Watch Bart Baker’s Iggy Azalea parodies on Youtube if you don’t get the title.
Anyway, SNL is back! And it’s nice to see the show back with a host who’s funny and naturally dominates everything and everyone because he’s so funny. I’m generally a big fan of Jim Carrey. I haven’t seen a lot of his newer movies, but I am president of the “Jim Carrey should have been Nominated for an Oscar” fan club (seriously, he legit should have won for Truman Show). And I thought Carrey did a swell job the last time he hosted. So I was excited for this episode. This episode wasn’t the best. It started slow with another singing monologue about Elvis and pecan pie that was apparently connected to a short film he made earlier or something. However, the last run of sketches (including one involving dancing) were really great. The show picked up. Anyway, unlike last week (but like the first 2 episodes) I will be highlighting some of the sketches that I felt stood out last night. So we can skip the decent cold open and the singing monologue right off the gate…
Matthew McConnaughey for Lincoln: OK. These three commercial spots livened up the first half of the episode. Ever since McConnaughey won that Oscar earlier this year (when he was clearly third in that category), I’ve been irrationally resentful of him and his success. So, yeah, you probably know how I feel about those pretentious, needlessly meta, car commercials. South Park already did a great job parodying those spots; but it was nice that SNL did a more straight forward spoof. The first two spots were funny, but the third spot was hilarious because it took me by surprise. It starts off as an All State commercial with Kenan playing Dennis Haysbert (if you listen closely, you notice that Kenan is pretty much saying nonsense in that beginning). I nearly lost it when a dazed and confused McConnaughey (played by Carrey) runs him over. Good stuff. Good stuff.
Weekend Update: Look at Jost with his slightly jousled hair. Yes, he is usually so straight-laced that one piece of hair hanging over his forehead slightly is, like, really noticeable. Anyway, Jost and Che continue to do good work, with Che really solidifying his spot on Update. The funniest part of Update this week was Vanessa Bayer as a “romantic comedy expert” who is brought on because of all the recent rom com TV shows that sprouted up during this season (very noticeably, Che left off Manhattan Love Story in his introduction as it has just been cancelled). Although, it doesn’t reach the highs of Kristen Wiig’s “flirting expert,” the back and forth between a lovestruck Bayer who is trying to force rom com cliches and a confused Che worked so well. It’s probably Michael Che’s best work on the show. As for Drunk Uncle…after, maybe, his third appearance, I haven’t liked him as much as everyone else. I think he’s sort of run his course. But the bit with him switching from Che to Jost in the beginning was fresh. But…it’s interesting…the three big recurring characters that have made an appearance this season (Cecily Strong’s “Girl,” Stefon, Drunk Uncle) have all made a reference to Che’s race. I wonder how long this will continue…
Secret Billionaire: I think this was the first live sketch to really make me laugh. I’m surprised this game show doesn’t exist (yet), but it’s essentially about a woman (played by Cecily Strong) seeking to marry a billionaire; however, only one of the suitors she’s given is one. Jim Carrey plays one of the suitors: a strange, old man with weird interests and fetishes. I don’t know how Carrey was able to keep a straight face during the hot air balloon story but props to him and his robotic hand.
Ghosts Fact of Fiction: A funny sketch involving a group of ghost hunters who search an abandoned house for paranormal activity with scientist and resident skeptic Ronda Banks (played by Leslie Jones). I could have watched Ronda freak out for at least an hour. So funny.
We should also discuss the fact that Leslie Jones is now officially a featured cast member. Now, I was very happy about this news because Jones, in the little screen time she’s had, has been so funny. However…I’m also a little surprised because…I guess I’m not sure how versatile she can be. So far, she’s played the same sort of loud, highly emotional character (even her small appearance in the Carrey family reunion sketch was essentially that). SNL cast members need a certain amount of malleability (even limited cast members like Andy Samberg and Vanessa Bayer can play different roles when need be). I’m just not sure if Jones will ever be trusted with a “straight woman” role. Even Emmy nominee Kate McKinnon is only given “crazy, wide-eyed” characters…but she’s skinny and white so it would be easier for her to fit into the SNL cast. I really hope Lorne doesn’t marginalize Jones the same way he has with Sasheer (who definitely does not benefit from this news for obvious reasons).
But, so far, Leslie Jones has had a 100% success rate in her appearances.
Costume Party Contest: I actually quite enjoyed the Zombie sketchy (featuring some great Pete Davidson physicality) but I can’t wait any longer to discuss easily the night’s best sketch. The sketch starts out funny with Bayer wrongly guessing everyone’s costumes (mistaking Kyle Mooney’s peach costume for a “butt or vagina” and Sasheer’s Vanna White costume for “Beyonce or Rihanna”). She guesses that Aidy Bryant is dressed as a meatball or a red marble, but is actually just “a woman trying her best” (easily the funniest line reading of the night). And then, since both McKinnon and Carrey dressed up as “the little girl dancer” from Sia’s “Chandelier,” they must have a “Chandelier dance off.” This evolves into the two of them doing signature moves from the video before dancing out into the audience and then to the other sets. At one point, Iggy Iggs (HEH!) joins them. It is marvelous and beautiful and even Sia, via Twitter, approved of it. The sketch ends with Bryant declared the costume contest winner (“What???”) An all-around perfect sketch and a homage to one of the best music videos of this year. I’ve stopped watching Dance Moms, but I am so proud of Maddie Ziegler (the little girl dancer from the video). Once you’ve been parodied on SNL, you’re set.
So, overall, a good episode. I wasn’t crazy about the first few sketches, but the show picked up after the first musical performance. Jim Carrey is a great host because he’s the funniest thing about every sketch he’s in. He should host more often!
MVP: It has to go to Kate McKinnon. She’s earned another Emmy nomination for her one performance this week. But, seriously, she deserves an episode to herself one of these days.
Next week(?) – Chris Rock and Prince. I’m kinda loving how all the hosts so far have been, like, comedians. It’s comforting having hosts that actually know how to nail a punch line. Also…Prince.