Cold Open: I’m beginning to think there is literally nothing that Taran Killam can’t do. You would think Jason Sudeikis would be the go-to guy to play Rush Limbaugh, but Taran did it perfectly. Taran’s Rush tells (barks at?) the audience about the loss of some of his sponsors (including those sluts at TurboTax and prostitutes at the American Heart Association) and shares some hilarious new sponsors that he’s gained.
Monologue: A pre-taped video shows us the past week of SNL-prepping, and Jonah’s recent Oscar nomination is making it hard for him to relate to the cast (his glasses keep getting smaller but his scarves keep getting bigger!)—even getting into a hilarious battle-of-the-Oscar-noms with Kristen Wiig. Tom Hanks even stops by to give some advice on not letting Oscar prestige go to Jonah’s head—and of course to tease him for not having actually won.
Six Year Old Returns: Reprising his Adam Grossman character from the first time he hosted, Jonah plays the Jewish 6-year-old that embarrasses his newly divorced dad (Bill Hader) at the Benihana. What’s better than a classic Jewish comedian stand-up routine coming from the mouth of a 6-year-old? Nothing. It was perfect.
Science Finders: The Human Heart: Andy Samberg takes a short break from Much Digital Shorts About Nothing for one with a plot—to see how high a man’s heart rate will rise when you shoot a tennis ball at his crotch (all in the name of science). It’s pretty so-so until John McEnroe and the Ghost Finders show up. Overall, not too shabby.
J-Pop America Fun Time Now: Yup, J-Pop is back for the third time this season. Jonah comes on as a Samurai warrior guest (and former Jewish day camper with Vanessa’s character). I have to admit I’m starting to tire of this sketch, but Fred Armisen as Taran’s Japanese girlfriend never gets old. The sketch also features Jonah breaking, which is always fun.
The Shins: The Shins returned for their second SNL appearance and did an awesome job. Lead singer James Mercer’s vocals on “Simple Song” and “It’s Only Life” were excellent, with great performances from the rest of the band, as well. Good job, guys!
Weekend Update: Where do I even begin with this Update? Brace yourself: it was amazing. First, Kristen Wiig came on as Paula Deen to discuss her and her brother’s recent charges, and also to rub a stick of butter on her face (and a turkey leg). Then, Andy came on as…Sarah Palin?? Apparently Tina Fey couldn’t come by to do the bit; but Andy’s misinformed impression of Tina’s impression of Sarah Palin is almost just as golden. Watch out for Katie Curry and the getcha media! Finally, America’s darling, Stefon, came on to tell NYC what to do now that the weather’s so warm. If you want to find out what a football jellyfish, heprechauns, and hoombas are—and see a surprise ending—watch the full video here. If you need me, I’ll be at …………Kevin?!?
Brutus: Jonah’s scientist character introduces the world to the monkey (a barely recognizable Fred) he’s taught to speak—unfortunately, Brutus the monkey has some pretty explicit anecdotes about what’s been really going on in the lab. Lorne Michaels generally doesn’t allow his cast members to be completely hidden beneath a costume so that the audience can always tell who they are, so it’s strange that this (or the costume, at least) made it to air.
Liza Minnelli Tries to Turn Off a Lamp: Similar to Ann-Margret Tries to Throw Away a Wad of Paper Into a Trashcan, Kristen brings on the cabaret Hollywood hilarity by doing the most simple of tasks in the most fabulous way possible. Her Liza comes off a bit more Judy Garland than Liza Minnelli, but I’ll take it.
Anniversary: Jonah surprises his girlfriend (Kristen) for their anniversary with an orchestral serenade that slowly turns into Coolio karaoke (what else could a girl ask for?). The whole cast eventually goes out into the crowd, making it a thoroughly exciting sketch for them, and, let’s be honest, for all of us too because we wish we were there.
Cute Goodnights Moment: Jonah stealing Tom Hanks’s Oscar.
MVP: Kristen Wiig for her Paula Deen and Liza Minnelli—and for busting it out Coolio-style in the last sketch.
One to Watch: If you only watch one sketch from this episode, make it Six Year Old Returns (whoa, did a hurricane of sexuality just blow through here??).
Watch new episodes of Saturday Night Live on Saturdays on NBC at 11:30/10:30c. Next week’s episode on Feb. 25 is a rerun episode with host Charles Barkley and musical guest Kelly Clarkson.
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