Saturday Night Live recap: Helen Mirren’s breasts, taxes and Frankenstein

By | April 11, 2011 at 11:14 am | No comments | Audio/Video, News, TV/Movies | Tags: ,

Helen Mirren

We start off with an address from Obama, as usual. The topic this week is the federal budgeting.

The premise of the skit can be summed up in this quote: Obama: “…everyone walked away unhappy.” Performance-wise, Fred Armisen seems to be cutting down on the “uhs,” as they used to be a lot less subtle. It’s always tough to draw the line when it comes to impersonations- especially when the person is still relevant, not particularly flamboyant, or relatively new to the spotlight- and Obama is all three.

Writing-wise, they managed to get a birther joke in, and insult a few politicians, going down the list of why several household name political figures are “unhappy.” Obama also says that SNL viewers are unhappy because we’re stuck watching this

Presidential address… which I couldn’t have said better myself.

Helen Mirren comes out in an outfit that, in my opinion, is obviously going to be torn off or removed in the near future. I mention this to those watching with me, but no one seems to agree.

Helen: “Since I’m best known for playing the Queen, I worried they would make me play a queen in every sketch. But they did that last week with Elton John.”

I actually half-joked before the show that I hoped they incorporate Helen Mirren’s hot paparazzi bikini pictures into her monologue… which they did! And, honestly, why wouldn’t they? Have you seen those photos?

Helen then insists that, unlike the queen, she is not classy, and breaks into a personalized version of the South Pacific song “There is Nothing Like a Dame,” in which, yes, she does rip off her clothes, changing into a ’40s-esque sexy sailor dress- and, dear God, is she hot. Whatever demonic ritual she performed to maintain that hotness a decade past the AARP membership age, it was worth it.

Watch her and look from the neck down, then remind yourself she is 65. She ages like a McDonald’s hamburger… which is to say, not at all.

Mort’s first client is James Franco. The writing for his portion isn’t that great, using the “Franco has a lot of jobs” joke that, if I’m not mistaken, the actual James Franco participated in during a Weekend Update. The impression by Paul Brittain is fantastic vocally- and visually, if you ignore the ratty wig.

One notable quote: Mort, [on the expenses from Franco’s Oscar gig:] “I guess I’ll just tack that onto your Verizon bill… ’cause you PHONED IT IN!”

Then, in an impressively fast cut, Mort sees the Kardashian sisters. Mort basically insults their non-careers and marvels at their bank accounts. Nothing groundbreaking, but the Kardashians do inspire the best exchange of the skit:

Mort: “The Kardashians are in the black!”
Khloe: “Usually it’s the other way around.”

Ricky Martin is Mort’s next client, and they discuss his memoir, in which he revealed he’s gay. Cue the “you were obviously gay” jokes. For those about to Google search, I’ll save you the effort: Ricky Martin’s memoir came out in November of 2010. Timely stuff, writers. I understand tax season comes but once a year, but honestly.

Will Smith, played impeccably by Jay Pharoah, would like to be listed as a dependent under his children. Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton are Mort’s next clients. There is a very predictable “unexpected” appearance by Johnny Depp (not the real one, mind you.) I saw it coming a mile away, but it does make sense… financially, they’re in a partially co-dependent threesome.

Moammar Gadhafi finishes up the skit, ending in the typical Mort manner, in which he accepts Moammar as a client because he offers an additional percent. Hardy har, Jewish stereotypes. I did like that, instead of the immediate agreement, Mort had a comedic pause before making the deal. I may be mistaken, but I think that’s new.

This one puts the “short” in Digital Short. It’s very brief, and hardly anything happens. Nasim Pedrad walks into Helen Mirren’s dressing room, professes that she is a huge fan, and asks if she can touch “them.” Helen agrees, and Nasim fearlessly grabs Helen’s tits.

Basically, we learn that Helen Mirren’s boobs hold the key to all the happiness in the world, and, when touched, show you a montage of incredible things, like the (now overused) Brendan Frasier applause clip, cute bunnies, happy non-fathers on Maury, Teen Wolf, and much more.

They also transport you to a Heaven-like place with golden gates, where time does not exist. Nasim returns to the present, and leaves, and Kristin Wiig then comes in and motorboats Helen.

They could have done more with the concept, but the brevity and family-unfriendly silliness of the short has a unique charm.

This might be my favorite of the night. Mary Shelley is discussing her new book Frankenstein, when her landlord walks in. Mary denies that she is making fun of him in the novel, which becomes increasingly difficult to believe.

Fred Armisen is great in this skit, playing Frank Stein. He incorporated his go-to neurotic New York accent into the character, which wasn’t a very conventional choice, but he has the ability to sell any character he’s given. He dives in, head first.

The one thing I will say is that the title was misleading and confusing. You know those commercials for that medicine website, and they have commercials called “Overly Dramatic Reenactments?” I thought that was more of the direction we were going in. Nonetheless. I really enjoyed this sketch.

I wasn’t going to mention this week’s Update, until I saw the Twitter buzz about Kristin Wiig’s flight attendant character. It was funny, but I wasn’t floored- then again, Twitter is never wrong.

Other guest characters were James Carville, who is always amusing, and Kenan Thompson’s French Comedian Jean K. Jean. If there are any children of the late ’80s, early-to-mid ’90s reading, you know what I’m talking about what I say… isn’t this just a cheap knock off of Kenan’s All That character, Pierre Escargot?

Fun trivia: Pierre taught me that “brassiere” is the proper word for “bra.”

This skit pokes fun at the current Reelz miniseries, The Kennedys. In it, Reelz promotes its true series, The Roosevelts, which is a long series of conspiracy theories, historical inaccuracies, unfounded claims, and… you get the picture.
Helen Mirren does a great, entitled American accent, and is subtly butch, which is suiting- Eleanor Roosevelt is a lesbian in the series. (She is rumored to have been one in real life as well, so that aspect of the “series” is more Oliver Stone than, say, Alex Jones.)


All in all, the night wasn’t stellar. Mirren proved to be capable of comedic delivery, but the sketches were uninteresting, and many played long past its comedic expiration date. I would rather see more, shorter skits that are timely and deliver a punch than sit through longer skits.

Next week will be a repeat of Gwyneth Paltrow and Cee Lo Green’s episode.

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Mallory Katz

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