Josh Hartnett / Pink
January 12, 2002

[OPENING] Buddy's Funeral
With: Darrell Hammond, Tracy Morgan
As much as it's been done in previous seasons, it's always nice to see the return of Darrell's Bill Clinton impression. It was also a nice break from the usual openings relating to the terrorist attacks, I'm pretty sure this was the first one so far this season. For the most part this was a pretty strong opening sketch, and even started off good, managing to slip in a crack on Enron. The comparisons of Socks to Hillary were probably the funniest parts, followed by all the shots of Hillary. And the whole part about Bill offering the girl who hit Buddy to spend the night at his house while Hillary was out of town was also funny. Tracy was good too in his first of surprisingly many parts in the show tonight. It's pretty sad what happened to Buddy though, I remember watching that dog from when it was a puppy. He was photographed so much you couldn't help but get attached to him, and it's always sad when pets dies. Buddy's probably partying with Spuds MacKenzie up in heaven right now, I think they'd get along pretty well. Anyway, the sketch was good, and kept my interest and it was a good way of reviving Darrell's always great Clinton impression.
Grade: B+
Funny lines: "Perhaps if Hillary had been there she could have ran out into the traffic to save him." -- Darrell Hammond as Bill Clinton

[MONTAGE] Will gone/Amy moved up
Come back soon Will! It's gonna feel weird without him tonight. At the same time it might be a nice chance to get some of the less used people more airtime and maybe a sign of how the show will be able to do without him. It makes me sad to say it, but this will most likely be his final year on the show, though I'm glad he stayed as long as he did seeing as how he said at the end of the 99-00 season that he would probably leave. Hopefully he'll be back next week just in time for a "Pretzel-gate" sketch.

Way to go Amy! It's a proud day for all crazy old drunk women, hyperactive girlscouts, and mentally challenged color blind girls who eat urinal cakes. I'm glad the rumor about her becoming a castmember turned out to be true, I can't think of anyone who deserves it more; it's quite surprising they made a veteran sketch comedy performer like her a featured player in the first place, though it seems nobody joins as a castmember anymore. Hopefully this will mean she'll get some better airtime again like in the beginning of the season and subvert more of her strange and hilarious characters and outre ideas to the show.

[MONOLOGUE] Josh Hartnett
With: Josh Hartnett, Jimmy Fallon.
Seemed pretty slow and unfunny most of the time, not much more I can say. I didn't laugh at all, so I really can't say I liked it. The only semi-redeeming quality this had was that it wasn't as long as most monologues, but other than that, it was pretty bad. The whole "new Josh Hartnett" thing seemed pretty pointless and the fact that I have no idea who he is doesn't help. The whole thing seemed pretty obvious that they had no idea what to do during his monologue.
Grade: D

[SKETCH] Wake Up Wakefield
With: Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch, Josh Hartnett, Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon.
Not one of the better Wakefield sketches. These seem to be getting worse as they go along, the first few were pretty good, but after that they started to slowly decline. This one was especially bad, it seemed way too repetitive most of the time and was too much like all the others. It may be time to put this sketch to sleep seeing as the last 2 have been profoundly unfunny for the most part. Josh Hartnett really didn't add much to this either, I wanted to like his character going through the growth spurt, but I kept getting the impression that he was trying way to hard to be funny with, but seemed way too wooden to pull it off; much like Tobey Maguire, only worse. Horatio's character seems to be the only saving grace for this sketch anymore, Horatio is almost as good as Ferrell for saving seemingly unfunny sketches; without him the Jeffrey's and Jarret's Room sketches wouldn't be half as entertaining. Also, that nasal voice Maya uses in these sketches really seems to be getting more irritating every time they do this. But I still think Sheldon is one of Rachel's funniest characters, but not even her or Horatio were enough to save it this time.
Grade: C-

[SKETCH] Lifetime
With: Ana Gasteyer, Darrell Hammond, Josh Hartnett.
Now this was good, a perfect satire of all those awful Lifetime movies, which really aren't much different from each other. Ana really shined in this sketch, the way she hammed up the role along with the great facial expressions were perfect for portraying one of those ridiculously over-dramatized TV movies. When I think about it, we haven't really seen much of Ana this season, at least compared to past seasons, so it was great seeing her get to star in a sketch which allowed her to show her wide range of talents, rather than playing some bit part; and she really carried this entire sketch. Ana never fails when she shows just how wide a swing she could go with characterizations, and she was at the top of her game in this sketch. As a small sidenote, the hooting and hollering of all Josh Hartnett's obnoxious fans is starting to get quite irritating.
Grade: B+
Funny lines: "I'm tired because.. I have Epstein-Barr!" .. "I love you Laura" "Call me mom." -- Josh Hartnett and Ana Gasteyer

[CARTOON] X-Presidents
Voices by: Jim Morris, Steve Carrell, Stephen Colbert, Weal Haggaigi.
Good to see Smigel bring these guys back again, the last 2 were probably the best TV Funhouse cartoons from last season. Combining two of his most popular cartoon creations was a cool idea. I like how Reagan is becoming more and more of a hardass after each cartoon while at the same time Gerald Ford seems to become more like a braindead monkey after each one. Smigel's running joke of the grossout Bush sex stuff is getting kinda tiresome though; but I'm wondering what he'll do next to top George Sr. getting a hummer from Barbara. The part with Clinton really reached it's peak during the last one, but I did find the bit with Bob Dole as their butler pretty funny. While not as good as some of the past X-President cartoons, the Ace and Gary crossover towards the end brought it up just as it was starting to go downhill, Stephen Colbert and Steve Carrell from The Daily Show are always great as those characters. These have been better, but this was still really funny.
Grade: B+

[SKETCH] The Shout Out Show
With: Tracy Morgan, Josh Hartnett, Pink, Chris Kattan.
Voices of: Maya Rudolph, Dean Edwards, Jeff Richards.
It's almost weird seeing Tracy Morgan star in a sketch these days, especially this season. When this sketch first started I thought Horatio was gonna try the Old School Rappers sketch solo, which would have been interesting. A kind of weak premise saved by Tracy's likable personality, the calls were amusing, Kattan's appearance and the Pink cameo didn't really add much, but it picked up alot in the end. This sketch seemed to be channeling I'm Chillin' alittle too much though. Still not bad, it was alittle repetitive in the beginning, but as I said, it redeemed itself towards the end when Tracy gave all sorts of "shout outs" to things like venereal diseases and eating garbage. As long as it's a one time sketch it's all right with me, I can't really see it working more than once, but you never know what will make a recurring sketch these days.
Grade: B-
Funny lines: "Shout out to eating garbage. -- Tracy Morgan

[WEEKEND UPDATE] Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey
With: Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Horatio Sanz, Chris Kattan.
One of the more mediocre Weekend Update's this season. Most of the jokes seemed to fall flat tonight, the only good ones I can think of were the Nick Nolte, Bush-Nigeria, Bruce Willis concert jokes, other than that they seemed alittle stale. Tina's Bush ancestors dialects were amusing, although Edward G. Robinson impressions are overdone. Also, was it me or did Jimmy's Don Pardo impression sound much more like his John Lennon? The Maya Angelou holiday card previews was probably the highlight of this particular Update, definitely one of Tracy Morgan's more accurate impressions. The comedy duo with an audio-feed delay was a clever idea but went on way longer than it needed to. I didn't really like it too much the first time, but on a second viewing I enjoyed it alittle more, Horatio's desperate expressions were priceless. Like I said above, Horatio much like Ferrell has the ability to completely steal a scene, no matter what the part.
Grade: B

[SKETCH] HBO First Look: Star Wars
With: Darrell Hammond, Tracy Morgan, Seth Meyers, Josh Hartnett, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan, Horatio Sanz, Jeff Richards, Dean Edwards, Rachel Dratch.
This was another really well done and funny sketch. The highlight had to be Darrell's absolutely spot-on George Lucas impression. Tracy's Samuel L. Jackson is still funny too. I liked how unenthusiastic Seth sounded whenever he had to introduce another N'Sync scene. Jimmy, Chris, and Horatio seemed to be playing the same guys they did in those 7 Degrees Celsius sketches. Another good part was when when Tracy was introducing the strange assortment of cameos as the new members of the Jedi Council, as they seemed to get more ridiculous as they went along. Focused alittle too much on the N'Sync crap towards the end, but was still really funny for the most part.
Grade: B
Funny lines: "Anakin is the only one who can restore power to the force and save the republic from the evil Count Dooku.. Right N'Sync?" .. "Stay tuned for the 8th annual Arliss marathon." -- Voiceover

[SKETCH] Flight Delay
With: Amy Poehler, Seth Meyers, Josh Hartnett, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Tracy Morgan.
It's about time Amy appeared in something tonight, you'd think she'd get alittle more to do tonight being her first night as a regular castmember, but I digress. Basically a pretty straightforward sketch with a simple premise that was saved thanks to Amy and Seth's good timing and energy that really carried the sketch. I'm surprised NBC let them do a sketch relating to airline troubles. Seth and Amy played their parts excellent but it dragged down abit once Hartnett stepped in. But as bad as his part was, this was really the best he did all night, and thats not saying much. Personally, I think the sketch would have worked much better without him. Tracy's part as the only passenger who didn't seem upset by the delay reminded me of his character in the Lowes sketch who didn't mind the never-ending movie trailers. For a sketch with such a simple premise, it still was one of the better and more enjoyable sketches to air tonight, though I still think they could have done more with it than they did.
Grade: B
+Funny lines: "Oh, they're talking to each other." -- Amy Poehler

[MISC] BEST LIST FOR 2001 by Jack Handey
Waxtastic! I hope Jack does more lists in favor of the Big Thick Novel bits in the future.
Grade: B
Funny lines: "Best god.. God." -- Jack Handey

[SKETCH] Burqa Baddies
With: Rachel Dratch, Maya Rudolph, Horatio Sanz, Amy Poehler, Ana Gasteyer.
This was a pretty funny sketch for the last one of the night. Rachel and Maya's parts were kind of amusing, but didn't seem that memorable to me. Rachel's character misreading the cue card was pretty funny, but Cheri Oteri seemed funnier when she did that in the Robin Byrd sketches. The Arabian porn joke was a clever idea, though I think most people got the point of it way beforehand, but luckily it was well performed and well executed which saved it from disaster. Horatio was really good and even though he played his Arabian pervert character in such an exaggerated and absurd manner, he still managed to be funny as hell and the bewildered expressions from Amy and Ana were really funny as well. The Arabian porn music was a nice subtle touch too. It did seem to get alittle repetitive in the end, but I won't complain this late in the show. A nice way to end the show.
Grade: B
Funny lines: "Now I want you to take your face.. and put it next to her face." -- Horatio Sanz

Not a terribly memorable show, but also not that bad either. Surprisingly enough the cast seemed to do fine without Will Ferrell around, although it did still feel alittle strange without him. I was hoping to see some of the more overshadowed castmembers get better airtime tonight with Ferrell gone, but with the exception of Tracy Morgan it didn't seem to happen. I didn't expect much from Josh Hartnett and really didn't get much out of him, he didn't seem to add much to most of the sketches and seemed pretty stiff in most of his parts tonight, but he didn't really star in any sketches so he didn't end up hurting the show too much. Jack Black hosting next week sounds like it could have promise, hes usually pretty funny and I imagine he'll be able to work well with SNL's format with the sketch comedy experience he got while on Mr. Show, which he was a regular on for about 9 or 10 episodes.

RIP Ted Demme - You'll be missed.

Episode Review written by Emmanual Goldstein

BACK to Josh Hartnett "SNL" Episode Reviews