Saturday Night Live is back! OH, GREAT! And the season premiere was certainly fine. Although Alec Baldwin has hosted Saturday Night Live a world-record winning 5,000 times, I can’t really say that he is one of my favorite hosts. I hope word does not get back to him about this. Sorry, Alec! But it always kind of seems like it’s going to be a funnier and just plain funner idea than how it turns out being, which is generally kind of lackluster and stumbly. TO ME. You’re all entitled to your own opinions of how Alec Baldwin is as a Saturday Night Live host. But I’m not the biggest fan. Sooo anyway, let’s chat a little about this episode. The cold open wasn’t bad! It was pretty good, I thought, a pretty good parody of our favorite topic: crazy GOP debates. Not as cut throat and merciless as we all would have wanted but what are you going to do. (Also: Herman Cain is going to start using the “I Will Deliver” parody slogan as his ACTUAL campaign slogan? Oh good grief.) And then Steve Martin was there! And he drank pee! I love Steve Martin, even when he isn’t very funny, and the monologue was borderline not very funny (also Seth Rogan?), but it was Steve Martin. So. The episode didn’t really include any “fan favorite” sketches, which was surprising, but it did include a few good ones! (Also a few boring ones that went on for such a long time but UH NO DOY, ALL MY CHILDREN SKETCH!) So let’s talk about those, the good ones.

The cold open, as we already discussed, was pretty good! It went on forever, as is mandatory for SNL cold opens, but I think it was kind of smart enough and funny enough to hold my interest during its 1.5 hours.

I don’t always love when SNL does game show sketches, usually they go on for too long and after you get the one joke it’s like I GET THE ONE JOKE, and this one, “Who’s On Top?”, was kind of exactly the same way except I liked it anyway? I think really the thing that I liked was the explanation of the rules. And then I had to like the rest of it because I liked that part.

One of my favorite SNL things that they do is “screen tests.” THOSE ARE GREAT! I like them because it allows the cast members to do their outdated but still very good impressions in a format that is somewhat relevant, rather than a sketch with a weird guest appearance by someone who was relevant 20 years ago. You know? They’re great.

And there are MORE OF THEM that didn’t make it on air!

Also, I liked “Red Flag.” Not too long. Funny joke. Kristen Wiig. Great!

I don’t think there were too many horrible sketches, but I do kind of think that the rest of them were pretty boring. Like the newscaster delay sketch? And the child psychologist sketch? AND THE WARTIME SKETCH? The one joke + 45 minutes format is something that has worked for SNL for five million years, so I guess why fix something that is still making you money, but at least make it a better joke. That is all I’m saying.


Comments (47)
  1. Radiohead + Alec Baldwin = 30 Rock/Radiohead BNPG


  3. “This show sucks. Too bad it wasn’t as great as it was when I was in my late teens and early 20s.” — Everybody older than 25

    • See but then most people younger than 25 are watching a Top Gun auditions sketch with impressions of Alan Alda and jokes about how Tony Danza’s a dummy and probably thinking, “I don’t get any of these jokes. This is about as funny and relevant as Trivial Pursuit Genus II.” I love SNL and watch it happily and loyally every week, but that sketch made even me wonder what demographic, exactly, they’re trying to amuse. It was so weird! (I still thought it was funny, but I don’t know if “25-year-olds with too many pop cultural referents and a soft spot for live comedy” counts as a valid demographic.)

      • Will Forte was on WTF talking about how right before he went live with the Vincent Price bit for the first time and Lorne Michaels said to him, “I get it, it’s funny, but why now?” I think that applies to a lot of what SNL is doing lately.

      • I think you just described me in that last bit there. Hi!

      • I think part of the joke is just how irrelevant the impressions are. Nothing short of Stefon makes me laugh as hard as Hader’s Alan Alda. It’s so perfect, capturing Alda’s uber friendly/flattering persona. Plus, if you want to get technical, most celebrities from the era of Top Gun would be completely unknown to young people; so it’s consistent at least in terms of its internal logic. And, yes, Hollywood wants to get all the 25 year olds. ALL of them.

        • Yeah, I mean, I know that’s the joke. I thought it was funny. I’m just saying that I can’t imagine many teenagers thinking that SNL is funny. So I’m surprised that so many adults, in their criticism (as werttrew pointed out), harken back to its halcyon days, when THEY were only teenagers.

      • I was amused. I was highly amused. Naseem should do Downtown Julie Brown in something else because that was fantastic.

        “Get away from my fake daughter” is a great line.

  4. Alec’s place as a host will forever be secured in my books, if only for the Schweddy Balls skit he used to do. That was just so, so funny, and likely even more so were I not 15 years old and watching it with my parents.

  5. Only time I laughed was the Red Flag skit. SNL would die without Kristen Wiig unless they made more characters like Stephon

  6. The SNL Screen tests gives me the excuse to link to Kevin Spacey as Walter Matthau auditioning for Obi Wan in Star Wars: an impression I frequently try to do when drunk.

  7. Question: I used to be really into Radiohead but I sort of lost track of them after college. Have they been this boring since then? Cause man, they were BORING on SNL.

  8. I thought the child psychologist sketch was pretty funny until the end Nasim was like “ha! I got you!” or whatever. That made the whole thing seem really weird and fake.

  9. Alec Baldwin as 80s Al Pacino looks like current Rosie O’Donnell.

  10. “She is my Carla”? What was that about?

  11. They finally moved Nasim from “and featuring” to straight-up “with.” So there’s that.

  12. “I operate the fans. OR WAS I PUSHED?”

    • For some reason this was funnier when you typed it out than during the actual sketch and I laughed in real life.

    • I also laughed in the real life at that, but it was during the actual sketch.
      Then I was all confused and taken aback, because I could not remember the last time I laughed out loud at SNL. It made me think “Dag, I’m old,” but then I remembered how I’d seen a Werther’s ad earlier in the week and thought “Those look good” and realized – nope, it is not the SNL that makes me old.

      • You don’t laugh at Stefon? You might want to check out some of this ribbon candy too, buddy. The kids LOVE ribbon candy… especially if it is presented in an open crystal bowl.

  13. No mention of Alec Baldwin’s Tony Bennett impersonation during Weekend Update? Because that is my favorite. I like things that are great.

  14. They made no cast changes this year, but I feel like there will be some by midseason. #jaypharoah

  15. Alec Baldwin and Radiohead? Was this a rerun from 1995?

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