Saturday Night Live Fantasy League: Episode 40x01: Chris Pratt & Ariana Grande

September 30, 2014





Minding the P’s and Q’s of SNL
QUALITY: It’s the start of the season sure, but I’d also like to think that Lil’ Baby Aidy was getting her due love for being awesome. AND she gets the seasons first “LIVE FROM NEW YORK…” BOOM!
QUALITY: An excellent opening taking on the recent troubles within the NFL, with the highlights being Goodell’s poster about the NFL fighting four indvidual women. Also, Shannon Sharpe’s ever growing bow-tie. What can I say, sometime the easiest jokes are the best. And I’m a sucker for a bow-tie joke.
QUALITY: #SNL40! Epic new opening credits, I do love the massive SNL looming over Manhattan, it’s a great look for the show.
PROBLEMATIC: Maybe it’s a matter of sound mixing, but Hammond sounds a little lost in the smooth sounds of Studio 8H’s band.
QUALITY: A few notes on the new credit sequence: Aidy Bryant enjoys wine and makes a hell of a dinner guest, naturally. Taran Killam would rather play arcade games in a suit, with Pete Davidson, then party on a Manhattan rooftop thank you very much  (more on that later). Kate McKinnon may in fact be the lead singer in The Mary Janes. Jay Pharoah is a rock star. Cecily Strong is Strong, oh and also goes to fancy parties with her dog which is awesome. Kenan Thompson has a posse.  Colin Jost… is a firefighter? Kyle Mooney skateboards. Oh, and Sasheer Zamata goes to cooler bars then you!
PROBLEMATIC: Seeing the GE signage reminds me of Jack Donehey, and then makes me sad that we haven’t had any new 30 Rock in two years.
QUALITY: Dear god, I think Chris Pratt is made out of charisma. If you doubted how likable he was (seriously though after Parks & Rec or Guardians of the Galaxy? Really?!), his ability to mess up during the opening monologue to perfectly comedic effect? America’s Sweetheart everyone! And yes, otherwise I charming love letter to the history of SNL! And the road of nostalgic love, hopefully begins here!
QUALITY: “… rollercoaster in my penis” is a hell of a way to start the season. The great thing about the season premiere is that you get your pick of the jokes from the last few months, not only NFL sketches but DJ Snake and Lil’ Jon’s cult favorite and the insane imagery that comes with it.
PROBLEMATIC: With what we saw in THAT music video, there should have been something… more, within this pre-taped commercial parody… no?
PROBLEMATIC: Less love for Derek Jeter, more love for SNL’s past, if you aren’t going to give us an awesome collection of pictures of the host.
QUALITY: The “Alive Toy” sketch wasn’t perfect by a long shot, but what it DID give us…
QUALITY: I’m just going to put this under QUALITY… but, did Terran Killam’s junk just become a Featured cast member?
PROBLEMATIC: Though the performances from McKinnon, Strong, and Pratt may have been on cue… Animal Hospital is such a mean and ugly concept, it’s hard for the sketch to be all that funny.
QUALITY: And how do you make up for THAT? Well with the viral hit sketch of the episode! MARVEL CAN’T FAIL!
QUALITY: Everyone is already talking about it, but WOW… THE WINTER PAM! Yes.
PROBLEMATIC: Mark Grande under the level of interest that I had with One Direction or Lady Gaga, and the kitten ears for pop music’s demon hunter don’t help me take any higher interest.
PROBLEMATIC: Never is the colder, more ‘pro’ color pallet and design slate more apparent this season then with the Weekend Update set and credit sequence.
PROBLEMATIC: I know it’s a live show, but what’s with the dropped audio mix on Che’s INTRODUCTION! Come on guys! And yes, in case you missed it, we didn’t draft and aren’t putting aside points on Featured Players Jost or Che, since Weekend Update is the only haunt they’ll be hanging out in.
PROBLEMATIC: With a shaky start to their first Update together, even Jost knows your applause on the U2 album joke is a bit TOO polite.
QUALITY: The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started A Conversation With At A Party! Cecily Strong is so much more at home, at the other end of that Weekend Update interview! It’s good to see her back to being outrageously incomprehensible.
PROBLEMATIC: Oh no, Mike O’Brien died at Burning Man?! Why didn’t anyone tell me!
QUALITY: Speaking of the PEOPLE YOU THOUGHT YOU HAD LOST! Leslie Jones! Whose absence from the writer’s page was speaking too soon, and whose appearance in Chris Rock’s Top Five is something to look forward to. Along with the rest of Top Five.
QUALITY: Leslie Jones is SO fun to watch she just made Colin Jost fun to watch. Scaring him and seducing him all at the same time.
QUALITY: Resident Young Person is the perfect introduction for Pete Davidson who, in case you forgot, is younger then EVERYONE. “I didn’t need to go down on a guy, my mom was already doing that.” Could this guy be the next great SNL stand-up? It’s SNL40, so I’m feeling nostalgic for the 90’s. KEEP IT UP PETE!
QUALITY: Jokes about NBA Draft suits are riiight in my wheelhouse, thank you Che!
PROBLEMATIC: I get the reason for involving Kenan, but they really should have checked to see if he could sing first. Because… yeeeesh.
QUALITY: Daaaamn, if the premiere says anything about the rest of the season then Aidy Bryant is going to be an ACE. This “Legends” sketch was a simple concept taken to an outrageous level almost immediately, while getting diminishing returns, and it was made possible with performances by Bryant and Pratt. Oh, and it’s fun to see Pratt get some dap from Lorne before the commercial break.
QUALITY: “Did you just say ‘Plow like your panties like you’re running on diesel’, what does that even mean?”
PROBLEMATIC: Points for the follow through, but it’s the digital short wasn’t my brand of comedy, which also made it feel overly long.
QUALITY: Che is in a sketch! Also there’s something incredibly funny about Pete Davidson in a doo-rag.
PROBLEMATIC: I’m beginning to think that Kyle Mooney only has one gear. Hmmm.
QUALITY: Though I’ve called the overall new design cold, I am enjoying the callbacks to eras past in the intersticeals.
QUALITY: NFL on CBS was very well played, but Key and Peele DID do it better.
PROBLEMATIC: The problem with Grande’s performances are how forgettable they’ll be, especially with this being the season premiere. I mean, it’s excellent to see Toronto’s Own The Weeknd singing a duet on SNL, buuuut…
QUALITY: Well ending he show with distractingly sexual puzzle video games certainly works!
QUALITY: Pete Davidson with the host hug! One, he’s looks even taller next too resident ‘in-sketch kid’ Mooney, and two, how cool is the SNL cast? They seemed SO PROUD of him! D'aaaaaw.

REPARTORY CAST
Aidy Bryant, 79 points
  • 7 points - cold open
  • 5 points - reoccurring (Candy Crawley)
  • 15 points - "LIVE FROM NEW YORK..."
  • 7 points - pre-taped sketch (Cialis Turnt)
  • 5 points - dancing
  • 5 points - sketch (Alive Toys)
  • 7 points - pre-taped sketch (Marvel Can't Fail)
  • 5 points - sketch (Legends)
  • 5 points - singing/rapping
  • 18 points - swearing ("ass" x9)

Taran Killam, 52 points
  • 7 points - pre-taped sketch (Cialis Turnt)
  • 5 points - dancing
  • 15 points - nudity (full front)
  • 5 points - sketch (Alive Toys)
  • 7 points - pre-taped sketch (Marvel Can't Fail)
  • 5 points - as two or more characters in a sketch
  • 5 points - sketch (NFL on CBS)
  • 3 points - sketch post-songs (Video Game Testers)

Cecily Strong, 49 points
  • 7 points - pre-taped sketch (Cialis Turnt)
  • 5 points - dancing
  • 5 points - sketch (Alive Toys)
  • 5 points - sketch (Animal Hospital)
  • 5 points - reoccurring
  • 7 points - Weekend Update
  • 5 points - reoccurring (The Girl You Wish...)
  • 5 points - sketch (Legends)
  • 5 points - dancing
Bobby Moynihan, 40 points
  • 5 points - sketch (Animal Hospital)
  • 7 points - pre-taped sketch (Marvel Can't Fail)
  • 5 points - as two or more characters in a sketch
  • 5 points - sketch (Legends)
  • 5 points - dancing
  • 5 points - sketch (NFL on CBS)
  • 5 points - as two or more characters in a sketch
  • 3 points - sketch post-songs (Video Game Testers)


Kenan Thompson, 37 points
  • 7 points - cold open
  • 5 points - reoccurring (Ray Lewis)
  • 7 points - Weekend Update
  • 5 points - singing
  • 5 points - sketch (NFL on CBS)
  • 5 points - as two or more characters in a sketch
  • 3 points - sketch post-songs (Video Game Testers)


Jay Pharoah, 34 points
  • 7 points - cold open
  • 5 points - reoccurring (Shannon Sharep)
  • 7 points - pre-taped sketch (Marvel Can't Fail)
  • 5 points - as two or more characters in a sketch
  • 5 points - sketch (NFL on CBS)
  • 5 points - as two or more characters in a sketch

Vanessa Bayer, 30 points
  • 5 points - sketch (Animal Hospital)
  • 5 points - sketch (Legends)
  • 5 points - dancing
  • 3 points - sketch post-songs (Video Game Testers)
  • 10 points - kissing (open mouth)
  • 2 points - goodnight in costume

Kate McKinnon, 25 points
  • 5 points - promo w/ Host
  • 5 points - sketch (Animal Hospital)
  • 5 points - reoccurring
  • 5 points - sketch (Legends)
  • 5 points - dancing


FEATURED CAST
Kyle Mooney, 44 points
  • 5 points - sketch (Alive Toys)
  • 5 points - sketch (Animal Hospital)
  • 7 points - pre-taped sketch (Marvel Can't Fail)
  • 5 points - sketch (Legends)
  • 5 points - dancing
  • 7 points - pre-taped sketch (Roommates)
  • 5 points - sketch (NFL on CBS)
  • 5 points - as two or more characters in a sketch

Beck Bennett, 41 points
  • 7 points - pre-taped sketch (Cialis Turnt)
  • 5 points - dancing
  • 7 points - pre-taped sketch (Marvel Can't Fail)
  • 5 points - sketch (Legends)
  • 5 points - dancing
  • 7 points - pre-taped sketch (Roommates)
  • 5 points - sketch (NFL on CBS)

Pete Davidson, 30 points
  • 7 points - Weekend Update
  • 5 points - appears as himself
  • 5 points - sketch (NFL on CBS)
  • 5 points - two or more characters in a sketch
  • 3 points - sketch post-songs (Video Game Testers)
  • 5 points - host hug

Sasheer Zamata, 13 points
  • 5 points - sketch (Legends)
  • 5 points - dancing
  • 3 points - sketch post-songs (Video Game Testers)


HOST
Chris Pratt, 111 points
  • 15 points - cold open
  • 5 points - w/ former host (Anna Faris)
  • 5 points - singing
  • 5 points - sketch (Alive Toys)
  • 2 points - through wall
  • 5 points - sketch (Animal Hospital)
  • 10 points - pre-taped sketch (Marvel Can't Fail)
  • 5 points - two or more characters in a sketch
  • 5 points - sketch (Legends)
  • 5 points - singing/rapping
  • 4 points - swearing ("ass" x2)
  • 10 points - pre-taped sketch (Roommates)
  • 5 points - sketch (NFL on CBS)
  • 5 points - two or more characters in a sketch
  • 5 points - sketch post-songs (Video Game Testers)
  • 10 points - kissing (open mouth)
  • 10 points - embraces cast first


REPERTORY LEAGUE

PARDO GROUP
THE TEAM YOU WISH YOU HADN'T STARTED A CONVERSATION WITH AT A PARTY - Brian
Jay Pharoah - 34
Bobby Moynihan - 40
Pete Davidson - 30
Chris Pratt - 111
MUSICAL GUEST - Ariana Grande - SONGS: 1) Love Me Harder & 2) Break Free
2 points - Song
2 points - Song
EPISODE ONE TOTAL 219

KEYROCK, KHAN, & ASSOCIATES - Saad
Vanessa Bayer - 30
Aidy Bryant - 79
Kyle Mooney - 44
MUSICAL GUEST - Ariana Grande - SONGS: 1) Break Free & 2) Be My Baby
5 points - First Song
EPISODE ONE TOTAL 158

THE FUTURE MRS. RANDY GOLDMAN - Leah
Taran Killam - 52
Sasheer Zamata - 13
Aidy Bryant - 79
MUSICAL GUEST - Ariana Grande - SONGS: 1) Problem & 2) Break Free
2 points - Song
EPISODE ONE TOTAL 146

THE NOT READY FOR FIRST PLACE PLAYERS - Kevin M
Jay Pharoah - 34
Cecily Strong - 49
Beck Bennett - 41
MUSICAL GUEST - Ariana Grande - SONGS: 1) Break Free & 2) Love Me Harder
5 points - First Song
10 points - Second Song
EPISODE ONE TOTAL 139

ISOLATED ARCHIPELAGO - Rob
Taran Killam - 52
Kenan Thompson - 37
Pete Davidson - 30
MUSICAL GUEST - Ariana Grande - SONGS: 1) Problem & 2) Break Free
2 points - Song
EPISODE ONE TOTAL 121

THE IGNORANT SLUTS - Matt
Kate McKinnon - 25
Vanessa Bayer - 30
Beck Bennett - 41
MUSICAL GUEST - Ariana Grande - SONGS: 1) Break Free & 2) Love Me Harder
5 points - First Song
10 points - Second Song
EPISODE ONE TOTAL 111

NATALIE PORTMAN'S DIRTY LAUNDRY - Sarah R
Kate McKinnon - 25
Bobby Moynihan - 40
Kyle Mooney - 44
MUSICAL GUEST - Ariana Grande - SONGS: 1) Problem & 2) Break Free
2 points - Song
EPISODE ONE TOTAL 111

BILLION DOLLAR MURRAYS - Russel
Cecily Strong - 49
Kenan Thompson - 37
Sasheer Zamata - 13
MUSICAL GUEST - Ariana Grande - SONGS: 1) Problem & 2) Break Free
2 points - Song
EPISODE ONE TOTAL 101


FEATURED LEAGUE

MCKAY GROUP
THE VONDRUKES - Samantha
Jay Pharoah - 34
Sasheer Zamata - 13
Cecily Strong - 49
Chris Pratt - 111
MUSICAL GUEST - Ariana Grande - SONGS: 1) Break Free & 2) Problem
5 points - First Song
EPISODE ONE TOTAL 212

PARDO ME - Hannah
Taran Killam - 52
Aidy Bryant - 79
Kyle Mooney - 44
MUSICAL GUEST - Ariana Grande - SONGS: 1) Problem & 2) Break Free
2 points - Song
EPISODE ONE TOTAL 177

SKANKY LITTLE PROSTITUTES - Mike
Aidy Bryant - 79
Cecily Strong - 49
Sasheer Zamata - 13
MUSICAL GUEST - Ariana Grande - SONGS: 1) Break Free & 2) Love Me Harder
5 points - First Song
10 points - Second Song
EPISODE ONE TOTAL 156

THE NIGHT CRAWLERZ - Kevin K
Taran Killam - 52
Jay Pharoah - 34
Beck Bennett - 41
MUSICAL GUEST - Ariana Grande - SONGS: 1) Problem & 2) Break Free
2 points - Song
EPISODE ONE TOTAL 129

FALLON IN LOVE - Johnny
Kenan Thompson - 37
Bobby Moynihan - 40
Pete Davidson - 30
MUSICAL GUEST - Ariana Grande - SONGS: 1) Break Free & 2) Love Me Harder
5 points - First Song
10 points - Second Song
EPISODE ONE TOTAL 122

DAN AKROYD RAGE - Mark
Kate McKinnon - 25
Bobby Moynihan - 40
Beck Bennett - 41
MUSICAL GUEST - Ariana Grande - SONGS: 1) Love Me Harder & 2) Break Free
2 points - Song
2 points - Song
EPISODE ONE TOTAL 110

DAMIAN AND THE FELINE SOCIOPATHS - Andrew
Kate McKinnon - 25
Vanessa Bayer - 30
Kenan Thompson - 37
MUSICAL GUEST - Ariana Grande - SONGS: 1) Break Free & 2) Problem
5 points - First Song
EPISODE ONE TOTAL 97


FEY GROUP
SANTA'S MY BOYFRIEND - Megan
Taran Killam - 52
Cecily Strong - 49
Aidy Bryant - 79
MUSICAL GUEST - Ariana Grande - SONGS: 1) Break Free & 2) Love Me Harder
5 points - First Song
10 points - Second Song
EPISODE ONE TOTAL 195

THE LAND SHARKS - Jason
Kate McKinnon - 25
Kyle Mooney - 44
Aidy Bryant - 79
MUSICAL GUEST - Ariana Grande - SONGS: 1) Problem & 2) Break Free
2 points - Song
EPISODE ONE TOTAL 150

SUCK IT TREBEK - Sarah C
Jay Pharoah - 34
Cecily Strong - 49
Beck Bennett - 41
MUSICAL GUEST - Ariana Grande - SONGS: 1) Break Free & 2) Problem
5 points - First Song
EPISODE ONE TOTAL 129

MY DOLL'S NAME IS JENNY - Doug
Vanessa Bayer - 30
Bobby Moynihan - 40
Kyle Mooney - 44
MUSICAL GUEST - Ariana Grande - SONGS: 1) Problems & 2) Love Me Harder
10 points - Second Song
EPISODE ONE TOTAL 124

THREE LEGGED JEANS - Lori
Kate McKinnon - 25
Bobby Moynihan - 40
Kenan Thompson - 37
MUSICAL GUEST - Ariana Grande - SONGS: 1) Break Free & 2) Problem
5 points - First Song
EPISODE ONE TOTAL 107

MARTHA STEWART'S HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS: TOPLESS CHRISTMAS SPECIAL - Robb
Taran Killam - 52
Vanessa Bayer - 30
Sasheer Zamata - 13
MUSICAL GUEST - Ariana Grande - SONGS: 1) Break Free & 2) Best Mistake
5 points - First Song
EPISODE ONE TOTAL 100


PHIL HARTMAN TROPHY STANDINGS (after Episode 40x01)
  1. The Team You Wish You Hadn't Started A Conversation With At A Party - 219
  2. Keyrock, Khan, & Associates - 158
  3. The Future Mrs. Randy Goldman - 146
  4. The Not Ready For First Place Players - 139
  5. Isolated Archipelago - 116
  6. The Ignorant Sluts - 111
  7. Natalie Portman's Dirty Laundry - 111
  8. Billion Dollar Murrays - 101

FEATURED LEAGUE STANDINGS
  1. The Vondrukes - 212
  2. Santa's My Boyfriend - 195
  3. Pardo Me - 177
  4. Skanky Little Prostitutes - 156
  5. The Land Sharks -150
  6. The Night Crawlerz - 129
  7. Suck It Trebek - 129
  8. My Doll's Name is Jenny - 124
  9. Fallon In Love - 122
  10. Dan Akroyd Rage - 110
  11. Three Legged Jeans - 107
  12. Martha Stewat's Home for the Holidays: Topless Christmas Special - 100
  13. Damian and the Feline Sociopaths - 97

A wild congratulations to The Team You Wish…, who have found themselves atop the leader board for the Phil Hartman to start the season, for the second season in a row. They finished third last year, so let’s see if they can’t improve on that standing THIS year! Both The Team You Wish… and The Vondrukes were powered by Chris Pratt, who proved very capable as host. This time next year, once the world has enjoyed Jurassic World, don’t be surprised to see MORE Pratt as host!

It was AIDY BRYANT who proved to be MVP of the premiere episode, proving more then game alongside Chris Pratt and trending on twitter as (nobody guessed it) Winter Pam! It looks like after two years as a strong utility player, the premiere may have been her introduction as a star on the show. Much to the excitement of the four teams that drafted her. Kate McKinnon had an uncharacteristically quiet episode, though much like the second episode of last season, we shouldn’t expect that to be the case for long.

In fact, I know Bayer has been responsible for Hilary Clinton in the past but with Clinton getting more presidential primary jokes then Obama did appearances as “Ladies and Gentlemen, the President…”, I wonder if McKinnon isn’t the best choice for Hilary in the long run. Oh, and those who cast the President and First Lady in Jay and Sasheer must be sweating a bit, after this first episode! Don't worry though, the road to Saturday Night Live Fantasy League glory is long and hilarious!

And NEXT WEEK is the return of Sarah Silverman to Saturday Night Live! I know of all the former cast members we expected to have a homecoming to 30 Rock, Silverman wasn't exactly near the top of the list. Of all the announced or heavily rumored hosts so far, she's the only we weren't able to predict so far... but hey, I am looking very much forward to Sarah Silverman hosting SNL!

And will a return to the Weekend Update desk be in order?

Stay in the conversation! Trivia Club would LOVE to hear feedback on Saturday Night Live Fantasy and how we could even improve it! Comment in the blog's comment section, on Trivia Club's facebook page or in our twitter feed. We want to hear from you, as we make our way through Season 40! LISTEN TO THE PODCASTSubscribe to us on iTUNES!

Russel Harder hosts Trivia Club at Cardinal Rule (5 Roncesvalles Ave) every WEDNESDAY, at Hitch (1216 Queen St East) every SECOND and FOURTH MONDAY of the month, Handlebar (159 Augusta Ave) on the FIRST TUESDAY of every month, and Lou Dawg's (76 Gerrard St E) on every other TUESDAY!

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