Much hype surrounded this weekend’s Saturday Night Live premiere, which featured Michael Phelps as the host. Other sites have covered the lovely Fey and Poehler cold open, which was nice and made me want to be friends with both of them. I mean, I already wanted that, but it made me want it more. Tina’s accent was hilarious.
Michael Phelps? Well, if SNL was a pool, he would have gone under several times, only to be dragged above-water and revived by the cast, just before going under again. Poor guy. I honestly felt sorry for him. He was trying, but he just seemed nervous and awkward, and I was afraid he was going to freeze up on-stage or totally blank out or something. His best moment was in the T-Mobile sketch, when he didn’t have much stage time but was fairly funny when he did. And that whole sketch was pretty darn funny, as well, and makes you realize just how creepy the original commercial was and is. I would love to embed, but for some reason I can’t, so here: T-Mobile Fav 5
But having just viewed it again, I realize that if that was the high moment for Phelps, then ouch. His best moment was sticking his head in the kitchen and saying a few words? Poor guy. I think if he was less nervous, he would have been OK, but he apparently just didn’t feel comfortable. I wonder if Peyton Manning did better because he’s already used to poking fun at himself in commercials?
Speaking of which, there was a bad Michael Phelps diet commercial. It was a good enough concept, but the execution was off. The biggest cheers of the night came when they showed him without his shirt. I believe if Phelps had done the whole show shirtless or in a Speedo, he would have gotten more applause. And perhaps felt more comfortable. Even in the Charles Barkley skit, above, he was playing himself and was still awkward. Perhaps the entire show should have been performed underwater? Now there’s a concept for ya, SNL.
Phelps tried, which is more than you can say for most athletes. Yes, he was pretty bad, but I don’t think this is really going to hurt him in the long run, as I doubt he really planned on having a big career in Hollywood. But the cast did well, and while he was definitely a handicap, I think next week should be better, because you have James Franco hosting. Ohh, pretty, that Franco. I doubt NBC is worried, though, since the show got really high ratings. So by that measure, it was a success.
And Andy Samberg, stop making digital shorts, or at least ones that don’t make any real sense except to you. The only thing that kept me watching is your weird Amadeus-like hair. This screamed vanity project. It wasn’t funny, but it wasn’t terrible either. It was just confusing and I kept waiting for a point to it all, other than, “Hey, we have an Olympian hosting! Ohh, Space Olympics digital short!” Samberg, you’re jumping the shark. If you haven’t already.
Finally, I have to give a big thumbs up to Amy Poehler for performing heavily while very very pregnant. She’s leaving after giving birth, and it saddens me, because she’s so good. SNL needs to find another female, since three is already too few and two is really pushing it. Haha, pushing it. Like, in labor. Wow, I sound as bad and awkward as Phelps!