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.