Last night was the big Joseph Gordon-Levitt show on Saturday Night Live. As we know, I was way too excited about this. But here’s my rundown about how I thought the parts with JGL went.
After an iffy, Levitt-free cold open, JGL came out with LOTS of energy for his opening monologue. After the nearly-catatonic January Jones show last week, it was a nice change. He danced, sang, and flipped his way through “Make ‘Em Laugh” from Singing in the Rain. Even despite the hints dropped in (500) Days of Summer (the karaoke scene, the dance number, this viral video) I still had no idea that he had that much in him. It was a great way to open the show. By the end of the opening he was out of breath (understandably), and that wide-eyed excitement and eagerness to please carried throughout the episode.
The first sketch was yet another game show spoof. This time it was “Secret Word”, where celebrities and normal people work together to get the other to guess a secret word. JGL played a latin pop singer (he sang in more sketches than most actual musicians do when they host), and though he didn’t have too much to work with, it was amusing. Kristen Wiig was also hilarious as a Broadway star who was obsessed with “theataaar”. Wiig’s character saved this otherwise forgettable sketch.
“The Mellow Show with Jack Johnson”
One of the best sketches of the night. Andy Samberg was great as the notoriously “mellow” Jack Johnson, who would randomly spew out random “mellow” things, like “Vegan cookies!” and “hemp necklace!” Bill Hader played Dave Matthews (who was the musical guest last night), and JGL was the fedora-clad Jason Mraz. Then, Dave Matthews came out as the very un-mellow Ozzy Osbourne, and talked about how Dave Matthews made him want to throw up in his hands. Matthews kind of stole the sketch, but I thought that JGL was great as Jason Mraz. It was sort of an easy concept (making fun of hippies/hipsters isn’t a new concept), but all four guys were really funny, and I always like music humour.
“What Up With That”
When this BET spoof was first introduced on the Gerard Butler episode, it seemed to go over pretty well. So like any successful sketch that they have, SNL is going to beat it into the ground. Mind you, this re-hash wasn’t too bad. Jason Sudeikis continued his hilarious dancing in the background, and all the randomness and cacophony of the original sketch was still there. I LOVE how Lindsey Buckingham (played by Hader) is always the third guest on “What Up With That”, and always gets bumped. Al Gore showed up and got to say some stuff about the environment in between Keenan Thompson’s constant singing of the show’s theme song. JGL had a small part as a spacey guy playing a keytar. At the end of the sketch, as the “show” ends, and everyone dances, JGL kept pacing back and forth in front of the camera, wielding his keytar. Not as funny as the first time around, but still not too bad.
“Angry Thanksgiving Dinner”
I swear I’ve seen this exact sketch before (probably because I have). It revolves around a dysfunctional family eating a thanksgiving dinner. No one can bring up anything without Kristen Wiig’s character threatening to storm away from the table. It’s good for a smile, but it goes on way too long, relying on the same joke over and over.
“Woman to Woman”
Another talk show sketch. It’s a female advice talk show, but when the host falls ill, the insensitive male producer takes over to host. Of course, he gives awful advice to the women in the audience. Armisen was funny, and JGL was cute as the show’s assistant trying to cover for the producer’s brash remarks. It didn’t really work, though the concept was amusing enough. It’s one of those sketches that they throw into the last half hour of the show that seem like half-baked concepts.
This was a close second for my favourite sketch of the night. The sketch showed us what would’ve happened if a neighbour had witnessed the infamous “boombox” scene in Say Anything. It was awesome seeing JGL as Lloyd Dobler. He had the whole persona down pat. The Genesis humour was probably lost on some of the show’s younger viewers (my mom is a fan, so I got it) but I think I laughed harder at the “Genesis is back together!” line than anything else in the show.
So, to wrap things up, it was much better than last week’s disastrous episode. I thought Joseph Gordon-Levitt did a decent job hosting. He isn’t going to become the new Justin Timberlake, but he certainly brought some much-needed energy to the show. It was also nice to see him look like he was having a blast. Oh, and since I didn’t cover it above, I also wanted to say that Al Gore was great on Weekend Update, talking about his plan to become crazy, and scare people into saving the environment. Overall, it was a better-than-average episode.