Haters to the left, I adore Zooey and I thought she killed it this week. Aside from the mysteriously missing Bill Hader (except for pre-taped sketches) and Kenan Thompson (except for the goodnights), the rest of the cast really brought it as well to perform an awesome episode.
Cold Open: Jason Sudeikis opened with another sponsored message from Mitt Romney. It was a pretty standard appeal to the public to relate to him as just your normal guy, pretty standardly amusing. The funniest part was actually when the barking of his dog Baron, barely allowed Jason to get out the titular line, “Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!”
Monologue: Zooey skipped out in her adorable red heart-sprinkled dress to honor upcoming Valentine’s Day, and serenaded us all with a little ditty about her man forgetting it was Valentine’s Day. It was cute, it was funny, her voiced sounded amazing, I loved it. I’ll probably be listening to it on my iPod later.
Clint Eastwood Chrysler commercial: “What’s this commercial for again? Oh right, Chrysler.” They played two more continuations of this commercial bit during the night, and each one was an absolutely perfect parody of Clint Eastwood’s confusingly patriotic Chrysler Super Bowl commercial. Also starring: Bill Hader’s pants.
Piers Morgan Tonight: Super Bowl Halftime: Taran Killam’s high-pitched snootily-British Piers Morgan impression would have carried the skit alone, but the rest of the cast was hilariously spot-on with Nasim Pedrad as M.I.A., Kristen Wiig as Madonna, Andy Samberg as the random Tightrope Guy, and Zooey’s appearance as an angered Ohio mom advising us to keep the devil out of our fingers.
Les Jeunes de Paris: The first time I saw this recurring sketch, I didn’t like it. In recent incarnations, I’ve grown to love it, and I think it’s largely due to Taran’s invaluable addition as our resident Les Jeunes Frenchman. The only thing that could make the sketch even better is a surprise guest appearance by America’s new favorite actual Frenchman, Jean Dujardin—and that’s exactly what we got. It was wonderful, I loved it, the end.
Newspaper: With TCM’s 31 Days of Oscar upon us, there is not a more perfect time to point out what everyone this side of 1950 is thinking—why do Old Hollywood movie actors talk SO fast?? We may never know, but it gave us another A+ sketch in my book.
Karmin: I’ve never listened to Karmin before, but I thought their performances were stellar. Lead singer Amy Heidemann’s vocals were good, her rapping was great—both songs were fun and upbeat. They performed “Brokenhearted” and “I Told You So,” and personally, I think I’m going to look more into this duo.
Weekend Update: Seth Meyers tweeted that we were about to see the cameo of his dreams, but nothing could prepare us for what was about to happen. Andy Samberg returned as Nicolas Cage for his Weekend Update special, “Get in the Cage,” this time with…actor Nicolas Cage himself. I was flipping. OUT. It was hilarious, it was perfect, it was everything I’ve ever wanted. I know what you’re thinking: that’s high praise. Please, just…go watch it.
Bein’ Quirky with Zooey Deschanel: Addressing the obligatory elephant in the room (Zooey is SO quirky, you guys!! LOL!!!), Abby Elliott’s Zooey character hosted a talk show on living the quirky lifestyle. This could have easily been kind of Yawnnn, we get it, she’s quirky, let’s move on. But instead, the focus was more on Zooey’s awesome Mary-Kate Olsen impression, Taran’s awesome Michael Cera impression, and the return of the quirkiest girl of all, Kristen’s immaculate Bjork impression. High-five, SNL, for keepin’ it quirky.
Verizon commercial: This pre-taped sketch parodies phone commercials’ endless abbreviated and numerical jargon that basically leaves you clueless as to what you’re even purchasing anymore. “Verizon: it’s an old person’s nightmare.”
Picnic Party: Kristen and Zooey play two southern belles that are overly excited about, and ever-delaying, serving some crab legs to their friends. It’s your basic nothing-is-really-actually-occuring sketch. Not terrible, not great. I didn’t mind it.
Whitney Houston tribute: With news breaking of Whitney Houston’s death just hours before SNL’s broadcast, the show slipped in what I thought was a great Whitney tribute—a bumper of Whitney on SNL with Molly Shannon’s Mary Katherine Gallagher character.
Technology Hump: They first did this on Emma Stone’s episode earlier this season and personally, I’m not a fan. Mostly I found it interesting that they repeated two sketches from Emma’s episode (this one and Les Jeunes de Paris) in this episode.
Victorian Ladies: Kristen and Zooey act as English women in 1860 writing letters back and forth about their various odd-ball love interests. Another kind of random absurdist sketch with an abrupt ending. I didn’t really care for it.
Cute Goodnights Moments: Taran and Jean slow dancing together.
MVP: Taran Killam was amazing this episode, y’all. Even when his Piers Morgan or Michael Cera got a little Mickey Mousey, he was still top notch this week (and danced the entire second half of Les Jeunes de Paris in heels!). I have a feeling he’ll be promoted from featured player to regular cast member very soon and is gonna be SNL’s next big star. I’m calling it now, people.
Watch new episodes of Saturday Night Live on Saturdays on NBC at 11:30/10:30c. Next week’s episode on Feb. 18 is a new episode with host Maya Rudolph and musical guest Sleigh Bells.
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