"Saturday Night Live" and the Joseph Gordon-Levitt Monologue that Broke Pajiba
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"Saturday Night Live" and the Joseph Gordon-Levitt Monologue that Broke Pajiba

By Dustin Rowles | TV Reviews | September 23, 2012 | Comments ()


Returning for the first time since his debut as an "SNL" host -- where he did a back-flip off the wall during a rendition of "Make 'Em Laugh" -- Joseph Gordon-Levitt went for the cheap crowd-pleasing monologue last night, and man alive, did it ever work. When JGL took off his shirt and began performing Charming Potato's Magic Mike dance, I turned to my wife and said, "This sketch is going to break Pajiba." Credit to JGL for knowing his audience. Not so much credit to NBC, which provided an embed for every single sketch on the show except the monologue. That's just mean, NBC.

Here's a bootleg copy from YouTube until a better video comes along, and you can watch a clean copy here (thanks Josh!).

That skit ought to keep the Internet knee deep in JGL GIFs for the next year or so.



Having blown their political sketches on the Primetime special, they were left with a "Live with Kelly and Michael" cold open that mostly worked: Jay Pharoah's Michael Strahan impression was spot on.

The show was heavy on pre-taped segments, and for the most part, the pre-taped segments were better than the live sketches. I loved this "Undecided Voter" spot. "Can women vote? Because if not, as a woman, I've got a big problem with that."

Did you know that Joseph Gordon-Levitt can even play a douche? It's true, as these two Tres Equis spots -- where JGL plays the son of The Most Interesting Man in the World -- deftly demonstrate. I hope he threw that facial hair in lye after these sketches.

I liked the G.O.B. commercial, too: Tampons designed by old Republicans, who know a woman's body better than anyone!

It did remind me a lot of Kate Beckinsale's Republican women sketch a few weeks ago, which was much better:

Almost everything was at least mediocre last night, but I want to focus on the biggest highlights, in this episode, the biggest highlight of the night -- besides JGL stripping down -- was Seth Meyers' "Weekend Update." Meyers killed it with headlines, and double-killed it with his Obama commentary, "What Are You Doing?"

The Ann Romney Weekend Update segment was likewise fantastic, and I'm liking the new cast members so far, especially Kate McKinnon.

Most of the skits last night fell into the B to A- range (except for the last two, both of which were pretty bad), so if you're going to choose an episode to watch in its entirety, last night's would be a good one to catch on Hulu once it appears. I'll also leave the Mumford and Sons performances for you because they were both great if you love Mumford & Sons, and since you're on Pajiba, there's a 70 percent chance that you do.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • It's recorded on my PVR. Take THAT American websites and NBC. Thanks for the review, like I needed more encouragement to keep that baby on my PVR forever.

  • AudioSuede

    I was so caught up in drinking this weekend I forgot to comment on your rundown. It also doesn't help that I agreed with most of what you have to say this time around, except for the fact that I thought the Cold Open was one of the worst things I've ever seen.

    Mostly I just want to add to what you've already said: Nasim Pedrad was in a ballin' number of sketches this week, and that's great because she's adorable. But my favorite unheralded moment of the whole episode remains Bobby Moynihan's background work in that monologue (which was incredible). Dude ripping off the vest to reveal a second vest is perfect enough. But then watching him dance, and then seeing him panting at the end; he sold that with just the right amount of self-deprecation and silliness. That is why Bobby Moynihan is my favorite right now.

  • I think he was panting because he was sucking it in for the finishing scene when they posed. I know this because a friend of mine does this AAAALLLLLL the time...

  • no one

    The undecided voters bit was genius. Seriously, we have the two most contrasting candidates possibly ever, how can anyone be undecided at this point?

  • phase10

    I equate it to the hot girl who everyone wants to date. She could choose one, but then all the attention would go away. So, no matter how many mix tapes or singing flowers you send her, she just won't make a choice. Even though she knows I would totally be the best boyfriend ever. I give great back rubs, I'm a great listener, and your mom already likes me. I can be tough at times, but I'm not afraid to show my sensitive side either. Doesn't she know how much I love and adore her? You know that stupid Steve just wants you for one thing. He doesn't appreciate you the way I do. Choose me already. I'll be waiting.

  • Jarsh

    Well shhhhhhhhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit I guess I'm in the 30% that think Mumford & Sons are terrible.

  • zeke_the_pig

    Thank you.
    Boring, tweed-stuffed, melodramatic twaddle.

  • Uncle Mikey

    Never seen four dudes look so intense while sounding so boring. Hard to tell these days who's being ironic for a living and who just isn't very good at music.

  • JenVegas

    God thank you. All of my friends love these guys. Sooooo boring though. SO. BORING.

  • marya

    Agreed. They're the Avett Bros stripped of complexity and grit.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Well, now I need to look up the Avett Bros. See, this is why I love Pajiba.

  • AudioSuede

    But you guys, folk rock and yelling and sadness and love and stuff!

  • Rocabarra

    Before Saturday night, I enjoyed JGL, thought he was attractive, but never really got on the bandwagon. Then I watched that monologue.

    Are there any words to describe how I feel now? I can only hope this whirlwind of lust, admiration, lust, gratitude that my fate as an SNL watcher to the bitter end should reward me in such a precious and exquisite way, and lust, never ends.

  • "never really got on the bandwagon" *Gasps*
    How dare you call my love for JGL just a bandwagon ride!!!
    I've crushed on him since 3rd Rock from the Sun, just like I've been watching the baby goose since his Breaker High days. Canadian television was at its best in the late 90's!!!

  • Rocabarra

    Oh I didn't mean it to sound undeserved at all! Perhaps "train of glory" is a better term than bandwagon. I was a fool to not have seen it before, a damned fool!

    Couldn't agree more about the Canadian tv! Student Bodies and Breaker High, everyday on YTV. Such was my adolescence.

  • Train of glory, eh? I officially stealing that.

  • annie

    I'm fascinated and impressed by the way his legs move during that floor humping. HOW IS SUCH BENDING POSSIBLE? And how sad is it that during the Undecided Voter ad, I'm all, omg, who let an Asian dude in here?

  • apsutter

    I was wondering who he was?! I just kept thinking "Wait....did they hire an asian guy and forgot to put him in the opening credits?" And I thought that again later because he showed up in a different sketch!

  • Melissa

    Oh, my goodness, me too. I saw him and was like : Random Asian is random.

    Does anyone have any clue who he is? Or is SNL just Asian-rolling us?

  • apsutter

    Loved this ep and I love JGL! Especially liked the hypnotism skit and Seth was on fire during Weekend Update. Glad that they're showing more of Nasim and Jay.

  • SabrinaHatesDisqus

    Almost everything was at least mediocre last night

    Well, you've got me hooked! Time to start watching SNL!

  • Pants-are-a-must

    Oh dear lord.

    That man plays dirty.

  • Lbeees

    Fap fap fap fap


  • duckandcover

    Better version, reporting in:

    I don't know if linking to another site breaks a bro-code, but it means nothing to me, Pajiba. Nothing. I swear.

  • Maguita NYC

    I highly doubt Pajiba operates under the hairdresser's code of bleak-jealousy ethics.

  • duckandcover

    You can never trust that shady Rowles character.

  • Hot hot hot hot hot
    Hot hot hot hot hot hot hot
    Hot hot hot hot hot

  • Jenn TheYellowDart

    I am shocked and appalled that Even Stevens hasn't seen and masturbated to this yet. And then commented about it.

  • Even Stevens

    I WAS BUSY...with things.

  • Leelee

    I actually blushed while watching the monologue. It was borne of a mixture of secondhand embarrassment and also deep lust. I'm so conflicted.
    I guess I'll just have to watch it on repeat for the rest of the day to really try to understand my true feelings.

  • Maguita NYC

    Yesterday's JGL opening monologue really broke me! In my life, I've never acted so crazy in front of a TV screen!

    And here I was trying to take it easy this morning and reboot. Damn you Dustin!

  • Ley

    That first gif (not including the header) is hilarious. It's like JGL is submerging himself in The Sea of Estrogen.

  • chayes

    Poor, poor Bobby Moynihan and his permanent vest tattooed onto his body...

  • fasha

    Ohhh yes.

  • Melissa

    The Finer Things was the rapper sketch, not the ruminating one...

    Also: I totally agree, the Ann Romney bit was amazeballs.

  • mlurve

    I really liked the Ann Romney sketch up until the end where she started singing Bee-yawn-say. Then I thought it was kind of too much.

  • pajiba

    Whoops. You're right. I guess there were two skits that weren't embeddable last night.

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