Did you know that Robert De Niro is only 67 years old?! I had to look that up this morning, because I was ready to make so many jokes about how old he is, because of how old he seems to be, and especially how old he was acting on Saturday Night Live this weekend, only to discover he’s really not that old. I mean, sure, 67 is definitely Q3, borderline Q4 on life’s billing report, but dude definitely filed early. (Good metaphor. Good morning.) Other things I learned: both of his parents were artists and he is only one-fifth Italian. The more you know! Of course, it doesn’t really matter how Italian he is in real life, because he was five-fifths terrible hosting SNL this weekend. Good grief. What was that? For one thing, I’m not even sure why he was on the show. Is he going to die soon? Is that why? Was this him saying goodbye? Second of all, I think we’re all pretty used to middling and/or terrible episodes of Saturday Night Live at this point, piled onto the back of some haircut who’s painfully not up to the task, but when it’s one of the greatest actors of his generation, that just hurts. Perhaps the problem is that while De Niro is one of the greatest actors of his generation, he’s apparently one of the worst readers of his generation. I haven’t seen someone be less subtle about just straight up staring off-screen at the cue cards since Jonah Hill, but at least Jonah Hill COULD READ THE CUE CARDS. Come on, gramps. Someone take his driver’s license away from him, he’s becoming a danger. And don’t even get me started on Diddy. Is there a less charismatic rapper in the whole world? I’m not sure what junior high school talent show that guy thinks he’s performing in, but he should have at least rehearsed more.

ANYWAY:

Since the show was such a slog, and we’ve already done a fair amount of shitting right in De Niro’s craggly face, let’s get right to the good stuff. The best sketch of the evening was a return of the Vinny show. It’s been done before, and like most recurring sketches, it’s always pretty much the same thing, but that’s the point, and it’s great every time so hush.

Speaking of recurring sketches, there was a new What’s Up With That:

I’m no Saturday Night Live historian, but I would feel really confident suggesting that this is one of the most quickly and most often repeated recurring sketches in the show’s history? I mean, the first time they did this was last season and I feel like they have done 100 of them. That last number is an exaggeration, but it is an exaggeration founded on a seedling of truth planted in the soil of earnestness. They’ve done it a lot!

One thing I noticed this weekend was that it was actually a pretty strong show conceptually. Like, the WikiLeaks TMZ cold open was a really funny idea, it just kind of fell flat. (It also felt like a rip-off of Ashton Kutcher’s TMZ parody from a couple of weeks ago, which isn’t entirely fair to say since they’re both just spot on parodies of TMZ, except that TMZ has been around for awhile and SNL has never bothered touching it and now two weeks after Kutcher does a surprisingly good send-up they’re using it as the basis for a prominent sketch? Things that make you go hmmm.) Also conceptually good was the produce show and the little kid who loves Meet the Fokkers.

This sketch has a funny list of silly names in it.

They did a perfectly funny send-up of the beleaguered Spider-Man musical on Weekend Update, although Conan did such a good job this week that I’m not entirely sure why they bothered (NO OFFENSE).

Digital short.

All in all it just felt off. The timing wasn’t there. Robet De Niro stumbled over most if not all of his lines. Decent comedic concepts just kind of fell apart in practice. I’m sure that when you were in Raging Bull 100 years ago, it’s hard to appear on a late night comedy show currently suffering from a transitional staffing change and take things too seriously, but some of us are actually watching this show, Mr. De Niro (and also Mr. Diddy. Oof on BOTH of your performances. You should vlog an apology, dude). You’re not in the back of some Town Car with a German transvestite hooker or whatever the hell it is that you do when you think no one’s around. THIS IS TELEVISION! Act like it. (Get it? Act?)

Comments (69)
  1. I’m trying to do the math to figure out how a person can be one fifth Italian, and it’s not going very well. Give me a hint, at least. Were there test tubes involved?

  2. Here is an excerpt from my conversation with my roommate about this week’s SNL:

    Me: This week’s SNL, am I right? De Niro looked old as crap!
    Roommate: Yeah, he couldn’t even read. Whoa, did you know he’s only 67?
    Me: I refuse to believe that. I liked What’s Up With That? and Blizzard Man but that’s about it.
    Roommate: Yeah, I liked the Vinny show. P.S., what is wrong with Diddy?
    Me: I don’t know. Let’s make soup.

    Basically, what I’m saying Gabe, is WAVELENGTHS.

  3. So excited for the new week of Videogum! Birdie actually makes my day with the morning tweet.

  4. Is Diddy trying to promote another vodka or something? Why on earth was that guy the musical guest?

  5. Well he was promoting “Little Fockers”, so I think DeNiro’s performance was a fitting tribute.

  6. Needs more Stephon.

  7. He’s promoting Meet The Parents 58

  8. When I first heard about the lineup for SNL, I wondered if I had been sent back in time to 1996 or something. My eight-year-old self who apparently likes rap music and Scorsese films was pleased.

    However, I am not eight-years-old and am an adult, and was confused as to why Robin Williams was in the WUWT sketch and did nothing. THE POINT, GUYS? WHERE IS IT.

  9. De Niro played himself in THREE separate sketches. That just strikes me as lazy, both for him and the writing staff.

  10. I loved this episode. The bit in the studio with deniro in drag had me almost crying I laughed so hard. And the tmz bit was way better than this “plagiarist commentator” diss you’re hatin

  11. Hey Kanye, what did you think of Diddy’s performance?

    • “I prefer Jay Pharoah’s terrible impression of me over Diddy’s terrible impression of me.”

      “Also, I’m pretty much just like God when you think about it.”

      -Kanye

  12. I actually missed this weeks SNL. Looks like I didn’t miss much?

  13. Can someone please make a gif of JSuds dancing in WUWT? Because we could all use that this dreary Monday morning.

  14. Just a thought, what if De Niro and Ben Stiller switched for this week’s episode? Stiller hosts with a couple guest spots from De Niro. I think the episode maybe, strangely comes together…

    Also, when are we just gonna get it over with, SNL, and retool the show as the Bill Hader Comedy Hour and a Half?

    It’s what we all want!

  15. Did anyone else really love this week’s digital short? Because I ¡Yo Quiero Taco Bell-ed! it.

  16. Am I crazy or did Kenan used to say “What up wit that?” but now he says “What’s up wit that?”

  17. Remember when everybody made of Puff Daddy because he changed his nickname to P Diddy, but everyone called him Diddy anyways?

  18. Hahahahaha — gay! -Basically every sketch this week

  19. No mention of Harlan Kane? Sketch of the night!

  20. this episode reminded me a lot of steve winwood!

  21. I usually don’t think Kristen Wiig is attractive, in fact when i comment their appearances on the opening titles which i think have amazing personal insight it goes something like this: “i’m just a suave guy, having an urbane late night dinner date.” – Seth Meyers, “i’m cool with broskies, braah!” – Andy Samberb, “i’m a lonely lady in a bar pretending to have fun in an empty hallway” – Kristen Wigg. But when she was dancing in that spandex suit i found her surprisingly hot.

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