A Solid Showing From Sidibe!!!
As I’m sure you can guess based on my awareness of the recent hosts, all that I know of Gabourey Sibide is the fact that she was in the movie Precious. I also remember something about this being her very first role which she landed without any acting experience. Though this role landed her a couple awards, I wasn’t quite sure what to think as Sidibe as a host for a sketch comedy show. Sometime’s these actress/actors this new to the world of acting are great because of their genuine excitement with their newly found career, but other times their not quite yet prepared to work without the safety net of working for a film where they get multiple takes to get things correct.
Tonight I can see things going either way since I am so unfamiliar with Sidibe’s acting abilities. With that, I’m going to make this a quick intro and just jump right into the real-time viewing experience. As per usual, I was disinterested in the political opening sketch because I was bummed by the message, and it was another one where if you’re not into the joke, the entire sketch was Fred Armisen as a talking head.
Gabourey Sidibe had me no longer concerned after watching her monolog, though she slipped up a couple times when delivering her words, her enthusiasm for hosting was infectious enough that I could tell that the evening would be fun based on her energy alone. The first sketch led me to double down on my belief that this would be true because I usually hate The Suzy Orman Show parodies but this installment had me laughing a couple of time, mainly thanks to Sidibe.
I love Kenan as Steve Havey and would have loved the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire parody no matter who was the host. Then we got to our host as a character named Mrs. Johnson, who was so hilarious, I didn’t mind that she flubbed several of her lines. In fact, her reaches to each flub only added to the fun of this character. I thought this character was so good that it reminded me of an old school reoccurring character who would have been on billion times and as repetitive as it would have been I would have still wanted more.
This week’s SNL Digital Short was fun because it took me back to my Jackass days when I used to do stunts like this. It also left me wondering if the two actually tried the Cherry Battle for real. I wasn’t a fan of the Frank Sinatra sketch because it was mainly accent based, and not all that funny on its own. I never heard of the band MGMT but, it was another group that I enjoyed for the show but don’t see myself actively seeking out their content.
The band was good enough to keep my energy up to actually pay attention to the news where I was happy to see Stefon make his Weekend Update debut after he was introduced to the show last season in a sketch where he played Ben Affleck’s brother. The night winded down with an award show sketch that was also fun but not breaking any new grounds because the award show-themed content was pretty standard. I also always like seeing Jenny Slate’s “And More” series of sketches but they’re repetitive enough to where it doesn’t inspire anything interesting to say.
The band's second performance was as good as the first but still left me with the same feelings. Speaking of feelings, I also enjoyed the final sketch and the quick sentimental twist at the end. So when I was said and done, this turned out to be a solid episode, leaving me hopeful that the final two show for this season will be at least this good to finish off the year.
With all of that said, it’s now time to dig deeper into the details, as I give you…
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started with A Message From The President Of The United States where once again, Fred Armisen as Barack Obama casually commented on another failure as he shared that his financial reforms were all turned down by the powers that be on Wall Street. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York…”
Gabourey Sidibe then officially opened the show with a monolog about how the more Precious was her first movie role and how people confuse her for her character and assume that she’s miserable person based on the film. She was joined by the cast to provide back up for our host as she sang a variant of The Shoop Shoop Song in order to applaud herself as a well-adjusted person in real life.
We then got a parody of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? where Kenan Thompson played Steve Harvey who was substituting for Meredith Vieira, and he couldn’t seem to figure out how to pronounce a single word while reading through the answers which only added more pressure on the contestants.
This was followed by another SNL Digital Short called Cherry Battle where Andy Samberg and Gabourey Sidibe went head to head in a game where Andy spit a ton of cherries out of his mouth, and Gabourey proceeded to catch them all and then spit them back for Andy to catch, while both were dressed as Samurais. The battle concluded when the final cherry was missed by our host and came crashing to the ground.
MGMT then took to the stage to perform Flash Delirium.
Once again, Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Kristen Wiig returned as her travel writer character who’s so nervous that she awkwardly joked all the way through her segment about the Icelandic volcano. Bill Hader’s Stefon character then made his news debut to share increasingly crazier names for trendy vacation spots for families, even though his descriptions are definitely not family friendly. Write, at the time, John Mulaney also got a segment to complain about the fact that Girl Scout Cookies weren’t available year round. (Clip 2) (Clip 3) (Clip 4)
MGMT then returned to the stage to perform Brian Eno.
Finally, Gabourey Sidibe closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.
For a show that could have easily gone either way, I’m happy that tonight’s episode turned out so good thanks to sketches like these that contained my three favorite moments of the night. First, I loved the Mrs. Johnson sketch because it had a classic sketch feel to me that had me laughing the hardest that I’ve laughed in days. Next, I really liked this week’s parody of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire because Kenan Thompson as Steve Harvey cracks me up no matter why he’s portraying him. Finally, I was a fan of this week’s SNL Digital Short: Cherry Battle because of the surreal tone to the otherwise Jackass-like segment.