Saturday Night Live
“Jim Carrey/Iggy Azalea”
Season 40, Episode 4
Chad White, Rating: Uh huh! Uh Huh!
Cold Open: Another episode of SNL that starts out with some sort of political sketch? I wouldn’t have it any other way. Seriously though, I would love to see SNL step out of their comfort zone and try a different type of cold open. They are playing it too safe. I can’t remember the last time (if ever) that they had another version of the cold open. This one, of course, focused on Obama. Tired joke. Ebola reference. Yada yada yada. Then Taran Killam gets his chance to shine as the new Ebola Czar. No real laughs happen until around four minutes in when Kenan’s Al Sharpton (another aspect of the safe zone for them) shows up. He tells some jokes and is genuinely bewildered and then the show finally begins.
Monologue: Jim Carrey is a showman. He will probably have the most elaborate, creative monologue all year. But I would love to be proved wrong. It wasn’t so much funny as it was entertaining. SNL doesn’t have to be the funniest thing. I’ve said before that they do well with weird and it’s clear that’s where they can strive. Carrey comes out on stage dressed in Halloween garb. His costume is a devilish version of Elvis or Helvis as he calls himself. Then he starts to sing a song about pecan pie! And it’s so great! Low on laughs but high on production was the theme. Carrey can really commit which is something that makes him a great actor. A chorus come on stage and joins in on the song along with Cecily Strong, Sasheer Zamata, Kenan and Taran. Even Bobby Moynihan had a role. I just really liked this monologue.
Front Nine: A recurring sketch series tonight had Jim Carrey spoofing Matthew McConaughey’s Lincoln car commercials. These were easily the highlight of the night. He rolls his boogers, picks up random kids and references how meta doing the commercial really is. The next sketch centers on a Carrey family reunion with cast members playing versions of Carrey’s movie characters. Oh and look, Leslie Jones is in her first sketch! It’s weird because the audience laughed at everything she said even when there was no joke. They really, really like her. Catch phrases were dropped all over the place with Taran, Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett, Vanessa Bayer and Jay Pharaoh playing characters from movies like Ace Ventura to The Mask to The Cable Guy. Jeff Daniels, of course, made an appearance as well. Following that, Pete Davidson and Zamata headlined a sketch where a couple goes to drink in a cemetery. Pharaoh, Thompson, Kate McKinnon, and Moynihan played haunted objects in the graveyard that sang songs about spooky stuff. Or they at least tried to sing. Killam and Carrey played Paul and Phil, two ghosts that are just too darn nice. Their oblivious antics were the best part of the sketch and I love how they annoyed Thompson’s tree character.
Weekend Update: So here we are. Back at the Weekend Update desk. This time, however, I noticed something different. For the first couple of jokes, Colin Jost looked nervous. Had he been threatened with losing his hosting position? That’s my theory. Don’t quote me on it. There were better Ebola (the new crutch) jokes but timing was still a bit off. Vanessa Bayer introduced a new correspondent in Daisy Rose, Romantic Comedy Expert. She treats the section as a romcom and the type of music that plays with those things grew louder and louder. I liked this section because I’m a sucker for romcoms. Then there was this season’s first appearance of Drunk Uncle. He goes through his usual drunken spiel but it starts out differently. He notices Michael Che and rolls his chair to the other side of the desk next to Jost. Not a subtle joke but damn it was funny.
Back Nine: The last third of the episode began with a reality turnover of Secret Millionaire called “Secret Billionaire.” Strong plays the lucky girl who gets her choice of one of three potential billionaires. Moynihan portrays an internet genius, Bennett owns retail stores, and Carrey is a creepy disabled man in a wheel chair, and Pharaoh is a hip hop mogul. Carrey’s character says some crazy things making him the main focus of the sketch. After that sketch came a spoof of ghost hunting shows called “Ghosts: Fact or Fiction” where host Killam takes his team made up of Bayer, Zamata, and Mooney into houses to search for ghosts. Leslie Jones joins the crew as the sceptic. By the first interaction with a “ghost,” Jones is screaming her lungs out. Not much goes on during this one but it’s good to test Jones in a new environment. The next sketch follows Bennett, Mooney, Strong and Thompson as they fend off zombies. With a small stage, imagination can be the audience’s best friend. Carrey walks from off stage with a zombified Davidson that he keeps at an arm’s length. I’m going to be honest, this last one bored me to sleep. I didn’t even bother going back to watching it after I heard audience applause signaling the sketches’ end. It just didn’t grab me and I hated it. A bit that grabbed me way more than it should have came next. It began with an office costume contest. There was a joke about Bryant’s weight that was funnier than it should be. But McKinnon and Carey ended up in the same costume (what that little girl wore in Sia’s “Chandelier” video). Then there was a massive dance off that lead the two through the audience, past a disapproving Lorne Michaels, to several other parts of the stage and back. I loved it so much. It felt…I don’t know…fun. And finally, a demon possessed store owner bothers his two workers that are trying to make a commercial for the store. He has a portal to hell and is constantly trying to kill his workers. It was pretty funny for what it gave us.
It was a funny epsidode with some odd ends that made this one stand out among other so far. Let's hope that they continue down this strange path.