Saturday Night Live and its Christmas show featured Amy Adams and opened with surprise guest Dr. Evil, aka Mike Myers, yet another SNL alumni stepping in for the show’s 40th. Although this cold open was reminiscent of the good old days when this “out of the box” comedy series really was funny and did not have to try so hard to get laughs. Apart from the waves of nostalgia that washed over older viewers of the show, while humming the “theme tune” to Wayne’s World, it was nice to see Myers could still milk his Dr. Evil persona even without Mini Me by his character’s side.
Meyers “interrupts” the Sam Smith “sombre Christmas” show to poke fun at Kim Jong-un, Sony, the GOP (all two of them) and James Franco. On top of all that, Myers, as Evil, even picked on himself with a wickedly funny reference to his box office bomb The Love Guru. On the Saturday Night Live prerecorded open, the jokes came fast and furious in this little tirade against the “a-hole” terrorists. Towards the end of his short routine, “Been there, done that, smoked it, humped it, called it an uber.” His reference to Sony’s last hit being the Walkman, was a great jab at Sony before he wound up the whole skit with, “Live it’s Saturday Night.”
Long time fans of the 40 year old series, can be forgiven for weeping a little for what “used to be” on this long running comedy show. Amy Adams did go on to perform adequately for the opening monologue for Saturday Night Live and despite no further appearances from Dr. Evil, or his alter ego Mike Myers, the fact that one more SNL alumnus showed up to help the Big Eyes star do her routine showed how much SNL wanted Adams to succeed her second time up. The helper was another performer who had a film open this year, Kristen Wiig. Fans of Adams already know that she can carry a tune, the entertainer proved that in the Disney homage film Enchanted and Amy proved that she is still more than capable.
Overall, the combination of a brilliantly topical cold open and the musical talents of Adams and Wiig, almost proved to be the highlight of the show. Although “Asian American Doll” (The Doll That’s Asian American) also harked back those days when the Saturday Night Live fake adverts were so cleverly done that it took the unwary by surprise when the comedy commercials took that left turn. Referencing the problems around naming a doll released earlier, the Native American Doll, that the “company” dubbed Flying Eagle, this fictitious company chose to not name their newest “ethnic” product. Quite possibly the funniest sketch in Saturday’s show came far too quickly in the episode and did not include Amy Adams. Arguably the best bit of the entire advert was when the girl questions the chef’s hat and the dog accessories, asking if the doll would be eating the puppy since she is, “you know,” Asian and the adult hurriedly leaves the room.
The clever Chris Cringle Serial podcast spoof, with Cecily Strong, also felt like a step back in time, where the writer’s came up with a brilliant tongue in cheek look at and spoof of this wildly popular phenomenon. The real Serial is currently number one in the United Kingdom and like the types of sketches in this week’s SNL episode, the podcast is a step back. In this case an old fashioned sort of true crime reporting format and the SNL writers combining the two, true crime and the Santa Claus myth, was a touch of brilliance.
Amy Adams did very well her second time hosting Saturday Night Live. One Direction as musical guests got to take part in one skit, and despite the SNL Christmas show not allowing Dr. Evil a chance to return, the episode was better than many that aired earlier this year. The two videos below show the intelligent humor of the Serial spoof and the topical hilarity of the Mike Myers, Sony and Kim Jung-un routine.
By Michael Smith