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Let's Shag Ass! Scoring the Pumpkin-Spiced Edward Norton Hosted 'Saturday Night Live'

By Dustin Rowles | TV Reviews | October 27, 2013 | Comments ()


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The Cold Open — Kate McKinnon as Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius coasts through a fairly mundane sketch about the problems with the Affordable Care Act website that limply goes exactly where you expect it to go. We’re off to a lackluster start on the night. Awesome. (Score: 3/10)

Ed Norton’s Monologue — Norton begins with a schtick about being a method actor who has been prepping for the last 13 years to host his first episode of SNL, but he’s interrupted by Alec Baldwin who walks him through the “Alec Baldwin SNL Warm-Up for Dramatic Actors.” Norton puts on a terrific Woody Allen impression before Miley Cyrus crashes to provide Norton with tips on how to stick out his tongue and announce her new tour because, why not? Norton has nothing to promote and the last “Ed Norton” movie anyone cared about was 2008’s The Incredible Hulk. (Score: 5/10)

Autumn’s Eve Pumpkin Spice Douche — Nothing says clean like “warm gooey pumpkin and hot itchy cinnamon.” Ick. It no doubt smells/tastes like the same chemically pumpkin flavor they use in pumpkin-flavored beers and leaves the same unpleasant aftertaste. (Score: 7/10)

Officer Rosen — Ed Norton talks to a classroom about stranger danger but the students don’t understand why they should turn down candy from nice men in vans. “You mean I get candy, and all I have to do is hang out with a guy for a little while. VANS ARE AWESOME.” The sketch meanders for a while and then fizzles out. (Score: 4/10)

The Steve Harvey Show — Ed Norton plays a costume shop owner who trots out a series of pun-related costumes that Steve Harvey doesn’t understand. Not a great sketch, but Kenan’s oblivious Steve Harvey impression never fails to amuse me. (Score: 5/10)

Wes Anderson Horror Movie — A trailer for a Wes Anderson horror movie! It’s called The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders, because of course it is. I suspect the internet has already done this, but they didn’t have Ed Norton’s brilliant Owen Wilson impersonation or Alec Baldwin narrating. It is spot-on, and hits basically all the Wes Anderson hallmarks. (Score: 9/10)

Critter Control Specalist — Ed Norton plays a hillbilly bumpkin and one of the new cast members does his best-worst Jason Sudeikis impression, as they both attempt to rid an air duct in a corporate office of its possum problem. I’ve seen better sketches in second-grade Odyssey of the Mind productions. (Score: 2/10)

Rain Man — Ed Norton impersonates Rain Man to help some thugs count drug-deal loot, only it turns out he’s a terrible numbers savant. The sketch doesn’t work, but like most of the night’s sketches, it’s very short, so at least they’re not overstaying their welcomes. Unfortunately, they were never really welcome in the first place. (Score: 3/10)



The episode is so bad that the Saturday Night Live twitter account, which typically drops screenshots from the show’s best sketches, has resorted to tweeting one of Ed Norton’s bumpers.

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Weekend Update — When all else fails, at least Seth Meyers and Cecily Strong can salvage a few minutes with a few very strong “Weekend Update”headlines that are unfortunately way too short.

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There was only one segment, Anthony Crispino, and the rest of the show has been so bad that I didn’t even mind him. (Weekend Update Score: 8/10; Crispino: 5/10)

12 Days Not a Slave — A freed slave decides to stick around the South obliviously under the assumption that being free means he will be instantly accepted. “I get that they would be mad for the first couple of day, but it’s been two weeks!” he says. The idea is not terrible, but it needs a lot more nuance and a lot fewer stale jokes built around stereotypes (like black men who love fat white women). As it is, it’s executed so poorly that it’s actually uncomfortable … and kind of racist. I can already sense that the Internet will be writing a few trend pieces about this sketch this week. (Score: 2/10)

Virgin Wait Staff — Four members of the wait staff, all virgins, talk about what it will be like when they finally have sex. It’s terrible, but the absurdity of it actually almost saves it. Either that, or it’s late and I’m getting loopy. (Score: 5/10)

Halloween Candy — It’s been a terrible episode, but I respect the fact that Norton was in all of the sketches. At least he went down with the ship. In this final sketch, he goes absolutely all in. It is dumb as hell, and yet, it actually kind of works. (Score: 7/10)




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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Jifaner

    The Wes Anderson trailer was one of the best things I've ever seen. LOVED IT. The rest was meh.

  • Jezzer

    As if Wes Anderson films aren't horrifying in their own right.

  • e jerry powell

    Why they gotta ruin Nighthawks?

  • emmalita

    I have to confess, I would watch that Wes Anderson Movie.

  • Confession not necessary. It looks sublime. Next I want to see a Wes Anderson porno.
    Or wait, do I?

  • emmalita

    I thought Hotel Chevalier was a Wes Anderson porno.

  • John G.

    The Wes Anderson horror movie was perfect. I would say it made up for the rest of them, but ...

    nope. The rest was too awful. And it really felt like Norton was trying to remind the world he exists. One too many blow ups on set, and I'm wondering if he is struggling to find work.

  • John W

    How was Janelle Monae?

  • e jerry powell

    I'm checking out the clips on the site now. I forgot to buy the album when I planned to and bought to R.E.M. back catalog titles instead.

    Must. Rectify.

  • Green Lantern

    She was GREAT. I'd never heard of her before, and often spin past the musical segments, but was glad I decided to take a chance on her. She was channeling a LOT of James Brown and was there to *perform*.

  • Jezzer

    "It no doubt smells/tastes like the same chemically pumpkin flavor they use in pumpkin-flavored beers and leaves the same unpleasant aftertaste."

    Don't be silly, Dustin. How could anyone taste something that's in a vagina?

  • Sean

    I thought that might have been the worst episode of the last decade or so. Every sketch was lifeless. Although I liked 12 Days Not a Slave more than you did. It was nice to see Jay in a non-impression sketch. He seemed like he was having fun.

  • apsutter

    Who knew that Norton could do impressions? His Owen Wilson was awesome and I too appreciated that he was in almost every sketch. I never cared for the Steve Harvey skits but when Norton said "maybe we should do an eggsorcism" I died laughing because of the look on Kenan's face. Also it was nice to actually see Nasim get some screen time and I'm thinking that McKinnon was the MVP of the night.

    ETA- The midnight coterie of sinister intruders sounds like an awesome movie and now I want Wes Anderson to make it

  • space_oddity

    Pretty sure real pumpkin is used in most pumpkin beers. You may not like it (and I don't) but it's not because it's fake.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    First of all, smear not pumpkin beer. They are not all created equal, but some are delicious. And as a lover of both pumpkin beer and pumpkin spice lattes, I found the seasonal douche commercial pretty hilarious. (but I find all douche commercials hilarious, because I personally know not a single woman who has copped to ever using a douche)

    The Wes Anderson preview was delightful, and I almost sped past it, but realized that there would not be an actual Rated-G movie advertising during SNL. I wish they had used a little more imagination (coming up with more Andersonesque characters rather than borrowing the jumpsuited twins or Social Services) but it was the highlight of the night.

    And the last skit with Norton was mildly amusing, but what it mostly made me think was that they missed an opportunity to have Ed Norton do a Vincent Price skit of some sort. Because that could've been amazing.

  • Blue Moon makes a pumpkin beer that's actually pretty decent. You should check it out.

  • csb

    Da Fuh?

  • Gavin Smith

    The best part of the show was this!

  • andrewsipe

    Lorne Michaels must have Alec Baldwin on retainer.

  • Sean

    I think that is actually partially true. Baldwin lives in New York. I think Lorne calls him when he realizes the host is weak, and needs help.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    I'm thinking Lorne Michaels is the guy who keeps releasing Alec Baldwin rant tapes, to keep him in line.

  • John G.

    That's fitting. If you look up recipes on "long pig" when the recipe calls for "long pig" it almost always looks like Alec Baldwin.

  • Wōđanaz Óðinn
    ... the last “Ed Norton” movie anyone cared about was 2008’s The Incredible Hulk.

    I urge you to give Leaves of Grass a look.

  • Lovely Bones

    Also, Moonrise Kingdom.

  • We cared about The Incredible Hulk? Damn, I didn't get that memo.

  • Sean

    I actually like that Hulk movie.

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