Tina Fey Takes on Bombshell McGee

04/12/2010 12:28 PM |

Tina Fey’s return to Saturday Night Live this weekend was mostly a disappointment. Her monologue was spotty at best, and the much-anticipated Sarah Palin sketch was toothless and way too long. Given her history on the show, it wasn’t exactly surprising that her best moment came during Weekend Update, where she appeared as a “Women’s News” correspondent. She delivered her patented brand of buttoned-up, no-nonsense feminism, with Jesse James’ mistress Michelle “Bombshell” McGee as her target: “I know we shouldn’t judge people based on their appearance, but when your body looks like a dirtbag’s binder from 7th grade metal shop, it doesn’t bode well for your character.”

6 Comment

  • Really? Her monologue was “spotty at best”? You’ve seen other SNL monologues, right? It was quick and had a bunch of good jokes without resorting to fake questions from the audience or just having the host sing and dance (and really, those are two of the better options out there). Short of having an actual stand-up comic, I’d say it was a pretty good use of that part of the show.

    The Palin thing, I don’t know, how biting can you be about such an easy target before it just turns into a screed. I enjoyed her past appearances as Palin, but a lot of them pretty much just had her re-enacting stuff Palin basically did or said. Maybe that makes more of a political point, but it doesn’t really require inventive writing. I appreciated the Tonight Show dig, too.

    Also: that sketch where she played a mother opposite Nasim Pedrad as the girl who adores her mother was excellent, character-based and sort of oddly sweet. Also also: nine-inch-tall hooker. And not a single non-political recurring character in any of the actual sketches.

  • You’ve heard other jokes before, right? “It’s good to be back hosting for a record SECOND time” is not a funny joke. And neither was the one about the Justin Bieber fans waiting outside. Or the part about the people who made her clothing line. The Sanchez thing was an obvious crowd-pleasing gimmick, as was the Steve Martin thing. The band leader shtick in genera was weak and overdone, the “that’s how I juggle everything, BITCHES!” line was predictable and terribly outdated. And then announcing that she was going to “dress up like sarah palin” later in the show? Tasteless. So, perhaps “spotty” was an overstatement.

  • Possibly also an overstatement: calling her (actually, quite funny) announcement that she’d be dressing up like Palin later “tasteless.” Only possibly and not absolutely because I don’t really even know what that means. There were a bunch of pointless stories talking about how she might be playing Palin when she hosted SNL, as if that was some kind of news. It seems pretty clear to me that she was referring to that overblown hype, and also being kinda self-effacing about how the hype over her impersonation is based largely on a fleeting physical resemblance. How on earth is that “tasteless”?

    Again, I’m not sure what kind of standards you have for an SNL monologue. Lord knows we wouldn’t want to please a crowd at a live comedy show. That would be so pandering!

  • Announcing that she’d be dressing up as Sarah Palin came off more as a direct request to viewers that they not change the channel than as any sort of commentary/riff on hype from earlier in the week, and was thus in poor taste.

    But: From this season alone, Charles Barkley, Taylor Swift, Joseph Gordon Levitt (your fave, I know), James Franco and Zach Galifianakis all had funnier monologues.

  • Telling viewers not to change the channel is in poor taste? 90% of SNL monologues of the past two decades end with “so stick around, we’ll be right back!”

    I was definitely impressed by JGL’s, though obviously it was more impressive than actually funny. Barkley’s was amusing, but like the rest of his episode, it was just as much for the novelty of his off-kilter (lack of) delivery as anything else, as it was just an audience Q&A bit. Galifianakis was funny, but he is a stand-up by trade… and he was mostly doing jokes from his routine, which is fine but reminds me of when the Lonely Island guys do a video for one of the songs from their album instead of an actually-new Digital Short. With Franco, the “idea bin” thing was OK, but they didn’t really do much with it. Swift (your fave, I know) was, I concede, quite good. As was Jon Hamm’s, for that matter. But I find that probably eighty percent of the monologues (at least from the last few years) fall on a spectrum of pleasantly forgettable to pretty good.

  • “So stick around, we’ll be right back” has become a standard, almost iconic SNL line, in much the same way, “Ladies and gentlemen, (insert band name)!” or “Once again, (insert band name)!” have. Tina Fey saying “I’m gonna dress up like Sarah Palin later” was, for me, more like someone in the early 90s saying, “Stick around, there’s a Wayne’s World sketch scheduled for tonight,” which obviously never would have happened. She went a little bit meta, and after a monologue that was, at best, “pleasantly forgettable,” I was annoyed by it.