‘SNL’ Recap: Paul Rudd Danced, But Didn’t Dance Enough

By: 12.08.13  •  51 Comments
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It’s always dangerous when SNL books a musical guest that overshadows its guest in popularity, especially if said group appeals to an age group that’s roughly 15 years younger than SNL‘s normal demographic. I don’t know how much of the studio audience was there for One Direction and One Direction only, but from at home, it sounded like at least 75% Hear the way they went insane during the monologue; pity the jokes that bombed during “Bill Brasky.”

Unlike most sitcoms, where laugh tracks and “Perfect Strangers was filmed in front of a live studio audience” annoy more than help, the amount the crowd laughs during SNL actually effects the show: if there’s a pause where a LOL should be, the flop sweat begins dripping, and the sketch slowly, uncomfortably dies. Now, this wasn’t a great episode — there wasn’t a true standout, minus “Brasky,” and most of the sketches fell between “fine” and “OK,” though not from a lack of gleeful enthusiasm from Paul Rudd — but it deserved better than the love the audience gave it. They were too busy eye-sexing Harry, I guess? Anyway, TO BILL BRASKY.

Cold Open

I’m furious, you guys. Kristen Wiig’s Judy and Fred Armisen’s Lawrence Welk made their unwelcome returns during a condensed version of The Sound of Music, which should have been an amusing, if easy target. But minus a Bobby Moynihan line or two, it wasn’t. That’s because the sketch was suffocated by the presence of Denise, who wasn’t funny seven months ago, when she last appeared, and she’s still not funny now. But that’s not why I’m mad. No, I’m mad because later in the episode, there was an entire premise based around a Fleetwood Mac song, and Bill Hader never showed up as Lindsey Buckingham. I hope my anger doesn’t cloud my judgement.

Politics Nation

THIS IS THE WORST THING EVER. OK, that’s not true. Kenan stumbles his way through an Al Sharpton impression elegantly, providing just the right amount of loud buffoonery. This one was over before it started, though: I can’t remember the last post-Monologue sketch that only lasted three-and-a-half minutes. Not a complaint.

One Direction Concert Line

There are very few adult actors who could hang out with a bunch of pre-teen girls and not have it be creepy. Paul Rudd is one such example. Considering their massive popularity, one that threatens to drown us all in a pile of glue and glitter, there was no way One Direction wasn’t going to appear in a sketch, so I’m glad they were used well here. Please note that some of the fan girls can’t stop breaking while talking to Rudd. So unprofessional.

Weekend Update: Jacob

Aw, Jacob’s going to miss Seth. I can’t say the same is true for you, Jacob, if you don’t show up again when Cecily takes over, but it sure beats an XBox One!

Weekend Update: Jebidiah Atkinson

How badly does SNL want Jebidiah to be the next Stefon? The answer is, VERY. He’s not quite there yet (he’ll probably never reach that peak; if life were a food pyramid, Jebidiah would be stuck with the dairy group, while Stefon gorges himself at the buffet at the hottest nightclub in town, Fats, Oils, and Sweets), but his return didn’t cause night terrors, like Denise did, so that’s something? His attack on Christmas specials and Peanuts in particular (“Snoopy, if you ask me, Family Guy killed the wrong dog”) was most definitely something, and I look forward to seeing Jebidiah seventeen more times this season, he said without a trace of sarcasm.

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