Alec Baldwin / Missy Elliot
November 15, 2003

By Meredith L.

Cold Opener: Every time I see the first few frames of this sketch, I pray that they will bring back Chris Parnell for the role. Darrell is improving, but I do not think that Dubbya is one of his better characters. His gestures, though accurate at times, were a bit overplayed tonight. However, he throws in a good pun at the end for good measure: "It took the people's minds off of the economy which was--let's face it--depressing." C.

Monologue: Wow, this is Alec's 11th time hosting. They should do an SNL all-stars special and turn the stage into a comedic orgy of Alec, John Goodman, and Christopher Walken. Oh, well. Two more times hosting and Alec will have fulfilled his community service! Honestly, when I saw that Jimmy and Horatio had a "cameo" in this monologue as members of the SNL band, I touched my pen to the looseleaf to give this monologue an automatic "D," but decided to gut it out for the purposes of fairness. If it has not become apparent after several reviews on this site, I am ardently opposed to any and all skits that include both of them. Luckily, onto the stage steps SNL's beloved Mike Meyers to save the day...and this monologue. Granted, the failure was not one on Alec Baldwin's part, but on the part of the writers who felt it necessary to include the not-so-dynamic duo. B.

Huggies' Thongs: "A bigger mess than if there were no diaper at all." A fun commerical to see again, but will never measure up to "Oops, I just crapped my pants." A valiant effort, though.

Plastic Surgeon: (I was going to type out the actual name of the plastic surgeon involved, but could not read my own handwriting. I should have taken speedwriting in college.) Poor Amy. This is the first molestation of many she will suffer at the groping hands of our esteemed host tonight. She stays around for more than a "few more jokes," and just long enough for me to lose interest in this sketch. D+.

Zinger and Burns: Why does Chris always get some ancillary role? Things are not looking good for him, the writers having stolen his George Bush gig. Honestly, I enjoyed this sketch, if for no other reason than the sounds that escaped from the respective throats of Alec (Burns) and Seth (Zinger). B.

Next episode: Al Sharpton as a host will be absolutely priceless. I'll probably go pluck my eyebrows or do something at least marginally constructive while Pink struts around the stage. 

Tony Bennett Show: Alec reprises his role as Tony Bennett here. Not only does he resemble him somewhat, but he sounds like him, too. When Horatio walked on to the stage, I felt a feeling of dread, but was delighted to see him upstaged by Fred Armisen as Robert Durst. In fact, Horatio barely had any lines, since he never did find a suitable way to tell the clandestine joke on television. Stayfree earns itself an in-show advertising slot as Alec holds up a package for the world to see. There is nothing worse than a woman who must forgo wearing her cream-colored suits during her monthly. A-.

Gaystrogen: I loved this commercial the first time, and I loved it the second time. Interestingly enough, this is Fred's first of two homoerotic encounters tonight (see my Weekend Update blurb below). Chris and Fred offer up the hottest primetime kiss in the history of television.

The Falconer: I felt a sense of elation when I saw the opening sequence to this skit, similar to the one I experienced when WU brought back Drunk Girl for some commentary. Our poor hero finds himself hanging upside down in a coyote trap "like a urine-soaked pinata." I am fairly certain that the old woman in bed with Alec is someone famous, and I cannot remember her name for the life of me. A-.

Missy Elliot: These lyrics are rotting my brain. 

Weekend Update: What surprises me so much about WU this year is that Tina has whipped out some extraordinarily accurate impersonations, including Arnold Schwartzenegger and, this week, George Bush. The writers must have received some positive fan response after Tina's Arnold impersonation last week, because she brings it back again this week. After some news briefs about one of the Judds and Justin Guarini's saving grace--his driver's-side hairbag--we plow into Will Forte's Sex Tape. Good grief, this is the most disturbing thing I have ever seen. Fred gets some more action as Will's lover, not to mention a foot in the proverbial door of the porn industry. Next, we learn that Jethro Tull has been ostracized by fans for his "unpatriotic" comments on people who adorn their cars with flags. Now, I'm no Dixie Chicks or Jethro Tull fan, but heaven forbid these artists express their honest opinions (rather than strap on some phony Hallmark American sentiment for the purposes of acceptance). At least they're honest and not pretending to feel something that they don't. Tina and Tom need to find a new place for their trysts, as Rockefeller Center is opening up its observation deck to the public. Joan Rivers looks awful, even for a car. Brilliant observation on Christina Aguilera: "It used to be a-cute, now it's just a-skanky." Except I never thought she was cute. Neither did my boyfriend, just in case anyone out there is naive enough to think that all men adore her brand of exhibitionism. There is a rather inane phone bit linking Christian Slater and Jack Nicholson, followed by a statement that Demi Moore "feels like a 25-year-old inside." B.

In his photo, Alec Baldwin asks us to free the turkeys. I guess it's tofurkey for me this year!

Random Comment: Where are Jeff, Finesse, Kenan, and Rachel? (I'd ask about Maya, too, but I'm not particularly concerned). 

Sir Anthony McCullen: A lot of the jokes in here, though profane, were hilarious. Fred's British accent proves to me that he can pull off any skit into which he is thrown. Apparently, according to this press conference, the prince has "pitched his tent on the Isle of Man." Horatio is decent in this skit, for once. A-.

Business Meeting at Embassy Suites: Again, Amy finds herself at the sexual mercy of Alec. The writers find a way to include the missing cast members here, seating Jeff, Finesse, Kenan, and Rachel around the table as "extras." They have been featuring Amy a lot tonight, which would be fine except for the failure to include Rachel (who is, contrary to my fears, alive and well tonight). D.

Missy Elliot: Honestly, they did a great parody of this song on a radio show called "Bubba the Love Sponge." I am not a big fan of this particular show, but a certain personality, Ned, recorded a rather dirty (yet hilariously profane) rendition of this. It is sad that the parody is better than the original, but such is the case sometimes.

Return of Roy: Jeff turns in a great performance as Sigfried, but I am worried about his sparse screen time this season. Alec, who plays Roy, eventually finds his eye torn out by a ferocious turtle. B-.

Scheinwald Pictures: Armisen is back as an amateur film-maker. It is really nice to see him again, and I find myself wondering yet again why he has not been included as a regular cast member. As it is, he has gotten more screen time than Chris Parnell and Jeff Richards combined tonight. Rachel gets into character to play the patriarch of the company, Abe. By the end of this sketch, we are all painfully aware that, yes, Irene is dead. Not only that, but the company has turned away The Matrix and Lord of the Rings. C+.

Overall Episode Grade: B. Alec turned in a solid performance tonight in all of his skits (though there were several times when I caught him reading his cue cards). The lack of Jimmy Fallon/Maya Rudolph and the showcasing of Fred Armisen made tonight's episode all the more enjoyable. Next time, I'd like to see, in the spirit of Forte's Tim Calhoun, "a lot more Jeff, Finesse, and Kenan, and a lot less Amy."

"Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow."

~Meredith L.