Welcome to the third edition of Sunday Morning Live, The Bill Kuchman Chronicle's look at the latest edition of Saturday Night Live.
How'd Daniel Craig do?
For a guy not known as a comedic actor, Daniel Craig did his best. He poked fun at his knack for playing characters who kill a lot of people. He mocked England. He even did creepy stuff with cross-dressing Fred Armisen. This was not a good episode of SNL, though. It was uneven, and once again, something appeared to go wrong at the end of the show. There was an extra commercial break before Muse came out for their second song, and we then got to see last episode's Undecided Voter sketch again. Look, Lorne Michaels, it was good the first time, but a repeated sketch is the sign of a sinking episode. Not good.
Craig was really only featured in one sketch. This one was necessarily great, but it made me laugh based purely on Craig yelling out ridiculous things while his construction coworkers made catcalls at women walking by. "She's like sexy times five, plus her boobies, carry the boner, equals yubba dum dum."
What were the best sketches of the night?
This is the part of this weekend's SNL that everyone is going to be talking about. Big Bird — the REAL Big Bird — made an appearance on Weekend Update to address Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's plan to cut government funding for PBS. Big Bird didn't have anything mean to say about Romney, instead telling Seth Meyers a few jokes of his own. If you want a real Muppet, you're not going to get him to say mean things. Side note: I'm super jealous that the SNL cast got to hang out with Big Bird during the show's closing.
I wasn't sure where this sketch was going at first, even thinking it was going to be a spoof on Aliens seeing as how the sketch's Ramirez character was a complete ripoff of Aliens' Vazquez. Instead, we got to see Bobby Moynihan at his weirdest. Kitty. Did anyone else think Moynihan had an eerie Chris Farley thing going on in this sketch? It was the face or the hair or something ...
How about debate stuff? Any locked-box jokes?
No locked-box jokes, but SNL went to the debate well for two sketches, the first being the cold open. Despite the belief that no one watches SNL or that the show has lost its place in pop culture, SNL still wields a great deal of power when it comes to shaping the public perception of candidates. Ask Sarah Palin how much Tina Fey's portrayal of her affected her career. That said, the cold open should be a warning sign to President Barack Obama that he's losing SNL. A bad debate on Wednesday is one thing. SNL and Jay Pharoah reminding everyone about it on Saturday is even worse. "Hear that, Mitt Romney? You are a badass motherf---er."
SNL returned to the debate with an MSNBC sketch covering Obama's performance under the headline of "The Worst Thing That Ever Happened Anywhere." Cecily Strong replaced the departed Abby Elliott as Rachel Maddow, with Keenan Thompson as Al Sharpton, Jason Sudeikis as Chris Matthews and Kate McKinnon as S.E. Cupp joining her. Right after the sketch aired, Cupp tweeted, "Well that was ... surreal." Also surreal? Seeing SNL go after Obama and MSNBC like this in the same episode.
With 007 himself hosting, did SNL work James Bond into the episode?
SNL did do one James Bond sketch, but it unfortunately didn't involve Darrell Hammond showing up to play Sean Connery (which would've been awesome). The episode's pseudo Digital Short was a look at the Bond girls we never saw, giving the female members of the cast the chance to show off a few of their impressions.
Did Fred Armisen do anything of worth this episode?
Nope. I'm pretty sure Armisen is being phased out now, especially after Pharoah became Obama. How many times can SNL dress Armisen up in drag and expect us to still find it funny? I'm not posting that sketch here, since I don't want to even cause you to accidentally watch it. It's time for him to go.
SNL is back next weekend with Christina Applegate hosting and Passion Pit as the music guest.
Previous editions of Sunday Morning Live
Sept. 23, 2012: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Sept. 16, 2012: Seth MacFarlane