Let’s hear it for the girls! First we got Jennifer Lopez pulling double-duty as guest and musical host of this week’s episode. But to top that, we also got a strong showing by female cast members Kristen Wiig, Nasim Pedrad, Jenny Slate and Abby Elliott throughout the show! Slate gave us new car horns to go with our new doorbells. Pedrad gave us a little girl haunted by the band Smash Mouth. If it wasn’t by chicks, it was for chicks.. Oh yes, it was ladies night… and the feeling was, well, mostly right.
Opening the show, Keenan Thompson as Quincy Jones introduced “We Are the World 3: Raising Awareness of the ‘We are the World 2’ Disaster.” Between plenty of PC-preemptive disclaimers, the parody poked fun at the tragically bad recent remake, proceeds of which benefit earthquake victims in Haiti.
It was a cast showcase kicked off by Lopez as a spot-on Rihanna (squeezing in an “-ella, -ella” for good measure and good laughs). Wiig (Gwen Stefani), Pedrad (Shakira), Slate (Lady Gaga) and Elliott (Melissa Etheridge) all came out to play. So did Bill Hader as a comically creepy Eddie Vedder, Andy Samberg as a dead-on dorky Josh Groban, Will Forte as a whiny Willie Nelson, Bobby Moynihan as David Crosby and Jason Sudeikis as Adam Lambert. The who’s-who was a hoot, and the lyrics were funny enough… but some of the best laughs were visual cues from the real video.
After a ho-hum monologue, J-Lo took on Wiig in a new installment of ESPN Classic, commentated by Sudeikis and Forte and sponsored by Gyne-Lotrimin. “When you got something fungal deep down in your lady jungle…” It was funny, sure, but didn’t come near the humor mark that the previous “Douche!” version did.
Now, if you’re looking for perfect delivery, you need look no further than the digital short “Flags of the World.” Not only was it funny – in that quick spastic grunt chuckle way – but it demands multiple viewings just to catch all the fantastic references being squeezed in. In particular, note the timely and potentially future-telling “We Love Betty White” flag (That Facebook fan campaign to make Betty White an SNL host might pay off!). Plus the song itself is an absolute earworm.
Lopez was a great sport about poking fun at herself and her culture in several sketches. As a viewer, you didn’t need to be bilingual or come from a tropical climate to appreciate the stereotypical silliness of Telemundo covering the Winter Olympics. Lopez and co-anchor Fred Armisen sprinkled Spanish phrases and thick accents in with such commentary as “This is the madness that happens when a country has no beaches.” and “Did you know there are places with sunshine and with dancing?”
Employing simple Spanish phrases, seductive cut-away promos and fabulous overacting, the Telenovela “Besos & Lagrimas” is a staple segment when a high-profile Latino or Latina is on hand. Previously featuring Christina Aguilera and Antonio Banderas, this time Lopez appeared as a nun in love with a married man.
While “Weekend Update” itself had little to offer, the two guests were worth seeing.
Armisen gave us what could conceivably be the last we’ll see of his David Paterson, per the news that the real Paterson won’t run for reelection. At first he seemed coy, offering the mere allusion to his one punchline, New Jersey. But he finally gave it up several times, including a bit of crowd participation. “We’ll miss you,” Meyers told the character. Something tells me New Jersey will give SNL an excuse to bring him back.
And Moynihan wins the “That’s so true it’s funny” award of the night for his portrayal as a New Media Correspondent trying to show off a YouTube video. The real irony in this will be if you click on the video below and find yourself thinking “Ugh. It’s buffering!” So meta!
Speaking of so true it’s funny, the quick and quirky “Undercover Celebrity Jobs” was one of those sketches that pokes fun at real programming, but could be mistaken by a network exec as a great idea. Armisen as janitor Steve Jobs, Hader as secretary Richard Branson, Elliott and Slate as warehouse working Olsen Twins and Wigg as a bitchy non-dishwashing Martha Stewart are each laugh out loud funny!
Finally, just in case you’re cursing me because you’re still singing that “Flags of the World” song, I’ll leave you with this: Slate’s suggestions for personalized car horns. Whaaaaat?
Next week, Zach Galifianakis hosts and Vampire Weekend is the musical guest. Looking forward to some twisted, indie-tastic stuff there!