Sunday, October 31, 2010

SNL Featured Player Update: Paul Brittain finally leads a few skits

It's the fourth episode of the season, and Paul Brittain finally gets to lead a skit... he leads two skits and he gets to say the coveted, "Live from New York..." bit. I think it took Andy a few seasons to get in on that, and often it takes over 1 season to do that solo. So this is quite an accomplishment.

First, Paul was in the Cold Open, playing Harry Reid:

Fred Armisen ... Barack Obama
Vanessa Bayer ... supporter
Paul Brittain ... Harry Reid
Jim Downey ... announcer (voice)
Jay Pharoah ... supporter

Jim writes most of these political cold opens (makes sense that he's the announcer). I found it smile-worthy, but the joke didn't go anywhere, and the impressions weren't very funny on their own.

What do you think?

Near the end of the episode, Paul got to lead with his first original character:

Commercial - "Sex" Ed Vincent's Sex Symposium

Emma Stone ... girl
Paul Brittain ... Ed Vincent
Steve Higgins ... announcer (voice)

Sign up for the three day Sex Symposium to broaden your sexual horizon.

Wow. I think he finally had me near the end with Emma Stone's bit. This actually reminds me of the kind of stuff that Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey used to do.

It's hard to compete against the other SNL Featured Players, but here's how I think they're stacking up...

1. Nasim Pedrad... In this 4th episode, she follows up her Bedilia character (and great impressions like Kim Kardashian) with her Morgan and Erik characters in "My Brother Knows Everything" (teaming with Andy Samberg... any excuse to see more Andy is a great one). I think Nasim is going to graduate as a regular next season.

2. Jay Pharoah... Jay hit hard his very first episode this season with his amazing Will Smith impression. He followed it up in the third episode with his Denzel Washington. We need to see an original character, and I'm waiting for his Eddie Murphy (and he's being primed to take over Obama). If Jay can continue to lead a skit every two episodes, there's a good chance that he'll graduate as a regular next season. That would be only one season as a featured player, a trick that was last done in the 05-06 season by Kristen Wiig (less than a full season), Andy Samberg, and Bill Hader.

3. Vanessa Bayer... Vanessa strikes in her second episode with an amazing Miley Cyrus impression. Let's see what else she's got coming. Vanessa is definitely coming back next season, but at this rate she'll probably have two years as a featured player.

4. Paul Brittain... Paul finally strikes with a good impression, but it's not funny. Similarly, Paul had a good impression of Johnny Depp in the Miley Cyrus bit during the second season, but it also wasn't funny. Paul needs to up his game and make his impressions funny. The clencher that got Paul in the #4 spot is his Sex Ed original character. Not hilarious, but it's funny and original enough to bump him up. He still hasn't proven that he'll be back next season.

5. Taran Killam... Taran has lost no time in filling Will Forte's shoes and becoming a normal face in many skits. However, he has yet to headline a skit, and he isn't living up to his potential of his Scrub work. That said, his Michael Cera impression was spot on. He should lead a skit with that impression or one of his many other impressions and characters. Time is ticking, Taran. He still hasn't proven that he'll be back next season.

Based on this episode alone, I would stack it like this...

1. Nasim Pedrad (loved My Brother Knows Everything)

2. Paul Brittain (got to give him props for Sex Ed)

3. Taran Killam (great Michael Cera impression)

4. Tie to Vanessa Bayer and Jay Pharoah (5 appearances by Vanessa and 4 by Jay, but nothing noteworthy)

What do you think? Do you disagree?



Anonymous said...

is it just me or was this weeks snl terribly bad?
(except for that one skit with bobby and the youtube "victims" that made me laugh like a crazyperson)

they tend to always use the same characters and skits lately instead of making new ones. vincent price has become predictable and boring. weekend update with kat and garth... always the same, nothing new there.
shy ronnie wasn't funny anymore (except when clyde took jon hamm with her :P)

Anonymous said...

mmmm hmmm

Connie said...

I actually liked this Shy Ronnie better than the first one, I think the setting was funnier and the song was actually AWESOME, lol. But I agree about recycling characters too much. I enjoyed the episode okay.

Anonymous said...

I thought the episode sucked too. I liked Shy Ronnie! It was hilarious! The Back To The Future thing was hilarious too and it gave them a chance to brake out their impressions. When Jon Hamm cried it was funny! All in all it was like a 4.5/10.

I was pretty upset that they didn't make fun of his last name being Hamm like Jon Hamm John Ham or Hamm and Bublé

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