January 14, 2018

A great cold open on "SNL" last night.

I particularly love Fred Armisen as Michael Wolff. It's also wonderful to see Bill Murray as Steve Bannon, and I'm told the Mika and Joe stuff is spot on. I find Kate McKinnon very funny here, but I don't know "Morning Joe" enough to see how closely she's tracking Mika Brzezinski, but Meade tells me it's a great impersonation:



I'm told I should watch some YouTubes of "Morning Joe" so I can understand the Mika and Joe dynamic, but trying to extrapolate from this imitation, it seems that the man (Joe) is inflated with self-importance and the woman (Mika) serves the role of continually deflating him in this weird combination of disrespecting him and being sexually attracted to him. Did I get that right? I don't know, but I laughed a lot and am prompted to believe I would laugh even more if I understood the target that is Mika Brzezinski.

What really cracked me up was Fred Armisen, whom I couldn't recognize for a good while because of the bald head but also because he assumed the ridiculous, infuriating demeanor of Michael Wolff so perfectly.

I laughed even more at the "My Drunk Boyfriend" sketch, which was about full-size robot dolls that are actually like your drunk boyfriend. The physical comedy is really excellent:

38 comments:

David Begley said...

Morning Joe parody is stone cold accurate.

Joe and Mika are married. Joe wants to run for President.

Gahrie said...

My original post:

The doll skit was mildly amusing....but the whole time I was watching it I was thinking....would they do a similar skit with the sexes reversed?

I mean it was pretty blatantly anti-male.....a perfect example of today's culture of casual misandry.


OK..they tried to balance it at the last five seconds...

Ann Althouse said...

@Gahrie

I think SNL has done many sketches making fun of drunk women.

There was a regular character "Drunk Girl" (played by a man) and another one "Girl at a Party." Google it.

Try this: The Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation with at a Party (Cecily Strong) discusses the 2016 election.

Ann Althouse said...

"Do you even know what women have to do when we go to vote? We have to show our IUD...."

wendybar said...

Mika does make faces at the camera all the time like a child. Joe is a blowhard. He has a dead intern in his past. Mika just claimed her friends were embarrassed to be Americans. I quit watching when Valerie Jarrett started texting them with the WH talking points to counter guests that they had on. Mika got this job because of her Daddy.

Masscon said...

The Mika impersonation is so spot on and the actress/comedienne was strangely attractive to me! Help!!!!

I haven't watched SNL since the 80's...if only this was the quality I was missing all these years.

Gahrie said...

It's entirely possible.

I admit I haven't watched SNL more than a handful of times since they added Michael Anthony Hall to the cast.

Auntie Trump said...

It’s kind of funny that it only really fell off when Bill Murray came on. All of the self deprecating humor was gone. Bill was the one who couldn’t laugh at himself and started preaching. Which was a shame, because when he came on in the death robe, it looked like it was going to be good.

EDH said...

Watching last night I immediately got the feeling that somebody -- maybe Lorne Michaels himself -- told them over the holiday break to broaden the sketch humor.

From the start I thought the show moved well back to its better days.

Even though it seems Weekend Update was left to be their all negative Trump segment, even Michael Che I think at least a couple of times introduced a caveat like "while I admit" about what Trump (was alleged to have) said.

Humperdink said...

Back when I worked in manufacturing, we would label Mika a "head shaker". Someone who would offer zilch, but would nod approvingly at the boss.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Isn't one fake Mika and Joe show enough?

dreams said...

I find Mika very feminine, I can't describe what it is, I just know it when I see it. I think Kate McKinnon did go for the feminine persona.

Martha said...

The Mika / Joe dynamic was right on. Mika is struck speechless in horror and disgust at whatever Trump did that news cycle.....morning after morning Mika reaches max hysteria. The only way to make the portrayal of Joe more spot on would be for Joe to begin a fatuous monologue with “When I was in Congress ...blah blah blah”.....
Their sexual dynamic is the only thing that makes the show watchable IMHO—gives their otherwise dumb repartee a comic frisson.



Carol said...

Drunk Boyfriend -complete with cool Millennial Beard!

Geez every young guy looks like Bluto now.

cronus titan said...

I have seen Morning Joe a few times and initially thought it was a satire -- no one can be that self-absorbed and ridiculous. I stopped watching when I realized they were being serious.

I often remark to my wife that she is right to be disgusted with herself to be in love with an idiot. It speaks poorly of her judgment that she has not thrown me out yet.

Birkel said...

Paraphrasing Althouse responding to Gahrie:

SNL has represented drunk people from all perspectives: the Left and the Far Left.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

If you hadn't pointed him out, I would not have recognized Fred Armisen. Even after you pointed him out, I still didn't recognize him in that bald wig. So I googled him, for a non-made up picture.

Nope, still don't recognize him.

ndspinelli said...

The inside joke is Murray didn't have to do any makeover to look like an alcoholic Irishman.

themightypuck said...

You can't do Bannon if you don't say the word Hobbits at least once.

Spaceman said...

Funny stuff

Big Mike said...

I watched the "Drunk Boyfriend" skit with the wife. Peeing in the hamper??? That has to have happened to one of the writers or someone a writer knows. Sheesh.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

The dynamic is way exaggerated, but I'm not surprised you and the other old asexuals find it funny. SNL has been playing up tropes of "awkward sexuality" since the 1980s, and it's never let up. Molly Shannon, Mango, and I'm sure at least a few dozen others. They do it because Americans are sexually insecure, not because there's anything really all that untoward about a husband-wife team that can manage to effectively, competently co-host a nationally influential morning political show.

Here's a joke: Why has Meadesey been banished to a separate blog? Let him co-blog with you like Joe and Mika!

Or are you afraid an unreadably "sexual" dynamic will pervade the content and render it less blog-worthy? ;-)

rcocean said...

The 1st Skits, like a lot SNL goes on way to long...

In any case, its hard to satirize Joe and Mika - how can you satirize a clown show?

The 2nd one was much funnier, but I've never even thought of peeing a hamper.

Rumpletweezer said...

I just did a double-take. I don't watch SNL anymore, but I couldn't help noticing that pictures of Wolff and Armisen looked similar. I put up side-by-side pictures of them on Facebook earlier this week.

rcocean said...

What I love about Scarborough is he was another #fakeconservative. Like a lot of "Life long Republicans" Trump finally reveled him to be a Liberal Democrat at heart.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

What I love about Scarborough is he was another #fakeconservative. Like a lot of "Life long Republicans" Trump finally reveled him to be a Liberal Democrat at heart.

His 1990s legislative agenda was definitely way too liberal and not reactionary enough for you purist fantasizers.

Mac McConnell said...

My only criticism is about the actor playing Joe Scarborough is that his mouth is five times larger than Joe's and has lips.

William said...

I watch Joe and Mika during CNBC commercials. The parody approaches but doesn't exceed the earnest pomposity of the originals. I've never seen any underlying sexual attraction between them, but maybe I don't watch enough. I wonder who on their show will next be outed by the metoo wave. I hope it's not Willie Geist. He seems like such a gentleman. Donnie Deutsch has a persona that fairly screams sexual predator, but I wouldn't want Mike Barnicle to chaperon my daughter's slumber party either.

Mac McConnell said...

I respect Joe Scarborough for adapting to a left wing Ideology to get laid in New York city. Bonus points for fucking another man's wife. What I don't like about him is his self aggrandizement, you would think he along was responsible for any Republican legislative achievements of the 1990s and he is a real Rocker.

Mika is there because of her father and for her age isn't bad to look at. She is shallow.

Mourning Joe is just a DNC talking points rally with deranged "experts". Sadly Mark Halperin was the only sane commentator on MJ. Eza Klein was on a lot till he let the cat out of the bag concerning liberals' view of the US Constitution.

Ctmom4 said...

The Mika impersonation was good, but needed more sighing and mewing.

Clyde said...

That had to be uncomfortable for some in the audience who like watching Morning Joe and liked the Wolff book. The cognitive dissonance must have been jarring for any capable of reflection.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Which was a shame, because when he came on in the death robe, it looked like it was going to be good.

For a split second I thought they were going to do a "Bannon as a Sith Lord or maybe even Palpatine thing." But nope. I agree, the whole thing went south when Bill Murray came on.

Leigh said...

I was just going to say, "what @Martha said" -- "The only way to make the portrayal of Joe more spot on would be for Joe to begin a fatuous monologue with 'When I was in Congress ...blah blah blah'" -- and leave it at that. But save for the Toothless Ozymandias, nearly everyone's comments are spot on. @Big Mike, also: shoes. Shoes, I am told, are frequent receptacles for the drunk Don, Jr. boyfriend doll. Surely you noticed the weak chin? @Mac McConnell, yes, Halperin did bring a smidgen of sanity with him, which is saying a lot for that show. He is missed. Watching Noah Rothman in his place, gobbling up the bird food Joe tosses his way, would be depressing if it weren't Noah Rothman. Agreed: Joe has no lips. My only complaint about the actor is his hair is five times less pouffy than Joe's; he, and he alone, could revive brillo cream if he had a nuthouse following. "Adopting a left-wing ideology in NYC to get laid ..." I've fallen and I can't get up. @William on Donny Deutsch -- he actually came quite close to admitting that on one show -- shortly after the big Harvey reveal -- and said he hoped his feminist record would demonstrate he's a changed man. @Masscon -- yes, if only. It used to be such a great show.

Althouse has the best commenters.

Mike said...

Based on what I read here the wife and I pulled it up on the DVR, and for the first time in years laughed out loud at several bits. The first third actually felt like a classic episode with clever writing, an ambiguous and all-indicting viewpoint that made me feel welcome as a viewer. It felt like SNL was making fun of EVERYBODY and not just Trump/Trump voters this time. In the cold open, we laughed at "Bannon" and "Wolff" and the Morning Joe interplay. The sketch with a panel that included the woman running a battered women's shelter had that old SNL irony to it, in which that character represented "common sense" or a conservative viewpoint. When everyone else booed at the possibility the pregnant woman would have a boy, she was horrified. This subtle interplay, reflecting the true multicultural America instead of a relentlessly liberal Hollywood POV, is what had been missing from the show for a long time. It just takes a little bit of leavening to make it rise to "classic" comedy level.

Only the lousy music and very weak last third brought it down. But I was a happy customer by then LOLing. My spouse concurs. I hope the team of writers keeps trying to mine this vein. Surely we can laugh at ALL political players now and then, right?

Mike said...

If you hadn't pointed him out, I would not have recognized Fred Armisen.

Well if you watch enough Portlandia you learn to pick him out in various disguises. He is damned good,and can inhabit characters very cleverly.

Molly said...

(eaglebeak)

The hilarity of the Joe and Mika (and Donald) Show, encapsulated in this little video from 2016, where you can see Mika and The Donald smooching. Those were the days.

https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=95b_1455678794

JMW Turner said...

Egg-actly. Fred Armisen is hilarious when he submerges his appearance and personality in a spot on character such as the feminist womyn's bookstore owner on Portlandia.

Darcy said...

The Mika impersonation was good, but needed more sighing and mewing.

Yes. It's almost impossible to take your eyes off Mika as Joe speaks. It's a "Rowrrrr, there's my man putting the truth to you" face constantly. With flaring, sexy nostrils and downturned chin. She has it down pat. Or she has him down pat. Ahem.

Anyway. Mark Levin called them Morning Schmo and Mrs. Schmo last night. We laughed. They are great comedy, as many liberals are these days.