'Saturday Night Live': Russell Brand's talent wasted, was no Katy Perry in an Elmo shirt
After a decent cold open where Jason Sudeikis as Bill O'Reilly had President Obama ( Fred Armisen) on "The O'Reilly Factor, Russell Brand gave an England vs. America monologue that addressed his tight pants, past life with a drug problem and being married now and settling down. It was actually pretty funny.
There was a Travel Channel sketch called "Million Vacation Giveaway" that featured poor Gregory Evans (Brand) as a country boy surprised by Kristen Wiig as the show's enthusiastic host. She was losing her mind and he was not really excited. We have to applaud her commitment to the bit, we thought Wiig might actually suffer a stroke while doing the sketch.
There was a Royal Taster sketch that just seemed like a lot of shouting to us. Perhaps it was funnier to others, but it definitely was not our favorite. There was a funny moment where Bill Hader and Brand seemed to just be trying to make each other crack up, but that seemed like a symptom of the unfunny sketch. It ended with a "King's Speech" joke that fell pretty flat. Not off to an auspicious start, sketch-wise.
Chris Brown performed "Yeah 3X" for his first performance. It was pretty good, it's a catchy hip-hop tune. It's interesting he'd be the musical guest what is basically two years on the nose from the Rihanna incident (the Grammys are Sunday, Feb. 13), but if he's a changed man, then good for him. Also - wow on the dance moves. Wow.
Weekend Update,which is usually our favorite part of "SNL," was surprisingly off. Fred Armisen's Mubarak wasn't very funny, Seth Myers' jokes weren't quite as biting as usual and Jay Pharoah's and Taran Killam's Valentine's song made us long for the days of Adam Sandler songs, though Killam's Eminem impression was pretty funny.
Update finally picked up when Stefon (Hader) joined in the fun. We aren't sure exactly what makes Stefon crack us up, but he really did when telling us about the Valentine's Day hot spots. It probably has a lot to do with how Hader can't get through these bits without losing his stuff all over the place. The ultimate joke was about giving someone a "human suitcase," which is where "a midget on roller skates wears all of your clothes and then you pull them through an airport."
Vanessa Bayer's fake Oxygen show "Livin' Single" sketch was pretty bad, but actually got better by ribald pastry chef played by Brand. It really seemed like Brand just did not care at all at that point, which is always fun.
The old English ladies played by Brand, Andy Samberg and Hader was ... mostly just weird. Hot tea and seismography? Huh.
They did advertise that on Feb. 19 they would be rerunning the Paul Rudd/Paul McCartney episode. Now THAT was a great episode, so tune in next week.
The second musical performance was "No Bulls***" and it was a pretty generic R&B slow jam to our ears. At least show off some dance moves, instead of just bouncing around and telling us we're "goin' get freaky."
The final sketch was a political sketch that featured Brand as George Washington giving advice to Rep. Boehner (Hader), Rep. Pelosi (Wiig) and Senator Paul (Killam). When Brand emerges from a time machine as GW, he is disoriented and attacks everyone present. Nancy Pelosi has to stab him, which is kind of a giant metaphor for this episode.
Overall, we found that to be a huge waste of Brand. It seemed by the end that he just did not give a crap and we would love to see him come back if he got some better material. What did you think?
We do have video of the British movie fake trailer, which was actually pretty funny.