[Ed. Note: Jenny Nelson is a writer, student, and -- most importantly -- Videogum intern. She'll be taking us through this season of Saturday Night Live.]

An important part of the television recap blog post, I’ve learned, is the image at the top. Or, um, it’s certainly a part of the post, so you can’t argue with that at least. Think about the job it’s doing! If the reader didn’t see the episode of TV, then they are judging a whole episode by a single picture! If they did see the episode, they’re remembering a whole episode by a single picture, which is still a big thing, respectively when compared to other things in the real world. Can you imagine this pressure? For SNL I’ve realized it’s best in the image to probably include this week’s host, because duh-doy, and then I like to include in the image either an SNL cast member or an object that looks like obviously part of the studio or set, just so everyone is sure what show this is that we’re going to recap. Anyways, my point is I’m choosing this image of John Goodman dressed as a lady! Good choice or bad one? Let me know!

John Goodman’s episode certainly got off to a start. The cold open was an Obama press conference with that fake sign language interpreter (Kenan) from Mandela’s funeral, and also Kate McKinnon as Angela Merkel thrown in for good measure. Poor real-life people who got involved in this situation that has gotten really blown out of proportion I think!

The monologue was about as meh as the cold open. John Goodman sang a Christmas song about booty with Kenan. Kenan was in this episode a lot, I wonder if him and John Goodman got along well! That would be nice. Oh, and John Goodman wore a very nice suit for this part of the show. But otherwise meh.

The “Guy Fieri Christmas Special” I think could have used more from John Goodman perhaps, but I liked it in the meantime. I think Bobby Moynihan played every person from the show Pawn Stars which is so funny on its own! Can a whole sketch be hinged on that one joke? I’m curious.

The next sketch was about John Goodman and crew being the snowflakes at a Christmas pageant for adults. Instant laughs, for me at least. I don’t know, I just really liked this sketch. Everything about it. I don’t even know what to say here that could add to it, so I guess just watch this clip!

Then, special holiday-time guests Robert DeNiro and Sylvester Stallone stopped by for this “Three Wise Guys” sketch which I guess was very exciting. This part had some very old-timey laughs, in that they were all jokes about Jesus, like “What’s this kid’s name?” “Christ, I don’t know!” There were also better jokes then that. Not bad, but I’m still not going to see Grudge Match, haha!

For Weekend Update, Kenan came out again, this time as Santa (who is black) to talk about FOX News’s Megyn Kelly. That was good, and relevant, too! I’m going to include this clip of Drunk (and Drunker) Uncle(s) though because, like Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy did last week, they say a sweet goodbye to Seth Meyers who is leaving soon.

After that there was a sketch called “Too Hot” featuring John Goodman in drag, Cecily Strong as his lawyer, Taran Killam as the other lawyer who doesn’t think John Goodman is a very pretty lady, and Beck Bennett as a business guy who does think John Goodman is a pretty lady. They dance. I respect John Goodman as an actor, and also I think he made a good lady. It’s possible to do both at the same time, y’know!

Shallon, Nasim Pedrad’s little girl who couldn’t wait to jump in unmarked vans full of candy in the Ed Norton episode, returned this episode, this time to argue with fire fighter John Goodman about if it’s okay to jump into the fireplace to save Santa from danger. I think this sketch hit its stride when the kids start accusing poor John Goodman he’s not doing his job right if he’s just going to let a girl burn on Christmas.

The final noteworthy sketch of the night was a song, led by Jay Pharoah but much more welcome than the “What the Fox Say” parody he did. It was about H&M and how John Goodman doesn’t fit in, figuratively OR literally, because he can’t fit into their tiny pants. Get it? Also, umm, I loved this sketch?

There were other sketches that I didn’t like as much and Kings of Leon played music and wore a cute pink cardigan. (One member wore a cute pink cardigan I mean.)

Comments (27)
  1. dissenting voice: the h&m sketch, omg what even was that

  2. I made the mistake of going into an H&M on a holiday weekend in Chicago once and barely made it out alive.

    • I also got lost in a Forever 21 in Albany. Shopping is dangerous!

      • My friends and I call the Stop & Shop by my place the “zombie Stop & Shop,” because people just wander around there all glassy-eyed and run into you and don’t acknowledge it and park their carts in the middle of pathways and just stare up at the shelves and then are startled when you say “excuse me” as you pass by. I go there somewhere around three times a week and I still have no idea where anything is in that store, and no one ever knows how to ring up their purchases on the self-check-outs. Also, last time I went there, I spent $15 on a big wheel of store-brand brie! Something ain’t right there. I wonder if maybe the store’s built on a Native American burial ground or something! Thus ends my unrelated #shopping story.

        • There is a Stop & Shop I went to a few times, and each time the bagger put EVERY SINGLE ITEM IN ITS OWN BAG, even after I asked him or her to stop (several different baggers did this). Then another time a bagger put the pie crust my friend bought in the same bag as toothpaste (and nothing else) and said, pointedly, “I put the toothpaste in with the pie crust.”

          I wonder if it’s the same Stop & Shop.

      • I’ve gotten lost in that forever 21 on more then one occasion.

    • I made the mistake of going to an H&M in Vegas. I got so mad at the relentless club music, bright lights, and dismissive employees that I stole a tube of lip gloss. (I had never stolen anything before!)

  3. Side note: I saw Inside Llewyn Davis this weekend…JG was sooo good in that.

  4. You are right about a non-watcher judging by the first photo, because I couldn’t watch it on Saturday (stupid paper *fistshake*). It looks funny, but I have to wait until I can use headphones to hear it.

    • Also I saw Guy Fieri on Kelly and Micheal last Wednesday where they drank some crazy cocktails Fieri made for them, soI was banking on an SNL holiday sketch this week.

  5. I loved the Cold Open (“thrilled” got translated into fake sign language as dance moves from Thriller) but my favorite of the night was Christmas Whistle. I couldn’t stop laughing.

    • I liked the cold open a lot too. There are certain things that Kenan does really well, and creeping up behind the president as the mentally ill sign language guy is one of them.

      • Yes! He is definitely a physical comedian. And a “mentally ill sign language guy” (sad when you think about it) at a state funeral for one of our greatest humanitarians really was a gift from the comedy gods.

      • I’m really glad they had enough class not to make fun of his mental illness.

    • Ahhhh, I LOVED Christmas Whistle and no one else seemed to! I laughed surprisingly hard at Taran-Killam-as-a-choking-angel.

  6. When John Goodman’s voiceover began in the dance of the snowflakes sketch I pretty much died (“Is this dumb?”) and thought it was going to be a #classicsketch but then I thought they kind of killed the potential by having everyone in the sketch also do the same thing. It would have been weird and brilliant if only JG was having doubts about the performance. Going from performer to performer in a round made it formulaic and safe. Still pretty funny but I thought there was potential for a more memorable sketch.

  7. Seems like Kenan and Jay Pharoah have gotten a lot more screen time since the “SNL won’t hire a black woman” debacle. I’m glad Lorne Michaels seems to be making some effort to make the show less racist.*

    *Obvs it’s still pretty racist.

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