SNL Week Ten Highlights

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This week’s episode of Saturday Night Live, hosted by Jeff Bridges, brought with it a lot of familiar faces – Cookie Monster, Stefon, the Kardashians, Governor David Paterson, Miley Cyrus, Eminem – all to wish us “happy holidays.” Thanks, guys. The show opened with a shortened monologue that led into a duet of “Silver Bells,” featuring Cookie Monster, who had been “campaigning” to host the show. It was very sweet! Or at least, as sweet as something can be when you’re wondering the whole time about how it must look to the live audience. But no, it was very sweet. And the episode stayed at a pleasant level of comedic entertainment throughout. Let’s talk about some specifics:

The cold open, which can sometimes fall a little flat, was pretty funny this week with its “headlines Democrats want to see in the new year” premise. Rather than having to wade through the usual minutes of many impressions waiting for the joke to arrive, this open got to it immediately.

The digital short, “I Just Had Sex,” was pretty great, I thought. It was the kind of thing the Lonely Island guys do – take a ridiculous line and then repeat it over and over – but it’s a kind of thing that is pretty much funny every time they do it. Also, on Saturday night both “The Lonely Island” and “SNL” were trending on Twitter, so clearly they struck viral gold again. Not that I was home then! Anyway, the short also features cameos from Blake Lively and, no stranger to comedy, Jessica Alba.

Although it had pretty much the same premise as the sketch from a few weeks ago in which Fred Armisen was Lon Donson in the Wizard of Oz, I thought the “This You Call a Wonderful Life?!” sketch was good, and a standout of the night. Also, I love holiday sketches!

Weekend Update had a few mentionable things this weekend. First, of course, the Weekend Update weatherman, Brad Pitt:

I’m not sure how I feel about this Brad Pitt impression other than that I feel great about it because it is so ridiculous.

And then we had a visit from Governor David Paterson, Stefon, and Snooki singing “O Christmas Tree.” While the idea just seemed to be, “Here are these characters who have done funny things in the past, aren’t they funny?,” I’m not sure they had time to do a ton of funny things this time. But I’ll take any Stefon I can get.

And I would be remiss not to mention the “Crunkmas” juggalo parody, another highlight of the night. These commercials are always very well done and surprisingly strange for SNL.

And, my goodness I have so many videos in this one, I also wanted to mention the gift wrapping sketch. This was the only one that Jeff Bridges really stood out in, I think. It’s too bad that he wasn’t able to participate in a funnier, more meaningful way in many other sketches. It didn’t seem like he was around very much for the entire episode. Even though I think he was? But this sketch was inventive and silly, at least.

So that was this week. I didn’t really mention the musical guests, but they were enjoyable. At one point I thought, “Why do they have twice as many guitar and bass players as they need?” But then it was because Lil Wayne came out and performed a song with the second set. Interesting!

Anyway, happy holidays! See you next time when we talk about Jim Carrey and the Black Keys.