Comedy Takes on the Olympics: Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Fallon & David Letterman

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This past weekend, NBC had the foresight to know that they would have to slowly reintegrate regular entertainment programing into the blood stream of rabid Olympic viewers. They knew not to rush the matter and they respected our desire to focus on obscure winter sports for just a few more days.

First off, Bob Costas had Jimmy Fallon pay him a visit on Friday night. Not only did Fallon get caught up on his ‘thank you’ card writing, but Costas tried out his own comedy chops with a little fabulous faux keyboard playing. Here are a few gems from their encounter:

“Thank you men’s speed skating for leaving nothing to the imagination. We get it– it’s cold in there.”

“Thank you to biathlon for having athletes ski around with rifles on their backs. In America we love sports where players run around with guns– but we call it the NBA.”

“Thank you Apolo Ohno for winning an American record number of medals and for being to frozen water what Michael Phelps is to regular water. Oh no he didn’t! More like: Ohno, he did.

Bob wrote that one. Yes he did. Love Bob.

“Thank you one one-hundredth of a second for apparently being a huge crap load of time.”

He also thanked Bob Costas and Chris Collinsworth for dressing so dapperly. I second, as does GQ.

“Thank you Olympics for being the first televised event to top American Idol on the ratings in over six years.” I believe that major props go to Shaun White for that victory.

I especially feel this last one, because in case you didn’t know: I seriously judge the phenomenon that is American Idol.

It was delightful. We took our second step into the cold pool water that is regular programming the next evening with the return of Saturday Night Live instead of late night Olympic coverage. I was a little sad.

Jennifer Lopez was the host and musical guest, so of course the writers took advantage of her Latinaness and brought us a curling match aired by ESPN Classic featuring Team Paraguay helmed by Maria-Shakira Prinze, Jr. versus Helga Birkenstock on the Norwegian team. The lady product sponsor? Gyne-Lotrimin vaginal cream for those times when “you’ve got something fungal in your lady jungle.”

Oh writers.

There was also the expected foray into Telemundo-land in which Lopez and SNL’s Fred Armisen played anchors to Jenny Slate and Bill Hader as on-location correspondents in Vancouver. They were not happy: “I would say I am in hell, but it is far too cold for that.” The sketch expounded upon the high risks associated with these obscure winter sports: “All of the sports are very strange, why would you do this unless you want to kill yourself?”

“Why?! Why would you do this?!”

Upon watching a ski jump competitor take off Lopez and Armisen screamed, “Where did the land go?!” When Slate explained that for some reason flying off the end of a slippery slope  had been the athletes intent they shook their heads, “Oh thank goodness he is ok!”

Point. After all, it is shockingly counterintuitive stuff.

Their conclusion? “This is a madness that happens when a country has no beaches.”

Oh really? Well then explain me that Jamaican bobsled team? Ahaha– got you.

At any rate, I would like to take this opportunity to thank NBC for caring enough to ease me slowly out of my Olympic bubble. The Marriage Ref… not so great, but then again those closing ceremonies… not so great either. It was a toss-up.

This evening, I finally went ahead and changed the channel from NBC to explore the world away from the peacock. It was weird. David Letterman was there, and guess who was with him? Evan Lysacek presenting the Top Ten List: Thoughts Going Through Evan Lysacek’s Head While Going Through His Gold Medal Winning Routine.” A few of the better ones:

“Did I overdo it with the sequins?”

“Bendy-twirly-jumpy thing”

“Stop running promos for The Marriage Ref.”

“Wheeeeee!” To which Dave countered, “You’d be surprised how many times that thought goes through my mind just sitting right here.”

And the number one thought: “Holy crap, I’m dizzy.”

My main critique: There should have been a Dancing with the Stars reference, and we all know it.



Filed under Commenting, Television

3 responses to “Comedy Takes on the Olympics: Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Fallon & David Letterman

  1. Tyler

    Re: American Idol. Briefly.

    As I now live with my parents (let’s all take a moment to reflect on that), I am subject to their television habits. This has led to my becoming fascinated by, and a fan of, American Idol.

    I had watched the show in its infancy and when I went away to college, I counted the 3,000 miles of separation between me and my parents’ living room as separation from Idol as well. Naturally, I judged. Harshly, as I am wont to do.

    Turns out that if you relent, it’s occasionally VERY entertaining and there are a handful of fabulously talented people.

    Just sayin’.

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