Saturday Night Live Episodes

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Saturday Night Live Episode: "Neil Patrick Harris; Taylor Swift"

Season 34, Episode 12
Episode Synopsis: Neil Patrick Harris hosts. Country artist Taylor Swift is the music guest. Liza Minnelli makes a cameo appearance.
Original Air Date: Jan 10, 2009
Guest Cast Liza Minnelli Neil Patrick Harris Taylor Swift
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Season 34, Episode 12
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Aired: 1/10/2009
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Saturday Night Live Episode Recap: Neil Patrick Harris Hosts, Taylor Swift Performs Season 34, Episode 12

Saturday Night Live is back after the holidays with How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris as host, and the hugely popular Taylor Swift as musical guest. Did Neil's first time hosting fall flat or was it awe — wait for it — some?

We were talking in the office about NPH appearing on SNL the other day, and there were high hopes for a hilarious show. After all, it's NPH! He makes How I Met Your Mother funny on a whole different level, he rocked the hell of his Harold and Kumar cameos, and his Broadway background begs some awesome Rent/Broadway spoofs. I think he delivered. Do you?

The Rachel Maddow Show
New girl, Abby Elliott finally gets a moment to shine! She's wearing a hilariously perfect Rachel Maddow wig and the MSNBC host's crooked smirk, to boot. (Do you think it's supposed to look so snarky in real life?) Her guest is Rod (How come I always thought he was "Rob"?) Blagojevich's rejected Senate appointee, Roland Burris played by Keenan Thompson. He asks her to please call him "Senator" Burris, heh. She declines and basically asks why he went to Washington knowing the senate wouldn't accept him. It's pretty entertaining as he lists his Priceline travel arrangements. Jason Sudeikis later appears "via satellite" as mop-topped Blagojevich and hurls masculine-themed insults at Maddow, like "sorry to spoil your party, Billy Jean King," and "never, Chachi" and "sound familiar, Kyle McLaughlin?" I have to say, Sudeikis totally steals the show in this sketch.

Opening Monologue
NPH, you're lookin' fine! He talks about how he almost hosted the show back in 1990 when he was starring in Doogie Howser, MD. However, they gave the spot to Fred Savage instead, and NPH clearly hasn't let it go — and makes sure to point out the flaws of the show. HA! The best line, "I turned to my girlfriend at the time and said, 'What is he (Fred Savage), allergic to timing?' And she said, 'Why won't you kiss me?' And I said, 'Later! I mean, look at this guy!" So damn funny. Near the end of the sketch Andy Samberg reprises his role as Mark Wahlberg who interrupts NPH's monologue with his friends (all three that his Entourage buddies are based on). It's funny, but no where near the awesomeness of "Why won't you kiss me?"

Today with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb
Well, I'm ashamed to admit it, but this sketch was really funny for me because I've seen the awful fourth hour of Today a few times. It's like a horrific car accident that I just can't help staring at! Kristen Wiig nails Kathie Lee's mannerisms, body language and incessant need to upstage Hoda perfectly. She's brilliant. Michaela Watkins also nails her "Hoda", who always seems to wear a smile that barely conceals the desire to punch Kathie Lee in the face. Luckily for us, we get to see her punch Kathie Lee later in the sketch. NPH also appears in an awesomely green and black polyester workout outfit, and tries to lead the ladies in some Richard Simmons-style aerobics. Good times.

Broadway Character/Actors Meeting
Sudeikis, as the Phantom of the Opera, and NPH as Mark from Rent (who he actually played) and several other cast members dressed as characters from Wicked, Music Man, CATS, etc., have gathered to discuss the downturn of Broadway ticket sales. Sudeikis also kicks as in this sketch as the meeting's leader, trying to steer the cast members from only contributing bits of their musical numbers to the meeting. All NPH can do is reference Rent, while Elphaba from Wicked calls him a racist for telling her that since she's green she should work in Shrek the Musical. If you remotely know anything about Broadway musicals, this is hilarious. If not, you may be in the dark. — Oh yeah, Taylor Swift plays Annie from Annie, who definitely has some anger management issues. Heh.

Group Therapy with Penelope
Keenan and Casey meet at a group therapy session and talk about first time nerves. Kristen plays Penelope, who pops up and tries to one-up everyone immediately. NPH plays the therapist who tries to control Penelope's outbursts. He decides to play a video to de-stress his patients, but she even pops up in the video. At the end of one of her rants, she says her best friends are a tomato and Liza Minnelli. At this point, NPH and the group have had it and they leave the room. Enter Liza freakin' Minnelli holding a tomato. So completely random but fantastic! She tells Penelope that she and "Tomato" want to hit the town "Sex and the City style." Wow. Just, wow.



NPH and His Keyboard
The screen is totally black, but for a small keyboard. NPH walks into a small spotlight wearing a tuxedo and sits at the keyboard — in complete silence. He cracks his knuckles and begins to play... The Doogie Howser theme! He's then joined by cast mates playing violins, brass instruments, etc. Sadly enough, I'm flashing back to my puffy bangs, high-top Reebok's, and Guess Jean Jacket as I listen to this music. The last image: A single tear sliding down NPH's cheek. HA!

Taylor Swift Performs
Taylor and her ridiculously sparkly guitar play a spunky little song, though she doesn't really sound amazing. This girl's album is No. 1 in the country right now! I thought she'd bring down the house — not so much.

Weekend Update with Seth Meyers
Best Lines:

-(Re: all the presidents having lunch together) "Afterward there was a fight over who would pay the bill, but they later agreed to leave it up to future generations"
-"Bill Clinton das impressed by the light brown carpet in the Oval Office, saying 'I love this rug.' Though he did say, "It would look better if it was a thin strip down the middle."
-"TNT stands for 'not even technically television."
-"Despite security concerns, President-Elect Barack Obama says he won't give up his Blackberry. Sorta like how Bush wouldn't give up his Leap Frog."
-Will Forte's song about BCS



Two First Names
"Neil Patrick" hosts the only celebrity talk show about stars with, you guessed it, two first names. Abby as Jamie Lynn Spears and Fred Armisen as David Lee Roth are in his band, and his guests are Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jamie Lee Curtis (eating her Activia yogurt of course), Michael Clark Duncan, Tommy Lee Jones, Julia Louis Dreyfus and Daniel "Dave" Lewis. When Daniel corrects him, NPH tells him to get the hell out of there with his "one first name only." That's kinda where the funny of the sketch ends.

Fran and Freba
I really want to just call this sketch "Fingernails," because that's all I can concentrate on. Kristen and NPH are dressed in ridiculous outfits and wigs, sounding very southern while sporting some of the creepiest Lee Press-on Nails I've ever seen. They talk about non-sense until their boss tells them to get back to work. What do they do? Air traffic controllers! With those nails, you know this will be a disaster... kinda like the sketch. It's not that bad, but it goes on too long without much point.

Frost/Nixon
NPH plays Frost and Darrell Hammond plays Nixon (awesomely). But, then they show Frost trying to break down other celebs in Frost/Other People — celebs like David Bowie, David Crosby, etc. It's kinda funny. Kinda.

Taylor Swift's Second Song
I know I'm not in her demo, but this song sounds just like the first one. But, she's cute and perky, so hey, go for it!

Burger King Commercial Spoof
Since I've always wondered what really happens in these commercials too, this is actually pretty chuckle-worthy. Contestants in the whopper virgin experiment are rural peasants who end up stealing the burgers, smashing them, putting them on their heads, etc. Heh.

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Saturday Night Live is back after the holidays with How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris as host, and the hugely popular Taylor Swift as musical guest. Did Neil's first time hosting fall flat or was it awe — wait for it — some? Read more and watch videos after the jump! read more

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Premiered: October 11, 1975, on NBC
Rating: TV-14
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Premise: Landmark, Emmy-winning satire from an ever-changing company of 'Not Ready for Prime Time Players' who rode the variety show to fame, including (to name just a few of its celebrated grads) Eddie Murphy, Dana Carvey, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Al Franken and Mike Myers. From its debut, with Andy Kaufman's memorably bizarre rendition of the 'Mighty Mouse' theme, through John Belushi's Samurai and Gilda Radner's Roseanne Roseannadanna, 'SNL' forever changed the landscape of TV comedy.

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