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‘SNL’ Recap: Bruce Willis And Katy Perry

What Bruce Willis said in the monologue was true (hey, I’ve verified everything he’s said said since I was promised a full nine yards, but was only given six, seven at most): he’s only hosted SNL once before, back in 1989. Die Hard had turned him into an A-list movie star a year earlier, and Look Who’s Talking, his first all-out comedy, would be released less than two week later. SNL tried to balance both those sides of Willis’s personality during last night’s episode, the tough action hero and the self-deprecating straight man, with some success.

The pre-taped bits: fantastic. “Boy Dance Party” is going to be everywhere today, and on your mom’s Facebook wall in a week, but “Beer Pong” deserves accolades, as well. The live material, however, varied from, to put it in terms Willis fans can understand, Die Hard 2 (decent) to North (despicable). At least no bunny suits were involved.

Cold Open

“Janet from Space called.” The government shutdown is in the news. So is Gravity. Why NOT combine them? I’ll give the writers credit for mashing together two seemingly unrelated topical hashtags, without the use of a single country song or frog, and turning out something far better than they could have. Especially after last week’s wire-related disaster. Kate McKinnon: the woman of a thousand Eastern European voices.

Monologue

“Hey, did you know Bruce Willis can play the harmonica?” The monologue asks that question, answers it (yes), and doesn’t do much else. It’s less an excuse to show how poorly Bobby Moynihan plays the instrument than it is a lame advertisement for The Return of Bruno, available on Amazon as a cassette for only $0.79.

24-Hour Energy Drink

The only thing more exhausting than dating a female actress: being with a male comedian. True, but they could have taken it a step further with Bloggers Who Wake Up at 7 a.m. to Recap SNL. Those guys are the worst.

Black Ops

The idea of a member of the military acting out one of Bruce Willis’s more terrible movies isn’t a bad one, but there was something tonally off about this sketch’s format. The payoff wasn’t strong enough, Willis’s delivery was muted and indecipherable, not enough Bobby Moyihan reactions — whatever it was, it didn’t work as well as it should have.

The Ol’ Barbershop

There’s a reason why Key and Peele’s LIAM. NEESONS. characters aren’t a trio: they’re funny enough by themselves; they don’t need a flat-voiced white dude to halt the excitement. Every time Jay and Kenan got going, either through their stories or with a well-timed visual gag (Jay drinking the blue liquid, Kenan’s over-the-top haircut), the camera cut to Bruce and the momentum died. There was no need for him here. Unlike MVP Sad Red Foxx.

Boy Dance Party

If “Boy Dance Party” hasn’t already inspired a million copycat videos (“NO HOMO BRO, I’M SHAKING MY SACK IN YOUR FACE FOR THE YOUTUBE CLICKS”), it will. The non-Digital Short digital short has all the right ingredients to be SNL‘s most viral clip in some time, namely, it has Bruce Willis doing this.

I’d say it’s going to help Shake Shack as much as “Lazy Sunday” did for Magnolia, but it doesn’t need it.

Weekend Update: Brooks Whelan

Brooks Whelan, which is a reall good name for a Southern spy, is one of the new cast members who’s spent the least amount of time in front of this camera this season. In his solo debut, he’s given a Weekend Update spot to discuss his tattoos, and how if you get a Red Hot Chili Peppers tattoo as a teenager, you’re going to regret said Red Hot Chili Peppers tattoo as an adult. “Well, I like to make her cum, to the rhythm of the drums” is for the young, not the employed.

Kirby

I’m offended. Not that Bobby Moynihan’s talents are wasted on as weak a character as Kirby, or that you can’t use “Kitty Purry” when that’s already the name of Katy Perry’s cat. No, I’m upset, because when I’m given an Armageddon parody, I expect a guest appearance from Steve Buscemi. #NoDisrespectToBenAffleck

Centauri Vodka

While Books Whelan, Kyle Mooney, and Beck Bennett were given major screentime tonight, fellow newbie John Milhiser played a horse’s ass. Excuse me, a centuar’s ass…who can’t breathe…and maybe suffocates to death, while Bruce Willis drags him around, like a heavy soiled diaper scraping across the floor.

Eddie

So not #glice. If Eddie and Kirby were character trials, they failed. Loud doesn’t equal funny.

Beer Pong

The in-studio audience clearly had no idea what to make of “Beer Pong,” but I thought it was great, and I’m glad SNL is incorporating Good Neighbor videos into the show. Their deadpan tone ensures they’ll never be as popular as, say, “Boy Dane Party,” but they’re quick, witty, and a chance to let the newcomers show off the goods.

Katy Perry

If a Tarzan movie starring Katy Perry and a tiger playing the guitar isn’t already in production, Hollywood is doing something wrong. “Roar” is embarrassingly fun, laundry detergent jingle “Walking on the Air” has been stuck in my head for the last five hours, and Katy Perry is very pretty. #NoDisrespectToBenAffleck

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