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Laughs in the Late-Night: "SNL" Returns, Kimmel and Affleck

By admin Published: February 25, 2008

Well, Oscar night also meant the debut of Jimmy Kimmel's answer to the video by his girlfriend, Sarah Silverman. Here's one link to it. (Some adult content.)

(You can also find it over at http://www.abc.go.com, but I didn't see an embed on that version.) ...

The Kimmel video wasn't quite as giddily funny as Silverman's, in part because Silverman got there first, in part because she's a better performer than Kimmel. But the Kimmel piece made comic sense; it was over the top, with more celebs (Brad Pitt, Robin Williams and so on), because a scorned Kimmel would have wanted to top Silverman's video. And it had its amusing bits, none more than hearing Josh Groban -- yes, Josh Groban -- sing about what Kimmel is doing with Affleck. And the rest of Sunday's "Jimmy Kimmel Live," with Affleck the guest and Kimmel determined to keep the gag going, was even funnier than the video.

Saturday, meanwhile, brought the return of "Saturday Night Live," with host Tina Fey, which I watched a little on Saturday and more on a Sunday replay. And Happy Birthday, Don Pardo!

Fred Armisen gets to play Barack Obama opposite Amy Poehler's Hillary Clinton. Armisen's Obama has a lot of the vocal inflections and gestures of Obama but I'm not sure he has his impression all the way down yet; also, Poehler's Hillary is perfectly tuned, which may have added to the sense of tentativeness around Armisen's Obama. (It also didn't help that here in Ohio, "SNL" was preceded by an ad for the real Obama.)

Anyway, both of them were put to use in a funny, mean sketch about how much some news folks have gone over to Obama. Promising start. But Fey's bit with Steve Martin wasn't great. Annuale commercial: OK joke, but too long. The "Rock of Love" parody also dragged.

The Digital Short was more of a sketch, but an idea that played pretty well. Especially liked telling grandpa about the off button, and "That phone's in the movie, Grandpa, that's not your phone." The game-show sketch had no real payoff although, like a lot of the show, it gave the women in the cast another chance to show their considerable skills.

Weekend Update: Mike Huckabee was all right, although my favorite piece was probably Seth Meyers' Matthew McConaughey impression. Tina Fey sure misses being at the anchor desk, but I don't know that her return added anything.

Loved the running shot at NBC's prime-time lineup in the "Celebrity Apprentice" sketch (and Casey Wilson was a fine Rachael Ray). Terrific Day-Lewis impression by Bill Hader in the milkshake sketch but even the "No Country" addendum didn't go anywhere. Like the hot-air-balloon ad, but I think Kristen Wiig is good in just about anything. More stuff followed, none of it very memorable. So-so show in total, then, but I don't regret its return.

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