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Saturday Night Bieber

Courtney Cox | Monday, February 11, 2013

As an avid Justin Bieber fan I watched “Saturday Night Live” expecting to see some Justin Timberlake style crossover action. I was sadly disappointed.

The rest of the cast performed spectacularly while not letting Bieber’s overly cheesy antics get in the way.

The cold open about the awkward half-hour blackout at the Super Bowl was a great topical way to open the show but from there on it went down hill.

The Biebsmonologue was propped up almost entirely by Keenan Thompson who walked around with Bieber correcting his facts about Black History Month (Denzel Washington did not, in fact, invent the peanut).­­­

Beginning any SNL episode with the overly stupid sketch “The Californians” is never a good sign. The played out mockery of California accents and obsessions with directions was clearly only included so that fans could watch Justin attempt a Cali-bro accent (which he admittedly does with some success) but it certainly didn’t need to last as long as it did.

One of the best segments of the show was when they put together a fake commercial about all the new Bravo shows set to come out this season. They did an incredible job pointing out the incestuous spin-offs that are so possible on the cable channel and Justin Bieber was only featured in a minor role as an Austrian hitting the clubs in LA.

Weekend Update also delivered as usual with Keenan making a guest appearance as “the black guy in every Super Bowl commercial.” They joked about all of the “cool” things he gets to do, like play drums on a Pringles can and DJ at a Dr. Pepper party and hang out with vaguely ethnic girls with bangs and white guys who dance in fedoras.

They also brought out Fred Armisen and Vanessa Bayer as the gossipy friends of King Richard III who was found buried under a parking lot this past week in Southern England. It’s one of the best examples of the subtle ways we talk about people we would nowadays consider frenemies.

Taran Killam made Justin Bieber break character in one sketch where the Biebs plays a polite southern boyfriend meeting the parents for the first time only to be caught off guard by his girlfriend’s outrageous brother. It was a flop of a sketch but seeing Bieber next to the average sized Killam made it immediately apparent how tiny the Biebs actually is. For example, Killam’s hand took up roughly three quarters of Justin Bieber’s chest.

Then he went on “The Miley Cyrus Show” as the president of the Miley Cyrus fan club. He made fun of himself for looking like a lesbian and went on to talk about how he smoked weed and he was sorry and would never do it again. It was mildly funny but not exactly a star performance.

He ended the show as a nerdy high schooler with a lisp organizing an abstinence themed dance. It was an obvious character for a 19 year old to play and maybe that’s the problem. He’s too young to believably portray any character who would actually come off as funny.

The real star of the show Saturday night was Keenan Thompson who surprised with a range of good characters all subtle and not obnoxious or expected.

It was disappointing but maybe they can hold off another 5 years and Biebs will return to SNL and redeem himself as host/musical guest.