OPENING — O’REILLY FACTOR — 2
Bill O’Reilly (Jason Sudekis) shows us part 3 of his interview with President Obama (Fred Armisen), with both doing terrible impersonations that do little to spoof either. The only laugh to be had is when Bill does some fact checking about the President of Afghanistan with an equally clueless assistant. Really bad.
MONOLOGUE — RUSSELL BRAND — 6
Brand talks about his lesser fame in this country and does a long monologue about tight trousers that is not very funny until he talks about his manhood being a jack in the box, “but not the burger”.
GUBLIN & GREEN ATTORNEYS AT LAW — 7
Gublin and Green represent people injured by the Musical Spider Man – Turn off the Dark in a very funny commercial.
ULTIMATE VACATION GIVEAWAY — 5
This is the third or fourth time they’ve gone to the well for this sketch, in which an overexcited host (played by Kristen Wiig) gives away a vacation to a person who doesn’t seem to care. The reactions of other contestants shown are funny, but the sketch has had all surprise wrung out of it.
DON’ YOU GO ROUNIN’ ROUN TO RE RO — 9
A very funny spoof ad of British crime movies that are full of violent action and men who enunciate so poorly that the films sound like they’re in a foreign language. The mumbling is hysterical, as are the critic’s comments. Great ad.
ROYAL TASTER — 8
Russell Brand plays a king who is cruel to his chef (Bill Hader), including killing his family when his beef was too tough. Tarran Killam plays his food taster. As their argument escalates, we find out numerous reasons why the chef would want him dead. A gleefully over the top silly sketch where Bill Hader and Brand seem to be having an incredible amount of fun. The ending is charmingly stupid as well.
CHRIS BROWN — 3X — 4
The girlfriend beater dances up a storm to a crappy Bieberesque autotuned pop song. Meh!
Fred Armisen takes a turn as Hosni Mubarak in a not very funny bit. Jay Pharoah and Tarran Killam play Eminem and Lil’ Wayne, who are trying to write a romantic song, but Lil’ Wayne’s is misogynistic and Eminem’s is nastily aggressive and morbid. Killam’s Eminem is absolutely incredible. Bill Hader also returns as Stefon, to talk about where to go for Valentine’s Day. It is always appears in these that Bill Hader is getting the script at the time he’s reading it, which makes it even funnier. A pretty good WU.
Funny Lines: (Regarding disgraced Congressman Chris Lee, who resigned due to sending a shirtless picture of himself to a woman) “Say what you will about Hosni Mubarak, but at least we don’t know what his nipples look like.”
LIVIN’ SINGLE — 4
Vanessa Bayer was apparently mentored by Kristen Wiig to be as loud as possible in this talk show parody. Bayer plays a single gal who is taken in by the charms of an English man, played by Russell Brand. An attempt to be slightly risque is simply stupid.
A SPOT OF TEA — 1
Brand, Andy Samberg, and Bill Hader play old English women talking about tea while earthquakes occur. Incredibly stupid, especially since the primary joke seems to be about them getting injured by the tea, but there is nothing to indicate they truly are hurt by the tea. Only laugh (for the studio audience, at least) is when Brand purposely opens his legs wide so everyone can see his underwear. Terrible.
CHRIS BROWN — NO BULLSHIT — 4
Another autotuned hot mess.
FOUNDING FATHERS — 7
Rand Paul (Taran Killam) , John Boehner (Bill Hader), and Nancy Pelosi (Kristen Wiig) are brought a founding father in the form of George Washington (Russell Brand) to discuss what the founding fathers believed. Things don’t go quite as planned leading to funny results. A funny throwaway.
OVERALL — 7
Given the uneven mess this season has been, tonight’s episode had enough genuine laughs to make it one of the best. Brand was funny, some of the sketches were sharp, and most of the annoying cast members were pushed into the margins. Not great, but not bad.