If there’s one thing we learned from “Saturday Night Live” on Nov. 19, it’s how much we miss the Muppets. Now don’t take this the wrong way if you’re Jason Segel, a relative of his or his agent. Segel was perfectly fine in the sketches he was in (except the Andre the Giant clunker, but no one could have carried that outside of Andre himself). It’s just that the best parts of the show involved Kermit, Miss Piggy and the rest of the gang. Segel is simply a complementary player.
Here are our thoughts on the most recent “SNL”:
Cold Open: Any time you have Jason Sudeikis as Mitt Romney, we’re good with that. This time around Romney is upset that his competition, especially Herman Cain and Rick Perry, are stealing all the headlines. So Romney tries to up the ante by going “Raw & Unleashed.” But it turns out he’s as drab as always, just funnier in his drabness.
The monologue: It was technically more of a sing-a-logue with Segel and his co-stars from “The Muppets.” But it was stupendous. Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie and the crew reminded us as to how much we miss “The Muppet Show” and that some network should fast track its return. The two best parts were Kermit suggesting Segel take Flomax and hearing the Frog do an impersonation of Ray Romano.
The Vogelchecks: Not often does TV make us cringe. But when you watch the sketch about this family that’s somewhere between overly affectionate and completely lacking social graces, you’ll know why. The surprise appearance by Paul Rudd was great until you find out how they greet him. We’ll also never think about brussel sprouts the same way again.
Replacing Regis Philbin: It’s a funny and timely premise about who will be Kelly Ripa’s new co-host on the daytime show. So they set up auditions with a number of different “celebs.” While we liked it, they really should have pared down the number from 10 potential candidates to just four or five. We are big fans of the fake George Lopez, Ashton Kutcher, Denzel Washington and Antonio Banderas. Bring back fake Kutcher any time for a future sketch.
Kemper-Pedic commercial: This is what ‘SNL’ fake commercials should be like. It looks, acts and feels exactly like an actual ad, except for one key thing. Sadly, we can’t exactly say what it was about because this is a family-friendly site. But let’s just say it was a pleasurable experience.
“SNL” is often at its best when it combines political humor with current events. And who better to hit on that than Herman Cain. When discussing Cain’s recent space out during interview with a Milwaukee newspaper, Seth Meyers explains, “He couldn’t remember if Libya was the blonde or the brunette.”
Perhaps the joke of the night went to special guest and presidential candidate Jon Huntsman. The former Utah governor says he was so low in the polls at one point, he was considered “margin of error.” Knowing that he has to have a good performance in the New Hampshire primary to keep his campaign alive, Huntsman’s routine is solely dedicated to getting residents of that state on his side. His appearance went a lot smoother than Herman Cain’s did on Letterman.
They brought back Kermit the Frog for a special segment of “Really with Seth & Kermit.” When discussing the recent congressional move to label pizza sauce a vegetable, Kermit suggested, “Maybe we should just change the national anthem to the Hot Pockets song.”
Musical guest Florence + the Machine
Is vibratoey a word? If so, that’s probably the best term to describe her performance of “Shake it out.” Florence has a great voice, so there’s no need to do vocal acrobatics just because you can. The performance of “No Light No Light” was just right.
Red Flag commercial: When ‘SNL’ fake commercials are good, they’re great. When they’re bad…well…they’re Red Flag perfume. An actual commercial for pistachios featuring Mr. Bill was more entertaining.
Mitch’s Retirement Party: Zzzz. You know it’s bad when you can recognize the exact moment they light up “Applause” sign.
Andre the Giant chooses an ice cream flavor: It’s not topical for two key reasons: 1) It’s too cold out to eat ice cream and 2) Andre’s been dead since 1993.
What did you think of “SNL” this week?