Monday, January 12, 2009

Neil Patrick Harris/Taylor Swift

Cold Open: 6.5/10 -Glad to see Abby Elliott get her moment to shine, and was also glad to see Rachel Maddow parodied. (I love Maddow, but it seemed time.) But unfortunately, she was given little to work with, and the result wasn't particularly funny.

Monologue: 9/10 - Best monologue of the season. My favourite part was with the guys in the audience heckling him, and Fred's ill-thought out joke. Priceless.

Today Show: 9/10 - My gosh, this was hilarious. From Kathie Lee's incessant facial ticks to NPH's trainer character. "Russian dance!" This was great, and Kristen needs to reprise KLG. Also, pleased to see Michaela Watkins to get a leading part. It seems her forte is jittery, neurotic characters.

Broadway Closing Meeting: 10/10 - I knew Broadway was an inevitable topic with NPH hosting, and the result was classic! My favourites were Bill Hader's Music Man & Abby Elliott being Kate Monster from Avenue Q. Also, best line:

"If Wicked closes, I'm not going to get another job."

"You could always go in Shrek: The Musical."

"Well, that's racist."

Penelope: 7/10 - This sketch is getting a little repetitive, and unfortunately I have to say I'm a little sick of it. The jokes are funny to those who haven't seen the sketch before, but to regular SNL viewers they're growing a little tiresome. What really redeemed this sketch for me was Liza Minelli and the tomato.

Digital Short (Doogie Howser Theme): 8.5/10 - I'm not old enough to remember Doogie Howser, but regardless I thought this was a lovely short. It may not have been hilarious, but it was definitely one of the better made of the digital shorts. I did crack up when NPH shed a single tear at the end.

Weekend Update: 9/10 - Good jokes, solid delivery, this was a good week for Seth, who I noticed still acknowledged Amy's absence. Kenan's Charles Barkley wasn't too great, but I enjoyed Will Forte's song. Highlight for me was definitely the Michael Jackson joke.

Two First Names: 8/10 - It may have been a thin concept, but I loved this sketch. From the Kangol commercial to NPH's dismissal of Daniel Day-Lewis to Jason Sudeikis' Philip Seymour Hoffman impression, it was great. Also, glad to see Abby & Michaela play significant parts in another sketch!

Air Traffic Control: 8/10 - This one reminded me of something you might see at an improv theatre. Pretty sparse concept, that was very character-driven. Some funny lines made it a lot of fun to watch. "Has anyone ever told you you look like an old Sharon Stone?"

Frost/Other People: 8/10 - I enjoyed this one. I'm a sucker for celebrity impressions, and I loved the diverse group of people in this one. However the highlight for me was Bill's David Bowie, and also Kenan's character and the impromptu little dance performed by Kenan and Jason at the end.

Whopper Virgins: 9/10 - Brilliant send-up of all the dumb fast food company commercials. Bobby Moynihan did great on this one also.

Neil Patrick Harris was an above average host, who brought assuredness and precision, fantastic timing, and a multitude of talents. Really great host, and I can see him becoming a regular host. Not to gush over him too much, but he's really on par with the likes of Baldwin and Walken. Along with Anne Hathaway and Paul Rudd, he's the best of the season so far.
Regarding the cast, I was pleased to see that everyone got equal equal screen-time (with the exception of Kristen.) I'm glad to see Lorne finally allow Michaela and Abby showcase their innate talents.
Favourite sketch: Curtains for Broadway.
Least favourite sketch: Cold Open.


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