Poor Steve Buscemi. An entire opening monologued based on a joke about how he almost never gets to play a lead, itself taken over by the SNL cast, preceding an episode during which he never got to play a lead. Daaaaang. At least when he plays a small character in movies, as was pointed out in the monologue, it’s often a memorably creepy gross character. For the majority of this week’s episode of SNL he was relegated only to “normal guy who gets referred to by cast members sometimes.” A very boring role. But, oh well. I like Steve Buscemi a lot, but their disuse of him isn’t something that, by itself, would’ve ruined the episode. What, by itself, ruined the episode was how not good all of the sketches were!! A thing I really do not like doing is dismissing Saturday Night Live episodes as “bad,” because that is whiny and boring to read and generally incorrect, but holy moly! This was a bad episode! There really wasn’t a single sketch that I saw and wanted to highlight specifically (except for the “Drunk Uncle” bit during Weekend Update, but I’ll get to that shortly), and my favorite moment was Maya Rudolph’s “Whitney” cameo, which kind of feels like cheating. It was certainly (to me) a miss in what has been an otherwise solid season. Let’s not dwell on the specific misses for too long, but the cold open and the Dateline sketch both seemed like they were trying VERY hard to alienate large (young?) percentages of the SNL audience. And I love Kristen Wiig, but how many times am I supposed to watch her playing the surprised lady and pretend like I think it’s a different thing? Anyway, LIFE IS TOO SHORT FOR THIS, let’s talk about what we got some enjoyment out of!

One thing I like about the “Miley Cyrus Show” sketch is that I sing the theme song almost any time I say the phrase “pretty cool” in conversation, so when it makes an appearance on the show it helps me feel like when I’m doing is still relevant. Other than that, MAYA RUDOLF! Before she came out I hoped they were going to introduce a Courtney Love character because of this, so when they introduced Whitney Houston I was like, “awwwww” (disappointed). But then when I saw it was Maya Rudolph I was like, “AHHH!!!” (excited.) She was great.

The Batman digital short was all right. Apart from the “Interview With Drake” digital short back in October, the digital shorts this season have all seemed oddly tame to me. They’re supposed to be the best and edgiest part of the episode, I thought! But this one wasn’t. This best part of this episode was “drunk uncle” but I’ll still get to that in a second, hold on.

I am a fan of the “Sex Ed” commercials. I think they’re easily funny and I really like Paul Brittain in mostly any character he has. BUT, this one fell flat. I know we’re only trying to talk about the good things (though failing) so I will say that I still found the “Sex Ed” character amusing in this one, but I was really trying to find something specific to say I liked about it and I couldn’t. Soooooooo.

Coach Bert! I really liked the idea for this sketch. This was my favorite sketch. Steve Buscemi was again just a character who was referred to by cast members, but at least the reason for why he was being referred to was VERY good.

DRUNK UNCLE!!!!!!!! I’m not saying that “Drunk Uncle” itself wasn’t without its flaws, and I hope I haven’t built it up too much, but, let’s all relax for a minute and just enjoy it. It’s the HOLIDAYS, after all.

Yay, drunk uncle! Also, The Black Keys performed. They’re not my thing but I hope that you enjoyed them if they are your thing. NEXT WEEK: Host Katy Perry will by joined by musical guest Robyn. CALL YOUR GIRLFRIENDS!

Comments (33)
  1. I want to see Ryan Gosling and Steve Buscemi in a scene together, staring deeply into each other’s eyes, trying to find some hint of life in there. It would be a very long scene.

  2. I was laughing far longer than I should have been at the Frozen Mexican Dinner commercial.

  3. Drunk Uncle was indeed excellent. RIP Ass Dan

  4. The digital shorts are funny, but they rely heavily on the same formula. That is, they repeat the same scenario over and over again, making the clips shorter and shorter and more ridiculous until they’re absurd and basically they just scream in your face and go “AHHHHH”. I still laugh, but is it just me or are they getting old?

  5. So this is not technically related to anything, but dudes, I finally saw The Big Lebowski this weekend. And guys, I get it now. I get everything. That is just a great, great movie.

  6. NO love for “Merry Christmas Sheila?”

  7. I kept hoping that Steve would slip up and say “Ladies and gentlemen, Blueshammer!”

  8. This has been one of the funniest recent seasons of SNL lately, mostly because of the increased weirdness. All the formulaic and repeat characters get old real fast, but the weird and sometimes uncomfortable sketches have been making me laugh more than I usually do at this show. More weird, less repeats.

    Though that said, I kind of always enjoy Miley Cyrus and also Drunk Uncle and Stefon should let me pay them to record my outgoing voice mail message.

  9. I had never heard of the Black Keys before (I probably need to visit Stereogum more often). They were really terrific. My favorite part of the show, as a matter of fact.

  10. The “Sex Ed” one seemed really Tim and Eric to me. At least the hair was 100% Steve Brule.

  11. I don’t know, Kelly, between Coach Burt, Sex Ed, Drunk Uncle and the Christmas Ornaments, there was a LOT to like about this episode. High highs and low lows, sure, but that doesn’t make it a bad episode.

  12. Am I the only one who really, really, REALLY didn’t think Coach Bert was very funny, and really actually crossed a line? I don’t know, I think the whole Sandusky thing is very sad, and this idea of them having a character say “he didn’t molest me, but after a while, I wish he had” (or something to that effect) doesn’t sit well with me.

    I know I’m late to the game, but while most of this episode was pretty okay, this, to me, wasn’t funny at all.

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