Saturday Night Live: Peter Dinklage / Gwen Stefani
April 3, 2016 2:59 PM - Season 41, Episode 16 - Subscribe

Big names! First-timer Dinklage hosts with the former No Doubt singer.
posted by rhizome (39 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I thought this was the best episode in a while. It felt a bit like a Cecily-Taran-Beck show, but there also many fewer half-baked skits and Peter was great in all of them.

Gwen Stefani appears to be drifting to the middle of the road, soundwise, but was fine overall.
posted by rhizome at 3:08 PM on April 3, 2016


SPACE PANTS!
posted by Small Dollar at 3:26 PM on April 3, 2016 [8 favorites]


Space Pants was a shockingly good skit!
posted by rhizome at 3:31 PM on April 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah, Space Pants was pretty darned good, primarily due to Dinklage selling it like a boss.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:25 PM on April 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


Between dressing up like Winnie the Pooh, going naked, going down on glory hole bread and Space Pants, I think Dinklage may have set a new bar for being a good sport. Space Pants was truly glorious, I could have watched Dinklage do that thing all night... and since he isn't a regular, we won't have to see this bit driven into the ground!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:42 PM on April 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


Had to watch SPACE PANTS on YouTube after reading this thread because of course. I don't think that any of the mafia stuff worked at all, mostly because they, unlike Dinklage, were phoning it in. But Dinklage couldn't possibly have been any better. That was some Brando method acting level shit, fully inhabiting the psyche of a SPACE PANTS-wearing krautrock lounge singer.

SPACE PANTS-wearing krautrock lounge singers should be a thing.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:13 PM on April 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


I would watch the shit out of a reality show with Leslie Jones and Peter Dinklage trapped in the woods.

I was a bit worried going into the show that every skit would be basically "ha ha he's really short" and I got a bit concerned when the first one had him dressed up like Winnie the Pooh but then I was presently surprised that they mostly didn't make a thing of it. I wonder if he just rejected any pitch that made a short joke. Or maybe SNL is classier than I thought? Naah.

The glory hole sketch was amazing. I want to shake the hand of whoever wrote that one.

All in all a very good episode.

Space pants!
posted by bondcliff at 6:34 PM on April 3, 2016


I looked Dinklage up in Wikipedia last night to try and get a bead on his accent (NJ) and wound up wondering if the Winnie the Pooh thing was an homage to what it says was his first stage success: playing the Velveteen Rabbit. I can imagine that kind of thing coming up in the writer's room.
posted by rhizome at 6:43 PM on April 3, 2016


This morning I woke up with SPACE PANTS playing in my head.
posted by homunculus at 8:21 PM on April 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Space Pants is everything. I was surprised none of the GoT stuff was that funny (you could almost feel Dinklage cringing at Moynihan's embarrassing GRRM), but almost every sketch was great. Jay Pharoah was in a lot more of the episode than usual, and was very good throughout. But it was Dinklage's show for sure, and proved he has a long future ahead of him when (if?) GoT comes to an end.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:23 PM on April 3, 2016


SPACE PANTS!
posted by homunculus at 8:27 PM on April 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


I have the space pants fabric right here on my couch. I should get around to doing something with that.

Anyway, Dinklage is awesome as ever.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:04 PM on April 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


I started to space out near the end (space pants out?) but I'm pretty sure I didn't see Sasheer the entire night. Did I miss something?

Also, with regards to this:

"I was a bit worried going into the show that every skit would be basically "ha ha he's really short""

I can't say whether or not the writers wanted to introduce skits that referenced or mocked his stature but I'm sure if any had he would have shot them down. One of my favorite quotes from Dinklage:

"Dwarves are still the butt of jokes. It’s one of the last bastions of acceptable prejudice. Not just by people who’ve had too much to drink in England and want to throw a person. But by media, everything.” He sipped his coffee and pointed out that media portrayal is, in part, the fault of actors who are dwarves. “You can say no. You can not be the object of ridicule.”" [source]
posted by komara at 7:34 AM on April 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


I have the space pants fabric right here on my couch. I should get around to doing something with that.

I am not going to send you my measurements but know that it's very tempting.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:55 AM on April 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


My name is Jonathon Cummings and this song is called
"SPACE PANTS!"

Begin transmission...

"One small step for man, one giant leap for-"
-MY PANTS!

Boys and girls,
I think you'll find
that my pants
will BLOW YOUR MIND!

Look at my pants
with the eyes in your face.
My legs are covered
in OUTER SPACE!

SPACE PANTS!
SPACE PANTS!

I
am wearing
SPACE PANTS!

SPACE PANTS!
SPACE PANTS!

My pants are
SPACE PANTS!

Do you see my pants?
No, wait, you missed them.
My pants are a tour
of the SOLAR SYSTEM!

When I say 'space',
you say 'pants'.
SPACE!
"What?"

When I say 'Space Pants'
you say 'Our intergalactic Space Pants'.
SPACE PANTS!
"Our intergalactic Space Pants."

YES YES YES YES
YES YES YES YES

Hey, you there in front!
Stop talking
during my song!
It's VERY RUDE!

Now joining me on stage
for my grand finale,
is my extremely close friend,
Gwen Stefani!

Ladies and gentlemen,
I'm happy to report
my friend Gwen Stefani
is wearing SPACE SHORTS!

People on Earth
hear what I say -
My shorts are from a
galaxy far, far away!

Asteroids, comets, meteors;
my shorts boldy go
where no shorts have gone before!
SPACE SHORTS!/SPACE SHORTS!

SPACE PANTS!
SPACE PANTS!

SPACE SHORTS!

SPACE PANTS!
SPACE PANTS!

SPACE PANTS!
SPACE PANTS!
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:53 AM on April 4, 2016 [17 favorites]


I tried to do the lyrics yesterday and those last two Gwen lines had me stumped. Thanks!
posted by rhizome at 12:57 PM on April 4, 2016


I can't say whether or not the writers wanted to introduce skits that referenced or mocked his stature but I'm sure if any had he would have shot them down.

I like to think that someone pitched such a sketch -- probably in a "Hey, we'll turn it around and you totally beat the crap out of this guy who mocks your height" way -- and Dinklage just stared at him silently, and a bunch of the other people in the room nonchalantly crossed things off their lists.
posted by Etrigan at 1:24 PM on April 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


Today I learned that Gwen Stefani is older than Ted Cruz.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:35 PM on April 4, 2016


Something tells me that his "have you EVER had a dream with a dwarf in it?" freakout in Living in Oblivion has forever rendered him immune to anyone suggesting he do any kind of "ha ha he's short" sketch comedy unless they're truly an idiot.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:29 PM on April 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


I would love to see the table read where they pitched Space Pants. So much of the comedy in that bit is stuff you kind of need to actually see, like Dinklage's weird robot moves and the costume. If it was just some writer reading it out loud, it might sound just awful.

I went back and re-watched the sketch, and the new guy shows up way late. It leaves the other cast members awkwardly saying stuff about "the two of you" while Davison is the only one there. Then Stefani comes very close to doing one of Dinklage's lines in the song, it's an awkward moment. But none of that matters, because SPACE PANTS.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:28 PM on April 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


"I tried to do the lyrics yesterday and those last two Gwen lines had me stumped. Thanks!"

Yeah, I painstakingly listened to and transcribed the lyrics, rewinding, making pained decisions about line-splitting and formatting -- and then got to Stefani's lines and was stumped. After all that work!

Then it occurred to me that the NBC site might have the episode/sketch and that they'd likely include the closed-captioning. Which was a little confused or incomplete in places, including some of Stefani's verses. But they got enough correct for me to have an "aha!" moment about them and I knew what they were. There's something a little weird about her "boldly go" line (like there's some extra syllables/words), but I can't see how it could possibly be anything other than that.

My aunt is deaf, but I've never thought much about closed-captioned of live television until this. You'd think that the captioner would have access to a script, but there's still going to be changes or missed-lines or improv that will mean they will have to figure it out in real-time. Obviously this happens with live news events and such. Interestingly, with something like NBC putting the episode (or especially a sketch from an episode) on their site later, they'd be able to complete and correct the CCs, but they clearly didn't do that in this case. I'm curious if they ever do, or if they just always leave them with the captions that were aired.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:10 PM on April 4, 2016


"So much of the comedy in that bit is stuff you kind of need to actually see, like Dinklage's weird robot moves and the costume."

When I transcribed the lyrics and in the process watched it many times, I was struck by how much of what works is Dinklage's physical humor. He really did get everything right.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:13 PM on April 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


My name is Jonathon Cummings and this song is called
"SPACE PANTS!"


Well, shit. I thought he said "My name is Jonathan Comets."
posted by homunculus at 11:24 PM on April 4, 2016


can it be space pants forever please
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:25 PM on April 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


There's something a little weird about her "boldly go" line (like there's some extra syllables/words), but I can't see how it could possibly be anything other than that.

I think she just flubbed them, even with your lyrics they don't fit. Props to the closed captioners if they weren't working off of cue cards or anything!
posted by rhizome at 11:36 PM on April 4, 2016


"Well, shit. I thought he said 'My name is Jonathan Comets.'"

Me, too. And he might have. That's what I originally transcribed, but the closed-captioning shows "Cummings".
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:37 PM on April 4, 2016


Ivan Fyodorovich, in general, if captions on content are offered for free, they don't get changed much from the first broadcast captions. If someone complains, they may get changed. If the content is on a pay basis (think Netflix, iTunes, DVD, etc) then the captions usually go through another quality assurance process, where many things are changed or fixed. Usually. (I have Feelings about this, but that's for another time.)

On a related note, it sure sounded like Cummings to me, and I'm not sure whether "Jonathan Comets" or "Jonathan Cummings" is funnier.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:50 AM on April 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


I thought he was Jonathan Cubbins.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:05 PM on April 5, 2016


Jonathan Cubbins would sing "Space Hats".
posted by Etrigan at 1:16 PM on April 5, 2016


Leslie Jones is living her best life lately and I am here for it.

Gwen Stefani, however, is not. Those lips. :(
posted by Brittanie at 1:21 PM on April 5, 2016


Her lips match her music.
posted by rhizome at 1:28 PM on April 5, 2016


Cut for time: Establishment Shuffle.
posted by Gary at 8:41 PM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh my god, Clarence Thomas in that shuffle skit!

I just remembered something about the Space Pants skit. It looked like Jon Rudnitsky (whom I LOVE) didn't make it to the stage on time for the start of the skit. He bumbed the table when he did arrive which led to some weird camera angle thing with the gun Bobby Moynihan was holding. I wonder what that was all about.
posted by Brittanie at 2:11 AM on April 6, 2016


That Establishment Shuffle bit was purest gold.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:13 PM on April 6, 2016


Space Pants is by FAR the standout sketch from this ep, and I agree that Dinklage nailed the physical humor. But as a lapsed actor I was even more impressed with his straight up movement skills, so precise.
posted by kittensofthenight at 2:57 PM on April 6, 2016


Space Pants was great but the dead underwater resort workers probably made me laugh more than anything non-Kate on SNL has made me laugh in a while.
posted by phunniemee at 10:50 AM on April 9, 2016


SNL has released an official version of Space Pants (this link works outside of the US, for now).
posted by Gary at 11:46 AM on April 21, 2016 [2 favorites]


Thanks!

I don't think he says "Cummings", but it doesn't sound quite like "Comets", either.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:04 PM on April 21, 2016


Oh, d'uh. It says "Comets" on the video. (I just immediately converted the video to an MP3 and didn't look more closely until afterwards.)
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:06 PM on April 21, 2016


« Older The Amazing Race: Let the Good...   |  The Walking Dead: Last Day on ... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments

poster