Christina Applegate Was Amazing Last Night on "Saturday Night Live"
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Christina Applegate Was Amazing Last Night on "Saturday Night Live"

By Dustin Rowles | TV Reviews | October 14, 2012 | Comments ()

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Last night's episode will never be considered a classic, and I'm not even sure any of the sketches will be remembered a year from now, but it was a fun episode anchored by Christina Applegate's infectious, spirited performance as host. I love it when "SNL" hosts actually take it seriously, understand that they can't rely on the rest of the cast to prop them up, and take some risks. Christina Applegate -- hosting for the first time since 1993 -- danced, she sang, and she danced some more, and she and Jason Sudeikis highlighted an episode with only one bad truly sketch, "The Californians," which was really only funny the first time because Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig couldn't keep a straight face. No one cracked the second time around, so it was just people reciting directions in California accents.

To the highlights! The cold open was a Vice Presidential debate sketch, natch, and Sudeikis killed it as Joe Biden, while Taran Killam did a nice job as Paul Ryan. The sketch was also fairly even handed in its digs: Biden was manic; Ryan was scary to small children.

I loved Christina Applegate's monologue, not because it was particularly funny, but because she was clearly having a fantastic time with the not-holiday holiday song. Plus, once again, Sudeikis kills it as the off-brand Swedish Chef, a cooking Dane Cook.

Tech Talk was essentially a first-world problems sketch, and it pretty effectively skewered people's incessant complaints about the iPhone 5.

The Taken plus Expendables parody trailer was another good showcase for Jay Pharoah's Denzel impression.

If there was a huge weakness to last night's episode, it was Weekend Update, which was short on jokes and way, way too long on Kenan Thompson's Jean K. Here are the headlines.

My favorite sketch of the night actually isn't embeddable, but it's worth seeking out later today when it shows up on Hulu as part of the entire episode. It was simple, but hilarious: Sudeikis was Odysseus, trying to resist the Sirens who were singing bad 90s pop songs, eventually luring Odysseus in with TLC's "Scrubs."

In its stead, here's Choreographer, where Applegate plays a dance instructor who specializes in Fosse. Not a great sketch, but Applegate's enthusiasm is hard to resist.

At the end of the night, at the wrap, when Applegate -- high on a successful show -- exclaimed, "This has been the best night of my life," after that performance, I sincerely believed her.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • AsdffAnon

    I hated the "Tech Talk" skit. 'First World Problem' jokes are obnoxious. Complaining about people complaining. It's stupid. You shouldn't feel bad about voicing your objection that something doesn't work properly just because there are people worse off than you. You shouldn't eat rotten fruit just because there are poor farmers. And if you have a problem with the living conditions of those factory workers perhaps you should consider the fact that they live in a communist country where they aren't treated humanely. Are you going to do something about that or are you satisfied that you're doing your part to help them by making lame 'First World Problem' jokes?

  • TheOriginalMRod

    I actually caught SNL this weekend, and it was actually funny. That hasn't happened in a really long time. It does help that the guest was someone who has been doing comedy for quite a while and not someone who has either never done comedy or is an athlete whose only experience on any kind of stage might have been a podium or a football field.

  • ,

    The header pic makes me want to nail her, hard.

    I keep forgetting to put Christina on my 5 Freebies. I need to correct that oversight.

  • RudeMorgue


  • AudioSuede

    A great episode with some excellent sketches. The "Tech Talk" sketch could be the most biting socio-economic skewerings they've done in years, maybe ever. The Expendables parody was great for many reasons, but the one not enough people are talking about is Taran Killam's dead-on Liam Neeson impression. He sounded just like him!

    I agree with you on The Californians being very poor this time around, but I have to completely disagree with you about Weekend update: For once, this was a case where the correspondents were funnier than the headlines, especially Jean K. Jean! I not only love that routine, but this might have been the most fun and upbeat Jean K. Jean bit they've done to date.

    All in all, with a few home runs and a few minor annoyances, it was a terrific episode, and so far, this season's a solid 3-for-4.

  • TheAggroCraig

    That iPhone sketch had TEETH, man. That was great.

  • lowercase_ryan

    Traditional Sarcastic Dance - I must do this when drunk.

  • The Pink Hulk

    The Huffington bit almost made me pee my pants. It was brilliant writing.

  • MissAmynae

    Applegate is also a great guest judge on "So You Think You Can Dance" for similar reasons. She is so enthusiastic and supportive of the dancers, and she has the chops to critique technique and performance quality. Simply put: Love. Huh.

  • John G.

    I loved the Keenan's Jean K bit on update. A french def jam comic is such an original idea.

    And if you've ever been to California, you'll understand why The Californians sketch is funny. Everyone IS blonde. Everyone IS an idiot. And everyone talks like they can't totally control their jaw. I'm from there, so believe me. I know.

  • petitesuissesse

    my brother's been living in LA too long. He calls his wife Lover. No irony, just "pass the OJ, please, Lover" That's just gross.

  • Green Lantern

    It was good last night. Applegate was having a great time.

    Thought the "Tech Talk" skit was scathingly funny. I'd like to see more of that level of humor on SNL.

    I actually liked "The Californians", but it's truly one of those jokes that gets old quickly.

    Jean K. Jean? Been too long since we saw the guy. "Bone to the jour" indeed!

    Did anyone else notice Applegate was channeling Kristen Wiig in that choreographer sketch? I hope it wasn't just me.

    Finally, I have to ask about Passion Pit...what is it about modern bands that make them need to be overly produced when playing live? Seriously...four keyboards playing onstage at the SAME TIME? Everyone but the drummer has a microphone and you STILL need a trio of backup singers for both songs? What the hell, bands??

  • selucius

    I was thinking the same thing in the choreographer sketch. Very Kristen Wiig.

  • AudioSuede

    Did anyone else notice Applegate was channeling Kristen Wiig in that choreographer sketch? I hope it wasn't just me.

    I thought the same thing during The Californians! Her vocal tics are remarkably similar. It's downright eerie.

    On your Passion Pit point, however: The thing about Passion Pit is that they use a heavy amount of complicated electronic noise and production in their recordings, and they do everything they can to re-create that live without having to use a backing track. It doesn't work for everyone, but I for one am at least appreciative that they're trying to bring a human element to their often tightly controlled machinations.

  • hapl0

    Thought the "Tech Talk" skit was scathingly funny. I'd like to see more of that level of humor on SNL.

    Hear hear!

    Last night’s episode will never be considered a classic, and I’m not even sure any of the sketches will be remembered a year from now, but it was a fun episode anchored by Christina Applegate’s infectious, spirited performance as host.

    Seriously, DR? The Tech Talk sketch left me in stitches. Someone loves their Galaxy S3 a tad too much?

  • mb

    Applegate was so freaking endearing in her efforts, I wanted to buy her a bottle of champagne and give her a giant hug at the end of the episode.

  • Agreed. You can always tell when the host is in to it and part of the process because they are in nearly every sketch. The material was average but the execution was solid and Applegate was great. The Tech Talk was the most pointed satire they have done in a while. The band was pretty mediocre. I'm really over the new wave/80's throwback thing that's dominating "rock" right now.

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