Jon Hamm and Coldplay
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|Saturday Night Live episode|
|Episode no.||Season 34
|Directed by||Don Roy King|
|Written by||Seth Meyers (Head Writer)
Perry Sachs (Contributing Writer)
|Original air date||October 25, 2008|
|Saturday Night Live (season 34)
List of Saturday Night Live episodes
- 1 Plot
- 1.1 Cold opening
- 1.2 Monologue
- 1.3 Sketch: Geoff Montgomery on Halloween
- 1.4 SNL Digital Short: Ras-Trent
- 1.5 Sketch: Two A-Holes at an Ad Agency in the 1960s
- 1.6 Sketch: Barack Obama Variety Half-Hour
- 1.7 Sketch: Don Draper's Guide to Picking Up Women
- 1.8 Musical performance: "Viva la Vida" (Coldplay)
- 1.9 Sketch: Vincent Price's Halloween Special (1959)
- 1.10 Sketch: Jon Hamm's John Ham
- 1.11 Musical Act: "Lost" (Coldplay)
- 1.12 Sketch: Pat Finger for City Council
- 1.13 Musical Act: "Yellow" (Coldplay)
- 1.14 Closing Monologue
- 1.15 Musical Act: "Lovers in Japan" (Coldplay)
- 2 Reception
- 3 References
- 4 External links
A C-SPAN spoof centered around a political rally in Johnstown, PA, attended by Senator Joe Biden (Jason Sudeikis) and Rep. John Murtha (Darrell Hammond), where both candidates attempt to foil the 2008 US election for their party. Biden threatens to bring embarrassment upon the party through his noted tendency to be outspoken when in the public arena, with his speech taking on an increasingly religious and prophetic tone. Murtha casts aspersions upon the visiting crowd, repeatedly calling them "ignorant" and "backwards". The sketch ends with Biden pointing at the camera and shouting, "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!".
Jon Hamm enters the main stage of Studio 8H, and begins to lampoon the relative lack of ratings success of Mad Men, in which he stars. Appealing to the audience and viewers, he describes the show, and begins to add erroneous descriptions, including the inclusion of "dancing celebrities", "making over homes, in an extreme way", and an appearance by Presidential-nominees Barack Obama and John McCain smoking 'real weed'.
Sketch: Geoff Montgomery on Halloween
Mr. Peterson (Jon Hamm) is handing out candy at his doorstep for Halloween to costumed youth. After the children leave, a middle-aged, moustached male wearing glasses and holding a jack-o'-lantern candy holder (Will Forte) approaches and rings the doorbell. Once the door opens, the male exclaims "trick-or-treat", asks for specific candy. Stating his dislike of toffee, he describes it as being a "bitch on the fillings", and immediately following says, "hey don't call me a bitch, you're the bitch, bitch, WHAT!". After questioned about his disparate age difference in comparison to other trick-or-treaters, he claims, "you can never be too old to be in the Halloween spirit".
Peterson reenters his home in disgust, with the unnamed male again ringing the doorbell. When Peterson answers, the male apologises for the unusual situation, claiming his visiting is an excuse to visit the neighbors and make some new friends. Peterson is taken aback, and offers candy as an act of repentance to the male, who introduces himself as Geoff Montgomery. Peterson asks Montgomery what his costume is, with Montgomerey replying, "I am a sex offender... for Halloween". In a joking manner, Montgomery recites the required statement that registered sex offenders must tell their neighbors once they move into a new area, as per US law. Asking Peterson to sign and date a court document, Montgomery further attempts to convince him that his shtick is part of a "very convincing act". Peterson repeatedly questions Montgomerey, with Peterson offering increasingly vague answers veiled with humor. Asked directly if he is a registered offender, Montgomery states, "absolutely not... look, if I am guilty of any crime, it's the crime of sexually assaulting five teenagers". Peterson shows a look of shocked disgust, with Montgomerey asking whether he needs a babysitter, looks directly into the camera and says, "Happy Halloween... WHAT!"
SNL Digital Short: Ras-Trent
Andy Samberg plays the role of a middle-class, Caucasian, college-attending male named Trent who is enamoured with Rastifarianism. In reggae-stylings, Trent, calling himself Ras Trent, sings about the turmoil of a chronic lack of respect in regards to his Rastafari way of life. He continues by stating that "baldheads (a non-Rastifarian) suck", while smoking copious amounts of marijuana, and randomly inserting Jamaican-related gibberish in a Dub style as he sings about college. Ras Trent begins to mumble briefly when he walks past a group of authentic Rastifari, who appear to be annoyed with him. Ends with Ras Trent looking back at the camera in a confused fashion.
Sketch: Two A-Holes at an Ad Agency in the 1960s
A spoof of Mad Men, with Will Forte as Pete Campbell, Bill Hader as Salvatore Romano, Bobby Moynihan as Harold Crane, and Elisabeth Moss playing her character from the show, Peggy Olson. Visibly annoyed at having to wait within a conference room for Don Draper (Jon Hamm) to arrive, Campbell, in exasperation, takes a sandwich from a platter intended for clients. Draper enters, tells Campbell to rid himself of the sandwich, then relenting due to indifference. Roger Sterling (John Slattery) enters and berates Campbell for taking the sandwich. After the group quickly complains about the pressure they are under, Joan Harris (Casey Wilson) enters, announcing that "the clients have arrived", and asking the males if they want to watch as she leaves, a reference to her voluptuous figure.
The two clients enter, chewing on gum, with the male (Jason Sudeikis) asking the female (Kristen Wiig), "ready to hear some pitches babe?". A splash screen appears, stating, "and now, Two A-Holes At An Ad Agency in the 1960s". Offered both food and drink, the male, relaying all questions and answers for the female, turn down all that is offered, with him licking all sandwiches so as to mark them as his. The male asks to light the female's cigarette, which, after the lighter repeatedly fails to light, a frustrated Don Draper intervenes. After taking one draw, the female states that, "smoking's queer", and extinguishes it. Draper informs the clients that they were unable to come up with a pitch for their product, a hula-hoop with added support straps. The male client has the female demonstrate the device, and makes particular note of the "fun" she is having. Drapers replies that he is still without any ideas, after which the male client suggests a celebrity endorsement by Marilyn Monroe. Asking the group whether they "get it", the client proceeds to denigrate everyone personally, "you get it Bangs?... Silver Fox, you get it?... what about you Gay Guy?". Don Draper, struck with a moment of clarity, launches into a somber, reflective pitch, which the clients dismiss as being "stupid". In ending, the female states that Sterling's pocket square looks like a rabbit.
Sketch: Barack Obama Variety Half-Hour
A spoof of Barack Obama's prime-time address, with Fred Armisen as Barack, and Maya Rudolph as Michelle. The couple, stating that with poll numbers at a high, they can "play it safe", and instead use the address as the 'Barack Obama Variety Half-Hour'. Launching into song, the couple starts singing that their lead is "solid as Barack". Cuts to a preview of the skits that will be shown, with the first featuring house Democrat Barney Frank (Bobby Moynihan), Nancy Pelosi (Kristen Wiig), and Rahm Emanuel (Andy Samberg) singing an adapted version of "Our House" by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The second skit features Bill Clinton (Darrell Hammond) singing "Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds, surrounded by female dancers. It then cuts to Barack walking over to Joe Biden (Jason Sudeikis), sitting at a table, and asking, "Joe, I'm gonna ask, why did you say that if I were elected, a foreign power would test me with an international crisis... what are you eating?". In reply, Biden, holding a prosthetic foot to his mouth, states that "it's my foot, in my mouth!". Barack previews the next skit, Reverend Jeremiah Wright (Kenan Thompson) accompanied by Bill Ayers (Bill Hader), singing an adaptation of "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley, with the lyrics replaced with "white devils be crazy...". Barack then meets the spirit of John F. Kennedy (Jon Hamm, with Bill Clinton interrupting, joking that he is the rightful heir of Kennedy's legacy. Ends with the Obama couple singing "solid as Barack".
Sketch: Don Draper's Guide to Picking Up Women
Begins with Don Draper (Jon Hamm) detailing the many love affairs he has had with women, and proceeds to list his four easy steps for success. Step one, "when in doubt, remain absolutely silent"; step two, "when asked about your past, give vague, open-ended answers"; step three, "have a great name"; and step four, "look fantastic in a suit... casual wear... in anything... sound good... smell good... kiss good... strut around with supreme confidence... be uncannily successful at your job... blow people away every time you say anything... take six hour lunches... disappear for weeks at a time... lie to everyone about everything... drink and smoke constantly", ending with, "basically, be Don Draper".
Musical performance: "Viva la Vida" (Coldplay)
Sketch: Vincent Price's Halloween Special (1959)
Vincent Price (Bill Hader), dressed in a smoking jacket with a fake crow on his shoulder, is raised from the floor via an ascending platform. The platform malfunctions, forcing Price to complain to the crew while attempting to deliver a scary introduction to the audience about this Halloween horror special. Price climbs up from the floor and opens the door whereupon Gloria Swanson (Kristen Wiig) and James Mason (Jon Hamm) enter. In opposition to Price, both are not dress in costumes, and rather, are in their typical formalwear. Swanson attempts to portray a pirate, while Mason begins to make lewd jokes, "she's a pirate Price, my Jolly Roger was at full mast the whole drive over". Price shows a look of disgust towards the guests, and asks Mason why he is not wearing his costume, to which Mason replies, "didn't even open the box, too old fashioned... I had two Old Fashions and I couldn't open the box. I've been drunk since 11am Price! Say, where are the whores?"
Price looks over at Swanson, on the opposite side of the room, who is holding a pumpkin hostage with a knife. Swanson asks Price for a change of clothes, as he urinated himself on the drive over. Price introduces the 'ghost' of Liberace, who much like the guests, has foregone a Halloween costume in lieu of a tuxedo with a feather boa. Price begins to recite Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven, with musical accompaniment from Liberace, who begins to play show tunes, at the chagrin of Price. Mason approaches, and begins to recite a poem to Price, "there once was a girl named Regina... you don't even know where it was going! Vagina".
Price attempts to move the focus towards a pumpkin carving contest, and is frustrated to see Swanson has eaten the pumpkin, while still attempting to portray a pirate. In response to Price's, "great, just great. Didn't wanna throw the brakes on that James?", Mason replies, "what can I say Vincent, I've never seen anyone put something that big down so fast", with Liberace quipping, "I have", and laughing to himself. The doorbell rings, with two children in costumes standing in the doorway, waiting for candy. Price compliments them on their costumes, a girl in a princess outfit, and a boy in a sailor's costume. Upon seeing them, Mason asks the boy, "and you young man, I imagine you're dressed as to some brand of homosexual", to which the boy replies, "you're mean, I want my Mommy!", with Mason retorting, "that makes two of us". After telling the boy to bring a lady friend for Liberace, Liberace replies "I'm good", an allusion to his alleged homosexuality. Having scared the children off, Price berates Mason, and attempts to deliver his closing monologue, again upon the malfunctioning moving platform, which drops beneath the floor with him upon it.
Sketch: Jon Hamm's John Ham
Jon Hamm, speaking directly towards the camera, focused upon him in a testimonial-like style, states his endorsement of Jon Hamm's John Ham, "Ham You Can Eat in the Bathroom!" (with "john" colloquialism for "toilet"). Describing it as a solution to contemporary fast-paced life, where people are required to choose between eating lunch or going to the bathroom. While sitting within a cubicle, Hamm demonstrates the installation of John Ham, whereupon pressed ham is arranged in a similar fashion to a roll of toilet paper. Attempting to dispel accusations that his endorsement of the product is due to the similarity of his name, he cites the slight disparity in spellings between the two as proof there is no association. In further deriding such accusations, he asks doubters whether they "feel like a dummy yet?... Because you should". Hamm then proceeds to inform viewers that if they order the product in the next five minutes (a gimmick popular of advertorials), buyers will receive a free dispenser of Jon Hamm's Mustard Soap, "a delicious mustard that has no soap properties at all". The sketch ends with Jon Hamm reciting the Jon Hamm's John Ham motto, "if it feels like a slice of ham, don't wipe your ass with it". This sketch also appeared in the SNL special, The Best of Commercials.
Musical Act: "Lost" (Coldplay)
Sketch: Pat Finger for City Council
In a parody of a campaign advertisement, Pat Finger (Jon Hamm) from the fictional town of Butts, New York, addresses viewers, asking them to support his election to council. Describing himself as a 'Butts-native', he recalls his memories of the "sights, sounds, and smells of Butt's Valley". Vowing to "plug up each and every Butt's hole", he states that if voters want change, they require a "Finger in Butts".
In a follow-up advertisement, Finger states his confusion at the humor derived from the previous commercial. In describing his familial history within Butts, he notes the social problems within the county, specifically a "serious 'crack' problem, and promises to "lick the crack in Butts".
In the final commercial, Pat Finger, in a jovial mood, confronts the statements in the previous commercials that were the cause for humor. In stating his seriousness in protecting the integrity of his campaign, Finger announces that he has legally changed his name, reverting it to his mother's maiden name, Pat Deldeaux (pronounced 'dildo', as per French-Canadian convention). Realisation finally dawns on Pat as the commercial ends.
Musical Act: "Yellow" (Coldplay)
Musical Act: "Lovers in Japan" (Coldplay)
In its original broadcast in the United States on October 25, 2008, the episode was watched by 9.3 million viewers, and acquired a 3.9 Nielsen rating. Compared to the October 2007 ratings average, the show had an increase of 75% in total viewers, with a rerun of the episode shown a week later (1 November 2008) seen by 3.4 million viewers.
Since airing, the episode garnered a strong critical response, television critic Alan Sepinwall called the episode, "one of the more solid 90-minute episodes they've done in a while". Particular praise was made of Jon Hamm, specifically his impersonations, "his James Mason impression was brilliant", and his JFK...was very good too". Fellow critic Maureen Ryan noted that she was "pleasantly surprised at how consistently good Hamm's SNL episode was", adding, "how great was Hamm's James Mason impression?" The current user rating of the episode on IMDB is 7/10.
- Release Dates from IMDB
- Gorman, Bill (2008-10-30). "The Oct. 25 edition of 'Saturday Night Live' generates a 63 percent increase over the show's October 2007 average". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
- Gorman, Bill (2008-11-04). "'The Office', '30 Rock', Heroes' and 'Saturday Night Football' pace NBC's primetime week of Oct. 27-Nov. 2". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
- Sepinwall, Alan (2008-10-26). "SNL: Jon Hamm's handsome comedy acting school". The Star Ledger. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
- User Ratings from IMDB
- Ryan, Maureen (2008-10-26). "'Mad Man' star hams it up on 'Saturday Night Live'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2009-12-15.