Aww, dangit. I was looking forward to this episode because Up All Night is definitely not painful to watch every week and Christina Applegate seems like such a doll, and you just know Bruno Mars is going to be so dumb next week, but this was a pretty bad episode! And I’m only saying “pretty bad” because it sounds too mean to say “very bad,” which is what it actually was! Darn. The cold open was upsetting for the same reason every sketch about the upcoming election has been upsetting — no feathers were even slightly ruffled. It was particularly upsetting to find that the joke about the religion/abortion question was to poke fun of the fact that Biden didn’t let his religion influence his decision enough. WHAT, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE? (I guess really the joke was that Catholics in general don’t let their religious beliefs hinder what they want to do in life, but it was particularly upsetting in this set up when religion should just not be a factor at all. What was the joke saying? That Biden should’ve let his Catholic religious beliefs impact his view on abortion rights? WHAT WAS THE JOKE SAYING, LORNE?) I did like the jokes about Scranton, though, because that is where I am from. #SCRANTON! There were a few recurring sketches included in the mix, and each of them felt especially tired — especially Principal Frye. Ugh, that sketch. Always ugh. Let’s talk about some other ones!

“The Californians” is a sketch that I normally enjoy, but I don’t want to watch A MOVIE-LENGTH VERSION OF IT! As it is often said, one-note sketches like this are best when limited to under 100 minutes.

I did enjoy “Tech Talk: iPhone 5.” The single bright moment in an otherwise dull episode, I thought. (The Odysseus sketch — which is not available online — was also enjoyable. That was another less-bright bright moment.) The premise was very solid and Bill Hader was extra great.

The Taken trailer was fiiiiiiiiiiiine. Did you guys like it? Did you guys think this was the best episode yet this season? What’s up with you guys?

The Gilette Ad sketch was kind of confusing because of how it seemed to be only included to say “fuck you” to Jerry Sandusky. Which I am totally ok with! Definitely “fuck you” to that awful monster! But also maybe they could’ve said “fuck you” — and the “fuck you” could’ve meant more — with a more inspired premise and a few more jokes.

Christina Applegate as Kristin Wiig in the “Choreographer” sketch was difficult to watch.

Finally, Passion Pitt performed and they weren’t very good, either! Maybe Bruno Mars will be better next week? I cannot imagine that that will be true, but in a world where Seth MacFarlane had the best episode yet this season, ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN.

Comments (34)
  1. I don’t know who Passion Pit is. I thought the iPhone 5 skit and the Choreographer were good, and I enjoyed the Californians but it did feel like they were trying to make Ms. Applegate fill in for Ms. Wiig a whole lot.

    • I went to college with like 2 of the guys from Passion Pit. They play cute indie/electronica. I saw them once before they got big and they were great, and another time after they got big and they only played 4 songs (even though the show cost $25).

      In person they are assholes. One of them did not do their reading for class, like, ever. They got mad when I wouldn’t tell them what the book was about.

      Now you know who Passion Pit is!

  2. I also enjoyed the iphone sketch. That was a very good standard sketch, vaguely racist accents and all.

  3. iPhone and Odysseus were great. Christina does a really good impression of Kristin, but the Choreographer just made me miss her! Does anyone know, in the Gilette sketch, were they saying that the guys in the ad look like pedophiles (which they do!) so Sandusky would fit right in? or just pointing out that Sandusky looks like such a doofus with those teeth? Either way, funny.

  4. Choreography sketch was actually a very good skewering of that type of dance teacher, but they really should have saved it for Kristen to host or something. I mean it just seemed wrong without her.

    No one ever thinks it’s funny so maybe it’s just fond memories of Pierre Escargot, but Jean K. Jean always makes me laugh. Are we so un-American these days we can’t laugh at the French anymore? Incroyablé!

    • I laugh at Jean K. Jean for the very same reason! It just reminds me of “All That” so much, and I love it.

      • Me too! During this Jean K. Jean bit I asked my boyfriend (who was laughing), “Do you remember Pierre Escargot?” And he was like, “…” I almost put Pierre Escargot back in the dusty attic toybox of my mind but now I think I’m going to google him and watch videos instead.

    • Jean K. kills me everytime, one of the few recurring characters I don’t think we see enough of!!

      I think it’s more a dig at the old (are they still doing them?!) Def Comedy Jam performers of yesteryear than jokes about the French…but the jokes about the French don’t hurt! Zut alors!!

  5. Aw, I thought Passion Pit did fine. Of course, I also think their new album is the best this year, so I’m slightly biased.

  6. Pretty lackluster episode, I have to agree. I’ve never seen that Principal Frye sketch before, so I wasn’t annoyed by it, and I laughed PRETTY hard at “two students fornicating in a Mufasa costume.” And then he couldn’t keep a straight face! That always makes me laugh. But that sketch had a strange energy and pace.

    The rest of the show was otherwise, yeah, not so great. And I thought it was weird how they definitely seemed to be giving Christina the roles that Kristen would have had.

    And I didn’t love the opening monologue song. But I can’t remember the last time I actually liked a host’s opening monologue, so…

  7. I think the abortion joke was playing on the fact that Raddatz’s question was stupid. If you’re going to ask about abortion, ask about abortion. Don’t mention they’re Catholic and then try to tie that fact — which is irrelevant considering the First Amendment and the fact that there’s no religious test for office — to their political stances on abortion.

    I did not get the Sandusky joke. At all. Was the point that the actual commercial has a completely random collection of celebrities? I don’t know. Weird and not funny.

    Overall, yeah, bad. The iPhone and Odysseus bits were the best. And they were only fair. Jean K. Jean always get a chuckle out of me, and Arianna Huffington was OK (the Paul Ryan is a Lifetime Movie killer was funny) but even Weekend Update was the worst it’s been in a while.

  8. What about Ariana Huffington? I laughed out loud.

  9. I actually enjoyed this episode quite a bit. Loved the Californians skit, loved the tech blog nerds vs the chinese workers guys skit, pretty much enjoyed all of it. So “video gum” is wrong again. Case closed.

    • Agreed. It was a good episode. Californians ran a little long, that’s true. .. but it always does. The non-singy parts of the monologue, the iPhone skit, the dance skit, weekend updates, Odysseus, the commercials.. all pretty solid. AND I liked Passion Pit.

  10. “Finally, Passion Pitt performed and they weren’t very good, either!”

    I WILL FIGHT YOU.

  11. I thought the iPhone skit was good for a few laughs, but really the pretense kind of annoyed me a bit. It’s almost too easy to pick on iPhone geeks these days…and with good reason of course…but we could pretty much insert almost any manufactured product into this skit and it would still work (SOCIAL COMMENTARY ALERT!!).

    “Oh your tech device has faults!!? Well suck it up because there are children in Africa who’d KILL to have that overpriced faulty electronic device in your hand!!”

    So yeah, I recognize that I’m probably in the minority here, but it felt kind of like a cheap shot at Apple and the nerds that love them. Jesus, I’m defending iPhone owners and Apple. I’m going back to bed.

  12. I’m annoyed there was no release date for this upcoming “Give Us All Our Daughters Back” blockbuster!

  13. I really liked this episode. Also, I like Christina Applegate so very much and she can do a Kristin Wiig character without being grating and that’s always a plus. Plus Sudakis was amazing. I disagree with Kelly, I really liked this episode a lot.

    Also: I was on the phone with my bff in L.A. two weeks ago and we spent the first 10 minutes discussing which highways were the best to get to her hair salon in my old neighborhood. And since then, The Californians has become significantly funnier to me. It’s a really big area and discussing how to avoid traffic is a reality — even if you moved away two years ago!

  14. I thought this episode (meaning what was available on hulu because I don’t own a television [notice I didn't say tv because tv is a a nickname and nicknames are for friends and television is no friend of mine *lip quivers*]) was fine. The opening monologue wasn’t terrible, the first half of the show up to the first Passion Pit performance wasn’t terrible, Weekend Update wasn’t terrible, and the final sketch (I saw) of the night was the dance instructor sketch, and while yeah, that was a writer’s room floor Kristen Wiig sketch, was also not terrible. Applegate stepped up to do all of it, and she was also not terrible. So considering this episode was not terrible, it was therefore a perfectly fine episode in my book.

    Parts I liked were Taran Killam as the Californians’ wedding planner (coming in sideways in the mirror shot was great, as was the biological father cliffhanger where he looked straight at the camera and mouthed it was not him), I liked the Fruppets(?) and Danish Cook (how quaint), I loved the acknowledgement of Appelgate’s other time hosting which was the first appearance of Matt Foley: Motivational Speaker (created by Bob Odenkirk, btw, written for Farley to perform), the iPhone 5 sketch was funny (we have properly shamed him), the line about the students in the Mufasa suit, Keenan as the gym coach saying Christina as the librarian dressed up as ‘a slutty Jedi FOR YOU,’ Ariana Huffington, Jean K. Jean, etc.

    Not the best episode by FAR. Vertainly not a terrible episode though. This episode’s worst crime is just being mediocre. It wasn’t a train wreck.

  15. Not enough Tim Robinson. Actually, there may have been no Tim Robinson. I don’t know anything about the guy, but every time he’s appeared this season, he’s made me laugh. Why wasn’t he on that boat? And, where was Aidy Bryant? She seems funny, too. Bring on the new people.

  16. Agree about the monologue being kinda dumb, but The Dane Cook? Genius.

  17. I could probably watch a whole episode of the Californians, so this worked just fine for me. Also I just this past week remembered my childhood crush on Christina Applegate and out of nowhere she’s on SNL looking pretty much as good as she ever did. Fate. One thing I’m not sold on is the new opening credits though. Why aren’t they being interrupted in the middle of regular city activities any more? How am I supposed to believe that these are New Yorkers without it?

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