Monday, October 01, 2007

Toilet humor

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?

13 comments:

Matt said...

I thought the ridiculousness of the "High School Musical" parody was pretty brilliant, though how can you pass up letting Amy Poehler preen around as Ashley Tisdale?

And, yeah, the digital short was brilliant. Armisen is rapidly becoming a significant stealth weapon.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I had forgotten about the HSM spoof, but that was pretty good, too. "The acting's about what you'd expect."

Beckylooo said...

"Iran So Far" is such a creeper. The more I watch, the funnier it gets - and it's largely because of Armisen. That shot of him dancing in the street slays me.

dez said...

Although I agree that CYE was a bit off this ep, I didn't think it was all bad. It sounds like I laughed out loud at more bits than you did, at any rate.

MAD TV's already done a few HSM spoofs and they were much better than SNL's late entry, but LeBron did crack me up in it.

Fred Armisen in that red dress, lounging atop the piano made the short, IMHO. Otherwise, a pretty unremarkable SNL; even the Ace & Gary short was off.

John said...

I disagree with Dez about the Ace & Gary short -- I thought it was quite funny, especially considering that "Ambiguously Gay Duo" isn't usually topical.

J said...

Kanye with the pumpkin, excellent.

But Wiig's one-upper character is probably the most one-note, insufferable thing since "Pat." Can't wait for the movie!

Eric R. said...

I absolutely agree that 'Curb' was not at its best. They lost me at the doctor scene. I do enjoy Larry having Leon as his henchman though. He acts on things that even Larry himself isn't bold enough to act on.

SJ said...

I don't know, I thought this episode of CYE was pretty hilarious, even the best of the season so far imo.

B. Lee said...

While it wasn't vintage "Curb", I thought the episode wasn't that bad. How could you not love the "you gotta get in that ass" bit between Leon and Larry?

I miss the guy who used to play Larry's doctor -- the doctor from the episode where Larry let the woman get in ahead of him in the elevator.

Donlee said...

The stink eye lie detector never gets old. Just like slaps on How I Met Your Mother never get old.

dez said...

^ ITA, donlee!

j, Pat was waaay funnier than the one-upper character :-) Wiig's movie reviewer character (I think she's supposed to be Amy's Aunt Linda?) also bores me, and seems like a rip-off of the Lorraine character from MAD TV.

Algernon said...

Curb just seems so forced this season. Larry's a bigger jerk and more unreasonable than ever (I used to agree with him about half the time, now he steals flowers from gravesites and perfume from funerals), and the characters around him are acting more and more strangely. (The waiter refuses to let you bring your food home to your dog? Huh?)

I thought the skinhead plotline had potential, but it was shoehorned in and never really developed. Same with the environmental TP.

Bobman said...

I also love the stinkeye lie detector, and while we're on the "running gags in CYE" topic, I for some reason crack up every time he does his "Prett-ayyy prett-ayyy prett-ayyy good" bit. To the point of when he starts with "that was pretty good" I beat him to the punch.