When Cee Lo promised that he and Gwyneth Paltrow would be cranking out some musical moments when they both turned up on “Saturday Night Live,” he wasn’t playing around. The Lady Killer singer hit the stage twice, but he also showed off his comedic chops by popping up alongside Gwyneth in three different sketches.
The “Closet Freak” singer wasted no time getting on with the funny business, by first turning up in Paltrow’s opening monologue. After the “Country Strong” star pumped up her country-music knowledge, including hits by the “lady with the hair and the big boobs,” Jason Sudeikis appeared as white-haired legend Kenny Rogers for his classic duet with “the boob lady” — also known as Dolly Parton — “Islands in the Stream.” After Paltrow flubbed the lyrics, Cee Lo sauntered onstage to join the duo, who all belted the lines perfectly.
Although they didn’t share the mic, Paltrow and Cee Lo also showed up in a sketch about a bar mitzvah with tons of A-list performers rocking Jewish-friendly versions of their hits. Cee Lo, of course, played himself, rocking a full-length fur and swapping out “Forget You” for “Hebrew.” Paltrow played up her country connection by appearing as Taylor Swift and putting a Jewish twist on “You Belong With Me” with lyrics about Mel Brooks and shopping at Loehmann’s.
Paltrow also hooked Cee Lo up with an extra-special introduction to his first performance, appearing in a skit as a record executive grappling with how to market the Gnarls Barkley vocalist’s potty-mouth single. Although, in this office, “forget” is a bad word, and Paltrow’s co-workers gasp when she spews things like, “Are you forgetting kidding me?” When Cee Lo strolls in, he greets everyone with “What’s up, motherforgetters?” and adds that he’s “feeling good, my Nintendos.” After some back-and-forth about censoring Cee Lo’s hit, Paltrow gets on the phone with the FCC, which declares the former Goodie Mob MC can say “forget you” on television — which segues right into the star’s first song.
Backed by band of foxy musicians in clingy magenta minidresses and go-go boots, Cee Lo rocked the retro jam in front of a huge set piece swirled with Technicolor hues. Silhouettes of back-up dancers also grooved behind the star as he belted “I love you!” with abandon, looking slick in a black sequined shirt and gold chain.
While Paltrow gave Cee Lo a standard “SNL” introduction for his second song, the singer souped up the look of the stage with scenes of a glittery skyline and flashy New York City streets splashed onto the set piece. With his groovy-looking band in tow, the crooner ripped through “Bright Lights, Bigger City,” swapping out the gold chain for a silver one and finishing up the performance with a raspy, rock-star-esque “Ow!”
Paltrow popped up in other sketches as a comely cop who prompts an awkward reaction from Jay Pharoah as Will Smith on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” a leggy Heidi Klum auditioning to be a replacement host for CNN’s “Parker Spitzer” and a Spanish-speaking SportsCenter anchor who peppers her rapid-fire commentary with spot-on English pronunciations.
In addition to Paltrow, another musical screen star made a special “SNL appearance: kooky personality Pee Wee Herman, played by Paul Reubens. In the skit, Andy Samberg runs into Reubens’ bow-tie-rocking alter ego at a bar, and they both end up knocking back tons of shots and getting into all types of booze-powered debauchery. Pee Wee even busted out his signature jerky, pelvic thrust before trying not to vomit all over the patrons. The rowdiness doesn’t stop there, as Samberg and Herman drunkenly wander in to the street and Pee Wee ends up smashing a chair on both a cop and CNN’s Anderson Cooper. The duo stumble home to an intervention staged by the pair’s friends, including Pee Wee’s puppet pals Chairry, Pterri and Conky. After Samberg and Herman agree to get their act together, everyone, including a bandaged Cooper, celebrates their new commitment to behaving properly with — what else? — a round of shots.