“We are Nine Direction,” third-time Saturday Night Live host Paul Rudd declared. He was finishing a rendition of “Afternoon Delight” joined by musical guests One Direction and, why not, Rudd’s own “man band”: Will Ferrell and the rest of of the Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues cast members. As pop or comedy, this take on Starland Vocal Band’s Arrested Development-exhumed ode to daytime sexytime didn’t go much deeper than its guess-you’d-call-it-a-concept — the song is in both gangs‘ repertoires — but the presence of the Anchorman 2 crew was a surprise treat for the demographic that doesn’t know its 1D members by name. (Watch that clip over at Mediaite.)
As for Harry Styles and his fellow British singers behind record-setting new album Midnight Memories, they continue to amiably seize the boy-band, not-boy-band star lane that’s been open to them since The X Factor. Aside from signing autographs on Rudd’s back in a skit about the Clueless actor being the lads’ biggest fan, the Directioneers also delivered two songs from the new album: “Story of My Life” and “Through the Dark,” their priapic full-length’s pair most inclined toward Brothers & Sons neo-folk. (Sadly absent was power-pop gem “Little Black Dress.”)
The December 7 SNL episode opened with another nod to music, or at least its sound, or at least NBC’s widely hate-watched The Sound of Music remake starring Carrie Underwood. SNL alumni Kristen Wiig and Fred Armisen made unannounced appearances amid the cast’s own oddball take on the Von Trapp Family Singers. Did the original version of “My Favorite Things” mention a frog in the mouth?
And finally, here’s to Bill Brasky, that mythical Ferrell-era SNL sketch taple, who saw a beer-soaked revival on the latest episode — and who remains a son of a bitch.