OPENING — Fox News Analyzes the Downfall of Obama in This Week’s Elections — 6
A big chunk of the cast plays Karl Rove, Juan Williams, Greta Van Sustren, Glenn Beck, Brit Hume, and Shepard Smith. The entire cast does a great job of playing the Fox News team, but the writing is essentially some easy jabs at Fox News declaring Obama’s presidency is over and is nothing like Jon Stewart’s dismantling of Beck on The Daily Show this week. Still, it was funnier than their normal openings with political candidates.
Monologue — Taylor Swift — 9
Taylor Swift sings her monologue with her guitar, singing all about the things she WON’T be singing about in her monologue. It is by far the most charming and clever monologue this year, including a dis of Kanye West.
Carter and Sons Pulled Pork Commercial — 1
A commercial about how Carter and Sons pulled pork is so good it will give you “Swine Fever”, followed by disclaimers about how the commercial was shot before H1N1. This perhaps could have been funny if it had been done as a commercial shoot or a commercial pitch, but having it as an actual ad with disclaimers makes no sense and isn’t funny.
The View — Kate Gosselin — 3
An incredibly slow and humorless sketch with Taylor Swift playing Kate Gosselin and the rest of the cast playing their normal View roles. The only funny moments are when Wiig’s Elisabeth Haselbeck starts going crazy on Kate Gosselin’s hair and when Andy Samberg shows up as Nicholas Cage and says he’s going to get money to pull himself out of debt by looking for national treasure.
Digital Short — Firelight — 8
Taylor Swift plays a teenager who winds up getting involved with a family full of Frankensteins in a parody of a Twilight trailer. Well shot and funny, but they could have done more with it.
Hollywood Dish Interview with Taylor Swift — 7
Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig play two interviewers whose facial expressions start making Taylor Swift feel awkward. Fitfully amusing, and Bill Hader’s reaction to Taylor not caring about Ellen Degeneres joining American Idol was priceless.
TRAAAPD PSA — 7
Taylor Swift plays a teenager complaining about the bad driving habits of parents, including the Driving While Giving the Birds and Bees Talk and Driving While Arguing With the GPS. Funnier than it sounds.
Taylor Swift — You Belong With Me — 6
The sound mix is really poor, drowning out Swift’s vocal performance, which sounds sweetened with Autotune somewhat. Swift also sounds like she’s having trouble singing with force.
Weekend Update — 5
I wish Seth Meyers would work on his pacing. He continues to step on his jokes, ruining the funny ones and completely killing the groaners.
Guests this week include Nicholas Fehn, Fred Armisen’s unfunny political comedian who has nothing to say. Abby Elliot shows up playing Sarah McLachlan, and does a parody of Sarah’s ASPCA commercials talking about dogs who have been foreclosed on, are single moms, committed suicide, and worse. Amy Poehler returns to do a “REALLY!” about Goldman/Sachs getting H1N1 vaccine which was one of the lesser versions of the bit.
Overall, this was a short and not so great Update.
Funny line: (Regarding the passage of the House Health Reform Bill) “Nancy Pelosi was said to be so emotional, she was on the verge of blinking.”
Penelope at Nicole’s Wedding — 5
Kristen Wiig’s funniest character returns with stronger script than usual. Unfortunately Taylor Swift is either nervous or unprepared and keeps stuttering over and missing her lines, which kills the sketch.
Scared Straight — 4
Keenan and Taylor Swift play the inmates this time. Keenan is funny, but Taylor looks just scary with her headband and cornrows. The joke of having an inmate try to scare kids with plots to movies has worn thin. The jokes are all about prison rape and are crude and not funny at all. The only laughs come from Bill Hader cracking up at Jason Sudekis and taking the rest of the cast with him.
The Roommate — 3
Taylor Swift plays the roommate of a girl who is WAY too attached, to the point where they can’t be apart for any length of time. The only amusing thing here is the size of Taylor Swift’s feet. My God, they’re huge.
Taylor Swift — Untouchable — 7
A better song, with stronger (or at least louder) vocals.
Bunny Business Soundtrack — 7
Kristin Wiig sings Natalie Merchant. Fred Armisen sings Randy Newman. Taylor Swift sings Shakira. Andy Samberg sings Counting Crows. Bill Hader does Eddie Vedder dueting with Abby Elliot’s Christina Aguilera. Kenan does Jennifer Hudson. All of them are singing songs from a dumb animated movie that never got made. The sketch exists only for the impersonations, but they are some of the most amusing things tonight.
Overall — 3
Taylor Swift started off strong in her monologue, but was too nervous and awkward as a comedic performer. Given the enormous amount of airtime she got tonight, I get the impression that she probably was kicking ass all week and then choked live. The sketches also had an awkward quality like they were written for a Nickelodeon version of SNL. Tonight nothing really scored. Not the worst episode this season, but close.