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5/21/2011: Justin Timberlake & Lady Gaga (Season Finale)

Stick Figure Night Live! is a series of stick figure comic “recreations” of episodes of Saturday Night Live. Just as the show itself is performed live, the comics are drawn “live” while watching the show (with the occasional assist from DVR or some digital clean-up post scanning).


If the quality of any given episode of SNL were measured in hoots and hollers of recognition from the live audience, then this episode was among the greats. If laughter was the measure…

There used to be a (too short lived) radio from PRI called Fair Game with Faith Salie with a recurring segment entitled “My Unpopular Opinion”. Well, here’s mine: I don’t think Justin Timberlake is all that great an SNL host. I don’t find him as charming and likeable as everyone else seems to. I’ll give him this: he certainly knows how to play to the audience in the room, but it doesn’t translate, to me, as laughs or even that much fun (following the old idea that if the performers are having fun the audience will too – I submit the enthusiasm and joy of the Jackass crew is much more infectious and palpable).

Maybe that’s why the one sketch I seemed to get a kick out of was “What’s that Name?” wherein Timberlake was portrayed as a sleazy, pompous celebrity douche.

Otherwise we got a lot of old/classic/repeat sketches, a rather short Update, and a abundant dosage of Gaga. And that’s the season…and that’s the season for Stick Figure Night Live, too, as without new SNL episodes there’s no much for me to stick-figure. That said, I may from time to time, so the cobwebs don’t form, post a thing here or there. I was contacted about creating a “custom” SFNL and might post that…I’ll be appearing at a couple of comic book conventions this summer, so I might post those dates as they approach…

But in the meantime, if you have been a regular or even occasional visitor to to, thanks so much. I’d love it if you’d leave a comment below, even something as simple as cutting and pasting “I check it out”…if only to get a sense of who’s out there and how many, etc, etc.

And with that, barring some unforseen circumstances (or the aforementioned possible posts-to-come), see you next season…

(thanks again to Scott for his spreading the word via Twitter all season; much appreciated)


  1. Neil

    1) Love your SFNL — definitely more entertaining than most SNL episodes

    2) Totally disagree with you on this episode. I know you tend to be a contrarian, but JT is simply entertaining. Too many of the hosts that come on have no entertainment skills whatsoever, and we see the writing staff struggle in how to use them. While he might not be the BEST host ever — he’s definitely far more viewable than any of the other repeat hosts. I do agree however that maybe they should spend the summer coming up with better material and stop the excessive overuse of retread setups.

    What does everyone else think? Let’s discuss!

    • Gregg

      Again, I openly admit it’s an unpopular opinion, but SNL is nothing if not a show that sketch-by-sketch can induce more debate and discussion, for sure. In the end though, diplomatically speaking, it becomes a matter of taste…as much of comedy is.

  2. Eric

    I check it out along with a bunch of coworkers. It’s great! Can’t believe you didn’t point out Gaga’s crazy stirrup routine in the second music act. So weird…
    Great representation of the beer bottle guy with finger gloves

    • Gregg

      Thanks, Eric. I actually was considering, as I watched it (because I’d already drawn Gaga singing), adding under the panel something like “not shown: simulated golden glitter-laden birthing sequence”. But then, when nothing was actually birthed it all seemed sort of anticlimactic.

      And thanks, Eric’s co-workers.

  3. SNL Quotes In a Box

    We love love love your sketches and post them sometime on our tumblr! ( and we always tell our lovely followers to kindly check out your drawings! You are extremely talented…KEEP IT UP. We will definitely be checking in regularly!

  4. Emily

    I just discovered your website a few weeks ago and went back and read all of the previous comics (even though I never miss an episode of SNL). What fun!

    I agree with you about the lackluster finale, even though I’ve been a fan of Justin Timberlake’s previous times hosting. My biggest complaint was that other than the cold open and the monologue, everything was a repeat character or a rehash of a previous sketch (where the punchline is always the same. She says the password–we get it).

    I look forward to reading your posts next season!

    • Gregg

      Thanks, Emily.

      The repeating of characters has been a standard on SNL since the beginning. The frustration sets in when there’s no variation with each appearance. So while “The Two A-Holes” was essentially the same characters, by changing their location/interaction/goal, it was a new sketch each time…and I’m sure I’m not the first person to wonder why they haven’t been seen in so long.

      Or even, using a game show example, “Celebrity Jeopardy” was essentially “celebrities are dumb and Sean Connery hates Alex Trebek”, there was enough variance to the content and delivery where it didn’t feel like Mad Libs, which is how some repeated sketches & characters can get.

      That said, I’d take “Secret Word” over the Spanish talk show sketch where everyone just dances over and over again.

  5. Rishabh

    I make sure I read your comics as soon as I watch the episode (I don’t watch it live). Haven’t missed either a show or a comic this season!

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