Saturday Night Live: Fred Armisen / Courtney Barnett
May 22, 2016 5:23 AM - Season 41, Episode 22 - Subscribe

Fred Armisen as host with musical guest Courtney Barnett

  • Hillary & Bernie - Kate McKinnon, Larry David, Kenan Thompson
  • Monologue - Fred Armisen
  • Lewis & Clark - Fred Armisen, Cecily Strong, Kyle Mooney, Aidy Bryant, Sasheer Zamata
  • SNL Digital Short - F Bin Laden - Andy Samberg, Vanessa Bayer
  • Dinner Party - Vanessa Bayer, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennet, Fred Armisen, Jason Sudeikis
  • Farewell Mr. Bunting - Bobby Moynihan, Kyle Mooney, Pete Davidson, Jon Rudnitsky, Fred Armisen, Beck Bennet, Jay Pharoah
  • Courtney Barnett - Nobody Really Cares If You Don't Go To The Party
  • Weekend Update - Colin Jost, Michael Che
    • Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff - Maya Rudolph
    • My Neighbor Willie - Kenan Thompson

  • Space Ship Evacuation - Fred Armisen, Cecily Strong, Beck Bennet, Taran Killam, Kate McKinnon

  • Student Showcase - Aidy Bryant, Fred Armisen, Kate McKinnon, Taran Killam, Beck Bennet, Kyle Mooney, Larry David, Vanessa Bryant, Kenan Thompson

  • Courtney Barnett - Pedestrian At Best

  • The Harkin Brothers - Entire cast

posted by DizzyOnBugSpray (36 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Student Showcase reminded me of my high school a little too much. Loved most of this one...especially Courtney Barnett
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 6:45 AM on May 22, 2016

Farewell Mr Bunting cracked me up! Overall one of the funniest episodes of the season. Courtney Barnett was great too.
posted by Clustercuss at 8:27 AM on May 22, 2016 [3 favorites]

Farewell Mr. Bunting was my favorite as well. Soooo funny. Like.....covering your eyes and peeking through your fingers while laughing funny. Bobby Moynihan was really good in it.
posted by the webmistress at 9:07 AM on May 22, 2016

It might be because we had a beer festival yesterday but Kelly and I laughed harder at this than any SNL since Louis CK. The way Armisen's monologue rode the line was a real work of art and everything else was great too.
posted by ftm at 11:20 AM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

I was wondering where they were going with a mildly amusing parody of a decades old movie. And then that happened.
posted by ckape at 12:03 PM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

The way Armisen's monologue rode the line was a real work of art and everything else was great too.

I find Armisen a little indulgent and definitely got the feeling that if his monologue hadn't been overly long there would have been more time at the end for the fun music thing. Otherwise though, yes, this was a great season ender and the musical guest was one of the best (as far as my own tastes go) all season.
posted by jessamyn at 2:11 PM on May 22, 2016 [4 favorites]

You forgot Pete Davidson in the Lewis & Clark sketch. His reactions as the eager student saved the sketch for me.

The low budget effects throughout the escape pod sketch felt more like early 90s SNL than even Church Chat did last week.
posted by Gary at 3:03 PM on May 22, 2016 [4 favorites]

I've never liked Armisen's shtick of "Here's a thing that sucks -- isn't it hilarious how much it sucks?!?", so I didn't like the monologue, but the rest of the episode was pretty damn solid.
posted by Etrigan at 4:56 PM on May 22, 2016

What I liked more than anything about this episode is how inclusive it was & how much fun they had with it. Powering through the party sketch despite everybody cracking up, neither of the News guests sucked, the low rent effects for the scifi bit that just barely held together long enough to finish it. They managed to get the entire cast into both the opening & closing, which was pretty clearly the point of the closing. I especially dug uptight Michael Che with long hair trying to find a groove & mostly succeeding. An excellent way to end the season.
posted by scalefree at 7:33 PM on May 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

Oh, and Carrie Brownstein in the Harkin Bros sketch! And I'm clueless but what was Fred's monologue a parody of?
posted by Clustercuss at 8:27 PM on May 22, 2016

The monologue was a parody of earnest one-person shows.

Felt like maybe they had to axe an entire skit at the last minute?
posted by rhizome at 10:49 PM on May 22, 2016

John Leguizamo and Billy Crystal both have specials that are exactly like the opening monologue.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 6:20 AM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh, and Carrie Brownstein in the Harkin Bros sketch!

I saw her! Who was sitting next to Samberg in the front row on his right? I did not think I would want to ever see Student Showcase again but it was a good fit for Armisen's fake sincerity schtick.
posted by jessamyn at 6:26 AM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Interesting to see people here liking this episode. I thought it was among the weakest of the season. Nothing was very bad for me but then nothing much was good either with a few exceptions. I've never heard of Courtney Barnett and she was great. Maya Rudolph's bit during Update was good too. Student Showcase was ok the first time but it's been done so much and it seems like exactly the same joke every time. I did like Lewis & Clark quite a bit and Pete Davidson was excellent in that one as was Cecily Strong.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 6:50 AM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Student Showcase was ok the first time but it's been done so much and it seems like exactly the same joke every time.

The only good parts of Student Showcase (by design) are the parents' reactions, and when Kenan noped out at the beginning, that pretty much told us it was going to be a substandard edition.
posted by Etrigan at 6:59 AM on May 23, 2016

Yeah I liked this episode but also felt it was unwatchable in parts (I dislike Armisen's Hot Snotty French Chick but but Suedekis saved it). But the cast really clicked in a way that they don't always and even if I find Armisen annoying, he's good in sketches and people seemed to genuinely like working with him.
posted by jessamyn at 7:09 AM on May 23, 2016

I enjoyed this episode a lot. I'm a big fan of Armisen, for the most part, and it was nice to see them bring back Maya and Jason.

The Digital Short felt a bit out of place, like they made it five years ago but only got around to playing it now.

I've never heard of Courtney Barnett and I assumed she was some country singer or something. I was expecting to not like it and then... bang! Some decent rock and roll! It was a bit jarring to see her play a left-handed Telecaster without a pick but other than that I really enjoyed both her songs. I don't think I've liked an unknown (to me) musical guest that much in a long time.
posted by bondcliff at 7:15 AM on May 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Samberg's got a new movie coming out and the short was basically outtakes form that afaict.
posted by jessamyn at 7:24 AM on May 23, 2016

Almost the only thing I laughed at was the Dead Poet's Society sketch, but that was so good it almost made it worth it.
posted by orange swan at 1:20 PM on May 23, 2016

Courtney Barnett was wearing a Life. Be in it. t-shirt. That's so Oz, I can't even. She's a delight.
posted by misfish at 4:17 PM on May 24, 2016

Thank you misfish! We were trying to figure that out.
posted by jessamyn at 4:30 PM on May 24, 2016

The Dead Poet's sketch has it own thread now, with lots of discussion of Armisen's personality.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 9:12 AM on May 25, 2016

Every time I ever open an SNL-related thread on the blue it's filled with people talking about how unfunny SNL is, or how much better it used to be, or how they had no idea people still watched it, etc.

I like it better over here, where people aren't forced at gunpoint to read about a show they don't like.
posted by bondcliff at 9:58 AM on May 25, 2016 [7 favorites]

"I watch it and hate it every week!" Yeah super weird.
posted by jessamyn at 12:37 PM on May 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

I watch it because it's a live variety show and that's something I find entertaining by its nature even if it is terrible. I don't tune in unless I'm at least a casual fan of either the host or the musician, though — but I'd say that's the case around 75 percent of the time. (For instance, Courtney Barnett is awesome.) I'm pretty easy, really! "Weekend Update" usually makes me smile, at least, once or twice, and I thought the Dead Poets Society/Braindead mash-up was laugh-out-loud funny, so thumbs up for that.

But the show's core "sketch comedy" aesthetic I feel has grown absolutely withered and toothless. It feels like the writers consistently go for the broadest possible satire and the easiest, safest targets — and also that they live in fear of offending Jesus Christ or Lorne Michaels or somebody. And this year I've found the attempted 180-degree turnaround from giving Trump a wealth of free publicity to an attempted lampooning of him especially ineffectual. It makes me want to grumble. And isn't this where we come to grumble?
posted by Mothlight at 3:47 PM on May 25, 2016

If you hate that style of one man show/dramatic first person monologue as much as I do then the opening monologue was gold. The ending seemed like a premise in search of a punchline.
posted by bleep at 6:44 PM on May 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

I look forward to some day hearing the inside story about why Trump got the hosting gig this season. They've done nothing but trash him ever since. I suspect Trump had some dirt on somebody or someone in NBC owed him a favor.

I don't believe there were any "good old days" on SNL. If you watch some of the early episodes, the show has always been largely terrible. All the things people complain about have always existed. There have always been catch phrases, there have always been dumb recurring characters, there have always been musical monologues, there have always been bad endings to sketches, certain cast members have always giggled throughout a sketch, there have always been pre-taped segments.

So when people say it's not funny... they're often correct. It's often not funny. We, the people who love SNL, know that it's often not funny. I'm not sure why people feel the need to tell us that.

But it's live... and every now and then they hit it out of the park, or the cast breaks up laughing, or a host that everyone assumed would be terrible turns out to be amazing (Justin Timberlake comes to mind) or the musical guest blows the doors off the place. That's why I watch it. That's why I sit through all the lame sketches.

It's like watching baseball. You watch it for those great moments, because you know they're always going to happen.
posted by bondcliff at 7:43 AM on May 26, 2016 [4 favorites]

I don't believe there were any "good old days" on SNL.

I can't find it anywhere, but I remember someone (Dan Aykroyd?) once talking about how the critics loved SNL, then hated it, then complained about the retreads, then were cautiously optimistic, then said it wasn't as good as it used to be...

And the punchline was "And then, we aired the second episode."
posted by Etrigan at 7:52 AM on May 26, 2016 [6 favorites]

Fred Armisen's face affects me the same way Garrison Keillor's voice affects some people -- just a suggestion of it can make me too angry to form coherent thought. It's not that he isn't talented. He just seems to ooze this smugness. I didn't really watch the show when he was on, and I've watched a few Portlandia sketches and thought they were funny, but I can't deal with him for very long. I watched this from my DVR and just noped through the monologue, my jaw dropping as minute after minute zoomed by on fastforward. Holy shit, dude. Are you fucking kidding me?

The Dead Poets Society sketch was amazing, Courtney Barnett was good, Willie was transcendent, but the rest of the episode felt like senior cut day. That's cool. This was a good season, and they earned it.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:51 AM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm hopeful of Kenan returning for another season. Because if they had Sudakis and Armisen in house and didn't give him a send-off "What's up with that?" I'll be furious.
posted by Gary at 11:35 AM on May 27, 2016 [4 favorites]

I hope Kenan lands somewhere more permanent, he seems like he's probably the coolest dude ever. Has anybody seen Good Burger?
posted by rhizome at 7:13 PM on May 27, 2016

posted by jessamyn at 10:27 AM on August 9, 2016

Eh, Killam and Pharaoh are probably headed to movies or series TV, Rudnitsky maybe a writer somewhere.

Also...Rudnitsky is Michael Oren's nephew!
posted by rhizome at 12:25 PM on August 9, 2016

Aw not Taran, he was my favorite part of every sketch. I hope we see him again soon.
posted by bleep at 1:25 PM on August 9, 2016

« Older Outlander: Faith...   |  Dance Academy: Through the Loo... Newer »

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