So, uh, did Will Ferrell lose a bet? Is that why he hosted this weekend’s episode of Saturday Night Live, when his next film, The Campaign, doesn’t come out until August? Because, I’ll tell you what, he did not seem like he wanted to be there at all! He seemed really unenthusiastic about how he lost that bet that made him host SNL! We’ve discussed this before, but it’s always so much more disappointing when you think an episode of SNL is going to be easily at least PRETTY good, and it turns out badly, than when you don’t have any hope for an episode at all. And unfortunately the former was the case with this episode. Will Ferrell’s role in each of the sketches was always fairly insignificant, and the sketches themselves seemed like they were pulled out of a dusty Sketch Comedy 102 text book from 1991. The “ESPN golf” sketch that only relied on coming up with different ways to describe periods? The RIGHT ON TIME “Mayor of Funkytown” sketch that Will Ferrell didn’t even seem like he COULD participate in, so they had to fill up his screen-time with other performers? What? Why? Why not just do a sketch that Will Ferrell could perform well in? Because the “Mayor of Funkytown” premise was super time sensitive? I wish I could be more upbeat about this episode, I really WANTED to be upbeat about it, going into it, but it was just largely disappointing. Which is too bad! It should’ve been great! There were a few bright moments, though, so let’s talk about them. PLEASE!

The cold open was good and worthwhile! And gave us a false sense of what the episode would be like! (Not that I mean I would’ve rathered a parade of old Will Ferrell characters — though that would’ve been better than what it was, I have to say — but at least in this sketch everyone seemed enthusiastic and as if they ENJOYED their jobs of making a weekly live sketch comedy show.) (I do feel like I’m being very harsh. But WHY WAS THIS EPISODE NOT EVEN KIND OF GREAT?) (Remember how great the Maya Rudolf episode was?)

The “Broadway Sizzle” sketch was my favorite of the night. Kenan’s song was great, and I think this was the only sketch in which Will Ferrell stood out as a main character. And he was great!

The “Get In The Cage” segment was, as always, PRETTY good! The line about how it was his famous monologue, from the Taken trailer? Give me a break. What a perfect joke.

And, finally, the STAR-STUDDED 100th anniversary digital short. It was certainly enjoyable! And I will always accept an opportunity for Natalie Portman to reprise her Natalie Portman rap. So no complaints. I mean, certainly I DO have complaints, but holy moly, let’s all (let’s me) stop complaining for a GD minute.

And also Usher performed and was a great dancer, but his songs were not too good. Sorry Usher! Not even YOU can escape how negatively I felt about this episode, I’m sorry!

Comments (30)
  1. Do you think they made Usher show up early so he could help people find their seats?

  2. There seemed to be a lot of music sketches, which came across as odd.

  3. Odd episode. I think I should’ve seen the off-basedness (word?) of this episode coming, when Ferrell’s mom kept staring at him and opening her mouth all the time in the monologue. It was like she was a) either about to say something b) shocked that she was there or c) was expecting something funny/great to come out of Will’s mouth and it never did (much like the audience…amiright?)

    Best “Get in the Cage” of the season IMHO, though. Almost made up for the disappointment. Good to see Sudeikis take his Biden to new levels this year and really turn him into a “character” of the VP.

  4. Aw, I love the ESPN guys. The rhymes are sometimes a little lame, but Will Forte is always smiling so dumbly.

    I’m glad someone liked the Broadway sketch as much as I did. When Bill Hader started mouthing the words while Kristin was singing, I about died.

  5. So I gather from Kelly’s review of this episode that it’s a good thing that I watched it while drunk and now can’t remember any of it.

  6. I love Will Ferrell, and will laugh at virtually everything he does. The Old Milwaukee Commericals; Semi-Pro; every appearance on the Jimmy Fallon show; photobombs of New York Times wedding announcements, but this was a disappointment.

  7. I know this is going to be an unpopular onion but I never really liked Will Ferrell on SNL. I loved him in Anchorman and other comedic movies but his whole stint on SNL just seemed flat. I’m probably remembering wrong but I remember him, Molly Shannon, Mango & Cheri Oteri just playing the same type of wacky clueless characters over and over.

  8. Things I got up to do in the middle of a sketch during this episode: floss, scoop my cat’s litter box. I think that pretty much says it all.

  9. I fell asleep in the end, I tried to stay awake. I thought though that the sketches did end in a more timely fashion then usual. Also why do they have to show that almost pizza commercial again? It was funny two weeks ago, but again already?

    • I always assumed they reuse commercials when they need more time before a sketch or when they have time left at the end that’s not enough for a sketch.

  10. I love Will Forte! Love, damnit!!! Was I the only person who thought it was weird that Chris Parnell wasn’t in that digital short, since Lazy Sunday kind of made the digital shorts famous?

  11. The Usher performance was worth it because he spend like 20/30 seconds trying to find his jacket pocket to put his sunglasses in.

  12. This was the first SNL I watched live on broadcast TV in years. I kept trying to fast forward it. I will go back to watching it on HULU thanks to this crappy episode. It seemed like they got Ferrell to host and then said who can we get to make a guest appearance? and then wrote the sketches around that. Really sad. No Jeopardy? No Harry Caray? Personally I am f**kin sick of his Bush (and Cheney / Bush jokes in general – come on it’s 2012 people).

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