Since NBC has gotten so much better at putting buzzworthy clips from SNL online, it's made me less eager to recap the full episodes. Or perhaps it's just ennui from this season in transition. Either way, it's given me a chance to catch up with the past few episodes later, and see if I have a fresh perspective on them.
With Dana Carvey hosting, you knew he'd bring back some of his classic characters, because he had done so before. What you didn't expect was that he'd do so right off the bat in the cold open with Mike Myers returning for a "Wayne's World" reunion. Wayne's World! Excellent! Party time! They even wrote the script to include a callback to their other reunion, which happened not on SNL or even NBC, but at the MTV Movie Awards in 2008. You can see the clip and my first impressions of the Wayne's World reunion on SNL.
The monologue was a little different, because Carvey gave a shoutout to his two teen-aged sons in the audience, who he said had never seen him when he actually was on SNL as a cast member. A mini moment of poignancy. And then he got funny sincere by talking with pride about his cast (1986-1993) being the best SNL cast, because as everyone knows, when it comes to SNL, people have their favorite seasons and casts and say the show hasn't been funny since then. The crowd applauded for Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, more for Andy Samberg, and then even more when Jon Lovitz stepped onstage. "What are you doing here?" That was Carvey asking, for the record.
For the first ad spoof, they went back to the "black noise" well voiced by Jay Pharoah as Kenan Thompson slept, which first aired in episode #36.2 with Bryan Cranston. Just seems "edgy" for the sake of being "edgy."
After the break, we saw the return of Carvey's "Church Lady," who also had a surprise guest in Justin Bieber. He was there without warning, but he had his own movie to promote, and the kids (well, the girls) seem to love him, so why not, right? And oh yeah, Nasim Pedrad as Kim Kardashian (with her sisters) and Bobby Moynihan as Snooki. Sometimes, it doesn't really matter if it's perfect, because these two are perfect in their own ways.
After another break, we're treated to a Vh1 spoof called Celebrity Teen Crisis Center, with celebs answering phone banks for teens. First up, Hader as Alan Alda. Next is Carvey as Mickey Rooney (another of his SNL callbacks), giving bad advice to Paul Brittain. Of course, when this episode aired last month, did we know Rooney would come out publicly to admit that he'd been mistreated in elder care? Fred Armisen gives Ice-T a try. Man, they love having Armisen pretend to be black, don't they? Abby Elliott is Anna Faris giving bad advice to Taran Killam. Of course, this all feels like it was just a build-up to seeing Pharoah do Eddie Murphy. But do you think he botched that last line, or do you think it was written like that? Debate it or don't.
OK. That film trailer spoof of Single White Female which was The Roommate, but with Samberg and Bieber? Still felt phoned in. The fact that Samberg says the name of the movie in the trailer and then declares himself to be a famous actor? I. Don't. Know. Let's move on.
For the first time in almost two decades, Mike Myers joined Dana Carvey on the Saturday Night Live stage to reunite for a Wayne's World sketch. Wayne's World! Party time! Excellent!
But first: A special note. SNL's cold open began with a voiceover from the late Phil Hartman. While the live studio audience already was cheering knowing they'd get to see Wayne's World again, hearing Hartman's voice reminded me how sad it is that he's not with us. A subtle tribute.
Wayne and Garth had gone on to star in two films together, and met up as recently as the 2008 MTV Movie Awards. On last night's SNL, they picked up where that conversation left off, as Garth noted he'd acquired pubes, and Wayne revealed that a monkey finally had flown out of his butt. Since they've been doing this for more than 20 years, they also acknowledged that weirdness of still broadcasting a public access show from the basement of Wayne's parents home. Well, they didn't acknowledge that, but Wayne did ask of Garth: "How old are you?" Garth's reply: "It was never determined."
These two old boys talked about the Oscars, but really just wanted to talk about Winter's Bone. Paging Beavis and Butt-head, also returning to TV: 1993 called, and they want you back.
Remember when Wayne went schwing! over Madonna, and then later Tia Carrere? Cut to 2011, and suddenly he's fixated more on Mark Wahlberg? Seems like someone's having a mid-life revelation. Sphincter says what?
Watch the whole thing unfold now:
How do you think this reunion compares to their 2008 MTV Movie Awards appearance?
Remember a couple of years ago when everyone in the New York downtown comedy scene got all not-verklempt and oh-my-goodnesses because Mike Myers was showing up to do improv at the Magnet Theater and sometimes in character as a guy named Guru Pitka? Neither do I. But I heard all about it when I moved to NYC. And I kept that in mind this week as Myers started showing up everywhere on the media circuit to promote his new movie, The Love Guru, which looks as juvenile and silly as his Austin Powers movies. Which could be good, or bad, or even both. I recently saw Goldmember again and, wow, the jokes even seem childish to children. But then again, there are plenty of ha-has that anyone can enjoy, as well. And then again again, some of these interviews, and by some I mean pretty much all of them, make Mike Myers out to be oh-so-serious. Which means his humor is childish as a reaction to that? Hmmm. The Entertainment Weekly article makes him sound like not fun. Even Terry Gross asks him to lighten up in yesterday's edition of Fresh Air on NPR. Listen! And below, watch Myers with buddy-buddy Deepak Chopra in front of a live audience last year at the Magnet for Iconoclasts on the Sundance Channel.
After the jump, Myers tells Inside the Actors Studio about how he came up with Guru Pitka...