SNL Season 29 – REVEALED!
Episode 18: Lindsay Lohan/Usher (5/1/04)
The Rating System:
4 Coneys – Best Ever
0 Coneys – Worst Ever
0-10 Coneys – Garbage
11-20 Coneys – Needs Improvement
21-30 Coneys – Average
31-40 Coneys – Above Average
41-51 Coneys - Instant Classic
55+ Coneys - Unparalleled SNL Genius
Pre-show Comments (4/30/04):
Jason: Although I like Lohan, I think this episode will be pretty forgettable. Given her pop star teen status, SNL will no doubt pull out the MTV audience humor again and really dumb itself down. Look for lots of Fallon and Maya since they tend to excel in this area.
As for Usher, I honestly had no idea people still gave two shits about him. His music sucks and he ruins movies. What is the appeal?
Heather: In this day and age, I honestly can't believe that I haven't seen anything that Lohan has been in. However, she does seem to hold that certain kind of spunk and sense of humor that hopefully will hold together this week's episode. I mean, if Fey felt confident enough to put her in "Mean Girls", she's got to have something, right?? But then again, not really being able to judge for myself, I guess I'm just gonna call this week a draw and say it could go either way.
Usher. Is he still around??
1. Cold Opening: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
Premise: Cheney prepares Bush for testimony
Jason: This sketch would have been better if we hadn’t seen the SAME exact premise on the last episode (Jackson 4/10/04). The only change was basically swapping Janet Jackson’s Rice with Forte’s George W. Bush.
I have to say I do not really like Forte’s impression in this context. It was fine in the Barrymore episode during the flashback bar sketch, but it’s simply not funny here.
Heather: Whoa…for a minute there I thought I had forgotten to tape over the Jackson episode from 2 weeks ago! While it was definitely good to see Forte back in the mix, I was disappointed that they couldn’t come up with a more original opener after a two week break. The only real laugh went to Forte’s “nothing to hide” body language.
Jason: What a surprise. Another monologue where the host gets about 30% of the dialogue. Bringing out Duff was OK, but rolling out Whitney Houston was nothing more than a chance for Maya to get some screen time. I have to say that Poehler’s Avril impression has become a bit thin as well. The only thing remotely entertaining was watching Lohan attempt to keep her strapless dress in place.
Heather: What could’ve been a decent “monologue” quickly turned into a train wreck with each new character appearance, specifically Rudolph’s Whitney Houston. Dratch and Poehler were tolerable as Duff and Lavigne, respectively, but why can’t they just give Lohan a chance at the spotlight??
Jason: Since about 80% of girls between 18 and 26 seem to have lower back tattoos these days, I found this parody pretty funny. Watching “Pretty Lady” evolve into “Pretty Sad” over 40 year elapsed photography was great.
Heather: “Motherfucker!” This was a wonderfully new and funny idea for a skit. I got a few good chuckles out of what a once sexy lower back tattoo ended up looking like in 40 years!
Premise: Recurring sketch in which college burnouts host a show streamed over the internet
Jason: Fast forward.
Heather: Gee..I’m really surprised to see this sketch. Horrible as usual.
5. Sketch: Hogwarts Academy
Premise: Hermoine returns after summer break with noticeable physical changes
Jason: Dratch! You wrote this same sketch for yourself back on the Liotta/Donnas episode last season. This type of humor is a very desperate attempt at cheap laughs and thrills. Is NBC even allowed to flaunt a minor’s cleavage like this? Am I really complaining?
1 Coney (mainly due to Forte’s Professor Snape impression)
Heather: Alright already…Lohan’s got some boobs! Do we really need to dedicate an entire sketch to them? And if so, did it really have to be lame-o Harry Potter?? At least I could count on Forte for a coney with his Professor Snape character.
6. Sketch: Billy Joel Chaperone
Premise: Billy Joel drives four friends to Russell Simmons’ house
Jason: Although Sanz was giving this 100%, this sketch was nothing more than a repackaged “Donnie G. & Sidecar” (see Affleck episode 3/13/04). First they hit a mailbox, then a wall, then a dog, etc, etc, etc.
It is also surprising that Fey and Lohan chose this forgettable sketch to work together in as well. Although, given the absolute shit this episode has churned out so far, may it’s not so shocking.
Heather: I am really getting sick of running into things being the whole premise of a skit. It’s just not funny to me. Which is too bad because in any other sketch, Sanz would probably have been pretty amusing as Billy Joel.
7. Music #1 - Usher
Jason: Fucking garbage.
Heather: How can a guy be so hot and have such boring music??
8. Weekend Update
Jason: I will now go on record and say that the Fallon/Fey Weekend Update era has passed. Fey has done nothing but repeat herself for the last few months and Fallon is just Fallon. Based on a rare audience heckle to Fallon, it appears I’m not alone in this thought. The novelty of these two has gone and I really hope this segment is re-worked for next season.
Heather: Another week, another pathetic Weekend Update. This will be the 4th episode in a row where WU has received zero Coneys from me. So many recycled jokes! And the guest appearances, which I used to look forward to, now only serve to make me cringe. I completely agree with Nummer in that this sketch needs some major revamping.
9. Sketch: Debbie Downer
Premise: One family member consistently brings down the mood of the others
Jason: With this sketch, SNL has completely reached bottom. Gone are the days when character-breaking laughter was seen only once or twice a season. In this age of Fallon and sloppy writing, one can count on it every episode. While it was funny to see it happen to Dratch, the fact that none of these comedy “professionals” could contain themselves for the entire sketch was just embarrassing.
Heather: First of all, let me say that the idea for this sketch certainly wasn’t the greatest. But I do have to admit that this was one of the rare skits where all of the character breaking did actually make me giggle. However, if the unintentional laughter really made it any better or not remains to be seen. I’m sure we’ll find out in future episodes since this will no doubt be a recurring sketch.
10. Sketch: Club Traxx
Premise: Recurring sketch about a European TRL-type show
Jason: Ten segments in and we finally get something remotely funny. Armisen, as always, delivers a great performance as Leonard. Poheler and Forte also had hilarious song clips before Dratch and Lohan are introduced as D.A.D.I. Dratch and Lohan had decent chemistry in this parody of T.A.T.U., but I honestly think Lohan carried the duo. Her accent and mannerisms were great!
Heather: Vidal!! So best!! I guess compared to the sketches thus far, this was a pretty decent one, but I still didn’t find it nearly as good as it was back in the McConaughey episode. Armisen is still kickin’ as Leonard, but his songs just don’t make me laugh as much anymore.
11. The Sleepover
Premise: A nerdy girl has a popular classmate over for a slumber party
Jason: After Armisen in Club Traxx, thank God Poehler has also provided some saving grace with this new nerdy Caroline character. I also think that Poehler, at least in part, has created this character in homage to Gilda Radner. The movements and especially the voice are very reminiscent of the old “Lubner” sketches from the 1970s. I’m glad to see it still works very well in 2004. Worth a few rewinds.
“Wow. A sleeping bag from the future!”
Heather: I can absolutely see Poehler’s resemblance to Radner in this sketch, but unlike Gilda, Poehler’s incessant yelling became rather annoying. Don’t get me wrong, Poehler is still cute as hell…I just wish she would’ve toned it down just a bit.
12. Music #2 - Usher
Heather: Didn’t even bother to watch this one the whole way through.
13. Sketch: 17th Annual Adult Film Awards
Premise: In the wake of FCC censorships, NBC attempts to broadcast an adult awards show
Jason: The FCC censors things. Do we really need a sketch every episode about it?
Heather: Hey! What a funny and unique closing sketch!! Maybe instead of constantly writing about the FCC censoring material that’s been deemed inappropriate, SNL should focus on getting rid of the crap sketches it’s been shitting out.
Jason: Writing these reviews is no longer fun. With episodes this bad, watching SNL has honestly become a chore. I don’t know if I should blame Lorne, the cast, the weak hosts or all of the above. This season is flat out not working. The show used to be about pissing people off and breaking the rules. Now the name of the game is star power. Over the last few years, it seems like SNL has decided to all but completely ignore an audience over 25 and go after hosts/musical guests that appeal only to teenagers. I really hope SNL cleans house this summer and gets a lot of the deadweight out of there.
9 out of 52 Coneys
Heather: There’s not really a whole lot to say about this episode without sounding like a broken record. I think it’s pretty obvious by now that SNL has become a truly horrible show. It’s bad enough that we have to endure shitty sketches like Jarret’s Room over and over, but now the writers are even going as far as to use the same boring ideas under the guise of different skit names, as if we viewers are too stupid to realize that we’re watching the same crap in each and every episode. It’s actually quite pathetic and I’m feeling almost insulted having to up to put up with it just to write a halfhearted review. SNL has got some serious work cut for itself over the summer break.
8 out of 52 Coneys
SNL Coney Rankings: Season 29 – REVEALED!
Andy Roddick/Dave Matthews – 41.5
Jack Black/John Mayer – 34.5
Christina Aguilera/Maroon 5 – 31.5
Justin Timberlake - 30
Colin Firth/Norah Jones – 29.5
Alec Baldwin/Missy Elliot – 28.5
Halle Berry/Britney Spears – 27
Ben Affleck/N.E.R.D. – 24.5
Jennifer Aniston/Black Eyed Peas - 22
Al Sharpton/Pink – 21.5
Kelly Ripa/Outkast – 19
Drew Barrymore/Kelis - 19
Megan Mullally/Clay Aiken – 17.5
Jessica Simpson & Nick Lachey/G-Unit - 17
Elijah Wood/Jet – 16.5
Janet Jackson – 14.5
Donald Trump/Toots and the Maytals – 12
Lindsay Lohan/Usher – 9
Jack Black/John Mayer – 34.5
Andy Roddick/Dave Matthews – 28.5
Christina Aguilera/Maroon 5 - 28
Jessica Simpson & Nick Lachey/G-Unit – 27.5
Colin Firth/Norah Jones - 27
Justin Timberlake – 26.5
Halle Berry/Britney Spears – 24
Alec Baldwin/Missy Elliot – 24
Jennifer Aniston/Black Eyed Peas - 23
Kelly Ripa/Outkast – 20
Elijah Wood/Jet – 18.5
Ben Affleck/N.E.R.D. – 18.5
Al Sharpton/Pink – 17.5
Megan Mullally/Clay Aiken - 14
Drew Barrymore/Kelis – 12
Janet Jackson – 11.5
Donald Trump/Toots and the Maytals – 8.5
Lindsay Lohan/Usher - 8