SNL #35.9 with Taylor Lautner, Bon Jovi

Last week was great, wasn't it? Why are you starting like that? Trying to lower our expectations are you? Although, for the second week in a row, Kristen Wiig isn't so much front and center, giving the other ladies a chance to shine. Interesting development, don't you think? Alrighty then…

For our cold open, C-SPAN brings us Gov. Mar Sanford (R-SC) plus former Sen. John Edwards and some other politician from Nevada that I've never heard of, talking about how Tiger Woods and his scandal has overshadowed all of the infidelity these three politicians have engaged in — which is more serious, as they remind us. Edwards had a love child! He'll say it again! And again! It's one of those political sketches that's as much about making a serious point as it is about getting laughs. Speaking of which: The discussion on A-Rod gets a bonus point.

Taylor Lautner is our host, and as one of my friends on Twitter pointed out, how would the third lead on a sequel to a movie I don't care about do as SNL host? That's right. Not RPattz (that's a person) nor Kristen LipBiter. It's Taylor Lautner , and he sure tried, even more than that other kid did, to show how athletic he is, jumping around and after missing a dropkick on a cardboard cutout of Kanye West, karate-chopped him out of the picture. Kudos for the dedication to athleticism, After all, he's only 17. 17! And the recasting of Kenan Thompson as Reba McIntire deserves some mention. So there that is! As monologues go, this one was tightly wrapped up in a bow. I'd forgotten (as perhaps you had) that Lautner was part of that MTV moment between Swift and West, so this was a nice way to deal with all of that.

We encounter the University of Oregon, taping their Rose Bowl bios, and well, before we can congratulate Thompson on his quick-change to make this sketch, there's a more pressing need, to figure out how Phil Pomeroy (Lautner), the backup to the backup QB, has a role here. Jenny Slate makes her first appearance of several this episode (YAY!). Bill Hader is there to help, presumably. You know how football telecasts have players look into the camera when they announce the starting lineups? Weird, right? That's the premise for this sketch. It has promise. It surely does. Please, don't call me surely. Because then someone might break into song for no reason. Andy Samberg shows up. "It's going to be a long day." Let's hope that's not foreshadowing!

Uh oh. It's a Kristen Wiig sketch. Abby Elliott and Lautner play newlyweds with a surprise pregnancy to announce for their parents at Christmas, and Wiig plays that lady, Aunt Sue, who cannot contain herself. Hader and Will Forte are innocent bystanders, or bysitters, it seems. Wiig played this character last season (in a Japanese restaurant before a wedding proposal). Does anyone have a cheese ball for this cheese? Jason Sudeikis and Nasim Pedrad show up as the parents. "Did Sue just jump up the chimney?"

And now a message from the PGA Tour. Sudeikis plays tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, responding to Tiger Woods' declaration of an "indefinite break" from the tour. It's OK, though. People still care about golf without Tiger, right? Short and to the point. (NBC/Hulu has put all three PGA Tour messages into one video…enjoy!)

The North East Middle School Show Choir will not be mocked. Even though Forte plays a quirky principal, and the choir consists of four people: Elliott, Slate, Thompson and Lautner. They've worked hard on their Jingle Jangle Jam. Samberg will not be allowed to leave early! Especially since Slate does her Hanukkah Elvis. Things get weirder from there. Mikosh, anyone?

PGA Tour message #2, with the new sponsors, The Madoff Investment Group, Major League Soccer, and the movie Old Dogs. They're going to take a page out of the movie "Blind Side." That's a blind-sided joke! Speaking of: A Jersey Shore reference!

Bon Jovi is still a band, singing songs. This is one of their new ones.

During Weekend Update, Nasim Pedrad plays Tiger Woods mistress #15! Sums it all up, doesn't she?

And here is Native American comic Billy Smith (Fred Armisen), in New York City, land of "square mountains." Do you not get his references? I'm laughing. For the right reasons? Does it matter?

We're in high school, and the kids are pairing off for lab reports. Only Slate and Lautner are on different teams: Team Jacob and Team Edward! Bobby Moynihan, Pedrad and Samberg are background players, and Hader is the teacher. Oh, Twilight. Wait. Hold up. Why are Slate and Hader repeating each other? Emphasis! Am I dreaming? Is this what happens in Twilight? Vampires! Werewolves! Let's move on!

And now, a final message from the PGA Tour. Now with new sponsors!

Lautner and Elliott meet in a frozen yogurt place in the mall, with Thompson as some sort of Barry White talking about how people make connections. Team Kenan.

Bon Jovi sings another song that you'd like better if I told you Bruce Springsteen were singing it.

Nice doorbell, says Moynihan. Pedrad has a boring doorbell. Oh no! And with that, here is Slate to sell you a new doorbell. It's a play off of late-night infomercials, silly goose. Who needs a new doorbell? Ding dong. You've got a new doorbell. She has one for every need you could possibly have. Ding dong!

One more new SNL before it's 2010. Brace yourselves.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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4 thoughts on “SNL #35.9 with Taylor Lautner, Bon Jovi

  1. Sean, thanks for posting these recaps!
    I was in the audience for dress rehearsal last night. Here are some tidbits as I remember them.
    – Taylor Lautner did NOT miss the kick in the dress version of his monologue. In the live show, a cue was also missed where “Kanye’s” face was to be replaced with a surpised expression. I would not be surprised if the dress version is replaced for reruns. Though, I thought that Keenan Thompson did a good job of ad-libbing around the unexpected changes, and that these accidents make the show seem even more live.
    – Audience Warm-Up: SNL band plays as the audience is seated. Don Pardo welcoms us and introduces Jason Sudekis, who goes over the rules. Then, a performance of “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting” from Keenan Thompson, with Abby Elliot, Nasim Pedrad, and Jenny Slate singing backup. (Previously, I have seen Kristen Wiig and Fred Armisen do a Blondie song, and Jason Sudekis and Will Forte do a Doobie Brothers song during warm-ups; so, they must rotate this through the cast.)
    – Cut Sketch: Michael Lohan (Armisen) hosts a talk show with star dads K-Fed (Samberg), Levi Johnston (Lautner), and Joe Jackson (Thompson).
    – Cut Sketch: College student (Lautner) brings his new girlfriend (Elliot) home to meet his overly-affectionate family (Armisen, Wiig, Hader) and their UPS man (Thompson).
    – Cut Sketch: Lautner plays a Spidey-type superhero, who was created by bites from multiple breeds of animal. Sudekis plays the villian, and Hader and Samberg play incredulous police officers.
    – Cut Sketch: A young movie actor (Lautner) plays a scene with a hostile chimp (Armisen). Sudekis is the director, Moynihan operates the clapper, Hader is the animal trainer, Jenny Slate played another chimp. Immediately after, Armisen and Slate appeared in the goodnights in full chimp makeup.
    – Bonus Entertainment: Bumpers and goodnights for Thursday’s prime time Holiday special were pre-recorded immediately after dress. I will not spoil the details.

  2. Thanks for the reminder!
    – Cut Sketch: Sudekis and Forte did do a Jon Bovi bit during Weekend Update. Songs parodied included “You Give Love A Bad Name”, a Heart song, and a Rick Springfield song. Bon Jovi did not participate.

  3. The overly-affectionate family sketch resurfaced during the subsequent show, with James Franco.
    Franco seemed to be a more active participant than Lautner, when it came to kissing the other male castmembers. Also, it seemed that Bill Hader stepped-up his level of…uhm, participation overall.
    In my initial mention of this sketch, I neglected to mention the grandparents (Forte & Pedrad). IIRC, the Lautner version ended with a father-son kiss (Forte, Armisen), rather than a grandfather-grandson kiss (Forte, Franco).
    Lastly, I don’t recall Kristen Wiig’s line about the “family bath”, or elder son Hader feeling up grandmother Pedrad, from the Lautner dress rehearsal.

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