SNL Season 29 – REVEALED!
Episode 19: Snoop Dogg/Avril Lavigne (5/8/04)
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 (5/7/04):
Jason: Look for the dreadful Season 29 to descend further down the spiral this Saturday. Three time musical guest Snoop Dogg takes a stab at hosting duties in what will surely be an episode filled with sketches consisting of made up words like "shizzle" and "bling". I don't know about you, but this kind of writing will get old very fast in my opinion. Since Snoop is also most likely a host that Tracy Morgan would like to work with, I wouldn't be surprised in the least if he makes a cameo in a few sketches.
Similar to Norah Jones back in March, SNL again deeps into last season's musical guest roster to bring Avril back just 16 months after her last appearance. This effort, back in January 2003, saw a total of 3 coneys from me - I don't expect to be giving her any more this time around.
Long story short, don't skip any of Saturday night plans to be around for this episode.
Heather: Surely it's no surprise that I am not at all looking forward to this week's show with host Snoop Dogg. As with the Sharpton episode, we'll probably be subjected to a show filled with Finesse, Keenan and Maya (and probably Morgan) dominated sketches. To tell the truth, I'd much rather watch an old SNL re-run that's actually funny.
While I hold a slight affection for Lavigne's songs, I don't think her performances were all that great last season. If I recall correctly, I seemed to be more enamored with her lead guitar player than with Lavigne herself. Sadly, I don't really her boosting the coney count for this show.
1. Cold Opening: Bush & Rumsfield
Premise: The duo recreates the events of the Friends finale
Jason: Much like last week’s Cheney and Bush opening, Will Forte again proves his Bush impression was a one hit wonder (see “Young Politicians at the Bar” - Barrymore 2/14/04). This is a real shame considering everything else Forte touches is great. It is a shame this is his current flagship character.
The whole Friends tie-in seemed pretty rushed together as well. Granted, the actual Friends finale aired only 2 days earlier, but it seemed like the players had never even seen their lines before air time (which they very well could not have). As a result, everyone appeared very out of place and delivered their dialogue in an awkward manor.
The only saving grace was the absolutely over the top Forte/Hammond kiss! I honestly think there was tongue involved.
Heather: Well, I have to say that this cold opener was way more entertaining than the actual Friends finale. Forte’s George Bush does seem to be wearing a little thin, but I think he’s still a whole lot better than Parnell. The real humor, of course, came from that kiss between Forte and Hammond! Forte looked like he was devouring a burger or something!!
Jason: Despite being a little flashy for my taste, I honestly didn’t think Snoop’s monologue was too bad. I thought it was clever to see him complaining about the “shizzle” talk that he created actually getting out of control. Hopefully this is the last we’ll hear of annoying slang for the rest of the episode. Obvs.
Heather: What was up with the whole Egyptian theme Snoop had going on?? I thought that was kind of weird, although I did get a kick out of his diamond-encrusted Snoop glass! The whole spin on the “shizzle my nizzle” speak was about what I expected, but I was surprised that the monologue was as short as it was. But maybe that was a good thing.
1 ½ Coneys
Premise: Line of jeans made only for Moms
Jason: See Adrien Brody/Sean Paul & Wonder Wayne episode
Heather: See Adrien Brody/Sean Paul & Wonder Wayne episode
Premise: Recurring sketch in which Ferecito hosts a talk show
Jason: Welcome back Ferecito. This is now the second time Ferecito has been seen in full-length sketch form (see the debut back in the Colin Firth/Norah Jones episode– 3/6/04). Although the jokes were not as solid this time around, I still thoroughly enjoyed the sketch. I actually would have given it full coneys if Armisen would have used better judgment and stayed away from “yo Mama so fat” and Trump’s “You’re Fired” jokes.
The uncomfortable chemistry with Snoop was pretty funny too. I liked the new post-punch line antic created for Snoop.
Heather: “Say WHAAAAT??!!” So best. I was chuckling pretty much throughout this entire sketch. True the actual jokes weren’t really up to par as compared to past sketches, but there were other things to make up for it. Sanz playing that guitar comes to mind, as does Armisen’s confused facial expression after Snoop bluntly tells him to “see dees nuts.”
2 ½ Coneys
5. Sketch: Rap Battle
Premise: A handicapped DJ enters a rap battle
Jason: This sketch was going gang busters/full coney route until Snoop completely broke out of his “DJ Glide” character and launched into a nearly full performance of the 12 year old “Nuthin’ but a G Thing” at the end. Completely worst.
However, up until the train wreck ending, this sketch was actually making me laugh quite a bit. Seth’s “Ivory” character was hilarious, as was Keenan’s “Sunshine”.
Heather: Wow. I was actually impressed with how funny this skit was! Snoop’s MC Glide character in the wheelchair was hilarious! “I gotta use a special toilet.” Meyers as the cheesy white rapper Ivory and Keenan as the deaf, orphaned and wheelchair-bound rapper Sunshine only added to the humor. Too bad Snoop totally scrapped the ending to perform an absolutely unnecessary rendition of “Nuthin’ but a G Thing.” Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved the song, but it definitely didn’t need to be part of this sketch.
2 ½ Coneys
6. Sketch: Scheinwald Pictures
Premise: Recurring sketch about a struggling film company
Jason: Talk about a sketch that nobody asked to be recurring. This premise earned 2 coneys for it’s debut back in the Alec Baldwin/Missy Elliot episode (11/15/03), but it was pretty much all due to Baldwin’s character.
The fact that this whole sketch hinges around Dratch playing an old man is the strongest negative against it. She failed to bring anything new to the character this time around and came off very annoying as a result. Hopefully this will be the last time Scheinwald makes an appearance.
The only thing remotely funny was Snoop’s character trying to convince them how great his Booty Hotel movie was going to be. “Every room has a different kind of booty!”. Who knew he even thought of getting “librarian booty” for the intellectual guests? Still, in the end, this wasn’t enough to make the sketch memorable.
Heather: I never would’ve guessed this would be a recurring sketch. It’s definitely not the same without Baldwin. Snoop’s MC Night Terror’s character, along with Meyers as the grandson were decent, but Dratch’s over-the-top old man performance left a lot to be desired.
7. Commercial Parody: ABC’s New Programming Schedule
Jason: This was a pretty good message about how out of control the make-over/reality shows are getting. So much of this was obviously a stab at how ridiculous and unethical shows like “The Swan” have become.
Opening the lineup with “Face Friends” was definitely the best choice since it was easily the strongest parody. “Angel Surgeons and “Trading Noses” came though with some laughs as well. Seeing people want butts for faces also came with a welcome return from the “Assface” costume (last seen in the Jon Stewart/India.Arie episode – 3/9/02).
Heather: Now seriously, who wouldn’t want a butt for a face?! I usually get pretty good laughs out of these network programming skits and this one was no different. Face Friends, Trading Noses, Monster Garage Face….too bad those aren’t actual shows!! I just had one question….who was that guy promoting Tiger Look?!
8. Sketch: Snoop’s Party
Premise: Snoop mourns over the ending of Friends
Jason: Another sketch revolving around the Friends finale? Get over yourself NBC!
This one was even worse than the cold opening. Snoop (playing himself for the 3rd time tonight) wasn’t in the least bit convincing as he complained about the loss of his “favorite” show. It was pretty clear he had no idea who the people he was talking about were or what they do. In a word, skippable.
Heather: I’ll totally admit that I love Friends and although the finale kind of sucked, I’ll continue to love the show through reruns. That doesn’t mean, however, that I loved this sketch. Quite the opposite, in fact. Come on….Snoop Dogg devastated over the loss of Friends? Not funny you guys.
9. Music: Avril #1
Jason: After two episodes of absolutely shitty musical performances, Avril delivers….another shitty musical performance. However, since this song was actually catchy, it did stand out a bit from the likes of Usher and Janet Jackson. If SNL is going to continue to force pop stars down our throats, lets hope they can be a little more like this.
Heather: Yeah…I’ve listened to this song on the radio a time or two. Obviously it didn’t sound as good live, but I still managed to watch the whole performance without fast-forwarding.
10. Weekend Update
Jason: Another crappy installment of Weekend Update. I swear the only one worth watching in the last 2 or 3 months has been the Colin Firth episode. I’m seriously having my doubts over NBC’s decision to pay Fey $4 Million to stay on as WU’s anchor and SNL’s head writer. It is starting to become clear that she may have exhausted her best material since she has basically been repeating herself this whole season. And did anyone see Mean Girls? Horrible.
This Update wasn’t great in the guest department either. We are given ANOTHER Clinton bit from Hammond and Fallon gets another chance in the spotlight with his song parodies. I have to admit that I found the Fallon montage of “songs past” pretty good, but other than that, it was the same old lame bit.
Heather: I can’t believe the ONLY part that I laughed at during Weekend Update was Jimmy Fallon for crying out loud. The montage of his past song parodies dating back to 1958 actually had me laughing pretty good, as did Fey ripping on him for always doing the same old singing bit. I guess that just goes to prove how truly shitty Weekend Update had become.
11. Appalachian Emergency Room
Premise: Recurring sketch in which White Trash visit a hospital
Jason: Much in the same vein as Scheinwald Studios, here is another sketch that I don’t think anybody asked to be recurring. This is now the THIRD time we’ve been treated to Parnell getting things stuck up his ass while Meyers acts like a smart ass at the front desk.
The only redeeming factor to this mess is Poehler’s hillbilly voice. Unfortunately, her character is usually one of the first patients and hardly ends up with enough screen time.
Heather: All I have to say about this once somewhat funny sketch is if they insist on airing it, they really need to get some new characters. How many times do they think Parnell “accidentally” getting stuff stuck up his ass is really going to be funny?
12. A Cartoon by Robert Smigel: Pothead Theater
Jason: Despite some very poorly staged testimonials, this cartoon had a few funny moments. The ketchup serving people was decent as was the fish catching a person. However, by the end, the premise had worn a bit thin and I found myself losing interest.
Heather: To be honest, I found this to be pretty dumb. I think that the actual cartoon parts had potential, but the stoners laughing in between totally ruined any of the humor.
13. Music: Avril #2
Jason: Not as catchy as the first song, but still worth a coney.
Heather: Still better than the past few musical guests we’ve seen.
Jason: Two drug themed sketches in a row? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since Snoop is hosting. This sketch was actually kind of gross at times, but watching Seth use a red- hot iron as a phone and a magazine with the lead story “World’s Best Dude” got me a laughing.
Heather: I really wanted to like this sketch more but I just didn’t find it all that funny. Forte sweating like crazy and Meyers holding a hot iron to his ear like a phone were amusing, but overall this skit sort of fell flat for me.
15. Vignette: A Mother’s Day Message from Snoop Dogg
Premise: Snoop Dogg delivers a heartfelt “shout-out” to his mom
Jason: Didn’t find this funny or touching. Sorry Snoop.
Heather: I’m sure Snoop really loves his mom, but when you can tell the words are being read straight from a cue care, it kind of loses it’s sincerity.
Jason: Hey! It’s a rare episode to break the double-digit coney barrier!
Take away the 6 coneys from Avril and the Mom Jeans commercial re-air, and this episode is pretty much par for the horrible Season 29 course. As I said in my post-show comments from last weeks’ Lohan episode, SNL needs to do some major house cleaning (Fallon, Maya, Dratch, Sanz and maybe Hammond all need to go) this summer. There is absolutely no justifiable reason that a 2004 episode of SNL needs to resort to unwanted Clinton impressions and sketches ending with desperate performance of decade old songs disguised as being fresh.
As for Snoop, much like Trump, he pretty much just had to play himself or character very similar to his personality all night. If anything from him stood out, it was his monologue. I was surprised to see that he was very well composed and didn’t stumble over any of his lines. Too bad it was kept to what seemed to be a minute in length.
Next week is the lackluster season finale with the Olsen Twins and some loser named J-Kwon. Who is booking the show these days? A thirteen-year-old girl?
17.5 out of 60 Coneys
Heather: While this episode did get a better coney rating than I anticipated, you can still see quite a bit of laziness in the sketch writing. It did appear as if the writers and cast members were trying a little more this week, but it just seems to be too little, too late in my opinion. As for Snoop, he did pull through for the most part as an ok host, but I don’t think I’d care to see him back in the hosting spot again. Maybe I’m being too harsh, but all in all, SNL has just made too many bad decisions when it comes to guest hosts and sketch choices this season. I guess it’s going to take a lot to turn around the lousy attitude I’ve developed toward SNL as of late. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Olsen Twins finale next week is going to remedy that.
18 out of 60 Coneys
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
Snoop Dogg/Avril Lavigne – 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
Snoop Dogg/Avril Lavigne - 18
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