When this episode originally aired, I remember how Amy mentioning in passing here that Bill Haders an impressionist sparked some discussion among me and others on SNL message boards about how Bill being an impressionist may possibly be a sign that he was hired to take over the still-on-the-show Darrell Hammonds spot as SNLs resident impressionist, and we speculated that this season may end up being Darrells last. Also throw in an out-of-the-ordinary, refreshing, fun, and format-breaking backstage sketch right before Kanye Wests first musical performance, and things are looking promising for SNLs future. Hmm. Everybody was SO excited for this new guy. See production, box office & company info, Saturday Night Live: The Best of Commercial Parodies, Studio 8H, NBC Studios - 30 Rockefeller Plaza, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA. STARS: ***, GIRLS GONE WILD KATRINA That widescreen format made the scene look small on my TV screen which was, of course, still in the square mode at the time. Ive mentioned multiple times how Im never excited about Darrells appearances as Geraldo Rivera, but him suddenly crashing Anderson Coopers Hurricane Katrina coverage is funny. Wow, the timing of the wah-wahhhhh zoom-ins are REALLY off during the early portion of Debbie Downer and Bob Bummers interaction with each other. Ouch. A little part that got no audience reaction, but I absolutely loved: upon seeing Finesse show up, Maya points to him while asking Lorne He still works here?? Man i cant tell you how excited I was to see the show pop up in widescreen! Sketches include "Bush Addresses the Nation", "Morgan Stanley", "The JetBlue Crisis", "Anderson Cooper 360", "The Couple That Should Be Divorced", "Girls Gone Wild Katrina", "Kanye Backstage Sketches include "Bush Addresses the Nation", "Morgan Stanley", "The JetBlue Crisis", "Anderson Cooper 360", "The Couple That Should Be Divorced", "Girls Gone Wild Katrina", "Kanye Backstage", "The Lundford Twins Variety Hour", "Fun With Real Audio", and "Debbie Downer". Andy did have a hell of a time until the Jack Black show. This heavy utilization of Amy tonight is presumably a byproduct of both Tinas absence and Mayas limited airtime with how far along in her pregnancy she is. October 8, 2005 Jon Heder / Ashlee Simpson (S31 E2), Discord Where You Can Discuss New SNL Episodes (and SNL In General) On, Stooges One SNL A Day Farewell Extravaganza, November 4, 2017 Larry David / Miley Cyrus (S43 E4), October 17, 1987 Steve Martin / Sting (S13 E1), October 15, 1983 Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman / Eddy Grant (S9 E2), April 15, 2006 Lindsay Lohan / Pearl Jam (S31 E16). Ive read that Horatio donned glasses during WU as a tribute to Tina. Interesting that Jet Blue was written by Colin Jost. The cold open is decent enough, but Will Forte, pretty as he may be, looks strange with a filter that seems to be covered in gauze. This appears to be an inside reference to Maya and her real-life husband, well-known director Paul Thomas Anderson. Are these screencaps from legit HD rips or just a SD versions of them?. IMMEDIATE POST-SHOW THOUGHTS His frustration over his extreme under-utilization this season ends up getting to the degree where it manifests itself on the air at one point: in the very first Two A-Holes sketch later this season in the Jack Black-hosted Christmas episode, Finesse gives a very awkward and halting performance in which you can tell the poor guy was genuinely very upset and possibly even demeaned over the fact that his ONLY appearance in that entire episode, an episode that included some epic, show-stopping, legendary pieces, was at the very end of the final sketch of the night in a very small straight role in which he, as a fucking hot dog vendor, feeds set-up lines to the Two A-Holes. Even the writing of the Update jokes seems a little better tonight. Sanz on Update came out of left field, and he was okay? Also joining the writing staff this season is Bryan Tucker, who like Jost, is still with the show. For something that had had a break, this one feels a bit flat to me, aside from some fun breaks like the baseball fight. STARS: ***, THE NEEDLERS Carol, who I know were all looking forward to seeing, appeared at dress rehearsal but was cut. Didnt Girls Gone Wild get removed in the rerun? Finesse has surprisingly been getting some good airtime as himself throughout tonights episode. musical guest & Adam Levine [real] perform Heard Em Say, DEBBIE DOWNER And I love this ad Forte is perfect. LOM & shell shocked MIM fear what might come out of musical guests mouth, A decent way to address Mayas pregnancy. Some decent interplay between Horatio and Amy throughout this Update. A very fun idea of an Impression-Off between the two new guys. Jorma and Akiva both agreed to turn down an offer form Lorne if he just wanted to hire one of either of them but they also agreed that Andy would have to accept the offer if Lorne wanted to just hire him. to HOS, George W. Bushs disaster supersession strategy merits emulation, FIM tells how to determine gender of nightclub pick-up on car ride home, in impression-off contest, ANS counters BIHs mimicry with Whassup? And after all these years of TV Funhouse, the graphic sex scene lost any ability to shock. musical guest performs Gold Digger & Touch The Sky, WEEKEND UPDATE Words cannot describe how happy I am to see Bill Hader! I do not remember Weekend Update doing a joke on then-Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco certainly not Horatios doing her face there. I remember seeing the early brilliance of Bill, yet he was so nervous when he appeared on talk shows around this time.

Amys character in Lundford Twins seems to be (visually) based off of Gladys Ormphby from Laugh-In. Ugh at the song lyric calling Owen Wilson gay. I always appreciate when SNL breaks format like this. MY FAVORITE ERA OF SNL. This is a good way to kickstart a new season and a new era. Overall, not bad for a Debbie Downer sketch. I actually like Bob Bummers theme music (sung by Kenan) much better than Debbie Downers theme music. Don Roy King wouldnt take over until the following season (season 32). A really good laugh from Seths character showing a CGI simulation of the plane, firetruck, and survivors all going up in flames. Steve Carell seemed a little underutilized as a host tonight, which is a damn shame given his comedic skills and improv experience, but he was fine whenever the show allowed him to be funny. Those are great insights. I agree with your criticisms of the Lunford sketch (I did enjoy Mayas song it reminded me of something Andrea Martin might have done on SCTV), but I have a soft spot for these so I was glad for another installment. Having a new star in Steve and a new friend of SNL in Kanye alongside the debuts of Bill and Andy (and Colin Jost, whose Jet Blue sketch feels a lot like something we might get on the show now), is a definitive step toward the modern years of the show. I love how, while the audience is applauding at the end of Bill and Andys commentary, Andy cheers New guuuuyyyyys! STARS: ***. There comes Debbie Freakin Downer. Finesse Mitchell and Kenan Thompson have been promoted from featured players to repertory players. Then again, a fucking 13-minute-long presidential debate spoof with extremely poor writing is also not an exciting way to start a new season, as the preceding season 30 has shown, so maybe I should count my blessings and appreciate how season 31 is starting off with a simple 5-minute long press conference cold opening with decent writing. Its crazy to think Stoogies project is almost two-thirds over already. We also get our first glimpse at just how good Jason Sudeikis is at playing sleazy, sick perverts in a way that never feels too false. After the last two seasons where the media made Tina the putative star of the show, all this screen time quickly establishes Poehler as the shows new star. By the way, Steve Carell didnt really audition for SNL; that was just a gag for the show. STARS: ****, MUSICAL PERFORMANCE Of The Office people who have hosted, Rainn Wilson seemed comfortable while Ed Helms seemed nervous and ill at ease. Thats understandable, since this commercial was time-sensitive.

Most of the fake commercials are timeless, but parodies of specific commercial campaigns like Morgan Stanleys super loyal financial managers only work as long as viewers remember the campaign. After a mediocre Year 30, a lot about this show felt like a breath of fresh air, but you can still see some of last years wobbles. Meh, not excited about the idea of a season premieres monologue being a song-and-dance number. Fun With Real Audio by RBS- John Roberts never stops being circumspect, Some laughs from the increasingly humorous situations and locations in which Supreme Court Justice John Roberts talks in circles with very indecisive answers, such as at a fast-food drive-thru, and in response to Mick Jagger asking the crowd Are you ready to rock? during a Rolling Stones concert. Was there ever a reason given why Andy was added to the cast and Akiva and Jorma were hired as just writers? It made me pause a bit seeing him alongside Kanye as they both have some season 44 dumpster fires (even if nothing in Steves episode is on the level of Kanyes disaster that season).

Im starting to get kinda tired of the running gag in SNLs backstage sketches where people get Kenan and Finesses names mixed up. Much better than the typical interplay between Tina and Amy on Update. bape highsnobiety blinged Im glad they at least tried to give Finesse a chance; his piece being about going to clubs felt like one of many unintended foreshadowing moments, considering that debut Update correspondent Bill Haders most beloved character was known for all the time he spent in the hottest clubs. Amy has a new Update suit this season. Even in just a small scene here, his hilarious and dead-on Al Pacino impression steals the ENTIRE sketch. The part I remember the most about this ep is Mike Myers awkward reunion with Kanye West especially the Party on, Wayne line. Very funny reveal that Will is, in fact, NOT Amys dad; hes just her familys Morgan Stanley financial adviser, then we see that Amys actual dad is some wimpy pushover of a father. Is that true? Debbie Downer finds company in the misery of soulmate Bob Bummer (host), At the beginning of this sketch, Kenan as a wedding DJ tells everyone to put your hands together for Mr. and Mrs. Paul Anderson, regarding the couple getting married at this wedding. at a restaurant, unhappily married Sally & Dan cut each other down, After debuting with the last name Harrison in a sketch from the preceding season, the now-recurring Couple That Should Be Divorced characters have a new last name: Needler.

Great how tonights two newbies are getting their own Update feature to introduce themselves to the audience. Is that Darrell whos voice Im hearing repeatedly coughing very loudly during the aforementioned CGI simulation video? Steves Ray Romano is pretty funny, even if he doesnt sound THAT much like him.

Its weird that theyd make joke about Steve Carell auditioning in 95 if he never actually did. STARS: ***. Dont forget that, in addition to her new Update jacket, Amy now has a new Update wig. Right in his very first sketch, Bill gets a good laugh with his Oh, you dont wanna know. Steves character, Bob Bummer, gets his own Debbie Downer-esque title sequence and theme song. The glitchiness in the episode might also be because this is Don Roy Kings first show as director. -Im pretty sure Seths stuttering was part of the impressionI dont fully recall Anderson Cooper doing that, but its a common tic of on the spot reporters and it seems out of character for Seth to be that stuttery in a live sketch. He would end up being more underused than EVER this season (which is certainly saying something, given the fact that he didnt get much airtime his first two seasons either), would struggle to get ANY of his material on the air (including the aforementioned Black Spongebob, which never sees the light of day, though oddly enough, Kenan was dressed in a Spongebob costume earlier in this episode Im currently reviewing), and would end up getting fired after this non-productive season of his. Bill, Andy and Jason were all thrown into a group that had been there for everything from 2 years to 10 years, and was extremely disjointed and unwieldy to the point where new talent can easily be blotted out. From my memory of how this season plays out, things only get even better as this season progresses. And then there was Carol. -Sanz would seem a bad fit for Update and he doesnt seem completely comfortable, but hes also not a train wreck and does a decent job. Kanye West performs "Gold Digger" and "Heard 'Em Say" featuring Adam Levine. I imagine that Carell wasnt considered for the s21 cast because his spouse (Nancy Walls) had already been hired by the time they started narrowing down the new male cast Lorne may have thought having a real-life married couple in the cast would not work/be unfair to the other performers. A new era, a new web site, a new screen name (kind of by accident). Interesting seeing Horatio now doing an editorial. Boy, does it feel odd seeing Horatio deliver Update jokes. Not even the slightly heavy reliance on recurring sketches hurt this episode, as most of the recurring sketches had decent outings tonight, even Debbie Downer! I agree that Steve, who is a very fine comic actor, was given bare bones material, which will continue in his other hosting gigs, minus a few gems here and there. -Carell really hasnt had the best material (for himself) in the episodes hes hostedeven here (a good episode) hes AWOL or in small roles or straight men some of the time. Bills shot doesnt match the other cast members shots in this montage, as his shot follows the old tradition of many previous opening montages, in which cast members are seen casually doing something before looking into the camera and smiling, whereas all the other cast members shots in this particular montage (including Bills fellow newbie, Andy) never feature them looking into the camera. Now Amy knows how Bill Murray felt having to carry the load of the lead male roles in season 5. Lorne and crew left it up to Steve to decide whether to go with Carol or Debbie Downer to end the show, and he chose Debbie Downer. Its always a thrilling feel to see an unknown new cast member kill like this out of nowhere in their very first episode. Better than his others. I have a soft spot for Carol, but Id say Steve made the right choice. Are these screencaps from legit HD rips or just a SD versions of them?

STARS: *** (this is the first Update Ive given a passing rating to since the days when Jimmy Fallon was still an Update anchor), THE LUNDFORD TWINS FEEL GOOD VARIETY HOUR The closing title sequence with Debbie and Bob is very glitchy, almost ruining the comedic one-liner they say in unison.

OPENING MONTAGE Not sure why. So thats one of the reasons I give Bill credit for doing so well in this premiere (even though he will struggle for a while after this). A very solid part with Wills Bush saying Im beginning to wonderwhos in charge of this situation? in regards to how hes been waiting and waiting for someone to take action on handling the Hurricane Katrina-ravaged New Orleans. Amy has been in literally EVERY SINGLE LIVE SKETCH tonight, excluding the backstage Kanye piece, if that even counts as a sketch. !, Horatio fills in for an absent Tina Fey, who were told is out on assignment and that she and her husband Jeff had a baby girl. I remember how surprising and exciting it was to see this reunion on SNL back when this originally aired, and how good it was to see Mike getting some humor out of that uncomfortable telethon situation. Whenever he got the new promotion, it started becoming more noticeable how much less he started appearing in sketches. I can see why people would be put off by the Girls Gone Wild spoof, but, other than being too long, I think it hits the right tone in mercilessly showing us how gross that whole franchise was. They repeat the turn from the first installment of this sketch, with an off-camera Seth and Amy having sex in the kitchen, which feels unnecessary, but Jason has a very funny line here when telling Steve and Rachel about the Needlers sex in the kitchen: The busboys are totally into it, but its, like, a huuuuge health code violation. He almost immediately connects with the audience. Your email address will not be published. Such an odd choice for a sketch to make recurring. Bill may have had one of the best ever first episodes for a new cast member, especially one who wasnt already a writer and one who was coming into a mostly established cast. I think that hands down, Dana had the best first episode for a new cast member who wasnt already a writer. Wasnt this the first season where Seth joined Tina as co-head writer? Definitely in my Top 5 favorite cast members list. The glitchiness isnt a local NBC affiliate issue; the problem is coming from SNLs end. George W. Bush (WLF) addresses executive branch woes at press conference, Right out of the gate, its very noticeable how drastically different SNLs visual quality is this season, as this is the first episode in HD and widescreen. Will-as-Bushs bragging about going to the Gulf is worth some pretty good laughs. (I even remember how, when Bill was first interviewed on Late Night With Conan OBrien a few months after tonights SNL episode originally aired, Conan mentioned how Bills Pacino debut was the big topic of discussion among Conan and his staffers the Monday after tonights SNL episode originally aired, as they were all very impressed by his Pacino.) OH, GOD. At least we only had one show with two women until Tina was rushed out of maternity leave.