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Saturday Night Live: 38.03 – “Daniel Craig/Muse”

SNL was back after a week hiatus. Current James Bond protrayer, Daniel Craig, was the host this time with Muse as the musical guest. It was a British invasion in NYC.

Cold Open: Debate:
The show opened by taking on the presidential debate between Obama & Romney. Pharaoh & Sudeikis were back as their presidential characters, and former cast member Chris Parnell returned to the show to play the moderator, Jim Lehrer. Pharaoh tried to capture Obama’s awkwardness, but it felt a little too subtle to be funny for this format. The sketch went on way too long and included pre-recorded voice-over for Obama’s inner thoughts while Romney was speaking. The funniest part came from Sudeikis perfecting the weird smirky stare that Romney was doing during the debates. But that only lasted a couple of seconds. The rest was a waste of time.

Monologue:
Daniel Craig seemed a little nervous during the monologue. His eyes were glued to the teleprompter and he didn’t acknowledge the studio audience very much. Craig introduced an In Memoriam segment for all of the characters he’s killed in the movies he’s been in (All the People I Done Killed). It had a few laughs but it didn’t say much for Craig that he wasn’t asked to speak much during his monologue.

Construction Workers:
Craig, Kenan Thompson, Bobby Moynihan & Tim Robin played construction workers who were shouting insulting things at women. They were pretty clever puns, except for the ones Craig was yelling. His were just disgusting or nonsensical. Once again Craig was a little too focused on the prompter. But when he wasn’t, he was pretty funny in some of his movements and his New York accent was fun to listen to. Bobby Moynihan kind of stole the sketch when he got the biggest laugh for…”I need to call 311. I saw something and I need to say something.” Perfect delivery.

Short: The Other Bond Girls:
A film/commercial that was promoting the Blu-Ray release of 50 years of James Bond, including never before seen footage of the other Bond Girls. Vanessa Bayer was Diane Keaton & Molly Ringwald, Kate McKinnon was Jodie Foster & Ellen DeGeneres, Nasim Pedrad was Lea Michele, and Fred Armisen played Penny Marshall in the Goldfinger get-up. There were a few laughs here. Pedrad nailed Michele’s annoying perkiness and Bayer was fun to watch as Keaton. But it was mostly forgettable.

MSNBC Debate Fallout:
Craig was missing from this sketch. MSNBC deals with the fallout of Obama not doing well in the presidential debate. Cecily Strong as Rachel Maddow labels it as “The Worst Thing That Ever Happened Anywhere”. Kenan Thompson was Al Sharpton, Kate McKinnon was S.E. Cupp and Jason Sudeikis was Chris Matthews. There were a few laughs here. Kate McKinnon was perfect as Cupp. Although I think she might a little too obscure for most people to get his spot-on impression. Thompson is always solid with his interpretation of Sharpton. Strong & Sudeikis were not very good at all. Strong was not committed and didn’t imitate Maddow at all. Sudeikis was a little forceful with his Matthews. Darrell Hammond was much much much better.

Short: Long Island Medium:
Long Island Medium is a popular series on TLC and SNL did a short film to spoof it. I’ve only seen clips of the show here and there, but from I know Kate McKinnon absolutely nailed that woman. Her random “medium” readings wherever she goes was perfectly handled. “Who was the young man that died?” If you can only watch one moment from this episode, find this short on Hulu. It’s worth it.

Mars Mission:
This sketch was incredibly strange and bizarre, but it worked for that reason. The sketch involved a group of people who just awoke from a cryo-sleep on their mission to Mars. They are on some kind of vessel. Craig, Kenan Thompson, Cecily Strong & Taran Killam played the crew members aboard. Bobby Moynihan was also a crew member named Kirby who keeps talking about his ‘kitty cat’ back home. He has this weird child-like affectation that gets funnier and funnier instead of more grating. He really committed himself to that character. It turns out that Kirby brought along the cat, Fuzz Aldrin. It’s really weird but made for a very entertaining moment.

Muse – “Madness”:
I watched a few seconds. Didn’t interest me.

Weekend Update:
The beginning was a lot of political jokes about the debate. Seth introduced a special segment called ‘Winners/Losers of the Debates’. The funniest moment of that was Seth’s joke about FOX news. “Winners: FOX News. After the debates, they must’ve looked at each other and said, we can just report this as it is.” Seth then introduced Big Bird, actually played by the legendary Carroll Spinney. It wasn’t too funny and Big Bird played it very safe, not to be too vulgar or partisan, but it was nice to see him. Nostalgia! A few more jokes from Seth, before Kate McKinnon came out as Cecilia Gimenez. She’s the woman from South America who horribly “fixed” that portrait of Jesus. It wasn’t very funny and it went on too long.

A Sorry Lot We Are:
This sketch was an Irish drama on the BBC. Basically, the Irish are very depressed and dark people and the drama follows these people. The scene takes place in the bar between Craig, Bill Hader & Bobby Moynihan. They talk about their depressing lives and jobs. All three of the guys’ accents were pretty strong and made it more entertaining to watch. This might’ve been Aidy Bryant’s breakout moment though. She played Maggie, a sassy woman who thinks she’s much sexier than she actually is. She’s a former flame of Craig’s character and she played it full tilt. It’s the only moment from the three new cast members that really impressed me and made me hopeful for her future on the show.

Loving Couple:
Craig plays a man who comes over to a dinner party at a friend’s house with his new girlfriend, Fred Armisen in drag. There’s a lot of Armisen doing weird and wacky things. The joke really comes from Armisen dressed as a woman and it doesn’t work. He’s done that so many times that it isn’t funny anymore. I mean he just did it early in the episode in the Bond short.

Muse – “Panic Station”:
Didn’t even bother watching it. Fast forward.

Commercial: Undecided Voter:
A repeat commercial from the Joseph Gordon-Levitt episode a few weeks ago.

OVERALL:
It definitely dipped in quality from the first two of the season. Craig had a few good moments, but I don’t think his personality or style was suited to sketch comedy. Bobby Moynihan stole the episode with his great delivery in the construction sketch and his weirdness in the space one. Aidy Bryant also stood out in her one scene. Although she was only in one sketch, she was glued to that teleprompter too. Next week is Christina Applegate, so that should be fun. Hopefully. To close out the post, how about a nice picture of Big Bird during Weekend Update…

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