Last night, Alec Baldwin became the first host in SNL history to host sixteen times, a fact he made sure to mention just a few times during his five-minute monologue, not to mention that he now was ahead of Steve Martin, something he didn't feel the need to brag about, but that if he had to he could, because he'd won. Then out walks none other than Steve Martin, dapper in his professorial getup, who pulls out a urine cup and says he wants to test Baldwin for "performance-enhancing drugs," pulling onstage someone well versed in all things pharmacological to help out, Seth Rogen. So you can imagine we're excited to see those two pop up throughout the show. Except they didn't, not until the closing bow. Disappointing. That said, last night was a solid season opener. The ten-minute-plus GOP debate sketch actually went down easy, which is about as rave a review as a bit that long can expect. Baldwin's Tony Bennett on
"Weekend Update" was an easy fit, as was Al Pacino later on. SNL vet Kristen Wiig was particularly on form, headlining the most successfully high-class seedy perfume ad we've ever seen, for the aptly named scent Red Flag, and her Michele Bachmann stood out in the GOP faux debate — her platform: "Jesus, papiloma, eyeballs." Also this week, one of our new favorite game show concepts: "Who's on Top?" (Billy Joel or Bruce Springsteen? The Lion King's Timon or Pumba?) Add to that Radiohead playing "Lotus Flower" and "Staircase," and all around not a bad way to spend a Saturday night.
Most GOP Candidate Impressions in Ten Minutes
Who would've thought the first Republican candidate to revive the "Mitt Romney is a flip flopper" line would be Baldwin's Rick Perry? And props to Kristen Wiig's Michele Bachmann for laying out exactly which America she wants to return to — the one where "feral bands of mud people lived in their caves, never worrying that Barack Obama was coming to take their hard-earned pelts or infringe on their right to bear spears."
Best Reason to Bring Out Giant Insect Props
Take Kristen Wiig's so-Botoxed-she-can't-feel-her-face travel correspondent, Alec Baldwin and Abby Elliot as down-homey Buffalo news anchors, a time lag, giant bug props, and you got yourself a solid funny. (Also, who knew upstate New Yorkers speak with a Wasila accent? Elliott was giving us some serious Sarah Palin twang.)
Yay, Crazy Eyes
A wig fire murder cover-up. Alec Baldwin finds out he's his lover's daughter. As the intrigue grows deeper, the question on everyone's lips ... "or was I pushed?" Dum, dum, dum.
Best Gay-Themed Talk Show
Who's on top, Dr. Oz. or Dr. Phil? Oprah!
Longest Stretch of Dead-On Celebrity Impersonations Ever
Bill Hader does Alan Alda to a T and a surprisingly convincing queer read of Top Gun as Harvey Feirstein. Fred Armisen's Tony Danza, however, was only eh.