SNL Jason Segel/Florence and the Machine

COLD OPEN
ZOË RICE: In concept, making Mitt Romney edgy sounds funny. In practice it kind of fell flat. But I feel like they’re moving in the right direction content-wise at least…

HOWARD MEGDAL: Will take issue with your description of the execution. Jason Sudeikis as Mitt has made me laugh, and if he gets the nomination, I think Sudeikis will provide some memorable SNL campaign moments. This worked for me.

MONOLOGUE
ZOË RICE: In any situation, it’s very hard to argue with the Muppets. What would have made the Royal Wedding even better? Muppets! Who would I like to see at the next Republican debate? Muppets! I also rather love Jason Segel, who has many endearing qualities. So I’m satiated.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Satisfied, but not blown away here. I am having trouble knowing Kermit is no longer voiced by Jim Henson.

RED FLAG
ZOË RICE: Annnnnd then we start the meat of the show off with a rerun. Is it so hard to produce more commercials so they’re not all reruns by the season’s 4th episode?

HOWARD MEGDAL: Agreed. A good commercial. The first time. Feels like SNL does this much more than they did.

REPLACING REGIS
ZOË RICE: A decent vehicle for some fun impressions. Moynihan’s Rosie O’Donnell was a highlight for me, and surprisingly Abby Elliott’s Zooey Deschanel was too. Killam did justice to Ashton Kutcher and Pharoah represented with his Denzel.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Wish these didn’t feel so much like an excuse for impressions- at least this had a timely reason beyond “random anniversary DVD release”.

KEMPER-PEDIC
ZOË RICE: Jason Segel makes anything endearing. His bed-time beating led to some silly fun.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Really well done here. Don’t know Segel well, but sure enjoyed him in this episode.

VOGELCHEKS
ZOË RICE: We all know what to expect here. Inappropriate kissing, capitalizing on incest and gay jokes. Not exactly biting. Worse, I had to close my eyes for the gross-out Samberg-Hader-Armisen gravy moments, which are making me gag even in recollection. I’m over you, Vogelcheks, but I suspect you will be back again and again.

HOWARD MEGDAL:
Riddle me this: how do you have a sketch based on shock value, but since it has been done many times before, everyone knows what is coming?

FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE
ZOË RICE: Since I’ve never heard the song, it’s hard to know if it was supposed to sound so off-key. There’s something vaguely empowering in Florence Welch’s monotone scream, but overall I can’t say this is my favorite of their songs. But oh, I want that Chrysler Building Deco goddess dress. If nothing else, Welch remains compelling to watch.

HOWARD MEGDAL: I’ll admit it: the whole time, in that dress, I wished it was Steve Martin onstage.

UPDATE
ZOË RICE: Oh wait, that’s the real John Huntsman, not Taran Killam. His New Hampshire pandering was cute – not epic, but nicely done. Seth started slow this week but started to pick up with his “time you shot me” mini-rant and ended on a high note. And really, he’s just so likeable. I’d Vogelchek him any day. As for “Really With Seth and Kermit” – I would have been happy with just the title. But then Kermit’s first “really” burst out with pure joy. Loved the whole thing…. Wait, why didn’t Kermit host again?



HOWARD MEGDAL:
Arguably, Kermit did. Some solid one-liners. Poor Jon Huntsman is going to be confusing to viewers of this on repeat in ten years, since no one will remember he ran for president.

HAPPY RETIREMENT MITCH
ZOË RICE: The pacing felt off for this sketch. Kristen Wiig had a couple moments but repeated her schtick at least one time too many. Unfortunately it took too long to get to Jason Segel, who was the best part and underused here.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Ah, a sketch that meanders and has as its comedic target… retirement parties. How relevant and timely!

A NEW JACK THANKSGIVING
ZOË RICE: Heh heh. Medium Richard. Heh heh. Oh, the early 90′s. I enjoyed this, even if I wasn’t dishing about it the next day. Samberg was a highlight for me, and Tony Tony Tony Shaloub. Good fun.

HOWARD MEGDAL:
Absolutely. We seemed to have laughed at all the same things, and I wish my name was Medium Richard.

DIGITAL SHORT
ZOË RICE: Was that beautiful 80′s woman Olivia Wilde? Random. In content, this wasn’t one of the funniest digital shorts, but in terms of style and Jason Segel dragness, there was some fun in the instructional video format (although it did seem to bite off Jimmy Fallon, who’s done similar on his show).

HOWARD MEGDAL: More oddball than hysterical, but perhaps because I give Digital Shorts more leeway, that was fine with me, as usual.

ANDRE THE GIANT CHOOSES ICE CREAM
ZOË RICE: My favorite sketch of the night. I love how they capitalized on Jason Segel’s height and oafishness, and his impression was pitch-perfect. Funny, absurd, charming, brief.

HOWARD MEGDAL:
Andy Kaufman-esque. I mean that as a compliment, as the woman who called Alvy Singer’s lovemaking Kafkaesque once said.

FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE
ZOË RICE: Man that woman has some gorgeous, statuesque dresses. This one was a prettier song and better suited to her weird ethereal elf chic. I thought this vehicle much better highlighted Florence’s talents (and her machine’s).

HOWARD MEGDAL: I wouldn’t call my stance here rage against the machine, but certainly indifference seems apt.

THE BLUE JEAN COMMITTEE
ZOË RICE: I found this rather arbitrary and sleepy. The best part was seeing the guest stars in the audience, especially the muppets. Rowlf and Gonzo!
But I may have been traumatized by the good-byes at the end. There were puppeteers! Noooooo! Why were those men fisting Kermit, Rowlf, and Fozzie!?

HOWARD MEGDAL: It’s called an afterparty. This one was a song they declined to make funny. When I go to an Italian restaurant, and they give me a big plate of plain pasta… well, that never happens. Why does it happen on SNL?

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