Sunday, January 09, 2011
SNL Review: January 8, 2011 - Jim Carrey & The Black Keys
We're going to start this week with a basic review. Overall, Andy was in 4 skits. The highlights were his Cameron The Red-Winged Blackbird on Weekend Update (his third appearance as a bird in the news, so this is almost a sequel of sorts) and his contribution to the Soul Train skit, Gary St. Marvelous. Not bad, but not an Andy-heavy episode.
There was no digital short this week, but they often take a week off after a big success like "I Just Had Sex." But I would have loved to see Andy make a short with Jim Carrey. And now the reviews...
Click the linked titles to see the videos!
Cold Opening - A Message From The Mayor
Fred Armisen ... Mike Bloomberg
Kristen Wiig ... announcer (voice)
REVIEW: Watching Fred monologue at the camera in character just doesn't do it for me. Go back and watch Chevy Chase's Ford impressions (or Ferrell's or Dana Carvey's Bushes). Chevy was firing off hilarious jokes and ended with a hilarious prat fall. Even when Aykroyd's Carter came on, it was hilarious. Fred and writer Jim Downey need to go watch those old cold openings (especially since Jim probably wrote some of them).
This one was just a one gag by Fred about how disastrous snow is. It directly makes fun of something in the news, but they need to focus on funny first, not the details of what is being said. I heard courtesy laughs.
REVIEW: A hilarious monologue from Jim completely makes up for Fred's opening. He ends super well by proposing to a woman in the audience (an obvious plant, but she plays it well, as if she isn't a plant) and to a large dude.
Commercial - Bosley Hair Restoration
Fred Armisen ... Mark H.
Bobby Moynihan ... client
Nasim Pedrad ... girlfriend
Jason Sudeikis ... spokesperson
Kristen Wiig ... Adelle K.
REVIEW: This is a rerun. Still funny. The basic idea is that the hair transplant comes from pubic regions. Sort of disgusting when they show the hair on Fred, Bobby, and Kristen, but still hilarious. A good one to rerun.
Sketch - Black Swan
Jim Carrey ... Lily
Bill Hader ... Thomas
Taran Killam ... David
Nasim Pedrad ... Nina
Kristen Wiig ... dancer
REVIEW: And then... BOOM! They air the best skit of the night, one that might get Jim an Emmy nomination (or the writers), one that make you feel GREAT about the show, that reminds you why Jim Carrey was once a super star, that makes you want Jim Carrey to be a superstar again, and finally a skit that makes you want Jim to permanently host this show (or his own show). He reveals here that he is the reason why this episode is so good, and that the one skit without him (Fred's cold opening) was probably the only skit (sans Weekend Update) that he didn't help write and that's why it was the only lacking skit.
So, what happened? Well, Jim did his ballerina character that he showed briefly in Ace Ventura, and he managed to use that to make fun of Natalie Portman's new Black Swan movie, with excellent supporting roles from Nasim Pedrad and Bill Hader. Jim was a female ballerina (Lily) who was competing with Nasim's Nina to do the Black Swan. (Not to mention Kristen Wiig's brief but hilarious appearance, and even Taran Killam coming on to "feed" Jim's swan was equally hilarious.) I would have loved to see one or two more original characters like this from Jim (his dojo instructor from his first SNL appearance would have been good). And then it ends with a Jim Carrey painted face gag that pays further homage to the Black Swan trailer. Overall, this was amazing. It's like Jim's presence makes the show 3 times better!
Show - Finding Your Power
Jim Carrey ... Garrett
Vanessa Bayer ... Jessica
Andy Samberg ... Ethan
Jason Sudeikis ... Zack Twinefeld
REVIEW: Jason hosts this show where Andy, Jim, and Vanessa take turns being lying cop outs. Amusing, but a little repetitive. It could have ended after Andy or just had the bit of Jim and would have been punchier and just as funny. They really needed a new gag after Andy's instead of repeating it two more times.
Commercial - Grady Wilson's Tantric 'n Tasty
Jim Carrey ... Leelicious
Kenan Thompson ... Grady Wilson
REVIEW: Amazingly, Jim Carrey takes one of my least favorite SNL and Kenan skits and turns into awesomeness! Jim's physical comedy once again just outdoes the original performer (he did this with the Night at the Roxbury Butabi brothers last time he hosted). Jim took this thing over (my favorite was the Baboon move).
Commercial - The Worst of Soul Train
Jim Carrey ... D'Versity
Paul Brittain ... Bro-Botix member
Steve Higgins ... announcer (voice)
Taran Killam ... Bro-Botix member
Bobby Moynihan ... Coughy Robinson
Nasim Pedrad ... Ricky
Jay Pharoah ... Shooting Starr
Andy Samberg ... Gary St. Marvelous
Jason Sudeikis ... Ocean Billy
Kenan Thompson ... Maxwell family member
Kenan Thompson ... announcer (voice)
Kristen Wiig ... Triangle Sally
REVIEW: Bobby drives this one home as the host of a show that features the performers' talents! Everybody was golden here, making it another gauntlet of hilarious bits (like the Back to the Future DVD commercials). Taran and Paul were funny (mostly Taran there), Jim was hilarious of course, and Nasim, Andy, Jason, and Kristen all gave important bits. My least favorite were from Jay Pharoah and Kenan Thompson.
Musical Performance "Howlin' For You"
The Black Keys
Kristen Wiig ... Nancy Pelosi
Bill Hader ... John Boehner
Bobby Moynihan ... Anthony Crispino
Andy Samberg ... Cameron The Red-Winged Blackbird
Taran Killam ... Everett The Fish
REVIEW: Once again, Andy's third appearance as a bird in the news really sold well (sort of a series Andy has going), and Taran supported well as the fish. Kristen and Bill tore up their impressions! And of course, Bobby's Crispino does very well (but I would have taken out the second-to-last gag, because it slowed down before it picked up at the end). A great Weekend Update!
Sketch - Merryville Trolley Ride (Amusement Park)
Jim Carrey ... robot
Bill Hader ... robot
Taran Killam ... robot
Bobby Moynihan ... repairman
Kenan Thompson ... guy
Kristen Wiig ... girl
REVIEW: Oh my gosh! By far my second favorite skit of the night (behind Black Swan). This truly shows the talents of Taran Killam who actually out-performs Jim Carrey as an animatronic robot (is this even possible?). Another skit that Jim made gold with physical comedy, and it brings to life all our animatronic nightmares! Beautiful, and well played by Kenan as the victim.
My guess is that Jim was throwing out ideas, and a writer latched onto this one and turned it into a skit. And somewhere along the way Taran spoke up and said, "I can do a robot!" (Or perhaps the writer saw him do the Tin Man earlier this season or something else Taran has done and realized that Taran is an amazing robot... afterall, it's almost impossible to be better than Jim Carrey at any physical comedy like this.)
Sketch - Psychic Medium
Jim Carrey ... psychic
Vanessa Bayer ... customer
Nasim Pedrad ... customer
Jason Sudeikis ... customer
REVIEW: Jim gets a chance to do his Jimmy Stewart, Alan Thicke, and other fun impressions (although a little distracting when he's wearing that beard). Jason helps sell the gags. Vanessa and Nasim also help Jim out here.
Musical Performance "Tighten Up"
The Black Keys
Sketch - A Taste of New York
Jim Carrey ... musician
Fred Armisen ... musician
Vanessa Bayer ... audience member
Paul Brittain ... audience member
Abby Elliott ... audience member
Bill Hader ... emcee
Andy Samberg ... audience member
Kristen Wiig ... musician
REVIEW: I don't know. I didn't get into this one. Fred and Kristen almost take turns doing these nightshow characters with weird music (my favorite was Kristen Wiig with Jon Hamm), and this one is merely amusing. Jim, Fred, and Kristen (no names?) come out and sing authentic New York songs that aren't very exciting (and seem to be from the perspective of the homeless or drug-addicted). Amusing, and the audience (including Andy) sell it well with facial expressions. I would have preferred ending with the Amusement Park sketch.
Thoughts on the skits this week?
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