SNL: S37E19... HOST: JOSH BROLIN... DATE: APRIL 14, 2012



Too Hung Up On

Somebody That I Used To Know To Laugh


As I pointed out the last time Josh Brolin was on, I’m a fan of the man's work but I his name is not one that comes to my head when I think of who would be a comedic host. It didn’t help that for his last visit, he lived up to my prediction that at best he’d be sort of good. I feel this way with most non-comedic actors and love when they prove me wrong. Looking back over my last Brolin review, I see that I also had an issue with that season in general. With this being the case, I’m hoping to see an improvement.

Other than that, I don’t think I have anything new to say about our host, the challenge itself, or this episode so I’m just going to hit play and share how things play out during my real-time viewing experience. Again, I’m taking a turn on my stance about not liking the political opening content. I’ve been continuing to laugh at Jason Sudeikis as Mitt Romney because they’ve been more about his inability to connect with regular people, over feeling like the show is trying to direct an argument, which it can seem like if the focus is more on policies. Plus the parody of Green Day’s song Good Riddance was pretty fun as well.

Josh Brolin’s monolog was fine, but he even pointed out that he’s not used to being funny but likes to try and then gave a performance that lived up to my average expectation for the night. I’ve never seen an episode of Game Of Thrones, but I am aware that it's known for its nudity, at least for the first couple of season. That said, I found the GOT sketch to be at least somewhat funny but didn’t laugh at some of the jokes that got a response from the audience.

I remember liking The California’s the first couple of times that I’ve seen them. Then I also remembered it as another repetitive series that grew to be annoying to me over time. I’m not all that excited to see this introduction because I know these characters will eventually start to show up every other week like Stefon, who I used to love when I had to wait the time between each airing but seeing him almost daily got old really quick. It’s going to be rough getting through each installment since it already seems old and annoying right out the gate. I do like the shot of the group looking in the mirror because the NBC site using the image a lot and I get to see it almost daily when adding the links to each sketch.

One of my biggest guilty pleasures is reality shows that test people’s talent, so I was a fan of the America's Next Top Empire State Of Mind Parody Artist sketch, even though I’m not all that big of a Jay-Z fan. It helped that the first two characters played by Vanessa Bayer and Bobby Moynihan where from San Diego like I am, singing a parody song with a burrito theme. The rest of the fake groups were fun, but you can’t beat a burrito reference in my book. Kristen Wiig as Josh Brolin came close but only because they played UPS drivers and I used to work for the company loading trucks right after I graduated high school. If I wanted a normal life, I could have done so if I just rode out that job, but I really needed to explore.

As always, I love Laser Cats, and love it even more now that they have several where they have famous directors like Steven Spielberg to get involved. This provides a hilarious blend of the typical Laser Cat randomness that’s also grounded in the reality of the director’s movies that are being referenced. This wasn’t my favorite LC installment of all time, but it’s probably going to make my list of my favorite moments from tonight.

The song, Somebody That I Used To Know probably hit home to me more now than it did when the song first came out and I was just fearing imagined abandonment. Now that I’m four years into being a shut-in it’s extra hard to hear this song without having to hold back the tears. Luckily, I don’t have to because nobody else is here. It’s a good song, but I think it’s the only thing that I know from Gotye which is surprising because they have a haunting sound that I like, at least for this song and every performance of it that I’ve seen.

The news had Kristen Wiig and Fred Armisen as the only set of guests. Since this is another case where I used to love seeing this two attempt to make up on the spot tunes back when I had to wait at least a week before seeing a repeat from their last visit, but I’m going to hate them while watching the show on a daily basis. That said, once again, I zoned out during the news. Especially since my head was flooded by thoughts inspired by the Gotye song.

I don’t like the real Piers Morgan, and I have yet to want to like one of these parodies of his show because the references that get the crowd laughing just don’t matter to me. I’m also beginning to think that, like the other night, when I was so annoyed by several characters chomping on gum during a scene since this episode is a so-so one so far, thoughts of Somebody That I Used To Know might end up distracting me throughout the rest of the viewing. Just when I got done typing this up, Andy Samberg joined the segment as the “Guy Who Danced On The Wire At The Super Bowl” and just like the last Piers Morgan segment, the instant shift from boredom to laughing my ass off has me tempted to make this my favorite sketch of the night.

It’s a good thing that Samberg’s bouncing wire guy got me laughing so hard because I think it led me to like the haunted slow-motion hallway more than I would have if I were still in a zoned out mood since it was more cute than hilarious while making fun of an old movie trope. Since I’m so hung up on the Somebody That I Used To Know song and video at this moment, I really enjoyed the second SNL Digital Short that was a bit of a parody of both. I also thought that it was extra fun since Goyte’s singer turned out to be a horrible actor, but you could still see that he was trying his best to play along.

I wasn’t as into the second song from Gotye and think it might be why I’m not more familiar with their music. There were a couple of groups from this time who, I wouldn’t say were one-hit wonders but did have one song that stood out to me but wouldn’t like the rest of the stuff that I found. At the same time, I had friends who like everything from these groups, so I’m very open to the idea that it’s my tastes an not their abilities that led me to stop the searching.

I wasn’t into the prom sketch at all because it was all about a teacher bragging about his past relationships with the students that was played a bit too real and not an attempt at providing a lesson through a joke. This was another night where I was happy to see the host say their good nights because I just wanted the show to be over.

Though I would say this show lived up to my expectations of averageness, I was still a bit disappointed because it ended up being just a little worse than I hoped. Considering the fact that the last to show exceeded similar expectations, I was thought I might be more of the same results in this case. Oh well, they can’t all be winners. With that, it’s now time to shift gears and dig deeper into the details of each sketch to possibly see where things went wrong, as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started at a Bar filled with the members of the cast impersonating various Republican candidates to celebrate the impending nomination of Jason Sudeikis as Mitt Romney by singing a song about how this years campaign was the time of their lives. Of course, with this being the opening sketch, it eventually led to the announcement of, “Live from New York...”

  2. Josh Brolin then officially opened the show with a monolog about how he likes to host SNL because it gives him a break from his serious work and allows himself to just be stupid. He then told a few silly jokes to prove this point before taking part in a brief main stage performance of a scene Men In Black 3 with Jay Pharoah as Will Smith after sharing he was hired for the young Tommy Lee Jones role.

  3. HBO First Look took us behind-the-scenes to take a look at the making of Game Of Thrones where it’s revealed that the series’ excessive/gratuitous nude scenes were added by Andy Samberg as the show’s thirteen-year-old creative consultant.

  4. The Californians then made their show debut for this sketch that is pretty much a room full of west coast versions of Stefon talking about the literal roads travel to get to any destination over saying anything with any sustenance. (Dressed Rehearsal)

  5. America's Next Top Empire State Of Mind Parody Artist was a competitive reality show hosted by Andy Samberg as Weird Al in his effort to find the very best parody of the Jay-Z song Empire State Of Mind. Jay Pharoah also portrayed Jay-Z to help out with the judgment of each song.

  6. This was followed by another SNL Digital Short where we got to see Laser Cats 7 that referenced a few elements from ET and other Steven Spielberg films since he made a cameo as the director of the latest LC film.

  7. Gotye then took to the stage to perform Somebody That I Used To Know.

  8. Once again, Seth Meyers gave us the news. This week, Kristen Wiig and Fred Armisen returned as their characters who come up with songs on the spot, this time to improvise a couple of spring-themed songs. (Clip 2)

  9. This was followed by another parody of Piers Morgan Tonight where once again Taran Killam played Piers to interview our host and several members of the cast as various celebrity guests.

  10. Woodridge High took place in a high school where Fred Armisen played a principal who gave Vanessa Bayer a tour of her brand new school. This started out pretty typical but then they got to a haunted segment of the hallway that Armisen warned makes everything run at a really slow speed. We then got to see our host walk through the haunted hallway to provide an example of this quirky feature of the school.

  11. We then got yet another SNL Digital Short where Andy Samberg and Taran Killam were hiding in musical guest Gotye’s dressing room by camouflaging themselves like the people from the band's classic video. Or at least classic enough that I’ve seen it before.

  12. Gotye then returned to the stage to perform Eyes Wide Open.

  13. This was followed by a sketch that took place at a Prom where Jay Pharoah kept interrupting the fun to give announcement and threats towards the students throughout the night whenever they would break a rule. The first rule broken was booze being added to the punch bowl which leading Josh Brolin, as a teacher to relapse and started admitting to past relationships with students.

  14. Finally, Josh Brolin closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Though I was hoping tonight would make four shows in a row to exceed my expectations only to have it end up exactly as average as I believed, at least these sketches that contained my three favorite moments kept the viewing experience at least somewhat fun. First, I loved Laser Cats 7 because I love the series in general and it’s been a while since there’s been a new installment. Next, I really liked the SNL Digital Short: Somebody That I Used To Know parody because the real song was stuck in my head from the performance, so it was fun to see it referenced as a joke. Finally, I was a fan of the Piers Morgan parody especially since I don’t like the sketch in general but still, Andy Samberg’s last minute appearance had me laughing the hardest and only time from this episode.


Watch More From Josh Brolin:

Hear More From Gotye:

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.