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Time Dashes Ahead an Hour, Still Can't Escape the Awfulness of Last Night's "SNL"

By Dustin Rowles | TV | March 11, 2012 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | March 11, 2012 |

If the site’s search logs are any indication, the only note of interest in last night’s “Saturday Night Live” was that Jonah Hill had regained all the weight he’d lost over the last year (seriously, we currently have thousands of Google visits from “Is Jonah Hill fat again” search queries). It was a bad episodes all around, and the writers didn’t even have Lindsay Lohan to blame for it. Jonah Hill, however, was game: They just didn’t give him a goddamn thing with which to work.

The Cold Open represents one of the show’s biggest puss outs in recent memory. I mean, COME ON. You’re going to open with a Rush Limbaugh sketch, and you’re so afraid of alienating the three far-right conservatives that watch “SNL” that you focus the entire sketch on the lousy advertisers with which Limbaugh has been left? That was a huge wasted opportunity, and a nice chance to say something that matters. They whiffed, like striking out in a slow-pitch beach ball game.

Jonah Hill’s monologue was pretaped, and actually the best part of the show save for “Weekend Update.” It wasn’t funny, but it wasn’t not funny, and hey! Tom Hanks made an appearance.

Jonah Hill’s precocious six-year old returned, and Hill once again machine-gun delivered a round of fairly bad Jewish jokes. Props on the performance, though.

Last night’s Digital Short provided all the evidence needed to support the retirement of The Digital Short. It was a nice run, but it’s over. It’s been over. Either hand those duties off to someone besides Samberg or pull the goddamn plug.

The night’s highlight was “Weekend Update,” thanks to appearances by Kristen Wiig’s Paula Deen and, especially, Stefon, who broke character even more than usual last night.

Samberg also filled in for Tina Fey on the Sarah Palin impression. Please don’t watch this clip if you value the next two minutes of your life.

I’ll say this, though: The Shins were great.

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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.