Tina Fey and Amy Poehler Make You Long for the Old Days of ‘SNL’

This weekend’s return of the beloved ‘Saturday Night Live’ alums, along with The Boss as music guest, brought down the house.
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This weekend’s return of the beloved ‘Saturday Night Live’ alums, along with The Boss as music guest, brought down the house.
SNL Christmas Special 2015 Photo

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler during the "Tina & Amy's Dope Squad" sketch on December 19, 2015. (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC)

To say there were great expectations for the highly anticipated return of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to Saturday Night Live as hosts would be an understatement.

The dynamic duo took the stage to bring the funny, some Christmas cheer, a bunch of celebrity cameos and, of course, promote their new movie Sisters.

For the most part, it was everything it needed to be. A few misses, but mostly hits, this Saturday’s Christmas episode just might have been the best SNL of 2015.

Here are some of the best and worst moments:

The Cold Open

SNL Christmas Special 2015 Photo

Pete Davidson as Marco Rubio, Jay Pharoah as Dr. Ben Carson, and Darrell Hammond as Donald Trump during the "GOP Debate Cold Open" sketch on December 19, 2015. (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC)

Last week’s CNN Republican Presidential Debate got skewered in the Cold Open and brought us the first cameo of the night: Darrell Hammond and his spot-on Donald Trump impersonation.

From a mouthy Chris Christie to a sleepy Ben Carson to a bullying Trump – “His real name is Jebra. Hey Jebra, loser say what?” – the guys nailed it.

This will be the last time the men stood-out in the entire episode, because from here on out, the female comedians owned the show.

Tina and Amy’s Monologue

SNL Christmas Special 2015 Photo

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler during the "Christmas Mash-up Monologue" on December 19, 2015. (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC)

Okay, to be honest, things got off to a rocky start. The ladies performed an original Christmas song that went on forever with Amy singing a cheery tune that alternated with Tina’s creepy version, and somewhere in between featured the line “She’s the peanut butter to my salami.”

The Christmas Mash-up Monologue fell completely flat. I’m momentarily worried about how this is all going to go...

Then I remind myself, it’s Tina and Amy! “Bitches get stuff done.”

Best Character Revival: The Ghost of Christmas Past

SNL Christmas Special 2015 Photo

Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton, and Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton during the "A Hillary Christmas" sketch on December 19, 2015. (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC)

In a fun #TBT, Amy Poehler’s 2008 Hillary Clinton meets the 2015 Hillary Clinton (Kate McKinnon) like the Ghost of Christmas Past. Hillary of the present catches up with Hillary of the past on current events, such as who the GOP frontrunner is: Donald Trump. “Oh my God, we’re going to be president!” both Hillarys squeal with glee.

And – you betcha – Tina Fey appears next as Sarah Palin. “Oh jeez, it looks like I went through time and space again. It looks like I ended up in the bedroom of a lesbian couple,” Palin noted. She also gave the Hills some stellar political advice: “If it gets too hard, just quit, who cares?”

Riskiest Skit: Meet Your Second Wife

This one could have gone horribly wrong. In a biting satire of male midlife crisis, Helen Walsh (Poehler) and Tina Fey (as herself for some reason) host a secret game show, where they introduce three unsuspecting married men (Bobby Moynihan, Taran Killam and Kenan Thompson) to their future second wives. To their horror, all of the future wives are ridiculously young. Like 5-years-old young (one was even still an embryo). It had the potential to be distasteful but with Tina and Amy at the helm, it came off as wickedly funny instead.

“Sorry, we don’t make the future, we just know it,” Helen shrugs.

Biggest Missed Opportunity: Weekend Update

SNL Christmas Special 2015 Photo

Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Colin Jost, and Michael Che during Weekend Update on December 19, 2015. (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC)

I thought it was a no-brainer that with Tina and Amy back in da house for sure we’d see them at their old post on the Weekend Update News Desk. Especially since current Update co-anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che have zero chemistry together.

But there were Jost and Che delivering lackluster news quips per usual. Tina and Amy eventually rolled in on their chairs to tell the final two jokes of the segment. Meh.

With Poehler and Fey underutilized, the stand-out of this weekend’s Update was Kate McKinnon, who appeared as Deenie, “somebody’s mom,” wearing Mom Jeans and an ugly Christmas sweater. She gave an entertaining recap of her favorite soap opera in between taking bites of baked salmon and trying not to crack up. The kicker was that Deenie doesn’t know a single character’s name, or even the name of the show she’s been watching for 40 years (“the one with the piano music in the beginning”), referring to them instead as “Big Boobs,” “Sexpot,” “Mustache Man,” and so on.

Totally Predictable Cameo That We Loved Anyway: Maya Rudolph

SNL Christmas Special 2015 Photo

Amy Poehler as Betty, Maya Rudolph as Jodi, and Tina Fey as Karen during the "Bronx Beat" sketch on December 19, 2015. (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC)

Fellow former SNL funny lady Maya Rudolph came out to play and got some giggles with her boozy “Lola” character, “a gifted mess of a woman,” who sang a drunken “12 Days of Christmas” as she tossed presents at children in a “Special Order” X-Mas DVD segment.

Rudolph appeared a second time to revive “Bronx Beat with Betty and Jodi” along with Poehler, who lamented, “The news is so terrible that in the morning I skip coffee and go right to wine.” Their special guest was cousin Karen (Fey), who dropped by to show off her Philly accent (“water” is “wooder”, got it?).

Best Skit: Tina and Amy’s “Dope Squad”

SNL Christmas Special 2015 Photo

Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer, Tina Fey, and Aidy Bryant during the "Tina & Amy's Dope Squad" sketch on December 19, 2015. (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC)

“It takes a village y’all…” the biggest highlight of the night had to be the parody of Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” video, featuring Tina and Amy’s own #squadgoals.

Instead of rolling with models and starlets like T.Swizzle, T & A roll with a girl squad of gynecologists and nannies. More celeb cameos had Gayle King firing a bazooka and Amy Schumer doing the slow motion post-apocalyptic walk while fumbling with nunchucks and mumbling, “Wait, who are we mad at again?”

Best Unnecessary Freak-out:

Music guest Bruce Springsteen caused Twitter to meltdown when the first song he sang wasn’t “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” and when the second song he sang wasn’t “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” (Instead his song selections were “Meet Me in the City” and “The Ties That Bind.”)

Because, as the Twitterverse anxiously noted, Bruce Springsteen appears on SNL one week before X-Mas and he doesn’t sing “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”??? WHAT THE F#@&!?!?!

But, wait…

SNL Christmas Special 2015 Photo

Musical guest Bruce Springsteen performs with Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, and Paul McCartney on December 19, 2015. (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC)

Best Random Cameo of the Night:

It turns out there’s one more number, people: Bruce Springsteen finally gets around to who’s been naughty and who’s been nice, and launches into “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” as the entire SNL cast comes out to sing along. YES!

To top it off, some guy hops on stage and starts playing the sleigh bells – it’s Paul McCartney, who shows up out of nowhere, but it’s okay because he’s a Beatle and he can do whatever he damn well pleases.

Silly us. They saved the best for last! Christmas is saved. What a jolly way to close out the show.