SNL #37.4 RECAP: Host Anna Faris, musical guest Drake

Four new Saturday Night Lives in four weeks! Will this be an early burnout for the cast and crew? Will they find their momentum? Will this be love? All of these answers and more, revealed in this recap!—occupy-wall-street

We open cold with Fred Armisen portraying New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Whenever NYC makes news, it’s interesting as a resident of the city to see how SNL tries to translate the local situation into national comedy fodder. Of course, with the Occupy Wall Street movement extending into its fourth week and expanding across the country, that should be a little bit easier, right? For some reason, though, we’re starting with Bloomberg making cracks about Mother Nature’s events or non-events, depending upon how you viewed the earthquake and hurricane, from this summer. Isn’t that old news? The lines about NYC get huge applause from the live studio audience, of course. Power washing, am I right, guys! Giving out the addresses of other rich fat cats, however, is a nice touch. And any joke about A-Rod is a great joke. Felt like this cold open could have been tightened up, though.

Anna Faris is our host this week. Why? I don’t know why. She didn’t tell us what she’s plugging. But she did say it’s Halloween. Wait. Halloween! That’s not for another two weeks. Are we going to do the Christmas episode next Saturday? No. Turns out SNL is going on a two-week holiday after tonight, so they’re shoehorning the Halloween premise in now, because when this repeats on VH1, Netflix, or whenever and wherever, nobody will remember that SNL tried to move Halloween to Oct. 15. Seriously, though. Why is she hosting? She hosted before? Does anybody remember this? Questions from the audience (cast). Why. So. Serious. This part I like. Abby Elliott’s Anna Faris is weirding me out. In a better way than watching Anna Faris is. Uh oh.

Double uh oh. The Manuel Ortiz Show is back. This is the talk show in which the host (Armisen) and guests break into dance every minute or so. Bill Hader’s creepy facial expressions are pretty much the only things holding my attention. And perhaps Bobby Moynihan. Otherwise, let’s move on.

It’s now time for the Lifetime game show for white women. Hader is the host, because of course he is. He is the show’s go-to guy for game show hosts. Vanessa Bayer, Kristen Wiig and Faris play the similar-looking contestants. What’s wrong with Tanya? Not too much.

An SNL Digital Short finds Andy Samberg getting all weird with Drake. OK. Fine. Love your sponsor!

Well, if SNL isn’t going to have the Republican presidential candidates to kick around for another couple of weeks, might as well kick them around again tonight. Wait. Wasn’t this supposed to be “the Halloween episode”??? How can you tell us it’s Halloween, and then go a half-hour without anything about Halloween. Just saying. Really now. OK. Back to the 1 percent. I mean, the GOP field. Vanessa Bayer is moderating this latest not-so-greatest debate from a Marriott, because why not. Whoops. Audience not buying the early jokes. Kenan Thompson as Herman Cain. Jason Sudeikis as Mitt Romney. Bill Hader steps in as Rick Perry. Bobby Moynihan as Newt Gingrich and Kristen Wiig as Michele Bachmann are stuck in a supply closet. Paul Brittain’s Ron Paul has to stand in a parking garage, which is funny. Andy Samberg’s Rick Santorum has to field questions from a gay bar because he’s a homophobe. Haha? This already has too many words devoted to it.

Drake does that thing he does, which is pretend to be Childish Gambino. He knows. They know.

Time for Weekend Update with Seth Meyers. Is your kid playing video games?

Secondhand news correspondent Anthony Crispino (Moynihan) to report on Occupy Walgreens. “You can’t deny the movement, Seth!” Also, fun facts: Olive Garden is an Italian prison; iPhone 4 Your Ass.

Drake and Jay Pharoah are dressed up as Teen Wolf. And they’re rapping about jacking your bag of Halloween candies. Oh. OK. Lots of energy in these here kids.

After the break, we’re ready for the final half-hour. All of the women are in a diner, but Bayer’s character isn’t in the mood for a root beer float. Because of a boy. Which prompts the ladies to put “Tell Him” on the jukebox and sing their advice. Which is why it’s not on Hulu. Nasim Pedrad’s hair looks great, doesn’t it?

Michigan State students are really into Japanese culture and put it on campus TV and pretend to be Japanese? It does get Taran Killam on screen. And J-Suds as the faculty advisor reminds us how off Killam and Bayer’s characters are in their portrayal of Japanese life. It’s nice to see the new kids get the chance to launch their own recurring sketch. But something is off here. I blame the host?

Drake came back for a second “song,” I guess is what it’s called, and this time, Nicki Minaj joined him onstage. I told her not to wear anything ridiculous to “Make Me Proud.” Actually, I told her not to wear anything. Did she know she was on live TV? Hmmm.

OK, kids. Crunch time. Anna Faris brings home a new boyfriend named Cecil (Paul Brittain) who comes straight from Olde England? Sudeikis as the dad is eating this up. Are you? Are you eating this up? Well, ARE YOU, STEVEN?

They’re squeezing in one last sketch, and…it’s all for a Ferrari calendar? What happened exactly at the dress rehearsal that night? Such a long way to go for a sight gag.

Well, we did have some moments there. Few and far between, it seemed. But there were a few. Take the next two weeks off, then let’s see what we’ve got.

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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