SNL With Josh Brolin: Best and Worst Skits

Get More: Recaps

josh brolin snlWhen Steven Spielberg shows up to direct Laser Cats 7 — starring a stuffed-animal E.T. playing E.A.T. (Extra Awesome Terrestrial) — you know you’re in for a weird, wacky edition of Saturday Night Live. And while host Josh Brolin was more of a fringe player than the star of the show — even his monologue felt like little more than an excuse for Jay Pharoah (yes, he’s still in the cast!) to break out his wicked Will Smith impression — there were nevertheless an above-average number of laughs in the episode. Here are my picks for best and worst sketches:

SNL Drafts Eli Manning, Welcomes Back Rihanna

BEST: Piers Morgan Tonight
An increasingly absurdist indictment of the coverage of the Trayvon Martin case, with a desperate-for-relevance Morgan interviewing everyone from Ice T (complete with Law & Order-esque “dun-dun” sound effect) to ghastly new couple Kanye West and Kim Kardashian (a “zero threat” brought beautifully to life by Nasim Pedrad), to Andy Samberg as…well, let me not ruin the surprise of the last and funniest segment of this sketch. Press play and enjoy!

 BEST: America’s Next Top ‘Empire State of Mind’ Parody Artist

Lots of strange, funny stuff wrapped up in this random burrito: Pharoah’s spot-on Jay-Z (“This show is my real baby goyle!”), Brolin’s proud/misguided new uncle (“I was told I was stealing focus”), even some (always welcome) throw-away Ke$ha mockery (“My songs aren’t parodies”). Why isn’t NBC streaming this sketch online?

Kristen Wiig Addresses SNL Exit Rumors: ‘You Have to Leave Things That You Love’

The Close Encounters theme in meows, the Raiders of the Lost Ark face-melt, and Samberg’s character running off with E.A.T. and the cats at the end — “So all the haters know I didn’t go soft,” huffed Spielberg. Gotta love that much gameness and self-deprecation.

WORST: The Californians
Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig almost broke character and busted out laughing. Glad someone found this soap-opera riff on Cali accents and driving directions so funny, but I wished the writers had dug deeper into lifestyle decisions like putting sundried tomatoes in clay bowls.

WORST: Garth and Kat on Weekend Update
I know, I know…plenty of folks get the giggles from their made-up-on-the-spot ditties, but I can’t help feel like this one-note sketch has carried its diminishing returns to the point of comedy bankruptcy.

What did you think of this week’s SNL? How would you rate Brolin as host? Sound off in the comments!

Comments (50)

  • I know people rag on Kristin Wiig(who I think his hillarious) but come on, Fred Armstein’s whole gag is dressing up weird and making stupid faces. Whenever a sketch revolves around him being funny, it doesn’t work..

    Comment by Josh – April 15, 2012 07:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I totally agree. Fred Armisen is rarely funny. I’ve disliked him since I saw him live at a comedy festival.

      Comment by lordzed – April 16, 2012 02:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I thought the opening skit was funny, especially the joke about Michele Bachmann interrupting guy’s night when she comes home early and unannounced haha. And I still love Garth and Kat. Piers Morgan and the Empire State of Mind skits were okay. The rest were not that great. I really hated Laser Cats. I think only preteen boys would find that somewhat amusing.

    Comment by Okonkwo – April 15, 2012 08:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Much like last night’s cold open (and many other sketches), the “America’s Next Top ‘Empire State of Mind’ Parody Artist” sketch isn’t streaming online because of music clearance rights.

    Comment by Bart Smith – April 15, 2012 08:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • When sketches aren’t streamed online it’s usually because of music rights issues.

    Comment by Rob – April 15, 2012 08:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • No mention of the prom sketch? Seriously? Brolin as the drunk teacher was the best sketch all night!

    Comment by Matt – April 15, 2012 08:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If there’s anyone that needs to leave the show at the end of the season, it should be Kenan Thompson and Fred Armisen.

    Comment by Katie – April 15, 2012 08:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I know a guy that once punched fred amisen in the face at a party. Didn’t care for the guy, but once i heard that he was my hero.

      Comment by Spamburglar – April 15, 2012 07:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • No love for the Game of Thrones sketch and that completely flawless Kit Harington impression?

    Comment by Sam – April 15, 2012 08:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • This. The Game of Thrones skit was right on the money.

      Comment by Sg.Grant – April 15, 2012 03:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • actually I thought your two worst were the best!!! :D

    Comment by Line – April 15, 2012 08:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I didn’t like that Parody sketch at all. I just didn’t get it. Who came up with that and thought it was a funny idea? I could see if a lot of people were parodying Empire State of Mind (but aside from T.Dot State of Mind I don’t know any popular ones) it would have some relevance but it was just a stupid idea.

    Comment by dude – April 15, 2012 08:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have never understood why Garth and Kat continue to get airtime

    Comment by Amanda – April 15, 2012 09:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • SNL was on yesterday!!!!!! oops

    Comment by Ryan (@GottaVote4DREW) – April 15, 2012 09:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Gotta say I’m with you on the Garth&Kat hate, I don’t get it. If Wiig does live I won’t miss them. Or the Target Lady. Or Gilly. Seriously I thought Gilly was dead but boom there she was last week. Sad.

    Comment by Carmichael – April 15, 2012 09:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I hear ya on Garth & Kat.
    Used to love it, but now I just see those sweater vests and I have to walk away.

    Comment by Juan – April 15, 2012 09:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • overall it seemed kind of half-assed. they didn’t even “pretend” to be ready, and then they weren’t even in sync. they were depending solely on the gag, but there was no build up. and just like with stefon – it’s always the same, they never switch it up.

      Comment by cjeffery7 – April 15, 2012 10:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I thought this was the best episode of the season. We laughed at most of the skits (with the exception of the TERRIBLE Garth and Kat skit which is NEVER good) while each of the skits had highs and lows it was consistantly funny throughout most of the show, something it hasnt been in years. The musical guest was ehh but this was one of the best.

    Comment by Leigh – April 15, 2012 10:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Ehh?! Blasphemy. Gotye killed it. I agree with you otherwise.

      Comment by Spamburglar – April 15, 2012 07:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Gotye and Kimbra!!!!

    Comment by Jeanrie – April 15, 2012 10:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The whole episode sucked donkey balls!

    Comment by stephen – April 15, 2012 10:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have no idea if this is because I’m from SoCal, but “The Californians” was hilarious to me. I had to pause it I was laughing so hard. Maybe they could have gone further, but I know these kinds of people in real life, so it worked for me.

    Comment by shksprsis – April 15, 2012 11:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • We were wondering this morning whether that skit was funny to anyone who wasn’t familiar with driving in LA. Not only did I watch it with a couple of guys who went to school there, I’ve been there enough (and know enough SoCal-ers) that I found it totally hilarious.

      Comment by chatulim – April 15, 2012 11:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • It was funny and I’ve never been to LA.

        Comment by Shaun – April 15, 2012 02:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • We thought it was really funny and we don’t life in Ca! I almost always find it hilarious when the actors are clearly trying not to laugh though.

        Comment by Jaded77 – April 15, 2012 03:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agreed, grew up in SoCal (now live in NoCal) and thought it was hilarious. @Slezak, Michael, it’s like, if someone parodied giving taxi drivers directions in NYC…get it? :)

      Comment by jennab – April 15, 2012 12:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • There’s is no such thing as a “Cali’ accent, that’s a poser term used by out of-staters or gangstas.
      SNL may originate in NYC, but they knew most native Californians consider the term “Cali’ lame and insulting.
      That said, I thought the skit was hilarious, especially when Hader and Wiig started to lose it =)

      Comment by Aja – April 16, 2012 08:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Gotye was the highlight of the night! His digital short was so funny and of course, he was amazing. Kimbra was just eh but she’s never been great live.

    Comment by Samantha – April 15, 2012 11:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Loved the Gotye digital short!

      Comment by Elizabeth – April 15, 2012 01:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I just watched that digital short on Hulu, it was quite funny indeed. And his performances were fantastic as well.

      Comment by Angela – April 15, 2012 10:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Headline on the site homepage says “Broilin,” instead of “Brolin”. Par for the course for online editing, I suppose.

    Comment by Winter – April 15, 2012 11:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Actually, the Californians was my favorite sketch, if only because I couldn’t understand half the things they were saying. I think the point of the sketch is that they’re so focused on giving/taking driving instructions rather than the more important things, like the fact that Wiig’s character was apparently cheating on Armisen’s character with Hader (I think, like I said, I didn’t understand half of it) or that Keenan’s character broke out of jail.

    The opening kind of seemed bittersweet in light of the news that Wiig, Sudeikis and Samberg are about to leave the show. But it could be just that they’re saying goodbye to those characters, because I don’t see Bachmann, Santorum et al. being relevant at all anymore so what’s left to parody?

    I’m liking the new girl. She was hilarious last week as Penelope Cruz. I hope they give her more to do. Also, let’s give the extremely capable Vanessa Bayer something else than “straight (wo)man” parts, shall we?

    If anyone should go at the end of the season, it’s Armisen. Like someone above me mentioned, every sketch centered around him is painfully unfunny. I’d also let Jay Pharoah, Seth Meyers (with Sudeikis doing Weekend Update) and Abby Elliott go and focus on finding a solid replacement for Wiig, who should stay on for one more year.

    Comment by stefanjames – April 15, 2012 12:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • All I want to know is, when is Fred Armisen FINALLY going to leave? He’s so one-note in everything. He’s not funny. I’ve wanted him gone for years. I turn the channel whenever he shows up.

    Comment by Kristi – April 15, 2012 12:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Why has this season on SNL struggled so much this year? That they (Lorne and his writers) refuse to go after Obama on anything this year. It would have been fun to parody that the Secret Service refused to pay $47 for “services rendered” while in Columbia. I know that they are no friends of the Republican Party, but they should to make fun of a fellow lib.

    Comment by inthe915 – April 15, 2012 01:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I loved the Californians sketch and wasn’t a fan of the Weird Al one. Also loved the slow motion hallway!

    Comment by brandy – April 15, 2012 01:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My favorite was the Californian’s actualy, but the slow motion hallway was awsome, the opining of it with the cool kids was so perfect.

    Comment by Drawn – April 15, 2012 01:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • +1 for loving the Californian skit……when Armisen popped up with his super dramatic way it busted my gut.

    Comment by Shaun – April 15, 2012 02:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Pretty bad episode all around. Couldn’t get through the entire Piers Morgan sketch. Killam’s impression is so piss poor, as is everything he does, that I had to turn it off. He’s awful, plain and simple. He and Jay Phaorah are less than impressive in the impression department. Enjoyed Laser Cats and Update.

    Comment by tripoli – April 15, 2012 02:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Turned it off half way through Weekend Update. Seth Meyers needs to go. He is not a good head writer. I think all of the writers need to go.

    Comment by Jill – April 15, 2012 03:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Wow…this was boring! I didn’t think anything was funny. Where was the comedy? The cast broke a lot and while I usually find that fun, I couldn’t figured out what would have caused them to break so often. Best episode this season is still Melissa McCarthy. Not looking forward to Eli Manning at all. Ugh.

    Comment by Peng9803 – April 15, 2012 06:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • what’s the song in the slow motion hallway sketch?

    Comment by faraday – April 15, 2012 06:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • “More Bounce in California” by Soul Kid Number One

      Comment by zozanee – April 15, 2012 10:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Soul Kid #1 – (More Bounce In) California

      Comment by Nunya Buzniz – April 15, 2012 10:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Seriously, use Jay Pharoah in multiple sketches in each episode and I will enjoy the show much more!!

    Comment by angelblue1772 – April 16, 2012 12:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Jay Pharoah is to me what Fred Armison is to many who have posted. I think his impressions are awful and one dimensional. Kenan Thompson is overrated and should find new work. Californians was funny as was the opening sketch, which I think was my favorite. That bounce in California sketch was only interesting in that I forgot about how I liked that song, but the sketch was awful. Where do they find these awful musical artists?. I thought it was a sketch at first.

    Comment by xwiseguyx – April 16, 2012 07:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • oh man, I erally enjoyed The Californians… I hate when people break character… but I do love it when it’s Wiig, because she never does. Twice this season she has. excellent

    Comment by AndyOnTV – April 16, 2012 07:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • There were “best” parts of this episode?!

    Comment by luke – April 16, 2012 08:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Nasim Pedrad as Kim K had only 3 lines – and they were by far the funniest of the evening. The whole Piers Morgan sketch (good work, Taran!) was consistently funny on many levels, and seemed to have been written by different writers than everything else in the episode.

    Comment by Mrs. Larry King IV – April 16, 2012 08:55 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • i think only some of the “piers morgan show” was funny, laser cats was stupid funny, slow motion hallway was really funny, i disliked the opening,the artist was good but i only liked the first song, i didnt think that the guest host did a good job or that he was funny.and the news update was horrible…..they should stop doing that bit, its always the same thing.

    Comment by kate – April 16, 2012 08:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • garth and kat is awesome…it is so funny!!

    Comment by L – August 28, 2012 06:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

Leave a Reply

Comments on are monitored. So don't go off topic, don't frakkin' curse, and be gone with your offers of discount leather goods. Talk smart about TV!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s