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by Nummer and H-Bomb

Episode 2: Justin Timberlake (10/11/03)**

**Heather and I attended the Dress Rehearsal (DR) for this episode. The DR is a two-hour (8:00 PM – 10:00 PM) run through of every proposed sketch for the episode. Based on audience reaction, Lorne decides what sketches will make the live broadcast. Best.

FOUR CONEYS! = John Belushi
THREE CONEYS! = Amy Poehler
TWO CONEYS! = Tim Meadows
ONE CONEY! = Melanie Hutzel
HALF A CONEY! = Charles Rocket
No CONEYS! = Self-Explanatory

0-10 Coneys – Garbage
11-20 Coneys – Needs Improvement
21-30 Coneys – Average
31-40 Coneys – Above Average
41-50 Coneys - Instant Classic
51+ Coneys - Unparalleled Comic Genius

OAD = Original Air Date*

(*To be fair, coneys will be awarded the same as they were the first time they aired)


I'm pretty sure this will be a good episode. Whenever the pop/teen stars host (Josh Hartnett, Luke Perry, Britney Spears, etc), the show seems to have more fun with itself - save last year's Gellar disaster. More than likely, this is because the host is closer in age to a majority of the cast so the writing sessions probably move smoother. Without huge generation gaps, it might be easier for everyone to move down one road of specific comedy. That's just my theory though - I could be completely wrong.

The only thing I am worried about is Maya and Fallon. They usually use these types of hosts for the Wakeup Wakefields, the Top O' The Mornin's and the Jarrett's Rooms. I'm still very shocked (in a good way) that none of these showed up in the season opener last week, but I'm guessing lightning won't strike twice.

I'm pretty sure this marks Justin's third appearance on SNL. The first was with N*Sync back in 2000 for the Joshua Jackson episode (speaking of teen stars). The second was more recently in 2002 when then-girlfriend Britney Spears hosted. Although, not many will argue that the best "Timberlake" moment to date was when Matt Damon played him last year in the "Angry Dance-Off"! Who can forget the "Justin" t-shirt of the "Funk" hat? Best.

I caught one of those "Hi, I'm so and so and I'll be hosting Saturday Night Live this week," ads last night with Timberlake and Sanz. From just that 30 second little ad, I'm convinced that this show is gonna be one of the better ones of the season. Timberlake seems like the type of guy that'll give nothing less than 150%, and totally willing to poke fun at himself, so I'm counting on some damn funny sketches. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed for a re-enactment sketch of the Britney/Madonna kiss featuring Timbo's reaction!! That mixed in with a little "Rock Your Body," and this week's SNL will be nothing short of perfection!!

1. Cold Opening: Hadrball
Premise: Hammond plays Chris Matthews in a spoof of MSNBC’s news show

: You knew this sketch was coming to Season 29 sooner than later. With the departure of Kattan and Morgan, the only question becomes who will fill the void of their recurring characters. The answer? Jeff Richards as Carl Rove and Keenan Thompson as Gary Coleman.

I never thought I would say it, but I missed both Kattan and Morgan here. Thompson was just stupid and Richards simply didn’t have funny lines to work with. The only saving grace was Poehler’s turn as Ann Coulter. “Traitor hater”.

I really wish they would’ve waited to bring back this sketch. Hammond’s wisecracks are just way too predictable now to even be funny. Thompson totally sucked as Coleman. Absolutely no originality. And Richards, who can normally give any character some humor, just seemed boring. Poehler was ok with all her “traiter-ade” remarks. Overall though, this just wasn’t very good.

2. Monologue: Timberlake

Long story short, Heather and I totally would have been visible during the audience pan if we had attended the live show. We were two seats down from where they put all the twelve-year old girls for the Timberlake/ticket winner gag. Oh well.

Timberlake made the longest monologue in recent history (Ray Romano last season) seem like the shortest. And what was worse? He did a full performance of “Rock My Body”. This was the worst use of monologue time I’ve ever seen. Was I supposed to take that beat-boxing seriously? He sounded like 50 whoopie cushions being sat on systematically.

What the fuck? I couldn’t believe it when I saw this in the dress rehearsal, and I STILL couldn’t believe it when I re-watched the live show. I thought this was supposed to be a “monologue,” not an “extra-song-ologue.” I was sincerely disappointed, especially when I found out later that he doesn’t even really sing a song to a lucky fan at the end of his shows. And come on, the whole bit about watching SNL since he was a “kid,” when Molly Shannon and Chris Kattan, was totally uninspired. Don’t get me wrong. I DO like Justin T. and I LOVE Rock Your Body (even though it doesn’t seem like it!), but this “monologue” put a little bit of doubt in my mind about his ability to host the rest of this show successfully.

3. Vignette: Punk’d: Barely Legal
Premise: Spoof of the MTV show on an uncensored DVD

This was totally best. “Starring me…Ashton Kutcher, I’m awesome!”

Timberlake was simply perfect as Kutcher. The mannerisms, vocabulary and physical moves were dead on.

Live show change #1: During the DR, a werewolf came out of 50 Cent’s bathroom, not the vampire seen on the live show. Weird.

Alright, alright!! This is more like it!! Nummer and I had read spoilers that this was going to be on the show, but I didn’t anticipate it being nearly this hilarious! Timberlake was BEST as Ashton Kutcher, especially when he would flail around so much he would fall over. “Why am I so kick-ass?!” I say the same about this skit!! I am wondering though how many times that “Jesus Is My Homeboy” shirt is going to appear this season.

4. Sketch: CNN: Schwarzenegger Press Conference
Premise: Arnold admits he doesn’t know how to be Governor of California

Not as good as Hammond’s Schwarzenegger Cold Opening last week, but still pretty good. “My background as bodybuilder and action film star did not prepare me for being Governor and all these types of things”.

The section about him actually raising the state’s deficit was very funny as well. “My politics do not make any sense”.

The only thing wrong about this was the timing. We really didn’t need two Schwarzenegger bits in two episodes. It was basically more of the same.

Decent sketch. It didn’t really keep my attention in the dress rehearsal, however. It was weird because they didn’t have the questions being asked, just Hammond waiting during a period of silence and then answering. It was a little funnier in the live episode, but I think they should go easy on any more Schwarzenegger skits for a while, or at least wait until he majorly screws up.

5. Sketch: A Message From Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson
Premise: Parody of the MTV show

When we heard the sketch spoilers on Friday and Justin Timberlake playing Jessica Simpson was revealed, I thought this would no doubt be the funniest sketch of the night. Turned out it was one of the worst. This was not a parody of the show – it was basically a re-enactment! All the dumb things Jessica says in the real show were simply rehased here.

The only original parts came when Nick admitted that he only stayed in the relationship because Jessica wouldn’t have sex until marriage. “It was awesome. Then it got less awesome”. After that, just drivel. Poop jokes? Worst.

This was a HUGE let down. When I heard about this skit beforehand, and that JT was going to be Jessica Simspon, I totally imagined some awesome parody with some hilarious plot that SNL made up. Instead we get Jessica and Nick, played by Fallon, sitting on a couch basically going over, verbatim, everything that’s been made fun of over the last few months. This could’ve been SO much better, but we’re forced to endure more comments about thinking tuna is chicken and chicken is buffalo and blah blah blah BLAH. Yeah, those things on the real show were funny for about 5 minutes, but it’s OVER now. Oh well…..at least Fallon didn’t laugh at himself. But if those tattoos on his arms are real, I officially hate him even more.

6. Sketch: Benny’s Vs. Omletteville
Premise: Two restaurant mascots battle each other for more customers

This didn’t get many laughs at dress rehearsal, and it did not seem to do better here. It seemed to exist only to give Justin a chance to sing songs (one of them being a Britney spoof). Funny at times, but it didn’t really go anywhere.

Live show change #2: In the DR, a Strip club owner played by Armisen came out at the end of the sketch and offered them a job doing the same routine in front of his club. Not sure why it was cut out.

This was just plain wacky. I think I may have laughed a few times, but more in a “what the hell is this?” sort of way. I must admit Parnell’s bacon & egg costume got some chuckles, especially when Nummer initially thought he was a log. And Justin attempting to dance in his omlette costume was amusing. But Timberlake’s “Bring it on in to Omletteville!” really started to grate on my nerves.

7. Commercial Parody: Gary Busey for DirecTV

Another solid Busey impression from Richards. Busey lasts about 5 seconds reading the actual DirecTV customer’s letter before he gets off topic to reveal he likes the service for the boobie channels.

Live show change #3: In the DR, this commercial was longer. After revealing he can smell colors, Busey told us that blue smells like toilet bowl cleaner and all the other colors smell like beans.

Loved it!! And we even get a bit of Busey trivia! His farts smell like butterscotch! It’s not a joke….they either smell like butt or scotch. Best!!

8. Sketch: Boston Teens
Premise: Recurring sketch where drunk/stoned idiots act stupid

Dumb. Fast forwarded mostly.

Eh. We knew this was coming, courtesy of spoilers, but this may have been the worst one by far. And that’s saying a lot. Even Sanz, who I can usually count on for at least ONE laugh, completely flopped. And, what’s up Timberlake?! Why do you have to rely on lighting things on fire to get laughs? Horrible.

9. Music: Timberlake

What was up with that organ?

Why can’t Timberlake learn proper English? Better yet, why can’t Timberlake’s song writers write proper English? It does feel like “something’s he-in up” - my blood pressure while watching this song.

The organ playing was pretty humorous though. I have to give it one coney for that.

It’s strange. I just realized that I like listening to Timberlake’s jams much more on my cd player than live. This song is still decent though.

10. Weekend Update

Pretty average WU. Good jokes this time around were the Salmon Porn, Gay Day at Euro Disney and the Pamela Mackey bits. Actually, I hear the Pamela Mackey jabs got NBC in a little hot water with Mackey representatives.

Live show change #4: The DR included some of Forte’s best work yet: a song set to Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire”. The song was all about the movies that had come out in the past year, but every other line had to do with 2000’s “Snatch”. I really hope this shows up in a future Update.

Live show change #5: The DR show had Seth Meyers do his recurring Red Sox fan character only to be beaten up by Jeff Richards dressed as Don Zimmer.

Live show change #6: The DR show had Fallon spouting off about the Yankees. He eventually ran off set and partied briefly with some fellow Yankee fans drinking beer in a nearby bedroom set.

Live show change #7: In DR, Fallon butchered the joke following Fey’s bit about Shannen Doherty being a bitchy neighbor. In the live show, the more confident Fey read the joke. Fallon. So stupid.

It was interesting to see that they even change around the order of the jokes on Weekend Update from dress rehearsal to the live show. Fey’s Pamela Mackey rant had good intentions, but I think it went on just a tad too long. The bits on salmon porn and Rush Limbaugh being addicted to pain killer and hoagies got some laughs. This was an okay installment of WU, but nowhere near as memorable as it would’ve been had Forte’s movie song been kept in. Snatch!!

11. Sketch: The Sharon Osbourne Talk Show
Premise: Parody of the daytime show

Finally Armisen gets some screen time! His impression of Quentin Tarantino was good, but not as amazing as Norm McDonald’s.

Sadly, the funny moments were few and far between once Armisen was gone. Timberlake’s Michael Bolton impression was good, but the lines were not.

I think we are all getting pretty sick of Poehler and Sanz’s take on The Osbournes too. MTV is done with them. SNL should be too.

I think Poehler’s impression of Sharon Osbourne is just awesome, but unfortunately not enough to carry this sketch very far. Armisen fired it up right away as Tarantino. It was pretty cool to see him “prepping” for his part behind the set, with the jerky movements and the pointing fingers. But it did go downhill from there. I wasn’t surprised to see JT in a part that required singing, but it didn’t do anything to make this any better. But I guess it’s pretty much the only alternative to his God awful “acting.” Didn’t he take anything away from his relationship with Spears, besides her virginity??

12. Sketch: Timberlake and Kermit
Premise: Timberlake and Kermit (voiced by Will Forte) sing “Rainbow Connection”

This was very good and I did not mind Timberlake’s singing voice as much as I did in his actual songs. I guess it is because he sounds like a Muppet himself!

“The lovers, the douchebag and Me”

Forte!! Check out that stache with the tie-dyed shirt and suspenders!! Who knew he could do such a great Kermit impression?!

13. Sketch: Carl Weathers for Governor
Premise: Weathers tries to become the third star from the movie “Predator” to go on to hold elected office

This was weird. Many people made the “Predator” jokes when we realized both Schwarzenegger and Ventura had been in that movie. Funny to see that SNL writers are not far behind us – sort of makes you think you could do their jobs though right?

This was a good concept, but Weather’s delivery was pretty wooden. The part about Danny Glover in “Predator 2” was funny, but the rest kind of dragged.

Live show change #8: In the background during DR, there were a ton of Schwarzenegger stand-up cutouts around. I think it made it a little funnier. Not sure why they were removed.

Talk about unexpected! Unfortunately I didn’t find it very funny.

14. Sketch: Amy Loves Justin
Premise: Backstage bit about Poehler trying to hide her crush for Timberlake

If this sketch would have been done by any female cast member other than Poehler, it probably would not have worked. Poehler’s laughing was great! Added to the fact that she was in a leprechaun costume the whole time only helped to make this tired gag work.

This was cute. Poehler’s psycho laugh and staring were great. Funnier still ... that red afro wig!

15. Music: Timberlake #2

That band made me laugh, but not enough for any coneys. I am convinced Timberlake traded his real voice with a 5 year-old boy.

I am honestly surprised that they chose to play Cry Me a River, considering how old this song is. I was expecting something new.

16. Sketch: The Barry Gibb Talk Show
Premise: The ex-Bee Gee and his brother host a talk show

Call me a hypocrite. After tons of Fallon bashing, something like this still manages to come along. There was only one word for this sketch. Awesome.

From the theme song to the way Barry Gibb talked, this sketch was non-stop laughs. At the dress rehearsal I remember being torn on this one. Fallon fucked up while trying to read the cue-cards so he made a big stink claiming he could not see them. After that I was convinced he was a baby and spent the rest of the sketch looking for Poehler wandering around the set.

Seeing this done again on TV was different though. I couldn’t stop laughing. This was up there with Fallon’s better work (shortlist being the Grammy nomination inner-thought speech and The Over Here Guys from last season).

“Talking about crazy cool medallions”

Whoa. I didn’t laugh nearly as hard at this during dress rehearsal as I did watching my tape at home. I think I was too busy trying to see the set from my seat and I missed a lot in the process. Also, Fallon was totally laughing and complaining throughout the dress skit, whereas it was Timberlake busting up on the live show. Fallon was actually really hilarious as Barry Gibb, with his singing and screaming and kicking at the guests. And he didn’t laugh ONCE! And I don’t know how he pulled that off with the way he was dancing in front of Sanz. It’s too bad he can’t be funny like that all of the time. Talking about chest hair and crazy cool medallions. Great way to end the show!!

Closing Comments

I guess I was pretty off with my pre-show comments. I was sure this episode would be totally Fallon and Maya based. Maya only showed up to introduce Timberlake’s second song, and Fallon (besides Boston Teens), was used in decent moderation.

I also would totally recommend seeing the dress rehearsal over the live show if you ever are in a position to pick. In addition to what aired, we got two additional sketches and fake commercials that failed to make the cut. One of which was what I considered to be Sanz’s best work. He played some ship captain who lived in a refrigerator box and had imaginary adventures. The character was too funny not to show up again in a live episode somewhere, so I’m sure we will see him again. You also get different versions of the sketches – as noted above.

So far, I’m happy with Season 29. It is officially off to a much better start than last year.

Timberlake episode tidbit: Tonight’s show aired on the 28th Anniversary of the very first episode of SNL.

While I wasn’t exactly impressed with the hilarity of the show overall, I couldn’t have been happier or more in awe to be on the SNL set!! So fucking amazing!! It’s too bad they cut out most of the material that I found the funniest, but I’m glad I at least got to see sketches that might never see the light of day, although I’m hoping Lorne will fit them in somewhere in future shows.


30 out of 64 Coneys.

26.5 Coneys out of a possible 64.

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