Sunday, March 8, 2009

Dwayne Johnson/Ray LaMontagne Review

Cold Open: This sketch featured Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (Will Forte) seeking ideas from the public as to how best deal with the financial crisis. Funny & clever premise, and it was good to see SNL prove that they can make fun of Democrats in equal measure.

Opening Monologue: I always love a good song and dance, and when it features Dwayne Johnson belting out a big number like Tough Guy, as he did here - well, hilarity ensues! I loved it, loved it, loved it. And it was great to see Abby featured in the monologue!

MacGruber 1 - When is MacGruber not good? Never. When is MacGruber excellent? When Richard Dean Anderson reprises his role as MacGyver, and it's revealed that he's MacGruber's father. Hilarious.

The Rock Obama - Firstly, I love Andy's impression of Rahm Emmanuel (who is one of the creepiest politicians I've ever seen on television) so I was super excited to see him featured here. Johnson did a terrific job here, and even did a decent Obama impression (who he happens to sound like anyway).
"Show yourself out of window."
Yes, Obama talking like a caveman/Hulk will always be funny to me.

MacGruber 2 - Not as funny as the first one. Here it is revealed that MacGyver left MacGruber and his mother for a stripper named Lacy. Amusing, but not as laugh out loud funny.

Activia Commercial - I think I'm in the minority when I say I didn't enjoy the first one that much. It was amusing and all, but a little one-note. But I have to say I liked this one. Probably because it featured more people, like Abby Elliott & Jason Sudeikis. My favourite line?
"You know when one person yawns.."
Also, nice cameo from SNL writer/comedian John Mulaney as the cameraman!


Hawaii Honeymoon - I really enjoyed this one. My heart goes out to people who live in tourist areas such as Hawaii, and I thought this sketch was a really funny send up of how much some locals must hate the tourist industry. The line about Obama being from Hawaii was great, and I loved when Johnson knocked over the drinks of Sudeikis & Thompson.

MacGruber 3 - Funnier than MacGruber 2, not as funny as MacGruber 1. I loved the final scene where MacGruber was fulfilling his earlier promise of scattering MacGyver's ashes in the toilet. And, we got to see some of Will Forte's ass again, so it's all good.

Ray LaMontagne 1 - Nice to hear a musical guest who can manage not to "sound like ass" on SNL. I really enjoyed this. Very lovely.

Weekend Update: The high standard that WU set itself earlier in the season, is slowly beginning to slip unfortunately. The jokes have gotten a little bit more predictable, although I did enjoy the quip about Brad Pitt meeting Obama, and everything being okay. Also a clever dig at Iran is always a winner.
The characters meanwhile fared a little better. I enjoyed Kenan's Michael Steele, and thought that segment was pretty well written. Cathy was fine, but it was Timberlake and Biel that really saved that segment. Meanwhile Jon Bovi were funny, but the joke went on a little too long. It ended on a high note : "I like tiny dongs.."

Game Time with Dave and Greg: Pretty good, solid sketch. Bill Hader was pretty fantastic in this sketch, but once he started freaking out the sight of water, I kind of began to lose interest. Would have preferred it had he just kept up the vomiting of lines he'd heard used before. "That's my taxi cab."

Apprentice Commercial Shoot: As I've said on many occasions, I always love impression-orientated sketches. And this one was no different. It was great to see Hammond featured in a sketch, playing someone other than John McCain. Everyone was funny in this, and I particularly loved Fred's creepy Tom Green impression.

Ray LaMontagne 2: Loved this. Really gorgeous performance.

Lighthouse Date: This was a decent sketch. The double entendres were pretty funny, but I think funnier lines from the stranded crewmen really would have elevated the sketch. Props to the set designers and lighting people for this sketch though. They did a pretty great job of making it look like the guys were stranded on rocks.

Overall, I enjoyed the show. It was good & solid, and Johnson did a great job of hosting. I enjoyed the first half more, as I feel like the sketches in the second half weren't tight enough. On the plus side, it was great to see most cast members featured tonight, and no over-concentration of Kristen Wiig.
I have to comment on Casey Wilson's virtual absence from the show though. I mean, she had one or two lines in one sketch. I know sketches get cut, and what have you, but can the writers not muster up more lines or appearances for her?
Enjoyed the cameos tonight, and I have a feeling JT will be making many more appearances, now that he's living in NY.
Disappointed that there was no digital short, but I guess three MacGruber shorts does make up for it.

Next week - Tracy Morgan/Kelly Clarkson. Wonder if we'll see any cameos from 30 Rock peeps?

Stray Observations:
-Justin Timberlake looked hot-to-trot at the goodbyes.
-I want to see more writer cameos!
-The bumper photos are getting better and better!
-A lot of Abby Elliott, little Watkins, Wilson or Moynihan. Favouritism perhaps?

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