If I had a time machine, I would go back a week to give the Saturday Night Live staff a head's up that they could really just go ahead and start their two-week vacation a week early. Because, really. We did not need to see that. Twas Valentine's Day, and any lovebirds would not be tuned to their TVs, and any singletons would need an escape, and where was SNL to be found? I think they took a page from the Lost plotbook, and not a wild and wacky page, either. The show seemed lost, flashing forward and backward through time — even the Hulu.com page has fallen victim to this, adding old Alec Baldwin sketches and claiming they were part of the Feb. 14, 2009 show. Sir Mix-A-Lot, a female Perez Hilton, Vincent Price (I usually like the Vincent Price sketches, but still). What year are we? Help me, Doc Faraday! That's not even counting the bizarre ending to the show. Right from the cold open, we knew we were in for trouble, though…
SNL brought back Dan Aykroyd to open the show, and for what? No, really, for what? I watched this Republican Congressional meeting sketch a couple of times searching for any kernel of comedy, and return to you finding none. Supposing they didn't bother naming any of the Republican politicos so they wouldn't need to worry too much about impersonations, and that's ultimately besides the point because there was no point to this sketch, nor any solid reason why you'd open the show with it (other than to say, look, we got Dan Aykroyd back!). Having accomplished that in the first few seconds, things trudged along mercilessly as we're supposed to find the GOP's cluelessness funny. Yes, American paid a lot of attention to the presidential election. But is anyone caring about partisan bickering, exactly, other than political junkies? Nope and noper. I have seen more attitude out of those crazies in the ads the health care industry has been running for the past week or two against New York Gov. David Paterson. Watch this sketch at your own risk. Darrell Hammond this time makes his one-and-done appearance before the credits. Kristen Wiig, Jason Sudeikis, Andy Samberg and Will Forte are also among the victims.
Alec Baldwin then emerged for his monologue as host, and if you thought he'd bring back the funny, just recall what happened the most recent time frequent SNL host Steve Martin returned to the studio. Baldwin opens with a nice acknowledgement that Christian Bale had made Baldwin's own audible tirade seem less horrible. Then we got Jack McBrayer, and questions from the "audience," who all, naturally, just wanted to ask about McBrayer.
Baldwin joins the Jonas Brothers in the recording studio as their older brother, Gary, who plays the saxophone. Only "the oldest Jonas" is only two years older than the rest. Yeah. Uh-huh. Other than Baldwin's wig, there's not much to say here.
We get a return of The Cougar Den, with Wiig, Casey Wilson and also now Michaela Watkins (taking the spot Amy Poehler had held as the third cougar). Which means someone put in a call and Cameron Diaz was available last weekend. It's, just, well. At least the audience recognized Diaz this time and applauded accordingly. And Baldwin mixed things up a bit by being a "cougay." Kenan Thompson also takes his usual ribbing as their producer. And Forte, Samberg and Bill Hader walk onscreen at the end as the cougar's new hot boy toys. I see why this sketch is back, see why Diaz enjoys doing it, but think they really need to take it to the next level of funny. Send the cougars out into the wild.
An SNL Digital Short finds Samberg confronting the Jonas Brothers (yes, the Jonas boys already are in their second sketch before playing any music) about their past as a hair metal band, Property of the Queen. Check out the 1983 music video on VHS, and see the Jonaseseseses rock out with help from Thompson, Forte, Bobby Moynihan, and Hader as a wizard.
Sir Mix-A-Lot has an ad for his special PhotoShop. Guess what he does? Did you guess it? It's bigger butts. I cannot lie. Wilson and Abby Elliott play endorsers of the product. Time warp!
The Jonas Brothers played a forgettable pop song.
On Weekend Update, economic "Fix it!" guy Oscar Rogers (Thompson) is back, and now that Congress has passed a stimulus bill, it's time to "Do it!" Yeah, not as catchy this time.
Elliott does another all-too-brief walk-on as Angelina Jolie. What, no second walk-on as Octo-Mom!? Watkins plays celebrity blogger Angie Tempura from bitchpleeze.com (someone in Madeira, an island off of Portugal, already owns it!). Pwned! It's making fun of bloggers, though, I suppose the graphics are meant to make you think of Perez Hilton. And Sudeikis is there for an obligatory take on the Joaquin Phoenix madness, who now claims to be quitting hip-hop to tell jokes…one joke.
Then the show jumps back to 1966, but acknowledges that up front, for Vincent Price's Valentine's Day Special. Hader always brings a certain charm with his Price impersonation, but here, he's not operating at 100 percent for some reason. Maybe he saw the first part of the show. It's couples night. Except Richard Burton (Baldwin) arrives without Elizabeth Taylor. Carol Channing (Wiig) also arrives solo. And Liberace (Fred Armisen) is always seen without his partner. Wiig managed to keep it together for her Channing vibe without going into full Wiig-out fashion. Armisen was great. Wilson shows up near the end as Liz. And the gay joke portion of the show has begun.
It continues when the "Fart Face" office guys (Hader, Forte) return for a sketch in which they're no longer concerned with calling each other names, but with scheduling an upcoming meeting with Baldwin's character. "Carol, hold my calls!" It eventually takes a turn toward a glory hole joke. And I am not making that up.
So, two gay jokes in a row, and now it's time for another forgettable Jonas Brothers song, because the only thing I remember is that Baldwin has his daughter and her friend (?) intro the boys.
Now, for yet another gay joke, we arrive at the "Wayne's World" basement, seemingly unchanged after all of these years, and Hader and Sudeikis are playing with a Nintendo Wii. Baldwin as their dad comes down, gives the video game a try, and the joke here is that the motion you need to grab the big sack of money looks an awful lot like masturbating. Even more so when Baldwin grabs both controllers, and puts his hands in front of the crotches of both Hader and Sudeikis. And no, I am not making that up, either. You can watch the video for yourselves. (Watkins plays the mother)
We're given two repeats in a row, for reasons, I learn later, involve a timing misjudgment on the show. So the viewers get another look at the "Chewable Pampers" ad (repeating ads is not uncommon for SNL), followed by the Virgania Horsen's Hot Air Balloon Rides ad.
Baldwin (with help from Samberg and Thompson) illustrates how to master the art of foreshadowing a character actor's death with a cough. And that is that. Show is done for the night. Time for two weeks off. And it certainly looks as though we'll all ready for that.