Friday, November 19, 2010

Featured Player Update - Vanessa gets a few skits & Jay dominates

Interestingly, this last episode (hosted by Scarlett Johansson) was mostly a stinker. Kristen tries a new character that doesn't go over well. A bunch of repeat skits that aren't original enough to be funny, a lot of the actors didn't seem to be hitting the marks on their jokes, and Vanessa led three bits.

In Stars of Tomorrow, Vanessa played a little girl actress who did adult roles. The skit came across as dry and a little too annoying to me:

Vanessa had a funny gag on the MTV commercial (and Jay did a good job with Nick Cannon):

This Weekend Update gag got me at the end (it wasn't funny until the end):

But I attribute the humor more to Seth and Fred than Vanessa (although she set them up well enough).

And Vanessa headlined this dating game show (but it also wasn't overly funny):

Oh my gawsh! No way! Do you guys see it??? This is Vanessa Bayer's way of getting back (by poking fun at herself and acknowledging what happened).

You see, Vanessa had her old online Dating video leaked a few weeks back, and it makes her look a little boring...

So... this skit starts out with a similar video and heads to the next step. Coincidence, or Vanessa "fighting back?"

Other bits that connect... She basically received a lot of hateful comments, including talking about her frizzy hair, so for this character she made the frizzy hair a lot more extreme. And then people asked who the heck would go for her from that video... and the answer in this skit is Taran's version of the same annoying and boring person (but in guy form).

Meanwhile, Jay does a fun Kanye impression:

But he really knocked it out of the park with his second take on his Denzel Washington impression:

I still want to see Jay bust out his Eddie Murphy on Weekend Update and feature his Will Smith in a skit a little better.

Jay is definitely the next Will Ferrell or Eddie Murphy. He is blowing the audience away with his impressions (Kanye, Nick Cannon in this episode was also genius, Denzel Washington was done a second time in this episode in a different way, Eddie Murphy, and Will Smith on Weekend Update in his first episode). Jay needs to continue to strike every other episode like he is, but he also needs to try out a character or two in between his impresions (Will Ferrell had his George Bush and Alex Trebek, but it was his characters that made him famous). Jay also did Chris Tucker on SNL once, but I missed that, and he's obviously poised to take over Obama from Fred, since he does a great Obama impression (next season is my guess).

Nasim needs to strike some more this season, but I feel like she's making a little progress already:
1st, she tried out Henry on episode 2 (Bryan Cranston) of this season (which I think flopped).
2nd, she did a great Gloria Allred during episode 3 (Jane Lynch).
3rd, on episode 4 (Emma Stone), she did her great Barbara Walters on The View and then blew me away as Morgan with her team up with Andy Samberg in "My Brother Knows Everything."
In the last two episodes, she has mostly been stagnant (in this past episode 5 she followed up her hilarious Chinese translator from last season with a stangnant reincarnation). So I don't think she's been doing nothing this season (especially with the new and great Gloria Allred and My Brother Knows Best), but she defintely has a ways to go before she can match what she gave us last season (Mahmud's wife, Kim Kardashian multiple times, 2 Bedelia skits, the Chinese translator, and the girlfriend sketch with Andy and Taylor Swift).

So here's the Featured Player rank...

1. Nasim Pedrad - The Cold Opening wasn't much special, but she's got an extra year under her belt, and Gloria Allred and My Brother Knows Best were great steps in the right direction this season (but nothing the last two episodes).

2. Jay Pharoah - Jay will probably get bumped up to Regular Player next season. He's hitting hard every other episode, and it's leaving an impression. This episode, he was the MVP with Denzel Washington, Kanye West, and Nick Cannon (so the boring offerings from the other cast members only served to make Jay look better this episode). He still needs to bust out characters to win more people over though.

3. Vanessa Bayer - She mostly fell flat with her three leads this episode (the dating game bit, the child actress bit, and the cruise ship passenger--her part was stale), which makes me wonder about her talents. Her Miley Cyrus in episode 2 was amazing, but if she continues at the level that she was at during this episode, she might not be back next season. If she can put out material as great as the Miley Cyrus Show a few more times, she'll at least make it to her second season as a featured player (which is what Bobby, Abby, Nasim, and most successful players do; I think Adam Sandler was featured for 3 seasons before he won over the audience and graduated to regular player).

4. Paul Brittain - Paul has already said "Live From New York" and had the Sex Ed character. But Paul needs more impressions and characters quick. He hasn't done enough to warrant a second season yet. Paul has only led in 2 skits in 1 episode.

5. Taran Killam - Unfortunately that puts Taran in last place, even though he rocked our world with his Pee Wee Herman (Back to the Future DVD). Taran is filling in roles well, but he needs to headline some skits quick, or he won't come back next season. I'm a big Taran fan (from Scrubs and other efforts), and I think he can do great impressions and characters, but he needs to get in there and go big spon (and often).

And here is how I'd rank the Featured Players in this episode:

1. Jay Pharoah - Denzel Washington, Kanye West, and Nick Cannon. Jay was the night's MVP, even more so than Andy, Kristen, and the others.

2. Vanessa Bayer - Although her three attempts at leading mostly fell flat, she had a few good jokes like setting up the Cruise Ship joke (for Seth and Fred) and the cribs joke (on the MTV commercial). The episode was so bad that these little jokes still added up for more humor than the other featured players achieved.

3. Taran Killam - Dancing security guard on Manuel Ortiz, and he played Chris Pine opposite Jay's Denzel. I think being associated with Jay's Denzel gave him the boost in this episode, but it's not enough and he was still overshadowed by Jay's performance.

4. Nasim Pedrad - Her second go at the Chinese translator, and she was a girlfriend on the Manuel Ortiz show.

5. Paul Brittain - Just a little support this episode.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

First Rokk Vodka video. Sorry girls, Andy doesn't look nearly as good as Jorm and Kiv.

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