“Saturday Night Live” continued its streak of introducing musical acts that most thirty-something white dudes who only listen to Spotify have never heard of last night, but unlike the rest, I actually liked Gotye. I watched BOTH performances. ALL THE WAY THROUGH. And I enjoyed them, which is more than I can say for most the episode itself, a series of sketches that were never outright terrible, but with the exception of the pre-taped “Game of Thrones” sketch and the Gotye Digital Short, there were no homeruns, either. In fact, the biggest highlights of the show were a couple of crack-up episodes, one from a usual suspect (Bill Hader) and another from Jay Phoraoh, who stifles laughter almost as well as Hader (and no: I’m not being sarcastic. Hader is allowed to break character because he’s good at it). Josh Brolin, on the whole, however, was not very good.
Here are the highlights.
Game of Thrones
Probably because it’s the best reason to watch last night’s episode, and NBC wants you to watch the entire episode on the NBC website, the “Game of Thrones” sketch is not yet embeddable. In it, Andy Samberg plays the 13-year-old kid responsible for the sexposition — inserting sex scenes into the show’s monologues. It’s funny, and spot-on, and it’ll be all over the Internet by tomorrow.
Principal Frye Prom — Jay Pharoah was all over last night’s episode, mostly doing impersonations (Kanye, Jay-Z, Will Smith), but his best was an original character, Principal Frye, who I believe we’ve seen before.
Laser Cats — STILL NOT FUNNY. Even with Spielberg. I’m firmly in Lorne Michaels’ camp on this.
Californians — This skit was weirdly hilarious for no reason at all. In fact, the cast couldn’t stop laughing, either, and I think they were as confused as I was to why it was funny. But, inexplicably, it was (see ChristianH, I did like it).
Gotye Digital Short — I’ve never even seen the Gotye video this was spoofing, but it was fantastic, all the same.
Piers Morgan: Trayvon Martin
I liked the idea behind this skit, which focused on the increasingly bizarre and obscure Piers Morgan has to bring on as an excuse to continue talking about the Trayvon Martin case.
Gotye — I really did like this guy. He looks like a member of One Direction all grown up, but the music is great.