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by Nummer and H-Bomb
Episode 4: Kate Winslet / Eminem (10/30/04)
CONEY RATING SYSTEM
0-10 Coneys – Garbage
OAD = Original Air Date*
(*To be fair, coneys will be awarded the same as they were the first time they aired)
I have to say this episode was a little bizarre. Why was Winslet only in three sketches? For the little screen time she did get, I felt she did a very good job (who knew she could sort of sing?). It really is a shame we didn’t get to see more of her. I also thought it was strange that Will Forte didn’t roll out more George W. Bush being that this is the last live episode before the 2004 Presidential Election. Instead we were treated to another “back stage” Kerry and Clinton sketch that we pretty much already saw on the Affleck/Nelly episode a few earlier this month.
Opening the episode this week was Seth Meyers filling Jimmy Fallon’s vacated Osama Bin Laden character. I thought Seth did a good job, but narrator/writer Jim Downey really took center stage with his clever dialogue. I’m glad to know the Kerry camp registered Bin Laden to vote in Cincinnati. And who knew Bin Laden was so angry about America’s lip-synching pop stars?
The first true episode highlight had to be Horatio Sanz’s new over weight character named Chubb Hotty in Rap Night. I’ve always thought Sanz does a good job with these characters – especially Mortimer Barnswallow from last year’s Ripa episode. The only thing that kept this sketch from full coney stature was the falling on the piano bit (total Farley move) and the “all you can eat” jokes. Usually Sanz’s “fat” characters don’t need to rely on this type of recycled humor. That said, I never knew putting bleu cheese on a futon would make for a good meal! Let’s hope for more Chubb Hotty this season.
Armisen also rolled out another funny character with his take on a gay Frankenstein. While this will most likely only be a one-time sketch, I thought this was pretty well done and I’m glad Halloween was worked into the show on Devil’s Night (which aired on Devil’s Night). Frankenstein + ZZ Top’s “Legs” = laughs.
Another shining moment was the return of Poehler’s hyperactive Kaitlin (which debuted back in May during the Lohan episode). I felt this time around was a slight improvement over the last installment, but since they are making this recurring, let’s hope to God they space out a good 10 episodes or so between each occurance. Kaitlin is pretty funny now, but I see the potential for it to get stale fast!
Poehler and Fey also delivered another strong Weekend Update. I can safely say I like this duo more that Fey and Fallon. Poehler’s rundown on the pop stars reacting to Ashlee Simpson’s lip-sync blunder was awesome! I loved how Courtney Love pukes into her shirt. Forte (with the Halloween song) and Armisen’s new Peru charcter Diego also helped make this a great Update. The only disappointment was Sanz doing Elton John again (last seen just three episodes ago with Affleck). Granted it was kind of funny, but give these characters some room to breath!
Dissapointments were Glenda Goodwin’s Wig and Toy, both Eminem songs, TV Funhouse and the mediocre monologue and Russert/Brokaw news anchor sketches.
In closing, despite a few very funny moments, tonight’s episode was another average outing from the Season 30 players. Here’s hoping a few weeks off will rejuvenate them.
SNL returns live on 11/13/04. While no host or musical guest has been announced, the internets have been running a rumor about a possible Topher Grace episode. Time will tell.
While this week’s SNL was not nearly as good as I was hoping it would be, it still offered up some rather humorous sketches. However, for being the host, I did find it strange that Winslet only appeared in a few skits. Actually, to me, the show as a whole seemed a bit short. I guess we got spoiled last week with the additional sketches due to Simpson’s walk-off. Maybe they should start restricting all the musical guests to only one song each.
Looking at the episode overall, I have to admit, I was surprised, yet pleased, to see more of a variety in this week’s sketches as opposed to all of the recent political satire. With the presidential elections taking place in just a matter of days, I was sure that the episode would be full of Kerry and Bush comedy. On the contrary, Kerry only appeared once, whereas Bush was absent all together. I didn’t mind, however, as this left more room for skits like Mrs. Dr. Frankenstein and Rap Night with Chubb Hotty, which were two standouts of the evening.
I truly enjoyed Sanz as host Chubb Hotty in Rap Night. Sanz in a fat suit? Best! I’m still laughing that the weirdest thing he ever ate was an old futon covered in bleu cheese! And come on, his guest next week is going to be 500 hotdogs? That’s hilarious! I also noticed how his falling on and breaking Winslet’s piano was completely Farley-esqe, but at least I got some laughs out of watching him try to get up, which I’m not entirely certain was a joke! Armisen only added to the laughs immediately afterwards with his gay Frankenstein routine in Mrs. Dr. Frankenstein. “Hey girls, let’s do something fun tonight!” It was definitely nice to see some Halloween fun mixed in with the show.
Returning to the political humor, I wasn’t completely disappointed with this week’s sketch selections. In fact, I was fairly amused by the closing skit with Hammond and Parnell as Tim Russert and Tom Brokaw, respectively. I’m not sure why I got such a kick out of this, but Russert exclaiming, “You know I always use Benjamin Moore!” when discussing what paint line he used really had me chuckling. As for the cold opener with Osama, TV Funhouse with McCain and the Kerry rally with Clinton (yet again), I thought that they were pretty forgettable.
Weekend Update was yet again outstanding with both it’s jokes and guests. Poehler’s bit on other singer’s remarks about Ashlee Simpson’s lip-syncing scandal was great, as was the joke about the John Kerry Halloween mask actually being the face from Scream. Armisen was fantastic with his portrayal of Diego, a man from Peru who just became an American citizen. Forte took the cake though, with his song on past Halloween memories. “CANDY CORN! MASSAGES From..my…..mother.” It’s too bad Sanz had to break the momentum with yet another appearance of Elton John. Just when I think SNL is really breaking free from the stale material they’ve been plundering us with, they have to throw out shit like this.
Speaking of stale and tired material, I was highly frustrated to see Winslet’s monologue turn into still ANOTHER song and dance routine. Granted it was probably one of the truest monologues we’ve seen lately, as she did remain by herself the entire time. And yes, she is relatively talented at singing and tap-dancing. But can’t we get something else, you guys?! This is the third monologue in a row featuring this idea and we’ve only had four live shows to date! Mix it up, SNL!!! Also, and I’m sorry Nummer, I just cannot get into Poehler’s Kaitlin character. This time around was a bit funnier than the Lohan episode, but it is just more annoying to me than amusing. Lastly, I was actually pissed to see the return of Rudolph’s Glenda Goodwin. Luckily, it was somewhat short and featured a “devil squirrel,” which was good for a laugh.
As for musical guest Eminem, his performances were alright, but what was up with him taking the microphone away from his mouth yet his voice was still going? Was that a jab at Simpson or another case of bad lip-syncing? I couldn’t decide since he seemed completely unaware and, frankly, as if he didn’t care.
All in all, the show was just okay, despite Winslet’s fine attempt at hosting. Let’s see if SNL can pick it back up with some fresh material in two weeks, especially now that the election is over.
1. Cold Opening: Osama Bin Laden Tape
2. Monologue: Winslet
3. Sketch: Rap Night with Chubb Hottie
4. Sketch: Mrs. Dr. Frankenstein
5. TV Funhouse: Fun with Real Audio
6. Sketch: Backstage at the Kerry rally
7. Music: Eminem “Mosh”
8. Weekend Update
9. Sketch: Kaitlin and Rick at the Mall
10. Music: Eminem “Just Lose It”
11. Sketch: Goodwin Wig and Toy
12. Sketch: Bush vs. Kerry’s colored state map
21 / 48 Coneys
18.5 / 48 Coneys