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SNL Recap: 40.17 “Michael Keaton / Carly Rae Jepsen”

After a run of some pretty solid episodes, SNL stumbled this week with Michael Keaton hosting the Easter special. Despite Keaton’s tremendous talent as an actor, the sketches just sort of fell flat. The highlight of the show was the resurgence of Carly Rae Jepsen (but we’ll get to that later). Nothing really stood out as fantastic, and if you have something you should be doing, there are definitely better ways you could be procrastinating. Just being honest. Nevertheless, we’re here to recap SNL and an off episode won’t stop us from doing that. So on to the sketches, here we go:

NCAA Tournament Cold Open


While not quite on par with John Oliver’s brilliant takedown of the NCAA, this was a solid commentary on the hotly contested topic of student athletes. It’s almost crazy to think in the midst of March Madness, these kids still allegedly have homework and quizzes they have to stay on top of. In terms of delivery, Kenan flubbed a bunch of his lines, and the sketch never really felt focused. Nonetheless, it was a funny idea, just felt like there could have been a little more to it.

Prom Queen 

Normally, Mike O’Brien’s shorts are one of the most enjoyable parts of the show whenever they come out, doing a great job of mixing humor with sentimentality. In this particular sketch however, I feel like that balance was a little off, focusing more on the emotions and realism of the plot. Nonetheless, it was a lot of fun to watch and the directors’ attention to detail was remarkable.

Easter Hotline

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This was a pretty clever idea, and while it did go a little long, it was fun to watch all the confusion that goes with calling your grandparents. While obviously not as neatly edited as the pre taped commercials, it was impressive to see how much material they covered given the relatively simple premise of the sketch. The writers were really able to tackle a lot of different ideas, making sure the sketch didn’t get too repetitive.

Neurotology Music Video

The reviews of this sketch were pretty divided, with some calling it the best sketch of the night and others scratching their heads trying to understand it. I personally fall into the latter group, but I figured someone would appreciate it. This sketch was a parody of a Scientology promotional video from the 90s, called “We Stand Tall,” which promoted all the benefits of joining their organization. With HBO recently releasing “Going Clear,” a documentary examining the workings of Scientology, this video was as topical as it was weird.

Easter Candy

Here, Michael Keaton follows in the footsteps of Steve Buscemi and Ed Norton, taking on the role as holiday creep. Sifting through an Easter basket full of goodies, Keaton offered to share his two cents in this wonderfully weird 10-1 sketch. The best parts of the sketch, however, were the appearances of Kate McKinnon and Bobby Moynihan, playing a bunny and a nut. It was different from everything else we saw on Saturday, which is what made it so refreshing to watch.


A Few More Thoughts

This may come as a surprise to some but the MVP of the night was musical guest and pop legend Carly Rae Jepsen. Prior to the show, I had not heard anything about her since the glorious reign of“Call Me Maybe.” I assumed she made a billion dollars off that song and just retired. But she performed on Saturday and basically burned down 30 Rock with her new hit “Really Like You.” It’s everything one could ask for in a pop song. Just listen to it, and don’t be surprised when the song is running the country in a month.

See you Saturday when Taraji P. Henson hosts with musical guest Mumford and Sons!

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