May 12, 2012 11:31pm PT by Jane Kellogg
'SNL' Recap: Will Ferrell Brings Former Cast Members; Justin Bieber Joins Lonely Island for 100th Digital Short
Will Ferrell has struggled to find his footing in the box office the past few years, but all he had to do was go back to his roots to remind fans why they love him. Perhaps all he needed was a little more cowbell?
While the comedian is no stranger to the Saturday Night Live stage, this is only the third time the former cast member has hosted the show. He's the third SNL alumnus to do so this season: both Jimmy Fallon and Maya Rudolph hosted earlier this year.
The show started out with Barack Obama (Fred Armisen) and Joe Biden (Jason Sudeikis), an obvious sketch regarding the week's biggest political news. Ferrell brought out his iconic George W. Bush character early -- playing Biden's "imaginary friend" George. After Obama left to go do some big boy stuff, Bush came out of the closet to hang out with his buddy Biden. "Everybody says I've got a big mouth, but it's my big mouth that got things done this time!" Biden said, exasperated. Biden continued how "politics isn't fair" -- he doesn't like it when people give the president all the credit.
"I feel ya," Ferrell's Bush comforted him. "I used to catch grief all the time from President Cheney." But at the end of the day, the fact that Biden and Obama have finally announced they support gay marriage prompted Bush to give him some words of encouragement. "Mission Accomplished! It's just something I like to say when a problem isn't solved, but I don't like to talk about it anymore."
Mother's Day was the theme of Ferrell's monologue, and the comedian pulled up his real-life mom for the bit. "I know what I'm about to say could cause some controversy, but I love my mom!" he exclaimed. "There ya go TMZ -- that's for you." While he's used to having writers at his beck and call, the comedian chose to speak from the heart: "The words I'm saying right now are from my brain place to my mouth hole." Well, it's the thought that counts, right?
There's nothing like a good SNL throwback, and Ferrell proved he wasn't afraid of bringing out some of audiences' favorite characters. At Dance Like No One's Judging: LGBT Prom 2012, Ferrell brought on Ana Gasteyer for their popular Marty and Bobbie Culp bit, who together head up the "rapidly dwindling music department" at Alta Dena Middle School. ("It's no Glee, folks -- in fact, it's pretty Glame.") This time around, they did a medley of Adele's "Rumor Has It," Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass," and One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful."
The next former SNL cast member to come out of the woodwork was Will Forte, back for ESPN Classics as Greg Stink with Pete Twinkle (Sudeikis). Ferrell was on as oblivious correspondent Randy Feather. Sudeikis cleverly peppered in the show's sponsors Stayfree Maxi Pads: "I see London, I see China, I see one very happy vagina;" "when you have your monthly boo boo, put one of these near your hoo hoo;" and "when your uterine lining looks like the elevator from The Shining."
If you're not familiar with The Lonely Island, the trio is behind nearly every digital short that's gone viral after airing on SNL. Celebrating 100 digital shorts, the milestone was honored with a new, granddaddy song: With Andy, Jorma, and... Justin Bieber?
Bieber hinted earlier this week on Twitter that he would be making an appearance on SNL, but his fans had no idea what the pop star had in store for them. Turns out, Bieber had no idea what Andy Samberg had in store for him either. "Tonight we are celebrating our 100th short. Congratulations to us, truly a major milestone. Guess what we're going to do? Tonight, we're gonna suck our own c***."
"Wait, what? That's disgusting!" innocent, barely 18-year-old Justin interjected. But alas, there's no stopping these guys. Throughout the bit, there were several throwbacks to Digital Short favorites, including Shy Ronnie, Two Worlds Collide ft. Reba McEntire, Iran So Far (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came on to show off his tapdancing skills), and Jizz in my Pants ("We've done things in our pants that don't bear repeating.")
Of course, Justin Timberlake had to show up for the celebration (bearing some personal presents in a box), and he introduced a plethora of cameos: Natalie Portman ("Yeah I had a baby, but I'm still crazy"), Michael Bolton (Jack Sparrow), Jon Hamm (sexy, shirtless saxophonist named Sergio), and even the night's musical guest, Usher ("Hey- I've never been in a digital short, but these white boys are obsessed with their d****s.") And yeah, Ferrell came out too - ("I do endorse this song. My name is Will Ferrel and I'm sucking my own dong.")
If Andy Samberg really leaves SNL this year, we can only hope that Lorne Michaels brings him back repeatedly like he does other former cast members--if not just for his viral contributions to the show through his digital shorts.
Later in the show, Usher took to the stage for the first performance of his new album, Looking For Myself, which is set to drop June 12. SNL has been shaking things up lately with their musical guest selections (lesser-known performers such as Gotye, Lana Del Rey), so Usher was refreshingly familiar. The seven-time Grammy winner first performed "Scream," the second single from Looking For Myself, then came back later to perform his hit sizzling single, "Climax."
During Weekend Update, Seth Meyers took a moment to examine this week's controversial Time magazine cover, which depicts a young mom breastfeeding her 3-year-old son. "Really?!" Meyers exclaimed. "The kid looks like he's damn near 8 on that cover!" He continued: "Did the kid from Modern Family sexually assault his yoga instructor? And really, what's with the blue steel? You couldn't smile?" Meyers said, referring to the mom's stone-cold expression. Afterward, Liam Neeson made a surprise cameo for Samberg's Get in the Cage with Nicolas Cage, promoting his new film, Battleship. Upset that he didn't get a part in the film, Cage exclaimed (alluding to John Travolta's recent legal accusations), "Which Jewish masseuse do you have to pork to get a gig in this town?"
Next up: the 2012 Funkytown Debate, with host Taran Killam. Current mayor of Funkytown, Doctor Silky Delicious (Keenan Thompson), Captain Catfish (Ferrell), and third party candidate Janet Nichols (Nasim Pedrad) had gathered to have a healthy debate in preparation for the upcoming Funkytown Mayor election. Usher showed off his acting chops again in this bit, when Captain Catfish brought him out as his running mate, Mr. Galactic Fantastic.
The show ended on a more forgettable note, unfortunately: Manhattan public access: Broadway Sizzle with Darius (Bill Hader -- making his first appearance more than 70 minutes through the show) and Cara (Wiig). For the final sketch, a 25th wedding anniversary party, Will Forte returned for another cameo.
While Saturday Night Live fizzled at the end, the show started out strong and had so many cameos, audiences couldn't have been disappointed with Ferrell's comeback performance. Even if he didn't use more cowbell.
Another oldie (but goodie) jumping on the show to remind fans he's still in the game: Mick Jagger is set to host next week, with musical guests Foo Fighters and Arcade Fire.