Opening — Barack Obama Speaks to the Nation — 2
Fred Armisen continues to do a lame Barack impersonation, but Jason Sudeikis’ Joe Biden is a keeper. The sketch itself is a snooze, with Barack telling us how tough the situation the country is facing is while doing asides about how great his election, inauguration, etc. is. The only real laugh is the message Bush wrote to him, which is simply a piece of paper that says, “See other side” on both sides.
Steve Martin Monologue — 6
Steve Martin does a silly little standup routine that is amusing, but not great. It’s still better than most this year.
Chewable Pampers — 6
A perfect solution to diaper waste, Chewable Pampers, whose antibacterial layer turns the diapers into an edible treat. Typical SNL commercial, with toilet humor to spare. Although I have to admit that when the husband in the commercial asks, “What’s that smell?” and the wife picks up the kid, sniffs it and says, “That’s dinner!”, I laughed.
MacGruber Pepsi Ad — 7
Oh crap, this isn’t a sketch, it’s a Pepsi commercial, featuring Richard Dean Anderson as McGyver bickering with McGruber about the best way to take care of a bomb. The sketch/commercial was slotted in the middle of two other commercials, so I’m not sure if it was a joke or an actual Pepsi ad.
Square Couple Visits Sports Bar for Super Bowl — 3
Kristin Wiig and Will Forte do their odd talking square characters feeling out of place at a Sports Bar with Steve Martin in tow. The humor is in short supply here. While there are a few amusing lines among the characters as they react to the other people in the bar and then later take ecstasy that they mistake for mints, the sketch never really takes off.
Digital Short — Laser Cats IV — 8
Steve Martin tells Lorne that he has a professional video he wants to show him. He throws it in, and voila, it’s Laser Cats 4. Not much to say about this. It’s as stupidly amusing as Laser Cats 1-3, as a Robocop like Cyborg with cat guns terrorizes people on Earth, and Andy Samberg and Bill Hader fight to stop it. I found it much more amusing than I care to admit.
Issues — 5
Kenan Thompson plays a talk show hope who helps people with their issues. Only instead of dealing with the problem they come to him with, he focuses on their physical imperfections. A couple of funny gags here, including Steve Martin’s man boobs, but the sketch goes nowhere.
MacGruber Pepsi Commercial Two — 4
Richard Dean Anderson wants to know why MacGruber is so enthralled with Pepsi. He explains he’s changed his name to Pepsuber. Again, it isn’t clear if this is an ad or a sketch or possibly both. Not very funny.
A Lonely Bernie Madoff Calls Former Investors — 4
Fred Armisen calls friends to try to get them to watch the Super Bowl with him. An amusing premise, but it would have been far funnier to have Bernie carrying on a one way conversation with his actual friends, like a Bob Newhart routine. Instead the sketch is a flat series of comments made into people’s answering machines by Madoff.
Steve Martin Interacts with Cast Members — 8
Funny bit as the female cast members profess their love for Steve Martin, who treats them all like dirt, including grabbing Kristen Wiig’s breasts and telling her, “Somebody doesn’t qualify for a SAG award.”
MacGruber Pepsi Commercial Three — 1
Okay, there is no studio laughter, so I’m assuming these are commercials. This one is the lamest of the three, as MacGruber simply says Pepsi over and over again. Richard Dean Anderson accuses him of selling out, which I guess was pretty much the point. Perhaps this is all sly parody, but I’m guessing this was truly a lame attempt to be sly with product placement.
Jason Mraz — I’m Yours — 8
Nice jaunty little tune. Best thing so far.
Weekend Update — 7
Jason Sudeikis shows up as Rod Blagojevich and does an odd Dan Ackroyd Chicago accent, which isn’t like Blago’s voice at all. It is funny to hear him complain about the new Governor’s abundance of forehead.
Fred Armisen shows up as a comic Governor Patterson, full of jokes about his choice for New York Senator, and once again makes me laugh in spite of myself.
WU isn’t great this week, but enough laughs to make it a highlight of tonight’s episode so far.
Funny Line: “Tomorrow is the Super Bowl in which the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers will open up for Springsteen.”
Thomas! — 1
This skit isn’t worth writing about. It consists of Kristen Wiig doing the 1,832,123rd variation an odd woman with a goofy voice as she keeps annoying her husband, played by Steve Martin while he’s working. Pure garbage.
Steve Martin Plays Late For School — 5
Steve Martin plays banjo. Energetic but not great.
ESPN Classic — The Gun — 8
Steve Martin plays a 30s era footballer named “The Gun”, a quarterback who brings a gun to every game to keep defenses at bay. One day he gets drunk and throws his gun instead of his football. Silly and funny.
Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat — Lucky — 7
Sweet song. But forgettable.
Overall — 5
Steve Martin seems a bit bummed out at the end of the episode, and so am I. It is like everyone just figured Steve Martin would show up and the show would be instantly better. The writing was bad tonight, and everyone seemed to be going through the motions. A huge disappointment.