Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were the hosts of Saturday Night Live Christmas episode. The SNL alums and stars of the movie ‘Sister’ brought their siblings act to the show, as Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band were the musical guests. See a review roundup of what critics had to say and watch video highlights right here!
This was seemingly a sure bet for the audience, two hugely popular SNL alum who have gone on to have stellar A-list Hollywood careers. Not to mention the popularity of Amy Pohler’s ‘Hillary Clinton’ and Tina Fey’s ‘Sarah Palin’ which, of course, is perfect for our raucous political season. Instead of picking the one or the other, NBC took them both! A perfect tie-in, of course, as they co-star in the movie ‘Sisters,’ from Universal Pictures which shares a parent company with NBC.
Corporate tie-ins aside, SNL also had to draw in those folks who weren’t out watching ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ or, for that matter, out doing their Christmas shopping. But of course, these days the show aspires for a second life as viral video and here there was much potential. The novel concept of dual hosts was exploited with the opening monologue which saw the pair finishing each other’s sentences, and launching into a musical number.
What will most likely go viral and find its way into the SNL classics is the ‘Meet Your Second Wife’ skit. The spoof “dating game” style show was biting comedy at its best, exposing that undeniable truth that continues to prevail, and what better way to do it but to bring out increasingly younger potential trophy wives until, inevitably we were into underage, law-breaking territory.
And yes, we did get ‘Hillary Clinton’ and ‘Sarah Palin’ visitations — literally — in a scene which saw current season ‘Hillary Clinton’ Kate McKinnon getting a couple of visitors at bedtime.
And yes, we did also have Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performing songs from the classic double-album ‘The River’ which has just been reissued as ‘The Ties That Bind: The River Collection.’ The legendary rocker made his third appearance on the show, and what’s surprising in retrospect is that it’s been more than a dozen years since we last saw him as musical guest in 2002.
In a finale singalong of ‘Santa Clause Is Coming to Town’ we had not just Springsteen and the E Street Band and the entire SNL cast, but a surprise appearance on stage of none other than another rock legend, Paul McCartney. And that brought the Christmas episode to an end.
And what did critics think of the dual hosts and the usual hits and misses of 90 minutes of skits? Here’s a roundup of what they’re saying.
“….Poehler and Fey’s monologue was quirky and fun, with an original Christmas song based on a joke that the pair of friends in real life are actually quite different and that Fey is “dangerously religious.” It wasn’t stomach-hurting funny, but are the monologues ever stomach-hurting funny? […]
It was inevitable that Fey and Poehler would reprise their Palin and Clinton roles, but they were welcome returns, as they tactfully navigated around the difficult proposition of how Poehler’s Hillary could coexist with Kate McKinnon‘s very different (but also very great) Hillary. ….”– The Wrap
“….Fey and Poehler took what could’ve been a brutally icky concept — happily married guys get ambushed on a game show during which they’re introduced to the underage girls with whom they’ll eventually replace their current spouses — and made it wonderfully, scathingly funny. …..”– TV Line
“….Sure, they’re there partly to pump up the middling-looking Sisters, but there’s been a palpable sense that they’re back in town to right the ship. And while they didn’t stride 8H like twin colossi of comedy, they still injected the show with some much-needed energy—even if, at time, their energy seemed a bit lacking. […] The best sketch of the night, if not the season, was “Meet Your Second Wife,” the perfect marriage (if you will) of comedy, commentary, and outrageousness that had the audience gasping alternately in shock and laughter….” — The A.V. Club
“….Dope Squad – A pretty perfect “Bad Blood” parody discussing the real “squad” that helps Tina and Amy succeed in life. It was both an opportunity for a great Amy Schumer cameo, a rap solo for Aidy Bryant, and then also a chance to mock the press for asking inane questions about how women “balance” everything….. ” –Carter Matt
And with that, the last episode of the year, the Saturday Night Live the Christmas mid-season finale with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler has come and gone! Holiday classics? Time will tell! Meanwhile you can watch the SNL video highlights below!
The Ties that Bind
Pictures: PR Photos