Looks like there is life after Harry Potter for The Boy (Actor) Who Lived. Young British thesp Daniel Radcliffe demonstrated some strong comic chops during his debut gig as a Saturday Night Live host. Unfortunately, his personal charm wasn't enough to overcome the show's mediocre writing and misconceived sketches. Here were the five least magical skits of the night:
5. You Can Do Anything
Wow, the bile in this sketch was so thick, we needed a butcher knife to cut through it. Clearly penned by an older writer fed up with "these kids today" and their "Interwebs" and "YouTubings," this skit brought out a series of overconfident, underprepared twentysomethings who preceded to demonstrate how little they knew about the world. Although a few funny lines slipped through ("You're so self-promotional... and everyone enjoys that"), for the most part, this entire skit just felt like an angry rant that should have been posted on a message board instead of broadcast on national television.
Redeeming Radcliffe Moment: Radcliffe memorably employed the dancing skills he picked up during his recent stint on Broadway, leaping about in an Irish jig while attempting to draw Chinese calligraphy.
4. Exit Polling
While not quite as dire as the other sketch he shared with Kristen Wiig (see below), Radcliffe seemed a bit off throughout the night's final skit, in which he played a moderate Republican voter who gets roped into answering a series of increasingly unhinged questions by an exit poller. Since it was the last sketch, we're willing to chalk his lackluster performance up to exhaustion.
Redeeming Radcliffe Moment: Seriously contemplating which Republican candidate he'd least like to see naked.
3. The Jay Pharoah Show
We like Jay Pharoah, but we can't figure out what his skills are beyond really good impressions of other famous actors. It seems the SNL writing staff aren't certain either, since the entire joke of this sketch seems to be that Pharoah can't do anything besides impersonate Denzel Washington and Will Smith. The guy seems to be in on the gag at least, which is more than we can say for us.
Redeeming Radcliffe Moment: Radcliffe's grin of relief when the theme music strikes up and the awkward sketch comes to a mercifully quick end.
2. Target Lady
Just like shopping at Target, Kristen Wiig's Target Lady sketches are their own special level of hell. It's been awhile since the character was made an appearance, so we were hoping that she'd been retired along with other less-than-amusing Wiig creations like Gilly and Penelope. But apparently she was just being saved for a truly special (or unlucky) host. Absence hasn't made the heart grow fonder, although Radcliffe totally sold the idea that his mullet-sporting stockboy was in love with Wiig's uber-annoying checkout queen. We'll be taking our business to K-Mart from here on out.
Redeeming Radcliffe Moment: The heartthrob delights Harry Potter fangirls (and boys) everywhere by ripping his Target uniform off to flash his abs at Wiig and the audience. Dude is ripped!
1. Harry Potter
Radcliffe warned us it was coming in the monologue (and looked like he really, really wanted to apologize for it) but that didn't make this lame Harry Potter send-up any easier to sit through. Never mind the various ways the sketch willfully violates Potter canon (no way did Ginny let Harry hang around his old school all the time like a past-his-prime loser. After all, he was too busy caring for their 82 children. Also, Ron and Hermione work for the Ministry of Magic, not Hogwarts. C'mon writers, do your Wikipedia research.) -- the real problem was that the total lack of humor. They should have just re-run that Lindsay Lohan-as-Hermione sketch instead.
Redeeming Radcliffe Moment: The ex-Potter gleefully invites the new students to re-enact his fight on the bridge with Voldemort.
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