If you went to bed after “Weekend Update” last night, disappointed with the first half of the show, I wouldn’t have blamed you. Save for Jamie Foxx’s amusing monologue, which combined a stand-up routine with another opening singing performance, the first half of last night’s show was kind of terrible. The Cold Open — where Jay Pharoah’s Obama conceded to the Republican’s demands on the fiscal cliff just so they’d stop bullying poor John Boehner — was terrible. The “Bitch Game Show” was flat, unfunny, and Foxx’s delivery was terrible; I hate the J-Pop sketches more than “The Californians,” and save for Foxx’s brilliant Tyler Perry impression, the pre-taped segment, Alex Cross: 2, didn’t really work, either.
But in the second half of the show, the brilliant cameos arrived, Jamie Foxx loosened up, and the show lifted off. But let’s start with the only worthy thing from the first half, Foxx’s monologue. You know that Foxx has a great voice, but you forget it until you hear it again.
As for Weekend Update, thanks to impressive delivery, there were two jokes that flat-out killed me last night. Guess which two:
In the first of two solid Weekend Update segments, Mrs. Claus came out to talk about her lousy sex life with Santa, and the milk farts she has to endure the month after Christmas.
This, I think, was the tipping point for Jamie Foxx: During a segment in which he played a Hostess Ding Dong, his moustache kept falling off, Foxx tried to hold it together, and the audience finally started to warm up to Foxx.
The first sketch back after Weekend Update was obvious, and yet hilariously successful: A game show in which three black contestants were asked to tell the difference between Dylan McDermott and Dermot Mulroney. I know the difference, and yet the longer the sketch went on, the more the two began to blur in my mind. The sketch was also capped with a brilliant cameo.
Another pre-taped segment — this one concerning pimps selling Christmas trees — was a lot better than the first pre-taped segment of the show.
The absolute best sketch of the night, and maybe the most bat-nuts sketch of the year was “Maine Justice,” which made no f*cking sense, and was all the better for it. Plus, another cameo, this one from Charlie Day.
I’m not sure if Swavorski Crystals was really that successful, but after Maine Justice, I was so loopy and receptive, I might have laughed a “Californians” sketch. Still, former porn stars selling jewelry is a funny idea, right?
There was also a dress rehearsal sketch that didn’t make the show, and while the sketch itself wasn’t very funny, if you like to see Fred Armisen and Bill Hader completely lose it to the point of crying during a sketch, this is excellent.