Last night's SNL wasn't listed as an official reunion show of the 2002-2003 season, but, yeah, that was a reunion show. Fallon trotted out names like Tiny Fey, Tracy Morgan, Horatio Sanz, Amy Poehler, Chris Kattan and Rachel Dratch -- not to mention that current cast members Seth Meyers and Fred Armisen were featured players that season, as well. Of the 10 full-time cast members during the 2002-2003 season, only Darrell Hammond, Maya Rudolph and Chris Parnell did not make an appearance last night (though Hammond did appear last week and Rudolph, the week before). Of course, this severely limited the contributions from the current cast -- but, hey, how often do you get to see every "Weekend Update" anchor since 2000 behind the desk at the same time? On to the the 10th scorecard of the season!
Sketch of the Night
"Tebow" (Taran Killam, Jason Sudeikis, Keenan Thompson, Andy Samberg) Finally, like the rest of the world, I have an excuse to write about Tim Tebow! You know, I have really nothing to say about Tim Tebow other than I find both the love and hate for this man fascinating. Tebow is a very religious fellow and after another "miracle" comeback win for the Denver Broncos, Jesus visits Tebow to ask him to tone it down a bit with the worship. Yes, Jason Sudeikis plays both Jesus and the Devil. Also, nothing against all the returning alumni, but it is fitting that the sketch of the night comes entirely from the current cast.
"One Man Show" (Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, Bobby Moynihan, Vanessa Bayer) I already know there will be a lot of disagreements over this one. If you don't like Armisen's Nicholas Fehn, there's a very strong chance that you didn't like this sketch, either. But as someone who has suffered through Off Broadway productions similar to this -- yes, where the actor pretends to be part of the custodial staff before the show begins -- this is pretty dead on accurate.
"Weekend Update" (Seth Meyers, Andy Samberg, Jude Law, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Jimmy Fallon) I hate admitting this, but I think I enjoyed Meyers' original "Bring a toy for charity and Charity will give it to the manger," line the best. But, as stated before, we got to see every "Update" host since 2000 -- Fey, Fallon, Poehler and Meyers -- sitting behind the desk at the same time. Also, Andy Samberg as Nic Cage interviewed Jude Law as Jude Law -- who, in real life, not acting, looked like he wanted to be anywhere but right there at that moment.
"Beethoven" (Jimmy Fallon, Ensemble) When Bruce Springsteen used to introduce the late Clarence Clemons in concert, he would use the line, "You wish you could be like him, but you can't," as part of the introduction. Which is the same line Fallon as Beethoven used in this sketch to introduce B.B. King. Fallon is a self-admitted Springsteen fan and the way Beethoven introduces his very large orchestra is eerily similar to the way Springsteen introduces his large, but-not-quite-as-large, E-Street Band. This was good but, boy, did it feel a little long.
"Jimmy Fallon Monologue" (Jimmy Fallon, Ensemble) As opposed to "Christmas Treat" (we'll get to that), this was just a lot of fun. I'll admit, I was kind of surprised that Fallon didn't play up the whole "It was predicted by Alec Baldwin in 1998 that I'd host the show this month" angle, but no matter! Personally, I love it when the whole cast gets to participate in something together. And if it were up to me, the cast would be gleefully dancing together onstage at the end of every monologue. Also, I loved that Fallon admitted that he ruined some of the most famous sketches in recent "SNL" memory by laughing. To be fair to Fallon, the sketches he mentioned were probably enhanced by his laughing. (Yes, he did ruin quite a few others.)
(Unfortunately, the monologue isn't available on Hulu so apologies for the YouTube video.)
"Michael Bublé Christmas Duets" (Michael Bublé, Jimmy Fallon, Nasim Pedrad, Kristen Wiig) In the past, these haven't been my favorite sketches because they come off as a hodgepodge of "So, what musical impression can you do?" And there was still some of that lurking here. But Fallon doing triple duty as Sting, Justin Bieber and Russell Brand was quite the coup. Also, Pedrad's M.I.A. just might have been the funniest single moment of the night. (But didn't we all really want another Hamm and Bublé?)
"War Horse" (Jimmy Fallon, Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Andy Samberg, Keenan Thompson, Jason Sudeikis) I've never seen the stage production of War Horse, but I have seen the movie that comes out next week. If you didn't find this funny, trust me, wait until you see the film, then watch this again. The earnestness of the cast is not that much of an exaggeration from the real story. And, yes, in the movie, the horse is even refereed to once as "War Horse."
"1920's Holiday Party" (Kristen Wiig, Jimmy Fallon, Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, Andy Samberg, Abby Elliott) Wiig's "don't make me sing" character is one of her few recurring characters that I enjoy (Note: I think it just officially became recurring last night). But here, Fallon kind of mucked up the proceedings. Wiig's faux-reluctant singer is a pretty nuanced thing. The problem is that Fallon's quite aggressive "don't make me dance" character just seemed kind of awkwardly spliced in. So it felt almost like there were two separate sketches going on at the same time: one in which Wiig doesn't know when to start singing "Jingle Bells" and another featuring Fallon dancing on a piano.
"Jimmy Mirror" (Jimmy Fallon, Andy Samberg) Something about this rubbed me the wrong way. Fallon has done this sketch before on the other side of the mirror as Mick Jagger. So... does the returning Fallon think, now, that an impression of himself is as good as an impression of Mick Jagger? I mean, I don't think he thinks that, but it kind of gives that appearance. Look, part of this was fun, but it also had a "Look at me, I'm Jimmy Fallon," vibe to the whole thing.
"Christmas Treat" (Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan, Tracy Morgan) This just makes me uncomfortable. In Tracy Morgan's autobiography, speaking about Kattan and Cheri Oteri, he said, "They never treated me well. I never cared for them either. Fuck them." OK, then! Put it this way: A couple of years ago, I was supposed to interview Kattan for the show "The Middle," but was told I was not allowed to bring up the subject of Tracy Morgan. That's how much these two didn't like each other. (I didn't agree to this condition and the interview was canceled.) Well, here were Morgan and Kattan, standing right next to each other, singing their Christmas song! Is it just me, or did Kattan look like he had a cocktail? Also, during the "good nights" at the end of the show, Kattan and Morgan were embracing like old friends, then Kattan slipped on the ice. (If I were Kattan, I would have probably had a cocktail, too.)
"Cold Open: Sully and Denise" (Jimmy Fallon, Rachel Dratch, Taran Killam, Abby Elliott, Bobby Moynihan) To be fair, I never particularity enjoyed these sketches when Fallon was a cast member. Boston humor! And, yes, I understood the parallels between this sketch as a high school alumni and Fallon's return as SNL alumni. Also, it's funny that when the grainy camera first appeared, I wasn't sure if it was going to be this or "Jarret's Room." I would have preferred "Jarret's Room," for no other reason than to see Seth Meyers once again playing the keyboard in the background.
"Today Show" (Kristen Wiig, Nasim Pedrad, Jimmy Fallon, Bobby Moynihan, Vanessa Bayer) This week's "Ugly" was a tough choice because, luckily, there weren't any egregiously terrible sketches. And Today Show wasn't particularly bad, but it sure wasn't better than any previous installments. It's just that it's so strange watching, now, a third person play the role of Hoda Kotb. The last two, Michaela Watkins and Jenny Slate, were fired from the show. I don't think Nasim Pedrad, who was promoted to full-time cast member this year, has anything to worry about. But, still, it's weird, distracting and the show would be better off if this sketch were retired.
Average Score for This Show: 6.17
Weekly Host Scorecard:
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