The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started with The Pounder School Commencement Ceremony where Steve Carell played a high school principal who reads off the list of filthy prank-call-style-named students from this year’s graduating class. This was after giving a pretty genuine speech about diversity, that felt like it was building to more than this funny but juvenile name joke. Of course, since this was the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
Steve Carell then officially opened the show with a monolog about the hectic schedule that goes into the week building up to the live show. He claimed that the workload was exhausting but worth it, plus he didn’t mind because he just drank six Red Bulls to keep him going throughout tonight’s episode. He then became a rambling mess as the caffeine started to kick in which led our host to seek a way to escape. While running around looking for an exit, he ran into his real-life wife, Nancy Walls who talked him down and got him to admit that he wasn’t on Red Bull at all, but instead was just having a panic attack. She worked her magic to calm Carell so that he could then throw to the start of the show.
The Democratic Primaries gave us a split-screen that featured Fred Armisen as Barack Obama on one side and Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton on the other as the two delivered their messages, highlighting how Obama was pushing his policy and hope while Hillary was pushing how she was entitled to be handed the role of the party’s nominee.
The was followed by a parody of Deal Or No Deal where Steve Carell played an angst-ridden contestant who had to endure a battle of wits with Will Forte as his dad who kept taunting him from the audience while he attempted to win a million bucks. To add to the pressure, Carell has the case count down to four where there are only the three lowest payouts and the grand prize million-dollar payout, giving him pretty intense odds. Not only did the dad taunt our host but the briefcase models also added to the pressure with their tension-building briefcase-opening shenanigans. After all of this build up, Carell found himself the winner of one cent.
A Couple Of A-Holes Do Karaoke brought back my two favorite Wiig and Sudeikis characters who’ve been gone for quite some time. For this visit, as the title suggests, the two A-Holes pester Shia LaBeouf as the karaoke host while he attempts to get them to just pick a song.
We then got another SNL Digital Short called The Japanese Office where the real Ricky Gervais dropped by as a special guest to introduce the Japanese version of his popular show which he claimed was actually the original The Office that he stole to create the UK version of the show. This version had Steven Carell and the SNL cast, pretty much doing the American version of the show with Japanese themes and speaking the Japanese language. Once again, I’m impressed with how perfect the SNL cast pairs up with The Office team with barely any effort at all.
Usher then took to the stage to perform Moving Mountains.
Once again, Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, John McCain returned to request that the in-fighting between Barack and Hillary continue on past the primary and even beyond the election because it would really help out his cause. Darrell Hammond and Kenan Thompson also returned as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to offer some advice to Barack Obama that mainly consisted of warnings about not getting too comfortable because his race could come into play at any moment especially if he were to do anything that might be considered “too black.” (Clip 2)
The Charlie Flitt Show had Steve Carell as a host who just recently lost two-hundred pounds, and now all he mainly does on this show is continually crash through life-size posters of his former-fat-self. He also had on Amy Poehler as a former-fat-guest who also burst through a poster of herself before answering questions about her life and her diet. This built up to the introduction Poehler's former skinny fiancé who was played by Bill Hader who was embarrassed to break through the skinny picture of himself. We also met Kristen Wiig as Hader’s mom who had to burst through a picture of her drunken self to join in on the conversation. Wiig was the final guest whose interaction with her son, and future stepdaughter inspired Carell to sing a sign off song to say farewell.
CPR Training was a sketch where Steve Carell played a CPR coach who was teaching a course using, former student, Andy Samberg for his example only to accidentally crush his chest and kill him while trying to teach the chess compression technique.
Usher then took to the stage with Young Jeezy to perform Love In This Club, Part 1.
Bless This Child had Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig as two wannabe parents who sing a lullaby while twirling a baby doll around their nursery in this end of the night, more sentimental than silly sketch, that I tend to love. That said there was a lot more humor to this one in the way they used the doll as they danced which would have been extremely inappropriate if the baby was actually real. It was also hilarious at the end when Wiig revealed she was pregnant and a quick cut followed where she was replaced with a dummy that our host haphazardly spun around.
Finally, Steve Carell closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.