As Time Goes, So Does Humor


With a few slight outliers, the relationship of hilarity-to-time over the course of this week’s SNL featuring Gerard Butler and musical guest Shakira can be illustrated as a basic inverse linear equation. Yes. I do spend my Saturday night’s watching sketch television and then making analogies with the small amount of mathematical knowledge I possess.

The episode started out strong with its weekly look at Barack Obama, because it revived one of my favorite moments from last season, The Rock Obama. Dwayne Johnson has pretty much no right to be as funny as he is. Extra props to this sketch for Biden and for the ripping of limbs.

Gerard Butler’s epilogue? Pretty solid. Even when interrupted by Kristen Wiig.

Second sketch, Kenan Thompson and Bill Hader as an alien. Deja vu, anyone? With this and the opener in mind, I was starting to wonder if there was anything new. It was hysterical though. The Greg-is-an-alien gag is thin, but adding a tail and clicking helped.

From there, it seemed like everything was on the up and up, from the Beauty and the Beast sketch onward, through Weekend Update (which proved that I am not the only person in the world who doesn’t give a crap about the balloon boy story), and including the dress rehearsal segments featured by SNL’s major sponsor tonight. (I’d say who that was, but they said they were the only sponsor and I still got a million commercials from other worse things anyway.)

And then came the Kenan Thompson sketch. My first reaction was “Holy mother of god WHY.” And then I caught a glimpse of a red track suited Jason Sudeikis stage left and the entire thing became worthwhile.

But things really started going downhill with the return of what I think is the most irritating of all Kristen Wiig’s intensely irritating characters, Trina. I wanted to shoot myself. I kept hoping something would make it better. It was entirely wishful thinking. The 300 and Braveheart sketches the show tied up with were passably funny, but not nearly enough to help.

REGARDLESS of how negative I sound, I enjoyed this episode far more than the average SNL these days. I laughed out loud. A lot. I even laughed at Kristen Wiig during Weekend Update. And I never think Kristen Wiig is funny. So, it was more good than bad. It just ended poorly.

Final remark: Dear Shakira, TIGHTS ARE NOT PANTS, even for Latina pop icons. Sincerely, The World.

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