Justin Timberlake
October 11, 2003

By Bob Barron

With saturdaynightlive.tv now kaput I figured this would be a good chance to mention the three sites where I post my reviews. This way if the site where you regularly read my review is down or not updated- you can still read my opinions on SNL.

My reviews are posted at: www.voy.com/16069/, forums.thesmartmarks.com (in the movie and TV folder) and saturday-night-live.com

I saw Kill Bill Friday at midnight and it is the best movie I've seen in a long time and I plan on seeing it again this week. Everyone (except for the squeamish) should check out Quentin's latest masterpiece.

Sports Report-

Leafs: It's bad when they lose. It's pretty bad when they lose on HNIC. It's really bad when they lose at home. It's awful when they lose the home opener. And it's just ridiculous when the team they lose to is the freaking Habs and get shut out. Just a horrific debut for the boys in blue and white. Luckily they have 81 games to turn it around.

The 2003 Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils: Well they tied the Bruins which is pretty sad- but at least they rebounded with a win tonight.

Vancouver Canucks: Okay- so beating up on Alberta isn't really that much of an accomplishment but they're off to a great start. Good to see Bertuzzi already lighting the lamp and the fact that all the lines are producing makes me happy. Bringing in Moose was a great move by Burke as it gives Cloutier some motivation to not choke like the Oakland A's.

New Orleans Saints: At least they're giving football analysts a chance to make the 'Hey Saints- it's not December' jokes. But just play for a draft pick guys.

 

Mailbag!!!!!!!-

canada-resources@ iaqi.com writes-

HI,

I'm Joe Clawson and this is my site: www.iaqi.com/canada. I contact you because I would like to exchange links with your site: http://www.saturday-night-live.com/snl/reviews/02-03/damon/bob-b.html. I think our sites are related. My site contains news, books and regional information about canada.

So, if you decide to exchange links you can use this information in order to link to us:

URL: http://www.iaqi.com/canada/
Title: Canada resources
Description: canada related news, books and regional resources

or just copy & paste this HTML

<!--START-->

<a href="http://www.iaqi.com/canada/">Canada resources</a> - canada related news, books and regional resources.<br><br>

<!--END-->

To send your link preferences to us, please fill this form: http://www.iaqi.com/canada/form.html. Your link will be up on our site in 24 hours.

Thank you very much!
Joe Clawson

 

My site contains jokes about Maya Rudolph. I don't think it's a good fit.

Chad Ruffner writes-

Hi Bob,

 

Just curious: Since you started
watching SNL regularly, who do you think has given The
Best Musical Performance? Who was The Worst?

 

Later,
Chad

*BTW* Did you catch Raw on Monday? If so,
what did you think?*

Best: U2 "Elevation". Bono running around on stage and causing havoc was awesome. Paul Simon "Hurricane Eyes" also rocked the Kasbah.

Worst: Bubba Sparxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx was atrocious.

PS: I did happen to catch RAW and it's so sad that this company has absolutely no long term planning. It just doesn't seem like anything on the show was meant to build to something that will make them money in the future. Kudos to Vince for doing an angle where a top heel in the company almost gets killed by a non-wrestler and then the storyline is forgotten at the end of the show. And Vince: Either bury Mark Henry or push him. I don't understand why Vince will bury Mark Henry for the longest time and then without no warning- will give him another push. 2006 can't come soon enough.

 

Danten98@aol.com writes-

Hi - just came across your email and NY address on the SNL website and hope you might be able to help me with something. I've been trying to find a 1995 SNL tape hosted by David Allen Grier, and a 1998 tape hosted by David Spade...Do you happen to keep old vhs archives on this stuff, or do you know anyone who does?

Thanks for any assistance!! ­ Dan

For the 10,223,392nd time I do NOT tape SNL nor do I have any tapes in my collection. If you do tape SNL- email me and I will plug you.

Wanna be in the mailbag????? Email me at philhartmanrip@yahoo.com

Hardball
Cast- Darrell Hammond, Jeff Richards, Amy Poehler, Kenan Thompson
Thoughts- SNL went back to something Darrell is good at, as Hardball is a tried and true success. I love how they mix up Hardball instead of the same old correspondents. It's good to see that Hardball can live on without Paul Begalia and Al Sharpton. Jeff is really good at impressions and this was no exception even though I had no idea who he was portraying. Good to see SNL finally rip on Ann Coulter- and Amy was the perfect person for the impression. Yes- even though I bleed the donkey (or is that the elephant) I do indeed hate Ann Coulter. Kenan's Gary Coleman wasn't as good as is Bill Cosby but I do approve of them giving the new guys exposure. He just needs to stop almost cracking up everytime he is given TV time or else I will forgot he starred in Good Burger and begin to hate him incessantly. All in all this was the usual excellent Hardball. It was headed towards the 5* but it sadly just died off towards the end. The ending doesn't take away from an awesome skit though. ****1/2

Monologue
Cast- Justin Timberlake, some writer guy
Thoughts- For the record- SNL tickets are not numbered. You just sit wherever the pages tell you to sit. Aside from playing 'Is that Aykroyd?' this skit had nothing going for it once we got the joke. Since Justin got formally introduced- we'll segue from this bad monologue to *1/2

Justin Timberlake
Thoughts- I got some heat for saying I liked Justin last week- and guess what- I do. His songs are fun and energetic and in the end that's all I ask for when listening to music. Good stuff here. ***

Punk'd: Barely Legal
Cast: Timberlake, Chris Parnell, Richards, Horatio Sanz, Maya Rudolph, Thompson, Finesse Mitchell
Thoughts- In May I remarked how I had not heard of Punk'd and thus had no idea why people cared about Ashton Kutcher. I finally did get to see the show and while I found it humorous- I still don't see the big deal with it or why is it groundbreakingly hilarious. That said- this skit was hilarious but nothing groundbreaking. Justin's Ashton impression was not very accurate but it was very funny. Chris Parnell did what he does best which is play the straight man and making everything else funny. The pranks (or punks I guess) were really funny. I wish this skit had gone a bit longer and more of the cast would've gotten to show off their impressions but what we saw was good enough. ***3/4

Schwarzenegger News Conference
Cast- Hammond
Thoughts- Watching Darrell doing Arnold again is more painful then watching Arnold in Junior. I don't get why we had to see this again. Darrell's Arnold was not warmly received so I'm just puzzled that SNL would do this again. What I would've done is let Forte run wild with Tim Calhoun. It's a lot funnier and gives exposure to a guy they just made a castmember. Last week Darrell got to coast on the fact that he was given some funny material to work with. This week Darrell tried to coast on the same material that he had last week but of course- it just wasn't as funny. He also didn't improve on his impression at all so what we were left with was someone doing the same material two weeks in a row using the same unfunny and inaccurate impression. Darrell got off my bad list by having a comeback 2002-2003 season but he should've left while he was on top. If we're stuck with impressions like this- Darrell is going to wear thin with me like he did in 2001. *

Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson
Cast- Timberlake, Jimmy Fallon
Thoughts- Thankfully with Justin playing Jessica- we didn't have a situation like Mena Suvari in 2001. For those who don't remember: In 2001 they did a Rap Street skit (I miss you Dean!) and Mena Suvari played Aaron Carter. The problem was that she looked TOO much like a 12 year old boy and the thought of watching her nude scene in American Beauty was not as pleasing. But I am pleased to announce that Jessica Simpson does not in fact look like Justin Timberlake wearing a blonde wig. I haven't seen Newlyweds yet but I have seen clips and I have to wonder why no one in Simpson's camp knew she was a complete dolt. It's amazing that given Simpson's stupidity that Lachey couldn't convince her to have one go-around before they got married so he could get out before he got in too deep. Even though I don't like Jimmy he was great here as Nick Lachey and Justin was really funny as Jessica Simpson. Excellent stuff all around here. He hasn't gotten much airtime this season but Jimmy has so far been solid and focused and has not looked like he was about to go back to his Jeff Gordon ways. If he can become the Jimmy he used to be- I will be extremely pleased. ****

Benny's v. Omletteville
Cast- Timberlake, Parnell
Thoughts- A bit on the short side and it seemed to just exist so Justin could dance to 'I'm a Slave 4 U'. With what little material they were given they turned into a fine performance. Parnell, like in the Punk'd skit, played the straight man to perfection and made it a perfect balance between Justin getting funky like a monkey and Parnell being exacerbated with Justin's antics. Solid skit here but given more time and focus it could've been a lot better. **1/2

Gary Busey for Direct TV
Cast- Richards
Thoughts- I'm glad SNL spoofed these ads since I really don't get the point. Explain to me why Laurnece Fishbourne, Danny DeVito and John Goodman reading letters from customers is supposed to make me switch from Dish Network. (Not that I have Dish) Richards' Busey always brings the funny even though this skit was way too short. It's good to see their giving Richards' impressions some exposure. He is just great at them and Darrell has to leave eventually and it looks like Richards' will take over SNL's prime impressionist. I'm not complaining about that at all as I am coming around and starting to really like Jeff. Just hope he never does Drunk Girl again. ***

Bahston Teens
Cast-Timberlake, Fallon, Rachel Dratch, Parnell, Seth Meyers, Sanz
Thoughts- Bahston Teens has been really slipping in quality recently but with the Boston Red Sox in the playoffs you know they had to bring it back. I found it funny that Seth was just a bit player in this skit (and the whole episode) when his Boston Red Sox are the closest to Reversing the Curse since 1999. I also have to give credit to the writers for being able to add the incident involving Don Zimmer into the skit. Why was Jimmy going crazy for Nomah? He's in a big slump and has added nothing to the playoffs. You would think Sully would come around and root for someone who has actually produced for Boston. Even though this wasn't as good as the first few Bahston Teens were, I was glad they've improved upon on the suckfests they had been putting out. Seth wasn't given much to do so I can't really sing his praises. Jimmy and Rachel were their usual funny stuff and this was a good edition of the Bahston Teens. ***1/4

Justin Timberlake
Thoughts- I was hoping SNL would change the train sign every week so I could make it a running gag or something. I mean staring at a train line that goes through Connecticut is just flat out boring and uninteresting- especially when they book really crappy musical guests. That being said- Justin Timberlake was not crappy. I found the live versions of his songs to be better then the versions I hear on MuchMusic and even though he is trying to clone like Michael Jackson circa 1982- he's doing a damn good job of it. The energetic beats make his songs a blast to listen to. ***1/2

Weekend Update
Cast- Fey, Fallon
Thoughts- Wow- so WU was about 10 seconds long. My theories:

1) Lorne realised how painful Tina's rant was and figured: Ah screw it- not even Maya Rudolph doing Second Time Around can save this.

2) The censor can speak Dutch and figured out what in the heck Tina and Jimmy were saying.

3) They realise that it takes forever to download the Weekend Updates off fallonfey.com (especially when you have a slow modem like me) and wanted to make it easier for everyone.

It should be noted that Tina Fey is being paid $100,000 per every Update which means that tonight she was paid $20,000 a minute. So think about it folks: Tina's rant paid her a cool 20 grand.

I'll stop giving Tina guff for her horrible rant as everything else was hilarious and this was looking to be a really good Update until it was abruptly cut short. The Dutch bit was cute but on went on way too long. (Yes I know WU was 5 minutes long) A sub-par WU for FF that hopefully was an issue of time or nothing making news. ***1/4

Shannon Osbourne
Cast- Timberlake, Poehler, Sanz, Fred Armisen
Thoughts- Even though I didn't find this skit to be very funny I gotta give it up for Amy managing to maintain Shannon's British accent and energy the whole skit. That's talent. Fred's Quentin Tarantino didn't impress me at all since he did the same Quentin that every person can do even though no one will ever tough the greatness that was Norm's Quentin. Justin's Bolton was just an excuse for him to sing again and Sanz's Ozzy did nothing. I enjoyed the energy and Amy even though creatively this skit was weak. *

Kermit and Justin
Cast- Kermit the Frog, Timberlake, Will Forte
Thoughts- Why is Will Forte getting his ass kicked so god damned funny? In the Salma Hayek show him getting his ass kicked in a box was hilarious. And now Justin beating the heck out of him was hilarious. It took them a bit too long to set up the joke (and Kermit's P. Diddy thing just died) but once it got funny it never looked back and I was crying laughter watching Will use Kermit for an apology and other stuff. A great performance by Will who once again used his annoying and odd voice to his advantage. I will give credit for this skit shocking me out of nowhere. For a while I thought it was just going to be Justin singing with Kermit (even though it was blatantly obvious that it wasn't the real Kermit) but once Will got involved: It was aaaaaaaaaaaaaaall good. ****

Carl Weathers
Cast- Carl Weathers
Thoughts- APPOLLO CREED!!!! ON SNL!!!!! How can you do a skit featuring Carl Weathers and not mention any of the Rocky movies? It's abhorrent. They tried here but this just didn't work and was really bad. Weathers isn't that funny and had no funny lins to work with. _*

Girls swoon over Justin
Cast- Timberlake, Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Dratch
Thoughts- This skit was crap but I do have to thank the Lord (or the Lorne) that this was Maya's only other skit of the night and she really didn't do anything in it. So mark this down folks: In an episode of Saturday Night Live: Maya Rudolph did NOT piss me off in the slightest. Skit was blah due to the crappy premise and there's nothing more I have to add. *

Justin Timberlake
Cast- Hey- I like when SNL gives musicians I like 3 performances in one show. Cry Me a River is a song I never really got into because the beat of the song just didn't make the song interesting even though it did have a good video. The live version of this song is worlds better and just had a lot more energy then the seemingly comatose album version. This was a lot of fun to listen to and it even stopped me from mocking Justin's incredibly gay hat. A big improvement over John 'zzzzzzzzzzzzz' Mayer. ***1/2

Barry Gibb
Cast- Timberlake, Fallon, Sanz, Dratch, Richards
Thoughts- Jeff does a great Al Franken and I really would like to see him get a Weekend Update commentary to showcase his skills even more. I find it interesting that SNL had impressions of Ann Coulter and Al Franken- two people who polar opposites when it comes to politics. Just something that makes me laugh. This was the last skit of the night so I think they were just trying to have fun and be zany and while all they accomplished was dead air- I do appreciate the effort. I will give credit where credit is due: Kudos to Jimmy and Horatio for being in a skit together and not cracking up at all. Good work and keep it up. DUD

The Bottom Line- The avg. skit was **.6 making it a thumbs up show. While this may seem quite low considering I raved about a lot of skits- there was a fair amount of crap on this show that dragged it down a lot. The crap was kept short for the most part and there three ****+ skits and a bunch of consistent funny stuff throughout the show. Justin's three performances also helped a great deal. A show I was really pleased with and a good performance was turned in by all.

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