OPENING — LAWRENCE WELK — 4
James Franco plays a Latin Singer singing about Christmas with the Sister singing group that has three beautiful ones and an ugly annoying one played by, of course, Kristen Wiig. A recurring sketch as the opener. Hmmmm… think the writers are ready for the Holidays? SNOOZE!
MONOLOGUE — JAMES FRANCO — 6
This is really his second time hosting? He explains why he’s on General Hospital this year. It seems he selects an idea of his fans each year for what to do with his career. Not horrible, but not that funny.
WHAT’S UP WITH THAT — 5
And another repeating sketch, Keenan Thompson playing a soul singing talk show host. This is one of the many SNL sketches that kind of sucks but has you thinking about it later and laughing. Mike Tyson and Jack McBrayer show up as themselves, as well as a choir of little kids singing “What’s Up With That”. Kristin Wiig shows up as an 80’s new wave singer and begins to remind me more and more of Molly Shannon, which is not a good thing. Mike Tyson does a goofy dance, which almost redeems going to the well too many times. Almost.
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS — 7
Wow, yet another sketch they’ve previously done, this time with a family that is overly aggressive in their affection. Although watching his brother (played by Bill Hader) give James Franco a huge kiss was disturbingly funny, as was the UPS guy kissing the dad. Grandma comes in and it gets even worse. And when Grandpa joins in, you may want to hurl. But I laughed in spite of myself.
DIGITAL SHORT — TIZZLE WIZZLE SHOW — 10
This spoof of kids shows has James Franco joining in a pyjama party with other twenty and thirty somethings singing a jaunty little ditty that quickly turns very, very, dark. To say more would spoil it, but this was one of my favorite Digital Shorts this year.
THE MANUEL ORTIZ SHOW — 3
Okay, this isn’t a repeat, but the idea certainly is, with Fred Armisen playing yet another foreign talk show host. Someone explain to me why SNL does so many of these? They aren’t that funny. That doesn’t keep them from doing this, a spoof of a Spanish language relationship show with lots of dancing. A time waster.
MUSE — UPRISING — 8
A nice 80’s sound with a throbbing beat. Good song.
WEEKEND UPDATE — 3
Guests this week include two members of Jersey Shore (played by cast members). Garth and Kath (two nerdy singers played by Fred Armisen and Kristen Wiig) do a poorly arranged carol. Seth Meyers does some lame jokes. Not even a bad Weekend Update, just boring.
Best line — “Sarah Palin was photographed in Hawaii this week wearing a McCain for President visor but she’d blacked out the letters of her former running mate’s name. She was going to black out all of it, but halfway through, she quit.”
PLEDGE WEEK — 8
A super-tough fraternity hazes a pledge by making him do the simplest tasks for them. Not because they want to annoy him, but because they’re incredibly stupid. Funny.
VINCENT PRICE CHRISTMAS SPECIAL — 3
Yes, it’s yet another recurring sketch, but this one has always been funny. Price’s guests include Katherine Hepburn, played by Kristen Wiig, James Dean, played by James Franco, and Liberace, played by Fred Armisen. Sadly, the jokes are warmed over Liberace gay jokes. Disappointing.
CHRISTMAS TREE SALESMAN — 7
James Franco plays a Christmas Tree salesperson who is a bit too close to his work, talking to them as though they were women in his life. It’s a goofy sketch, but funny.
MUSE — STARLIGHT — 4
This sounds like the current lame crap being put out by U2.
OFFICE MEETING — 1
Another sketch from before, with Will Forte playing a business man who keeps shouting into his phone, “Carol, hold my calls.” There is absolutely nothing funny here.
MARK WAHLBERG TALKS TO THE CHRISTMAS ANIMALS — 4
Andy Samburg does the final recurring sketch of the night with him playing Mark Wahlberg talking to the animals. Slightly amusing.
OVERALL — 5
With the exception of a great Digital Short and some amusing new ideas, there was absolutely no reason for this episode to exist. I have to think that the cast and writers would benefit from a few more off weeks. This show was almost all sketches from previous episodes, and almost all of them were horrible.