Saturday Night Live: The Louis CK Sketches Worth Watching

by Rachel Stein November 5, 2012 10:20 am
<I>Saturday Night Live</i>: The Louis CK Sketches Worth Watching

I felt nervous watching Louis CK on Saturday Night Live up until the moment he spoke with a slightly different, high-pitched voice on the Fox and Friends sketch. CK isn't exactly a character actor -- at best, he's basically a heightened version of himself on Louie -- and the chances of him mucking up his SNL debut felt pretty high. Fortunately, CK proved he does in fact have versatility as an actor, and this week's episode ended up being pretty fun and will not go down in the SNL history books as a particularly awful installment... I'm telling you, my expectations were low. (Need I remind you about the "Dave Returns" episode of Parks and Recreation?) Rather than pick on the more underwhelming sketches of the night -- the aforementioned Fox and Friends, Kourtney Barnes and the Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With at a Party bits from Weekend Update, Mountain Pass, Hotel Fees -- let's focus on the highlights:

Saturday Night Live: Bruno Mars, Triple Threat

by Samantha Rullo October 22, 2012 2:44 pm
<i>Saturday Night Live</i>: Bruno Mars, Triple Threat

Let's be honest, whenever a host pulls double duty as the musical guest, everyone's expectations are pretty low. It's a tough thing to do for anyone who isn't Justin Timberlake -- who got a little shout out from Bruno Mars in his monologue. Lucky for us, after the mandatory debate cold open and an impressive if not very funny monologue, Mars lead a solid episode. Besides being Mars' debut as a host, this episode marked a few firsts. It was the first time new featured player Aidy Bryant was given more than one line and featured the season's first appearance of Stefon, who, of course, didn't disappoint. Here's a look at some of this week's best sketches that would make Justin proud.

Saturday Night Live: The Best of Christina Applegate

by Samantha Rullo October 15, 2012 2:38 pm
<i>Saturday Night Live</i>: The Best of Christina Applegate

This week Christina Applegate hosted SNL, and in case you didn't hear from all of the promos and interviews about it, the last time she hosted was in 1993. As she bragged about mentioned in her monologue, that episode featured the first appearance of the classic Chris Farley sketch "Matt Foley: Motivational Speaker." While none of the sketches from this episode were quite that memorable, there were a few worth watching again. Lucky for Applegate, she was in all of them and steered clear of an especially boring "Weekend Update." Overall, it was a successful night for the up-for-anything host, even if she had a bad case of raccoon eyes in all of her host portraits.

Saturday Night Live: Why the Girls Beat the Bond

by Samantha Rullo October 8, 2012 2:14 pm
<i>Saturday Night Live</i>: Why the Girls Beat the Bond

It's no surprise that this weekend's Saturday Night Live was on political overload. Always a fan of debates--even the most boring, apparently, SNL spent much of the episode mocking this year's first presidential showdown. Somewhere between the debate cold open, the MSNBC analysis and Weekend Update, they managed to squeeze host Daniel Craig in to a few sketches, too. Maybe they shouldn't have. Craig's sketches weren't this episode's best. The few that actually warranted a laugh were those that showcased the female cast. Last season's sudden addition, Kate McKinnon, was definitely the MVP of the girls this week, but they all left the guys, even James Bond himself, trailing far behind.

Saturday Night Live: Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Highlights

by Samantha Rullo September 24, 2012 1:28 pm
<I>Saturday Night Live</i>: Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Highlights

Joseph Gordon-Levitt returned to host Saturday Night Live for the second time, and while it wasn't the most consistent episode, the sketches featuring the loveable host tended to be the best. Of course, there were a few exceptions, like Kate McKinnon's Beyonce-loving Ann Romney during Weekend Update. Here are some of this week's strongest sketches, all brought to you by the charming smile of Jo Go-Lev.

Saturday Night Live: Voices in Your Head

by Samantha Rullo September 17, 2012 2:59 pm
<I>Saturday Night Live</i>: Voices in Your Head

SNL kicked off its 38th season with host Seth MacFarlane and quite a few of his signature voices. Despite the absence of Kristin Wiig, Abby Elliott and Andy Samberg, it was a pretty good start to the season. The premiere also featured the debut of three new featured players and while Tim Robinson and Cecily Strong seem to have some potential, the six seconds that Aidy Bryant was onscreen weren't really enough to judge her skills. Only a few sketches missed the mark this time (can we just retire Fred Armisen's replacement talk show host please?), so here are some of the night's best.

Saturday Night Live: The Most Memorable Farewells

by Ethan Alter May 21, 2012 12:51 pm
<i>Saturday Night Live</i>: The Most Memorable Farewells

While it still hasn't been made official, it's safe to assume that this weekend's Mick Jagger-hosted season finale of Saturday Night Live marked the last time that Kristen Wiig will appear in Studio 8H... as an ensemble player at least. (We suspect she'll be back as a host somewhere down the line.) After all, considering that teary send-off to the tune of "Ruby Tuesday" it'll be strange if she returns in the fall. And although Andy Samberg (who may also be leaving) didn't get quite as obvious a farewell, his season-ending Digital Short -- which sequelized the skit that got launched the whole franchise seven years ago, "Lazy Sunday" -- suggested that it was a wrap for him as well. The only question mark now is Jason Sudeikis, another supposedly departing cast member who barely appeared in any sketches at all. While we wait for the formal announcement about casting changes, here are the episode's most memorable send-offs.

<I>Saturday Night Live</I>: The Two Things Eli Manning Did Right

This weekend's Saturday Night Live was filled with the terrible sketches we've come to expect from the show. Even Weekend Update failed to get the tanning lady right by having her not be remotely dark enough -- if you're going to go for it, really go for it. So, despite an appearance by Sacha Baron Cohen (in Dictator-regalia) and Martin Scorsese, the episode was a dud. There were poor excuses to get Eli Manning in drag, be awkward and to say the word "penis" repeatedly. In fact, there were only two moments even worth remembering... and they were both pre-recorded sketches. And only one of them involved the actual host.

<i>Saturday Night Live</i>:  The Very Worst Sketches of a Mostly Terrible Episode

Sometimes when Saturday Night Live books a real actor, the sketches are more complex, funnier and all-around better. Other times, it's a lot more like this week's "Josh Brolin/Gotye," where guest hosts are reduced to bit roles, the sketches are far too long and the episode is nearly void of laughs. Aside from a fun(ish) cold open about the Republican Primaries, a pretty clever critique of Game of Thrones' obsession with sexposition (also not online) and a topical Piers Morgan bit, this episode was a major disaster. Let's take a look at the worst of the worst:

Saturday Night Live: Play It Loud!

by Ethan Alter April 9, 2012 12:53 pm
<i>Saturday Night Live</i>: Play It Loud!

Was it just us or was the volume on Saturday night's Saturday Night Live turned up to 11? It wasn't just host Sofia Vergara -- whose general approach to comedy on both SNL and Modern Family seems to be to YELL EVERY PUNCHLINE -- the entire cast was noticeably shouty. As it turned out though, the loudness mostly enhanced the comedy. Here were the night's noisiest (and funniest) skits.



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