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

By Dustin Rowles | TV | September 23, 2012 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | September 23, 2012 |

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:

Republicans, Get In My Vagina! from Kate Beckinsale

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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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.