Saturday Night Live – “Anna Faris/Drake”

Saturday Night Live – “Anna Faris/Drake

So after a couple weeks of hosts taking front-and-center in the sketches (you know, hosting) this week Anna Faris pretty much faded into the background. I’m not really sure why. She’s an able comic performer even in movies that aren’t that good (i.e. The House Bunny, Scary Movie 3 & 4). She had, of course, the monologue where she took questions from “the audience” (giving her an opportunity to interact with Abby Elliot’s impression of her). The she had a fairly prominent role in the Lifetime game show “What’s Wrong with Tanya?” Late in the show she was an anime enthusiast speaking in a somewhat racist faux-Japanese accent. Then in the last god-awful sketch of the night she played a woman who, with Kristen Wiig, was ogling the apparently-deformed models in a Ferrari calendar. Beyond that she was practically background. Not sure what’s up with that.

The Manuel Ortiz Show made a return this week. It continues to be the exact same joke as every other time it’s been on (everybody dances excessively during segues, even following emotionally charged revelations), but for some reason it’s never gotten old for me like other one-joke sketches (I’m looking in your direction, What Up With That?). The game show on Lifetime (“Television for women. White women.”) was actually pretty funny with its melodrama, addressing such made-up suburban fears as “blowjobs-for-bracelets” parties (and if those are real… god I regret going to an all-male high school) and Bill Hader’s affable host becoming an abuser seemingly at the drop of a hat. There was a sketch where all the women in the cast sang an altered version of the Exciters’ “Tell Him” about the lies girls tell their boyfriends (they’re not naturally hairless?). Wiig was the only strong singer of the bunch (by the way, kudos to the show for not overusing her this week).

Weekend Update this week had many funny jokes by Seth Meyers but the guest spots were lame. I don’t know why they keep bringing back Bobby Moynihan’s “secondhand news” character. It’s never been that funny. Jay Pharaoh and Drake’s rap about stealing Halloween candy also left me cold. (Also, the Halloween show is two weeks before Halloween?) The GOP debate sketch was pretty great. Of course there’s such a mock-able range of candidates. I don’t think Keenan Thompson has quite found the right joke for a Herman Cain character. Jason Sudeikis’ affable Romney is pretty funny, especially when he likens himself to Forrest Gump (urging America to try all the other guys it wants as long as it comes home to him to die). I think more could have been done with the uncomfortable Rick Santorum in a gay bar in San Francisco’s Castro district. Of course I just want to see Santorum squirm, even if it is only an impersonator… Also in a death match between Bachman and Gingrich, I think the show got it right. Bachman would gut the tubby bastard. The SNL Digital Short succeeded once again due to Andy Samberg’s commitment to the weirdness of it all. Drake didn’t do much, but he really didn’t have to next to Samberg.

Speaking of Drake, I fast-forwarded through the musical numbers. I started listening, decided I didn’t care for them, and skipped them. I thought about going back and checking out the second one, because I like Nicky Minaj, but I didn’t remember before I deleted the episode form my DVR so oh well. There were a few things that fell flat for me this week. The college-access J-Pop show was just a couple minutes of “what the fuck?” for me. Is this a real subculture? I know some people who are really into anime and when I worked retail I even saw some women who dressed in those kind of costumes (though all of them were significantly larger than Vanessa Bayer) but I’ve never seen/heard anyone try to imitate the Japanese accent before for anything other than an offensive joke. This sketch was just weird. Maybe it’s just my unfamiliarity with J-Pop. Maybe I just don’t “get it.” Or maybe it just sucked hard. Also sucking for me was Paul Britain as a 40-something-year-old man who acted like a spoiled rich kid from the 1600s. It totally fell flat for me. Tonight’s episode offered a lot of the things I’ve grown to dislike about SNL and not enough of the stuff I like. In November, they’ll be back with Charlie Day so hopefully his manic energy rubs off on the show.

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