SNL With Dana Carvey: Best and Worst Skits?

Dana Carvey returned to the SNL stage last night with heaping portions of nostalgia (Wayne’s World!) and a mixed bag of skits that ranged from pretty darn funny (Church Lady railing against the Kardashians, fawning over a certain floppy-haired pop star) to downright disastrous (an opening monologue/musical number I thought would never end). Carvey also pulled off a brilliant Regis Philbin impression that was dragged down by Nasim Pedrad’s utterly off-the-mark Kelly Ripa. Oh, and best supporting player? Justin Bieber! No, seriously. (In a possibly Bieber-related phenomenon, NBC reports that last night’s SNL was its second-highest rating of the season in metered-market households, behind only the January 8 telecast.) Anyhow, here are my picks for best and worst skits of the night:

Best Skit: Andy Samberg’s The Roommate spoof with Justin Bieber.
A one-minute trailer spoof poking fun at the new Single White Female knockoff starring Leighton Meester and Minka Kelly, or in other words, “Yet another story of obsession.” Samberg’s digital short was packed with laughs both absurd (Samberg’s Declan presenting a dead rat as a puppy) to the meta (Bieber’s “normal” roomate wondering, “This isn’t gonna be one of those things where our friendship starts off fine then you get really possessive and crazy, ’cause I’m not really up for that.”). Watch. Howl. Repeat.

Best Skit (Live): Sports Bar
In a very close battle with Church Chat, I’d have to give a slight edge in terms of laughs-per-minute to this bit about a sports-bar owner letting his brother-in-law’s Euro-cheese, ’80s-influenced, trenchcoat-clad, and extremely fey band (the Fingerlings, fronted by Carvey and Fred Armisen) play a Super Bowl Sunday gig to an utterly bewildered audience of Packers fans. Those reaction shots from Kenan Thompson and Jason Sudeikis were so stunned, I wondered for a moment if I was looking at a freeze-frame image. As for the funniest lines of “Embrace Me,” it’s a tossup between “Weeping in the pouring rain with blue mascara running down my face” or “Smearing my lipstick on the bedroom mirror while I cry about you.” Anyone care to break the tie in the comments?

Worst Skit: Celebrity Teen Crisis Center
I don’t think I laughed once at Carvey and Thompson’s “child pageant” bit, and Kristen Wiig’s Weekend Update interlude as disco-star-turned-meteorologist Angela Dixon was interminable, but I was most disappointed by the failure of what sounded like a brilliant premise: VH1 Celebrity Teen Crisis Center: Real Celebrities Answering Real Teen Calls. Had the writing truly mined the absurd interplay between real teen problems and self-absorbed celeb responses, this one could’ve been a hoot, but it played out mostly as an opportunity for various cast members to workshop impressions of wildly varying quality. That said, I wouldn’t be upset to see SNL bring back this setup for a second (improved) go-round.

What did you think of this week’s SNL? How did Carvey fare as host? And who was your favorite cameo: Bieber, Mike Myers, or Jon Lovitz? Also, am I crazy, or did the still shots of Carvey coming out of commercial break bear an eerie resemblance to Glenn Close? Sound off below, and for all my TV recaps, including a rundown of tonight’s best and worst Super Bowl ads, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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36 Comments
  1. MattyC says:

    Hmmm… the Regis and Kelly skit wasn’t part of the show on the NBC’s Website. Maybe they self-edit?

  2. Matt Webb Mitovich says:

    “Burn. The Roommate!”

  3. Nerdista says:

    Hated the monologue and the church lady. The part where Dana played Andy Rooney and no one knew who that was actually was sadly parallel to the show. That humor od Dana’s just doesn’t hold up. Loved the Roomie thing and totally agree that the Kelly Rippa was TERRIBLE! That gals voice always sounds like B. Walters I guess. Abby Elliots Ana Faris was the best thing ever and I feel bad that Jay only ever gets to do impressions. Kind of a clunker ep. Oh, and Seth needs a WU co-anchor. Stat!

  4. chloe says:

    I love Dana Carvey. I didn’t like the song in the intro, but he’s right–his cast was great. Some of the old characters might have seemed out of date, but last night’s show just made me nostalgic for the old days when SNL was enjoyable to watch. It made me hate the current version of SNL even more. The current cast is not funny at all. How sad is it that Justin Bieber is funnier than most of the current cast? Wish they would fire Seth Meyers, Kristin Wiig, Kenan Thompson, and the writers.

  5. Snsetblaze says:

    I did not watch the show but caught the few skits that were upon the web. I cracked up at both Wayne’s World, the Digital Short and Church Chat and smiled a few times at the cele impression one but the last Sports Bar sketch was torture.

  6. Lee Harvey says:

    Sports Bar was the best sketch of the night. The song was actually half decent, and that made it all the funnier.

  7. sTim says:

    Agree on your “worst” choices, but definitely would add the ones you called best too. Roommate movie was totally predictable, sports bar only mildly funny when reaction shots. Best for me was throwbacks -Wayne’s World and Church Lady – and I’m not a hater of current cast.

  8. Max Nicholson says:

    I actually thought the best sketch was Abby Elliot’s “Bad News” infomercial. That was actually the only one that got me to laugh out loud. The James Franco bit on Weekend Update was also somewhat funny.

  9. TigerNightmare says:

    I don’t think I can trust Slezak’s opinion, at least concerning SNL, if he liked the 5 to 1 sports bar sketch. That’s the third fricken time Fred Armisen told that bad joke over and over again. All they do is change costumes, lyrics and maybe musical style. The joke is the same and it never, ever works. The Roommate sketch had too little substance to warrant even just the minute it ran.

    The best sketch was definitely Wayne’s World and the show went downhill after that. Also, why no mention of Jay Pharoah’s awesome Eddie Murphy impression? He’s the new Eddie Murphy as far as I’m concerned.

  10. Hansford says:

    Nice to see Wayne’s World again…I didn’t think Carvey & Meyers were close anymore. Bieber has been everywhere on NYC TV this week! Good show all in all.

  11. Lauren says:

    I thought the Wayne’s World open and Roommate digital short were great. I don’t think Church Chat held up well. Carvey’s catchphrases sounded tired in that one. Bieber came close to saving it.
    I thought Weekend Update was good. Seth Meyers handled the Egypt material well and that-guy-whose-name-I-don’t-know was funny as James Franco.

  12. Reese says:

    The sports bar skit was NOT good! The crisis center sketch also sucked.

    Loved Wayne’s World and Church Chat! The infomercial was funny. I like the black noise commercial also. I know they’ve shown it before.

  13. Kristin says:

    I was soooo excited when Wayne’s World came on! I actually hoped the entire show was just old skits redone with former castmembers. I have to disagree about the Kelly Ripa impression. I can’t remember the voice or anything else but her expressions were dead-on. Like when she drinks out of the coffee cup and looks up.

  14. Paula says:

    DANA was spot on! One of my all time faves!
    justin was actually good… (cant believe i said that LOL)
    LOVED it!!

  15. Joanne says:

    Come on in the very beginning… Phil Hartmans voice!!! AWESOME

  16. Nicole says:

    I loved Church Chat and the Waynes World cold open. Thought those two were the best of the night. I also really enjoyed Justin Bieber. I’m definitely not in his target demo, but I certainly gained some respect for him after a few funny spots last night! Also, I was psyched to see Mike Myers come back to support his old friend :) I wish Phil Hartmann were still around….miss him :(

  17. NanCeE* says:

    The “smearing lipstick” line cracked me up because it was preceded by him saying, “This is about the Super Bowl!” Ha!

  18. Cat says:

    Disagree about Nasim Pedrad’s Kelly Ripa! It wasn’t a sound-a-like impression, but she got Ripa’s inflections and mom-to-child tone right on!

    I think I liked the Bad News commercial and the Kardashians the best, though. Dana Carvey’s still funny, but his material not so much.

  19. flutiefan says:

    i’m still confused as to why Dana Carvey was asked to host in the first place?
    does he have a project coming out? or was this just some stroking of the SNL ego?

  20. mgalvin007 says:

    Classic Line from “Sports Bar,”….”bouncing with my trousers off in that disco in Milan.”

  21. Janie says:

    I can’t believe they only used Jason Sudeikis in one skit (the sports bar skit) I really hope its because he is busy promoting Hall Pass because I think he is the most underrated actor on SNL!! love him!

    that being said.. the roommate sketch was the funniest

  22. JJ Jones says:

    Two weeks later and I am still singing “Embrace Me”. One of the best skits of the season.

  23. Fredo says:

    Jay Pharoah in the Celeb Teen Hotline skit was one of the only laugh-out-loud funny moments of the night. Fail for not giving props to a spot-on Murphy impression (which plenty of people think, incorrectly, that they can pull off but few do so perfectly).

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