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SUNDAY MORNING LIVE: Bruce Willis Starts the 'Boy Dance Party' and Delivers a Strong 'SNL'

Welcome to Edition No. 24 of Sunday Morning Live, Popculturology's look at the latest episode of Saturday Night Live. All of your questions about the Bruce Willis-hosted episode will soon be answered.

How'd Bruce Willis do?

Willis has been doing this acting thing for a long time, so I wasn't worried about whether or not he could pull off SNL hosting duty. Of course, it's been a long time since Willis last hosted (1989!), a point that the actor addressed during his monologue. SNL really missed an opportunity to toss in a "During that time I raised three daughters and Ashton Kutcher" line during this part of the monologue.

SNL kept Willis busy during his episode, making him do everything from wearing a centaur costume to get his man dance on.

What were the best sketches of the night?

Boy Dance Party stole this episode. It's not often you get a sketch that requires every male castmember to participate, but this one made that happen. In the post-Lonely Island age of SNL, Boy Dance Party may have been the most Digital Shortish of any of the Pseudo Digital Shorts. Also, way to work a twerk reference into an episode not hosted by Miley Cyrus, SNL.

Last season's Justin Bieber episode is a moment of SNL that I'd love to forget, which made it kind of a shocker that the show turned that episode's Glice sketch into a recurring bit. While I don't think the joke was done as cleanly as it was the first time, watching Taran Killam mercilessly mock Willis' character for accidentally saying "chon" instead of "children" or "son" is a sight to behold.

While Killam's SNL power has been growing over the past season or so, this episode was all about him. Killam was everywhere last night. It's clear now that SNL has turned the page from Jason Sudeikis or whoever else was once its leading man and handed over the keys to the franchise to Killam. Not bad for a guy who was once on MADtv.

On the flip side, Nasim Pedrad has all but disappeared from SNL, with pretty much everyone who joined the show after her now getting more airtime. I'm pretty sure she was only in this sketch because she played the sister in it the first time they did it. Why hasn't Pedrad ever been able to catch on at SNL?

I love this sketch. I know that it was kind of polarizing the first time SNL did it (almost exactly a year ago during Daniel Craig's episode), but I think it's brilliant. Like Alien during the first installment of this sketch, SNL tricked us into thinking this sketch was going to be an Armageddon spoof, only to pan out and reveal Bobby Moynihan sitting by the spaceship window. If I ever get a cat (I won't), I'm going to name it Fuzz Aldrin.

"Is your butt screaming?" This sketch has to be the first time that question has ever been asked, right? I bet John Milhiser never thought he'd wind up that close to Willis' butt when he joined SNL.

While Killam is SNL's new leading man, newcomer Beck Bennett got the very Sudeikis-esque role of playing the commander in this sketch. I do appreciate the fact that Willis can deconstruct the ridiculousness of the action movies he's made a career around. There are some actors out there who wouldn't be able to appreciate that.

How about any Pseudo Digital Shorts or commercials?

In addition to the Boy Dance Party short, SNL rolled out an additional short and a commercial this week.

Like last week's Miley Cyrus sex tape short, Sigma hinted at the direction SNL's shorts will be taking under the influence of guys like Bennett and Kyle Mooney. The duo played frat bros explaining their very elaborate and child-friendly rules to beer pong. When a beer pong house rule is "You’ll have to design your ideal roller coaster," you know you're in for quite the game.

Guys, SNL snuck a Third Eye Blind joke into this commercial. Fantastic. Thanks to that, I would totally buy those blinds.

How are things over at Weekend Update?

Just three weeks into anchoring, and Cecily Strong already looks like a Weekend Update pro. Thankfully SNL ditched the dumb girl routine they stuck Strong with during the season premiere. In fact, when Strong dropped the line, "Buckle up, NBC pages, cause mama's gonna be dropping a lot of pencils," I was struck by how much she sounded like Tina Fey at that moment. That's gotta bode well.

This was Brooks Wheelan's welcome-to-SNL moment. Playing himself, Wheelan went on a self-mocking screed against getting tattoos to just get tattoos, pointing out several meaningless tattoos that he himself had.

I'm not quite sure if Wheelan really has those tattoos, though. SNL took the lazy route to closing out the episode, replaying the e-meth commercial from Fey's episode. There's a scene in that commercial where Wheelan is pretty much naked, and I didn't see the large side torso tattoo that he claimed to have.

Kudos to Kenan Thompson for nailing it as a Capitol chaplain praying for a resolution to the government shutdown. The most impressive part was that Thompson appeared to have the entire thing memorized, reciting prayers about Skittles and Biblical flooding of the Potomac River with his eyes closed.

Anything else worth noting?

SNL had two sketches that had promise but puttered out at the end. This happened to them frequently last season, but the show had so far avoided it this year.

Is combining Gravity with NASA employees getting furloughed thanks to the government shutdown low-hanging fruit? Yeah, it probably is, but had SNL gone somewhere with it, it would've been worth it. Sadly, the biggest laugh during the cold open came when Killam asked Strong's astronaut, "Why don't we make this asphyxiation an erotic one?"

This one seemed to have the right pieces in place, but didn't really know what to do with those pieces. What was the punchline? Also, was it safe for Jay Pharoah's barber to drink the blue liquid they keep the combs in?

The Lady Gaga Talk Show paled in comparison to the show's legendary The Prince Show. Once again, what was the point here? Vanessa Bayer's Lady Gaga impression was pretty straight forward, and Killam's DJ Sebastian is no DJ Jonathan Feinstein. Kate McKinnon's impression of Penelope Cruz has to be one of SNL's most disconnected impressions, kind of like Chevy Chase's version of Gerald Ford. If this impression seemed familiar, McKinnon first introduced it when Sofia Vergara hosted two seasons ago during a Pantene shoot sketch.

Did musical guest Katy Perry show up in any sketches?

Shockingly, no. Considering Katy Perry's infamous Elmo-shirt sketch from her last stint as the musical guest, I thought for sure the singer would show up during a sketch.

Last week's SNL had Moynihan in a teddy bear costume. This week's episode had band members in animal costumes and Willis in a centaur suit. Is SNL on some kind of furry kick right now?

What's it like to be the guitarist in the giraffe costume? I can only imagine the conversation he had when he was interviewing for the job. "I have a master's in guitar theory — what do you mean I have to wear a giraffe costume? Keith Richards never had to wear a giraffe costume. I do need to feed my family this month …"

Funny how the SNL cameras cut from a wide shot of the stage to a close up of Perry when she was standing over those air vents. That kind of thing is OK for Marilyn Monroe but not pop stars wearing schoolgirl skirts?

What's next?

SNL is back on Oct. 26 with Edward Norton hosting and Janelle Monae as the musical guest.

Previous editions of Sunday Morning Live

Oct. 6, 2013: Miley Cyrus
Sept. 29, 2013: Tina Fey
SUNDAY MORNING LIVE: Bruce Willis Starts the 'Boy Dance Party' and Delivers a Strong 'SNL' Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 10/13/2013 Rating: 5

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