Monday, October 11, 2010

Denzel (and Jay Pharoah) make SNL tolerable

My buddy Tom and others have suggested a way to save Saturday Night Live that I'll sign off on - Just have Jay Pharoah in every skit. A blog at The Wall Street Journal is singing his praises (eerie fact: It's written by Christopher John Farley), and I will second them. He's only been in three skits so far, but he's been great in all of them. Much like when Eddie Murphy joined the show in 1980 and put it on his back, I think Pharoah should do the same with Andy Samburg.

The best skit this past Saturday featured Pharoah as a pitch-perfect Denzel Washington. He was immersing himself in his role as a worker at a customer service desk, and angryly cajoling a customer (a disappointing-as-host Jane Lynch) for trying to return a BLACK hand bag. "Is there something wrong with the color of this bag?" He completely nailed Denzel, and the clip is in the WSJ article linked above.

Unfortunately though, the rest of the show felt lackluster, as you can probably guess from my comment about Lynch. They showed glimpses of promise, like when they had a pretty funny skit about Glee...

... Only for the whole thing to be derailed with the inclusion of Gillie, the horrible character played by Kristen Wiig that almost nobody likes. (Sorry Picosita. And also, my 10-member anti-Wiig Facebook group can still be joined here!)

The skit was going along fine, not hilarious but still funny, until she came on my screen. I instantly cringed and found something else to busy myself for the next couple minutes. Once she made an appearance, the only other funny part of the skit was the introduction of gay Kurt's dad.

I don't understand the thinking on involving Gillie at all. By itself, Glee is incredibly easy to mock, and they were doing a good job of that. You simply don't need to include a tired Kristen Wiig character. Is it in her contract that she has to be in 10 skits per week? Does she give head writer Seth Meyers a handy each time she makes an appearance?

Anyway. Outside of that horrible-ness, there was a funny bit or two. The FB application for mom-proofing your profile was pretty good, even if it didn't make logical sense, since there are plenty of privacy tools already to keep people out of your FB. I was also a big fan of the New Boyfriend Show, featuring Samburg as a kid who interviews his mom's boyfriends in the morning... and who gleefully tells today's guest that he's on the 100th episode.


  1. I can cosign on the Glee skit being totally derailed by Gillie, but otherwise I actually thought it was a strong episode. I thought the Suze Orman skit was pretty hilarious (probably because it was only a minor infusion of Kristin Wiig) and the football song was pretty good, too. I also loved the New Boyfriend Show.

    I would definitely like to see more Pharoah, but I would also like to see some skits when he's not doing an impression. His impressions are great, but the haven't really had good skits to go along. I thought the whole Denzel is working at Macy's was kind of weird, and the Will Smith impression was really exactly that, an impression with no associated joke. That's not a criticism of him; it would be nice to see Lorne/established cast members give him some non-impression parts.

  2. @ Bob - I thought the Orman skit was OK, but it wasn't something that they hadn't already done to death. I mean, I don't even think she's that popular anymore, not since the crash of the financial markets.

    I'm curious to see what they do with Pharoah in sketches too, but one of the dirty secrets of SNL is that they have a horrible track record of including black performers in sketches. Kenan isn't in much, and Damon Wayans and Chris Rock both left because of it. Murphy was the one guy to make a huge star of himself, and he was mostly writing his own material, IIRC.

  3. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to watch this episode of SNL. But it probably will be replayed several times this week. It's kinda like that over here.

  4. @ Gnetch - Over here? Where do you live, Transylvania?

  5. I think the whole problem with SNL is that it thinks it's better than everybody else but it really isn't, so the writing is shoddy because they think they don't have to do any better. But, maybe I just miss the glory days and maybe I'm just sick of everything being random nonsense with comedic shows, especially skit TV... :/

  6. @ Christina - I also think that Saturday Night Live is a little too full of itself at times. It probably doesn't help that it has absolutely no competition at that point of the night.

  7. yeah jay pharoah and sanburg are the only ones worth watching. wig is funny sometimes but that annoying "sorry" character sucks.

    the writers had had like a year to write up good skits. mann they need to let jay pharoah do more of his own material. it was the best skits so far

  8. @ Ty - I totally agree with you on Jay and Samburg. Jay needs to get involved in more skits; he's the funniest new person they have, although Nasim is growing on me.

  9. I could seriously watch an entire show of Jay Pharoh do impressions, he's that good. The fact that he gets the exact pitch of the voice is probably the most remarkable thing. Talented dude, for sure.


Try not to be too much of an ass, unless completely necessary. You are subject to tyrannical moderation.


Related Posts with Thumbnails