While Ashton Kutcher's presence on the Saturday Night Live set last night was mostly forgettable, there were a few sketches that stood out, particularly Andy Samberg's scathing "apology" as Rahm Emanuel and the reunion of Crisis of Conformity.
Kutcher's monologue centered around the idea that he's an adult now, and that he's not the guy who yells "That's awesome!" at everything, Kelso-style. Naturally, this meant that Kutcher's "maturity" was challenged by "awesome" things throughout. It was a decent enough monologue, but to be perfectly honest, I kind of forgot that Kutcher was hosting the show after the monologue ended, as his presence in several skits was relegated to doing lousy impersonations (Mel Gibson, Billy Bush) and taking a back seat to the regular cast. It's a marked contrast to last week's Jon Hamm episode, which seemed to be elevated by Hamm's presence: this week, all of the highlights are relatively Kutcher-free.
Weekend Update went on for about 10 minutes last night and featured 4 guest spots—Andy Samberg's "Liam, the teenager who just woke up," Kenan Thompson's "Jean K. Jean," Fred Armisen and Kristen Wiig's "Garth and Kat" and the highlight, Bill Hader's Eliot Spitzer, who appeared to debut his line of greeting cards:
One of the weirder skits of the night was a game show called "What Is Burn Notice?" which I have mixed feelings about, as the premise is ridiculous and funny, in that Burn Notice is one of those shows that everyone has heard of, and apparently millions of people watch, yet nobody seems to know exactly what it's about. As funny and absurd as the skit was, though, there's something icky about the fact that Burn Notice is also owned by NBC/Universal, and the entire skit could easily be viewed as cross-promotion for another network/program owned by SNL's parent company:
For some reason, SNL buried the best two skits of the night after Weekend Update, including this "apology" from Andy Samberg's Rahm Emanuel, which is the most scathing political sketch the show has put up since the elections. Samberg's Emanuel takes no prisoners, attacking fellow Democrats, Sarah Palin ("Go back to the tundra, you fucking gimmick.") , and even Mel Gibson. The best part of this sketch is hearing the audience's slightly scared reaction, laughing nervously as Samberg goes off on everyone. It's about time SNL stepped up the political commentary to the place where people were both amused and slightly uncomfortable when faced with the truth:
My favorite sketch of the night was the last sketch of the night, which featured Kutcher, Dave Grohl, Fred Armisen, and Bill Hader as an 80s punk band reuniting at Armisen's daughter's wedding and pretty much destroying the place:
Overall, kind of a letdown after last week's Jon Hamm episode, though the "Crisis of Conformity" sketch and Samberg's Emanuel came through in the second half to save the episode from being a complete loss. I've said this nearly every week, but Weekend Update is becoming increasingly strained without a co-anchor to balance Meyers out; 4 guests over 10 minutes is overkill and takes time away from the kind of quick jokes we've come to expect from that segment.
We have a little break before the next episode on February 27, which is hosted by Jennifer Lopez, who will also be the musical guest. Oh, dear. I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens, eh? If all else fails, we can always turn to Sergio: