Brief spoilers for "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Saturday Night Live" -- I have two columns to write today but will try to hit some of the other Sunday shows (Desperate Housewives, Brothers & Sisters and Brotherhood) in a separate post if I have the time -- coming up just as soon as I buy Jake Gyllenhaal a razor...
Had to happen sooner or later, I guess, but we got our first bad "Curb Your Enthusiasm" of the season. A few funny bits here and there -- Leon's rant about how Larry should have responded to the skinhead, and Charles Napier as the barber beating the hell out of Larry with his towel -- but Larry's bathroom talk phobia didn't really work, several scenes called on him to horribly overact (both hearing damage incidents, plus the stink eye lie detector gag that was old by the second time he did it years ago), and the mistaken identity payoff stole a gag the show had done just two episodes ago (Leon getting in the face of the wrong guy) without tying together enough of the other storylines. Hopefully, next week will be back on form.
Lorne Michaels likes to say that athletes are among the best "SNL" hosts, and I can think of a bunch of brilliant athlete-featured sketches over the years: Michael Jordan and Stuart Smalley, Wayne Gretzky in "Waikiki Hockey," Joe Montana as sincere guy Stu, and Peyton Manning's United Way commercial last year. I don't know that anything from LeBron James' hosting debut is going to make it into the time capsule, especially since the two best segments of the show -- the digital short and Kanye West disrupting the Nobel Prize ceremony -- didn't feature him. Still, Bron-Bron had a few funny moments, notably the literacy commercial (Sudeikis' delivery of "It's a book!" was hilarious) and his stint as a Solid Gold dancer, and I haven't been able to get the damn Adam Levine portion of "Iran So Far Away" out of my head for 36 hours, so they're doing something right over there. Looking forward to Seth Rogen.
What did everybody else think?