Saturday Night Live has been in something of a slump lately, and if the charming and effervescent Jennifer Lawrence can’t bust it, it’s unlikely that the supremely untalented Justin Bieber is going to end the streak. Last night’s episode seemed mostly to be about working around Bieber as best as possible, see how many jokes can be made at his expense, and simply get through it. The fact that the first sketch after the monologue was “The Californians” should tell you all you need to know. It also felt like the longest sketch in “SNL” history. I’m not even going to bother embedding it. Likewise, the Cold Open wasn’t very good while I was watching it, but relative to the rest of the show, it was a goddamn gem.
The only truly good sketch of the night is unbelievably not available for embed, and one wonders if Bieber’s publicists are the reason: Involving a slew of Justin Bieber doubles, the entire sketch was devoted to making fun of Bieber, and Sudeikis seemed to take a little extra joy out of reducing Bieber to an untalented, one-note musician who looked like a lesbian. Kudos to Bieber for approving the sketch, and later on — in “The Miley Cyrus Show” — making a lesbian haircut joke at his own expense.
The 50’s Romance Grease-Style sketch wasn’t the worst, although — like every sketch last night — it suffered because the Bieber fangirls out in the audience wouldn’t stop squealing every time Bieber sang a note, looked at the camera, or broke character.
Speaking of breaking character, my favorite sketch — besides the one that isn’t embeddable — was Protective Brother wasn’t actually very funny, except for the fact that Taran Killam was trying his best to browbeat Bieber Will-Ferrell style until he broke. It didn’t take much (but again, Bieber laughing only elicited more fangirl screams).
A Valentine’s Message from Justin Bieber could’ve been funnier if they’d pushed it a little further, but Moynihan’s Taco character robbed the sketch of any real possibility.
At least the show ended on a somewhat positive note, with the return of Jay Pharoah’s Principal Frye, “attention ladies and gentleman-ing” through a Valentine’s Dance.
Unfortunately, even Weekend Update was lackluster last night, although Seth Meyer’s reaction to his own Honey Boo Boo joke was the single best moment of the night.
There was also a Bieber monologue. Do yourself a favor and don’t watch it.