I’ve always been a fan of Charles Barkley, not because I’m a sports fanatic but because he’s always had a penchant for speaking his mind which made for good sound bytes and commentary on the news. I’m not sure how much I would like him reading some cue cards and going through sketch comedy moments but let’s see how he fared shall we?
First off because of sports, the entire night ran late on the East Coast starting about a half hour later than it normally did, not a big deal if you were watching it live but I’m glad I caught that and adjusted the TiVo accordingly. Damn you sports!
COLD OPENING: RICK SANTORUM
The cold opening was Andy Samberg doing his best Rick Santorum impression. One I’ve found funny in the past but mainly because they’d toss it to Samberg for a single line or look. The longform impression doesn’t work and this might have been the most ho-hum open of the season so far.
Alright, we’re getting into it now. Sir Charles takes the stage and give us perhaps the worst cue card reading ever. Barkley was a bit cringe-worthy in this monologue but I also felt it’s a bit of the charm of having him on live TV.
I have a friend that took Chantix to help quit smoking and he mentioned the crazy side effects he was warned about before taking the drug. He also told stories about vivid dreams he had while using it. I can only assume a writer on the show made a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking and recently started to take the drug because this ad pretty much sums up, then exaggerates the stories shared by my friend.
NBA ON TNT
It was pretty much a given that Keenan Thompson’s version of Barkley was going to make an appearance at some point in the night, the only real question was how? The idea to have him face off as Barkley playing Shaq on NBA on TNT and mix it up with Thompson was pretty great. It was one of the more enjoyable sketches of the night.
WHITE PEOPLE PROBLEMS
Another great sketch that I dug. Riding the wave of White White and other internet memes devoted to first world problems why not add some white people problems into the mix. Also it provides the opportunity to see Jay Pharoah on screen one more time. And remember, “For those of you at home, ‘awkward’ is a white people word that can be applied to every situation.”
AD FOR BOWL GAMES
There was an ad here that was nothing more than pure filler. It’s a shot at all the corporate sponsors for college football games. But it was forgettable, so forgettable they didn’t even bother to put it on the web. Or maybe it pissed off the sponsors? Dun dun duhhhhh! Moving on.
what’s funnier than a 7 foot bald former pro-basketball player in drag? Turns out many things and toss in a Paul Brittain (who appears to be a small man) as the romantic interest for said person in drag and you have a solid visual gag.
CHARLES BARKLEY APP
There’s an app for everything these days and here’s one I’d definitely like to put on my iPad. Who wouldn’t want Charles Barkley to translate things for you?
KELLY CLARKSON: “WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU”
If you are into Kelly Clarkson here’s your chance to see her perform some songs live. I realized while watching this that I literally have no opinion(good or bad) on Clarkson whatsoever.
Weekend Update was strong this week. Kristen Wiig dropped in with a great Michelle Bachman impression, Fred Armisen revived his political comedian Nichola Fehn character which is good but I was most excited that Bobby Moynihan returned as Drunk Uncle which might be the breakout character from Update this season.
Paul Brittain revived Wyndemere which is a take on the Starburst “Berries and Cream” commercial. But the visual is fun and I’m an even bigger fan when Jason Sudekis yells at Stephen.
ADULT VIDEO AWARDS IN MEMORIAM
In Memoriams are fun and the idea of them running during an adult video awards show is even better. It also provided for Bobby Moynihan to deliver what I thought might have been the line of the night with “I give it a 10, 12 if you measure from the nuts” as Ron Jeremy. A shot of a mustachioed Seth Meyers drilling a Glory Hole is quite amazing as well.
DIGITAL SHORT: CONVOLUTED JERRY
The Digital Short of the week was totally forgettable. In fact, I don’t remember it enough to even comment on it. Maybe that’s why it was this late in the show?
KELLY CLARKSON: “MR. KNOW IT ALL”
Kelly is back, and she killed a purple leopard and made a dress out of in order to perform for you.
NEW MAYAN CALENDAR
We’re going to see a lot of sketches about the world ending this year aren’t we? This is just the beginning isn’t it?
And that’s a wrap for the night, there were some great moments to the evening followed by some really forgettable ones. I wouldn’t classify the night as the best SNL show ever but it was far from the worst. Charles Barkley is a fun host and when placed in the right sketch he made for some fun moments. I’m also not sure if I ever need to see him with a curly haired wig on ever again in my life.
- Did anyone else notice that Jason Sudekis wearing a Delocated! hoodie in the crowd at the end of the night? Of was that just me?
- It’s looking like they are finding new ways to use Jay Pharoah that aren’t just his impressions of Denzel Washington
- Not much Taran Killam or Bill Hader this week, which is surprising since he’s they’ve been bright spots most of the season
- After a virtual slew of guest spots last episode there weren’t any this week. Good call or not? Sound out in the comments
Oh well, goodnight folks we’ll see you all again next week when Daniel Radcliffe hosts the night.
As always leave your thoughts on the show in the comments.