SNL: S37E17... HOST: JONAH HILL... DATE: MARCH 10, 2012

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A Night Of Recognition Following A Day Of Rest!!!

 

Sorry for the late review, yesterday I ended up taking a legitimate day off from working on this site for the first time in three years. That was back when I took ten days off after 365 Days Of Resolution was over, and I was so disappointed in myself over the resolutions that I failed and the fact that I never learned how to bring in an income that I was on the verge of giving up on writing altogether. Before that, I took about a month off when I moved back home after my midlife meltdown, and I just needed to refocus myself. Other than these three instances, I’ve been doing this daily for five years, since I only posted once or twice a week until I started taking on daily challenges.

I was going to beat myself up over this at first but then remembered, the rule is to average one viewing and one review a day. I’ve used the loophole of watching and reviewing several episodes in one day to make it appear more seamless when I have taken breaks in the past. But even then I would still have to write my Daily Breaker post, make my layout adjustments and the promote my nonsense, meaning a day off still means at least an hour of work. Not yesterday. Yesterday, the time off was legitimate, and I really needed it since I’ve been doubling down on my behind-the-scenes work to get ready for next year.

So there’s an update on how I’m handling this challenge, as for tonight’s episode, I’m a bit nervous because there are so few segments to make up the night, this season has had a lot of ups and downs, and I’ve been surprisingly unimpressed with Jonah Hill’s last couple of visits. I think that this is because I’ve grown to like Jonah more for his dramatic work and kind of see his comedic side as a bit forced from being pigeonholed as a stereotypical funny fat guy when there is more to him than that.

Hopefully, I’ll turn out to be wrong the way that I was last night when the host was Lindsay Lohan. Either way, I feel like I’ll be entertained, I’m just not getting a laugh out loud vibe based on my pre-viewing legwork. With that, I’m going to hit play and share my real-time viewing experience.

All that I really know of Rush Limbaugh came from Howard Stern bashing the guy on the regular when they had a bit of a feud. Because of this, I never liked the real guy and wasn’t really feeling this fictional version either, but the impersonation was pretty good. I like how they captured the detail where he has his EB logo and everything.

I got a little nervous when I saw how long the monolog was, but at least it was a prerecorded bit and not just him rambling on the main stage. I liked this approach, the segment also brought back many memories to where I now know that I’ve seen this entire episode before and not just some of the funniest sketches of the night. I know that there are at least two sketches tonight that I remembered, at least back in the day, really cracked me up.

Jonah Hill as the Borscht Belt kid isn’t one of them, but I was happy to see that they brought this character back. I really like when the hosts have their own reoccurring characters that they bring back with each visit. The SNL Digital Short that followed is one of the two I was talking about and once again, it got me laughing because I don’t think that I will ever outgrow nut shot-based humor plus I always get a kick out of seeing John McEnroe.

The J-Pop fans were fun as usual because they remind me of friends that I used to have when I wasn’t so anti-social, but it’s yet to be a segment to inspire any insights other than I like how Jason Sudeikis’s entire role is just to highlight how and why this sketch is potentially unacceptable. This character is now my favorite when I used to find more humor in the hosts’ attitudes because it would get me to think about the above-mentioned friends.

I know the name The Shins, but I can’t for the life of me figure out which song of there’s I know off the top of my head, and though their first performance was good, it didn’t help whatsoever in my efforts to place how I know them. The news was annoying because it was damn near twenty minutes long and felt it as most of the stories had to do with the 2012 Republican efforts to pick their candidate. I’m a fan of Paula Dean humor, but I wasn’t a huge fan of Kristen Wiig’s impersonation. I liked the idea of Andy Samberg taking over the Sarah Palin impersonation, but Palin humor just feels played out and old. Speaking of played out and old, I’m starting to feel they overuse Stefon, but I also wouldn’t mind if I had to wait a week between each visit, but on the daily, I’m starting to zone out during his routines.

The talking primate sketch is the second of the hilarious ones that led me to realize that I’ve seen this entire episode before because I distinctly remembered just how hard I originally laughed not just at what Fred Armisen as the monkey was saying but his delivery had me on the floor. It cracked me up just as hard this time. It reminds me of Doug Benson’s talking dog joke and how Todd Glass once describe how he envisioned the dog’s effort to try to talk.

The Liza Minnelli sketch was fun but went on pretty long considering how simple the actual joke was. I liked the second song from The Shins, but it still did nothing to help me to put a finger on how I know them. The final sketch of the night was beautiful because, how can you not like Jonah Hill rapping a Coolio song with an orchestra.

By the time that Jonah returned to the stage to say his goodnights, I was pleased by the episode, it was a little better than what I expected, so that’s good, especially since I expected the night to be just average and not that I was assuming it would be terrible. With that, it’s now time to dig deeper into the details of each sketch, as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a parody of The Rush Limbaugh Show that ran right after the blowhard of a host referred to Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a whore and a prostitute. For the sketch, Taran Killam played Rush who was reluctant to read the lower-grade live ads that he had since all of the big sponsors left his show. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York...”

  2. Jonah Hill then officially opened the show with a monolog about his recent Oscar nomination before he threw to clips from behind-the-scenes of how this acknowledgment has gone to his head. He also does eventually realize the error of his ways, which got him a salute from Tom Hanks for figuring it all out.

  3. They then brought back Jonah Hill’s Six-Year-Old character from his last visit to embarrass his divorced dad, Bill Hader while tagging along for an online date with Vanessa Bayer by telling his Borscht Belt jokes over dinner at Benihana’s.

  4. We then got another SNL Digital Short called Science Finders where Andy Samberg played Darius Rucker Jr. to test the stress levels on the human heart by shooting tennis balls at Jonah Hill’s crotch.

  5. J-Pop America Fun Time Now! then returned for another installment of Vanessa Bayer and Taran Killam as misguide J-Pop fans who think that they know Japanese culture based on their favorite anime. This week they interviewed Jonah Hill as a wannabe ninja.

  6. The Shins then took to the stage to perform Simple Song.

  7. Once again, Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Kristen Wiig dropped by as Paula Dean to defend herself after an ex-employee from one of her restaurants claimed her and her family were inappropriate and racist. Andy Samberg got a segment as Sarah Palin to comment on her portrayal in a docudrama that made her out to be an idiot with Andy being a last-second replacement for Tina Fey who “couldn’t do the impersonation” because she was sick. Stefon also returned for more Stefon fun and games. (Clip 2) (Clip 3)

  8. Primate Research Center may be one of the funniest sketches that I remember from this time where Johan Hill played a professor who wanted to share with the world that he trained Fred Armisen, as a monkey, how to speak. Right out the gate, the first thing that comes out of the monkey’s mouth is how Johan’s been having sex with him throughout the training process. The more and more Jonah tries to deny this, the crazier the sex tale grew to be.

  9. Liza Minnelli Tries To Turn Off A Lamp was as the title suggests, a sketch where Kristen Wiig played Liza who damn near kills herself while trying to turn off a lamp before leaving the house to start her vacation with Jonah Hill.

  10. The Shins then returned to the stage to perform It's Only Life.

  11. Anniversary Song had Jonah with the support of a few female members of the cast performed a Coolio song as a surprise to his girlfriend, Kristen Wiig in honor of their anniversary.

  12. Finally, Jonah Hill closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

This makes to shows in a row that have exceeded my expectations with tonight’s show having sketches like these three that contained my favorite moments that made it a fun viewing experience. First I loved the Primate Research Center because the sketch is a classic that made me laugh just as hard as I did when I saw it six years ago. Next, I really liked this week’s SNL Digital Short: Science Finders because I don’t think that I’ll ever grow out of finding nut shots to be funny. Finally, I was a fan of Anniversary Song because how can you not like a sketch where a Coolio song is sung while accompanied by an orchestra.

 
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Matt Bunker

I started out with a goal of becoming a paid screenwriter. I had no interest in any other aspect of filmmaking. I received and scholarship to The Vancouver Film School's Writing for Film and Television program where I graduated in 2005. I fell in love with being on set during my first non-school produced short, . I loved being around all the creative people, seeing people having fun while working. The whole liking your job was a new world to me, so I decided to give it a shot. I volunteered for any project I could, doing what ever was needed. The set was my Film School this time. While working as a PA on a feature I was informed that the DP wanted the three tallest PAs to help out in the grip and electric department. That is when I found the department that felt like the best fit for me while I continued to write.