Sir Paul McCartney is one of the world’s most famous people, and deservedly so. No one is ever going to argue that he shouldn’t get the, erm, royal treatment when he swings by the hallowed halls of Studio 8H for an appearance on Saturday Night Live. Yet, I found myself incredibly annoyed when Paul McCartney showed up on my screen not once, not twice, not thrice, but SEVEN GOD DAMN TIMES during this weekend’s episode that was supposed to have been hosted by Paul Rudd. I am all for Paul and his crappy band of spray tanned douches playing three songs, but four PLUS an appearance in the monologue, Digital Short and Weekend Update? No thanks, Beatle Bailey*!
Anyhoo, let’s get on with it, abbreviated style (posterity’s sake is my favorite sake, natch). How did the cast of Saturday Night Live perform this week? Read along!
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE POWER RANKINGS: 12/11/10 (Host: Paul Rudd; Musical Guest: Paul McCartney)
1. Bill Hader (47 points): Stefon is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most popular breakout character the show has had in some time (maybe the biggest since MacGruber?). After bringing down the house yet again during Weekend Update, I dare say it’s time to spin Stefon off into his own sketch. Maybe an origin story of some sort would be appropriate? At this point, I certainly wouldn’t rule out a feature film in his future, but we’ll see where Hader wants to take him.
Stefon aside, it was a great all-around episode for Hader. His Julian Assange as Bond Villian is quickly becoming a signature character, and the energy and vocal inflections he brings to the Kissing Family sketches always add an extra level of hilarity to a familiar premise.
2. Fred Armisen (26 points): As Austin Vogelcheck, paterfamilias of the Kissing Family, Armisen never fails to deliver French kisses so sloppy and bogue that it makes you wish that French kisses were never invented.
3. Vanessa Bayer (24 points): Solid week of supporting performances across the board.
4. Nasim Pedrad (18 points): Same goes for Nasim.
5. (tie) Paul Brittain, Kristin Wiig (17 points): Aside from the week in which he portrayed “Sex” Ed Vincent, this was Brittain’s biggest week on the show so far. Both he and Wiig displayed a willingness to go that extra mile for laughs in the Kissing Family sketch.
7. Abby Elliott (15 points): I can’t help but think that Lorne threw Abby a bone with the Meryl Streep On Ice. Her Streep isn’t particularly compelling, but she has had a real difficult time getting on air, so maybe this is the reason for the totally random sketch?
8. Jason Sudeikis (14 points)
9. Kenan Thompson (13 points): The thing I love about Kenan is his ability to take a middle-of-the-road character and, through his sheer comedic talent, turn it into something memorable. For example, his work as Norman The Doorman in “What’s That Name?” tonight. There was nothing particularly special about the way that the character was written, but Kenan’s delivery (“Low and lazy”) was the lynchpin to this sketch’s success. (Admittedly, the conceit was pretty amazing, too; I definitely don’t know the name of my cleaning lady, but I’m way too poor to have a doorman.)
10. Andy Samberg (7 points): Stumblin’!
11. Bobby Moynihan (6 points): Bring back Mark Payne!
12. (tie) Taran Killam, Jay Pharoah (5 points): I have been watching SNL for a long, long time now, and I can’t remember an original character that made less comedic sense than Pharoah’s high school principal, Daniel Frye. Apparently, it was a killer impression of Pharoah’s principal at Indian River High School in Chesapeake, VA, Jimmy Frye, but that joke was lost on 99.999% of the people watching the show. Ugh.
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE POWER RANKINGS: SEASON 36 TOTALS
1. ⇑ Bill Hader (298 points; Last Week: #2)
2. ⇓ Kristin Wiig (274 points; Last Week: #1)
3. Fred Armisen (260 points; Last Week: #3)
4. Andy Samberg (236 points; Last Week: #4)
5. Kenan Thompson (201 points; Last Week: #5)
6. Jason Sudeikis (198 points; Last Week: #6)
7. Bobby Moynihan (167 points; Last Week: #7)
8. Nasim Pedrad (151 points; Last Week: #8)
9. Vanessa Bayer (136 points; Last Week: #9)
10. ⇓ Taran Killam (117 points; Last Week: #9)
11. Paul Brittain (111 points; Last Week: #11)
12. Abby Elliott (106 points; Last Week: #12)
13. Jay Pharoah (91 points; Last Week: #13)
Need a refresher on the Scoring System?
Here’s this week’s sketch-by-sketch breakdown:
Also, did you know that we’re showing classic episodes of SNL every night on VH1? It’s true!
*Especially considering his voice was all but shot.