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Carrots and Sticks (or, How I Managed to Do Work and Recap SNL Simultaneously)

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Ok, so I’m officially a week behind on my big self-imposed project of recapping SNL for the benefit of the internets, but it’s because I’m buried under a mountain of tests that we’re running at work! There are three going on right now, one of which we just (finally!) wrapped up actively testing, which involved forty people. My task now (well, one of them) is to get all the business they wrote down and said into a nice, neat Excel file, so no one has to look through a huge stack of papers but me. So, in order to kill two birds with one stone (and one of the birds in this case is decidedly less of a pain in my ass), I have devised a Genius Plan: I will enter some data, and recap a little. Then I will go back to the stupid data, and when I have entered some more, I will allow myself to go back to recapping. Sounds easy enough, but we’ll see. Masochist that I am, I have elected to begin entering data first– at least I’ll get to do it on my PC laptop here at home, rather than my work Mac, which does not like to work with Excel in any attractive way.

(Only 18 more to go! I will allow myself at least the cold open and monologue.)

Second week in a row of a “Decision ’08” cold open? If you say so, show. Let’s see how this goes. Will Forte, you are no Brian Williams (great impression, though). How awesome would it be if they got actual Brian Williams to do one of these sketches? I know he hosted recently, and my love for Brian really knows no bounds. I need to see him on weekends, too! Darrell Hammond as Tim Russert…who is sometimes quite the caricature of himself anyway. Yes, political debates, especially regarding healthcare, can be a bit…dry, to say the least. Which is a little sad, considering what a critical issue it is. “Sweet Georgia Brown,” indeed, Fake Brian. I know that Hillary Clinton herself will be having a cameo sometime in this episode, so I think that she must have some sort of sense of humor, after being called not only aggressive, relentless, and demanding, but also annoying, pushy, grating, bossy, shrill, and unpleasant in the beginning of the show. Not sure I love Fred Armisen’s Obama… My attention is being lost, even though I think really everyone is giving their best impersonation here– just not the best writing. We get it! The media loves Obama! Hillary can be a bit grating at times! It’s…not that funny. Ooh, Law and Order “bomp-bomp”! And Vincent D’Onofrio, who is in my least favorite series of the franchise, CI. “…not a joke.” You’re telling me.

Oh! There she is! I have to say, even though I voted for Obama, I still think Hillary Clinton is a pretty amazing woman. I saw her speak in DC when I was in college for a rally/event, and got more than a little misty because it was such a politically charged moment. Whether or not you disagree with her tactics or policies, you have to admit that it’s pretty freakin’ amazing that we have a legitimate woman in the race for a party’s nomination for President (that’s the reason I can’t absolutely loathe Elizabeth Dole, so it does work both ways). The “I love your outfit” exchange reminds me of the “Janet Reno Dance Party” exchange between Will Ferrell and Janet Reno, with the, “I like your dress, Janet…I like your dress, too, Janet.” (See? I have been watching this show forever!)Hillary’s laugh, though? Really terrible. But at least she can…laugh about it?

Ellen Page. Adorable, loved her in Juno. I’m interested to see how she fares in sketch comedy, and wondering if she can break out of the “quippy and quirky” mold. She does it well, but I want something else. First impression– this is shallow, but I like her hair! It’s the first time I’ve seen it down in maybe forever. Very nice. Her mannerisms coupled with the leather jacket are a little Fonzie, though. Andy Samberg as Diablo Cody…not as inaccurate as you might think. That Diablo is one tall drink of water.

(Ok, back to work now…)

Back! I realize some of the effect of my back-and-forthing is lost by doing this all as one post, but liveblogging this would be even stupider. Get excited, though, because I only have 12 more to go! This is totally a big deal.

The Dakota Fanning Show! Please tell me this will involve EP dressed as a small child– for some reason, the concept is hilarious to me. Also, when will Dakota Fanning be too old to be considered precocious? The shrug-and-arm-flail is pretty off-putting… And ooh, I want to see Persepolis. “Dakota Fanning” talks to real kids in Rockefeller Center about global political issues, David Lynch movies, John Updike, and Bonjour Tristesse. This is about as funny as is sounds, which is not very. YES! EP as Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana, who is sublimely annoying. There is much hyperventilatory conversation, and a mention of Aeolian wind harp solos, which I don’t think would be possible, right? Don’t they just sit there in the window, sounding at the wind’s whim? Sorry about the alliteration. Also, about this sketch.

Saturday TV Funhouse brings us…The Obama Files. Cartoon Obama talks to Cartoon Jesse Jackson in a janitor’s closet, where Cartoon Jesse produces 100 rhymes for “change.” Cartoon Brian Williams is struck by a blow dart when Cartoon Al Sharpton comes to talk to Cartoon Obama, and Al recounts his misadventures in eastern Paraguay and is outfitted with a dog’s shock collar. I die a little inside, because, you guys? This is pretty lame.

Ellen Page and Kristen Wiig are…secretaries? In a wood-paneled office. Fred Armisen steps into the foreground to tell us about The College For Excellence, which is sometimes where I think I should have gone, with all the big bucks and job satisfaction that my English degree is bringing me. The College for Excellence, by the way, is located above a Korean Savings Bank, so that’s how you know it’s good– I bet that bank takes care of all the student loans for the CoE! I wish I knew high-class business terminology. Stupid UCLA. The high-class business terminology, also, consists of phrases like, “I sent that mass email, and I cc’d everybody.” This sketch is pretty solid and reminds me some corporate jargon flashcards I saw and almost bought once Low-hanging fruit, anyone?

Next week (or tonight, whatever), we have Amy Adams! And Vampire Weekend, which is something I assume the kids are listening to nowadays. It is hilarious to hear Don Pardo say the name of the band, though…

Back to work! (…guys, I’m almost done! Yay! Take that, pile of papers!)

The Other Boleyn Girl parody sketch. Has anyone seen this movie? I do love me some English history! Anne Boleyn likes riding steeds, but I don’t think she’s talking about horses. Dirty! Her sister is a bit of a hussy, and is less skilled at the double entendre. Kristen Wiig shows up as the “Other-Other” (and unibrowed) Boleyn girl, and it gets a little silly–and that’s when the fourth sister shows up, and the fifth (a veritable Nubian princess). This sketch is lame, and, fortunately, pretty brief.

SNL Digital Short! Yay! Previous shorts include Lazy Sunday, Dick in a Box, and Laser Cats, so I expect something pretty great. Then again, I couldn’t stand “Dear Sister.” Sorry. Ellen Page awakens with a start, and wanders into her bathroom to take some aspirin. She’s startled by…Andy Samberg as a developmentally delayed mime? In her bathroom mirror. He pops up a couple times in quick succession, holding a tropical drink with an umbrella in it, licking a lollipop, and doing some quick reps with what look like 5-pound weights. In that last pop-up, he looked a little like “Let’s Get Physical”-era Olivia Newton John. Was it all a dream? Ellen sits up in bed, again, goes into the bathroom, and the not-mime is on the toilet, reading the paper. Come on, SNL, what are you? Mad TV? The not-mime, in the next scene, awakens with a start, takes some aspirin, and is startled by EP. They then wake up with a start next to each other, and touch fingers in an ET sort of way. Dracula and his wife/girlfriend are there, as is a werewolf. Everyone’s very startled, and this sketch is no Dick in a Box. But at least it’s not Dear Sister.

Wilco plays, and I like them and all, but you know what happens to musical guests on TiVo. Bleep-bloop!

Weekend Update! Love. We’re “not” going to be in a recession, beef has been recalled, Obama isn’t really a Muslim, and McCain made a poor choice of opening speakers. Virgin Atlantic did the first biofueled flight, which seems cool, and Rudy Giuliani shows up! Remember when he wanted to be president? That was a strange time. Let’s not pretend that he ever had a snowball’s chance of getting that nomination. Bugs are a good source of protein, western states are 500% dustier than they were 200 years ago, and Mike Bloomberg is trying to establish oyster beds in NYC waterways… Naps are important! But 6 minutes? Child’s play. Fred Armisen is Nicholas Fehn, political comedian– one who manages not to be very funny at all, like many political comedians. This makes me yearn for Cinders Calhoun, in the Lilith Fair era…some special guests are more special than others, you know.

TiVo says there are about 30 minutes left, so I think that means I have to finish my work and then come back…I have high hopes for that last 30 minutes, however foolish that might be.

Ahh! I just finished with my big stack of papers! But I also realized that there’s a basketball game that I have to get through on the TiVo before I leave to watch yet more basketball with my dad. Sorry, SNL. We’ll catch up tomorrow, probably.

*There will be linkage added for a little color and interest, but honestly…basketball! Sorry, internets, you lose.

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About Megan

I read, I write, I drink wine while watching way too much tv. Let's be friends.

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