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The Telefile

SNL Season Premiere: Mixed Bag

by Angel Cohn September 15, 2008 11:28 am

Tina Fey listened to me and despite his adorkable nature and lack of acting skills, Michael Phelps fared about as well as I expected (OK, like I'd be able to bring myself to say anything bad about him, even though he didn't drop by my office to say a personal hello last week.) But the premiere was very much hit or miss... to say the least. Some of it was downright unwatchable.

It started strong, with Tina Fey as Sarah Palin and Amy Poehler as a bitter Hillary (kinda brilliant) talking about sexism in politics. Then Phelps came out and did a short, but solid open that featured Poehler as his fake mom, William Shatner (the real one!) and the one and only Debbie Phelps herself. T-Mobile Fave 5 segment? Genius. Will Forte as a dancing swim coach? Eh. The awkward Jar Glove commercial ... bizarre and disturbing but entertaining. I like Kristen Wiig, but her ugly "I said we" sketch just doesn't do it for me. Even with Michael Phelps in headgear. Charles Barkley show? Predictable. The Michael Phelps diet was laugh out loud funny. The segment with the new guy as a waiter at Uno's was appallingly bad. The jury is still out for me on the digital short "Space Olympics." I hated it. Then I laughed, and now the more I watch it, it's kinda growing on me... it is sort of like "Laser cats."

The weekend update was just plain old blah. The Alaskan guy went on forever, I can't watch Fred Armisen reading the headlines (it just irks me to no end) and Andy Samberg as Cathy? Really? Are they stealing from 30 Rock now? Because frankly, that's the last time anyone made a reference to Cathy the cartoon in the last ten years and actually made it funny. And frankly, Tina Fey makes a way better Cathy. Samberg just wasn't selling it. And with Fey in the house? Isn't that kind of insulting? Anyway, loved the delightful Fey's Princess Leia for President shirt during the goodbyes. I almost bought one the other day... now I've got no excuse.

Anyway, sort of a lackluster premiere. I keep thinking they could have done more fun stuff, since they had the whole summer. Apparently I was wrong. Below is the goofy Michael Phelps diet. He's stumbling over his lines, but it still works, "An actual pig in a blanket!"

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