This episode can basically be summarized in two general statements: cameos and Katy Perry’s boobs. As with most SNL season premieres, this episode tried to pack in so much, that I felt breathless and slightly overwhelmed after watching the entire episode. I’d be watching a sketch and… wait! That’s Tina Fey right there! Oh my god, there’s Justin Timberlake! And Jimmy Fallon! …Governor David Paterson? Katy! Your boobs are poppin’ out again! Nevertheless, it is precisely for these unexpected moments that I watch SNL and SNL alumna Amy Poehler accompanied the cast seamlessly for a night of strange, scattered sketches.
Cold Open: It’s unsurprising that the season kicked off with a sketch that incorporated Kristen Wiig as the leading character; although overused, Wiig may arguably be considered one of the most iconic female castmembers in all of SNL’s history. She has her scathingly annoying moments but let’s face it, the audience loves her and she may be the only one apathetic non-SNL viewers recognize. I have to hand it to her – she started off the season strong with her impression of tea-party candidate Christine O’Donnell and who doesn’t like a 5-minute long masturbation gag?
Monologue: This could have been one of my favorite monologues ever, but then again, I think I only loved it for the Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon cameo. Amy led the audience with her on her stress-induced dream of arriving at the SNL studio late, only to be greeted with a barrage of celebrity cameos including the aforementioned Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon as well as Justin Timberlake. I didn’t even realize Rachel Dratch was still alive, but she made a cameo also.
Bronx Beat: Betty (Amy Poehler) and Jodi (Maya Rudolph! Another cameo!) are back, complete with their spot-on Long Island accents! They stumbled through their normal chitchat which encompassed bedbugs and children but the real scene-stealer was Katy Perry. More specifically, Katy Perry’s boobs. And you better believe that Betty and Jodi noticed her boobs. Aimless talk about Perry’s boobs ensued for the remainder of the sketch. Katy, please feel free to come back with your friends on SNL any time you want.
Hair Restoration: Are you balding? Let’s transplant some pubic hair onto your head. Enough said, although I genuinely found this to be hilarious.
Maternity Matters: Roger Brush (Fred Armisen) had to take over as the host of a woman’s maternity talk show after the host is unavailable, and as a result reminded us again what douchebags men are and how insensitive we are to women’s issues. Whatever. Although I thought Armisen did a great job playing a douchebag, something about the sketch just did not work for me and I hardly cracked a smile.
Mosque at Ground Zero: A typical sketch in which SNL actively tried to bring together a whole summer’s worth of cultural and political updates. The result: let’s build a mosque at ground zero where gays can get married.
Weekend Update: Amy’s back… which most importantly means that Amy’s back to do Weekend Update with Seth! I’ve always loved the weird combination of Amy and Seth, both noticeably odd yet intelligent. New featured castmember Jay Pharaoh entered the SNL arena with a hilarious impersonation of Will Smith while New York Governor David Paterson faced off with his impersonator (Fred Armisen), leading to lines such as, “you’ve poked so much fun at me for being blind, that I forgot I was black!”
The Lean Years on Showtime: Amy brought up her recurring character, Amber – a uni-legged woman who farts and asks people if they’re jealous of her. This time, Amber’s getting her own TV show on Showtime. Although the sketch fell flat for me, it was nice seeing Amy completely in her element again with her zany, out-there, many-times disgusting characters.
Digital Short “Boogerman”: A very weak Digital Short to start off the season. Andy played the title character of “Boogerman,” who appropriate has long streams of boogers flying from his nose. It was nice however to hear Katy Perry sing incredibly well.
Ladies Who Lunch: Sylvia (Kristen Wiig) was jealous of Trish’s (Amy Poehler) consistently urbane fashion style. Trish’s little hats became all the rage and Sylvia would always be one step behind Trish in terms of revolutionary fashion statements. It was a slightly enjoyable sketch near the end of the episode, but definitely fell flat. But the scene with a microscopic Amy Poehler wearing a microscopic hat made me chuckle.
Actor II Actor: Just when you were about to fall asleep, they brought back Justin Timberlake. Andy Samberg “interviewed” Timberlake, only to enrage Timberlake with his non-questions. This was the epitome of those unnecessary sketches that SNL love to put at the end of each episode, although at least this time, it was an unnecessary sketch with JT in it.
Musical Guest: Katy Perry… without a question this was your summer with two number-one hits and a number-one album and now that it’s fall, I guess it’s your fall too. Perry was appropriately dressed in wacky outfits as she sang/lip-synched to her two summer sensations, “California Gurls” and “Teenage Dream.” Her live performances were colorful, fun-to-watch and not awful vocally, although how would be the audience be sure when all we could concentrate on were her boobs yet again.
Overall Episode: B+
Next week: Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston hosts with music guest… the ever pompous yet musical talent that is Kanye West.
Original Author: Jonathan Yuan