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SNL Highlights: Steve Buscemi

December 4, 2011
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Who would have thought that one of the best episodes this season would be hosted by Steve Buscemi. Unless you are a indie film buff or watch HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, you probably have no idea who he is. Buscemi is a “character” actor, appearing in supporting roles and usually adding some acting levity to whatever he appears in. However, he is hardly a household name. Nonetheless, he overshadowed far bigger stars who have hosted the show this year (Ben Stiller, anyone?)

I was less than impressed with a boring cold opening featuring a President Obama skit, but laughed my ass off during the opening monologue, in which typecast character actors ask for Buscemi’s advice on how to break out of their personas. It was a smattering of very real stereotypes, including the “magical African American” (guess SNL chickened out on the “negro” part,which those of us in the biz use when a movie relegates a black actor to this stupid stereotype), the “wacky romantic comedy sidekick”, the “soulful ex-boyfriend”, and the “no-nonsense black woman judge”.

 

The SNL fake commercial this week was quite amusing. A rock band is rehearsing when one of the members confesses that he is constipated. Voila! Frozen Mexican Dinner!

The SNL Digital short “Batman” featured Batman harassing Steve Buscemi’s character by popping up and disappearing in the most inopportune moments.

I was absolutely overjoyed to see the spoof of Dateline return, with Bill Hader doing his priceless impression of host Keith Morrison, who is far too gleeful when grisly details are revealed about a murder, going so far as to eat a tub of popcorn during a confession. The skit also poked fun at the use of photos during Dateline, and how they stretch everything out to an hour. Loved it. My favorite character on SNL right now.


The “Coach Bert” skit featured Buscemi as a school coach who has been preemptively rail-roaded for being a pedophile just because of his looks. Of course he is not, and the community takes it to ridiculous extremes in their attempt to make sure, despite the fact that there are no witnesses, no evidence and no allegations. Great use of Buscemi’s self-annointed “creepy guy” looks.

Those were my favorites of the evening. Try as I might, I cannot get into “The Miley Cyrus Show”, but Maya Rudolph popped up as Whitney Houston, so it might be worth a watch.

Guest band The Black Keys actually performed three times, and it was refreshing to see a band simply play good music, sans ridiculous costumes and dancers.

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