Saturday Night Live: Bill Hader and Hozier
October 12, 2014 1:59 PM - Season 40, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Bill Hader returns to Studio 8H to play some beloved characters.
posted by Small Dollar (18 comments total)
The selection they used as a Jan Hooks memorial was nice, I guess. Although it's really more representative of Tom Schiller's writing that anything she or Hartman did.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 3:18 PM on October 12, 2014

Inside SoCal is my favorite thing from the Good Neighbor guys, and this installment was the best one they've ever done. Laughed hysterically through the whole thing. The red salsa was the best part.
posted by dogwalker at 4:07 PM on October 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

This pretty much hit all the things I'd wanted that the two previous SNL's the season lacked. It had more Leslie Jones, a lot more Pete Davidson, a couple great ensemble pieces, good use of the host, interesting musical guests, the WU co-anchors are much more comfortable, Good Neighbor sketch was hilarious and not just on a "quirky and odd" way, ...and so on. Best episode of the season.

I didn't even mind Kirsten Wiig's wakka-wakka that much.
posted by not_on_display at 5:06 PM on October 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Celebrity Game Night is a good excuse to show off celebrity impressions without worrying too much about a premise. I expect to see that again this season.
posted by Gary at 8:00 PM on October 12, 2014

I thought it was pretty consistently good across the board. Bobby Moynihan sold the cold open, the monologue had singing without being terrible (well, the singing was terrible, but in a way that worked). The Group Hopper was great, if long. HelpFund was excellent, although I'm surprised they haven't done that one before (not sure the last time I've seen an actual version of that. Possibly not since coffee was actually 39¢). The highlight to me was PTSD muppet, which the AV Club recap says is a recurring (or at least returning) bit, but I guess I missed the original.

Love is a Dream is poignant and I can see why they'd go with it, but it's a poor example of the comedy brilliance of Jan Hooks that they were talking about when introducing the bit.

Weekend Update remains disappointing, with subpar jokes and Colin Jost's delivery. The chain bit felt wedged into the story, and I've never been all that big of a Stefon fan.

I am indifferent to Hozier, although this is the first guest this season that I'm actually somewhat familiar with their current work.
posted by ckape at 9:24 PM on October 12, 2014

The original puppet sketch was on a show with Seth Macfarlane, and I nearly peed my pants. Last night's version wasn't quite as funny until he blew out the smoke, at which point I laughed like a seal.
posted by Madamina at 10:40 PM on October 12, 2014

I would throw movie theater ticket levels of money at anything that gives me more Bill Hader as Effie Trinket/goat thing.
posted by phunniemee at 7:45 AM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm so stupidly overinvested in Stefon and his marriage to SNL-Seth Meyers that I was thrilled at the reveal that they're house hunting and expecting a child. (How is Stefon pregnant?! Probably best not to think too hard about it.) So this episode was a win for me just for that, but even aside from the return of Stefon, this was probably the best episode I've seen in a couple of years. That parody of dystopian YA movies was spot on.
posted by yasaman at 9:25 AM on October 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

Come on, there is no way that this episode was lower-rated than any episode that featured Denny Dillon or Gilbert Gottfried.
posted by doctornecessiter at 4:50 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

I noticed the 'Vintage SNL' that NBC ran in their 10pm slot was Jan Hooks-heavy. It was Alec Baldwin's first hosting and had the Greenhily sketch and the Waitress sketch. Good stuff.
posted by ApathyGirl at 3:45 PM on October 14, 2014

Bill Hader is not, as they say in professional wrestling, "a draw." It's not him personally, just his style of humor. You can put Will Ferrell or Tina Fey in a film or on stage and people will buy tickets. People might enjoy Bill Hader—or Chris Kattan, or Martin Short—as much or even more, but they can't draw.
posted by cribcage at 3:46 PM on October 14, 2014

Speaking of big freaking draws:

'Saturday Night Live': Prince will play, Chris Rock will host on Nov. 1

posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:10 PM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

Lowest rated SNL episode ever


posted by louche mustachio at 8:58 AM on October 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm not saying *I* rate it as the lowest/worst SNL episode ever. I'm saying that its total viewership as measured by Nielsen, et al., is the lowest ever for an SNL episode. It's not an opinion to argue. It's a fact mentioned in the link I included.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:08 PM on October 15, 2014

TV viewership has declined markedly since the heady days of Denny Dillon.

The key is really cast turnover. They had a lot of long-standing regular cast members leave over the last couple of seasons and the new ones may be funny (or not) but quite simply don't draw viewers in. That's as much a factor of longevity as anything else. It's also a fact that while Hader is beloved as an SNL player, he doesn't have the box office presence that some other returning stars have. The Skeleton Twins is something of a critical hit, but has earned just $5M in five weeks, even with Kristen Wiig -- and he hasn't been gone long enough for it to feel like Old Home Week.
posted by dhartung at 1:28 PM on October 15, 2014

This episode, which I thought was just fine and probably best (certainly most consistent) of the the young season also being the lowest-rated Nielsen-wise, reminds me why there is a consistently low pop-culture rumble about the deteriorating quality of Saturday Night Live. It's easy to see how many people tuned in according to Nielsen, but I wonder how many people consistently tune in. If you only see every third episode and it's one that's worse than usual, the show is "worse than ever", but if you watch most every week and have for many years, you realize it almost always averages out quality-wise. Sometimes there will be the funniest joke I've seen on TV that week; sometimes it will be the most awkward 5 minutes. And for me that's part of the charm.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:59 AM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

Four years later, I'm still pissed off that "I grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, like an idiot in some book" didn't get a better laugh.
posted by Etrigan at 7:26 PM on October 27, 2018

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