With just one episode remaining in the season, "Saturday Night Live" is finishing strong.
Maybe it was the remaining Vlada vodka in my system as I watched it yesterday morning, but I laughed uproariously at several of the sketches. Hosted by SNL and "Seinfeld" alum Julia Louis-Dreyfus, there was very little to criticize from start to finish.
I've included several of the sketches in a meaty highlight reel:
First, during the cold open, we are asked to imagine an alternate universe in which (the real) Al Gore was elected President in 2000 and re-elected in 2004, leading to a comically utopian America. But President Gore is troubled by a host of new "problems" that he has helped create. It's a great prelude to the real President's address to the nation tonight.
This sketch was priceless, and Gore's delivery was perfect.
Next, Kristin Wiig and Horatio Sanz are hosts of what looks like the worst TV morning show in history. Everything that can go wrong, does, including Sanz's accidental grab of Julia Louis-Dreyfus's boobs. It hearkened back to Elaine's own unintentional grope of Teri Hatcher on "Seinfeld." ("They're real, and they're spectacular!")
I have watched that sketch three times, and I belly-laugh every time.
Third, Andy Samberg plays a Learning Annex teacher of a class to teach people how to set up their own MySpace page. Except that the class is filled almost entirely with pervy older men with ulterior motives.
I keep getting distressed when I watch something that proves that pedophilia – or at least the suggestion of it – can be funny. But in this case, it's true. Sanz again shines in this sketch.
And finally, while probably the weakest of the four (mainly because it dragged on a bit too long) was a '70s-era gameshow spoof called "Charades," with Chris Parnell as host Bert Convy and a panel of D-list celebrities. Darrell Hammond was especially great as Rich Little, who incessantly interrupted with daft but hilarious non sequitur impressions.
The joke here was that all the charades Louis-Dreyfus's character had to act out were all part of a cruel, common theme.
The period costumes and wigs were terrific, as was Parnell's oversized microphone.
[Watch video – 23:24, WMV format, high bandwidth]
[Watch video – 23:24, WMV format, low bandwidth]