SNL Season 30 – REVEALED!

 

 

Episode 15:  Ashton Kutcher/Gwen Stefani (3/19/05)

 

The Rating System:                               Totals:

 

4 Coneys – Best Ever                             0-10 Coneys – Garbage

0 Coneys – Worst Ever                           11-20 Coneys – Needs Improvement

                                                            21-29 Coneys – Average

                                                            30-39 Coneys – Above Average

                        41-49 Coneys  - Instant Classic

                                                            50+ Coneys - Unparalleled SNL Genius

 

1.  Cold Opening:  Hardball

Premise:  Recurring spoof of the MSNBC talk show

Jason:  .5 Coneys                                 Heather:  1 Coney  

 

 

2.  Monologue:  Ashton Kutcher (cameo:  Demi Moore)

Jason:  2 Coneys                                  Heather:  2 ˝ Coneys

 

 

3.  Commercial Parody:  meharmony.com

Premise: Online dating service specializing in your exact match

OAD:  2/12/05

Jason:  1 Coney                                     Heather:  2 Coneys

 

 

4. Sketch:  Oprah

Premise:  Spoof of the daytime show

Jason:   2.5 Coneys                              Heather:  2 Coneys

 

 

5.  Sketch:  Push Up Contest

Premise:  Kutcher plays a pathetic office worker intent on beating his co-workers in a push up contest

Jason:   3 Coneys                                  Heather:  1 Coney

 

 

6.  Commercial Parody:  Federline

Premise:  Britney’s husband launches his own underwear line

Jason:  4 Coneys                                  Heather:  3 Coneys

 

 

7.  Sketch:  Gays in Space

Premise:  See sketch title

Jason: 1 Coney                                      Heather:  ˝ Coney

 

 

8.  Music:  Gwen Stefani (with Eve) “Rich Girl”

Jason:  2 Coneys                                  Heather:  3 Coneys

 

 

9.  Weekend Update

Guests:  Keenan Thomson and Chris Parnell

Jason:  .5 Coneys                                 Heather:  2 Coneys

 

 

10.  Sketch:  White Preacher

Premise:  A white preacher adjusts to an African American church

Jason:  0 Coneys                                  Heather:  1 Coney

 

 

11.  Sketch:  Action 13 News

Premise:  The Action News team gets a new addition to go with their cranky weatherman

Jason:  2 Coneys                                  Heather:  2 Coneys

 

 

12.  Music:  Gwen Stefani “Hollaback Girl”

Jason:  3 Coneys                                  Heather:  4 Coneys

 

 

13.  Commercial Parody:  Nebulzitol

Premise:  Medicine disguised as potato chips designed to stop men from watching NCAA March Madness

Jason:  0 Coneys                                  Heather:  2 Coneys

                                   

Final Coney Order (out of a possible 52):

Jason:  21                                 Heather:  26

 

 

 

Episode Comments:

 

Jason:  Tonight’s episode was barely an average outing and all but cemented the pattern we can expect for the remainder of the season.  Gone are the days when you can realistically hope for a solid show from start to finish.  Examine the concepts behind a few of tonight’s weaker sketches:  a white preacher adjusts to a black church, a weatherman gets fed up with making the wrong forecast and a woman getting annoyed by how much her husband enjoys NCAA basketball.  What is funny about these ideas?  Haven’t enough sitcoms and movies trampled notions like women wishing men didn’t like sports to death already?  This is hardly the cutting edge in-your-face humor the show earned its reputation with.    

 

Despite a majority of the show coming up short, the episode did manage to find a few laughs early on.  Tonight’s stronger moments were found in the monologue, Oprah spoof, Push up Contest and the totally, totally best Federline underwear commercial.  Starting with the monologue, Kutcher took the issue regarding his age difference with Demi Moore and threw it in our faces.  Demi came out dressed in senior citizen makeup and proceeded to act out what most of us probably think when Ashton and Demi come to mind.  It worked only because the real Demi was involved.  If they would have attempted to do this with someone like Dratch in the makeup, I don’t think it would have amounted to much.  Interesting tidbit regarding their age difference:  the last time Demi was on SNL was when she hosted in 1988.  Do you think the then 10-year-old Ashton was able to stay up for it?

 

Next came Maya doing another Oprah impression.  Since I’m not a Maya fan, I initially shrugged when this started up.  However, there is something funny about how moronic and sheep-like Oprah’s audience seems to have become.  The idea of a guest discussing how her life has been destroyed by a fire getting overshadowed by a surprise cameo by Julia Roberts is hardly far off on the real show.  Too bad the joke didn’t have a second part and the audience overreaction bit started had to be used again and again and again….

 

Following Oprah was the one-two punch of the Push Up Contest and Federline ad.  Push Up Contest probably won’t have huge replay appeal, but I’ll give it credit for keeping my attention.  Much like “Reinhold Investments” (Giamatti 1/22/05) or “The Coolest Teacher at Benton Township High School” (Wilson 11/20/04), these are sketches that don’t rely on celebrity spoofs or gimmicks.  They stand on their own for being ridiculous ideas that are funnier if you sit back and think about what you are watching.  Did I really just see someone try to rig a push up contest as a way to get back at people who laughed at him for spilling water two years earlier?  This is the kind of humor I want in every sketch.

 

Building off Push Up Contest’s momentum was Federline, yo.  This fake underwear spot was easily the highlight of the show.  It was basically Britney’s husband rolling around in underwear on a bed while talking about himself.  Kutcher captured Federline’s look, voice and attitude perfectly.  Federline yo.  You may think I stink, but I don’t.  So best.

 

Unfortunately, Weekend Update was even worse than it was in the Spade episode (which officially makes it the worst WU since I started doing reviews in 2002).  Around midseason I was beginning to think the Poehler/Fey combo was set to overtake the Fey/Fallon team everyone gushed over for so long.  Now I’m beginning to wish Fey would have simply handed the reigns to someone completely new over the summer of 2004 to focus more on being head writer.  It is obvious her concentrated efforts are needed in that department.  Forte, Armisen or even Seth could have handled Update with Poehler (if a duo was still deemed necessary).

 

Rounding out the sketch department was Gays in Space.  Gays has become the latest in a growing list of unnecessary recurring sketches.  It has joined the ranks of things like Art Dealers (Nuni and Noony), Appalachian Emergency Room, Spy Glass, Debbie Downer and Starkeesha.  Please.  No more.

 

At least Gwen Stefani delivered some coneys.  Gwen, along with Eve, a high school-like percussion section and Harajuku girls delivered one of the more memorable performances of a season that will most likely be remembered more for its strong musical moments like U2, Modest Mouse, Keane, Kelly Clarkson and of course, the whole Ashlee Simpson ordeal.

 

With 15 episodes in the can for the season, it is sad only 3 have managed to score an “above average” rating.  SNL can no longer function with its current staff.   To state the obvious in yet another review, this show simply has too many cast members who hit their peak a few seasons back.  Unless a major overhaul of talent comes over the summer, SNL will officially be entering a dark age not seen since the early 1980s. 

 

 

Heather:  I have to admit, I was rather shocked to see this week’s episode with host Ashton Kutcher do as well as it did, maybe even more so than visibleh20 was to discover that I am indeed NOT a man.  That’s not to say that this was an outstanding show, but with a handful of moderately funny sketches, a hilarious commercial spoof and a knock-out musical guest, it was decidedly better than most we’ve been subjected to this season, at least in my own humble opinion.

 

 The evening started out quite shakily with the cold opener appearance of Hardball.  Even a two month hiatus and Forte’s third stint as Zell Miller, a now pathetic attempt at humor, couldn’t keep this sketch above water.  Surprisingly, Kutcher’s monologue was able to somewhat salvage the dismal opening by addressing the public’s fascination with the 15-year age difference between himself and girlfriend Demi Moore.  Even though it wasn’t a true monologue, the idea to include a cameo of Moore dressed as an old woman was probably one of the wiser decisions the staff has made as of late. 

 

Speaking of wise decisions, however, who’s idea was it to recycle the totally stupid Gays In Space sketch?  Probably the same person who thought Guest Preacher and Pushup Contest were comic gold.

 

Skits like Oprah, Action 13 News, Nebulzitol and even Weekend Update were actually a little funnier than what I expected to see in this week’s episode.  Despite Ashton’s incessant yelling and obnoxiously huge open-mouthed smile, I found myself chuckling a bit at each one.  It’s just too bad that merely average sketches are what I now anticipate seeing each week.

 

Thankfully, we were granted some real entertainment in the form of a commercial parody and one very engaging musical act.  Federline was just plain hilarious.  Kevin Federline is such a tool and Kutcher couldn’t have done a better job at capturing his toolish persona.  “I look like I might stink, yo.  But I don’t.  Federline, yo.”  Man panties for wiggers.  Fucking best. 

 

Equally best was Ms. Stefani.  I was already a fan of “Rich Girl,” but “Hollaback Girl” really stole the show, complete with cheerleader garb and drum line.  Plus, she looked absolutely gorgeous.  Such a fun girl!!

 

While Kutcher appeared to improve from his last time as SNL host, the show’s overall sketch quality is still quite lacking in substance, not to mention humor.  It seems, lately, that any time the writers do come up with something truly funny, they immediately rectify it with substandard material.  It’s as if they think we can only handle the same old jokes that require minimal thinking skills week after week.  Well, not all of us are zombies, SNL!  Some of us still actually like and believe in the potential strength of this show.  Hopefully Lorne will realize that before it’s too late.

     

 

SNL Coney Rankings:  Season 30 – REVEALED!

 

Jason

 

Jude Law/Ashlee Simpson – 41

Paul Giamatti/Ludacris (with Sum 41) - 33

Paris Hilton/Keane - 31

Luke Wilson/U2 – 29

Robert DeNiro/Destiny’s Child - 28

David Spade/Jack Johnson - 27

Liam Neeson/Modest Mouse - 25

Ben Affleck/Nelly - 23

Queen Latifah – 22

Kate Winslet/Eminem – 21

Topher Grace/The Killers - 21

Ashton Kutcher/Gwen Stefani - 21

Jason Bateman/Kelly Clarkson - 20

Colin Farrell/Scissor Sisters - 18

Hilary Swank/50 Cent – 16

 

Heather:

 

Jude Law/Ashlee Simpson – 35.5

Paul Giamatti/Ludacris (with Sum 41) - 29

Robert DeNiro/Destiny’s Child – 26.5

Ashton Kutcher/Gwen Stefani - 26

Liam Neeson/Modest Mouse - 23

Luke Wilson/U2 – 23

Paris Hilton/Keane – 22

David Spade/Jack Johnson - 21

Jason Bateman/Kelly Clarkson - 19

Kate Winslet/Eminem – 18.5

Colin Farrell/Scissor Sisters – 18.5

Topher Grace/The Killers - 17

Ben Affleck/Nelly – 16.5

Hilary Swank/50 Cent - 15

Queen Latifah – 14.5