E for effort but it missed the mark.
This weeks host and musical guest, Justin Bieber.
Justin's monologue was focused on Black History Month and Valentine's Day. After passing out roses to a few lucky girls in the audience he finally picked one to bring up on stage and sing a love song to... Whoopie Goldberg.
The opening skit... The Californians. Forgive me but I like this fake soap that overdoes the SoCal blonde stereotype. Justin made an appearance as a runaway skateboard rebel caught sleeping in the garage.
Next, Justin plays himself backstage at Madison Square Garden with his manager (Jason Sudeikis) discussing new security measures like a team of Justin Bieber look-alikes (pretty much the entire SNL cast) that look and act exactly (nothing) like Justin Bieber. Not bad.
Justin: Two of them are black! They aren't going to fool anybody.
Manager: Yeah? Well neither are you Homie!
That was followed by a fake promo for spin-offs of spin-offs of spin-offs of reality shows on Bravo. Meh..
Whoopie Goldberg introduced Justin for his first musical number, As Long As You Love Me. He performed "unplugged" with an acoustic guitarist.
Weekend Update featured King Richard III's best friends from growing up (Fred Armisen, Vanessa Bayer) reprising their roles as the couple that whisper when they have something critical to say. Also making an appearance was Corey (Keenan Thompson), the one black guy in every commercial. He has to High Five every 12 seconds or he dies. Funniest bit of the night so far. Alll right!!! High Five!
A Grease type high school musical between the Greasers and the Pink Poodles featured Justin as a hunky confused teen trying to figure out why there were no actual puppies in her sweater. "They said she had sweater puppies! There weren't any puppies!" After singing his desire for her, he admits he's only 11.
She's good with that. Me? Not so much.
The Miley Cyrus Show featured a growdup Miley (Vanessa Bayer) sporting a blonde crop cut hairdoo and bandleader/dad Billy Ray (Sudeikis) who made the whole band get matching hair. Her guest was Fan Club President Pete Defalco (Bieber) who was very stoked to meet her then went on and on how much better she was than that douche Justin Bieber. He managed to work in an apology for getting caught smoking pot in real life.
Justin is a young guy meeting his girlfriend's (Nasim Pedrad) parents (Sudeikis, Bayer) for the first time in the next skit. He also meets her older brother, Eddie (Taran Killam) who is a total jerk and keeps teasing him for saying "Glice" in a nervous moment. Beiber broke character for a minute during the berating from Killam. This inspired Killam to increase his tirate by screaming into Bieber's ear.
This week's digital short was a Justin Beiber Valentines video message detailing his plans for the two of you. It also introduced us to Taco (Bobby Moynihan). Taco's crazy. He said he was staying for the night and three months later... just get used to Taco. Justin also sends cellphone pics of his junk to Hillary Clinton.
Jason Sudeikis introduced Justin for his encore number, also done acoustic with piano accompanist, Nothing Like Us.
The recurring Inner city Booker T. Washington High was the setting for the final skit of the night. This year's Valentine's Dance theme, "Hooray for Abstinence". It featured Jay Pharoh once again as Principal Fry who was none too happy about some jive tom turkey spiking the punch with Extasy. He also warned students if they got shot with an arrow, it was not Cupid. "There's a Hobo with a crossbow out in the parking lot".
We also heard from the lisping head of the social committee Bryce Dunham (Bieber) who told everyone they should have attended the planning session if they didn't like the theme. Abshtinensh ish cool.
Principal Fry returned to lecture the students about releasing the frogs and turtles from the Science Lab. "There is currently an inter-species gang war going on on the dance floor right now! Amphibians and reptiles are killing each other to the tune of "Baby Got Back". Students, please do not wager on this exciting animal battle!"
That was the highlight of the night that was short on highlights. The writing was weak once again. The few funny bits were recurring ones that weren't necessarily tailored for Bieber. Probably for good reason because his acting skills are weak. While this week's show didn't completely suck like the Gabourey Sidibe episode last year, it was pretty flat overall. I'm not a Justin Bieber fan so I'm sure I missed a lot of the "OMG it's Justin" factor.
I score it C- .