The most amusing Saturday Night Live cold-open in a while was a sequel to the recent, lousy sequel to “We Are The World,” with impersonated-vocalists. These included host Jennifer Lopez reproducing the mannerisms of Rihanna with clever concision and Jason Sudeikis squalling as Adam Lambert.
Lopez came with the right SNL attitude: Ready to poke fun at herself and to engage enthusiastically with anything the show offered her. Fortunately, much of her material was good stuff. Paired with Fred Armisen in imagining how Telemundo might have covered the Olympics, Lopez and the writers took what could have been ethnic-tasteless and made it sharply funny.
After a terrific new edition of the ESPN Classic parody that Jason Sudeikis always makes hilarious with his vigorous delivery of crude catchphrases for the “vaginal cream” sponsor (“When you’ve got something fungal in your lady-jungle!”), the “Digital Short” was a cheerfully wacky music video, “Flags of the World.” Sample flags included the “We Love Betty White Flag” (a sign of things to come, we hope?) and the “Neo-Nazi Potsie Flag.”
What seemed like an interminable “Weekend Update” (really, Bobby Moynihan’s YouTube joke — did that seem to use up about half an hour or not?) was redeemed by Fred Armisen’s David Patterson impersonation. Armisen always does the now-exiting New York governor as an insult-comic with one insult: New Jersey. But the delivery and the jokes were, as usual, killers. “We’ll miss you,” said Seth Myers. True words.
This was one of those weeks when you felt as though the SNL staff had really looked around at what was going on in the media and matched timely topics with the right joke-delivery-system. For instance, how happy I was to see one of TV’s most popular new irritants, Undercover Boss, get the SNL treatment as Undercover Celebrity Boss:
It also helped that Nasim Pedrad, Jenny Slate, and Abby Elliott were given more to do this week; the result was more of a true ensemble feel, which has been rare thus far this season. Lopez helped a lot by setting the tone, though: Smart, sexy, always keeping the momentum of the sketches moving swiftly.