Sunday, December 12, 2010

TV Report: Paul and Paul on SNL

What a breath of fresh air Saturday Night Live was last night. Talented host, talented musical guest (boy, ever since the divorce Paul McCartney really has gotten his sense of humor back), and a show that was fun to watch.

There were a couple of dull spots. The cold open, with Obama developing Stockholm Syndrome for the GOP, was too close to home to be funny. A funnier sketch idea would've been Obama, with a Democratic majority backing him up, letting himself get bullied by John Boehner and a bunch of goons and simply caving in because it's the easier thing to do and he wants people to think he's a nice guy. There is so much there with Obama, and SNL is so reluctant to really take him on. They have the potential to exaggerate the way he folds into a sort of easily henpecked character, and they have yet to see it.

Also, Fred Armisen's Obama impression has never been very funny. It just lays there. So it isn't surprising that the other dull spots were Armisen showcases: another Vogelchecks sketch and Sexually Speaking. Neither of these has ever been funny, and besides that, they're the same thing over and over and over. Vogelchecks make out, new person gets uncomfortable, Armisen makes impassioned speech about persecution, new person comes around, everyone makes out some more. Meh. Not funny and predictable. The sight of men kissing each other lost its apparently inherent humor value for me several lifetimes ago. Sexually Speaking is also unbearable; a semi-amusing concept that has never once gone anywhere.

But even with those irritants, the show was still the best of the season so far. Rudd is a great host, game for anything, and we got four McCartney musical performances (plus his appearance on Weekend Update, which was hilarious). This week's Julian Assange sketch was funnier and had more of a sharp satirical edge than anything the show does with President Obama. It was nice to see Jay Pharaoh in a sketch that didn't require him to play a stereotype or do a celebrity impression. It was also nice to see Abby Elliott do her Meryl Streep impression; I'd forgot she did a good one, it's been so long since we've seen it. And the show really pushed Kristen Wiig and Jason Sudeikis into the background, which was nice, as I'm pretty sick of them both.

What a highlight.

1 comment:

MC said...

My favorite tweet of the night:

Well, I *was* laughing re SNL, and then there was more Fred Armisten. I assume this guy has photos of Lorne Michael with a goat. -agunn

*slow applause*