‘SNL’ Recap: Christina Applegate And Passion Pit

Senior Pop Culture Editor
10.14.12 27 Comments

NBC could have shown an elderly monkey farting for 90 minutes, and it would have been funnier than last week’s SNL. (That may or may not be the premise of Animal Practice.) So, to call the Christina Applegate-hosted episode funnier than Daniel Craig’s isn’t giving it enough credit: it was the best episode of the season. Applegate (who I’m convinced is the same person as Jennifer Aniston) wasn’t asked to do too much and mostly assisted in sketches, rather than starred, but everyone else was on their A-game. There were three or four sketches that I rewatched this morning, and enjoyed even more the second time around, which rarely happens. There may not have been an instant classic like “Matt Foley, Motivational Speaker,” but did I love Applegate, Kate McKinnon, and Cecily Strong luring Jason Sudeikis in with their Lisa Loeb and Shania Twain sirens songs?

One might say that it impressed me much…I’ll show myself out.

Jason Sudeikis’s Joe Biden isn’t so much an impression as it is a loud caricature, which is the way he should be played. He’s already such a ridiculous human being in real life that all you can do with him is to amp up the insanity. Same with Taran Killam’s Paul Ryan and his shark eyes and Kate McKinnon’s Martha Raddatz, with her creepy, soulless smile. A start as strong as an old man.

What would a dragon vomiting look like?

Dusting this one off didn’t do Applegate any favors — she didn’t do a bad job, but she’s no Kristen Wiig, and she was essentially playing Wiig’s character from last season. Hopefully this is it for “The Californians.”

OK, yes, the Chinese accents weren’t great, but f*ck that: “Tech Talk” was hilarious. It was edgy, for SNL at least, with a great premise and strong performances. (I appreciate a good Gizmodo shaming, too.) The writers got all the little details right, too, not in the least of which was referring to the guitar that Cecily Strong played as being from the New York City subway. Nasim Pedrad’s sarcastic dance was a highlight, too.

Like my grandmother always says: the more Jay Pharoah as Denzel Washington, the better.

And for this week’s SNL quote that you’re going to see everywhere:

“If men could get pregnant, abortion clinics would be like Starbucks – two on every block and four in every airport. And the morning-after pill would come in different flavors, like sea salt and cool ranch.”

Make mine honey mustard, please! Pedrad’s Arianna Huffington is her strongest impression, and she clearly had a lot of fun with this one. Her playful line reading of “penis” made that clear. This was one-half of Weekend Update’s strong character sketches, with the other being…

Def Jam comedy is the best, and Kenan, as Jean K. Jean, got all the mannerisms right, from the spontaneous, unnecessary dancing to the “WHITE PEOPLE BE LIKE THIS, BLACK PEOPLE BE LIKE THIS” setups. Jean’s already my favorite non-“What’s Up with That” Kenan character. His accent is awfully familiar, though…

NBC didn’t put this one online (music rights and whatnot), but you can watch it here.

Poetic Justice is a great movie. And this sketch amused the hell out of me. “Two students have just been expelled for fornicating inside a Mufasa costume,” is a sentence I’m glad someone said on TV.

Passion Pit is awesome. That is all.

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