Anne Hathaway! Florence and the Machine! Abby Elliott actually appearing in sketches! Fred Armisen being funny! I didn't want to put my mouth on Seth Meyers' mouth so he wouldn't talk! This week's SNL was markedly better than last week's.
I'm not sure which of the aforementioned factors made me enjoy this week's episode so much more than last week's; truth be told, my enjoyment could very well have been a function of the fact that I was a little drunk when I watched this (so, I guess you could say that I sort of did get a little drunk with Anne Hathaway?). Either way, this week was solid as far as SNL goes.
We were treated to Abby Elliott's Rachel Maddow impression in the cold open, and I was pleasantly surprised that the writers didn't decide to make every joke about how Rachel Maddow is a lesbian or isn't super girly.
Some of the jokes were a little groan-worthy, but overall, I didn't find myself angry within the first two minutes of the show, plus, they were absolutely right that Nancy Pelosi always looks like she's watching someone not use a coaster. Small victories!
The writers and cast really hit it out of the park with the TSA patdown ad that parodied late night dating service commercials.
Timely, clever, unique, and it manages to avoid making a poop joke. Well played, SNL!
Unfortunately, I couldn't say the same for the dreadful "Camel Tame" commercial that was featured later in the show.
Hathaway was at her strongest when she was encouraged to act unhinged. Her turn opposite Kristen Wiig as the expert in one-upsmanship was somewhat forgettable, but her part in this Black Friday parody commercial had me laughing so hard that my cat was afraid.
We also saw more of Vanessa Bayer as Miley Cyrus along with Jason Sudekis, who perfectly captures the weird/creepy way that Billy Ray talks about his daughter. Bonus: Anne Hathaway does a pretty great breathy Katie Holmes.
I don't know if Fred Armisen's been taking his vitamins or what, because this week he was solid in everything.
Weekend Update was among the best I've seen in awhile. Seth Meyers? Not insufferable this week! The jokes? Kind of fresh sounding! And Jay Pharaoh got to break out his excellent Jay-Z, Drake, and Biggie Smalls impressions.
The crowd's response to his spot-on impersonations was tepid at first, but I (controversially!) suspect that this may be because there's not a ton of overlap between the SNL studio audience and the subset of the population who has actually spent a lot of time closely listening to hip hop. Give it time, Jay. People will start understand that someone can sound like Jay-Z without looking like Jay-Z.
The low point in the show for me was surprisingly/sadly Florence and the Machine's performances. She seemed pitchy and nervous and all I wanted to see was more of Anne Hathaway acting a little bit off her rocker. Seriously, Anne. Call me and I will provide the Four Loko.
Next week's SNL is a rerun, but look out for Robert Deniro's hosting stint on December 4th (a stint, by the way, that was originally rumored to belong to one Lindsay Lohan.)