‘SNL’ Recap: Adam Levine And Kendrick Lamar

By 01.27.13

It’s usually not a good thing when you watch SNL live, and by the next day, have trouble remembering any of the sketches, a problem I faced upon waking up this morning. Last night’s Adam Levine-hosted episode was bland, boring, and inoffensive, not unlike Maroon 5. The writers kept as much tough material out of Levine’s hands as possible, and even when he only had to play the straight man, like in “Janet,” he was stuffy and couldn’t take his eyes off the cue cards, which you could clearly see reflected in mirrors at times, to the point of distraction. (Note: I will likely copy and paste this paragraph for next week’s episode, just replace Adam Levine with “Justin Bieber.”)

It was a mediocre episode, with few-and-far-between highlights — Lonely Island returning, lots of Nasim, “Moves Like Jagger” only being played twice, Kendrick Lamar kicking ass — that we’ll have a hard time remembering come season finale time. In M5 terms, it will not be loved. (I’m sorry, I was 15 when that album came out.)

Cold Open

Great concept, completely undone by weak material. MLK wanting to talk about Beyoncé’s butt and Michelle’s New Girl bangs, instead of political discourse and dream-having, produced a few minor chuckles, when, had the cold open been written with any bite to it, it could have been great.


Cameron Diaz and Jerry Seinfeld showed up for some reason as Voice judges giving Adam Levine hosting advice, as did Andy Samberg, which made a bit more sense (especially later). “I starred in over 100 digital shorts and over three live sketches!” was great, but the rest, from the use of the spinning chairs to Samberg getting the aforementioned best line, was a flashing red siren that the writers did not trust Levine to deliver their material. They were right to do so.

Rosetta Stone

One of the better pre-recorded sketches of the season. It took a topic everyone is familiar, learning a second language with Rosetta Stone, and added a great, creepy spin to it, by showing that the program is popular among balding dudes learning Thai. My only complaint: shoulda been Muzzy.

Advice Show

“Hey guys, what if we did another Brian Fellows, but made it less funny and threw out all subtext?” Though I will admit I laughed at Kenan spelling, “You’re as gay as a gay goose in a gay goose parade.”

Sopranos High

Any excuse to hear Kate McKinnon’s Edie Falco impression is a good one. Excellent idea, excellent execution.

Firehouse Incident

I hated this sketch at first, but, wisely, it used the Sideshow Bob rake principal, in that if you do something enough times, it’ll eventually become funny, then annoying, then funny again, and by the time Bill Hader, whose voice the entire thing is built around, is screaming about Don’t Trust the B‘s cancellation, I was laughing. *shudder*

…And I think I hate it again.

Digital Short: YOLO

Welcome back, Lonely Island.

And a good #yolo to you, too. The first Digital Short since last season’s “Lazy Sunday 2” started slowly and was mixed oddly (had trouble hearing the lyrics at time), but it got better and better, and by the time the guys in Lonely Island had gone teeth-pulling crazy from #yolo-inspired paranoia and Kendrick Lamar showed up, I was on-board. Plus, it’s never not good to see Danny McBride.

Weekend Update: Ray Lewis

Could IRL Ray-Ray descend to Heaven, or fall to Hell, and leave us forever? Please?

Weekend Update: Arianna Huffington

Nasim Pedrad was front and center this episode. That is not a bad thing.

She can…wives with…knives me anytime she wants? I dunno. Blame the Maroon 5 vs. Train vs. Jason Mraz vs. John Mayer whatever — yet another sketch that laid out a hilarious idea, but failed to execute with, y’know good jokes; it’s as if the writers stopped after establishing, “Soft rock turf war” — for draining my sense of humor.

Indeed, Vanessa Bayer. Indeed.


Well, at least I’ve got a new pen name in “Ace Applebees.” Other than that, yeesh.

Biden Bash

OK, I guess, but not nearly weird enough. Needed more Ass Dan. R.I.P. Ass Dan.

Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick said it best:

good kid, m.A.A.d city is goddamn superb.

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