This is definitely the SNL that I have been anticipating the most anxiously since the show returned post-writer’s strike. Why? Well…Christopher Walken is a fantastic host. I’m not sure what it is, but his constant deadpan that brought such wonders as The Continental and the More Cowbell Guy always makes me laugh until I have to pause the Tivo to catch my breath. In short, I have high hopes for this show. We’ll see how that turns out. Oh! Also. Panic! At the Disco is the musical guest, and I like them, too—mostly for their crazy-long song titles and the wordy, narrative singing style. What’s not to love?
(P.S. This recap may be brought to you courtesy of motion sickness, thanks to the super-sweet Dr. Dean Edell reading glasses that I’m wearing so that I can see the computer clearly—I left my “real” glasses at work, and have to peer over the Dr. Deans in order to get a good look at the tv. This will be…interesting.)
Cold open: a Hillary for President sketch. Bill (yay, Darrell Hammond) and Hillary sit in a regal sitting room, talking about their tax returns, which were recently released to the public. We know they’re rich…meh. Also, we know that Bill likes to “talk to people. Nothing more.” Haha, they concealed the fact that they were rich, by hiding in their house in Westchester. Oh wait, everyone knew they had made money, any cursory glance over newspapers would show that. I guess that’s the point. Not a particularly funny point, but one nonetheless. I do, however, love that the word “psyche” is used—as in “Psyche! Not gonna happen.”
Monologue. It may not be Christopher Walken’s 100th time hosting, but dude, he’s been on a fair amount of times. He fields “questions” (that he, admittedly, wrote himself) from the “audience” (writers). We learn that he would rather have both the powers of invisibility and flight. Really, who wouldn’t? You know, the more I see Christopher Walken, the more appreciative I am of the impression that Kevin Pollak does of him. Dead on, seriously. This is a lame monologue. Sorry, Chris.
“Commercial” for Annuale, which we saw earlier this season, on the Tina Fey episode. It’s funny, but I suppose my issue is that, in reality, no one has a “real” period while they’re on birth control—it’s a fake period that was put in so that women wouldn’t freak out when they never got their periods while on the pil. It suppresses ovulation, which means that there is no need for there to be uterine lining and hence no need for a pesky period (note: I am not a doctor. I really have very little idea how the pill really works, but I am damn glad it does.) Also, why are they bleeping when Tina Fey tells us to “Hold the F onto [our hats]”? It’s like bleeping “frickin.” Just saying.
The ouside of a…school? Yes! North Side High School, where Christopher Walken is putting our friends Bill, Andy, Kenan, and Jason through their paces before the Big School Musical (note: Zac Efron is nowhere to be seen, thank you Baby Jesus). CW notes that he is “a drama teacher, not David Blaine.” Thank Baby Jesus for that, too, while you’re at it. Amy Poehler is an accompanist who wears silly Dame Edna glasses, which we love, along with a frizzy bun. They rehearse the original Broadway version of “Greased Lightning,” which is, in fact, a pretty dirty song, but it is cleaned up when they substitute “fleam” for “cream” and “phlox, phlox, phlox” for “get off my rocks.” And then they make the whole song about Gene Rayburn. Good job, team. This business continues on, and is truly reminiscient of an actual musical rehearsal that can be witnessed at any high school, ever. Only there would probably be more wailing and gnashing of teeth, because those Drama Kids? They are nuts.
Red, White, and Blue Biker Walken brings us into an office celebration for Jason Sudeikis, complete with a round of “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow.” They dig into the grocery store sheet cake, and he is presented with a Starbucks card, because he looooves Ethos Water (who the hell don’t? The kids in Africa need water, dammit). Walken and JS share an awkward moment of recollection of memories of several simultaneous “number 1”s, which is more memorable for Walken than for Jason. This conversation takes place entirely inside The Awkward Tent, which is brought to you compliments of my friend H, who also created a hand signal for those times when you can’t verbalize just how Awkward! a situation is. Walken culminates with a bit of “I’ll Be Seeing You” and a tongue in the ear. Delicious.
SNL Digital Short! Bill Hader and Amdy Samberg apprach Lorne (and Chris Dodd!) in a restaurant about a new short, insert a VHS tape, and…it’s Laser Cats! Again! Woooo! Well, technically it’s about Laser Cats being prohibited, and is entitled “Laser Cats! 3D* (*not all scenes in 3D)” Captain Ted (played by CW, who else?) calls them to base, and they arrive wielding their Laser Cats (only one of these cats is real, sadly. It also does not seem to enjoy being used as a weapon. Not by Andy Samberg, anyway). They begin to attempt to euthanize their Laser Cats (with a gun and a hammer! Not cool), but then realize they must use them as weapons to defend Earth. Of course. There is a 3-D scene, with a cutaway of Lorne and Dodd wearing 3D glasses, and then a revelation of a Laser Pug! Awesome. It’s a Laser Puppy, really, and is too adorable for words as it scrambles around on the tile floor. Andy saves the day with his new bionic eye, and the world is returned to safety. Also, the line of ladies who want to make out with Andy gets even longer, now that he is a True American Hero.
Director’s Chair Walken waves us in to a living room, where there is…an intervention? No, a surprise party planning session. Kristen Wiig, in a Cosby sweater, is way too excited about this party. Apparently this is the funny part. I respectfully disagree.
Panic! At the Disco. Enjoy, y’all. There is apparently a new album out called Pretty Odd, so go get it! They’re fun.
Weekend Update! I have to interrupt here and say that I saw Seth Meyers on The Martha Stewart Show earlier this week (I know, Martha and I were in a fight, but it’s Cupcake Week and I couldn’t stay mad at her), and he is adorable. Let it be heretofore known that I want to share an ice cream sundae with Seth Meyers, and then skip around a park or something, or at least have him push me on the swings. He is totally the lime in my G&T. Love! Stories include: Hillary Clinton is rich, the Olympic torch is now on a trip around the world, Bush is in no way a small-government Republican (I guess no one really likes him anymore, right? Please tell me I’m right. Or I will cry.), and there is a pregnant man. Have you all heard about this? So insane. Maybe I should start to Tivo Oprah, too. Oh, and he called the baby a “little ho.” Not cool. Madonna criticizes NYC and no one cares that much, 6-15 year old girls are hunting in record numbers, a new therapy in Germany involves laying in open graves (effectively “out-German”-ing itself), pot-bellies are linked to dementia, and New York might double its cigarette tax (and, seriously, people will still buy them? Horrifying).
Walken on a Pink Chair leads into Sweet Waters, where a reunion is taking place between Walken (playing himself) and Stanley (Bill Hader playing a version of Walken). They take turns trying out out-Walken each other, and are joined by John (Jason Sudeikis), who is pretty Walken-y as well. Maxine (Amy P.) and Scott (Andy S.!) are Walken kids, and everyone continues to speak with strange accents and cadence. Scott is sort of Holden Caulfield, calling peope “phony.” Can we vote to bring back that word, please? Flamboyantly gay Nathan (Fred Armisen) arrives…and I am worn out. I like Walken, I think he’s entertaining, but can we have The Continental instead? Bleep-bloop.
There is a bird on the head of Walken, and I am officially alarmed. Birds? I am not a fan. They are for eating only. Oh, and for donating feathers for blankets and such. Thanks, birds, for being delicious! Anyway. We have “Indoor Gardening Tips From a Man Who’s Very Scared of Plants.” Hm. We shall see, SNL. We shall see. There are cactuses (cacti, please!) with googly eyes on them. It is about as funny as it sounds. There are googly eyes on ferns, too. Not great. Oh! Speaking of phobias, GP and most members of his immediate family have a fear of plants, mostly big plants that are really branchy or leafy. I learned this on a trip to the Botanical Gardens at Golden Gate Park, and proceeded to exploit it by leaning into many prehistoric leaf clusters while they tried to drag me away. That was probably a little mean…but I am mean sometimes. It’s important that you know this. (P.S. This sketch? Is lame.)
A Baby Mama trailer! I can’t believe that it’s real. I’m probably going to see it, because I love Tina Fey and all…but I expect very little. You’d better bring it, Tina!
Pensive Walken beckons us into a Top Chef sketch. See, here’s the thing: that show is often a parody of itself, so I am concerned that this will be…redundant? Seriously. They did do a deep-dish pizza Quick Fire Challenge. It ended sillily (is that a word? It should be), and was more funny than this lameass sketch. At least there are faux-hawks. Bleep-bloop.
More Panic! It’s an older song, but I love the pizzicato. Also, I love the word “pizzicato.”
Larry King Live with Jimmy Carter (Fred Armisen and Darrell Hammond). Jimmy Carter wrote a book about his mom. I’m sure it’s ok. Not ok? The attempted humor here. Jimmy Carter has written many books. He is Southern. Fin.
All in all? Maybe a B-. Thanks, Tivo!