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Saturday Night Live “Bill Hader/Hozier” Live Blog and Review (40×03)

11 Oct

141009_2818109_SNL_Promo__Bill_Hader_and_Hozier

KIM JONG-UN COLD OPEN: Bobby Moynihan’s physical comedy makes this sketch much funnier than it should be, but at the end of it all–thankfully, only three minutes–it’s still pretty awful. There are no jokes here, and this seems like something the writers came up with in about 15 seconds. GRADE: D+

MONOLOGUE: Oh hi, Kristen Wiig. I never expected you to show up. Never. Anyway, the monologue is just perfectly average, with some pretty bland singing, a cameo by Harvey Fierstein, and a few middling jokes. GRADE: C+

HERB WELCH: “I know you’re smooth down there!” Herb Welch is still very entertaining, and although the sketch consistently hits the same beats, we haven’t seen it in a while; that makes it doubly fun to see Welch again. GRADE: B

THE GROUP HOPPER: I’m glad to see Pete Davidson shining in some main sketch roles already, and like always, SNL is great when it comes to pre-recorded parody segments. This one takes down “The Maze Runner”, “The Hunger Games”, etc., and Davidson and Zamata are great at anchoring the sketch. Bill Hader as Effie is also very entertaining. GRADE: B+

HOLLYWOOD GAME NIGHT: The weak link here is definitely Wiig’s Lee Gifford, but everyone else is great. Beck Bennett’s Nick Offerman is something that needs to happen every day, Killam’s Christoph Waltz is as great as ever, Strong’s Sofia Vergara is fantastic, and I’m definitely a sucker for these “let the actors do impressions” sketches (even if it is yet another game show). GRADE: B

HELPFUND: This is a great, great premise, and I absolutely love the “Arizona Iced Tea” line. The way everyone gathers around Hader and starts ripping him a new one is hilarious, and this is a great way to put a twist into a simple commercial parody. GRADE: A-

JAN HOOKS TRIBUTE: Wonderful.

I really want to see Whiplash. Get to a theater near me sooner, damn it.

WEEKEND UPDATE: First off, Michael Che has already vastly improved in the span of three weeks. His delivery is great, and I enjoy his dynamic with Pete Davidson (even if Davidson’s segment this week is a bit weak). Of course, Stefon’s the highlight, even if I’m a bit disappointed that they didn’t end his character with that beautiful wedding send-off. Anyway, the Obama/Romney joke is great, and Bill Hader breaking character will never get old. It looks like Mulaney swapped in a bunch of ‘Dan Cortese’ lines at the last minute. GRADE: B+

*For those of you who don’t know, Dan Cortese is an actor who has appeared in things that are not good. This is probably the largest exposure he’s ever had. Wikipedia: “He is known for his roles as Perry Rollins on Veronica’s Closet and as Vic Meladeo on What I Like About You.” Known by whom?

He is currently the host of Guinness World Records Unleashed, and he played football at one point. What a strange person to pick, Mulaney. I bet Hader doesn’t even know this guy.

PUPPETS: “Here’s a joke: GOD.” The dark comedy throughout this sketch is gold, and the addition of a war flashback is just icing on the cake. I’m definitely happy to see this segment back. GRADE: B+

INSIDE SOCAL: This is probably a love it or hate it kind of sketch, and I’ve definitely come around to it. It’s awkward, strange, and it now includes Pete Davidson. Not Mooney and Beckett’s best sketch, but far from their worst. GRADE: B-

HOZIER: I was introduced to this guy after episode three of The Leftovers–which utilized his music wonderfully–and he’s definitely a great performer. His voice is smooth, his songs are nice to listen to, and his gospel rock style at least stands out from the barrage of pop. GRADE: B

CAT IN THE HAT: There’s not much to this sketch at first, and it builds up a bit awkwardly, but it ends up being a perfectly fine 12:55 sketch that delivers a few laughs (Thing 2) and isn’t terrible. GRADE: C+

GRADE: B

IN TWO WEEKS: Jim Carrey and Iggy Azalea

Photo credit: NBC, Saturday Night Live

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