roomies; neither
>sketch is laugh-out-loud hilarious, but they’re both
>entertaining, relatable, and a breath of fresh air
>compared to the usual humor on SNL these days.
>Jenny’s Tina-Tina character, on the other hand, is
>just another in a long line of one-note, goofy-voiced,
>catchphrase-driven unfunny characters we see these
>days on SNL, which is the LAST thing the show needs
>right now. Now, I’m not trying to sound like one of
>Jenny’s haters. Despite what I said above about her,
>she still comes off as a likeable performer most times
>and I still WANT her to improve and succeed on the
>show. I just sincerely hope that this Doorbell lady
>character isn’t the best she has to offer SNL.
>• Oh, and as for my thoughts about the remaining
>female featured player, Abby... Abby who? It seriously
>feels like Abby has disappeared on the show for the
>last few months. She NEVER gets lead roles and never
>stands out anymore these days, unless she’s doing an
>impression on Weekend Update... and the last one she
>did was Meryl Streep all the way back in January! I
>don’t know if this bodes very well for Abby’s
>future on the show. She’s been on the show for TWO
>YEARS now and has yet to break out.
>• Aaaaaand getting back on topic after all of
>that... I laughed at the “boner” alarm clock for
>men. Unfortunately, that was my only laugh during this
>whole sketch.
>• Did you notice Gabourey almost reached for one of
>the alarm clocks by mistake when Jenny was supposed
>to? Gabourey caught herself half-way through and
>stopped, then laughed a little. I like her, but man,
>she seems to be messing up in EVERY sketch tonight.
>Stars: *½
>Sketch - Gabourey and Hamilton
>• Kenan seems to be in every sketch tonight.
>That’s no surprise considering this episode's host.
>I should just be happy we didn’t get a Virginiaca or
>a Scared Straight sketch, which a lot of people were
>predicting would show up tonight.
>• I was happy to see Will’s anti-Obama guy back
>(see, guys, I don’t hate ALL recurring sketches).
>And just like how the last sketch with him in the Drew
>Barrymore show was one of the very few highlights in
>that weak episode, his appearance tonight was easily
>better than almost any other sketch in this episode.
>• Just the idea of a racist character like this
>being the ex-boyfriend of Gabourey Sidibe is hilarious
>in itself. And there were some good moments here, and
>Will’s line about transferring Robert Ludlum
>passages to Gabourey’s back with his penis was
>priceless. But overall, the sketch was a bit
>disappointing for his standards. It was still a funny
>sketch in general, but it didn’t have quite as many
>laughs as the Drew Barrymore installment.
>• What was with that close-up of Gabourey when she
>didn’t even say anything? When the camera cut to
>her, she and no one else spoke for the next few
>seconds, then she opened her mouth like she actually
>was going to speak, but Will started saying his next
>line. Did Gabourey blank out and completely skip one
>of her lines or something? Seriously like I said
>earlier, she seemed to not be able to get through a
>single sketch tonight without messing up at least once.
>Stars: ***
>Episode Highlights:
>• Gabourey and Hamilton
>• most of Old Mrs. Johnson
>• John Mulaney on Weekend Update
>Episode Lowlights:
>• A Message from President Obama
>• Alarm Clocks and More
>• 2010 Public Employees of the Year Awards
>• I Did It in My Style, The Story of Frank Sinatra
>• parts of Weekend Update
>• Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
>• The Suze Orman Show
>• Gabourey Sidibe’s constant screw-ups
>Best Performer of the Night:
>• Will Forte
>I know I shouldn’t keep getting my hopes up
>considering how consistently disappointed I’ve been
>with the second half of the 09-10 season, but I really
>thought Gabourey Sidibe’s presence this week would
>snap the lazy writers into shape and inspire them to
>write an actual good show. But nope. The result was
>yet another mostly uninspired, forgettable episode.
>There were a few rare shining moments of hope like the
>great material in the Old Mrs. Johnson sketch and the
>show ending on a good note with Forte’s Hamilton
>sketch, but for the most part, the episode felt like a
>long string of weak sketches that missed the mark, and
>it felt like nothing stood out as truly great overall
>- even the better sketches in this episode only
>received a three-star rating.
>And Gabourey Sidibe... I’m not quite sure what to
>say. She was a likeable and enthusiastic host overall,
>which is always nice for SNL to have (though no one
>this season has matched Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s level
>of enthusiasm) and she made me laugh at times, but her
>apparent nervousness and inexperience hurt the show in
>a lot of spots. I had a feeling before the show that
>she might have trouble keeping a straight face in a
>sketch or two considering how giggly she was in some
>interviews I’ve seen her in, but I wasn’t
>expecting something like THIS with her making some
>kind of flub/screw-up in just about EVERY SINGLE
>SKETCH. I want to cut her some slack, but I rarely see
>a host mess up this much. The last host with this many
>screw-ups was January Jones, although by no means am I
>saying Gabourey was as bad a host as her. Gabourey
>still showed far more charisma and got far more laughs
>than January Jones did.
>There are only two episodes left this season. I’m
>already not looking forward to the Betty White/former
>female castmembers reunion extravaganza thing. I have
>no problem with Betty White herself (although it’s
>kinda ridiculous that SNL’s only getting her to host
>because of some dumb Facebook campaign), my issue is
>with SNL bringing back a whole bunch of female
>castmembers for the show. What the hell is the point?
>If it’s because SNL doesn’t want to overwork Betty
>White and use her in too many sketches, then isn’t
>that what you have the CURRENT cast for? This could
>actually be a good excuse for some of the newer,
>underused castmembers to get some much-needed
>exposure. But with a show that’s most likely going
>to be filled with the return of old tired characters
>like Sally O’Malley and Debbie Downer, the current
>cast (especially those poor featured players) is going
>to get lost in the shuffle.
>So in my opinion, SNL only has one more opportunity
>left for another good episode this season, and
>that’s the season finale. The finale better be
>strong, because there hasn’t been an episode that I
>truly and genuinely enjoyed since Jon Hamm in January,
>and I’d hate to have this season end without a
>single good episode in its final 4 months. I
>constantly compare the quality of this 09-10 season to
>1993-94, but even that season didn't have this long of
>a gap between great episodes.
>[2017 UPDATE: Funny how I was all gloom-and-doom
>about the then-upcoming Betty White episode and was
>ready to write it off. As we know now, that episode
>ended up being VERY memorable and by far one of the
>highlights of the whole season. And despite my
>worries about the possibility of the cast getting lost
>in the shuffle in that episode, most of them weren't
>shafted TOO badly, not even the featured players...
>except for Abby "Who?" Elliott, who made no live
>appearances that night. Will someone please remind me
>HOW IN THE WORLD that woman lasted two more years
>after this season???]

>ARMISEN: 5 sketches (President Obama, Monologue, Mrs.
>Johnson, Frank Sinatra, Alarm Clocks)
>FORTE: 3 sketches (Monologue, Frank Sinatra, Hamilton)
>HADER: 3 sketches (Monologue, Frank Sinatra, Update)
>MEYERS: 1 sketch (Update)
>SAMBERG: 2 sketches (Monologue, Digital Short)
>SUDEIKIS: 3 sketches (Monologue, Frank Sinatra,
>Employees of the Year)
>THOMPSON: 6 sketches (Monologue, Millionaire, Mrs.
>Johnson, Frank Sinatra, Employees of the Year,
>WIIG: 3 sketches (Monologue, Suze Orman, Update)
>ELLIOTT: 3 sketches (Monologue, Millionaire, Alarm
>MOYNIHAN: 4 sketches (Monologue, Millionaire,
>Employees of the Year, Alarm Clocks)
>PEDRAD: 3 sketches (Monologue, Alarm Clocks, Hamilton)
>SLATE: 3 sketches (Monologue, Frank Sinatra, Alarm
>GABOUREY SIDIBE: 9 sketches (Monologue, Suze Orman,
>Millionaire, Mrs. Johnson, Digital Short, Frank
>Sinatra, Employees of the Year, Alarm Clocks, Hamilton)

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