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Saturday Night Live: Maya Rudolph And Sleigh Bells

By Kelly Conaboy / February 20, 2012 - 10:15 am

Hey, that was a very good episode! I wish I could give this compliment in a way that isn’t entirely backhanded, but, because I can’t really, it was very nice to be able to actually enjoy watching almost all of an entire episode Saturday Night Live! This season has definitely had some high points — last week’s Zooey Deschanel episode being one of them — but I think we can all agree, all of us in the world, that Maya Rudolph’s episode was the HIGHEST of points so far. Great job, gang. It’s weird how having a host who is actually a comedic performer and former cast member seems to make it a lot easier for everyone to do their jobs really well! Also, Amy Poehler and Justin Timberlake were there! Everyone’s favorites! WOWOWOWOWOW! Last week or the week before, someone commented in some post (this is very good so far, I’ll keep going) about how they thought Maya Rudolph was incorrectly thought of as an “SNL legend.” Which I kind of agree with? Meaning, although she was obviously a great cast member, I do agree that her success outside of the show is more of what makes her return to SNL exciting. AND I think that the fact that she didn’t have any hugely memorable characters (except, YOU KNOW) that America wanted her to revisit in this episode made for a much fresher and more creative group of sketches. (Though the “Bronx Beat” sketch was great!) And ugh barf gross who even cares, LET’S TALK ABOUT THE STUFF!

The cold open was very good, ESPECIALLY for a cold open. I had been refusing to learn anything about Jeremy Lin because I am so mad about how much everyone talks about him, but this weekend I asked my friend, “What’s the deal with that guy?” Because I figured there had to be something ABOUT him, other than that he was just good at basketball? Since he’s a basketball player and he’s supposed to be good at basketball? Like, SOME sort of cool story? BUT NO! He is just good at basketball! Also he is Asian. This cold open made me wish that more SNL sketches had “something to say.” Even if it is about something as not particularly risky as racial insensitivity. It feels good to watch something that has something to say! Especially when it’s funny!

Ugh, Bronx Beat was so good, even though it went on for like 45 minutes. By the end I was like, “Give me another 45 minutes of this!” That’s how good it was! Remember when Amy Poehler offered Maya Rudolph the mug with no water in it? Let’s watch it again.

Oh, and the Maya Angelou Prank Show sketch was wonderful. It’s a little bit harder to talk about sketches that are great than sketches that have problems, because really the only thing that I want to say about any of them is “watch it!” “Wasn’t it great?!” It was maybe my favorite of the night, tied with–

THE COSBY OBAMA SKETCH! Fred Armisen as Barack Obama as Bill Cosby was perfect. The opening credits sequence was perfect. It was all the best. “Watch it!” “Wasn’t it great?!”

The Jay-Z And Beyonce sketch was very enjoyable, even though it was just a “people doing their impressions” sketch. I feel like those kind of sketches have kind of a bad rap, because certainly there IS an element of laziness in a short setup followed by the same impressions everyone always does, but — TO BE HONEST — I never have that much of a problem with them. I like impressions! Except for Jay Pharoah’s, really! Because even though they are always VERY good, they are always seem flat after a while. Maybe because they’re too good, for real? Too little of an element of parody, and too much of an element of “hey he sounds just like that guy.” But, whatever, anyway, Nicki Minaj and Prince were great and, of course, the big story of the night, JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE AS BON IVER!

And, of course, Amy Poehler and Seth’s “Really?!!?” Weekend Update is so much more enjoyable with Amy Poehler! It was nice to have her back!

Sleigh Bells performed, but I have to say that I didn’t really pay attention to them. I don’t like those guys. It’s great if you do, though! Enjoy it!

Next week: LINDSAY LOHAN and Jack White. Very weird! That’s going to be sadbad, I bet!