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‘Saturday Night Live’ Review: “Jamie Foxx”

Jamie Foxx SNL
NBC

SNL‘ returns this week with Jamie Foxx on deck to promote his upcoming film ‘Django Unchained.’ Foxx is a sketch comedy veteran — but how did he do on the ‘SNL’ stage?

Fiscal Cliff Press Conference

President Obama (Jay Pharaoh) and speaker of the house John Boehner (Bill Hader) give a press conference about the fiscal cliff. It’s all in the eyes with these two — sure, the stories of how Boehner is being bullied by his peers are funny, but it’s Hader’s shifty eyes and the way Pharaoh gives him the side-eye that makes this sketch just that much funnier. It does end up going on for a bit too long, especially given that this is the cold-open, and somewhere after Boehner is pushed into the ladies’ room and before he’s invited to the fake pizza party, the sketch runs out of steam.

Monologue

FYI, his name is apparently “Jamie Fiddoxx.” Foxx’s monologue is focused on asking “how black is that?” about everything from Obama to Jay-Z to his new movie, ‘Django Unchained,’ which I’m pretty sure he just spoiled — but who cares? Foxx is incredibly charismatic and works the crowd like they’re his own illegal sweatshop. And of course he hops on the piano and starts singing until 2 Chainz comes out to join him. Has it become a mandatory thing for hosts to sing?

Bitch, What’s the Answer

Foxx plays game show host Mookie Meeks on this show featuring Taran Killam, Nasim Pedrad, and Bobby Moynihan as contestants. The questions are vague, like “Who was the president?” and “What is up with carbon?” and Foxx spends most of the runtime just calling everyone bitches. Foxx handles the part really well, but the whole conceit is just saying “bitch” over and over again, which wears thin after about two minutes. It’s a passable sketch that only succeeds thanks to Foxx’s energy and Moynihan’s Moynihan-ness.

J-Pop America Fun Time Now

“J-Pop America Fun Time Now” is a public access show from the Michigan State campus hosted by Taran Killam and Vanessa Bayer as two students who like to pretend they’re Japanese and exaggerate their words by adding “uru” and “dada to the end of everything. Foxx is a fellow student with a kung-fu mustache and Jason Sudeikis is their annoyed dean. Fred Armisen makes a guest appearance as Killam’s “Japanese girlfriend” who is clearly less of a caricature than the people imitating her culture. It’s a bit over-stretched, but thanks to the internet and the prevalence of white people pretending to be Japanese, this sketch hits the right spot. Plus, Killam gets to wear that ridiculous Final Fantasy character wig.

Tyler Perry Presents Alex Cross 2: Madea Special Ops

A fake pre-recorded trailer starring Jamie Foxx as Tyler Perry as Alex Cross and Madea — at the same time, Two-Face style. And oh god, this is hilarious. Before Perry was dressing up as a woman to make people laugh, Jamie Foxx was playing female characters on ‘In Living Color,’ and yes, there’s a little hint of Wanda there, especially when Madea crosses her eye to make Alex Cross look at her.

Weekend Update

Aidy Bryant stops by as Mrs. Clause who can’t wait for Santa to leave the house on Christmas so she can get blitzed on chardonnay and watch porn. Bryant’s enthusiasm is there, but I still wish they’d find better things to do with her. A crass Mrs. Clause is too obvious, even by ‘SNL’ standards.

With Hostess going out of business and all the focus on Twinkies, Jamie Foxx stops by as a giant Ding Dong to make his case for being just as important. The thing is that this bit is only funny because of the colorful way Foxx speaks and they’ve practically written around it. It’s almost Christmas — they couldn’t do a Drunk Uncle or Stefon bit? And when Seth mentioned White Trash Willy Wonka, I couldn’t help but wish we’d get to meet that character.

Dylan McDermott or Dermot Mulroney

It’s about damn time someone made this a fake game show on ‘SNL.’ Bill Hader hosts “Dylan McDermott or Dermot Mulroney,” a show no one has ever won. The contestants are Kenan Thompson, Jamie Foxx, and Jay Pharaoh.– the joke obviously being that to these black guys, Dylan McDermott and Dermot Mulroney might as well be the same person and their names are too hard to remember. Hader ups the ante by rambling on about which movies McDermott and Mulroney have starred in and what else their co-stars were in, which, yeah, is a totally white person thing to be doing. Aside from the Alex Cross/Madea mash-up, this is the real highlight of the episode.

And then it goes for the gold when Dermot Mulroney shows up and holds up a photo of Dylan McDermott, saying it’s a photo of himself.

Marcus Banks: Tree Pimp

Kenan Thompson stars in this short as Marcus Banks, a former pimp who now pimps for Christmas trees. It’s one-note, but more effective than the cold open or the “Bitch” sketch. And then Armisen has to go and get weird on a Christmas tree in his car.

Maine Justice

Aidy Bryant and Bobby Moynihan are plaintiff and defendant on a courtroom television show called “Maine Justice,” presided over by Jason Sudeikis as a very Colonel Sanders-type fellow. Moynihan gets to play the straight guy and much-needed breath of fresh air after all that heavy colloquialism. Also, is Jamie Foxx wearing a leftover Soul Glo wig from ‘Coming to America’?

Charlie Day makes a guest appearance as Bryant’s local congressman, a moonshine-totin’, overall-wearing, woods-dwelling white trash guy — so basically, not far off from his character on ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.’

Swarovski Crystals

Cecily Strong and Vanessa Bayer are two air-headed models and former porn stars selling Swarovski crystals — like all women who love these crystals, they can’t pronounce “Swarovski” at all, instead pronouncing it “Sabosky.” This sketch reminds me of the faux commercials for marble columns and chandeliers that Fred Armisen used to do and that often co-starred Scarlett Johansson — there’s the same mindlessness and repetitive nature at work here: “One time I got banged to death for five minutes. Then I got banged back to life. Thanks crystals!” Jamie Foxx pops up as fellow former porn star who would like to sell you a “sharky crystal,” and it’s almost too much because Foxx threatens to break character a few times.

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