J.K. Simmons Drums Up a Few Laughs on SNL

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Saturday Night Live
“JK Simmons, D’Angelo”
Season 40, Episode 13

If you read my Blake Shelton SNL review, then you know what’s about to happen. If you didn’t read that review, prepare for a super brief write up. Sketches will be boiled down to WATCH or SKIP.

Cold Open: Richard Sherman (Jay Pharaoh) and Marshawn Lynch (Kenan) have a talk show. Taran Killam visits as Pete Carroll. This one was largely forgettable but I applaud the show for not doing something political. SKIP.

Monologue: J.K. Simmons comfortably jumps on stage. He mentions everything he was a part of including being the Yellow M&M, Whiplash, State Farm and Growing Up Fisher. He tries to sing a song with Aidy Bryant and Kyle Mooney about the current snow storm. Then there’s a whole Whiplash thing. Simmons goes through Pete Davidson and Leslie Jones. A surprise cameo by Fred Armisen ends the monologue. WATCH.

Front Nine:

Pizza Rolls: Simmons, Bobby Moynihan, Pharaoh, Beck Bennett and Vanessa Bayer star. Bayer plays Simmons’ wife who prepares the snacks. The pizza rolls also make a Super bowl activity pack for women. Rampant sexism under a sarcastic tone help this sketch top almost everything else in the episode. WATCH.

Miss Trash 2015: Simmons hosts the pageant. Bryant, Cecily Strong, Kate McKinnon are all the worst girls imaginable. Bayer is girl who thought it was Miss America. It’s brief and unfunny. SKIP.

Casablanca Alt Ending: Thompson opens as Reese D'What. He introduces the ending where Simmons tells McKinnon that she has to get on the plane. The catch is that he’s telling her in a prolonged way but she’s obviously ready to leave. WATCH.

Teacher Snow Day: Moynihan, Strong, Jones, Shasheer Zamata, Mooney, Thompson, McKinnon, and Pharaoh star in a music video about what teachers do during snow days. WATCH.

Weekend Update: Strong appears as the One Dimensional Character from a Male Driven Comedy talking about Super Bowl. Her jokes are tired but I still love her. Black History Month stamps are discussed. Killam comes on as Jebidiah Atkinson talking about Grammy results. SKIP.

Back Nine:

Pushie: This one stars Simmons and Bryant as a married couple. Simmons is trying to write a letter to his friend. Moynihan is green screened in as Pushie the Office Assistant who is a spoof of Clippy. SKIP.

The Jay Z Story: Mike O'Brien as Jay Z. Jason Sudekis as Kanye. Simmons as Nas. Just watch it. WATCH.

Career Day: Simmons goes to his sons’ Career Day as a Messy Boy (a person that eats messily and gets paid to do it). SKIP.

Should you watch “JK Simmons/D’Angelo?”

I gave a lot of these sketches “watches.” That doesn’t mean this was an entirely good episode. This was a middle of the road affair with a terrific on screen actor. I have to admit, I was worried about Simmons’s ability to do live TV. A lot of random ideas here contributed to the demise of the episode. At times, I felt a bit distant from the sketches. Your laughter will be subdued this time around so don’t expect to be howling during many of these sketches.