The Strike Strikes Again
I’m a big enough fan of Seth Rogen that I would go as far as to say that I would consider him writer’s strike-proof since he’s a self-admitted comedy nerd who I’ve personally always found to be relatable, as a funny fat guy myself. I feel that whether or not there was a writer’s strike he would have been heavily involved in the writer's room to put out the best comedy show that they could since I do indeed believe that he’s what of the few hosts who’s one hundred percent honest about his fandom claims.
I figured at worst, this would be at the level of my least favorite Jack Black visit, which actually ranks pretty high on my list because he’s another individual that can make an otherwise slow episode out to be great thanks to having the right energy alone. This turned out to be a spot on call since there does seem to be slight quality issues that seem to come from the strike, but with that said, this has been a better start to a season that I’ve seen in a couple of years.
Part of me wonders that if I didn’t know this detail whether my feeling would be the same. I could be giving these episodes extra credit considering that they’ve been okay despite not having any writers but who’s to say that I’m not seeing flaws that aren’t actually there because I just take for granted that a strike year will lead to less quality content. It probably doesn’t help that this is my fourth review of today as I try to rebuild my backlog of material in an effort to relieve a bit of my constant deadline-induced stress.
Either way, I’m enjoying what I’m seeing and can’t believe that I’ll be a single digit number of seasons to watch in just a little over a week thanks to the shortened season. I’ll be at season thirty-four with nine more seasons until I’m caught up. I’ll drop back to ten within the next couple of weeks when season forty-four gets started, but by that time, I’ll be just a few reviews away from getting back to nine again.
Alright, this is too many shows in a row, and it doesn’t help that I already started to smoke, but at least that made the actual viewing much better because it made it match the vibe put out by several of the sketches, which would/should be expected with Seth Rogen at the wheel. With that said, I’m going to go ahead and wrap this one up, and in order to do so, it’s now time for me to shift gears to share what I saw, as I give you…
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started with A Message From Kevin Federline where Andy Samberg played Mr. Federline in order to share a few parenting tips after being granted full custody of his and Britney Spears’s kids. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
Seth Rogen then officially opened the show with a monolog about how he was a huge comedy nerd, like myself, when he was a little kid. He then told us how he wrote the movie Superbad with his best from back when he was thirteen and thought for sure it would eventually lead to him hosting SNL. This led him to read the monolog that he supposedly wrote way back when the first draft of the script was done. He then brought out Bill Hader as Steven Seagal who he predicted would be his best friend by this time in the letter.
This was followed by a fake ad for Veritas Ultrasound HD which was a high-tech line of ultrasound that featured a featured like picture-in-picture display that allowed the fathers to really get into the viewing of their future kids since men love nothing more than fancy technology.
2007 National Douchebag Championships featured Amy Poehler as Sharon Osbourne, Fred Armisen, as Gene Simmons, and Andy Samberg as the winner from last year. These three acted as judges for this annual competition that’s designed to bring out the worst character traits from the participants who actively attempted to be the biggest douchebag in order to get the win.
MacGruber then returned for another set of sketches, this one started with our TV hero getting sidetracked while diffusing a bomb after his hidden receding hairline was revealed when the bandanna fell off his head and became more of an issue than the disarming of the bomb.
Jeremy And Stacia had Bill Hader and Amy Poehler as parents who were oblivious to how annoying their friends found their obnoxious and oversized titular kids as played by Seth Rogen and Kristen Wiig.
MacGruber then returned and once again, our toupee wearing TV hero, once again, got sidetracked while diffusing a bomb after a “twenty-year-old” Kristen Wiig who he was dating arrived which lead him to try to convince that he was her age. He did this by pretending his sidekicks Seth Rogen, and Maya Rudolph were his father and mother when clearly they were his peers. Either way, he was so distracted that he didn’t defuse the bomb.
A Message from Fred Thompson had Darrell Hammond as the actor/politician to announce his bid for office even though he doesn’t seem to care about being elected one way or the other.
MacGruber then returned for round number three where our TV hero got sidetracked for a third time while diffusing a bomb after his hidden botched plastic surgery was revealed this time blowing up when he accepted his look by saying, “Not too bad.”
Spoon then took to the stage to perform The Underdog.
Once again, Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Seth and Amy gave us another round of Really? Darrell Hammond as Lou Dobbs ranted against Canadian comedians like Seth Rogen who are stealing American jobs. Kenan Thompson and Fred Armisen played the Manager and Assistant Manager of the Mets who both struggles to address the teams faltering performance throughout the years. Then, to wrap things up, Chevy Chase made a surprise visit as Senior Political Correspondent to share a few quips about the candidates running in the 2008 Presidential Election. (Clip 2)
America's First Colonists showed us a lesser-known moment in American history where the first colonist stumbled onto their discovery of cannabis which led the entire group to put any thought about protecting themselves over the upcoming winter on to the back burner.
Rowlf And The Swedish Chef had Seth Rogen as the piano playing dog Muppet Rowlf and Andy Samberg as The Swedish Chef, Maya Rudolph as Janice, Fred Armisen as Zoot, and Bill Hader as Animal so that they all could perform their version of the song Beyond The Sea.
Spoon then returned to the stage to perform You Got Your Cherry Bomb.
Mad Joe Dixon had Seth Rogen as Mad Joe so that he and Maya Rudolph as a character named Delilah could share their joy for tasteless personal pleasure, at first using double entendre but eventually, they got extremely blatant with no hidden messages for either to find.
Finally, Seth Rogen closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
I’d say this makes two successful shows in a row from this season where the only problem was that I wanted to like them more, but I’m letting both slide due to the strike and because of sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved Mad Joe Dixon because it was jarringly funny when they dropped the double entendre to get very blatant with their talk. Next, I really liked the America's First Colonists sketch because of the coincidence that this was the sketch on screen the second I started to feel the first hit of my bedtime pot and this was the only sketch that was pot-themed. Finally, I was a fan of Jeremy And Stacia and really hope to see more of these characters because, for whatever reason, they just cracked me up.