I’m not sure I would call Lindsay Lohan’s return to SNL “highly anticipated”…but as star of The Parent Trap and Mean Girls, America is always waiting to welcome her back with open arms.
Cold Open: “I’m Shepard Smith and I’m a shy little opossum.” Bill Hader’s Shepard Smith interviews Mitt and Ann Romney (Jason Sudeikis and Kristen Wiig) as they attempt to show they can relate to the regular American people. Besides some quick asides to Shepard’s literal skeleton mother (is this some kind of reference? Someone explain this to me.) it was pretty solid. My favorite part was interviewing Mitt’s 5 adult human sons with a rare non-Weekend Update appearance by Seth Meyers (along with Taran Killam, Fred Armisen, Bobby Moynihan, and SNL writer Michael Patrick O’Brien).
Monologue: The entire monologue was mostly an obligatory shout-out to ~lolz is she gunna tank this show or wut~ but it did include some great surprise guests, like Jimmy Fallon, there to cheer her on, and Jon Hamm waiting in the audience as back-up host in case a disaster emerges. Also, Jimmy referencing Emma Stone as the Lindsay Lohan that could have been was pretty perfect.
The Real Housewives of Disney: The intro catchphrases were enough to sell the sketch, but the rest was just as phenomenal. Who knew Disney fairytales were so tailor-made for Bravo drama? It was a brilliant combination of elements of the actual reality shows and Disney themes. Everyone was great: Abby Elliott as Belle, Vanessa Bayer as Snow White, Lindsay as Rapunzel (ok Lindsay wasn’t that great), Kristen as Cinderella (Kristen was more than great) and Nasim Pedrad as Jasmine. Oh, and Taran as Prince Charming? Perfection.
2012 Psychic Awards: At first it was pretty predictable (the nominees already know if they won, because they’re PSYCHIC. Get it??); but the in-advance In Memorium of people that were going to die in the coming year was pretty genius–which included the awards show’s guests in The Psychic Award Fire of 2012. Not as good as the Adult Film Awards from Charles Barkley’s episode, but not terrible. Also, let’s not forget Andy Samberg’s character hosting as 2002′s Best Psychic, Cruise Ship or Resort and Lindsay Lohan as 2007′s Best Female Assistant.
Scared Straight: Kenan Thompson returns as Macintosh, with Lindsay Lohan playing…Lindsay Lohan (totally brill). Really, this was not one of SNL’s best Scared Straight incarnations. Most of the time I was distracted by the fact that apparently even as a now 5-time host, Lindsay can’t read a cue card. Still worth the watch for the last 20 seconds of the sketch where Jason accidentally knocks a pencil cup off his desk and he, Bill, Andy, and Bobby completely lose it.
Jack White: Jack and guest Ruby Amanfu performed
The Ballad of Edward Scissorhands and Octavia Spencer ”Love Interruption” and later Jack performed “Sixteen Saltines” solo. The performances were pretty good. I don’t listen to Jack White and can’t say I’ve been inspired to go listen to all his albums or anything, but the performances were entertaining enough and without major disaster. (And seriously, am I the only one seeing the Johnny Depp and Octavia Spencer similarity here?)
Weekend Update: Bill stops by as James Carville, king of the snakes, to talk about some of the GOP candidates, relay a hilarious story about once going on a date with Newt Gingrich, make one million Cajun references, and did a great impression of Kristen in Bridesmaids. I am so sad that Bill plays both James Carville and Shepard Smith, because I would love a Cajun showdown between the two (perhaps a pre-taped sketch? You hear me, SNL??). Seth then brings on the love of his life, Snooki (Bobby), to discuss her pregnancy rumors. The secret’s out—Snooki’s baby daddy is…Jon Hamm. Obviously.
Delinquent Girl Teen Gang: Well…this was a sketch. Bill’s perfect 60s cop accent aside, I could have done without this one. The girl gang decides to dabble in some rebellious dancing, and Fred (as a girl) keeps getting hit by a car while dancing in the street. Ehhhh.
Save the Date: This digital short was basically Andy and Kristen singing 70s-style about having a huge joint afro. So huge, in fact, they must get married because they cannot separate. Ehhhh.
B108FM: Thanks to Jimmy Fallon I’m always up for radio parodies, so I enjoyed this skit with Taran and Bobby hosting (with Lindsay as sidekick) an early morning hip hop radio show in small town Minnesota. Mad props to gloves, y’all.
Chantix: This was a repeat commercial parody from Charles Barkley’s episode earlier in the season. The premise is predictable (medicines have some CRAZY side effects, you guys!!), but Kristen and Bill’s pantomiming is impeccable, bar none.
House Sitting: Kristen’s character asks Lindsay’s character to housesit for her; but while giving Lindsay a tour of the house, Kristen keeps getting mysterious phone calls with no one on the other end, scary movie style. Spoiler alert: we eventually learn it was her own cell phone butt-dialing her house phone. Spoiler alert: I laughed zero times in this sketch.
Verizon commerical: Yet another repeat commercial parody, this time from Zooey Deschanel’s episode. Look, I’ve been to an SNL dress rehearsal, and they typically have 30 minutes worth of extra material to cut out before the final show. What was going on that they were in such need of material that they had to stick in two repeat commercial parodies?
Rude Buddha: Andy’s Buddha and his 2 cronies give his disciples preciously vague advice, and then roast them once they leave. I feel like the idea was good, but the jokes fell kind of flat. Maybe next time a Buddha Mean Girls skit?—You can’t meditate with us!!
70s Album: If there has ever been an SNL skit about nothing…this is it.
Cute Goodnights Moment: Jimmy and Fred rocking out to the SNL band.
Overall: A pretty lackluster episode, honestly—especially from someone we know can actually be really funny (unlike a Channing Tatum, for example). Luckily for Lindsay, she has some great cast members that can help make sketches work, but Lindsay as a host…just did not deliver. (How do you ruin Scared Straight??)
MVP: I think his Shepard Smith and James Carville may push Bill Hader into the lead on this one; and his general ability to brighten up an otherwise trainwrecked sketch.
Watch new episodes of Saturday Night Live on Saturdays on NBC at 11:30/10:30c. Next week’s episode on March 10 is a new episode with host Jonah Hill and musical guest The Shins.
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