ZOË RICE: A sharp take on Mitt Romney’s distance from voters and on political spin in general. Nicely done, even if I imagine Howard remains more moved by Sudeikis’s impression than I am.
HOWARD MEGDAL: Just not sure they are giving him the material necessary to succeed. He hasn’t had his Lockbox moment yet.
ZOË RICE: The giant eyes, the heart dress, the singing. Zooey Deschanel is cuteness personified and she knows it. The song and her disapproving giant eyes were…well…cute.
HOWARD MEGDAL: The delivery was a bit subpar, however. Surprised, since Zooey is usually quite good with her comic timing.
CLINT EASTWOOD COMMERCIAL
ZOË RICE: Part 1: A timely pop culture moment ripe for for spoofing. Well done, especially the Eastwood material on Santorum.
Part 2 – I’m not sure this added much to the first segment.
Take 3 – Better than the 2nd installment with a nice “I’m Batman” finish.
HOWARD MEGDAL: One would have been just fine. This felt like overkill.
PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
ZOË RICE: I’m too unfamiliar with Piers Morgan to know if Killam’s is a good impression, however I suspect Pedrad’s MIA was spot on, and the LMFAO duo were a great visual. Who knew – without her bangs, Zooey Deschanel is a dead ringer for Katy Perry; they should have a big blue eye staring contest. Zooey did a great job as the concerned “good Christian citizen” and props to the writers for the excellent “decency strip.” Over all a strong, relevant sketch.
HOWARD MEGDAL: Again, great zeigeist humor- between the opener and the Clint Eastwood ads, SNL seems so relevant at this point in the show. And then…
LES JEUNES DE PARIS
ZOË RICE: Of course – with a female host under 30 we’re going to get Les Jeunes. But I still don’t get it. The Artist addition freshened up the sketch, and Jean Dujardin fit right in, but how did Les Jeunes become a silent movie spoof? Is it just because he’s French? Zooey seemed a touch unsure with her lines and dance moves at times, but mostly this recurring bit just continues to confuse me.
HOWARD MEGDAL: Exactly. No one liked The Artist more than I did, and yet this skit didn’t move me at all. Again, what is the target? Take that, foreign TV show! For being all foreign!
DAILY POST – 1941
ZOË RICE: I’ll allow for a funny moment when Deschanel unexpectedly calls out the period 40′s banter, but then the sketch really had nowhere to go. Peaked very early, unfortunately, and the peak was on the midgety side.
HOWARD MEGDAL: No, don’t you see? Nothing is timelier than making fun of His Gal Friday! Really, SNL- what on earth are you doing here? Zooey flubbed her timing, which was only exacerbated by the speed of the rest of the sketch.
ZOË RICE: Is this woman a 40′s-retro Katy Perry type? I’ve never heard of Karmin, but the female lead vocalist struck me as obvious and annoying, with unattractively open bent legs and mediocre girl-rapping. Who books the SNL bands? The Karmin lady struck me as someone whose parents trotted her out a lot to sing for friends at parties, whether the friends wanted to hear her or not.
HOWARD MEGDAL: This reminded me of every song I ever heard while uncomfortably figuring out how to leave a party early.
ZOË RICE: Seth has just been solid and consistent all season. Pedrad’s Arianna Huffington was a welcome new Update addition – they could use more political humor in the vehicle, and her impression hit well. Wow. Nicholas Cage’s forehead really is enormous. Get in the Cage was absurd and nutty fun, and I never realized how key the forehead was to Samberg’s impression.
HOWARD MEGDAL: Really great Arianna! And Cage v. Cage actually worked, thanks to Cage staying utterly calm throughout. Played against type, and made for a strong Update.
BEIN’ QUIRKY WITH ZOOEY DESCHANEL
ZOË RICE: Add the Zooey impression to the list of things Abby Elliott does well, but Zooey’s Mary Kate Olson impression led to more laughs – very well done on the host’s part. Wiig’s Bjork continues to be adorably enjoyable. A successful sketch and solid fit for the host.
HOWARD MEGDAL: Not a great Michael Cera, however. Still, amusing enough.
ZOË RICE: Ha, a really great play on smart phone technical gibberish talk. Nice work from Hader and Armisen.
HOWARD MEGDAL: Really, a perfect ad. Just the right length, right pace, perfect pitch satire.
ZOË RICE: Ugh. Just ugh. One joke, and not a funny one, and not even a joke. What’s the concept? Who are the people here? This sketch would never end. But it did make me want some crab legs.
HOWARD MEGDAL: Astouding admission by the writing staff that they needed to kill time.
ZOË RICE: Amusing the second time around, in part because the bit has been brought to a heightened level. Bonus points for the vintage technology humping. And I think there’s still gas in the tech-humping tank.
HOWARD MEGDAL: Strongly agree. This called out our generation’s tech nostalgia in a really offbeat way. Loved this.
ZOË RICE: I liked this song better than the first one, but the duo doesn’t feel authentic to me. The styling is so different this time that it seems like they’re playing dress-up, and their expressions don’t ring true.
HOWARD MEGDAL: Even more annoying than when a person says “I told you so” in standard conversation.
ZOË RICE: I like the tenor of the punch line, but unfortunately the execution felt odd and unfunny, and the sketch was 99% execution 1% punch line.
HOWARD MEGDAL: Not sure there’s been an episode with such a wide gap between the skits that worked, and skits like this, which appeared to rely on funny faces.