Yay! Marshall Eriksen himself, Jason Segel hosted the Thanksgiving episode of Saturday Night Live. A great idea for Segel is comically hilarious and out doing the rounds to promote the new Muppets movie, one which Segel is getting credit for helping resurrect. Heading into the show we expected some hilarity and hopefully Kermit and co would be along for the ride, as The Muppets have a long history with SNL – fun fact for you not old enough to remember, The Muppets first appeared on SNL in the 6th episode of the first season in a scene with Gilda Radner.
Let’s get into it shall we?
COLD OPEN: MITT ROMNEY RAW & UNCENSORED
Jason Sudekis’ Mitt Romney has gotten a lot of mileage during the Republican race for the Presidential noms and Sudekis plays Romney perhaps better than Mitt himself. The premise of this open was great…let’s see how we can get the squeaky clean guy to loosen up and be scandalous to grab the headlines his competition is getting.
So far, this is the best Monologue of the year. Segel was joined by Kermit and the others for a terrific song where The Muppets bring up some pretty valid points about who is really the draw here. Best lines were delivered by Kermit, it’s a toss up between the one about Flomax or “When people go to a Muppet movie they say, ‘Gee I can’t wait to see the human!'” No need to sell me any more, I’m officially going to see The Muppets movie this week.
REGIS PHILBIN REPLACEMENTS
After a replay of the Red Flag commercial that aired earlier this season we jump into the first sketch of the night which puts a cast of characters into the audition seat to replace a newly retired Regis Philbin. Sudekis has a great Ricky Gervais impression while I was pleased to see the return of Kennan Thompson’s Charles Barkley impression. The highlight of the sketch is Bobby Moynihan’s Rosie O’Donnell, it was quick but stole the bit.
COMMERCIAL: KEMPER-PEDIC BED
Another terrific commercial. Though it was on the simple premise of joking about masturbation they nailed it. I completely lost it as Segel looked directly into the camera during the moment he was pounding the pizza dough during the Italian Pizza test. Watch this one twice.
KISSING FAMILY THANKSGIVING
The Vogelchecks are back in action. One of the rubs with repeating bits is that the surprise twist is lost the second time around so to keep it fresh, you have to figure out new ways to surprise people again. The visual of Kristen Wiig on her knees spitting seltzer water on Fred Armisen’s crotch is a hilarious way to do such thing. Another great surprise is the drop in by Paul Rudd, who appeared in an earlier Vogelcheck sketch. He pops in for a makeout sesh with his brother. The capper of a family oil painting that also featured James Franco was a nice touch.
FLORENCE + THE MACHINE “SHAKE IT OUT”
I know this song because a co-worker has played it a few times a day for the last week. Enjoy Florence.
Weekend Update was strong last week and it started off slow last night. Jon Huntsman’s appearance could not have been more wooden. But everything was saved when they decided to launch into a little big of “Really!?! with Seth And Kermit” another high point of the night.
What’s better than one weirdo in a sketch? Two, played by Segel and Wiig. This sketch was a bit pointless and one we’ve seen many times before. But I did, once again, enjoy the the randomness of a well placed Bobby Moynihan cutaway.
A NEW JACK THANKSGIVING
Another bit we’ve seen done before, and seen done better before. But the idea of Medium Richard is chuckle-worthy.
DIGITAL SHORT: SEDUCING WOMEN THROUGH CHESS
Last week’s Digital Short was pretty ho-hum, but this week, Andy Samberg and the other Lonely Islanders seemed to have struck out on the mission to make this one work. Adopting the late night infomercial theme a few turtlenecks with jackets and even making room for an Olivia Wilde cameo and even some of our host in drag.
ANDRE THE GIANT CHOOSES AN ICE CREAM FLAVOR
This quickie bit was a fast and funny, it was time filler but the image of Segel dressed as Andre The Giant, let alone his character from The Princess Bride was great for a quick laugh before another performance from Florence…
FLORENCE + THE MACHINE “NO LIGHT, NO LIGHT”
Florence is back after a cameo in the New Jack Thanksgiving sketch, and she’s performing pretty late into the show.
THE BLUE JEAN COMMITTEE
Our final sketch of the night and we have ourselves a denim committee. I wouldn’t call this bit hilarious but it did make me smile when The Muppets and Paul Rudd showed up in the bar for a final cameo, and one final random Bobby Moynihan cutaway. Oh and Bill Hader got some screen time, he didn’t have much this week.
Now, that’s a wrap for the night. This episode is definitely going down as a great one for the season. Aside from a few bad sketches, the implementation of The Muppets, some randomly awesome Paul Rudd cameos, and even Jay Pharoah’s Denzel Washington helped bring us an entertaining night of live sketch comedy. Let’s hope Segel makes it back sooner than later.
- There wasn’t much Bill Hader this week. And we can always use more Bill Hader.
- Can The Muppets be in every episode? Not only are they fun to watch and their delivery of sometimes questionable material never gets old.
- Jason Sudekis does a really great Ricky Gervais impression
- While on the topic of impressions, I think it’s time for a Charles Barkley/Bjork revisit once again.
And that’s all for the night, the show is dark for next week and the holiday but we’ll all return on December 3rd when Steve Buscemi hosts the evening and The Black Keys will play the musical guests as they have a new album coming out that week.