The Telefile

Saturday Night Live: Never Enough Muppets

by Ethan Alter November 21, 2011 11:15 am
<i>Saturday Night Live</i>: Never Enough Muppets

We love Jason Segel as much as the next Freaks and Geeks fan. And normally, we'd be perfectly satisfied with him as the sole host of Saturday Night Live. But because there were also Muppets in the mix, we couldn't help but spend most of Saturday night's episode wishing that Kermit, Piggy, Rowlf and the rest of the Felt Pack were handling the hosting duties.

They certainly were front and center during the night's two best skits: 1) The opening musical number featuring Segel singing about how thrilled he felt to be hosting SNL (and how pissed the Muppets were that they weren't):

And 2) The Really with Seth and Kermit part of Weekend Update, where the duo hilariously ripped Congress a new one for voting down proposed changes to the public school lunch program.

The Muppet-free sketches were far less memorable, with the lone exception of Segel's pitch-perfect impression of Andre the Giant.

But even there the writers missed a prime opportunity to enhance the comedy by including a Muppet in the frame. After all, just imagine how much funnier that already funny sketch would have been with Sweetums talking to Segel's Andre? These are the three other skits that would have been instantly improved if they featured Muppets as well as humans.

1. Mitt Romney Shake Up
Our favorite SNL impersonation of a Republican candidate is still Paul Brittain's Ron Paul, but Jason Sudeikis's Mitt Romney has grown on us as well. He was in good form in the show's cold open, where Romney used various fake "controversies" to shake up his stick-in-the-mud image. If he really wanted to radically reinvent himself though, he should have gotten some pointers from some of the Muppets. Miss Piggy could teach him all about being a diva; Fozzie would give him a crash course in the art of telling an off-color joke; while Gonzo clearly has the inside track on behaving inappropriately with chickens. Any one of these things would bring Romney the notoriety he so obviously craves.

2. New Jack Thanksgiving
We can't believe that the SNL writers did a whole spoof of early '90s new jack swing groups and missed an opportunity to work in the Muppet house band, Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. The sight of Animal in Bel Biv Devoe-style getup alone would have brought the house down.

3. Regis Philbin Auditions
As a skit, this was little more than an excuse for the various cast members to trot out celebrity impressions for 90 seconds or so (always fun to see Jay Pharoah's dead-on Denzel, though, no matter how many times they go back to that well). So why not give the Muppets a chance to sit in Reege's chair? Off the top of our heads, Sam the Eagle, Lew Zealand and the Swedish Chef would have awful -- and therefore awesome -- comic chemistry with Kelly.

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