Hosted by returning MVP SNL alum Tina Fey, last weekend's "Saturday Night Live" was fittingly centered on Mother's Day and all its maternal trappings. What began as an unpromising return hosting performance (really, those first two segments were terrible) soon hit a strong stride, with an array of snl-alum guests to give gravity to Fey's return.
The six-months-pregnant funny girl brought out ex-SNLer Maya Rudolph, also expecting, to sing a duet dedicated to their unborn babies. It was a pleasant departure from her now-tired pairing with Amy Poehler, who we love dearly but thankfully stayed home this time around.
The obligatory Osama Bin Laden cold-open skit was anything but funny beyond the initial gag, and ran on far too long (shocking for SNL, right?). But rather than go through the narcissistic motions by describing my own personal take on each skit (really, who's reading all 1500 words each week analyzing a mind-smashingly inconsistent comedy series?), this time around we'll explore the five best skits from "Saturday Night Live" with Tina Fey and newcomer musical guest Ellie Goulding. Because after all, was there really ever any hope of topping last year's "Mother Lover"? The answr is no. Absolutely not.
A bit about Ellie first: the young chanteuse (who apparently sang at the Royal Wedding reception) turned in a cover of Elton John's "Your Song" that was grabbing, but it's also damn near impossible to mess up such a gorgeous - if slightly maudlin - track. Her musical performances would've been far more impressive had they been performed live, however; lip-synching should be a crime at this point, given how utterly artificial recording-studio performances have become with the help of modern technology.
Now on to our Five Best Skits from this past SNL:
1. GOP Debate: Tina Fey reignited her scathing impression of "current famous person" Sarah Palin at the "GOP 2012 Undeclared Candidates Debate." An impersonation carousel that excoriated the current GOP playing field, the skit was an instant win due to Fey but showed significant muscle from the supporting characters (kudos to Kristen Wiig's Michelle Bachmann). Darrell Hammond returned for a seventh time since leaving the cast to reprise his masterfully hilarious role as Donald Trump, and knocked it out of the park.
2. Digital Short: There's really no overstating how completely bizarre and, somehow, awesome it is to see Michael Bolton going off the rails during The Lonely Island's latest video. It's called "Jack Sparrow," and Bolton proceeds to step into several different characters (among them Forrest Gump, Tony Montana from Scarface & more) while belting out some jabbering nonsense about the Jester of Tortuga. It's ridiculous and amazing at the same time.
3. Birthing Class: Rudolph co-starred in a fantastic birth-class sketch that parodied the draconian 25 year-old home-birthing films. The appalled reactions of Fey and the cast watching the tape was funny enough, but the movie itself, a pseudo-mystical mess of misinformation and downright bad ideas, was another dimension of ridiculous..
4. Hallmark Mother Collection for Weirdos: Hallmark introduces Mother's Day cards for the more... psychotically inclined, with Paul Brittain grabbing us by the throat with a Norman-Bates-meets-The-Joker performance - because everyone needs a little schizophrenic maniac in their lives:
5. Mermaid: Hilariously random and completely bizarre, SNL pokes fun at Disney's most beloved underwater princess with a bit that finds Fey frolicking with Kenan Thompson's Sebastian lobster, until Osama Bin Laden's body floats to the bottom and invades their happy world. The best part? The Sting Ray as the conspiracy theorist.
Honorary mention goes to ultragay city correspondent Stefon (Bill Hader) making an encore appearance on Weekend Update, stifling his own laughs as he outlines the best spots to take your mom on the special holiday:
More clips from the show, if you've got some time to kill for a few laughs:
Update: Jason Sudeikis as The Devil
Mother's Message Monologue