Saturday, October 30, 2010

SNL Featured Player Update: Jay Pharoah still strong in second place

It's the fourth episode of the season, and Paul Brittain finally gets to lead a skit... he leads two skits and he gets to say the coveted, "Live from New York..." bit. I think it took Andy Samberg a few seasons to get in on that, and often it takes over 1 season to do that solo. So this is quite an accomplishment.

First, Paul was in the Cold Open, playing Harry Reid:

Fred Armisen ... Barack Obama
Vanessa Bayer ... supporter
Paul Brittain ... Harry Reid
Jim Downey ... announcer (voice)
Jay Pharoah ... supporter

Jim writes most of these political cold opens (makes sense that he's the announcer). I found it smile-worthy, but the joke didn't go anywhere, and the impressions weren't very funny on their own.

Near the end of the episode, Paul got to lead with his first original character:

Commercial - "Sex" Ed Vincent's Sex Symposium

Emma Stone ... girl
Paul Brittain ... Ed Vincent
Steve Higgins ... announcer (voice)

Sign up for the three day Sex Symposium to broaden your sexual horizon.

Wow. I think he finally had me near the end with Emma Stone's bit. This actually reminds me of the kind of stuff that Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey used to do.

It's hard to compete against the other SNL Featured Players, but here's how I think they're stacking up...

1. Nasim Pedrad... In this 4th episode, she follows up her Bedilia character (and great impressions like Kim Kardashian) with her Morgan and Erik characters in "My Brother Knows Everything" (teaming with Andy Samberg... any excuse to see more Andy is a great one). I think Nasim is going to graduate as a regular next season.

2. Jay Pharoah... Jay hit hard his very first episode this season with his amazing Will Smith impression. He followed it up in the third episode with his Denzel Washington. We need to see an original character, and I'm waiting for his Eddie Murphy (and he's being primed to take over Obama). If Jay can continue to lead a skit every two episodes, there's a good chance that he'll graduate as a regular next season. That would be only one season as a featured player, a trick that was last done in the 05-06 season by Kristen Wiig (less than a full season), Andy Samberg, and Bill Hader.

3. Vanessa Bayer... Vanessa strikes in her second episode with an amazing Miley Cyrus impression. Let's see what else she's got coming. Vanessa is definitely coming back next season, but at this rate she'll probably have two years as a featured player.

4. Paul Brittain... Paul finally strikes with a good impression, but it's not funny. Similarly, Paul had a good impression of Johnny Depp in the Miley Cyrus bit during the second season, but it also wasn't funny. Paul needs to up his game and make his impressions funny. The clencher that got Paul in the #4 spot is his Sex Ed original character. Not hilarious, but it's funny and original enough to bump him up. He still hasn't proven that he'll be back next season.

5. Taran Killam... Taran has lost no time in filling Will Forte's shoes and becoming a normal face in many skits. However, he has yet to headline a skit, and he isn't living up to his potential of his Scrub work. That said, his Michael Cera impression was spot on. He should lead a skit with that impression or one of his many other impressions and characters. Time is ticking, Taran. He still hasn't proven that he'll be back next season.

Based on this episode alone, I would stack it like this...

1. Nasim Pedrad (loved My Brother Knows Everything)

2. Paul Brittain (got to give him props for Sex Ed)

3. Taran Killam (great Michael Cera impression)

4. Tie to Vanessa Bayer and Jay Pharoah (5 appearances by Vanessa and 4 by Jay, but nothing noteworthy)


Friday, October 29, 2010

Jay Pharoah - Wrangler Jeans Commercial (SNL)

Commercial - Wrangler Open Fly Jeans

Steve Higgins ... announcer (voice)
Taran Killam ... guy
Bobby Moynihan ... guy
Jay Pharoah ... guy
Jason Sudeikis ... Brett Favre

Brett Favre tells us about the new Wrangler jean: the open fly.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Jay Pharoah in Reid Rally Cold Opening (SNL)

Cold Opening - Reid Rally

Fred Armisen ... Barack Obama
Vanessa Bayer ... supporter
Paul Brittain ... Harry Reid
Jim Downey ... announcer (voice)
Jay Pharoah ... supporter

The president stops at a Nevada rally for a Sen. Harry Reid.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Jay Pharoah in Grape Jelly (SNL Digital Short)

Film - SNL Digital Short

Emma Stone ... student
Vanessa Bayer ... student
Paul Brittain ... student
Abby Elliott ... student
Taran Killam ... student
Bobby Moynihan ... student
Jay Pharoah ... student
Andy Samberg ... jelly

The cool girl in school is having a run of bad luck in the cafeteria.

It's also Andy's voice singing the chorus before he comes on as Jelly! I loved it!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Jay Pharoah naked in Dream Home Extreme! (SNL)

Dream Home Extreme

Emma Stone ... Lita Mill-Douglas
Paul Brittain ... neighbor
Bill Hader ... Rudy Plank
Nasim Pedrad ... Laverne Terms
Jay Pharoah ... Syd Awnit
Kristen Wiig ... Cheryl Bryant

Lita-Mill Douglas has an unusual reaction to winning a $2 million home.

This is Kristen's second run at this Cheryl Bryant character. First time was 11.03.2007 with Brian Williams for the Publishers Clearing House.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Jay Pharoah is Denzel Washington in Returns & Exchanges (SNL)

Jay's one skit this week, and he KNOCKS IT OUT OF THE PARK by busting out his Denzel impression.

Sketch - Returns & Exchanges

Jane Lynch ... customer
Vanessa Bayer ... customer
Bobby Moynihan ... employee
Jay Pharoah ... Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington takes a job at a department store to prepare for his next role.

Jay Pharoah is amazing and Bobby supports him well!

I can see this as a recurring skit as Denzel does research in all sorts of jobs (like a taxi driver for example).

Also, Jay has gotten to headline two skits in his first three episodes, and he has busted out his perfect Denzel and Will Smith impressions. Next he's gotta bust out his Eddie Murphy impression. After that, he's gotta come up with new impressions (he'll eventually take over Obama) and some original characters before he can be the next Eddie Murphy. So far Eddie's the only #1 breakout black SNL star (SNL has always had black stars, but he was the only one to break out like tha).

Also, this clearly puts Jay into the second MVP spot for Featured Players. I think it currently stands...

(1) Nasim Pedrad - only because she's had a full season on Jay and has a few characters(like Bedelia) in addition to impressions like Kim Kardashian.

(2) Jay Pharoah - perfect Will Smith and Denzel Washington.

(3) Vanessa Bayer - perfect Miley Cyrus.

(4) Taran Killam - nothing yet, but he's filling in Will Forte's roles as the every-man. Taran needs a reason to come back next season. I'm a little disappointed that he hasn't headlined anything yet, but we'll see.

(5) Paul Brittain - nothing that would bring him back next season.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Jay Pharoah didn't do so well in the SNL Power Charts this week

9 (tie). Abby Elliott, Jay Pharoah (12 points): Not much to say about either one of these folks this week, although Pharoah’s portrayal of a Bootsy Collins-esque character was highly entertaining. Also, were those his voices in the i-Sleep Pro commercial that Kenan starred in? We think so, so we’re giving him the credit.

1. ⇑ Andy Samberg (74 points; Last Week: #4)
2. ⇓ Fred Armisen (64 points; Last Week: #1)
3. ⇑ Kenan Thompson (53 points; Last Week: #10)
4. ⇓ Bill Hader (50 points; Last Week: #1)
5 (tie). ⇑ Bobby Moynihan (42 points; Last Week: #9)
⇓ Kristin Wiig (42 points; Last Week: #3)
7. ⇓ Jason Sudeikis (35 points; Last Week: #4)
8. ⇓ Abby Elliott (33 points; Last Week: #6)
9. ⇓ Vanessa Bayer (31 points; Last Week: #8)
10. ⇓ Jay Pharoah (30 points; Last Week: #7)
11. Taran Killam (29 points; Last Week: #11)
12. Nasim Pedrad (28 points; Last Week: #12)
13. Paul Brittain (20 points; Last Week: #13)



I would have given him 12th... That was his voice in the i-sleep Pro commercial. It was hilarious, but just a voice isn't enough. However I'm not worried. He was the highlighted new cast member in the first episode. It was Vanessa (as Miley Cyrus) in this episode. Next is probably Taran.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Jay Pharoah in i-Sleep Pro (SNL) - Tyler Perry and Chris Tucker

Having trouble sleeping? There's a new alternative.

Commercial - i-sleep PRO
Jay Pharoah ... recorded voices (voice)
Kenan Thompson ... guy

Jay busts out his Tyler Perry and Chris Tucker in this voice work. Very creative.

Jay wasn't in this episode much this week, but after the Will Smith bit last week, he pretty much instantly became a valuable member of the show. Can't wait to see what he's got next.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Jay Pharoah is Squiggy in what up with that? (SNL)

Jay sings with Bryan when they come on as the guest performers.

Show - what up with that?

Bryan Cranston ... Doo Doo Man
Ernest Borgnine
Morgan Freeman
Fred Armisen ... saxophonist
Vanessa Bayer ... singer
Paul Brittain ... Vili Fualaau
Abby Elliott ... Mary Kay Letourneau
Bill Hader ... Lindsey Buckingham
Taran Killam ... announcer
Michael Patrick O'Brien ... graduate
Nasim Pedrad ... singer
Jay Pharoah ... Squiggy
Jason Sudeikis ... dancer
Kenan Thompson ... Diondre Cole

Morgan Freeman and Ernest Borgnine drop by for the back to school edition.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Jay Pharoah is a new guy in Amy Poehler's monologue

Amy's anxiety dream has some familiar faces.

Amy Poehler
Jimmy Fallon
Justin Timberlake
Rachel Dratch
Tina Fey
Fred Armisen ... security guard
Vanessa Bayer
Paul Brittain
Taran Killam
Seth Meyers
Nasim Pedrad
Jay Pharoah
Kenan Thompson ... Lorne Michaels
Kristen Wiig


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