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SNL GPA: Paul McCartney Barely Stumbles in Seven Appearances


The Double Paul episode of "Saturday Night Live" kicked off with musical guest McCartney telling host Rudd, "I loved 'Role Models.' " It was an indicator that the "SNL" crew intended to utilize their Beatle for as many special moments as possible, and they did: McCartney showed up in the digital short "Stumblin,' " singing the hook from Berlin's "Take My Breath Away" and performing a solo on the world's tiniest harmonica as Andy Samberg and Rudd fumbled around New York City (Dolly Parton's classic "9 to 5" provided the soundtrack). Then he voiced Camilla Parker-Bowles in a Weekend Update "audio caption," recounting what Prince Charles' wife must have been thinking when the royal limo was attacked by "ruffians." How did he rate his impersonation? "It was probably the best thing I ever worked on," McCartney deadpanned. We knew he didn't really love "Sgt. Pepper's."

Song One: "Jet"
+1 for wearing a purple blazer -- Sir Paul certainly knows how to dress royally
-10 for singing off-key -- Paul was pitchy, but his backup singers were worse. Not Diddy Dirty Money worse, but worse.
+1 for picking a Wings song from 1973 and not leading off with one of his more recent compositions

Song Two: "Band on the Run"
-4 for more pitch issues
+2 for delivering another bona fide greatest hit

Song Three: "A Day in the Life"/"Give Peace a Chance" Medley
+5 for a perfect vocal -- we're not sure who rejiggered what, but Paul was finally in the pocket
+2 for McCartney's third wardrobe change of the night -- who wouldn't appreciate his attention to nattiness?
+5 for honoring John Lennon during the week marking the 30th anniversary of his bandmate's death
+1 and for picking a (sadly still) topical song for that purpose
+2 for leading an audience sing-along on the refrain, "All we are saying is give peace a chance." Too many "SNL" performers ignore the live crowd, and McCartney got them involved in the best way possible.

Song Four: "Get Back" (over closing credits)
+5 for playing a fourth song
+5 for finally performing a full Beatles track

+5 for simply being Paul McCartney
-10 for reminding us even Paul McCartney can sing off-key sometimes. We prefer to think of you as a deity, Paul.

Final GPA: B+

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