As Christina Applegate mentioned in her monologue, the last time she hosted saw the first appearance of Chris Farley’s now infamous Matt Foley character. Let’s see if this episode will produce anything just as infamous.
Vice President Debate: Well, I am so upset that there is only one vice presidential debate, because seeing Jason Sudeikis’s Joe Biden and Taran Killam’s Paul Ryan go face to face was the highlight of my night. I have never been more delighted by water-drinking or a widow’s peak. Oh, and Usain Bolt stops by for maybe the most random and erroneous celebrity appearance ever.
Monologue: What’s that? Another musical monologue? Y’all know I’m on board. A song about it not being holiday season was a little odd, but Jason Sudeikis’s Dane Cook impression made up for it. Actually, now I’m just mad that the Dane Cook impression wasn’t its own sketch. Maybe next time, writers?
Gillette: Male celebrities and sex offenders alike have to shave? That’s basically all I got from this commercial parody.
The Californians: Guys, I love this skit. The absurd California accents get even more absurd, and throwing in a gay Taran always makes a sketch better. This sketch also marks the first one of the night where Christina clearly steps into a role that would normally be Kristen Wiig’s (miss you forever, Kristennnn). Usain appears at the end looking for his birth father (spoiler: it’s not Taran).
Tech Talk: When SNL parodies internet culture, they really seem to do it right (for example, the Internet Comments Talk Show from Melissa McCarthy’s episode last season). In a time when the phrase “first world problems” is ubiquitous, SNL ups the ante by making whiny internet tech reviewers realize their complaints about the iPhone 5 are juvenile when they introduce them to the sweatshop workers that built the phones. Genius.
Give Us All Our Daughters Back!: Celebrity impression montage sketches may be overused…but I love them every. time. 45 minutes of threatening phone calls showed Christina in her second Kristen Wiig role of the night as Uma Thurman; and also featured Jay Pharaoh as Denzel Washington (my favorite), Taran as Liam Neeson, and more. Loved it.
Passion Pit: Passion Pit treated the audience to their brand of infectious synthpop by performing “Take a Walk” and “Carried Away.” They gave a really solid performance; it definitely made me want to check out more of their songs. I did get distracted by the backup singers that, at first glance, could’ve been Kate McKinnon, Vanessa Bayer, and Abby Elliott in wigs.
Weekend Update: Nasim Pedrad came on as Arianna Huffington to speak from a woman’s perspective about presidential debate moderator Candy Crowley—I have to say, a bit of a stretch, premise-wise. I’m not a big fan of this impression, but calling Seth “Sethly” (an SNL fandom favorite) may have made it worth it. Oh, and this great closing line: “And you know, Paul Ryan is alluring in that, you know, nice guy next door kind of way. He has the muscles, and the money, and your family loves him; but if you’ve seen any Lifetime movie, you just know he’s gonna kill you.” Then, Kenan Thompson dropped by as his inexplicably bathtub-free French character
Pierre Escargot Jean K Jean to comment on Tour de France news, but mostly to rant about French things. I could’ve done with some Everyday French. Zut alors! My favorite lines of the night are a tie between, ”Biden prepared by shotgunning Red Bull and watching Yosemite Sam cartoons,” and ”That’s it, I’m never watching the Tour de France again or before.”
Principal Frye: Hell-oween Bash: Jay’s only non-impression recurring character makes a special Halloween-themed appearance to say, “Attention teachers and students!” and reprimand various inappropriate costumes (and nearly losing it towards the end of the sketch). Christina clocks in Kristen Wiig character #3 as the kooky librarian (dressed as either a KKK fairy or a slutty Jedi).
Sirens: I could not get enough of this sketch. Most of the SNL men played ancient Greek sea voyagers with Christina, Cecily Strong, and Kate playing the ever-treacherous sirens…singing wonderfully cheesy 90s hits. A scrub is a guy that can’t get no love from me, even in ancient Greece.
Choreographer: The evening closes out with Christina playing a bizarre, intensely trained Broadway choreographer—her fourth and final Kristen Wiig-esque character (especially evoking her Liza Minelli/Ann-Margret sketches). Maybe just because it was so late into the night, but I cracked up every time Kenan said, “This don’t make no sense.”
Overall: I really liked the episode overall. Christina has certainly proved her career that she knows her way around comedy, and tonight was no different. There seemed to an interesting lack in the more flat-out weird sketches SNL usually throws in, but that was fine with me.
MVP: He may have peaked early in the episode, but I give it to Jason for his Joe Biden and Dane Cook impressions. Both were wonderful.
One to Watch: If you only watch one sketch from this episode, make it the Vice Presidential Debate Cold Open.
What was your favorite sketch?
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