Right out of the gate, I have an issue. This was the season premiere of SNL? I saw almost no promotion for it. I don't watch a lot of NBC, admittedly, but I was there for the Heroes and The Office premieres, and I didn't see one bumper announcing that this Saturday would be a new SNL.
Athletes have made good to great guest hosts on SNL, from Peyton last year to Derek Jeter a few years back, to Joe Montana's appearance a long time ago, back when they got him to say "I'm going upstairs to masturbate."
I don't know what was going on with this episode, but they seemed to have trouble figuring out ways to use LeBron. I can understand LeBron being careful with his image, and not wanting to be a part of anything that could possibly offend. But that leads to some pretty boring comedy.
The monologue was predictable enough, with LeBron getting to reprise his roles from his very funny commercials in which he plays his own family. I'm sure it was those commercials that made SNL think he could be successful on the show.
So, why did we get 3 skits in which he was playing himself? And another where he was playing a basketball player? Aside from one pretty odd moment, in which James was playing a Solid Gold dancer, there was very little here that suggested much of anything beyond "LeBron is a tall, good-natured young man."
Musical guest Kanye West's predictable "Look I'm OK, I Can Poke Fun At Myself" skit in which Kanye disrupts Awards ceremonies ranging from a county fair pumpkin contest to the Nobel Prizes was still more daring than anything written for LeBron.
Next week promises to be good though, as Seth Rogen is starring, and will probably help write a good chunk of the show.
I'd say the single funniest thing on the show this was Andy Samberg's digitial short expressing his love for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, with a great cameo from Jake Gyllenhaal, and some loser Top 40 guy I'm sure I was supposed to recognize. If NBC were smart, it would be up on the Internets already.
Oh well. Instead, here's something from the upcoming premiere of 30 Rock. I would totally watch "Are You Stronger Than A Dog" and "MILF Island". Though Jerry Seinfeld seems to have forgotten that he guest-starred on NewsRadio.