Now Here’s How You Have Fun As You Host
Just yesterday I was complaining how I usually like when hosts seem like their having fun but couldn’t grasp why I wasn’t as into Ashton Kutcher because he appeared to be having a blast. I gave a few examples of hosts who manage to do it right and completely forgot that Shia LaBeouf is probably the perfect example. Where Ashton seemed to be having fun as himself, as if he said to write what you want and Saturday I’ll show up to play, LaBeouf feels more like he over the moon about being involved in every step of the process.
Both times he’s been on, LaBeouf appears to be having fun playing various characters and not just happy to be there in general. Minus this enthusiastic energy, this show would have been only as average as the rest of the shows from this year, with it, the episode will probably end up my second favorite from this season, right under Christopher Walken but I’m not counting out Steve Carell because he could easily slip in at the end and steal either spot. Either way, this was definitely a top of the list viewing experience.
This couldn’t have come at a better time because I’m going through another phase of SNL burnout which shouldn’t be all that surprising considering I’ve been at this nonstop for the last six-hundred-thirty-six days. It’s also not a huge surprise to me as we approach the age of the unknown where I know for sure that I haven’t seen more than a handful of episodes from the combined next three or four seasons of the show.
This upcoming period has me concerned because the shows will have to be judged by their quality alone without any bonus point from any nostalgia that is usually triggered linked to when I initially watched each episode. Add to that the fact that I stopped watching the show because I was fed up with the state of the entertainment industry, pop culture, and world affairs from this time. Because of this, I’m not all that excited to see this period lampooned because it might end up feeling more like rubbing salt in a wound than making light of a misguided time.
That said, I’m also excited about the fact that the next cast is one that I’m not all that familiar with, well, at least familiar with as part of the show unless they were talented enough to make it all the way up to season thirty-eight when I started to watch the show once again. Sorry that I didn’t say more about this particular show, that I claim is my second favorite from the year, but this is all that I’ve got in me right now.
With that said, it’s now time to wrap this one up, and in order to do so, I give you…
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started with A Message From The Next President Of The United States had Amy Poehler as Hilary Clinton who promised America that she will be an incredibly sore loser if she isn’t handed the Democratic Party’s nomination to run for President. She openly admitted that if she were to win, Obama would do what’s right and fight for her but she refused to do the same, adding that she would hope for his loss, making it easier for her to run in 2012. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, the eventually built up to the announcement on, “Live from New York…”
Shia LaBeouf then officially opened the show with a monolog about his involvement in Indian Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. After sharing the fact that he was in the movie, he said he was under a strict contract where he couldn’t share any other details. Right away, he was interrupted by a “member of the audience” who asked how the movie ends. LeBeouf then started to backpedal reminding everyone that he couldn’t say a thing which led Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery and a couple other cast members as secondary characters from the series to confront our host over why they were no longer involved with the franchise.
MacGruber then returned to start another series of sketches where this time our sketch hero get sidetracked from defusing the bomb when he realized that his son, Shia LeBeouf is gay. As always, the distraction led MacGruber to not beat by the clock, leading to a massive explosion.
It's A Match was a bit of a parody of the Match Game that had the wacky atmosphere created by the crazy panel of celebrity guest, only this didn’t turn out to be a game. Instead, this was an impromptu interrogation after the show’s emcee turned up dead. Bill Hader played a detective who questioned the celebrity panel while they were still on the set and they each answered using their blue answer cards for the game while “thinking music” played while they wrote.
The was followed by a parody of Scared Straight where Kenan Thompson played a prison bad-ass who attempted to scare, young punks, Shia LeBeouf, Andy Samberg, Bill Hader out of a life of crime with his ridiculous examples of what led up to him ending up in prison. Each example was actually stolen from an ‘80s movie, and everyone in the room was aware that this was the case.
MacGruber then returned for round two where this time he was distracted when he learned that his son, Shia LaBeouf’s gay conversion therapy didn’t take, of course leading to another explosion.
The Suze Orman Show then returned for another parody with Kristen Wiig as the titular host who, this time, advised viewer like her guest from Miami, Shia LeBeouf, what they can do with their tax refunds. In his case, she suggested he use the money to get a five-o’clock-shadow face-tattoo since looks are so important in the Miami area. After the LeBeouf segment, she then gave a few money-saving tips for the ladies, like using beef cubes to self-tan, lie on hot gravel instead of wasting money on a hot rock massage, and making their own tampons.
We then got another SNL Digital Short called The Best Look In The World which was a music video of sorts that had Andy Samberg singing an explanation as to why he isn’t wearing pants to Shia LaBeouf since the two were about to head out in public. The best look being, the shirt, and no pants, not just being pant-less in general.
My Morning Jacket then took to the stage to perform I'm Amazed.
Once again, Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Bill Hader and Fred Armisen dropped by as Liberty City Residents, Vlad, and Niko, who take offense to the way their community is portrayed in the latest Grand Theft Auto. Kenan Thompson also returned as his Jean K. Jean character to tell a few more jokes. (Clip 2)
La Rivista Della Televisione also returned with Bill Hader as the fast-talking Italian talk show host who had Shia LeBeouf as himself as his guest. Again, the interview is awkward because LeBeouf doesn’t speak or understand Italian but also because Hader’s character thinks that LaBeouf used to be a girl and that this is the real meaning for the title Transformers which was the movie Shia was there to promote. The sketch then ended with Hader trying to scare LeBeouf with a fake snake in an effort to connect with the Indiana Jones direction that they interview turned.
MacGruber then returned to complete the comedic rule of three and this time our sketch hero was distracted from defusing the bomb when he met Andy Samberg who played his son, LaBeouf’s boyfriend, and again the bomb exploded in the end.
He Likes You had Kristen Wiig and Amy Poehler as two friends enjoying a meal at a restaurant where they catch the attention of Shia LaBeouf and five other men from the cast who seemed instantly love-struck by the women’s appearance. While talking, the two Poehler and Wiig start to wonder what each guy as they create people-watching-style stories. Meanwhile, all of the guys did nothing but sit dead still each with a very creepy smile. After a while, we got to hear these men’s inner thoughts which were nothing but a bunch of geeky sounds that made up a musical tune.
My Morning Jacket then returned to the stage to perform Evil Urges.
Girls Trying On Clothes had Amy Poehler as a mom to Kristen Wiig who played a conservative daughter who was afraid that her mother’s New York funky-taste was too much. Meanwhile, Shia LaBeouf played her other daughter who didn’t think her mother’s taste was New York funky enough.
Finally, Shia LaBeouf closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
As I said a couple times up above, this will most likely end up my second favorite episode of the year thanks to these sketches that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved the It’s A Match parody not only because I love Match Game parodies since I used to catch the real show when I was young, but everyone was also so fired up as their characters that they kept cracking me up. Next, I really liked the Scared Straight parody because I love this character of Kenan Thompson’s and am happy that this means there will be more right around the corner. Finally, I was a fan of the SNL Digital Short: The Best Look In The World because there is something hilarious about the shirt no-pants, AKA Donald Ducking-It look that inspired this music video.