Brian was mentioning to me the other day that he doesn't think he'll watch SNL live anymore, since you can watch the whole thing on Hulu the next day anyway (for the time being), and skip all the lousy sketches. I'll admit that you'd miss a lot of dreck - particularly this season, so far - but I'll keep watching live (or, on 30 minute delay so I can fast-forward the commercials), because it's so much more enjoyable when you discover moments like these for yourself. Plus, because of music rights, you would never have seen the Gerard Butler open at all.
5. Flight Announcement
The lone bright spot in an otherwise very forgettable season opener, this ended up being roughly the only sketch involving Megan Fox that wasn't based on the concept "ooh, Megan Fox is so hot." Which, while true, is also not particularly funny.
4. Gerard Butler Monologue
As Butler puts it "as an actor, I'm known for two kinds of film roles - ones where I take my shirt off, and ones where I don't." His oddly funny "Music Of The Night" solo goes everywhere you'd expect it to, but remains spot-on the whole way through. It also serves to remind us how truly awful The Phantom Of The Opera was. Has any movie aged as poorly in the past five years?
3. "On The Ground"
The only amusing digital short this year, Samberg ramps the sketch up exactly as he should - starting in the vaguely sane and ending in the ridiculous.
2. Ladies Billiards
SNL never does classic sketches like this anymore, with a straight-man vs. comedic foil structure and fast-paced patter. It feels for all the world like an old Abbott and Costello sketch, if Abbott and Costello felt comfortable talking about lady business.
1. What's Up With That?
A perfect sketch because, 60 seconds in, the viewer says to himself "this isn't going anywhere good," and tunes out - and then slowly tunes in again as they realize "hey - this is really, really funny."
And, the number one reason to watch SNL live? Moments like this. I recall leaping from the couch and grabbing the remote to rewind the footage. "That did not just happen!"
1A. The Jenny Slate F-Bomb