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Here's what you missed on SNL: Glee star Jane Lynch as host. Bup, bup, bup, bup, BUP!

October 10, 2010 By Rebecca Greene SNL - I laughed, I cried, I wondered why...Here are the themes of Saturday's episode. Host and musical guest, Jane Lynch; oh yea, plus Bruno Mars Jane Lynch, comedian and star of the hit comedy, Party Down - I mean Glee - hosted the 3rd episode of the 36th season of Saturday Night Live. I found Lynch funny and entertaining and was impressed by her vocals, making me wonder why the doo-wop throw back Bruno Mars was even necessary as musical guest. Admission: this was my first time hearing of him, but I was impressed with what I heard. Lynch opened her monologue with a few jokes, assuring the audience "You all look taller in person, too"and then sang a theme song for Glee she co-wrote with her friend "Jose Cuervo." Lynch also sang her way through one of the night's funniest sketches, impersonating Faith Hill performing NBC's Sunday Night Football theme song. In the sketch, the theme song seems never-ending, diverting into Michael Vick's dog fighting past and providing a lengthy nacho recipe, that by the time she's finished, the game's score is already 14 to 3. Lynch and Samberg made a killer duo The best sketches of the night were when Lynch and SNL funny man Andy Samberg teamed up. These included: a commercial for a damn-it-my-mom-is-on-Facebook feature that sanitizes kids Facebook profiles when their mother's are online, "The New Boyfriend Talk Show," in which a promiscuous mom's son interviews a new boyfriend every morning with the opening question: "Are you my new dad," and a digital short about a psychologist experimenting with a new hypnosis technique in which she knees her patient in the testicles after luring him to his "happy place." Gleexploitation There was a lot of hype this week in anticipation of Jane Lynch and the hoards of Gleeks she was expected to draw to SNL's TV audience. The show sought to exploit the wild popularity of the musical comedy-drama not only through Lynch's monologue, but also in a Glee-themed Gilly sketch. Jason Sudeikis and Abby Elliot failed miserably as wannabe Mr. Schuester and spot-light hog Rachel Berry, but Keenan and Fred Armisen were great as the sassy Mercedes Jones and dorky, wheel-chair bound Artie Abrams. Funniest part of the sketch was Artie's insistence that his glasses was the only thing that made him different from the rest of the Glee club members. I miss Will Forte The Gilly sketch also made me yearn for the return of Will Forte who left the show at the end of last season. Forte used to play the role of the teacher in that recurring sketch and his deep, disapproving voice could not be matched by Sudeikis. Additionally, that the sketch ends with Gilly blowing up the school by detonating a bomb reminded me of my favorite SNL sketch of the last several years: MacGruber. Though the movie didn't breakeven at the box office, I laughed uncontrollably through most scenes. Some other Forte characters/sketches I will miss include: ESPN announcer Greg Stink, Jon Bovi, the dancing coach and that closet organizer guy. It's the Kristen Wiig, Andy Samberg and Jason Sudeikis show The departure of Will Forte makes it even more obvious that SNL has become the Wiig, Samberg, Sudeikis (WSS) show. Out of a cast of 9 "repertory players" and 5 "featured players, " - 14 cast members in all - one of the WSS crew played the main character in 8 of the 11 sketches this week (excluding weekend update and the host's monologue). This means the show is incredibly imbalanced in terms of talent and diminishes the comedic value of WSS who are forced to play their recurring characters way too often. I would like to see more of Bobby Moynihan this season who I think has potential to be a long- standing cast member if given the chance. Abbey Elliot Survival Guide to inexplicable firings I'm definitely not the first to say it, but I think Abbey Elliot is the biggest deadweight on the show, and can't believe she's made it past two rounds of cuts, which saw the premature departures of the promising talents Michaela Watkins and Jenny Slate. Watkins was best known for playing "Bitch Pleeze" blogger Angie Tempura and Hoda Kotb, while Slate was known for playing personalized doorbell, car horn and alarm clock pitchwoman Tina-Tina Chaneuse and for dropping the F-bomb in her debut sketch. On the other hand, in two years, the only worthwhile contribution from Abbey Elliot has been her impression of Angelina Jolie. In my opinion, the reason she's still on the show is because her personal connections, which include: her father and former SNL cast member, Chris Elliot, her grandfather Bob Elliot of the popular comedy duo Bob & Ray who were featured on SNL, and her boyfriend and current cast-member Fred Armisen. Even Elliot's Wikipedia page lists her claim to fame as her family lineage and mentions nothing of her SNL characters. The newbies don't inspire much confidence Finally, I know it's probably too soon to judge the four new cast members this year - Vanessa Bayer, Paul Brittain, Taran Killam (formerly of MADtv) and Jay Pharaoh - but I'll give it a go anyway. Aside from Jay Pharaoh, none of them have been given much screen time in the first three episodes, and the time they have been given hasn't been very impressive, e.g., this week's Gilly/Glee dud. Jay Pharaoh is obviously the highest hope, already commanding outsized airtime compared to the rest. While his celebrity impressions of Will Smith, Chris Tucker and Denzel Washington have been spot on, unlike Darrell Hammond, Pharaoh doesn't add his own spin or unique interpretation to the celebrities he impersonates. For example, Hammond's impressions of Sean Connery portrayed Connery as a relentless sex-fiend and jokester. If Pharaoh can add his own spin to the characters, he has a chance at survival, but otherwise I predict he'll go down as a one hit wonder.
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