All times central. Instead of going by solely sketches, I’ll go by times tonight as well.
6:59-Oh look, Kanye already being an asshole. GRADE: D-
7:02-Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon having a great time is always fantastic to watch, although the opening is certainly very awkward (especially considering they’re trying to cram in as many references as possible). So fun, though. “Dick in a Box!”
7:05-It’ll take about 5 hours to get through these credits, guys.
7:10-It’s Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, Peyton Manning, Melissa McCarthy (why?), Miley Cyrus (why??), Billy Crystal, Chris Rock, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon…okay, if I listed every single celebrity that showed up tonight, I’d still be writing by the time we got to the next episode. One of my favorite moments of this segment was the “Louise Kay” joke, followed up by the great “I love her”. GRADE: B
7:15-Clip show time through the years, or “Let’s Watch the Degeneration of SNL”. It’s pretty great to see all those old clips, though. Looks like there are some audio issues as well.
SUPER BASS-O-MATIC 2150: An oldie and a goodie.
JEOPARDY!-This is fantastic. Nowadays, these kinds of game show sketches aren’t that funny anymore, but this is a reminder of how good these used to be. Will Ferrell can carry a sketch as Alex Trebek just based on his reactions alone, and Norm McDonald is absolutely hilarious as Burt Reynolds. Also, Sean Connery’s mispronunciations are always funny. GRADE: A-
7:40-Audition tapes! Andy Kaufman, Stephen Colbert, and more. It’s great watching all of these.
7:45- “No, I do not need to read over my lines before I attempt to speak.” -Robert DeNiro
7:48- I’ve been to New York once, and I’d like to go again. SNL is a big part of why it looks so awesome.
7:55-Yikes. Paul McCartney is certainly a legend, but this performance of “Maybe I’m Amazed” isn’t that great. Just can’t hit those notes here.
8:00-Jack Nicholson’s out to introduce a “Political Humor” montage. I really hope we can get to more actual live sketches soon, because if I wanted to watch old clips, I’d just go online. That being said, the political humor really used to be on point.
8:05-Haha, remember when Fred Armisen played Obama?
THE CALIFORNIANS: I was never a big fan of this sketch, but I’m not surprised we get one tonight because the recent cast members love it. Like all Californians sketches, this one goes on for way too long, but Bradley Cooper’s certainly very entertaining as the pool boy; he also ends up making out with Betty White. Other guests to note: Taylor Swift, Laraine Newman, and Kerry Washington, with David Spade as a flight attendant at the end. GRADE: It’s the Californians, I guess
WEEKEND UPDATE: That was great, but it needed to be much, much longer. It was great to see Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Jane Curtin again, and the Stefon/Edward Norton/Seth Meyers/Bill Hader bit was funny, as expected. Melissa McCarthy also did a good Matt Foley impression, and Emma Stone showed up as Roseanne. GRADE: B+
8:50-Okay, that Bill Murray “Jaws” segment was comedy gold, and I loved seeing “What’s Up With That” again. Also, that was the funniest Adam Sandler’s been (Opera Man) since the last time he was funny, which was during a time I can’t remember right now.
9:00-Eddie Murphy says that he’s excited to be here. “We’re not,” says the audience.
But seriously. This crowd is dead.
9:13-So, we get an ESPN Classic bit, but it’s only, what, 30 seconds? You’d think that certain sketches or segments would get more time in a 3 1/2 hour show.
Anyway: “So when you’re munching carpet, don’t let it be shag!” Best joke they’ve gotten away with.
9:20-Last time I checked, Paul Simon was here. Why is Miley Cyrus singing that song?
9:32-The Jerry Seinfeld Q&A bit has some great moments, especially Larry David’s “No” (which was messed up by the camera work). Sarah Palin also showed up and was tolerable, and it looks like Dakota Johnson is going to be hosting the next episode.
9:38-Great Tracy Morgan bit by “Mr. and Mrs. Alec Baldwin”.
9:47-Kanye West, Vic Mensa, and Sia teamed up for a performance, and it was very strange. Kanye’s performances are always visually interesting, but I wasn’t really feeling this one much musically. Anyway, when they interview him afterward, he will undoubtedly praise his own “artistry”.
9:53-Louis CK, you make a great point. Also, I love you, Louis CK.
This is a LONG show to sit through. Next week, let’s do it all over again with the Oscars!
SNL DIGITAL SHORT: This is definitely a tribute/jab at Jimmy Fallon, and it’s a very catchy one (as to be expected from any Samberg-produced digital short). Nice to see these back, even if it’s for only one night. GRADE: B+
IN MEMORIAM: Thanks to the crowd for clapping for the behind-the-scenes folks. They’re essential. Also, that Jon Lovitz bit at the end was hilarious.
WAYNE’S WORLD: “I thought Beck was even better than Beyonce…” + Dr. Evil=Lorne Michaels impersonation. Great to see Wayne and Garth back at it here, and the multiple Kanye burns were fantastic. Kudos to Myers and Carvey for having the crew at #1 as well, and it looks like after-show orgies have been confirmed. GRADE: B+
Wasn’t Jon Hamm supposed to be here? Did I miss him?
PAUL SIMON & SNL BAND: More kudos go out to the show for acknowledging the people who spend time putting this show together, and the SNL band has truly been great throughout the years.
Well, that’s it! It was a show that went on for way too long, but it definitely had some very entertaining moments. Join me on the 28th for the next episode of season 40.
Photo credit: NBC, Saturday Night Live