Recap, Review and sketch ratings for the Saturday Night Live (SNL) episode on April 12, 2014 featuring host Seth Rogen and musical guest Ed Sheeran.
If the goal of this sketch was to be as bland as the Republican politicians it was portraying, then it succeeded all too well. C
Seth Rogen’s Monologue
What an absolute mess of a monologue. There were some funny moments (writing the word “pizza” 400 times, punking James Franco, Jay Pharoah confusing Seth for Joe Rogan) and a whole lot of pointlessness, epitomized by the cameos stopping by to “support” Seth. Franco’s presence was understandable, Taylor Swift was there for Ed Sheeran, I guess but she didn’t really do anything, and as for Zooey Deschanel – does anyone have any idea on that one? C+
After only 3 appearances, the trajectory of Shallon sketches are way too obvious. At least there are some great lines to make them bearable, and Bobby Moynihan continues to be their stealth MVP (“Quit playing games, Doug! Be a man and put a ring on it!”). C+
CNN Pregnancy Test
This worked when the stick stuck with reporting on the actual pregnancy, especially when it got into the typical non-updates of 24-hour news (“Search for pregnancy enters third week”), but once there was reporting on general news, it felt like it could do too much. B-
It was weird that neither Aidy nor Seth’s characters were very likeable. The former was bossy and a little unreasonable, while the latter was willfully obtuse. So it was hard to figure out what position I should take as the viewer. But I did definitely laugh at the fart in response to the demand of “Cut it!” You can’t go wrong with a well-timed fart joke. C
This seemed like it was supposed to be a metaphor about persecution, but ultimately the message was more about the practicality of no longer being a monster. The segment in which Dave was confusing anyone with a black jacket for Jim got some great reactions; it looked like random people on the street may have been targeted. Taking time to note that “a lot of liberties” were taken on Monsters University was a silly, but appropriate, aside. B+
Blue River Dog Food
This was one of the most inexplicable SNL sketches I have ever seen. I’ve got to hand it to Cecily for committing so hard, but her performance was pitched beyond anything resembling an actual human reaction. B-
Ed Sheeran performs “Sing”
I generally do not care for Ed Sheeran, but this was more up-tempo than his usual stuff, so it worked as a fun live performance, though I’ll probably forget it after a few weeks. B
-The Jokes: Trend of the Week – Colin told two jokes in which the punchline was about a retail job (Katharine Heigl at Duane Reade, the topless woman at McDonald’s). C
-The Segments: -David Ortiz: Kenan played Big Papi’s propensity to shill for any product with a childlike sense of enthusiasm, which allowed this commentary to be pleasant enough without any actual jokes. B-
-Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy: This wasn’t the best Bar Mitzvah Boy appearance, although the running gag about Mom’s tuna casserole was funny … but it ain’t no XBox 360! B-
When Cecily showed up as the uncouth cousin, I figured the joke here was going to be about culture clash, so I give this sketch points for faking me out and making it actually about an embarrassing secret. But the secret needed to be more interesting. True, its details built and built, but they needed to be even crazier. (And that’s another absolutely batshit character for Cecily this episode.) C+
I don’t think Sharpton is as incompetent as Keenan plays him, but he is that boisterous, so the idea of him working undercover for the FBI is inherently hilarious. B
Ed Sheeran performs “Don’t”
This may have been even more jangly and up-tempo than the first performance, but just as unmemorable. B
A Very Smoky 420 (BEST SKETCH OF THE NIGHT)
At first, I was a little down on this short compared to other Good Neighbor efforts, seeing as it was more polished than the amateurishly DIY aesthetics of Super Champions or Chris Fitzpatrick for ASB President. But a few re-watches have convinced me that I should just get sconed and be totally greenie beanie meanie about mixing it up. A-
Herman & Sons Sperm
Comedy about sperm banks is funny, but often hacky. Comedy about sperm banks that are converting to yogurt shops is surprisingly something that has not happened more often. B+
Strangeness abounded in this episode. That was a pitfall with a few sketches in which it wasn’t clear just why they had to be so strange. But it worked a few times, notably the shorter bits (Monster Pals, 420, Herman & Sons), where the strangeness was calmer and more matter-of-fact. Seth Rogen doesn’t usually blow me away with his hosting performances, but he does put in some quietly nice work.
The striped shirt that Kyle was wearing during the goodnights was so perfectly Kyle Mooney.
Jeff Malone is a voracious entertainment consumer and entertainment creator. He currently resides in New York City, where he is working on a Master’s in Media Studies at The New School. In addition to his pieces on TMRzoo.com, you can check out his blog (jmunney.wordpress.com), where he provides regular coverage of Community and Saturday Night Live, as well as other television, film, music, and the rest of pop culture.