SNL #37.14 RECAP: Host Zooey Deschanel, musical guest Karmin

The New Girl was in town this weekend. Who’s ready to get adorkable? But how adorkable is too much? Let’s find out, with the Saturday Night Live recap!

Another week, another cold open featuring more work for Jason Sudeikis. So many Romney cold opens, but I don’t think it’s as much about making fun of the Republicans as it is a sign that the President Obama cold opens rarely work. Not that that’s Fred Armisen’s fault. Portlandia’s brilliant. Armisen’s funny. Anyhow, the joke tonight was on Newt Gingrich. And how poorly he fared in the week’s primaries and caucuses. Weirdly, Sudeikis doesn’t sound like Romney but nobody calls him on it, while everyone gives Armisen a hard time for not nailing his Obama impersonation. Also, the barking dog? On live TV? I presume there’s someone offstage instructing the dog to bark. But this party trick opens the show?!? Hmmm. Suspicious start.

Zooey Deschanel sings. But she’s not the musical guest? Hmmm. Did she at least sing during the show? During the monologue in her first apperance even? Check. Check. Discount double-check. Hello giggles. And she wore a dress with hearts on it for Valentine’s Day. Aw. Plus a ukulele. Quirky element attained within her first minute onstage. Are long bangs in season? I’m not up on hair trends. But I do realize that they were trying to address the whole “adorkable” thing head-on right away. Now what?

Fake ad before the first ad, pokes fun at Clint Eastwood’s Chrysler ad, with Bill Hader as Eastwood, because people made a big fuss about that Super Bowl ad being political. Odd how the Gran Torino line has become the go-to instead of the old Dirty Harry line.

Taran Killam plays Piers Morgan. Topic: The Super Bowl halftime show, and M.I.A.’s middle-finger display (portrayed by Nasim Pedrad). Her defense: The dog that murdered a cat in a Doritos ad. The comedy, however, comes mainly from the appearance of LMFAO (played by J-Suds and Armisen) for their comments on it, saying you don’t need to act all crazy on TV (which is exactly what LMFAO does) to earn attention. Deschanel shows up as a Midwestern housewife from Ohio for her opinions so she can say, “Ya sure, you betcha!” That’s also a Ballard thing! “h-e-double-hockeysticks.” Wow. Audience really dug the “decency strap.” Kristen Wiig plays Madonna. Oh, and Andy Samberg appears as the weirdo who bounced on the wire, although in this case, he’s bouncing off of his balls? Too easy.

After an ad for The Artist, it’s the return of Les Jeunes de Paris, Taran Killam’s largely silent sketch set in France with kids who dance. So it is really that much of a stretch or surprise to get The Artist‘s star, Jean Dujardin, to make a cameo? Oui oui, mais non. Especially when they go noir et blanc on us. Not exactly LOL, although you can tell how much fun they had on that thar dance floor. Really came through onscreen.

Fake ad #2 returns to Eastwood. High pants! Another poke at Gingrich. Oh, wait, this isn’t for Chrysler?

Next week is Maya Rudolph and who? What now? Are they just making up bands now? I’m old. Or they really are just making up bands. That is entirely plausible.

We’re at The Daily Post in 1941 for some witty newspaper banter. J-Suds is the editor. Wiig is his Hepburn. Deschanel is the new girl. Ahem. She doesn’t understand everyone else because of their fast-talking fast-talk. Oh, I get it. Kids today are dumb because they don’t understand words. Time travel.

Fake ad #3. Eastwood is on after the Super Bowl now, comparing the Patriots loss to letting Mexico win and take our jobs. Higher pants! Trojans.

Did they really break into SNL for an NBC News Special Report about Whitney Houston dying, even though that was known hours earlier? Why, yes they did.

I don’t know who or what Karmin was. She’s cute, and by cute I mean nice bra without a shirt. Isn’t there also a he? There he is behind some sort of musical thingamajig. She’s rapping in the middle of the song for some reason. What is this? I’m not old. This is just. I’m going to look at her cleavage and block everything else out for now. This song is called “Broken Hearted.” OK. Watched/listened again. It’s kinda catchy.

Time for Weekend Update. Note to QC Tech: Graphic supers aren’t fitting on the screen. Please fix.

Women’s news in the news. To comment is Arianna Huffington, which was Michaela Watkins’ big impersonation, but she’s not on SNL anymore, so here is Nasim Pedrad. She’s doing OK. Maybe better than OK. Some audience members got the joke about reading the NYT on HuffPo thanks to “copy-and-paste.” Seth looked like he expected that JFK-Tupac joke to fare a lot better than it did.

Another segment of Get in the Cage with Nicolas Cage and…Nicolas Cage. Yep. He sat down next to Andy Samberg on the Update desk. Any time a comedian comes face-to-face on TV with the person he/she impersonates, it’s fun to watch, just because. They explain it as cloning, as the real Nic Cage disses the fake one as an exaggerated psycho. Of course, these segments are just an easy way for NBC to attract a movie star to promote his/her upcoming movie. Ghost Rider sequel coming up!

Was there a Ghost Rider ad during the break? How cynical are you? (yes)

Huh. Back. To. Back. SNL returns from commercial to find Abby Elliott impersonating the host in fake talk show, “Bein’ Quirky with Zooey Deschanel.” Killam plays her sidekick, Michael Cera, and really is coming into own as the show’s star of the future as in next year. Deschanel plays guest and BFF Mary-Kate Olsen. The audience applauds as if they believe it’s really her. This audience. I tells ya. But what did Blossom think about this segment? Wiig is here, too, as Bjork. I could see this become a recurring sketch. How about you?

A fourth fake ad?!? It’s for Verizon Wireless, and my show is still bigger than the screen. Hmmm. Retail salesman Hader explains the newest of new technology to customer Armisen. So confusing…

Something Southern is happening now. It’s a crab party? I feel like this sketch is such a tease. Because it is.

Adding to it, at the end going into break, they showed a screencap of the now late Whitney Houston from her SNL appearance beside Molly Shannon.

Not an official digital short, but it’s Andy Samberg with Deschanel and they’re going to make technology hump. This is now a recurring feature. Does this childish premise work on a second viewing? I think Zooey’s bangs grew too long between when she filmed this short and Saturday night. Anyhow.

Once again, Karmin. Now that I know who and what Karmin is, what am I supposed to do with this information?

Running out of time. So go back in time to 1860 England. How times were different then! Ah, the good ol’ days. Wait. So this is all a cover for…oh. Socio-political comedy.

The live studio audience loved this show. The cast and host sure had fun putting on the show. Did you like it, too?

See you next week with Maya Rudolph and that fake band!

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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One thought on “SNL #37.14 RECAP: Host Zooey Deschanel, musical guest Karmin

  1. Been watching the show since the beginning in 1975, when I was just short of my 19th birthday. It’s still required viewing at the academy. There’s not been a more gifted and insane sketch performer than Kristen Wiig. Hader is great, I appreciate Samberg and who knew that there would be a Michael Cera impressionist out there? The whole cast brings something to the show. I don’t know what Les Jeunes de Paris is trying to do but I LIKE it! It’s fun!

    I’m of the school, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.” Then again, I’m a dropout. So, how is Jason Sudeikis making a living doing comedy and not making a fortune as living, breathing Sominex? This is the least funny person ever to appear on the show, including guest hosts and intruders. Maybe he can be used in human lab experiments to induce spotaneous anxiety disorder cause I get increasingly uncomfortable watching him try to do Romney, Biden, the Devil and…well, anything. It would take more than blackmail photos of Lorne Michaels in his possession to account for his getting on and remaining on the show. One problem with trying to portray a supposedly boring politician is that the performer can’t be more boring and less funny than the politician, himself.

    First, he gets to rest his head on Tina Fey’s thigh in a 30 Rock episode and now I read that he’s dating Olivia Wilde? I won’t be the first to say it, but the atheists might be on to something. Nah, I’m not bitter. But I’m looking forward to seeing what it feels like.

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