Having no opinion is the worst kind of opinion, but to paraphrase the Neutral People, I have no strong feelings one way or the other about last night’s SNL. There’s a “but…” to everything: Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake were the SNL equivalent of an in-their-own-world married couple that shares an email account, but…I find them charming enough, especially Fallon, that it didn’t bother me. That Scrooge is gay sketch was awful and I didn’t really like the cold open or “The Barry Gibb Talk Show,” among others, either, but…”(Do It On My) Twin Bed” was one of my favorite things SNL has done this year. BOO MADONNA, but…YAY PAUL MCCARTNEY. And so on.
This whole episode was like a sketch with a quick slideshow of impressions: there’s no substance to it, but sometimes, it’s fun to watch people you like cracking each other up (coincidentally, there were two sketches with nothing but impressions), and I’m fairly certain the cast enjoyed themselves more than the average SNL viewer did last night. But that’s fine. It’s the holidays; why not have some fun? The self-loathing will return soon enough, probably on January 18th, when Drake’s both the host and musical guest.
Justin Timberlake pulling his head in and out of his wrapping paper body like a turtle was oddly horrifying. Anyway, the NOUN-ville sketches are clearly a fan favorite, especially to that one screaming monster who Aidy Bryant has to put up with twice, but this was one of its more phoned-in installments (Gotye, really?), coasting off the good will earned by the original Omeletteville. I’m at the point where I’m more interested in hearing from the “villain,” be it Bryant’s desperate mother or Bobby Moynihan’s nice honkin’ sausage man from Veganville, than either of the J’s.
“Steve Harvey Accused by Son and Ex-Wife of Child Abuse…but Cleared.” That is an actual headline for an actual story that was actually published yesterday. For that reason, I was curious if SNL would break out the Steve Harvey impression; it took all of 15 minutes to answer THAT. Moral judgements of using Harvey the same week he had to appear in court to explain, no, I didn’t hit my son with a belt and paddle aside, this was one of two sketches where the cast was allowed to show off their best impressions, with Fallon as BAZINGA, Timberlake as Fallon, Noël Wells as kooky American Pie-era Alyson Hannigan for some reason, and Brooks Whelan as “Brooks Whelan,” whatever the heck that is. Fallon and Timberlake are at their peak GET A ROOM YOU TWO here, but again, the crowd eats it up, so whatever, I’ll enjoy Taran Killam’s Ashton Kutcher by my lonesome. (Killam’s gonna get a confused call from his wife’s co-worker, Hannigan, some point this week.)
The Barry Gibb Talk Show
Speaking of potential awkwardness: Robin Gibb died since the last “The Barry Gibb Talk Show,” which I figured would be the LAST “Barry Gibb Talk Show.” But his spirit lives on, as does the real, not-dead Barry Gibb, who’s looking more and more like James Lipston cosplaying as Colonel Sanders with each passing day. No new beats are hit here — the guys sing, Barry yells, etc. etc. etc. — until Madonna begins speaking, at which point everything turns into a fumbled mess. She forgot to remember her lines and is seemingly unable to grab the grill (?) in her coat pocket, which will happen when your fingers (and entire body) are filled with enough bull tranquilizers to take down nine Paul Ryans. It’s what keeps her young and fit!
Weekend Update: Jimmy Fallon and Michael Bloomberg
Seth Meyers is sticking around for a few more episodes in the new year, so the outpouring of affection toward SNL‘s head writer continues this week from Fallon, who explains that Meyers introduced him for the first time on Update so many years ago. It’s a nice moment, made all the better with that adorable-looking elf sitting to Fallon’s right who wants to fulfill “a life-long dream of drinking a small soda on a non-smoking beach.” HE’S SO TINY.
Waking Up with Kimye
The first half of the episode wore me down enough that I was genuinely excited for “Waking Up with Kimye.” This was one of the better ones, too, even if SOUTH PARK DID IT. Rather than any Jelly Monsters, though, Kimye brought out the Kardashian Kristmas Karrolers (Simpsons did it?) and we learned how Kim got back into top-notch shape so soon after North West’s birth. The answer: she doesn’t eat. She’s the Kanye of not eating.
Now That’s What I Call Christmas
Here’s the other Impression Fest. Fallon pretended to be Pitbull, Harry Styles, and Michael Buble (sans Hamm), all with an equal amount of gusto (and the opposite of “gusto” for his Professor Snape), while Noël Wells’s Zooey Deschanel, Kate McKinnon’s Shakira, and especially Bobby Moynihan’s André Bocelli all shined, too. It was a fun way to spend three minutes on the Sunday morning before Christmas, but I do have one complaint: Jay Pharoah’s DMX was perfect, but why didn’t Lorne Michaels ask the real DMX instead of Justin Timberlake to be the musical guest? I could listen to him bark his way through “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” during a heat wave in July.
A Christmas Carol
“What if Scrooge was gay?” Nope. “But what if, like, imagine he’s SUPER gay.” NOPE.
Baby, It’s Cold Outside
An excellent twist on a premise that mercifully didn’t stop at “DID YOU GUYS KNOW THIS SONG IS TOTALLY ABOUT POTENTIAL DATE RAPE?” Instead, we got a “12 minutes later” version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” where the consensual deed has been done, but now it’s time for the lady to leave. Oh, I promised you we’d go antiquing next weekend? About that…well, you see, I’ve got a thing and…*pushes woman outside in her nightie* DID YOU GUYS KNOWN THIS SONG IS TOTALLY ABOUT FREEZING TO DEATH AFTER HAVING SEX?
“Only When I Walk Away”
Right before SNL last night, I saw Inside Llewyn Davis (porn version: Inside Lou’s End, Dave’s Ass), which a) deserves the A+ Vince gave it, and b) completely spoiled me. If I hadn’t plunked down the $10 to watch a folk singer and cat wander New York together, I wouldn’t have heard “Please Mr. Kennedy,” and if I hadn’t heard “Please Mr. Kennedy,” I wouldn’t have known that I wanted JT to play that instead of “Please Mr. Kanye,” or whatever this laser tag light show doubling as a song was. Damn you, Coen Brothers.