The combination of host Steve Martin and musical guest Prince provided a double whammy to the solar plexus of mediocrity in American sketch comedy. Mr. Martin, appearing as SNL host for a record 14th time, segued into the monologue after a brilliant pre-recorded opening sequence featuring Kelly Ripa and Alec Baldwin, unifying both pieces with his purported use of Viagra. Maya Rudolph appeared next as Oprah, fresh from her distasteful experience with author James Frey, facing Steve Martin as yet another deceitful author named Stone Freeman. Stone answered some hard questions from Oprah with some of the most hilarious backtracking and sidestepping evasions ever conceived. Another funny sketch found Steve playing himself, being duped into appearing at the victory celebration for Hamas. SNL also took a big chance on lampooning Prince during a show where he was the musical guest in what turned out to be one of the weaker segments of the evening. My main complaint would be that Horatio Sanz was under utilized in this episode. All things considered, Steve Martin proved once again that he is one of the most versatile and engaging comedians working today.
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