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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Saturday Night Live: SNL Weekend Update Thursday

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I think that last week's weekday Weekend Update had a few things going for it that tonight's didn't: the anticipation of the fall comedy season, a general buildup of topics from the summer and, between the VMAs, Joe Wilson and Serena Williams dustups, a bonus amount of foolishness to mock. 

Additionally, last week's cold opener was much stronger than this week's.  Obama shopping his health care plan around to interviewers from various networks is a cute idea but some of the various impersonations either just didn't translate (I wouldn't have known that new cast member, Jenny Slate I believe, was doing Kathy Griffin unless it hadn't been announced) or seemed rather pointless (like Abby Elliott's Kristin Cavallari.  SNL can do better than a Valley Girl interviewing the President). I did like Andy Samberg's sullen teenage vampire at least, and even though Bill Hader's Keith Morrison impersonation is ridiculous, it still makes me laugh. 

The fare for the update in general was lighter than last week—a smoking ban in New York City parks (with a photo of a teenage squirrel), a burrito-eating contest.  I didn't care that much about the original setup of the monkey/911 call but I did like Seth and Amy saying after the transcript was aired, "We have a secret for you guys—that was us."

Then came Fred Armisen as New York governor David Paterson. If it makes sense, I don't find his impression funny, but I find its existence hilarious. I'd love to hear the writers justify why they do the most wrong (and sometimes delightful) blind-people gags.  I have a feeling it's because Paterson is a politician and a rather hapless one at that, but it's like they purposefully try to make it as offensive as possible, which, again, I find entertaining.  I also like how the impression is evolving into something even weirder than it was before, as he's now something of a Borscht belt comedian, opening his eyes wide open for New Jersey jokes.

Next came some predictable Bill Clinton humor and then Megan Fox did a drop-in. Of course I hope she's a good host of SNL this weekend—I don't want to sit through it and have her suck—but for some reason, maybe because she doesn't seem to have a ton of facial expressions, I don't have high hopes. 

Then Andy Samberg did a bit about a college nerd although it was hard to buy him as a nerd when he looked kinda cute and was wearing a tight t-shirt. Just saying.

So, I felt much less enthusiastic about tonight's installment than last week's—I don't know if that means the show needs a lot more drama in the news to maintain a strong weekday presence or if it was just an off week. But I did like seeing Paterson wandering around in front of the camera, yet again.

Grade: C

Stray observations:

—Did anyone catch Kristen Wiig's "I hate Bon Jovi" shirt? 

—I think that headpiece looked better on the bass than it did on Lady Gaga.

—"I dunno, one of the vampire shows?"