Saturday Night Live: Blake Lively/Rihanna
D+

Saturday Night Live: Blake Lively/Rihanna

D+

Saturday Night Live

Blake Lively/Rihanna

Season 35, Episode 8

To me, the most interesting part of last night's episode was the  tag informing us that next week, Taylor Lautner will be hosting. I get it, SNL. I am too old to watch your show. Yes, I know that some older people enjoy the Twilight and the Gossiping Girl and maybe have a weird interest in people who are who are or who have kissed Jonas Brothers, but, just for variety's sake, would it hurt to have a host who is old enough to run for President? (Gerard Butler doesn't count since he's foreign). Where's Alec Baldwin when you need him?

Blake Lively certainly didn't do much to liven up the episode (not that she was given tons of opportunities to do so). During the monologue, her main talent was wearing a dress that made me clutch my pearls at its tininess, while the other cast members dressed and performed as Muppets. 

I was already starting to feel fed up when the Carter N' Sons Swine Fever commercial was repeated, but I would have rather watched it three times than the Vagisil 1989 Bowling Tournament hosted by Pete Twinkle and Greg Stink.  It was like someone in the writing room thought "bowling + vaginas + 1989 = hilarity."  The "haha gross vagina" lines made me yearn for the subtle humor of "diarrhea cha cha cha." 

You know what else is hilarious? Fat black men dressed as outrageous black women offering to have sex, doggy style, with uppity white men for clothing.  No? Well, regardless of what you think, the writers brought back that one sketch where a young tiny white girl plays Kenan Thompson's character's stepdaughter and they act all hilariously "urban."  It seemed to me that even the studio audience was a little uncomfortable with how not-funny it was and how abstractly racist it was.  But don't feel bad for Thompson: he got to show off his wide range by also playing Tiger Woods and Bill Cosby.

Several of the other less-offensive sketches just seemed like they simply felt short of their potential. The cold opener, featuring the White House crashers posing and taking pictures behind an Obama Allentown speech, won't be relevant in a few weeks (I hope, sweet Jesus).  Same with the "Gossip Girl: Staten Island" sketch.  Yeah, we get it, big hair and pizza and trashy clothes. I would have liked to see a Gossip Girl skit that sent up how purposefully titillating its ads are, or that one guy on the show who's always pursing his lips and squinting his eyes.  I also though the Chris Hansen talk show was a funny idea but it dragged on too long (although I did enjoy Andy Samberg's Keanu Reeves impression.).

Rihanna was fine although I think it says something about her as a singer that she basically sang a duet with a big white armchair on "Russian Roulette." Due to her troubles I felt bad noticing the notes she failed to hit (although, and I am stealing this joke from a friend here so don't blame me, we know that Rihanna is not a fan of hitting). 

I did like the UPS whiteboard ads fine, but not enough to raise my general opinion about the show.  The thing that was most disappointing to me were the sketches that seemed to try to float by on randomness and weirdness but just generally fell flat, specifically the Underground Rock Festival, which to me was just a list of various weird fake band names and other joke flotsam (but RIP Ass Dan). [Edit: apparently this sketch was based on a famous Youtube video which I've never seen].  Same thing with the NASA sketch: I was waiting for a bit payoff based on the bizarre setup of the scene but it ended with a whimper of wet dreams, spit and a hemorrhoid donut.

--Per the SNL Digital Short: when is Andy Samberg going to just a full-fledged rap career? Based on the main themes of videos, that's one of his main goals in life, along with having a serious committed relationship with a man.

--Per the Weekend Update Brittany Murphy impression, that was just basically an impression of her as Tai from Clueless, yes?

--Apparently studio audiences aren't hot on jokes about gay dudes' magnets.