All I know about Ian McKellen is that he had a role in Lord of the Rings. As for Kylie Minogue, one of the reviewers for Jon Stewart said she was hot. In a tangent, I haven't been able to open the Saturday Night Live Transcripts page, where I know several reviewers here post.
In addition, I am introducing a new section to my reviews, entitled "Bonus Points." I've been shelling out some extra points on previous points for little things such as when Amy and Britney Spears had to hold their arms out for most of a sketch to simulate Barbie dolls. These points contribute toward the overall grade.
On to the review!
TOM RIDGE, DIRECTOR OF HOMELAND SECURITY
This must be Parnell, because I don't recognize him, and I don't think it's Darrell. The warning system was great: "Off-white...cream...putty...bone...natural." I liked how Ridge was hinting that he made a difficult system because he wasn't made Vice-President.
Quote: "Many of you might have noticed that there are two 'enormous risks of terrorist attack.' This was a mistake we didn't catch in time."
Bonus Points: None
IAN MCKELLEN'S MONOLOGUE
Interesting that they let him do the monologue completely unassisted, considering he was basically giving warnings that if the show sucked, it's not his fault. The best part of this was saying how the New York St. Patrick's Day Parade wasn't too friendly toward openly gay men, but were fine with priests being there.
Bonus Points: None
CLASSIC PADS COMMERCIAL
Not much to this one (is it making fun of the extravagance of the old days?), but it gets a lot of bonus points. Tracy Morgan's only sketch of the night?!?
Bonus Points: Tina Fey in a sketch; Amy and Maya in swimsuits; Towers of Light shot afterward
DONNA VERSACE OSCAR PARTY
What's this doing way up here toward the beginning? I'm elevating this episode to a putty-level condition. Good to see that they're using Ana's pregnancy to their advantage. The reports were trueKylie Minogue is hot. Not too much salvageable here.
Bonus Points: Bono showing the American flag on the inside of his jacket.
HOT AIR BALLOON MYSTERY THEATER
I forgot to write this down on my list of sketches, so I think this is where it goes. It's generally not a good thing if I can't recall a sketch. This was more silly than anything else, and the "easy-to-commit-murder-in-a-balloon" premise got old pretty quick. The first time they used it was good, though ("He was shot from very close range." "How can you tell?")
Bonus Points: None
NEXT WEEK: CAMERON DIAZ/JIMMY EAT WORLD
Looking forward to this. Cameron Diaz has some comedic talent (Being John Malkovich, Something About Mary, etc.). Plus, she's cute. Jimmy Eat World is good, too.
THE DELICIOUS DISH
The only other one of these I saw was the Halloween special that featured the guy with the scratched cornea. I like how bland they manage to be, and this time how Rachel was so lonely that she was getting turned on by cabbage. McKellen didn't add too much to the sketch; we get it...they're all dead.
Bonus Points: Rachel did a decent job replacing Molly Shannon
FUN WITH REAL AUDIO
This couldn't compare to last week's Fun with Real Audio at all. The swan-is-alive joke just got old. I did like Winona Ryder stealing the Oscars and the swan stealing the gun, though. Hey, that was the year with the stolen Oscars, wasn't it? The truth comes out!
Bonus Points: None
I don't rate music. If I did, I'd give bonus points for Ian McKellen hanging out off to the side and take away quite a few points for those background dancers.
The jokes weren't the best ones this time around. The only one I really remember is the Angelina Jolie/Billy Bob Thorton one. It's great how SNL has people on the show to host, then makes fun of them in ensuing weeks. But anyway, I did like the guests, especially the Celebrity Boxing ones. I love how Amy can span the spectrum from upper-class mother (The Cheese Game last week) to white trash (Tanya Harding last night). Tina shows who's boss around Weekend Update.
Quote: "Does this mean I'm knighted? Or did I just get queened?"
Bonus Points: Jimmy being a good sport about being kissed like that, the fact that the WU opening still shows the World Trade Center in the background (that is it, right?)
THE FEREY MUHTER TALK SHOW
Good concept, but not such a good skit. I like the silly intro and the Jay Leno sort of setup, but both of those things were done in the Drew Barrymore episode with Action Talk Show (which not only did it better, but threw a Ninja Bear into the mix). Horatio Sanz is one of my favorite players, but when he's given characters like this the writing just drives them into the ground. He seems to be very good with improv, such as the "crying forehead" bit with Ana in the Seann William Scott episode.
Bonus Points: the bit of ad-lib between Darrell and Horatio when Darrell's fake mustache started to fall off
ONE MAN SHOW
If he says he doesn't do humor, then why are they giving McKellen a skit all his own? Oh well, let's see how this turns out. Not too bad, but the voice-over gets annoying. I liked the part after his wife dumps him where he plays all the kids and the cat. Was that Amy yelling "Finally!" at the end of the skit? Maybe he doesn't have all of the players on his side after all.
Bonus Points: McKellen playing the cat
I don't rate music, but I would have given some bonus points because she got rid of most of the creepy background dancers.
KEVIN AND RICHIE'S COMIC BOOK ZONE
Why is this the last skit? It deserves to be up higher than Donna Versace at least. That theme song was stupid and hilarious at the same time, and the pictures of Seth and Horatio at the comic book convention and dressed in Lord of the Rings gear were great. Horatio's character here is the kind he can work better with. The skit petered out just a little bit after the Oscar picks ("Lord of the Rings! Lord of the Rings! Ian McKellen! Lord of the Rings!"), but Horatio's "That sucked!" to McKellen's second impression brought it back.
Quote: "I've been hyperventilating ever since I saw the new Attack of the Clones previewseriously dude, cut it out!"
I'd be considered an easy teacher: I usually give A's, B's, and the occasional C. This episode's review isn't looking too good. It's a good thing McKellen gave his insurance policy at the beginning of the show, because it looks like he'll need it. To the credit of the writers, the show didn't focus entirely on gay jokes or Lord of the Rings. Kudos.
Mathematically calculated final grade: B-. Lowest one yet, but not terrible.
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