Recap, Review and sketch ratings for the Saturday Night Live (SNL) episode on May 10, 2014 featuring host Charlize Theron and musical guest The Black Keys.
Do you know where Arbalato Street is?
A Mother’s Day Message from Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton
Vanessa has got Hillary’s vibe down, but the voice isn’t really close. Sasheer’s Michelle was decent. The back and forth of the tension was solid. Hillary having not yet decided if she will run for mother of the year was a clever way to do an obvious joke. B-
Charlize Theron’s Monologue
I thought this was aiming to be a meta takedown of how so many SNL monologues are singing bits, and maybe it was, but it didn’t really work that way, instead being just another singing SNL monologue that kind of joked about how it was a bad idea to do that yet again. Charlize’s line about men still liking her despite her height was worth a laugh, though, with Beck playing that moment well. C+
Come Do a Game Show With Your Mom. It’ll Be Fun. Yes It Will. (BEST SKETCH OF THE NIGHT)
A mom game show that was perfectly mom. B+
Girlfriends Talk Show
This may have been the best Girlfriends Talk Show sketch yet. These bits have always been driven by the tension of Kyra’s willingness vs. Morgan’s reticence to cover mature topics, so it worked especially well to have Charlize’s drama teacher specifically call that out. B+
HBO First Look: Dragon Babies
This sketch was driven by the characters having looks on their faces that said, “Why did we make a movie about a pussy that shoots a scuzz bucket starring a former Chicago cop?” and the actors having looks on their faces that said, “Why did we make a sketch about a movie about a pussy that shoots a scuzz bucket starring a former Chicago cop?” B
The Man Plan
The random “Hadouken!” was worthwhile. Nasim’s characters often have this unruly energy where I get what she’s going for, but it can’t quite be corralled into a solid sketch. C
The Black Keys perform “Fever”
Other rock bands: the standard for a great performance has been set for 2014. A
-The Jokes: That “Breaking Nudes” whatever-the-hell-it-was may have been the best use yet of Colin’s completely affectless delivery. Pay phones being used as urinals is suuuuuch an old joke. B-
-The Segments: -Barbara Walters: Impressions of Barbara Walters have been a huge part of SNL, with 31 appearances by her various mimics, and that’s not even including the 16 occasions of Gilda Radner’s “Baba Wawa,” who is apparently officially considered a character instead of an impression. I was a little confused that the montage seemed to skip over a Cheri Oteri moment, but that was rightfully saved for last, as it was her best (or at least most famous) moment. This was a cool appearance in and of itself, because it was unexpected but also long overdue. The routine itself was nothing too special, but satisfyingly pleasant. B
-Drunk Uncle: Drunk Uncle seemed a little more lucid than usual, with his puns clearly (punching someone with an e-cig in the “e-sophagus”) conveying his meaning. “Most Likely to Live” would be quite the existential superlative. B+
Bikini Beach Party
A less successful version of this sketch would be one that relied entirely on building up to the whale exploding. But there was so much other goofy material thrown in there (all the girls were 13 years old, Kenan’s character excitedly running in after the explosion), and they didn’t linger on the explosion, and all that is why it worked. B
The Black Keys perform “Bullet in the Brain”
This was also awesome. A-
Whiskers R’ Us
This was a strange mix of the two characters acting out their feelings through the cats and a juxtaposition of dark humor with the cute kittens (the jaguar kitten only eating bald eagles was a nice detail). B-
Bobby’s Arbalato Street routine may have been the best joke of the season. Although, it wasn’t exactly a joke, so perhaps it is better to say it was the best prank of the season. But it doesn’t have much competition in that category, so let’s say it was one of the best – if not the best – pranks in SNL history. I enjoy pranks that confuse people instead of embarrassing or distressing them, so this was right up my alley. B+
Almost every sketch in this episode – in fact, every live sketch – was women-centric, not just in terms of the players but also thematically. That was appropriate enough, considering it was Mother’s Day weekend, and it was doubly appropriate considering how strong the women have been shining this season. This episode felt like an acknowledgement of that, giving the likes of all the ladies in the cast (even Nasim, whose screen time has been lacking this year) a chance to show off. Charlize gladly anchored all this; she’s a mother herself, and she’s also a baaaaad mother (if you know what I mean).
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.