Oh boy. This was Charles Barkley’s third time hosting Saturday Night Live, and — oh boy. When he hosted in 2010, although he did seem like a “borderline-illiterate Shrek” whose blatant struggle to participate in even the smallest way seemed almost mean because it was like…Why are they making him do this?!, at least then he was kind of put in the background a lot of the time. It’s easier to laugh at Charles Barkley not being able to read cue cards, let alone read them with any kind of indication that he knows what the words mean, when the entire premise of the sketch is not based on Charles Barkley knowing how to read and understand the cue cards. But this time SO MANY OF THE SKETCHES WERE BASED ON THAT! And I almost understand the desire to do this, since last time Charles Barkley hosted it was kind of a hit, at least on the Internet, and I have NO idea how people feel about anything outside of the Internet, but, you know, he’s still Charles Barkley. Just because it was funny and novel when he couldn’t play a supporting role in a sketch doesn’t really mean it’s going to be funny when he’s back and can’t play the LEAD role in a sketch. Especially when his the whole role is standing and looking into a camera and reading cue cards like in the “White People Problems” sketch! What are you thinking! Unfortunately, even outside of the Charles Barkley Problem, the episode was not great. The cold open was honestly one of the most boring things I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Not even just on SNL, just ever in my life. Were there even any jokes in it? I couldn’t even force my ears and brain to make out what the words meant because that’s how bored my ears and brain were, totally uncooperative, but I’m pretty sure it was just Andy Samberg standing up in a sweater reading a list of words. You’d think that if you knew you had Charles Barkley — The World’s Least Apt Host — hosting for the night, you’d try to make the first part of the show that he didn’t have to be in pretty good. (The second part of the show that he didn’t have to be in, Weekend Update, was perfect because of “Drunk Uncle” but we’ll get to that in a moment.) Just a bad episode! Which is fine enough. They certainly cannot all be winners. Soooo let’s talk about what was good about it. (Drunk Uncle.)

I don’t dislike the idea of the “Joann’s Announcement” sketch and I love any a joke is included about how tiny Paul Brittain is (haha, which I will disagree with literally in the next thing I talk about) (but in general that is true), but OH BOY. The possibly funny premise (also possibly very offensive?) was destroyed by not only an impossible Charles Barkley, but also by the rest of the cast members not really being able to react to Charles Barkley as if he were acting like a human. But. The premise wasn’t bad! Right? Helloooo?

Uh, the Wyndemere sketch. The first time they did the Wyndemere sketch it was wonderful and I loved it so much. But this time…they pretty much just did all the same jokes as the first time? You know? Like if you’re just going to yell “GET HIM SOME SWEETS!” at Andy Samberg and chase Paul Brittain around so he can tell you a secret like you already did, maybe DON’T DO IT? Haha, not to be super upset about it. I’m sorry about the all-caps. I’m not yelling. But definitely probably don’t do it. Great the first time though!

Even though it was a sports thing and who cares, “The NBA On TNT” sketch was maybe one of my favorites of the night. It was a train wreck like the rest of them, sure, but it seemed kind of fun! And I think they did a smart thing with Charles Barkley? Making it so he had to act the way he was already acting in every sketch? Like a weird nothing who didn’t know how to say words? That’s how he was supposed to be acting, right?

Nicholas Fehn was great, doy. Thank goodness for Weekend Update.

DRUNK UNCLE! Ugh. I watched this twice and I LOL’d the whole time both times. The things he could buy for five dollars is absolutely the best. (Also, “The things he could buy for five dollars is absolutely the best.” is absolutely the thing a dumb person says.) Love you, Drunk Uncle! You are so good!

So, there you have it. Drunk Uncle. Also Kelly Clarkson performed. I didn’t watch those parts. WAS SHE GOOD? Did she play “Since You Been Gone”?

Comments (25)
  1. Drunk Uncle was the only part of the show where I actually elicited more than a cringeworthy groan. If we could have opened with that instead of 35 minutes of filler, it may have held my attention longer.

  2. I thought the show was decent. The monologue was pretty good! The Adult Video Awards sketch was also pretty good and Kelly didn’t even mention it! And, being a frequent viewer of NBA on TNT (ladies? Barkleys?), that sketch was dead on. Having said that, “Joann’s Announcement” was probably the worst sketch I’ve ever seen.

    And Kristen Wiig remains, forever, in my heart.

  3. They missed so many opportunities to joke with Santorum in the cold open. I kept waiting for it to venture back into Sandberg’s impression of Santorum surrounded by gays like they’ve been doing in previous sketches, but it was just a big “huh?” the entire time. Way to waste an enormous opportunity for a joke. All they had to do was read the Santorum-related headlines from the past week, like “Santorum Surges” and “Mitt Blasts Santorum” and pretend like they don’t know whats so funny when everyone in the room giggles. There you go, SNL, I just wrote a sketch for you. You’re welcome.

    The rest of it was mildly amusing at best and cringeworthy at worst. The NBA sketch was pretty good though and of course Drunk Uncle is the best uncle, IMMIGRANTS.

  4. NBA on TNT was pretty funny. I think next time Barkley hosts, they should just have Kenan Thompson host as Charles Barkley.

  5. I too thought the premise of the Joann sketch was good. I even thought some of the sketch itself was pretty funny, particularly Paul Brittain’s line about how he no one had said his name yet so he wasn’t listening. LOLLLLLL.

    White People Problems, on the other hand? Ugh. I think I’m pretty forgiving of SNL, but White People Problems was TERRIBLE.

  6. Oh man, Kelly didn’t like SNL? Crazy! So fresh and original this piece.

  7. The Wyndemere character bugged me the first time he was on but I couldn’t figure out why but it dawned on me this time: it’s a DIRECT rip from the strange “Berries and Cream” Starburst ads that ran a few years ago. They even stole the costume!


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYX_zhlTDr8

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  9. I guess I’m the only one who finds Nicholas Fehn to be Fred Armisen’s (who I love) worst character. It just kind of meanders and doesn’t do anything. The joke is told immediately and then stretched out for 4 minutes. Maybe because it’s like somewhat difficult? IDK. Still, I’m totally unmoved and aggravated whenever I see it. It’s like his “Gilly”.

    • I agree with you. Of course that means this character will probably get a direct-to-DVD movie now.

    • It’s hard to say. I mean, when you examine it, such as what you’re doing, you know, you make an attempt — at least you TRY — to deconstruct from the outside, or, at least we imagine ourselves to be on the outside (it is often hard to tell), so you have to be impartial to, you know, to what it is that even makes us perceive the humor in the firs place, and, going back to humor for just a second, which is all so subjective and we are all subjects, each and every one of us, or at least just myself, because how can we even know about other people for sure?

    • I think it’s a great character, but it works best as a one-time sketch. There’s just not much room to do anything new with the character. I still enjoy it, though, and to me, its success now just depends on Fred Armisen’s performance. This one was OK, not really that good.

  10. Two quotes from this review:

    “The first time they did the Wyndemere sketch it was wonderful and I loved it so much. But this time…they pretty much just did all the same jokes as the first time? You know? Like if you’re just going to yell “GET HIM SOME SWEETS!” at Andy Samberg and chase Paul Brittain around so he can tell you a secret like you already did, maybe DON’T DO IT? Haha, not to be super upset about it. I’m sorry about the all-caps. I’m not yelling. But definitely probably don’t do it. Great the first time though!”

    and then…

    “Nicholas Fehn was great, doy.”

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