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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Here at Command Central, not so much with the hilarious. More with the 'What the Hell am I Doing'"
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January 10 2009

SNL promos with Neil Patrick Harris and Will Forte. I've also seen one on the teevee with Neil and Taylor Swift that may or may not be somewhere online.

Some people might not be able to see the clip so click here. :)
NPH and the Forte? I'm so there.
Either I utterly fail at TV listings (very possible) or my local NBC affiliate isn't showing SNL.
SNL comes on around 11:30 EST or 12 am EST, I can't remember...and I don't watch SNL (It stopped being funny a while ago) but I will catch NPH because nothing can stop me from watching NPH.

I hope he gets to be on Inside the Actors Studio soon, if he hasn't already.
MUST HAVE NPH! Too bad Tina and Amy or gone. I think I would lose all bodily control if I saw Neil with either one.
I hope that Will Forte will actually be used will in the episode. He and Bill Hader (but more so Bill) are hilarious outside of SNL, but are totally wasted there. I hope that since Forte and NPH have worked together before on HIMYM, they'll use him more. I just wish that when SNL actually has an awesome host, they would get a good musical guest, or at least one I've actually heard of.
My sister is a big fan of Taylor Swift. She's 14 though.
Well in fairness I know little to anything about modern popular music, and most modern bands I like few if any people have heard of, so I'm not the best judge.
SNL is like any other show - they have to roll with the times. So it's not a big surprise they picked Taylor Swift.
I hope I get to watch this tonight.
Please write good reports - not feeling well so I will not be staying up (and my VCR doesn't work anymore so I can't tape it). Thx.
ZOMG, that Doogie theme song digital short was brillz. Definitely look for it on Hulu.
My DVR is recording it right now, I'm excited I'll get to watch it later. Hubby is playing a video game and I'm getting ready to watch some HIMYM episodes.
It's halfway through, and so far NPH has been in every skit.
Is that usual for SNL these days?
The workout dance and the doogie theme were the best so far IMO.
They could have done more with him in the Broadway skit, and the group therapy skit was just slow and I fell asleep through part of it so I can't comment on it too much.

Update: NPH makes a handsome woman!

[ edited by Jaynes Hat on 2009-01-11 06:39 ]
Disappointing. Don't get me wrong, it was quite good for modern SNL, but they could have used such a talented guy so much better. And seriously, all those Doogie Houser (no idea how to spell it) and not one HIMYM skit (other than the opening monologue which haad nothing to do with the show), or a Dr. H reference? Those are modern shows, that are far more relevant (and better)! I wanted more NPH singing! Instead of that chick whats her name as the 'musical' guest, Neil could have sung... or something. I am glad Fleet Foxes will be on next week, shame they couldn't have been on this week so I could have watched the whole thing without changing channels.
I laughed several times, throughout the show, which is all I really look for. I have to say, the air traffic control skit was probably one of the weirder skits I can remember seeing. And was anybody else just waiting for him to say "Sarah Michelle Gellar" in the two first name talk show skit?

I must say, though, that I was completely horrified by Taylor Swift. I don't mean to offend anybody here, so slap me if I do, but wow she can't sing. I usually give vocalists the benefit of the doubt, because I find the sound on talk shows and the like tends to be less-than-stellar... but there was just no excuse for how bad that second song was. I'm so glad I didn't catch the first one.
I never heard of Taylor Swift before, but I thought Taylor Swift's first song was pretty good. I was in bed and not in my home theater with surround sound though, so maybe I missed something.

You will have to give us more than "wow she can't sing" though, or your criticism is not telling us anything. If it is the way the song was written that you don't like, then that doesn't have much to do with her singing ability.
Of course I just liked looking at her in 1080p.

Yes, NPH was very under used in the whole thing. The writers on SNL are so bad these days that I don't understand why any actor would want to be on it. It just makes them look bad. It is turning into a really odd Mad TV, with worse makeup since it is live. And who puts the host in every skit? They must not trust their own players to get the job done.

[ edited by Jaynes Hat on 2009-01-11 16:05 ]

[ edited by Jaynes Hat on 2009-01-11 16:07 ]
I thought it was hilarious. And FYI, Jayne's Hat, putting a guest in all of the sketches on SNL is the highest compliment they can pay him/her: it means they trust him/her to live up to their standard and be able to carry the show. It's their long-standing tradition and is the one way you can judge the writers' opinion of the talent of the guest (whether or not you agree w.their assessment ;-); they never place guests based on popularity as opposed to perceived talent. I've been watching SNL since its first episode, and I've never seen anyone in more sketches than NPH. So go Neil! :-)
OzLady, of course they place guests based on popularity - heck, they invite guests based on popularity, and hold talent second in many cases. Who thought Michael Phelps would make a good host? He's an Olympic Swimmer, it doesn't make him immediately adept at going for the joke. SNL has been reduced to what it is now...occasionally funny, mostly tragic.

I think the reason why people still want to be on SNL is that it gives them the kind of exposure they want to have to continue discussing their work, and continue working toward more projects.

Most actors are not like George Clooney or Brad Pitt, where they get giant pile of scripts or a lot of phone calls and then they get to choose what they want to do. Most actors want to find the gem they've been looking for, and have to work toward getting their name out there.

Even NPH, who should be an absolute household name by now, is still associated almost all of the time with Doogie Howser just so people go "Ohhh, that guy." It's not that anyone wants him to still BE Doogie, it's that he's still mostly identifiable by that role. Until HIMYM gets all the love and attention from every single man, woman and child in America that it deserves, it'll be Doogie and not Barney.
I enjoyed seeing him but was disappointed. I expected him to mention Dr. Horrible in the opening monologue -- it's not that obscure & it's very timely. He didn't. And I expected them to use his great singing voice... nope. In contrast, Justin Timberlake on SNL has been very funny & I hoped their use of NPH would be similar. It wasn't.
But I'm still glad he got exposure and that I watched.
My tape self-destructed about 15 minutes in. *sighs*
Don't get me wrong Ozlady, I loved the fact he was in all the sketches except the intro, and I understand it is because they thought he could do it. I had just never seen them do it before.

I also felt like they were trying to make up for quality with quantity though. I would have preferred 2 really good skits than a whole bunch of not so great ones.

I thought the Doogie Houser Instrumental Digital Short was genius though. If anyone can find a link please post it. I searched the usual sites and they have not posted it yet.
I too was a little disappointed because I think SNL could have made better use of NPH's talent. I also was expecting him to mention Sarah Michelle Gellar. I was surprised that there was no Dr. H mention. Yes, he'd make a good looking woman, and he has the mannerisms down. (I loved the Southern accent and long nails.) That said, there were several moments that made me laugh out loud. I enjoyed the Broadway skit and the air traffic control skit. It would have been nice if he'd have mentioned Harold and Kumar and how he's not really like the NPH character he portrayed in those movies. On the Taylor Swift issue, I was not happy when I learned she'd be on the show. I am a HUGE country music fan, and I have no idea why she's famous other than the fact that she's gorgeous. She sings the same notes over and over again, she has no vibrato, and most of her singing sounds like she's talking. This is coming from someone who has had to endure her music over and over again on the various country music awards shows and the radio. That said, her performance last night was a bit more rock and roll than country. Maybe she's trying to cross over. As a rock singer, she'd do fine because a singer doesn't have to have a great voice to be a popular rock star. Back to NPH, I think he did a great job with the material he was given.
Jaynes Hat, my problem had nothing to do with the way the song was written. I'm fairly numb to mainstream songwriting now, so I honestly barely noticed it.

My problem was that she genuinely couldn't sing well enough to be on national television. Maybe she was great on the first song, I don't know. I didn't watch it. But the second song horrified me. It sounded like someone doing karaoke for the first time. A professional doing a national broadcast should not slip out of key the number of times that she did. Especially when the national broadcast is being hosted by Neil Patrick Harris who, in my opinion, outshone her by doing a few bars of "Seasons of Love."

As always, just my opinion. But I just watched it again and that opinion has not changed at all. I usually don't like to be so negative about someone, but it actually really bothered me, when I watched it.
Knuckeball, I completely understand. She has been bleeding my ears for the last two years. And according to Nielsen SoundScan, her album was the third biggest seller of 2008. I just don't understand how/why.
Here's an odd sidenote, according to Amy & Nancy Harrington of, NPH's decision to do Dr. Horrible was an "abnormal career choice". See the Yahoo! TV Blog, which reprinted's story in a more easily understandable format.
Neil's Doogie Howser musical performance is here, and I didn't think that Taylor Swift was terrible, at least she wasn't lip-syncing, but she doesn't have much of a voice, or much ability on guitar, so you have to figure her fame comes from her pretty face.
I was just wondering why you didn't like her Knuckelball. Now I know and partially agree after listening to the second song again. I think she was just trying to do the "breathy" voice in the second song that is now getting so popular. I had no idea she was a country star though since I do not follow pop music. But there wasn't much country to her rock and roll last night.

Thanks for the Doogie Houser Musical link embers.

Was anyone else thinking NPH was going to start into a Dr. Horrible skit when we saw him sitting in the dark at a keyboard?
The biggest problem with SNL is that everyone's supposed to more or less get the joke, and it's a sad state of affairs when SNL can't rise to the occasion and recognize things that are on the forefront of a new frontier, such as a web video independently produced by real actors and producers.
:-( NPH didn't win the Golden Globe.
But Laura Dern gave Danny Strong a shout-out when she won Best Supporting Actress for Recount!!!!!
It annoys me that the event is taking place in California but we are going to get it hours from now, taped, instead of getting to see it live with the rest of the country!
That sucks! I've never understood that, embers.
They should air it live on the west coast and broadcast it forward in time for all the time zones east of California ;)
Don't you think the Digital Short was a little ode to Doctor Horrible. Like hey, NPH, we want to an musical short too. It will be about a Doctor and you are in it. There will be musical and dancing and it will be sad at the end. Oh yeah and the music will be the Doogie theme. They called it Digital! Why else do that.
It's part of a series, Anonymous, entitled SNL Digital Shorts. Including such hits as **** in My Pants and **** in a Box.

I thought Neil's stuff was all pretty funny. But the lack of Dr. Horrible annoyed me. It seems like that should account largely for any recent surge in popularity, right? HIMYM has been on for four years now, so I don't see why that would suddenly be having an effect. I dunno, it just seems like he's been bigger since Dr. H. But maybe that's just because that's when I took notice.

[ edited by Jobo on 2009-01-12 06:44 ]
I think Dr. Horrible definitely had to do with it, Jobo, but the real credit probably goes to HIMYM because it's been on for three (now in its fourth year) years already.

Remember that Firefly was a dud when it was on the air but hey, after the DVDs rolled out, we all got a big damn movie! It proves that sometimes hits peak later in their life.
TWoP's Telefile blogs about Neil Patrick Harris's SNL appearance.

Click here to go to the site.
FYI, and not to sound like Penelope, my info about guest placement comes from a friend who's a former SNL writer and featured player, so... ;-)

I wasn't surprised nor dismayed re. the lack of Dr. Horrible reference; it's simply not as well-known as HIMYM or Doogie Howser. It's completely awesome but hardly mainstream.

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